Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm Alive!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, this is going to probably be the shortest post that I have ever made, I just wanted to let you know that I am home from the Hospital, and I am alive....but this Cervical Collar doesn't make me want to be alive right now!!  LOL  I don't know how Sandi has been able to wear hers for 16 weeks!!  Assuming all goes as planned, I only have to wear mine for 6 weeks, and I am already counting the time off!! 

Well, I better go for now, I am not supposed to be out of bed at all, according to my Walt!  He just left to go into a meeting at work, so I took the time to post this, and to let my Neck and Shoulders relax a bit.  I just hope that I have some skin left by the time I get this "Thing" off of me!!  LOL  Well, next time I will try to post more about my experience in the Hospital!! 

Aloha My Friends!! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tuesday Is It!

Photos like this is what I am going to try to think about, instead of my horrible Cervical Collar!  Hopefully I will only have to wear it for 6 weeks....unlike Sandi at My Story....she has had to wear hers for 16 Weeks, she deserves a medal or something!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well,  Tuesday (the day after tomorrow) is my Spinal Surgery....but because I need to be at the Hospital in the morning, and they said that they may change the times on me, we decided to actually stay at the small Hotel in the Hospital.  This way, we will be near if they decide to call me in earlier!  Christa is driving up with the Grand Kids to be with Walt and I.  So we are really looking forward to spending a little time with them tomorrow. 

The Grand Kids can't wait to go back to an all you can eat Buffet at one of the Casinos!  Unfortunately, our Grand Son Walker, was hoping it would be an all you can eat Seafood Buffet!  Christa had to tell him that they only do the Seafood Buffets on Fridays and Saturdays!  But they usually have at least one or two Fish/Seafood choices anyway.

The last time they came up, which was last year, we took them to a Buffet and they loved it!  We couldn't believe how much our Grand Daughter ate!  For such a small one!  She really loved the Dessert Bar (just like her Grandma!!).  LOL  So they will be staying until Wednesday.  I am just hoping that the weather cooperates.  The forecast changes from day to day, and even several times a day!

Since Walt is going to work tomorrow, Christa is going to pick me up on her way into town, then we will check into our Hotel at the Hospital, I will quickly show her around, so she will know her way around the Hospital for when she arrives on Tuesday.  Then we will drive over to her Hotel, so that she can get checked in as well.  She is staying there instead of our Hotel, because the Hospital Hotel charges more than twice the money (I guess they think that they can charge much more for the convenience of being in the Hospital).  I just hope the room is at least as nice as the Hotel room we could have had for less than half the price!!! LOL

By then, Walt should be off work, and on his way there!  Then we will eat, and eat, and eat!!  Don't forget, I have no fluid in my Band, and who might be my last meal!  At least one that I can physically eat and taste!!  Even the Surgeon said that he cannot guarantee that nothing will go wrong, and I could lose the ability to swallow food....Of course, we will not dwell on this possibility!!  I can deal with being paralyzed, but not being able to eat????  Well, that would really be horrible!  But I guess I would lose weight for sure!!

So, saying this, I must say that I probably will not be able to post again before my Surgery.  And I am not sure how long after I get home, before I will feel up to sitting at my desk.  Hopefully I will be able to post again no longer than a week from now.  So I better go for now, I still have a bunch of e-mails to write before I go to bed.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Marathon Weekend!!


This is Mr Olivarez, Dr Lynch's #1 PA-C....And Surgical Assistant.

Hey Ya'll,

Well, today we started out at my appointment, to get my Cervical Collar is horrible, and will be very uncomfortable!  Once we got out of that appointment, we went in to my Pre-Op appointment at the Surgeon's Office to go over my Test results.

Everything looks great, they didn't say anything about my High Blood Pressure reading (if they knew at all!!), Thank God!!  So he told me some basic things that were necessary to know, and let me ask any questions that we had thought of, that wasn't answered in our prior appointment.  This appointment we were seen by Dr Lynch's #1 PA-C.  He is really good looking (even better than his photo above), and very sweet.  He reminded us of our PCP in California who passed away last year.

Anyway, I digress here....LOL  He was really sweet, and willing to take the time to answer all or questions....of course the one that we didn't ask was, how long before I would be able to have Sex again!!  LOL  Walt really would like to know this!  But I am assuming by 6 weeks at the latest, but possibly as soon as 2 weeks when I go in for my 1st Post Surgical Appointment.

