Sunday, January 22, 2006

I had a cheese sandwich for lunch

I've been dissing bloggers who write about stuff like the above title for years.
So, I deserve to be treated with equal disdain for the following post. But a lot of people have been wondering where the heck I have been and it’s not the kind of thing I want to send out in a broadcast e-mail.

So if you could care less about my recent health woes – and I don’t blame you – stop reading. Go find something more interesting – even the cheese sandwich stuff is probably a better read.

But for those of you who haven’t seen me around, here’s the last few months episodes of Marcus Welby MD rolled into a few paragraphs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I woke up December 12th, and couldn’t move my neck or left shoulder or arm and the fingers on the hand were either numb or tingling. When my doc heard “left arm” he sent me to the ER and I’ve been to several doctors since. They all diagnosed problems with discs C6 and C7 in the neck, pressing on the spinal cord. That’s what caused the problems with left shoulder/arms/hand. So basically, I have only been out of the house since 12/12 for doctors. Missed Christmas, work, my Vegas CES trip - everything. Been a looooong few weeks.

There was no cause of this – it just happened. The week before I was my usual active self – volleyball, lifting weights, carrying computers, walking Hogan, my 100 pound lab, and so on. No twinges or problems.

I have been able to do a lot of work from the home network but can only use the right hand, have to stop after about 20 minutes, etc but I am on 24 hour days because I can’t sleep much with the pain. Yeah they gave me some good drugs but they admit that when it’s nerves on the spine, they just don’t do much.

Actually pain is a pretty interesting thing. I know that the pains on my left side aren’t the normal warning signs – like a burn warning you to pull away from the fire. The damage is in the neck but there is pain on left – weird. But it’s something you can learn to live with. If you had told me in advance that I would have 6-8 weeks of constant pain from stuff pressing on my nerves and spine I would have said get me a gun. Sure there are good times and bad times – nights can be verrrrrry long sometimes but lots of people have it a lot worse than me so I’m not complaining.

Different docs tried all the non-surgery things and none worked so they sent me to the surgeon. But first they scared me telling me not to lift more than 10 pounds or get jostled or I could have some serious permanent problems (you don’t mess with the spinal cord). Yikes!

The spine surgeon said there is too much swelling still so he can't operate yet. I have to go back Feb 1st to be re-evaluated. The good news is he says with the large size of this problem, in the majority of cases the body will correct itself in 6-8 weeks without surgery. That would be great.

More good news is that they said with my age and otherwise great health, I should be 100% about 6 weeks after surgery- plenty of time to recover for sand volleyball this summer. And I do feel I can move the neck more (when I take the darn brace off) so maybe it is healing. I am lucky that I can do so much via e-mail, phone and web.

Yes it sucks that I have this and time has been dragging a lot but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a permanent thing. Plus, look at the gas money I have saved since I can’t drive.

I am so psyched to get back and see people and do stuff. So if you wondered if I was blowing things off – I wasn’t. Just been out of commission for awhile.

And I don’t think I had one cheese sandwich for lunch this whole time.

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