Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well, the blood work has been done. I've peed in a cup. I've been fitted for my brace. The insurance company has given us the green light and their blessing. Looks like this whole surgery things is going to happen. 
Monday, January 21, 2013. 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 
I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. Guess it's too late now. 

I've spent the morning at the hospital for my pre-op interview (I hope I get the job! I hope I get the job!) 

Sitting in one waiting room after another I can't help but look at the magazine selection around me. Here I am in waiting room filled with people in braces and walking around with crutches or walkers and the magazines we have to choose from have names like Rock ClimberYacht and Power Boat EnthusiastTennis and my personal favorite Power Lifting USA
I can't decide if this is some failed attempt at encouraging all of us disabled or someone's cruel joke. 
Still, all in all, I guess it could be worse. We could be reading articles in Cane & CrutchNeck Brace Monthly or Immobility Today.
Everyone's been very nice to me. From the lady in Admitting, to the lady who interviewed me and finally to the lady who took my blood and graciously accepted my cup of pee. 
In between one lab and another, the very nice lady in the sweater that was way too pink greeted me with a smile, mispronounced my name and then told me she was going to be taking me to 'the other side.'
I was quick to remind her that the last thing anyone in a hospital wants to hear from someone who works in a hospital is 'I'll be taking you to 'the other side.' It doesn't inspire much confidence. 
She laughed. 
I laughed. The guy whose head was being stretched a few inches higher because of the brace he was wearing grunted something that could have been a laugh. 
I spent about a half an hour with a woman in what may be the smallest office I've ever seen. There wasn't even room for a window...or a plant. 
She was very kind and went through the list of questions she was required to ask in a professional and proficient manner. 
She never even noticed that the front of my jeans had...oh what's the word...'tented' as I sat down. I noticed, a little too late, but I noticed. I spent the ten minutes trying to casually press down the point in my pants.  
She was never the wiser. I think. I hope. I pray.  
Giving blood was that much of a big deal because, sadly, over the last three years I've given enough blood to open my own bank. I ball my fist, there's a quick little prick and then I spend the next few hours trying to slowly peal the tape off my arms. 
I have hairy arms. 
Okay. I have gorilla arms but I was hard to beat on the playground jungle gym. 
After my fluids were collected and my personal history was scrutinized, I was sent on my way, corset brace wrapped tightly around my waist and cane in hand. 
Surgery is in 6 days. 
I can't say I'm not a little freaked. I am. This is surgery after all and not a procedure. I've made the mistake of Googling information about my laminectomy. I've made the even bigger mistake of Googling photos of my procedure. Let me just say for the record that if you are about to undergo any kind of procedure or surgery do not, seriously, do not look up photos of said surgery on the Internet. It does nothing for you. 
If you're doing a book report on Japan, Google some images of Japan. 
If you're looking for some ideas for nursery wallpaper, Google some images of nursery wallpapers. 
Having back surgery? Google some photos of Anna Kournikova. 
Don't get me wrong. I have all the confidence in the world in my surgeon. He's a good guy and after the numb-nuts I've been dealing with over the last three years it is a refreshing change. 
It's not even the thought of surgery. I've had back surgery before. In fact I've had surgery in the same exact spot. Guess the warranty ran out. From what I've read it is a straight forward procedure. In and out. I do wish that my doctor would stop using the word scrape. Scrape is not a word you want to hear when someone is describing what they're going to be doing to you when they're inside your body. Scrape is bad, as is tearrippulverizetorchmangle and dissect
They may have to do some scraping, I just don't want to hear about it. There's that whole disclosure thing though, and the medical team just wants to make sure I understand, fully, what is about to be done to me. 
Yes. For the record, yes, I understand completely. Just put me in a gown, knock my ass out and give me some Jell-o when I wake up. 
There may be some of you reading this who are curious who want to know what the procedure I'm having done is called and what is involved.
Here, for you curious, sick bastards, is the definition of a laminectomy
In a laminectomy a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina is removed. The minimal form of the procedure requires only small skin incisions, the back muscles are pushed aside rather than cut, and the parts. Whew. Holy shit. Sorry. I had to stop typing. It's all just a little too much. 
And yes, I know, for me to be as queasy about this as I am is laughable. 
I mean, I've seen some pretty graphic things in my life. I've seen all the Saw movies. Those are pretty horrendous. I've watched Misery a few times and if you can stomach Kathy Bates hobbling poor James Caan with a sledgehammer, well, then I'd say you have a rock solid constitution. 
I sat through those horrendous driver's ed films. I never even flinched. 
I guess that being my real life makes this a completely different situation. 
This isn't CGI or special effects makeup. 
This is me on my stomach being operated on by someone I hardly know. 
I will trust though. 
I have an incredible wife and my support system is composed of family and friends and its pretty damn awesome. 
Recovery time, I guess, is totally up to me. 
My doctor has told me that it may take anywhere from six to twelve weeks. 
The nice young man who put my brace on me this morning told me that I would wearing the brace for at least a month. 
Whatever or however, I will do what the doctors tell me to do. 
I am determined that 2013 be the year I get healthy. 
Baby steps though. Baby steps. 
I am smart enough to realize that it will require me to take it slowly...take it with baby steps...baby steps with a cane. 

and that's 'jody' with a 'y'


  1. your humor, as always carries us both through. You will rise above this as you do everything. I love you <3 love, wife

  2. I'm still praying that this surgery will get you back to the point where you can run, jump, gambol, tuck, roll, spin, twirl all over the stage (which is where you were meant to be, funnyman!) without any pain except that experienced from an especially bad pun. [Which, if you're interested in hearing, my wife (and father-in-law) are full of. And you can have all you want, they'll make more.] And if you'd care to use that renewed mobility to create some exceptional memories with your lovely and devoted wife, God speed you with that most honorable goal. Wait -- I was talking about going on a nice, long hike through the mountains! What were YOU thinking?