I saw the surgeon, Dr. Brodkey, again on Friday. My sister came with me. He gave us an even more detailed tour of my MRI, showing just how miniscule the opening for the nerves in the bottom vertebra is.. much smaller than I'd thought from the first visit.
He also clarified just what the surgery and recovery would involve: three or four days in the hospital (which is about what you said yours took, Ellie),
and then... well, it wasn't quite what I thought when he said last time that I'd need 3 or 4 weeks in a rehab place:
I could go back home, but I would need someone to come live with me, or I'd need to go stay with someone else. In other words, I'd need someone who would take care of me, to help me with things I wouldn't be able to do alone at that point, like take a shower every day. I said, there's no one who could come stay with me and no one else I could go stay with for that.
That's when he said, well then you'll need to go to a (this time he didn't use the euphemism of rehab place) ... nursing home. For about 3 weeks. So that is the same as before.
I asked, how about a home health person, and he said that might work. So I guess I need to find out more about what is involved in getting one of them and just what they would do.
I also need to find out just how much everything is going to cost and how to pay for it. I have Medicare and a Medicare-supplement policy with Standard Life, but I somehow doubt they'd pay for everything.
I again asked Dr. Brodkey just how much time I have to explore options before I have to do something. He said, if I start having a lot of numbness and/or losing my balance a lot, that's a sign that nerve function is being affected and we'd better act quickly then.
We made another appointment for me to see him again in six weeks, so I guess he feels I'll be okay for that much time, at least.
I'm looking into getting another opinion from surgeons in the University of Michigan heath system.. see if they would have any different treatment ideas. Looks pretty clear to me just what is going on in my body.
I will be starting some Physical Therapy sessions in about a week and a half, but all the P.T. in the world isn't going to fix this, of course. I hope it might at least help to alleviate the pain, because this is getting to be quite painful.
That's the latest, folks... Thanks for all the good wishes!
Last edited by phesina; 05-04-2014 at 08:05 AM.
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
"Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."
-- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery