Friday, September 26, 2008


Al has returned from the world of the anesthetized better, stronger, faster.

On Tuesday, 9/23 I went in for spinal surgery. I had a very big piece of the L3 disc removed. This herneation has been the source of my problems, and it had reached a point where surgery was necessary. I was numb on my left side from my abdomen to my ankle. I would get strange, tingling / electric shocks down the side. My muscles were weakening, and I was having trouble controlling my leg function on the left side.

I had a laminectomy / diskectomy (microdiskectomy) done to remove the herneated disc material. The pic above shows the basic procedure, although the surgeon I used has a less invasive procedure so my incision was smaller than above.

Today is Friday, and I am up and walking about and doing well. I think this is because I went into the surgery in very good shape. Although I haven't been able to run since May, I've been biking and swimming and walking and doing some "modified" weight training.

The surgery was a long one (about 3 hours). I don't remember much from Tuesday. I do remember being up all night Tuesday with discomfort and NOISE. The discomfort is a common thing with spinal surgery. It is hard to sit or lay down. Walking about seems to be the easiest thing for me. So I just shuffled around most of the night/next day at the hospital. And, with all that time on my hands in the hospital, I came up with a few ideas to improve the hospital experience:

1) Hospitals are fucking LOUD. I guess if you're a rich fat cat you can afford a private room. Dude's like us get four to a rooms. Every five minutes (NO EXAGGERATION) a nurse or doctor or orderly was coming in to do something ALL NIGHT LONG. So my first improvement is a small hard plastic divider system I've devised. It keeps things quiet, keeps you separate...nice.

2) Signage is very important in the hospital, I noticed. I was in the "neurology" recovery area. Mostly, there were stroke victims and other neurological patients who were "recovering." I say "recovering" because they appeared to me to be going the other direction. Not pretty. Anyway, every patient had multiple signs over his/her bed:
Strict Monitor I/O s
Monitor / Measure Urines
and my personal favorite
Nothing by Mouth

I guess this all makes sense. You've got changing shifts, different nurses, different doctors, troupes of residents coming through. Clear signs make safe patients. So I got on board and made my own sign to post above my bed:


With all those pumps and hoses and gung ho RNs I figured I couldn't be too careful.

So now I'm just recovering. I don't have much pain, just the previously mentioned discomfort. My doc tells me I'll be lightly biking in a few weeks. I start weight PT about that time too. For now, I'm pacing and healing. All is well.


Tashelle said...

Al honey, be well.

gewilli said...

"nothing in my ass"


that cracked me up...


GVB said...

I said you needed to GET a backbone, not have what little you already possessed removed. Sheesh.

Get well, bro.

Adetokunbo said...

It is time for you to return home, Tashelle.

Big Negro said...

That a Tastee Freez bitch be holdin'?

Jeb said...


Is that a tat on your forehead, or did you have to hold up the hood on your Pontiac to work with two hands?

Big Negro said...

Motherfucker. Where's yo' empathy? Shit is Vitiligo.

Say, Jeb, is that a HEMI?

Michael said...

V is no laughing matter, bicoastalboys.