ER Tomorrow Morning

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RSteve

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In 2005 and 2006 I had C4, C5, C6 (neck) spinal surgery. The first surgery was a failure. The excruciating pain has returned. I phoned the neurosurgeon who operated only to discover that she retired a few months ago. My older brother had spinal surgery a couple of weeks ago with the surgeon who operated on his wife. I spoke with the doctor's operations leader this morning, "Go to the ER tonight or tomorrow and get an MRI. They'll immediately transfer the data and we'll schedule you for an appointment ASAP. From your description, the nerve channels have narrowed again and you'll probably require corrective surgery."

This is obviously hereditary as my father had the problem and surgery in 1964. He died a few months later. He had a heart condition and was on blood thinners. Post-op for the neck surgery, he had to be off the thinners. Heart attack and death.
 

RSteve

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Best wishes and a good recovery!
I'm a bit scared. I almost didn't make through the last surgery. Apparently, my heart stopped a couple of times and the anesthesiologist had difficulty reviving me. I do have a no resuscitation order.
 

D.L.Ruth

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Oh geez, best wishes for a smooth surgery and speedy recovery
 

ftrplt

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Hells Bells, I'm goin' to my Doc in the morning for him to relieve the pain in a lower back/hip muscle that won't "relax," Small potatoes compared with yours!! I'll be pullin' for you all the way!! Deep breath, all will be well, I'm in good hands, I can lick this thing, etc., etc! Think positive as all of us will be of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FTRPLT
 

Brewdude

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Steve, with everything you've been through I have every confidence you'll pull this off with flying colors. You're a living testament to victory through adversity.

(y)


Cheers,

RR
 

Ranger107

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Your surgery certainly sounds more difficult than mine, but try to be positive. We are all with you in spirit. I am lighting a candle for you.
 

RSteve

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Thank you all for your kind words. My older daughter is accompanying me to the U.MN hospital's ER Tuesday morning. If surgery is required, many following life decisions will have to be determined. If the surgery is similar to the prior spinal surgeries, I'll have to figure out a temporary living arrangement. My house has a strange floor plan with four levels and climbing up and down stairs is discouraged. Both daughters live locally, but they're in the suburbs. My younger daughter wants me to move in with her family for a few weeks, but she and her husband both work and they have three kids under age 6.
My wife died in 2008, so during the prior surgeries, she could make meals, get groceries, help me move around, etc. Going through this solo is going to be very different. I sure wish it were summer.
 

GrampaGrossbart

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Hope it went well, Steve, and keep us updated when you can. We’re all puffing in your honor!
 

daveinlax

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My house has a strange floor plan with four levels and climbing up and down stairs is discouraged.
Wishing You All The Best fo a Full Recovery! I hate those dreaded Tri and Quad level houses. I get the concept but they are a pain in the ass and now that they've gone out of style they're a hard sell.
 

RSteve

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Finally able to somewhat function. At the ER there was no one in the waiting room, but apparently several emergency coronary cases were brought in by ambulance. We arrived at 8:00 am got registered in, but no exam until 10:30, then it was several nurses, a resident and an ER MD, whose father I knew when I worked in Duluth, MN in 1974. I got prepped for an MRI, shot up with dilaudid, valium, and an anti-nauseant before the MRI. Was in the MRI tube for about 20 minutes. They gave me headphones and piped in loud music. It really didn't matter. With that drug combo, I fell asleep almost as soon as I got in the tube. After I was returned to the ER, it was 90 minutes before the ER doc returned with the report. Stenosis at the C4, C5, C6 as expected (Where I'd had prior surgery.) Current severe pain caused by the herniated, massively swollen C7, pressing on the nerves. The recommended surgeon (who operated on my brother 3+ weeks ago) said he would see me ASAP. He was in his office in the UMN hospital complex. We were 5 minutes walking to his office from the ER. Truthfully, had my daughter not been with me, I could not have managed. The drugs given prior to the MRI were still in my system until last night. I was in a daze.

The surgeon, Dr. Christopher T. Martin, was very thorough explaining what the course of treatment would be. He said he would prescribe a 6 day pack of methylprednisolone tablets to begin shrinking the disc, oxycodone to relieve the pain, and Neurontin to also relieve the pain. We took the script but only filled the steroid and Neurontin. My experience with opiates is very unpleasant. They shut down my gastrointestinal tract and even after discontinuing there are residual effects. I also have had an horrific experience with Neurontin, but thought I'd give it another try. I took a Neurontin tablet before going to bed last night and this morning, it took several hours before the dizziness and nausea ended, so no more Neurontin. To somewhat take the edge off the pain, I'm rotating OTC meds every four hours, Extra Strength Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve. I began the steroids this morning.

Next Tuesday, Dt. Martin will phone me to ask about progress. If there isn't significant improvement, he'll schedule me for another MRI, then determine whether another round of steroids should be given or to schedule surgery. I'm hoping the steroids do the trick. He said that if surgery is the course of action, he'll go through the front of my neck, not cutting though the muscle at the rear or through the prior healed incisions. He said he'll need to take some bone from my hip to use as a spacer when he completely removes the C7 disc.

Getting old is isn't easy. I'm just very grateful that medical science has advanced. At least, there is a prognosis and hope that the pain can be somewhat alleviated.
 

Blackhorse

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That all sounds reasonable and a prudent course of treatment. (For all I know). Taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen at the same time is something that has been recommended by my MD in the past and works well. They even have an OTC tablet with both drugs to be taken Q8H. I would likely not mix in the Aleve since that’s another NSAID that works the same as ibuprofen. But that’s just me. Aleve is known to cause water retention and elevated blood pressure which I need to avoid. But I’m (we’re all, I’m sure) very glad that you’re in good hands and it sounds like on a hopeful course if treatment. Though I’m it still feels like shit. Whomever said these were the HOLDEN years...it must have been in an interviews at the local bar.

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RSteve

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And tomorrow, I have my second CV19 vaccination in Rochester, MN. I'm not looking forward to the drive from St. Paul, although I'll just be a passenger. The high temperature for tomorrow is forecast at -2 with snow likely.
Apparently, the booster makes a lot of people ill, so after the shot, I'll be staying with my older daughter and her husband for a day or two. They have a large home, no kids; three bathrooms, one with a whirlpool that might make me feel better.
 

Blackhorse

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My son, works IT in a health care system, and got his second shot a few weeks ago. He described it thusly:

“You know when Loki mouths off to the Hulk in The Avengers movie and Hulk grabs him and slaps him back and forth into the concrete again and again? Well I was Loki and the vaccine was the Hulk.”

But I’ve also heard it doesn’t affect some folks much. So, it varies.

Link to Loki getting his ass kicked...

 
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