We still do not know for sure what time my Surgery is.  He said that as of today, I needed to check in to the Hospital by 10 am on Monday.  But he said that this could change as well.  We are assuming that if I check in at 10 am, then my Surgery would probably be sometime between noon and 2 pm.  It should take no more than 3 hours, but the Surgeon told us that he is fast, and it would probably take him only about 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs max.

I am expected to have to wear the Brace for 6 weeks at least, if everything looks good, then I can probably go without it for the rest of the recovery period.  And get this....I can't drive until the Brace comes off!!  We know for sure that I will be in the Hospital for at least one night (probably in ICU), and potentially up to 3 nights, if there are any problems or concerns.  Walt is to bring my Bi-Pap Machine in, once I am out of Recovery, and in my room.  This way, they can't misplace it, or break it!!  Because of all this, Walt has decided to stay overnight in the Hospital's small Hotel, that way he can be near, and check in on me when he wants to, without having to drive over!

Mr Olivarez also said that most Patients sleep sitting up, like in a Recliner....we don't have a Recliner anymore!  So if I find that the Bed is too uncomfortable, then I guess I will have to continue to sleep on the Love Seat....I guess this could be construed as funny, and prophetic.  Me sleeping most of the night on the Love Seat this past week, trying to not catch Walt's cold....then to find that I have to sleep on it for the next 6+ weeks, as laying flat is too uncomfortable!!  Walt may have dodged this Bullet from having to sleep on my side of the RV Bed after all!!  LOL  Time will tell....

And the biggest question/concern that I had was about my being Claustrophobic!!  I begged him to make sure that I am put asleep before they mask me.  He said that they always do now (again, Thank God!!).  And I also mentioned that Dr Lynch told us that because of my Central Sleep Apnea, and the amount of Discs/Fusions involved, I may have some Breathing problems, and if so, I may have to stay Intubated after Surgery for a day or two, or three....Well, like I said, I am Claustrophobic!  So I asked if there was any other way that I could be Intubated rather than down the Throat.  He said no, but that when this does occasionally occur, they keep the Patient Sedated, so that it doesn't bother them....(whew!).

Anyway, it is getting late, I have soooo much to do over the next 2 days.  Like wash 10-12 loads of clothes, make myself a big pot of Goulash to eat on while recovering, shaving my Legs and Underarms etc.  And tomorrow I am getting my Nails done!!  So I should go to bed.  So, till next time....

Aloha My Friends :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whew!! That Was A Close One!!

Aren't the colors in these cover ups that someone was selling at the Polynesian Cultural Center beautiful???  I just love these colors!  I was tempted to buy one, but I thought, where/when would I actually use it??? usual, common sense prevailed!  LOL

Hey Ya'll,

First off, yesterday I went in for my Pre-Op testing at the Hospital.  And luckily for me, I have a Handicapped Plate on the Truck, so I was able to park closer to the Building (I really needed it yesterday).  My lower Back/Hips have been bothering me for about a week or so again, and by yesterday, it was killing me!!  So I was hobbling around so badly, that everyone I came in contact with asked me if the Surgery I was getting, was for my Back.  I said no, that it was for my Neck!!  But the Back may be next!!  LOL  So that's pretty bad when they think that I should be having Back Surgery, when it is for something else instead!

Then when I got home, I was stepping up into the RV, and tripped stepping up into the RV and fell forward!!  Of course my first instinct, is to throw the Arms out to try to stop my fall.  My Forearm hit something, and I Almost Broke My Arm!!  And the break would have been in just about the exact same place that was broken years ago!!  That's all I would have needed, a broken Arm, and a Neck in a stiff Neck Collar at the same time!!  Luckily, it appears that I only bruised the Bone. (whew) 

Well, today was my appointment at our PCP Doctor, to get my Medical Clearance for Surgery....Today I had to see the Office PA, since my PCP is on vacation this week, and she won't be back until the day before my Surgery.  That in itself wasn't a problem, but because I was seeing someone new, and they really didn't know my Medical history, was a problem!

