Spinal Trap 4 – a bit of a Time Warp

When I woke up from the operation I was as cold as I can ever remember being and was immediately convulsed by body-shaking shudders and teeth that chattered so much I was scared I was going to bite through my tongue. There were people hovering around me and I remember my husband looking on anxiously as they got me settled back in my room. Someone went haring off to another room and when they came back they threw a plastic sheet over me which, when plugged in, churned out a blast of warm air over my body – it felt a bit like being under a hovercraft.
Eventually I warmed up and became aware that I was hooked up to more machinery than I could take in, and it became apparent that, while it had been a success, the operation hadn’t exactly gone as planned.
It was supposed to have taken a couple of hours at most, was supposed to have been keyhole surgery to remove the piece of protruding disc that was pressing into my spinal nerve and causing all the pain. Or so we had thought.
The operation had taken a lot longer than planned (hence the extreme reaction as I came to) because, as the surgeon explained afterwards, there had been an unexpected development. MRI scans are great, but they aren’t perfect, and it turned out that none of the MRI scans (2 or 3 at this point) had shown that there was another rogue piece of disc: one that had previously broken off from the herniated disc and glued itself to the spinal nerve column. All along my surgeon had said that the amount of disc he could see pressing into my nerve didn’t necessarily account for the amount of pain I was feeling, many people were walking around with greater disc bulges and less pain, but a protruding disc rubbing onto another piece of disc glued to my spinal nerve – well, that would do it every time.
He’d spotted it as he’d gently lifted the nerve out of the way to perform the microdiscectomy, and so the operation had turned into a much, much, lengthier one as he had carefully, painstakingly, shaved away the glued on piece of disc, one tiny sliver at a time.
I’m not sure how you would feel about someone wielding a scalpel that close to your spinal nerve column, but I can tell you that I’m very grateful that there were no untimely sneezes or twitches which could so easily have resulted in me living out the rest of my life in a wheelchair, probably doubly incontinent to boot. Every single time I think about that period of my life, which is getting less as time goes on admittedly, it’s something that I am grateful for.
The recovery from that operation was so, so slow. I got out of hospital within a few days, but I was weak from lack of sleep, lack of food and because I had a huge amount of muscle wastage from being almost completely immobile for weeks in the run up to the operation. I did recover, though, and with only the nerve damage that had been caused by the constant rubbing of disc on nerve.
The operation took place at the end of October, 2007. The incident that caused all the pain occurred mid-November 2006. There’s a lot I’ve not said, not described, but if you’ve ever experienced nerve pain you’ll know what living with those levels for nearly a year will do to you both physically and mentally, and that’s why I’ve jumped to this point before attempting to describe that. So that when you read it, you’ll understand what I’m telling you, and what the risks were of either having the operation or not having it.


About kentishlol

Wife, mother of three, dog owner, and rank amateur at everything. You don't really want to know that I bake, knit, garden, make marmalade and sloe gin, do you? Thought not.
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2 Responses to Spinal Trap 4 – a bit of a Time Warp

  1. betunada says:

    shooo-oot! ain’t been by 4 uh while. whoa, doodette: wot an awpurrrayshun! scary yet relieved, indeed!


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