We headed out on Monday evening for Barrie and spent the night. It was as it turns out a good choice. I was squirmy and wanted to stop by then.
The next morning we left early and even through the traffic was heavy with the Pan Am games in town, we made it there in time.
I had gone to X-ray, had an X-ray of my back, now it was time for the appointment. Sitting in the waiting room I had no idea of what was about to hit me.
I was called in to first speak with of the Fellowes, which is always the case. He went over my CT scan from the day after my surgery, then pulled up the new X-ray. Barry and I both looked at it. I pointed to the cage containing the materials for bone grafting which had been inserted during the surgery, and asked if it should look like that. I got a vague answer.
A neuropathic physical was completed which, of course, showed my deficiency. No surprise to me, I've been living with it. My right foot is numb, it hurts and swells. My right leg is very weak compared to the left.
The Fellow said "We had hoped you would have been better by now." My sentiments exactly!
He left to get Dr. Fehlings. After saying hello, shaking Barry's hand and hugging me, he cut right to the chase. He said there is a problem.
Right then and there, it felt like the air was sucked out of the room. I felt as though I might be sick. I looked at Barry, he was pale. We were not ready for this. Nowhere near. What we were about to hear wasn't even on our radar.
I had an L4-S1 fusion. During which, a spacer was placed in between L4 and L5 vertebra that is a metal cage, containing bone for bone graphing. When I looked at the X-ray I could see that cage. It looked crooked to me. Of course I am not a doctor, and cannot read X-rays but it didn't look right. My suspicion was correct, it isn't.
That cage is supposed to stay within the confines of those vertebrae, then bone grows as the vertebrae fuse together. However in my case, the cage has shifted by 40% since the surgery when the CT scan and the X-ray were compared. This can cause a multitude of problems.
It has to come out.
What that means for me, us, is another surgery, another recovery, another week in the hospital and a possibility of a rehab hospital. The wind was taken from both of us. We sat in shock, as did Dr Fehlings. It is rare for a spacer to shift and something that has never happened to any of his patients before. He apologized several times within the course of our conversation. It's not that it is his fault; it happened because the vertebrae is just too weak. He said it looks similar to one case he worked on last week, except she was in her eighties.
The surgery will happen soon, soon in hospital terms which could mean weeks. I am not feeling recovered enough to go through all of that again. I'm still feeling raw from the intensity of that whole experience and now I have to summon the courage to do it again. I'm not sure how to do that.
I know for sure when I looked around that room yesterday at Dr Fehlings and Barry and their concerned, disappointed faces that I have the best two men at my side. I couldn't ask for better. However, how much can one husband take before caregiver burnout happens?
Stay with me on this convoluted journey, I have appreciate the support along the way.