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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday (181 comments)

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  •  Central Misery Cheers (45+ / 0-)

    Cheers to successful eye surgery.  At least that's what the doctor told Mom yesterday.  Mrs grog takes her back up to Columbia today for the follow up.  Hopefully they'll let her take the patch off her eye.  All she did yesterday after we got home was bitch about it.
    But she was otherwise in a decent mood by her much reduced standards of the last couple of years.

    Cheers to Mrs grog's trip to the Pain Management people.  Well, qualified cheers in that it gets the process going.  Nothing is quick or easy when it comes to lumbar disc problems in the back.  We're going back to St Louis on Saturday for an updated MRI.  Then the pain doctor is gonna consult with the neurosurgeon who did the second discectomy on her L4-L5 disc.  The goal here is for her to be able to sit down.  That's not too much to ask izit?

    Cheers that we're gonna combine the trip with taking one of our fellow band mates and his new wife out to dinner.  We didn't go to their wedding so this is our belated, half-assed gift.

    Cheers to painting progress.  I'm doing some freebie work for a friend, 28mm stuff from this line:
    http://www.reapermini.com/...
    http://www.reapermini.com/...
    I just finished that second figure only painted her with a yellow bikini with black polka dots.  It's fun painting the big stuff knowing you only have to paint 30 of them.

    "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

    by grog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:27:49 AM PST

    •  grog, I can fooly sympathize. (13+ / 0-)

      I gets to see my pain person in two weeks. Finally.

      I have titanium from L-4 thru S-1, six HUGE screws and two long plates. Every time I stand, sit, walk, lay down, sneeze, breath, cough, read, the pain grabs me lower back like a huge claw. If I move, it shoots down both legs.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:32:12 AM PST

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      •  I wish... (10+ / 0-)

        ... I didn't know what you are talking about.

        Three lumbar discs replaced [one was gone, two mostly gone], three cadaver vertebrae replaced mine, fused on one side, wired together on the other, the whole thing on the lumbar discs held together with titanium rods and screws.  As the years have progressed, sneezing [not like a lady, whole body sneezes that threaten to blow the top of my head off] pinch my sciatic nerve.  Rolling over in bed can do the same.  Ditto twisting the top part of my body wrong.

        Et cetera.

        Siiiiiiiiiiigh....

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:06:16 AM PST

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        •  worst of all there are no good painkillers (9+ / 0-)

          at least not legal ones.

          Sometime back, a client gave me a brownie and winked at me. The pain mercifully decreased all day.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:41:12 AM PST

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          •  They knock me out (5+ / 0-)

            Put me to sleep.  Legal ones that is.  [Haven't tried the illegal kinds, actually.]  I had two different kinds after surgery.  I always forget the names of them, but one I recognized a while back as the stuff kids take for illegal prescription drugs - I don't know how they stay awake.

            Nearly a year after my spinal surgery I decided I couldn't sleep for the rest of my life and quit taking them.

            Now it's a balancing act to try not to destroy my liver or kidneys with max dosages of acetaminophen or naproxin sodium [can't take ibuprofen; the red food dye gives me bloody nightmares and I wake myself up screaming from frightening nightmares].

            If there were a legal painkiller that would leave me awake with a functioning brain and body parts so I could continue with my genealogy research and all..., gimme, gimme, gimme...!  I'm afraid that's a daydream.

            A shot of morphine doesn't even touch gout pain.  OMFG.  That's more painful than labor!  Morphine didn't do a whole lot for post-spinal surgery pain either.  I slept as much as I could so I wouldn't remember the pain.  Sleeping kept me from remembering to hit the pain med button so nurses came in and did that for me sometimes to "keep me from waking up screaming in agony."  Maybe the morphine did more than I thought it did, or else the supplemental pain meds in pill form were the thing that kept me sleeping through everything.  I dunno.  When I came down with an electrolyte imbalance post spinal surgery, that was another painful episode until they balanced my system out with calcium and potassium.

            Still, pain is pain, and it's stressful.

            Gentle empathetic hugs to you.... {{{agnostic}}}

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:56:47 AM PST

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            •  vicodin. (6+ / 0-)

              Did absolutely nothing for my migraines.

              Knocked the shiznit outta my disc pain. I slept about 16 hours per day when I was on vicodin awaiting surgery. (Over two months of dreamland.)

              The nurse gave me extra to go home with just in case. I never took a one recreationally. After 4 months sitting in my nightstand drawer, my dog got the drawer open and took the medicine bottle. He chewed the bottle open and gnawed it to shreds, leaving the pills in a neat little pile on the living room carpet. That was a close one.

              I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

              by Gentle Giant on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:02:53 AM PST

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              •  And lucky, it sounds like! (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grog, Gentle Giant, blue muon, GreenDog

                Smart dog to leave the potential poisons alone!

                Vicodin.  Yes.  That was one of the pills I had, now that I see the name.  I alternated taking that and Hydrocodone [something-codone].  I remembered that name after I hit Post above.

                Neither one of 'em touched my migraines.  Only thing that ever worked on migraines was one cc of Gynergen in one arm, one cc of anti-nausea in the other arm, then home to sleep for 12 hours and awake feeling great.  That was my set routine for several years when I was going through a spate of frequent migraines.

                I also walked around with about half a migraine 24/7 most of the time.

                Years later, the connection between food allergies and my migraines was made.  I quit eating the foods and food products of things to which I'm allergic - MSG, tomatoes, sage, many grain products (including grain-based alcoholic beverages), some tree products, corn (I seem to be able to eat small quantities of creamed corn, just not much, so I ration that) and... voila!

                Migraine-free!  No money spent on ER, shots, medications, no pain!  Quite wonderful, actually.  I just have to be careful of certain food smells: onions, green peppers, and the like - the odor alone gives me half a migraine and threatens to make me vomit.

                My "diet" is exceedingly boring and I have to cook for myself (which is worse because I don't really enjoy cooking), but I put up with it to avoid pain.  At my age I have an amazing set of pain avoidance behaviors.

                I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                by NonnyO on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:20:25 AM PST

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            •  Deepest sympathies for your pain. Re painkillers, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue muon, NonnyO, GreenDog

              in all my time in hospital since mid-July I was given lots of Tylenol (2 Tylenol Two four times a day, typically).  That produced something really bad called, I'm pretty sure, pyroglutamic acidosis.  Devastating for the kidneys.  Off to emergency.  Fortunately one dialysis session turned everything around.  Apparently my reaction was so rare there's very little written about it.  Just writing about this FYI.

              We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

              by Observerinvancouver on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:27:30 AM PST

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        •  three laminectomies: (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maudlin, NonnyO, grog, blue muon, GreenDog

          two on L5 and one on L4.

          Doc says no more broken discs for me. They're calcifying. I'm not supposed to push mowers, brooms or shovel snow. I do have a walk behind mower. I also have walk behind broom and shovel.

          I don't have any back pain.

          I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

          by Gentle Giant on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:58:24 AM PST

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        •  My 13-year-old niece with severe scoliosis will (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO, blue muon, GreenDog, grog

          have back surgery this month, which she's willing to do because she's tired of wearing a back brace.  I'm guessing she's self-conscious about it even though it's hardly noticeable.  I really hope she won't be in pain for the rest of her life.

          "I'm not speeding, I'm qualifying" --license frame

          by Maudlin on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:28:52 AM PST

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          •  As I understand it... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue muon, Maudlin, GreenDog

            ... the younger a person is when they have spinal surgery, the better the outcome.

            A cousin of mine had spinal surgery when he was young (30s), never had any problem with it after recovery, no pain, etc., and he was a long-haul truck driver.

            The daughter of a different cousin on the other side of my family started getting a dowager's hump as a teen [Form of scoliosis?  I'm not sure.], and before she was out on her own and her parents' insurance wouldn't cover it, her entire spine was fused, top to bottom (she was either 17 or 18 then).  That way she wouldn't collapse in on top of her own lungs and heart eventually.  She's never had any problems, but it did take her almost a year to recover from such a major surgery.  She later married, has given birth to two children, still no problems.

