Wednesday, 12 January 2005

Forgive the non-tech post, but it’s a pretty good day today and apparently there are a large number of people who are keeping an eye out to see how I am doing after my back surgery last month. I have not posted much about it here, preferring to suffer in private, but for the first time today I feel like I am turning a corner, and it’s a great relief.

I’ve spent the past three weeks fighting what at times has been extreme pain, quite debilitating and agonizing. I had surgery on my L5–S1 disc, which was herniated and pushing pretty hard on the sciatic nerve roots in that joint. The condition made for chronic pain and occasional agonizingly painful periods where I would be left effectively non-functioning. It needed to be fixed.

I had the procedure done three days before Christmas, which was an interesting decision in and of itself, one that had more to do with insurance and coverage before the end of the year than anything. At any rate, after a couple days of feeling pretty good post-op, things got terribly painful the day after Christmas.

Apparently that’s not too unusual. It tends to get worse before it gets better, they say. But that doesn’t help me feel any better. And it got a lot worse for a while.

I have spent the past few weeks with friends living at my house to take care of me and carry me around, followed by dragging myself out now and then to do something like buy food or go to work for a little while. Last week I decided to work from home the last half of the week. I found I could do most (not all) of my work in bed, and that as long as the pain was reasonable I could be fairly productive. But staying at home all the time makes me a little stir crazy.

I went to work the past two days, found a couch to lie on with my laptop instead of sitting in a chair, and confirmed that taking it easy was – in fact – a good thing to do. Today I decided to stay home again and work from here (conference calls, VPNs, remote desktops, instant messaging and email are all amazing tools), and to go to my physical therapy appointment this afternoon.

Today is the first day in three weeks that I can say my pain level is below a 5 on a 10 point scale, all morning. That’s progress. Not to mention relief. There’s nothing quite like living in fear the pain will never go away, especially when you’re not sleeping and can’t put on your own clothes.

But the fact is it’s more about progress than about perfection here. And God willing, if today is an indicator, things are starting to look up – slow improvement, but looking up.

Of course, I have physical therapy in an hour or two, and who knows how I’ll feel after that. Probably worse, but if it means things get better down the road, I will just continue to suffer. With a smile on my face, of course.

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Kineflex Artificial Disc Surgery | Personal Stories
Wednesday, 12 January 2005 13:16:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Wednesday, 12 January 2005 14:33:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hope you get better soon, mate
Wednesday, 12 January 2005 15:55:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Aye I hope as well that this is the start of the end of most of the pain.
Wednesday, 12 January 2005 16:13:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I did the same thing for about a month after my surgery (on, I think, the same disc). Encrypted Citrix connections, e-mail, IM, and phones with headset was my savior. Stuck my butt on the couch for a while, got up to eat, pee, and move, and it worked itself out.

Just give it time man, you'll get there.
Wednesday, 12 January 2005 19:09:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Oh man! I had been wondering about how it was doing and you had not mentioned anything so I just thought you were human once again. I am so sorry it has been that bad. And to think I was going to see if you wanted to come and go down hill skiing with all the new snow up north. Over 7' at wolf creek now! Get better my friend! Get Better!
Thursday, 13 January 2005 01:44:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Here's to your continued healing!

Good to see you out and about last evening at the Nerd Dinner. And thanks a lot for the JCS Pix!
Thursday, 13 January 2005 01:53:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ohhh! Gunna Hijack your thread, wheres the Nerd Dinner, sounds yummy =p
Thursday, 13 January 2005 16:44:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Nerd dinner? Greg? I thought he decided he wasn't a nerd anymore?!
Thursday, 13 January 2005 18:31:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ok yeah, maybe it should be a geek dinner instead, but it's not really - It's fun, in Portland a bunch of programmer types (and I tend to be the only IT type), but that makes it more fun in a way.
Friday, 14 January 2005 11:08:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I have been wondering how you were, too, and felt like it might be too invasive to keep asking you.

Now if only you can get through the physical therapy without too much more pain. Ugh!
Friday, 14 January 2005 21:00:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Up and down, pain here and gone and here agin. Progress is slow but seems to be happening. Today was harder than yesterday.

An sheeeez, Jill - to invasive to ask???? You know better than that! :)

- greg
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