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.

17 January 2010

Almost unspeakably crappy day for a friend

You know, there are times that I just have to be thankful that I have a roof over my head. A friend of mine today lost his. His roof, the rest of his house and his pets, actually, in a fire. Apparently the fire occurred while he and his family were at church, and no human lives were lost. It is unclear if the place is a total loss, what can be salvaged, what his family has beyond the clothes on their backs. Shawn and his family are in my thoughts tonight. If you are interested in helping, you can go here and chip in to help them out.

I am off to burn copies of all of my digital pictures and send the discs to my mom in NJ. Just in case.