Thursday, December 4, 2008

Doctor Roth 3, Piper 1

Today was the one month followup appointment. This was the first time that Dr. Roth (and his PA, Nonie) have seen me since discharge from Beaumont Hospital 35 days ago. The score above represents my recovery time: the doc says I have two more months to go (for a total of 3), and I have completed one month--hence 3 to 1.

The items we discussed, somewhat in order of importance, are as follows:

1 - I am healing OK; the X-rays he took today confirm that diagnosis.

2 - When I asked how bad my back was, he answered, 'pretty bad'. But in the next breath he assured us my back was fixed as well as someone whose back had not started out as bad as mine.

3 - Two more months of same-old, same-old; no bending, twisting, or lifting; 30 minutes sitting time every two hours; do all the walking that I can tolerate. The next appointment in Feb 12.

4 - I can return to pre-surgery level of all pills--which I had done--as well as drop all iron supplements.

5 - I should experiment how I am wearing the back brace. Try it upside down as well as remove the front panel.

6 - Hold off on a scheduled prostate biopsy until six months.

7 - My current level of pain pills--2 Tylenol a day--is good (acetaminophen). No NSAIDs (ibuprofen) like Motrin.

8 - Try working on computer and reading while standing by raising work areas about 12".

9 - When I return in two months, he will allow me 'a little driving'.

10 - Question not asked: What will I eventually be able to do.

11 - Butt wiping time frame not given; it will happen when it happens.

12 - On why he doesn't use bone loss prevention stuff like Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva: it interferes with the fusion process.

13 - Implied in all the above conversations: continue to wear the 'choke collar'.


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