After Surgery

See below (Back Timeline) for why this page is here.

Oct 26: Doing HTML coding on tablet so just this until I get home to computer. Surgery went well. Anticipate home Wed afternoon. Incision is sore of course but way better than the pinched nerves from the herniated disks. If you want to call my cell please limit to 7pm to 10pm so not to interrupt various things like meals, nurses, physical therapy and Dave's visit.

Oct 27: I'm home, a little after 1pm. The physical therapist was amazed how well I was doing. The hardest part was transferring to/from bed, not the being up, or the being in bed. Sitting in my living room chair for a bit, to update everyone, then I will go lie down and rest. My followup doctor appt is Nov 9th. Between now and then is healing. The PT gave me a great way to remember the "don'ts" - BLT, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato - don't Bend, don't Lift, and don't Twist.

Thanksgiving: I'm thankful that I'm 95% back to normal. A few things (*) I can't do that I could do before, but that was to be expected. Dave is wonderful about picking up the slack, as well as all the "nursing" he's done throughout all this.

(*) I'm too tall to be washing dishes anymore as I can't take the bending over the sink. Also, my weight lifting capabilites has lessened. It's a matter of thinking - "hmm, better get Dave to lift that". But all-in-all, I'm thankful everything turned out as well as it has. No more updates needed.

Back Timeline 2021

I've had back issues for years, primarily in the lumbar area; wearing a back brace as a result. Before leaving on my cross country trip this summer, I had requested a referral to spine doctor as the last time I had an MRI was in 2014.

  • Sep 20 Mon: I'm in Salt Lake and changing clothes in motorhome to go to a banquet. When I get out of the car at banquet place I realize I forgot to put my back brace on after changing but it's too late to go back and get it. Sometime during the 4.5 hours w/o it, I remember saying OW but don't remember if I twisted wrong or bent wrong or what, just that I said OW.
  • Sep 21 Tue: near midnight, my back hurt during day and now it hurts in my hip. Pain level now a 10 so I go to ER. Doc there focuses on my hip, not the fact that it all started with back. Only gives me a muscle relaxant and does hip x-ray before releasing me. Very small hospital in Bountiful UT.
  • Sep 22 Wed: we move from North Salt Lake to St George UT. Pain so bad I'm riding in the bed in back of motorhome.
  • Sep 23 Thu: by noon the pain continues to be a 10 and is now down into my knee as well, so go again to ER. The ER doc here listens to what I say and does a CT of my back which shows that I herniated two disks. Gives me IV Morphine which¬†gets pain down to an 8 and is enough to get me home to Pasadena.
  • Sep 25 Sat: go to urgent care, they give me pill for Norco (another pain med) to do me until my Tue appt with spine surgeon (good thing I already had that referral).
  • Sep 28 Tue: Wow, did I get lucky in my referral to spine surgeon. Read about his credentials here: He looks at CT (I’d gotten a CD to take to him) and orders MRI which I will have to have before surgery. The hernias are L3/4 and L4/5 and some bone spurs will be removed as well.
  • Oct 1 Fri: MRI was awful as I had to be flat on back on solid surface for 45 minutes.
  • Oct 3 Sun: Back to ER for another IV of Morphine. They told me to follow up with primary care doctor.
  • Oct 5 Tue: talked to primary care doctor and found out that there is a pill form of morphine; so I don’t need to keep going to ER.
  • Oct 5-12 and 12-25: The morphine pills are 3x/day and that brings the pain down to an 8, sometimes a 7. On the 12th, I get the surgery date, so now it's just a routine of 9ish breakfast & pain pill, 1/2 hour at computer and back to bed. 2ish, lunch, pain pill and back to bed. 7ish dinner & pain pill, 1-2 hours at computer, and back to bed.
  • Oct 25: Surgery will be 1pm, have to be there 2 hours early (Arcadia Methodist). Minimum I’ll be in hospital overnight, possibly up to 3 days depending on how well I’m doing. This is a minimally invasive surgery, so healing process should go very well so that I'll be back to normal “sitting at computer all day" schedule by about the 1st of Nov and be able to do our activities planned for the weekends of the 13th & 20th, though naturally, I will not overdo anything.

I'll update this page as needed after I'm home from surgery.