Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

September 5, 2007

My life is going to change on September 5th of this year. My noble neurosurgeon will be performing a partial laminotomy and microdiskectomy on ME on that date.

How exactly do I feel about undergoing general anesthesia and laying supine (something like that anyhow) while a surgeon I barely know and have had limited conversation with (In fact, I pay him to talk to me….) lays bare my spinal column to correct a terrible mistake of nature (or nurture?)?

Honestly, I am just hoping to heaven that I wake up. The last time I “went under” general anesthesia; as soon as they lifted the mask I bolted upright on the table (to the dismay of all attending) and asked what time it was. It took them quite a few minutes to convince me that I was in an operating room, communicate the time (my one true concern), and then motivate me to lie back down (“You may want to rest a bit sweetie.”).

Words can’t express. Words can’t express at all.

So this time I get to have surgery while on my knees. How interesting is that? And I wonder if I will wake up on my stomach (or my knees?)? Following said surgery, I will not be able to sit, or even bend over, for two whole weeks! (My poor, poor Bob, in more ways than one!)

I guess I am saying that I came to a decision. Actually my doctor came to this decision, and I chose to agree. I have two back doctors. One is a doctor that chose to work only with back patients focusing on intense rehabilitative therapy rather than surgery. The other is a neurosurgeon, a rather conservative surgeon (in my other doctor’s opinion) that operates only on the spine. When my neurosurgeon first recommended surgery, my other doctor was not quite convinced. So what do you do when two doctors disagree? You wait until they agree. Which I did. When my therapy came to the point that my doctor said he felt as though the weakness in my leg was progressing and we could not increase my therapy goals without further injuring my back….He suggested surgery. He then called my surgeon. My surgeon then called me.

So there it is. The reason behind my surgery treason (I know, I know, cheesy…). I managed to put off said surgery for an entire four weeks. Four weeks to prepare. Prepare as in sock away any additional cash I might come upon (guffaw) to help prepare for the September with 2 –4 weeks of income conveniently misplaced (or rather, not earned at all). Fortunately I have a short-term disability insurance plan, so really I will go one full week without pay and then 60% of my normal paycheck until I am back to work full time or back to work 60%.

It gets better though. Sandis and Gracie start school on what day? Oh ya! The day BEFORE my surgery! Splendid! How is that for planning eh? We couldn’t do it any earlier than that though, because Bob is spending the first week with me and he is booked up full through August (those damn hardwood floors!). Bless his heart that he is staying the first week with me. The first week aside, I still have to figure out what to do the second week. I won’t be able to drive for two weeks (hmmph) at least (hmmph) so I need to figure out how to get the kids to school. Will bus company’s change things up? More chaos to add to the first few days of school.

Me to Bus Company: Pick him up here the first day, but pick him up here for the next 5-7 days. Oh and drop him off here the first day, but drop him off here for the same 5 – 7 days that you pick him up here. (head scratching going on here) So what happens if they screw up and drop him off at the wrong here (my house) after I’m already back to work and he is stranded alone at home, but OUTSIDE of the home with no keys (and all my crazy neighbors)?

Add to that, I won’t be able to sit or bend over for two weeks. I’ve got the first week covered concerning chores (god I love you Bob) but what to do for the second week? Is Sandis the new chef of our house? I may actually have that part figured out as I offered to hire my ONE non-crazy neighbor to help me in the afternoons and evenings when the kids are at home with me. We’ll see how that pans out.

So what do you think? Am I traveling light speed towards certain disaster? Or is there a chance this might all work out, and actually improve my current situation?

As an FYI, my back doctor (the one that touts intensive rehabilitation) told me that he feels with the surgery I should be able to try and start running again six months post-surgery. Without, he thinks it would at least be a year, if not longer. Running is not my only motivating factor, at this point I’d like to be able to consistently walk without a limp, but it was a shiny glint in this entire choice.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow Sarah - sounds very busy!

Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and I'm sure everything will work out just fine.

Please keep us posted!

Minnesota Nice said...

Sarah, I just had an intuitive flash that you must be very careful afer the surgery and NOT try to do too much - that the recovery period is crucial to long-term success. Sometimes people think that if you don't ask for help, you don't need it. I was shocked when a friend recently told me that she crawled down the stairs to do laundry after her knee surgery. I never offered to help her because I didn't know.
Line up as much help as you can - friends, co-workers, neighbors - you must.
Yes, thank goodness for short-term disability. When it was offered to our company several years ago, our manager made us all sign up. I had to use it when I had my detached retina surgery.

PS is Sandis any good at the computer? You can dictate to him your blogposts.

BetterCell said...

You will get better Sarah.
In addition, most likely you will also have Physical Therapy post surgical for your back and surrounding muscles.
My sugesstion to you is (and you already know this) take it very slow following your surgery. I think that you should practice Tai Chi for a couple of months before you begin running again.