36 Years old with a C3-C4 Discectomy and Spinal Fusion.
A few weeks ago, I started feeling a bit “off” including tingling/numbness in my fingers/hands (started in my left, but went to both hands.) After trying to go on a run/jog a few weeks ago, realized I couldn’t do that very well either. Some other weird stuff started going on – typing is a bit difficult, and I’m very “wobbly” in the lower half. I can’t walk on my toes or heels with any coordination (as found by one of the doctors – I didn’t find that one myself)
One thing went to another and I spent 6.5 hrs in the emergency room last Sunday (1+ week ago) and got an MRI done of my neck/back.ï¿½ Turns out that I have a badly degenerated vertebrate around C3-4, narrowing of my spinal column along withï¿½a herniated disc that is compressing my spinal cord (this is probably causing the issues in my legs.) The exiting nerves at C4 are also compressed, causing the numbness in my hands. There is also some signs of some damage to the spinal cord itself (but that won’t be known more until later on.)
I saw a few doctors throughout the week and ended on Friday by seeing a Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in Spinal Cord stuff. After about 10 minutes and more exams, he simply said “Surgery” . . . to open up / clean out the spinal column that the cord goes through to get the pressure off.ï¿½ He’ll also remove the disc, and fuse the vertebrate together, throw in a few plates and screws, etc.ï¿½ He’s not sure about long term effects as his first concern is to get the pressure off the spinal cord.
I’ll be out of commission for at least 2 weeks, and then slowly getting back to things over a few weeks.ï¿½ I’ll be home from hospital by Thursday.ï¿½ Will be limited for a few months.ï¿½ Future outcome is positive (though there has been some pressure on the spinal cord for some time that is unsure if anything permanent / lasting will result)ï¿½ More to come after recovery.
Got home late Wednesday night (9/17/08)ï¿½my recovery was pretty well, so they kicked my out after the one night stay.ï¿½ I think the fact that I was texting later that night, and my Mom flipped when I called her that afternoon, lent some indication.ï¿½ By 2pm Wednesday, I was doing laps around the hospital with my PT guy.ï¿½ I finally had my first liquids (including water) at 3pm and was out by 5pm.ï¿½ Slept well last night, finally.ï¿½ Ate a full feast of Lasagna at 10pm, slept some more (before my ice cream)ï¿½just laying low at home here.
Surgery went well.ï¿½ I met with Doc Wednesday before i was discharged.ï¿½ I guess it was pretty bad in the one area where the disc was herniated – some ligament damage too around the spine/disc.ï¿½ He was confident that some sort of injury started it all, but also said it could have been from 10-15-20 yrs ago – back in High School football, wrestling or college hammer-throwing days.ï¿½ I surely haven’t been a loaf my life either, so just years of abuse likely had it simmering away in there all along (If I had an MRI years ago, it would have likely appeared back then.)ï¿½ I’m still tingly in the hands/fingers, but hard to tell if it’s better, nor if the lower leg stuff is still around – haven’t been up and about enough and still a bit out of whack and on meds.
The most pain so far – the nurse taking the IV tape off my wrist – I think that crap was laced with super glue.ï¿½ I felt like the 40yr old virgin scene.ï¿½ And my throat today – between the intubation tube, and also them having to shove aside some throat stuff to get to the back of my neck probably has some things tweaked up.ï¿½ The Starbucks doesn’t go down so smooth :(ï¿½ I was pretty uncomfortable this morning after the drugs wore off, but got that fixed back up with a dose 😉
In that funky brace you see when I’m out of bed, but I can take it off occasionally.ï¿½ Just have to keep my neck immobilized which is pretty easy.ï¿½ The last pic shows the area of the neck they went in.ï¿½ They used internal, dissolvable stitches that will disappear after a few days.ï¿½ I’ve got lots of help from friends and colleagues for some scheduled weddings, and I’ll be slowly getting back to work after a definite few days off, mostly from home for now.ï¿½ Can’t drive for 2 weeks, but can connect remotely on the computer for email and some slight work, etc.
Friday and Saturday were pretty rough – not sure if the hospital meds finally wore off or if it was just the climax of the whole recovery.
Lots of meds and lots of rest have been in store for me . . . .
I’ve been resting up as much as possible over the weekend.ï¿½ I had a wedding and a lighting gig on Saturday night that i had alot of help for.ï¿½ Linnea, Robert, Danny and a DJ assistant Brett Neimanï¿½- all were a part of getting me through Saturday.ï¿½ Sunday was spent sleeping, watching footbal and nascar, and sleeping some more.ï¿½ I’m still in the brace when i’m out of bed, but otherwise doing okay.ï¿½ The pain is much less right now, but still have to take meds as when those wear out, the pain is pretty hefty!ï¿½ I can’t drive, so at home relaxing . . .which is hard to do 😉
Thank You. between taking some time off of work, to buying me anti-constipation meds at the grocery (one of the side effects of the pain meds 😉 ), to driving my cranky ass around town for me – she’s been here since day one and I take this opportunity to thank her! So, Lenny . . . Thank You 🙂