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News from the back front, and random notes

I went to see the neurosurgeon on Thursday for my post-operative checkup.

I like Dr. Lesiuk. I like him as a person, and as a doctor. He showed me my MRI on the screen and explained what was going on in my spine.

There are two reasons I’m still in pain. One is scar tissue, and the other is that the same disk has herniated further since the surgery. He doesn’t want to operate again, at least not right away, because while surgery would help with the herniation, it would likely cause more scarring. So…the plan is to wait and see. Some of the problem might resolve on its own in a couple of months. If not, we’ll look at other options, like spinal injections.

I asked him about exercise. He said only low-impact stuff, but not to push it. Listen to my body, take it easy, don’t overdo it, don’t push through pain.

Which means I’ve been overdoing it. I’ve been pushing through pain while walking.

I stopped taking prescription painkillers a couple of weeks ago, but I’m still taking anti-inflammatories (Arthrotec) for the pain. The combination of painkillers and anti-inflammatories did control the pain almost completely, but it had its drawbacks. It was expensive, hard on the digestive system, and I was more likely to further injure myself because my brain wasn’t receiving pain signals when I was pushing too hard. Which is kind of a weird concept…is the pain still there if you can’t feel it?

I’m disappointed that the surgery didn’t cure me, but I’m grateful for the fact that it did help. Last night GC and I went to Lee Valley Tools, and my leg was hurting. But then GC reminded me that the last time we were at Lee Valley Tools, back in July, I was in excruciating pain. I’m happy to just be in plain old non-excruciating pain now.

That’s about all the news on the back front.

What else have I got? Just some random stuff.

  • We went to the Hit & Run show at Le Petite Mort Gallery last night, and saw an original Astronaut Love Triangle piece! That was kind of thrilling.

  • Winter didn’t mess around this year. It waited til the last minute and then swooped down like it meant business. I like this new approach.

  • I’ve been doing some contract work which has been keeping me pretty busy the last couple weeks. I like working at home. I need more contract work so I can keep working at home.

  • I’m reading The Book Thief. I’m knitting a sock. I baked Blueberry Cinnamon muffins.

  • Every year at this time the boxes of tiny, easily peeled seedless oranges appear in the grocery stores and I can never remember which are better, the Clementines or the Mandarins. This year I’m recording it here for Future Zoom. The Mandarins are definitely better. Much, much better. Buy the Mandarins.

13 comments to News from the back front, and random notes

  • George

    Dr. Lesiuk is truly a great person and professional. He saved my life following a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2003. Eight hours on the operating table, 21 days in hospital and the miracle of life ever since. He displayed the same caring for me that he is obviously showing to you. We are lucky to have him. We are also lucky to have a health care system that doesn’t bankrupt us following such need.

  • I agree with you on all counts George, about Dr. Lesiuk and about the public health care system. It’s not perfect, and it’s under a lot of stress from an aging population and other factors, but I too am grateful for it. Especially this year.

  • sassy

    Adding my praise of Dr. Lesiuk here. I found him to be a truly compassionate person.

  • –…’is the pain still there if you can’t feel it?’ — I’ve asked that question to myself before, and I personally think the answer is yes. I got thinking about it after having a little surgery a couple of years ago under what they told me at the hospital is called ‘conscious sedation’, which was totally unknown to me at the time; they explained to me that is an alternative to anesthesia that allows them to do a little surgery and send home on the same day, and they said what happens is that is not that you don’t feel the pain, you do feel it while they do the little surgery, but you just don’t remember it when you wake up. I found that kind of crazy, and still think about it sometimes, like, is that what painkillers so as well, but instead of not remembering what happens is you don’t feel it but the pain is there anyways? Not sure if I make much sense here though.

    –public healthcare system; totally relate to that. I’m leaving Miami and going back home to Spain for a few months, one of the main reasons being that I will enjoy public healthcare there.

  • Have you tried swimming? I know some people don’t like it, but it’s no impact, and I think it’s fun! We have memberships at the Soloway JCC and they have a salt water pool, which is a nice change (though it still makes me itchy). The monthly membership is $64 for me and the mister and includes use of the gym, pool, and classes.

    Also, The Book Thief is my most favourite book read in 2009. I LOVED IT. I bought a copy for everyone this Xmas and have talked about it non-stop to anyone who even mentioned books or reading. LOVED IT.

  • grace

    I’ve been recommending The Book Thief to everyone I know too.

    Will do some mandarin research on Monday. The box of clemmies was tasty but oh the seeds, the seeds.

    Winter. Please stop now.

    Pain. You can stop now too.

  • Nat

    Must check out the book thief, I’ve heard good things.

    Your doc sounds like a wonderful person. As for the pain question… I guess, it’s a forest for the trees issue. Does it depend which meds you are on. I remember being on nubain in labour and I could feel the pain but I really didn’t care. It was more of a disembodied feeling…. hmmmmm… I wonder if it matter what the cause of the pain is… hmmmmm

  • Say hi to Future Zoom for me, too! I haven’t seen her in a while, only Present Zoom and Past Zoom!

    - RG>

  • While you’re not quite perfect yet, I’m glad you’re doing better. Being in a similar situation I can sympathise. I have permanent nerve damage now, and some near constant pain, but it’s so much better than the horrid pain I was in before I went to the hospital.
    Thanks for stopping by the shop! I hope you like your yarn!

  • I agree on the mandarin vs clementine question, only I haven’t seen many mandarins here. I’m from Alberta, and mandarins are quintessential Christmas to me, and I miss them.

  • Zhu

    I feel your pain, my partner had a herniated disk a couple of years ago and although the surgery did solve the problem, it took a year of pain before the surgery was booked.

  • Kat

    Ooh! Thanks for that – I can never remember which ones are better either!

  • [...] contract work. I met and fell in love with my great niece. I had another MRI, to find out why I was still in pain. I whined. I won some luxury yarn! I got some wonderful Christmas gifts, including a Kindle. I knit [...]