Nothing ever becomes real
till it is experienced
— even a proverb is no proverb to you
till your life has illustrated it.

John Keats (1795-1821), English poet

January 31. Friday.

Pain 9
Mobility 2

I awoke this morning to an eerily familiar situation. I was laid on my left side in a semi-foetal position and could sense the impending doom. It was not until I swung my legs over the edge of our exceptionally elevated bed and put some weight on my right leg that my heart sank. The pain, that excruciating nerve pain that is instantly unbearable shot from my back and out to the right portion of my thigh. Yesterday I had been feeling some degree of pain in the surgery site (a 4 or 5) but was under the assumption that it was static. Apparently this is not the case. I called my physio who instructed me to get myself to emergency and have the on-call doctor check it out. I also called my surgeon’s office in the hope of a little verbal direction however his office was closed until Monday. By this time, three hours had passed and the pain was increasing. Seeing no viable alternative I called Nicole and asked her to come and get me.

Without sounding too falsely complimentary, I don’t know what I would do without Nicole, she has never hesitated to do whatever necessary to help me through, never complained about being put in what is really a pretty crappy and emotionally demanding situation and best of all has never tried to hide her emotions regarding my situation. It is nice to see a brave face, but for me it is far more motivating and cathartic to see honest reactions to the ups and downs of my recovery. She has always shown immense strength of character and unwavering support, two things which have provided me with the emotional resolve to keep my head up and my attitude positive.

Upon my arrival I was once again immensely disappointed with the system in place for evaluating and processing incoming patients and was told to take a seat until I was called. I then learned that apparently the flu, a pulled muscle and a complaint of nausea and headache are more critical than a staff member returning after emergency surgery who is in immense pain, is losing all feeling in an extremity while standing in front of the triage desk and who is almost completely unresponsive to any stimulus from the hip down. I know it always seems more important that whatever anyone else has but I am at a loss to explain whatever ranking system they use to process incoming bodies. No wonder people call ambulances for every little thing, at least then they won’t be completely ignored. Luckily, as Nicole was returning from parking her car, she noticed my surgeon on his bike and accosted him with the news. His response though, was rather a let down I suppose. He told us that most likely it was just a disturbance of the scar tissue and because I have a “surprisingly mobile spine” for my size that he had expected some settling to occur. His solution was to fill me with narcotics and tell me to restrict myself to complete rest for the weekend.


So I took my Oxycocet and Nicole returned me to the couch, now in agony and rapidly losing faith once more in the medical community. The pain was now completely contained in my leg, not my back, but was just as intense as it had been pre-op.

We shall wait and see then won’t we?