UPDATE: Yes, even more surgery for me...

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Barefoot TJ, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. paulbeales Administrator
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    Haha. No, just doing some posting for TJ in all the chapters. Have fun on IBRD :)

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  2. paulbeales Administrator
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    Hi TJ,

    I have done the posting to all the chapters.

    Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    Cheers,

    Paul

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  3. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Thank you so much, Paul. I saw you working hard as each one of those entries came into my inbox. That really saved me a lot of physical pain. I appreciate you so much.

    I will be having back surgery first the middle of May, then I will do my left hand after I heal mostly from the back surgery, then my right hand a couple months after the left hand. I am right-handed, but both of my hands cause me equal pain, and this way, I can see if this surgery will really help before I commit to my right hand having it done too. sigh.

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  4. paulbeales Administrator
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    No probs. Good luck with the surgery TJ. Like I said, just let me know if I can help with anything else

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  5. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I decided to postpone the left hand surgery and concentrate on my back problems first. I think I was just trying to get "everything" fixed in too small of a time frame, and it was clouding my judgement. I hope I didn't cause anyone to worry.

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  6. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    What's next TJ?

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  7. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I will have two days of diagnostics at the end of this month to find out if I am a candidate for back surgery. If I am, then I will have the surgery on the third day; if not, I will head home. Thanks for asking.

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  8. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    UPDATE:

    I had laser back surgery on May 29 at the Laser Spine Institute. My family and I flew to Tampa, Florida, to have the tests, consults, and surgery. While there, we stayed at the Westin. We arrived Sunday, went to visit family. Our boys went kayaking and swimming in the lake they have in their back yard. We had dinner there, then checked into our hotel late.

    The next day, Monday, we went to visit more family. They have two boys' our kids' ages, their cousins, so they went swimming in their pool, played Legos, watched the Lego Movie, and played tons of video games, what else, right? We had a nice dinner then went back to our hotel room. They had a beach, so my oldest son and Scott went jet skiing in the bay. The other days, Scott and the boys went swimming in the bay at the beach. It was so nice to make it a two for one, not just surgery and all about me but vacation too!

    Tuesday and Wednesday were spent having diagnostic tests done (blood work, MRI, NCS, EMG, and epidural block). None of the doctors I saw in Georgia cared to do any of these tests, except MRI. The MRI in Georgia showed I had two bulging discs and bone spurring. The MRI in Florida showed I had one bulging disc that had herniated (torn) and was leaking chemical fluid onto my nerves, bone spurring, and narrowing of the spinal canal. The NCS and EMG were negative, but the epidural block got rid of my pain. Some funny background on that. The pain in my heels and arches comes after I have been on my feet from 1/2 - 1-1/2 - 3 plus hours, depending on what I am doing (unrelated to the Morton's Neuroma pain I also deal with in the forefoot and toes), that is, walking versus walking and bending as with house work and gardening or just sitting in a cupped position working on my laptop on the couch or in bed. I told them the epidural block wouldn't tell us what we needed to know because I would have to be doing something to bring on the pain. I asked if they had any weeds that needed pulling. :) They told me to do whatever it took, walk around the pond out front, pull weeds in the park...they would wait for me, and when I had "made pain" they would perform the epidural block. (I learned during my epidural walk that that's what they call it there, "making pain.") After the epidural, they have you sit for 10 minutes while they check your vitals twice, then you walk for 10-15 minutes (while the lidocaine from the block is in effect), and then you tell them what your pain level is. I started at a 5 and went down to a 0, so that told us the back surgery should also correct the problem with my heels and arches. We'll see. I'm hopeful, but if you know my history (thanks to the wrong types of shoes!)...

    I had surgery on Thursday. They made two tiny incisions on either side of my spine, inserted a laser probe, and burned the weed-like nerves that grow between the vertebrae joints to stop them from feeling pain if/when pinched. They made a third tiny incision on the right side of my back, inserted the laser probe, cauterized the tear, shaved down the bulging disc, and cauterized it to stop it from rebulging. While there, they removed bone spurring and debris, and widened the general area to free some nerves. The surgery itself was about 25 minutes long. I was able to walk immediately with very, very little pain, and I walk a little each day, several times a day, in my home without any problems. I know I could walk more, but they don't want me to push it. I'm pretty sure I will do just fine with the outcome of my surgery as far as my back pain is concerned. I do hope that it also cures my foot pain as well (it could be weeks before I will know for sure, since there will be a lingering of the initial foot pain present due to inflammation and previous nerve damage) but if not, at least my back will be better. I was wheeled to our hotel room after recovery.

    I heard story after story from people who had their surgeries there the day or two before mine, and they were telling me that their pain was gone, and they noticed it upon their first step after surgery. It is completely amazing!

    Unless 100% necessary, I believe traditional, open-back surgery is barbaric and inhumane in today's times. I can't believe that doctors still perform it when laser could be used instead. I know someone who had traditional, open-back surgery and couldn't walk for a couple of weeks. He couldn't work for three months, and he couldn't do Taekwondo (instructor) for six months. He has a six inch incision/scar. The surgery worked for him though, but he went through hell with the pain and having to lay on his stitches.

    I walked from out hotel next door to LSI and had my final appointment, checkout, on Friday.

    We returned home on Saturday, June 31.

    We had a great experience at the Laser Spine Institute in Florida. From day one, the service was top-notch. They moved us along at each of my appointments without a long wait. Each of the medical personnel were attentive to my story and my needs. I had a great surgeon too! They even had a cafe and invited us for breakfast and lunch each day we were there, whether I had appointments during that time period or not. I can't recommend them enough! If you know someone who needs back surgery, please consider Laser Spine Institute. They have five facilities throughout the United States.

    P.S. I decided to have the carpal tunnel release/decompression surgeries later... And I did manage to attend Georgia's IBRD too!

    MyLaserBackSurgeryIncisions.jpg

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    Get better soon TJ!
    Great to hear that a minimally invasive procedure was the appropriate surgery for our minimalist!

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  10. paulbeales Administrator
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    Gotta love medical science and clever doctors! Get well soon TJ!

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  11. Ronnie B Barefooters

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    Wish you all the best for a speedy and lasting recovery.
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  12. Sid Barefooters

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    Best wishes for a quick recovery!
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  13. DNEchris Chapter Presidents
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    That all sounds pretty amazing.

    Now let's hope it continues to do the trick!

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  14. El Yuca Descalzo Barefooters
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    Hope you get well soon!
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  15. NickW Guest

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    Hope this really works for you TJ.
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  16. bfsailor Barefooters

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    Best wishes TJ!

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  17. Ahcuah Barefooters

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    Sounds good! Glad it appears to have worked, but keep us up to date. I'm afraid that I might have to consider it in the future (and as you say, regular back surgery is barbaric, and is why I keep put off doing anything about my back problems).
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  18. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Now you don't have to put it off anymore. Honestly.

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