Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Be Prepared

On Oct 7 we made another trip to Detroit to kill 4 birds with one stone. Me and my 'coach' got the final instructions from Nonie, Roth's surgical nurse. Then we went to PT (physical therapy) to learn mostly what we COULD NOT do following surgery. OT, occupational therapy) then told us how to do what we must do--eat, sleep and crap. Finally, a gave 4 vials of my high test blood.

I recently created a test for back pain. It was inspired by the Cleveland Clinic hip test, which converts ones physical and emotional capabilities into a numerical score. I failed this hip test prior to hip surgery, but I aced it every time I returned for checkups. You can download and take this test yourself at: http://www.pipers-place.com/files/back-test2.doc. Hopefully, I will be able to 'convince' someone in the back surgery business to adopt something similar. This whole concept of having surgery to improve one's 'quality of life' needs some quantitative measurement, especially when financial costs are considered.

Oct 8 was a flu shot day--not a problem this far away from surgery--and as a bonus I asked the nurse who she knew who already had this type back surgery. Although she sounded enthusiastic, I never heard back from her. This was the first of many times that I encountered this 'obsession' with patient privacy.

Oct 14 is autologous blood donation at Ernie Wallace Blood Bank in Midland. This brings back memories from 20 years ago. Unfortunately, all the people were new and none could verify my 'war stories' about blood donations.

Oct 16 I had a feedback appointment with Dr. Leslie Schutz, the one who discovered my spinal stenosis and referred me to Dr. Roth. She told me I would do fine, but she did notice I was developing a limp. It helped me to hear, again, that this 'one size fits all' approach to recovery doesn't apply.

Oct 17 was the final clearance from my personal physician. Since I wasn't sure what Beaumont wanted, I placed a call to their pre-op anesthesia person. I finally reached Kathy that am. It took about 30 minutes for her to get my entire life history. She also faxed their check sheet to my physician. So, when I saw him in the pm, we had all the paperwork to fulfill their requirements.

I disturbing side effect of the above checkup with my physician was the frank discussion about the necessity of my continuing to be on coumadin. This may be the ultimate benefit from my back surgery.

Oct 20 is the date to halt all blood thinning agents. I now have zero concern about this requirement.
I also attempted to get some detailed pictures at the Midland Community Center of proposed rehab possibilities. Unfortunately, this patient privacy issue reared its ugly head again, and the 'pool police' halted these efforts.

Finally, on Oct 21 I did contact Ann H. who is also considering back surgery with Roth. When I heard about her living arrangements--she has no one to help her recovery--my own problems, perceived or otherwise, vanished.


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