During your lifetime you will consume
approximately 60,000 lbs of food.
The equivalent of 6 elephants!

Liza Fromer, Breakfast Television, CITY TV

January 8. Wednesday.

Pain 8
Mobility 3

15 stitches, a 6″ incision. I feel like Frankenstein’s monster.

This cabin fever is going to have to break soon, but meanwhile, here is an email I sent out o my co-workers to help them understand exactly what had happened to me and how I was. Rather than duplicate that effort, here it is:

I just wanted to drop a quick line to everyone to let you know what actually happened to me and how I am doing. I know a lot of you have asked Nicole how things are progressing, and I am grateful for the concern and the well wishes.As many of you know, I have had issues with a herniated disc in my lower back (L4) for many years now and have recently discovered medication that enabled me to reduce the time of recovery down to a couple of days. However, the recovery is contingent on absolute rest and careful monitoring of my situation. Unfortunately, the most recent episode was far more serious than usual due to the need for me to be mobile and active in order to resolve issues relating to my responsibilities at the hospital. What started out as a simple herniation of the disc creating pressure on the spinal nerves which causes an effect somewhat similar to Scoliosis (I am sure some of you have seen both Bob and I leaning over to one side as we walk during these painful episodes) developed into a severely displaced disc fragment that impacted the sciatic nerve. This caused excruciating pain down my right gluteus, into the quadriceps and terminating in the knee. When the cortisone injections into my spine did not help the situation, it was determined form both a CT and an MRI that surgery was going to be necessary to remove the portion of the annulus that was touching the nerve root. This was in preference to a discectomy that would have required removal of part of the nucleus of the disc in order to reduce the overall size of the disc. Most procedures that are available to patients with severe herniations are effective over time but require the procedure to be performed while the disc is healthy and normal. Even the newest and most promising procedure, referred to as “Percutaneous Microdecompressive endoscopic Spinal Discectomy with New laser Thermodiskoplasty for Non-Extruded Herniated Nucleus Polposus” as it’s name suggests requires that the disc be in a non-extruded state.So my options were limited, and under the trusted care of Dr. ******I went in for surgery on New Year’s Eve at 4pm.
Since the surgery, I am glad to report that the localized pain is gone both in the spine and the thigh. However, there is still pain in the knee and much of the strength in my upper leg is gone. I left the hospital on crutches, unable to support any weight on my right leg. I am happy to report that I am now able to support myself without the use of crutches, however I am unable to climb even the smallest of steps. Much of the loss of feeling in my leg has also returned, however from the top of the knee I still have little or no tactile sensation. It is normal for this numbness to remain up to 9 months after sciatic nerve injury, and from what I have read, it is normally 6 to 8 weeks before the pain is completely gone and normal strength returns.Since walking requires very little bending of the knee, I am able to walk without crutches for short distances (a hundred feet or so), however any incline or decline which requires strength from the quadriceps is impossible to negotiate without crutches.
I have a follow up with the doctor on the 14th of January which is 6 days from now and I am hoping that by that time I will be able to sit without pain and to walk without assistance. If that is the case, and I am given the all clear, I will return to work at that time.
Once again, I want to thank you all for your concern and hope that you all enjoyed a much better holiday season than Nicole and I were forced to endure.
Hope to see you all very soon,