            This is major invasive surgery, the body has to adjust to a foreign substance in the body if she's going to be braced with titanium rods, and heal.  It's like being hit with a Mac truck, quite frankly, as my spinal surgeon's physician's assistant said.  But..., again, the younger the patient, the better the outcome.

            I was 54 when my surgery was done.  I have degenerative arthritis throughout my body which I knew clear back in my 30s when my allergies were diagnosed.  Degenerative arthritis ate away one disc so I had vertebrae rubbing on vertebrae, which is a really creepy sound and feeling when all one is doing is reaching to the bedside nightstand to get a tissue, and each disc on either side of the one that was gone was very close to not being there either.  Even my untrained eye could clearly see there was no space between two vertebrae on one spot and the spaces on either side were so close as to be almost gone and no discs there either.

            Age worked against me and I was told before surgery that working vs non-working to fix the problem was 40/60 (or was it 60/40 - 60% against me, at any rate)..., but if I let it go, the fact that I had no disc between two vertebrae and the ones on either side of that were well on their way to disappearing might mean I could twist wrong and sever my sciatic nerve and end up in a wheelchair, so it was better to stabilize my spine.

            Only after they went into my body cavity from the front (I had incisions front and back - 8 hr surgery) for the first part of the surgery when they were taking out hip bone to grind up and make a paste of that to fuse the spine did they discover I had very thin hip bones [apparently that fact didn't show on the X-rays or CT scans] and couldn't get enough of my bone from one hip for fusing more than one side.  The other side was put together with a titanium wire run through the cadaver vertebrae (looks like a giant paperclip on an X-ray), and then the whole thing is stabilized by the two titanium rods (which I had the option of having removed, but didn't).

            My right knee was replaced two years ago, and again it was cartilage eaten by degenerative arthritis and I had bone rubbing on bone.  Oh, and plus bone spurs that the ortho shaved off.  My left knee is well on the way to virtually all cartilage gone so that one's going to have to be replaced, too.  If I twist wrong while walking, it almost collapses on me, but I'm trying to put surgery off until spring or summer since I am scared spitless of falling on an icy sidewalk.  [My younger bro has already had both knees replaced.  He also has degenerative arthritis.  It runs in my family.]

            I knew when they did the CT scan on my full spine before surgery that they also found bone spurs in my neck, which explained why, when I tip my head forward at a certain angle when putting on a sweater over my head, I go totally numb from the neck down.  I have to wash my hair in the shower because I can't bend over the kitchen sink to wash my hair.  So, that one has proved manageable without surgery.  [I'll be 67 next month.  Hopefully the bone spur is manageable for the rest of my life and I won't have to do anything about it.]

            Degenerative arthritis is connected to allergies which both my brother and I have and so did our parents.  The immunology prof where I went to college explained it like this:  "When your histamines can't find anything else to attack, they turn around and attack your bone joints.  It's a form of being allergic to yourself."

            If your niece does not have degenerative arthritis, my guess is that as long as she follows doctor's orders and takes it easy on herself during that first year, in particular, she'll be perfectly fine.  I won't kid you.  The surgery and immediate recovery hurt like hell..., but it's manageable.  Your niece also has age on her side, so unless there are some weird mitigating factors, there's no reason that she won't be out dancing a year after surgery.

            Good Luck to Niece!  :-)

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:33:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  There's a relatively new procedure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maudlin, GreenDog, grog

      that involves caging the vertebrae and inserting silicone spacers to take the place of the discs.  My tenant had it done two years ago--only one place in the Washington DC area was qualified.  Her discs had worn down to the point where her vertebrae were cutting into the lateral nerves and she was in agony.  She said immediately after the surgery the pain was greatly reduced and after two days entirely gone.

      If you're interested, I'll get more particulars for you, but for her it was a smashing success (and she's older than Mrs. Grog).  She also gained about an inch of height.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:04:10 AM PST

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