As the norm, the Office Medical Assistant/Nurse took us back to a room, and started the pre visit by taking my Vitals....we were surprised to see that my Blood Pressure was something like 169/?....So she asked if this was normal for me, and both Walt and I said NO!!  It has never been over the 140's.  So she took it again with a different kind of machine, and this time it was 170 something/?....OMG!!  But after telling her that I had fallen yesterday and was in more pain than usual (not to mention the fact that I am getting ready to undergo a MAJOR Surgery!!), she said that that could be the cause of my sudden increase in Blood Pressure.

So the PA finally comes into the room, and he says the same thing....we could just see it in his eyes, that he was potentially going to say no!  Luckily he looked over my records, and saw that all of the tests that have been run over the course of the last year, basically shows that I am in fairly good condition.  At least as far as Liver, Heart, Blood Work, etc.  The only thing that is a bit high in his eyes was my Cholesterol.  So he went in to speak with the other Doctor in the Practice to look over my chart, and luckily the PA came back with the signed release.  But he said that they recommend that I buy a home Blood Pressure Machine to check my Blood Pressure myself.  This way, if I notice that my Blood Pressure is trending upwards, I can go into the Doctor and get on Blood Pressure if I'm not taking enough Meds....!!

After we left the Doctor's Office, we went to The Outback, one of my favorite Restaurants!!  I have been tasting a great Filet Mignon Steak (I love the seasoning they use), a Baked Potato, and I Love their Salads!  I told Walt that I would be happy just eating a big Salad from there, with a bite from his Steak and Potato!!  The meal was fantastic, and just what I wanted!!  Especially since it could potentially be a long time before I will be able to eat something as solid and dense as Steak.

So, assuming that the Blood Work and Urinalysis, that was done as part of yesterdays Pre-Op Tests comes back ok....and I do not get sick, then the Surgery is still a go for next Tuesday!!  If this is the case, then by this time next week, I should be in a Hospital Bed (probably in ICU), in pain!!  Or at least knocked out by the Pain Meds!!  LOL  Keep your Fingers and Toes crossed for me!!! far, my strategy of keeping my distance from Walt (as much as possible in an RV at any rate!), and sleeping part of the night on the Love Seat (yes, I said Love Seat!!  Thank God I am fairly short at 5'3"!!), before going into bed for the rest of the morning....seems to be working!  He finally gave up (for the most part) trying to make me feel bad about being a bit....shall we say....neurotic about keeping things that he has touched sterile, so that I don't catch his cold.  :)

Oh, and tonight I am going to start to use my Bi-Pap Machine again!  I haven't used it in over a year because the space between our Bed and the closet in an RV, isn't the best to try to place the Machine.  I got a 10' Hose for it, so at least it should be long enough to reach from the floor to my Face and have a little extra length so that I can turn from side to side with it as well.  The only problem that I could potentially think having, would be getting the settings right, with it practically on the floor!!  At our house, it was on the Bedside Table right next to my Head!!  LOL  So this should prove interesting.....

The reason that I decided it was time to start using it again, is that I have been having some problems breathing again, and they want me to bring it in with me to the Hospital to use there, so I better get comfortable using it again!

So, till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Can't Believe This....!!

So what do you think????  Does this look very comfortable to you???  Me either!!  At least I hope that this is the one....the other potential one is also a Back Brace combined!! 

Hey Ya'll,

Well, I am now 9 days away from Surgery, and you won't believe what has happened.  Here I have been so careful trying to not be around anyone who is obviously sick, and who gets sick????  Walt came down with another COLD!!!  AHHH!  So now I am trying my best to not catch HIS cold!  Because if I even come down with the sniffles, then my Surgery has to be postponed.  And since my Neurosurgeon's calendar is at least 3-4 weeks out, then I would have to wait until at least the end of April....And that is not an option!!

So, here I am trying to stay clear of Walt (and in an RV, that is a bit hard to do! LOL) ....I have been using sanitizing wipes on any surfaces that I know, or even think that he has touched, etc (repeatedly).  I even stayed out of bed last night until about 4 am this morning, so that I would cut down the amount of time that he could have breathed, coughed or sneezed on me!  I know that he usually gets up between 4-5, so I figured it would be my best bet.  All so that I won't catch his cold! 

Now get this, he thinks that I am going too far!  Do you???  And remember, until he reads this post, he will not have known about my avoiding sleeping with him!!  He is just going on my sanitizing the place!  If you were about to undergo an important, and very necessary Surgery, wouldn't you be staying away from anyone sick, and sanitizing after someone who is??  Luckily, he says that he is already feeling hopefully, this isn't a full blown Cold??? 

