Tuesday, November 11, 2008

surprise, it's a laminectomy!, part 1

The best way to tell a story is usually to just start telling it. But I’ve been dragging my feet on the sharing of my surprise back surgery. Partly because that week is such a fuzzy, furry blur to me. And partly because I have been medicated.

Here is the first installment of “Surprise, It’s a Laminectomy!”

Honestly, it gets a little boring for me to talk about my back problems. So I assume it could only bore other people as well. I hadn’t mentioned to many people how I had been noticing more constant pains, aches, tingles, and twitches. Then my auto accident happened and the focus of my pain landed in my neck. It was once explained to me by a doctor that your brain can usually only process so much pain – or allows you to only be aware of so much. So the low back pain was getting kind of downplayed while I was recovering from whiplash. I was visiting my chiropractor two-three times a week for my neck.

On Monday, October 27 my low back started hollering louder than my neck. That day I had walked across the Music Row Roundabout to visit the bank during my lunch break. As the afternoon went on I noticed more pain going down my left leg and into my foot. The tingling and burning eventually became constant. When I walked my left foot felt very heavy and weak. I thought it might go out from under me.

I already had a late afternoon appointment scheduled with Dr. Ray, my chiropractor. I told him my neck was doing much better. But my low back was crap. Now sometimes when I leave Dr. Ray’s office I walk out immediately feeling better. Other times I’ll feel a little sore. That Monday the temperature had dropped and when I walked out into the parking lot, the last patient to leave his practice, I felt my muscles tighten from the cold. I figured once I got into my car and got the heat on I’d be fine. But a few miles down the road my back muscles were spasming so much that I knew I had to pull over. I was approaching one of the less savory areas of Nashville. Nevertheless, I pulled off the Trinity Lane exit, found a gas station parking lot, and climbed into the backseat to lie down.

I just wanted to not be driving any more. And while I probably had not picked the best place in the parking lot to stop I knew I had to get off the road. I ended up next to a group of people who were jump starting a car or changing a flat tire or something. All I know is they were loud and as their group grew less people in that group knew that I was in the backseat. I’m just assuming that’s why they were leaning against the Vanilla Cruiser.

I called my parents. I called Johnny G. I sent out a few text messages asking for prayers. Christy called me from San Diego to pray with me over the phone. Mom and Dad offered to drive to Nashville to get me. I decided to lie in the back seat a little longer and then see if there was any improvement. When it was clear that I was not going to be able to drive myself home I called Johnny G. again and his friend drove him to meet me. John drove me to Bowling Green while switching back and forth between the Titans v. Colts and the World Series games as I lay in the backseat beneath this coat eating McDonald’s French fries and sipping Dr. Pepper.

When we reached my house I walked, hunched over, to use the bathroom and get in bed. The pain was not letting up. I got some relief when lying down. But, unlike in 2006, I couldn’t find a position that gave me any real breather from the pain. When I needed to use the bathroom I literally had to crawl on my hands and knees because walking was too painful. I took some of the pain medication I had left from my ER visit from my car accident. However, it was becoming clear that it would be best for me to go to the Emergency Room. Except, I was worried about even making it from my bed to the car. We considered an ambulance. But finally I just grit my teeth, crawled to the door, and climbed into the back seat. Off to Greenview Regional Hospital we went.

Tune in next time when the heroine of our story says, “Mom, John. Guess where my nurse met her husband".


Sarah H. said...

If you have to pull off onto Trinity Road again, you call me. I live quite near there.

I hope you feel better!

Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. said...

Good to know! I didn't even think of that at the time.

Well, let's hope there's not a next time...