Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back surgery

Not something one wants to contemplate, but when there is constant shooting pain up and down one's left leg 24/7, it's almost as tho that conclusion is inevitable. No, it's not for me. It's for my daughter, and it's coming up tomorrow afternoon at 1pm.

I first heard about this last weekend, when my daughter left a voice message telling me she had something important to talk to me about. It sounded serious, so I got back to her as quickly as I could.

She really didn't have much information to share with me at that point. In fact, I had many more questions than she had answers. She was due to see Dr. Kushwaha at 9:30 this morning. Dr. Kushwaha is the chief spinal surgeon at Methodist Hospital, and a partner of the orthopedic surgeon in whom my daughter has great confidence. (He is the one who recently handled her broken foot so adeptly.)

I just got off of the phone with my son-in-law and took a bunch of notes. I hope I'm relaying everything correctly. Here's the situation ... ... it seems that the lowest disc on her spine erupted - the 'when' or 'cause' are both unknown, exactly - extruding unwanted material that is pressing against a nerve and causing all of the pain.

None of her leg motor functions have been affected, nor should they be by the upcoming surgery. "Where this disc is located," the surgeon said, "no motor nerves are still attached to the spine." In other words, the frightful word "paralyzed" seems to have no place in this conversation.

Still and all, however, it is my daughter and she will be undergoing back surgery. And so, as her mother, to say that I am concerned would be no exaggeration. I'll be at the hospital tomorrow with my son-in-law. One can only hope that I will conduct myself with more decorum than I did the last time I was in a hospital, waiting for her to come out of surgery.

This would have been about 45 years ago. She'd had a terrible bout with the mumps and developed abscesses on both sides, one of which 'popped' and drained itself in the middle of the night, but the other just kept on getting bigger and bigger. It scared the bejaysus out of me! It didn't seem to be painful, but was disfiguring as all get out.

This one would have to be surgically removed. My husband and I were concerned about a lingering and very noticeable scar. The surgeon assured us that any scar would fade and almost completely disappear over the years. (And that reminds me. I'll just have to look at her neck tomorrow when I see her, won't I? We never did order any plastic surgery for her years later.)

Anyway, while she was undergoing that surgery, I paced up and down the hospital halls like a mad woman, bawling my eyes out. Remembering how I acted, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I mean, there were children in surgery at that very moment whose lives were at stake, and there I was bawling over an abscess. But, it is what it is, and it was what it was.

Tomorrow's surgery is described as 'non-invasive' ... a 1" incision will be made and the extruded material from the ruptured disc cleaned out* ... a 45-minute procedure, the surgeon said, and she should be up and walking around by 3pm. That last just flabbergasts me! Would that it be so.

Because the procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, they'll keep her overnight for observation. Normal-sounding kind of stuff. *The MRI showed that disc's appearance to be flat. Hopefully, that means that all material that could have been extruded has been, and no plans are in the works as of this writing to remove the disc itself.

[Had a little break there. She called me. Had just woken up from a very long nap. She was exhausted after their almost four-hour visit with the spinal surgeon this morning. Well, not all of it was with the surgeon. Blood tests were ordered and an EKG was administered, as well. All in preparation for tomorrow's surgery.]

Will fill all of you in when I know more. Meanwhile, please say a prayer to help guide the surgeon's hand.


The Bug said...

It's interesting to thing of back surgery sounding just routine & no big deal - sure hope that's case for your daughter!

Craig Peihopa said...

I will hold many good wishes and thoughts for your daughter.....and for you. Keep us in the loop.

Tammy said...

NOTHING is minor or unimportant when it is a child of our own. Any mother or father I'm sure will agree to that.

My thoughts are with you, Goldenrod...

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than back pain. Give our regards to her and wish her well. Hope all goes well.


Jacky said...

Thoughts and prayers headed toward your Adorable Child and all concerned with the surgery tomorrow!

Goldenrod said...

Thank you all for your wonderfully supportive comments. They meant a lot to me. And Jacky? I'm tickled you got through, finally.

Please see my next post. I'll recap the day and give my impressions of how everything went.