31 January 2010

Recovery Stuff and the Lack of Blogging

Hello? Hello? Anybody there?

Yes, somebody's here. Just not blogging frequently. Or even occasionally. One other post in January does not count as "occasionally". But I will get back to it, I promise.

The recovery from the surgery has been much slower than I expected and than I like. I returned to work full-time on January 5th. I had been working only 2-3 hours/day from home in December, and then we had our Florida/cruise adventures. We returned to MD on Sunday January 3, I took a necessary recovery day on Jan 4, and then worked from home on January 5 and 6. January 7 was my first day back in the office. I had intended to ease back in, but that hasn't been the case. I've been back at full-time since then. Not really much of a transition, and it has definitely impacted the recovery. But I really do like my job, so that isn't that much of a burden.

I am to start physical therapy while I am still in the brace (which makes me look sort of like a weird Mutant Ninja Turtle). We'll see how that goes. I am still using a cane, which I HATE. But at least it isn't a walker, and I am trying to wean myself from it -- using it for longer distances and outside).

I am supposed to wear the brace for 3 months post-op, but the 3-month mark is next week (Feb 4). Can you believe that? SpineDoc will be receiving a phone call on Feb 4, as we aren't scheduled for a visit until the end of March. I want out of this thing, but only if it won't impede the damn fusion. The blood clot has not ever again been symptomatic, and I should only be on the blood thinner (aka rat poison) until early May. My levels have been beautifully consistent (2.5 or 2.6, with the target between 2 and 3) on my current dose.

Someday I will stop walking like a zombie. That was actually a topic of conversation I had with RehabDoc a couple of weeks ago. RehabDoc is handling my rehabilitation. He is a very formal but relaxed kinda guy. We address each other as "Doctor" at his request, even though we are about the same age and work in similar fields. He doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor.

The following is a reasonable transcript of the end of our recent visit:

RehabDoc: Well, it looks like everything is going along nicely. The symptoms related to the L2-3 compression have resolved. (It was probably even more Med-Speak-ish than that.)
NeuronDoc: The back still hurts. I am not really enjoying that.
RD: Give it time. You are only a little over 2 months post-op.
ND: Is this where I should be at this point?
RD (not really sighing, but close) Yes, you are recovering well. Give it time.
ND: Okay. But when am I going to stop walking like a zombie? This Frankenstein-gait is really annoying me.
RD (completely deadpan): Give that another 6-8 weeks. The scarring and fusion need to progress a bit before your gait will improve. Then you should stop walking like a zombie. However, I can't promise that you won't be attacked by a zombie in the future and then start shambling around like one again. That would be completely unrelated to the current issue.

That made me laugh for hours.

12 comments:

Eric said...

Don't really have much to say other than hoping you're alright, but I did want you to know somebody's here. :)

WendyB_09 said...

Oh dear. Zombies over here too.

Glad to hear you're progressing, however slowly it may seem for you.

Jim T said...

Glad to hear you're doing better (if not yet actually "well").

I googled the obvious and got this as the first hit: http://www.savagechickens.com/2009/07/zombie-neurologist.html

Nathan said...

I'm pretty sure that "International Shambling Day" is coming up next week. I'd say you're gonna make the rest of us look like a bunch of pikers.

:D

Eric said...

"International Shambling Day"?

First time I've ever heard Monday called that.

Nathan said...

Eric,

Monday is Gary Shambling Day. International Shambling Day isn't until Thursday.

Two totally different things.

neurondoc said...

Thursday works for me. I'll be sure to be extra-shambling the whole day. You guys got nothing on me...

sunlizzard said...

And if you shamble tomorrow (February 2nd), does that mean six more weeks of rehab? *schnort*

neurondoc said...

Jim T wins the internet for today. I just printed that out and hung it on my office door. That ought to make some people think carefully about pissing me off...

allrelated said...

Is the scooter for long-distance walking anywhere on the horizon yet?

I'm glad Rehab Dude made that disclaimer; otherwise, you might have thought the spinal fusion could turn you into a zombie magnet. Whoa. Talk about your side effects!

[[[[[Hugs]]]]] for the slowness of the recovery!

Lorraine

allrelated said...

Is the scooter for long-distance walking anywhere on the horizon yet?

I'm glad Rehab Dude made that disclaimer; otherwise, you might have thought the spinal fusion could turn you into a zombie magnet. Whoa. Talk about your side effects!

[[[[[Hugs]]]]] for the slowness of the recovery!

Carol Elaine said...

Wait, is today International Shambling Day? I almost missed it!

Luckily I'm on the West Coast - I can get in a few hours of shambling, at least.