Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Tuesday morning Mike and I were up bright (OK so foggy) and early (it definitely was early) for his admit to the hospital. The surgeon met up with us in Pre-op. I listened to Mike make jokes... they aren't any better under medication. Fortunately his two pre-op nurses were both Patti so he didn't have to remember many names.

Dr. M told me the surgery would be 3-4 hours. He is very precise and since he's dealing with spinal cords and nerves that's perfectly alright for me. It was a long morning waiting alone. When the lunch hour approached I debated about going to the cafeteria but figured I'd be hearing shortly. The O.R. nurse called to give me an update, said they'd be another hour and feel free to get lunch. I got the pager from the waiting room staff and went to the cafeteria for lunch. I barely sat down down when the pager went off. I packed up my salad and headed back. Dr. M. would be coming to speak with me soon... which was actually another hour.

Dr. M. explained what he'd done to Mike's vertebrae - involving shaving bone that was pinching the nerve (he said Mike was VERY tight), and adding screws in from both sides. I have my souvenir x-ray to prove the work. He said Mike would be in a great deal of pain but when they had him up moving around he'd notice right away there was no further numbness in his legs. Dr. M. did a bit of extra work beyond L2-6 into the next section above to prevent further trouble down the road. He also took bone from Mike's hip to insert between the vertebrae which will assist the healing.

They also had to give him 2 units of blood after using some of his own during surgery. Apparently he was "oozy" - a technical term? Dr. M. asked if he'd had aspirin or motrin, which he had not.

I really appreciate Dr. M's attention to Mike and taking the time to answer questions.

Mike spent five hours in surgery and another 1-1/2 hours in recovery before being moved to his room. I watched him sleep in and out. He has 3 drains and a morphine pump. His eyes were swollen from the petroleum jelly and tape used during surgery. His body is full of fluids. Doesn't quite look like himself.

I went home for a couple of hours and returned with Matt. We watched Biggest Loser in Mike's room while he slept. He has a lot of nausea and wasn't able to eat even a light meal. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day.

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