Saturday, September 03, 2005

We're not supposed to walk upright, part 2

Let's see...

Oh yeah, we had left off with the spine doctor having just informed me of the injury that would change my life forever, a ruptured disc. It may sound a bit over dramatic to say that it changed my life, but it has... as you'll see.

Anyways, after he told me what was wrong, I asked what would happen next. He said that surgery would be inevitable, but we could try some epidural injections first if I liked. He said that at worse, it wouldn't aggravate my condition any and at best, it would reduce the swelling around the nerve and offer me some relief. Most importantly, it would buy me some time.

The reason that time was so important is because we had just begun our extremely busy part of the fishing season. Actually, it really couldn't have happened at a worse time. I normally made about half of my money for the year over the next 3 months. For a person who at that time was acting as the sole provider for 5 people, this wasn't a good thing. (Why couldn't it have happened in January? The story of my life...)

So, I decided to try the injections. They come in a series of three and mine were scheduled at two week intervals. Luckily, my Captain was sympathetic enough to my situation (at the time, the bastard) to schedule our trips so I wouldn't miss any time.

The injections themselves are really no big deal. I was more fascinated, than uncomfortable... well, most of the time. First, they shoot up your back full of lidocaine, then they use a different kind of x-ray machine named "fluoroscopy" to help the needle find its mark. It is constantly updating itself on a computer monitor and the Dr. uses it to guide the needle right next to the nerve with great precision. It's pretty cool to watch the needle on the screen as it moves further into your back.

Anyways, that part isn't bad, but when he hit that plunger on the hyperdermic needle and I received my first injection, it hurt so friggin' bad that I immediately thought that they had screwed up somehow. What had happened was that since I was extremely swollen around the disc, the steroid solution had no place to go. What it did was compress the nerve worse than anything you could imagine. It actually felt like my left buttock (where the pain was located... insert joke here) was going to explode. Not only that, but teh pain went from there all the way down through my foot. Not good times. Not good times, at all.

The whole process takes about 15 minutes and after waiting around for another 20 minutes or so to make sure that they didn't paralyze you by accident, you're on your way. The rest of the day really blows monkeys because you're sore as hell from all the fluid near the injury and that takes time to subside. By the next day, it's back to just normal pain. Well, it was for me anyways.

A couple of weeks later, having received a few days of relief, we decided to try a second injection. Unfortunately, the second one offered zero relief and actually dislodged a piece of the disc so that it could now float around and cause me great pleasure... not.

Apparently, the disc actually broke into several pieces when I injured it. After the surgery, I found out that it was in at least 3 pieces, or 7. I can't remember, I was on morphine but I do know that it was a prime number. Chalk one up for the Hampton Schools!

Yeah, fuck them. I had to have learned it somewhere else. Probably from Bface through punch-mosis. He'd teach as he beat me. "Now Cod, I'm only going to punch you 7 times right now. Is that a prime number? What? Ow, please stop is not a number!! Again!!" And they say that older brothers suck.

I digress...

Well, the 2nd shot didn't work at all so the doc decided to send me to a surgeon to discuss my options. Options? What options? I have an Owee in my back and I need it fixed.

This all happened in June of 2002, smack dab in the money season.

I made the appointment with the neurosurgeon and waited. You know how it is with any specialist, if you are a new patient, you are scheduling at least a month out. Thankfully, the spine doctor had me on some pain medication, or I wouldn't have even been able to walk.

Looking back, how I ever continued to work through it is beyond me. I remember when it really acted up, I couldn't walk normally. I would walk with my left leg kind of swinging out and forwards, instead of just moving it straight forwards. Not only that, but I couldn't walk completely upright. It was the first time that I had an injury that actually affected my motor skills, so it was a bit disconcerting.

Anyways, I saw the surgeon and he scheduled me for surgery right away. Unfortunately, due to some other considerations that I won't go into here, I had to reschedule a couple of times but we did eventually settle on a date.

2 days before Thanksgiving, 2002.

to be continued....


At 7:48 PM, Blogger The Cod God said...

Man, I just had to delete 4 spam comments. what the fuck? Is nothing sacred?

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Missy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Missy said...

To give some of you some insight to Cod, Thanksgiving is the day he looks forward to each year. You can now understand the magnitude of pain he was in to sacrafice Thanksgiving. It was a sad day.

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At 10:24 PM, Blogger Wheel Gun Bob said...

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It could be called We'

Wheel Gun, let's get on it!

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Wheel Gun Bob said...

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