So saying all this, this week will be one hectic week for us!!  First off, because of weather, I am going to have to get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow and Tuesday, in order to drive Walt in to work, so that I can use the Truck!

Tomorrow is the only day that I can get my Pre-Op Testing done, so that they get it in time for my Pre-Op Appointment.  So I will be spending several hours tomorrow at the Hospital getting an EKG, full Blood Work done, Urinalysis, Chest X-Ray and special X-Rays of my Neck in several flexed positions!

Then on Tuesday, I have to go into my PCP, so that she can give me a Medical Clearance for Surgery....or should I say, he!  My PCP is apparently on Vacation, or at least out of the Office until the 26th, so her partner will have to see me.  If I don't have the signed Medical Clearance by Friday at my Pre-Op Appointment, then I don't my Surgery!  So I sure hope that he doesn't give me any problems giving the a-ok!  I have never seen him before, so I'm crossing my Fingers and Toes on this one.

Then, Thursday we have our annual Vision appointment.  This usually takes at least 1 1/2 - 2 hrs!  And that is if we don't have to choose glasses!

On Friday morning, I have an appointment at 9 am (nine Freeking am!) to get fitted with a special Cervical Collar (a photo of it is pictured above).  I am supposed to take it with me from the appointment, as my next appointment, which is at 10:30 am, with Dr Lynch's #1 PA (who also attends and helps in Surgery with Dr Lynch) to go over my Pre-Op Tests, and to answer any questions that I may still how long will I have to wear this Torture Device???  LOL  The last Spinal Surgery that I had, I only had to wear a Soft Collar, but then, I only had 2 Discs Fused that time....And either just before my Pre-Op Appointment, or just after it (depending on how much time I have), I will Pre-Register at the Hospital.

Saturday, I have an appointment with a new woman to get my Nails done....I got my Toes redone with Gels on Friday, so they will last forever!!  But the Finger Nails grows much faster.  My only hope is that they will hold out until I can at least get around decently.  Walt will probably have to drive me to get them Filled, but at least they will look good for the Surgery!!  LOL

And of course, my Surgery on Tuesday of next week!!  So in the next 9 days, I have a lot to do!!  And that is not including cleaning the RV, doing the laundry, and making myself a big pot of Goulash to eat on while I am recuperating!!  Nor hopefully purchase my new Vehicle!!  After all, I am the forever optimist!!  But with Walt sick, it is highly doubtful that we will be able to fit in buying a car....  :(  (sigh)  Anyway, I better go for now, got lots to do, and so little time!!  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Found Out The "Technical" Terms

This is not my MRI Scan, but it shows what it kind of looks like!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, yesterday, Walt picked up our mail, and I was surprised to see that I got a copy of the Letter that Dr Lynch sent to my PCP, regarding his reviewing me and my MRI.  It sounds really bad....LOL  Here is a breakdown of what he says is wrong with my Neck!

I have Progressive Cervical Myelopathy.  With Severe Cervical Stenosis at C 3-4 and C 5-6.  With a Large Central Disc Herniation at C 3-4, with Extension behind the body of C 3 resulting in Severe Spinal Cord Compression and Stenosis.

There is also adjacent level Degenerative Disc Disease seen at C 5-6 and C 6-7, below my prior C 4-5 Fusion, with Cervical Stenosis Critically seen at C 5-6 resulting in indentation of the Spinal Cord at C 5-6.  There's a Foraminal Stenosis on the right at C 6-7.

So what this all means in terms of Surgery, is that I am going to have a C 3-4 Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion, and a C 5-6 and C 6-7 Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion.....Meaning that because of my prior Fusion at C 4-5, he will have to make 2 separate Incisions.  One above the prior Fusion to deal with the C 3-4 problems, and the second Incision below the prior Fusion to take care of the C 5-6 & C 6-7 problems.  So now I will have 3 scars on my Neck!!  It's a good thing that I am not a vain person!!  LOL

So saying all this, the Surgeon hopes that this will take care of the problems in my Neck.  If the Fusion doesn't work, then he will have to go in a second time, and Fuse/add stability from the Back side of the Neck as well....we don't want to have to do this though!!

