Saturday, January 27, 2007


Blucccch, my spine!

I hurt my back July 4 of 2006 lifting musical equipment, and I have been dealing with pain ever since. After seven months of trying physical therapy, chiropractic and some excellent pain-killers, it was time to get serious.

A neurosurgeon in Walla Walla, WA told me today I need back surgery (a disc-ectomy plus fusion of vertebrae L-4 and L-5). He said physical therapy and chiropractic won't do much to help my spine because one of my vertebrae has a defect/deformation... probably a birth defect. I think he is right with his guess there, because from what the MRI shows, bone is pressing against nerve and causing sciatic pain, and I have had such pain off and on since puberty. The nerve-hole is also too small, and the herniated disc between L-4 and L-5 is also pressing on the nerve. Scheise! Anyway, the doc says the bad disc is beyond repair.

I'm in pain now, and I would be in pain for a while after an operation, but the doc says this procedure would be a relatively easy one. The "down time" for me would be anywhere from three weeks to three months, so if I can choose when to have a surgery, I'd do it in early-to-mid May so my employer wouldn't have to hire a substitute for me. On Feb. 13 I'll see the neurosurgeon who would be doing the operation. He is in Kennewick, WA, about 115 miles from here.

After that, because back surgery is a major thing, I will get a second opinion somewhere. The doc in Walla Walla told me I could either opt for the surgery, or to live with pain for the rest of my life. Sometimes surgeries don't work too well, but I would rather take a chance at relieving the pain than choosing the other route, which would seem to me like giving up, like resigning to the pain I would feel for years to come.

I will keep you posted on how things progress. If I don't post on this blog for a few days at a time, hopefully it will be because I am high on Percoset and not because I am bummed out! Heh!

Now, enough about me already! Please don't neglect the post below this one, it is about George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute, and it contains a great excerpt from Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant!" Please check it out!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you’ve written about this before, but still…Sorry to hear you'll be needing surgery. I certainly wish you the best of luck. And if you go several days between posts, I’ll be vicariously enjoying your Percocet highs :)

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto what Tom said. I feel bad you're having to go through this. Be careful with the meds, we don't want you going Limbaugh on us!

7:30 AM  
Blogger 1138 said...

My wife had this exact same surgery several years ago.
It saved her life, not just from the pain but the pinching on the nerve from the narrow passage had caused her bladder to atrophy and she was one small random bump from paralysis.

There's risk in the operation, but there's a grim without it.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the other hand, why DON'T you post during your Percocet highs? I mean, the entertainment value to the rest of us alone ... um, okay, nevermind.

Best of luck to you on this, dear heart.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

I'm so sorry about your back, Snavaroo. If there is anything I can do, please ask.

I'm with the others, please post during your Percocet highs. We need some good entertainment. ; )

6:07 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

Best of luck Snave! Get well soon!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Elvez73 said...

Sorry to hear of your troubles Snave, if your like me you view surgery as a last option, but my mother had back surgery 3 years ago and she went from being in chronic pain, to being pain free, hell she's running in half marathons now! Best of luck for a speedy recovery and like Jim said, don't turn into the Rush of the Left with the back pills!

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had back problems on and off my entire adult life. I've been to physical therapy (which worked the besst) used medications and just dealt with it.
I've known a lot of people who've undergone the surgery, and it never quite accomplishes what they claim, fortunately for me, my pain is never bad enough for me to consider it.
But whatever you decide to do, good luck and I hope it works. Back pain is the worst.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Wow, hugs Snave!!!! I hope the surgery solves everything for you. Just get a good doctor, and it should make your life better in the long run. :-)

11:19 PM  

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