Under The Knife

Those of you who are my friends on Facebook or my email correspondents already know what I’m going to say this morning, but I imagine – I hope, anyway – that the reach of this blog is greater than that.

I’m having surgery tomorrow morning at the St. Cloud Hospital to repair my back.

The surgeon, Dr. McIver, will do several things in my lower back: remove a bulging disc and replace it with a titanium one, realign with some small rods the vertebrae below the bulging disc, and clear out some more room in the spinal canal so the nerves there can function properly. Dr. McIver said Monday that the work he does will relieve pretty much immediately the hamstring pain I’ve been dealing with for nearly two years.

And yes, his name sounds like the television character, and he said he’s heard every MacGyver joke there is. The most frequent, he said, is when patients ask what he can do with duct tape, and he tells them “I can put it over your mouth!”

He said he expects me to be able to go home either Friday or Saturday, but I will be very restricted in what I can do. When I go out, I will have to wear a bulky brace – I got it Monday – but if I am careful at home, I can go without it there. I have to avoid things that cause twisting core motions – snow shoveling and vacuuming were two he mentioned – for some time, and for twelve weeks, I cannot pick up anything heavier than fifteen pounds.

That weight limit is going to make things hard on Little Gus, the youngest (and heaviest) or our three cats. Cubbie Cooper, our middle cat, is very good at jumping on laps. Oscar Charleston is a lap cat on occasion, but he’s happier getting his affection while lying on the floor. (The doctor said that if I am careful, playing with the cat on the floor is approved.) But when Gus wants laptime from me, he paws at my leg, and when I reach for him, he collapses into a twenty-two pound dead weight, way beyond my approved weight limit. He will be unhappy as I recuperate.

There is a possibility that I may have to spend some time in an after-care facility for healing and physical therapy, but Dr. McIver said that’s unlikely. He said that for this surgery, that’s generally for folks who are reliant on walkers and who are older than I am. That’s good news.

Whenever I come home, the Texas Gal will take the next week off from work. She may have to go in to deal with some administrative tasks unique to her position, but if so, she will make certain I am settled in one spot or else bring a friend in to keep me company.

While I am apprehensive, I will be relieved to have the procedure. The pain in my hamstrings has gotten to the point where even simple tasks have become very difficult to accomplish.

Things can happen, of course. While I am nearly certain that I will be back to post here sometime soon – perhaps next week – there is that small bit of uncertainty that goes with any surgical procedure. So, if things go wrong and this is my last post here, thanks for stopping by for these last eleven years. Thanks for reading my tales and listening to the music that moves me. Thanks for the corrections, clarifications and contrary opinions. Thanks for everything. I’ll see you on the other side.

3 Responses to “Under The Knife”

  1. Tim McMullen says:

    Wishing you all the best for a full and speedy recovery with as little pain as possible. Thanks for the update and for both your blog and your other posts over the years.

    Relax; take your time; be careful with yourself no matter what the cats demand; and try to enjoy anything that you can of these next couple of weeks and months.

  2. Yah Shure says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! With luck, the significant snow will hold off.

    And if it doesn’t, hand Gus a shovel and put him to work. 😉

  3. Dayn McBee says:

    Very best wishes on both your surgery and a quick recovery! And, many thanks for your blog. I am just one of many who enjoys reading your comments and musings about all things music. Thank you and get well soon!

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