He also stated in his letter to her, that it appears that I have some issues with my Lower Back, but that we would deal with them later on, after I recover from the Cervical Fusion.

Oh, and today I got "the call" from the Hospital to go over my Medical History, etc.  And the Nurse said that unless Dr Lynch changes the time, my Surgery is showing as 6:45 am!!  I'm glad that we don't have a long way to drive!!  Now I can only hope that we are able to purchase my Subaru Outback or Subaru Forester before then, that would give me an easier vehicle to get in and out of, not to mention a much smoother ride to ride home in!

Well, I guess I better go.  It is almost 5 pm, and I haven't even had a drink of water today, let alone eat!!  So, till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

And Another Surgery In The Family!!

Step A shows the anatomy of the knee from the front with the leg bent. To repair a torn meniscus, three small incisions are made into the knee to admit laparoscopic instruments (B). Fluid is injected into the joint to aid in the operation. The injury is visualized via the instruments, and the torn area is removed (C). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)

Hey Ya'll,

Well, I will keep this brief as I have a lot to do, and so little time to do it in, before my Surgery in 2 weeks from tomorrow!!  But we found out today that our Daughter Kat, is having Knee Surgery this Thursday!!  She went in to the Orthopedic Surgeon today, and apparently her Knee is bad enough that he wants to do Surgery this week!  She injured it somehow (she doesn't even remember hurting herself, just that it started to hurt) in High School. 

She has been repeatedly to Doctors throughout the years ever since, hoping to get relief.  She has been in pain for about 12 yrs now, and finally they determine that it is something that Surgery will help.  Luckily for her, it is to be a quick Surgery, and she shouldn't have to even spend the night in the Hospital.  It is done via Arthroscopic Surgery, very similar to Laparoscopic Surgery for us Lap Banders.  And I believe that the Surgery they will be performing is called a Meniscectomy.  They will be repairing a Meniscal Tear???  Or something like that, at least that is what she is telling us.  I'm surprised that they aren't doing a complete Knee Replacement.  So anyway, please send good thoughts and prayers her way on Thursday....!!

Well, I better go, as I said, I have so much to do in so little time....we are trying to either sell our Gold Wing Motorcycle, or trade it in, towards a new Subaru Outback.  I will keep you posted, as I am ever hopeful that this will occur before my Surgery!!  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Big Shout Out To Annie at Band-Aid Baby !!

Hey Ya'll,

I was looking at the photo icons of my Followers, and it appears that I missed welcoming someone to my Blog!!  I hate that when I miss I want to officially welcome Annie to my blog!!  Annie's Blog is called, Band-Aid Baby!, and Annie has been Banded since October 1st, 2010.  So if you haven't found her Blog yet, please follow the link I provided above, and give Annie a big hello!  So Annie...."Welcome to my Nightmare!" 

Aloha My New Friend  :)

I've Got My Surgery Date!!

The Hospital that I will have my Spinal Surgery

Hey Ya'll,

Well, this morning I made sure to wake up early enough to call in to my Surgeon's office to start the Surgery approval....I got the call yesterday that they received the information on what my co-pay should be for the Surgery, but that I needed to pay half of the amount first, before they would schedule the Surgery.  I don't know if this is standard practice now, but I do remember that when I had my Lap Band Surgery back in 2009, I had to pay half upfront then too.

So anyway, I had to wait until Walt got home from work last night so that we could decide how we wanted to make the payment.  So I couldn't wait to get the call in this morning....LOL  Once I made the payment over the phone, I was informed that I would be contacted by Kristin, Dr Lynch's Surgery Coordinator at some time today.  She finally called me, and we setup my Surgery for Dr Lynch's next available day for Surgery at the Hospital we chose....which will be Tuesday March 27th!!

