Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Fateful Day has Finally Arrived

"This should be interesting"
"I'm surprised you could walk in here"
"This is unprecedented"
"If this herniated section were any bigger you'd lose control of your legs and bowels...try to not make it worse."

These were all quotes that my surgeon said to me this Wednesday. After all my work and my training for the Death Ride the one thing I worried about the most finally broke...my back. I mentioned that I had two herniated disks in my back that were causing quite a bit of pain. Through some cutting edge treatments I was able to keep the disks in check and survive the Death Ride. But like a thread-bare tire, it decided to blow.

And like a blowout, it happened suddenly and furiously. My back had been sore for a few days prior and I had made an appointment to see the doctor later that week, but when I sat down in the wrong chair, I learned a new level of pain.

They say kidney stones are pretty painful. As are toothaches and broken bones. I've had kidney stones and impacted teeth and nothing compares to the pain I felt on Tuesday. Imagine pain so debilitating that there was no position I could take that would ease it. The pain shot up and down my back to my left leg all the way to my toes. I couldn't stand to walk out of the office.

With the help of some friends and a massive dose of Vicodin, I made it to the emergency room. There they gave me morphine and an epidural. Neither had an effect.

The next day my surgeon, Dr. Robert Rovner, took one look and made the comments above. It was plain to see that the disk had extruded into the spinal cavity and was filling three-quarters of the area that hold the spinal nerves. You know the ones that control your lower extremities.

So back under the knife I go. The good news is they don't have to do a disk fusion. The bad news is every day until the surgery is a new adventure in pain. I guess I'll appreciate the healthy times even more.

Go do your Pilates. You really do not want this to happen to you. I'll keep you posted and hope to get pictures of blown disk. Stay tuned.