Which will be 2 weeks from this coming Tuesday.  So now I am waiting to receive my Surgery packet with all the information on the Tests I need to get done before Surgery can be performed.  The problem is....I need to get the Tests done within 10 days of Surgery, but not less than 4 days before my Pre-Surgery consult (Friday, March 23rd), so that my Surgeon has all my Labs, X-Rays, etc in hand for review.  So this means that I only have a window of a couple of days to get it all done.  Since 10 days before Surgery falls on a weekend, and within that 10 days, I have only about 1-2 days where I can get them done in time to get the results to the Surgeon!!  Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place!! LOL 

AND....that Monday, we have a Dental appointment that we have been postponing for Months!!  So I hate to postpone it again, as then I can't get in until at least a month or more after Surgery!  And I have had a Toothache off and on for over a year!  But we didn't have Dental Insurance until this year....which is why we kept postponing it, then we had to postpone it due to weather, etc!!  LOL  So, if that Monday (the 19th) is D-Day so to speak, where I have to get the Testing done, then that will be a long day for me.  A Dental appointment in the morning, then several hours of Testing for Surgery.  But I will do it if necessary of course!! 

I am told that I will need to give a Urine Sample, have Blood Work drawn, Chest X-Rays taken, as well as special X-Rays of my Neck in different positions (flexed forward, backward, and sideways) so that the Surgeon can get a good look at the Discs and spacing, etc.  I was told to expect these Tests to take at least 2 hours or more....(sigh)  But I am thrilled to finally get this going.

And now I found out that my Cousin (who lives out of State and is in End Stage Cancer), and her Sister's (my Cousin's of course) and my Aunt, are all flying out to visit with my Dad over Good Friday weekend.  I wish that I could drive down to California to visit with them.  I haven't them for about 8 years.  But that would only be 10 days after my Spinal Surgery, and somehow I don't think that I will be up to driving 3 hours each way over a rough mountain road that soon after Surgery! 

My last Spinal Surgery, I only had 2 Discs Fused, and I seem to remember that I slept for a whole week!!  Plus, I somehow doubt that my Surgeon would give the ok to drive that far so soon after Surgery, especially in a Truck, that....well, drives like a TRUCK!!  So I am afraid that my visiting them is not going to be an option. (sigh)  Oh well, they are mainly visiting my Dad as this will be the last time they will probably see him alive.  Not to mention my Cousin, it will be the last time he sees her alive as well.  As they are both battling Cancer, I am not sure which one will go first.

I spoke with my Parents tonight, so that I could advise them of when the Surgery would be.  And I talked with my Dad a little about how he is feeling, now that he has started the Radiation Treatments.  Today was his 4th day of Treatment.  He didn't go into any details, but he said that he is still in tremendous pain.  So much so, that once he found out when my Surgery was going to be, he gave the phone over to my Mom.  And of course, he started to break down and cry when he tried to tell me that he wished that he could be at the Hospital for me, but there is no way that he can sit long enough to drive over the Sierra's to Reno.  I did my best to tell him that I knew he would be here if he could....but he just had to get off the phone.  It is so sad to talk to him and have him break down.  I wish that I could take some of his pain for him....I really do.

Well, it is getting late, so I better get off here for now.  I still have a lot of research to do.  We have decided to sell the Gold Wing, and instead of buying me the Can Am, we will buy me a small SUV or small Car.  We are looking at either the Honda CR-V, or the Subaru Forester or Subaru Legacy.  We are choosing between these, as they all are/or can be bought as AWD vehicles.  And they all have excellent reputations.  So, till next time.....

Aloha My Friends :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Neck Is Even Worse Than We Thought!!! :(

dr james lynch neurosurgeon nevada

Dr Lynch, my HERO!!

Hey Ya'll,

I said in my last post, that I would post last night regarding my Surgery consult with my Neurosurgeon.  Well, Sunday night I was in so much pain, that I couldn't get to sleep!!  And I was in bed by 2 am.  Early for me...but every time that I would start to drift off, I would start having pain, like in my Foot, then I would shift position, and just as I was drifting off to sleep, BANG...I would have pain somewhere else, etc, etc, etc!!  So finally, when Walt woke up at around 5:30, I had him bring me a Tylenol 3, as my normal pain meds (Vicoden, Celebrex, Lyrica, Amitriptyline, Requip, etc) wasn't working....Oh, and did I mention that I had also taken a Sleeping Pill???  Well, nothing was working.

So Walt brought me the Tylenol 3, and finally sometime between 7-8 am, I was able to drift off to sleep.  Then at 9 am, my phone beeped, letting me know that I had a text!!  I was NOT a happy camper, since it wasn't anything important....But I did manage to fall back to sleep (thank God)....until 10:15, so at 10:30 I finally gave up and just got up, I had a lot to do anyway.

Walt came home early to pick me up, so that we could make a couple of stops on the way to pick up our Mail, and then to stop at the Imaging Place to pick up my MRI Scans.  Just reading the written report provided with the Scans sounded bad to me, but then, they always do!!  So I was just hoping that the Surgeon wouldn't want to try all kinds of alternate treatment options, before recommending Surgery.  We were his last patient of the day, and when he walked in, he said that the Scans showed significant damage that needed to be taken care of pussy footing around so to speak, trying Treatments that wouldn't work at this stage in the game anyway.

I had already filled out almost all of the forms they had online, so that saved me a lot of time!!  But we arrived way early anyway, and because of this, we had to wait a long time.  It was our fault for arriving over an hour early!! LOL  Luckily for us though, the Doctor wasn't really running behind.  The only reason that we had to wait as long as we did, once we were taken to a room, was because he actually took the time to read the typed pages I had provided, listing all of my Symptoms, Accidents that could have caused my issues, etc!!  We were really impressed that he DID read them, as most Doctors won't take the time to do this....and he agreed that most Doctors don't!

So anyway, we found out why we got in so quickly to see him without having to wait a week or more to get in....he told us that when he receives a referral, he rates them on a scale from A to F, with F meaning nothing needs to be done, and A as being severe and needs to be taken care of immediately.  Well, he rated my report as A+.  And he praised the Doctor that read my MRI at the Imaging place, as being very thorough and accurate!!

I had my MRI done last Wednesday, my PCP called me on Friday morning letting me know that I do have some issues that needs to be taken care of, and that she was sending over the referral to a really good Neurosurgeon that day.  Well, I was expecting to be called by the Neuro Dr sometime this week, but they called me the same day by lunch time...., and I got my appointment scheduled for yesterday (Monday)!!  He told us that his notes to his scheduler, was to contact me immediately, and to get me in ASAP, and that he would even see me after hours!!  Shock of a lifetime!!

He was very thorough, and very willing to explain everything, both verbally, as well as visually, using my MRI's as well as using a plastic Disc, and literature (photos), as well as showing us exactly what the Disc would look like with the Fusion.  Yes, I said Fusion!

When he started talking about Surgery and what was needed, Walt informed him that we were in the process of getting Surgery approval to have my Lap Band removed, and asked whether or not we should wait to do the Cervical Surgery, and he said NO!!  The Lap Band wasn't something that was an emergency, and the Disc Surgery WAS!!  

He said that my C 3-4 Disc was Totally Blown Out!  And the Discs at C 5-6, and C 6-7 also need to be Fused!  So he is hoping to be able to do all of it in only one Surgery....he will try to do all of the Fusing from the Front of the Neck, as the C 3-4 definitely does need to be taken care of from the Front.  Otherwise, he will have to stabilize the lower Discs from the Backside.  He will Fuse them in the upcoming Surgery from the Front, and so long as they Fuse properly with no complications, he will be happy.  But if they won't Fuse properly, he will have to go back in, in a 2nd Surgery, and add stability (Rods I think) from the Back, so here's crossing my Fingers and Toes that the one Surgery will be good enough!!

So by the time I have my Surgery, I will have 4 Levels Fused, involving 5 Discs!  Practically my whole Neck will be Fused....but he is hoping that I will at least be able to retain the current movement that I have in my Neck, or possibly a little more, and hopefully without pain in the future!  So here's hoping this will at least end the pain...I can live with a stiff Neck!  LOL

When we were finished (at 6 pm) he said that he would have to have his Surgery scheduler call me this morning, but when he opened the door, was very happy to find out that she stayed until he was finished talking with us.  She knew that he wanted to work with me ASAP.  So she came in and started the process of my Surgery approval right then and there!

She will contact me either tomorrow or Wednesday giving me the dates of the appointments that I will need to do, such as the Pre-Surgery testing, Pre-Surgery consult with the Doctor to go over the Test results, as well as my actual Surgery date and time.  We chose the Hospital from the Hospitals that my Insurance Co will allow, that he works through.  At this Hospital, he does Surgery on Tuesdays.  She said that the next available Surgery dates are during the last week of the Month, so it looks like I should have a Surgery date of March 27th, or April 3rd at the latest!

We also advised him of my Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea, he was very thankful that we did...he said that because of the Major Surgery involved, and the amount of Discs being done at one time, that with my Central Sleep Apnea pulled into the scenario, he wants to be even more cautious, and said that he will probably have me in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at least the 1st night to be safe.  And that I will have to stay in the Hospital at least one night, possibly up to 3.  With a minimum of 3 Months recovery!  I am not sure when I will be able to drive either.  I am hoping to be able to drive by the end of the 1st Month though! LOL

And surprise, surprise....I called Dr Kozar's office this morning to advise them that I need to postpone my Lap Band removal Surgery, and was informed that they had just received the Surgery approval yesterday...LOL  So that means that I would have had my Surgery this Thursday!!  I was informed that the approval was only good for 90 days though.  So I will need to contact them before that, to advise when I should be able to go through my Lap Band Removal Surgery, as they may need to reapply for the Surgery approval, or hopefully just have it extended.  We shall see!!

We also asked Dr Lynch about my Lower Back problems, and he said that although it looks like I could have some issues there, he wants to work with the Neck first, as he is concerned with the stability of my Neck.  He said that if I were involved in an accident, or slipped and fell in some ice, and voila...I could become paralyzed or die (but probably just paralyzed)!!  But he did say that we would look into the Lower Back later.  So once I recover from the Neck Fusion, and my Lap Band Removal, we will start the Lower Back, and hopefully, get it taken care of THIS I won't have to pay out of pocket for it!  My Insurance Company will hate me this year!!!  LOL  But then I should be set.

So after all Dad starts his Radiation Treatments today for his Lung Cancer.  We are really hoping that it won't take too many Treatments before he starts to have relief from the pain.  But I don't think that he is fully aware of how the Radiation Treatments will make him feel.  I just hope that he can stand it long enough for the Treatments to remove the pain, or at least get it under control.  I already have a Cousin that has gone though Chemo and Radiation for her Cancer's, and is now just taking Morphine for control of her pain....

Hey I just thought of something....even if I get my nails done just before Surgery, I won't be able to get in to have them done again for at least a Month, unless I can get Walt to drive me in!!!  They will look hideous!!  LOL  My toenails aren't a big deal, but my finger nails....well, that's another story!  But I hate to think about having to have my Acrylics removed completely!

Anyway, I have rambled on too long as it is, I need to get off here, as I have tons to do!!  Till next time...

Aloha My Friends  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Appointment With The Neurosurgeon Is Tomorrow!!

Here is the photo of Dr Lynch, the Neurosurgeon I am to see tomorrow!  At least he doesn't look too old!!  LOL

Hey Ya'll,

Well, in my last post, I told you that I had received the call from our Family Doctor, telling me that she got the results of my MRI back, and was referring me to a Neurosurgeon.  This was on Friday morning.  Well, by the time Walt and I were at lunch in Reno, before we left for Sacramento, I got the call from the Neurosurgeon's office scheduler!

She said that Dr Lynch looked over my MRI results, and wanted to see me asap.  In fact, we made my appointment for tomorrow (Monday) at 4:30 pm!!  Because the appointment is so soon, they wouldn't have enough time to get the MRI Films at their office in time for the appointment, so I am picking them up on my way to the appointment.  So....cross your fingers that he will be able to relieve my pain!  Let me tell you, Walt sure is hoping for this....he is tired of my always being in pain lately!  LOL

Walt and I decided that I should go ahead and have the Lap Band removal Surgery before the Spinal Surgery, as it will be the easier Surgery to recuperate from, then have the Spinal Surgery (assuming of course that the Neurosurgeon feels that Surgery is warranted).  I guess that I have 2 reasons for wanting to push for the Spinal Surgery.

The first is that I AM IN PAIN!!  And I am hoping to get relief from it....and the second reason, is that since I already have to have my Band removed, between the cost of the first Surgery, with the Hospital, Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, etc, I will have paid my maximum out of pocket amount for Medical this year.  So this way my Spinal Surgery should FREE!!!  So why not???  So here's crossing my fingers and toes.  I will post the Surgeon's decision tomorrow.

Well, I have a lot to do tomorrow to get ready for my appointment tomorrow....such as shaving my legs!!  I haven't shaved them since our Hawaii vacation, and there is no way I am going to let him do a Neurological exam on me, with 3 Months worth of hair growth!!  LOL  So I am going to end this for now, I need to get some sleep.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)