So I’m headed toward back surgery, scheduled for October 29. I’ll be out of commission for two to four weeks after that.
Three years ago, I had the same surgery — an L5-S1 fusion — and it has failed. My lowest vertebra is essentially sitting on top of my sacrum (tail bone) and out of alignment (a spondylolisthesis) by 16 or so millimeters.
This results in the nerves branching from my spinal cord having no place to exit the vertebra. It hurts quite a lot — and is causing hard muscle spasms that pinch my sciatic nerve.
(The pictured X-ray is what it would look like had it been done properly. I couldn’t find a picture of a failed surgery quite like mine. Imagine the bottom vertebra slid forward and nothing between it and the tail bone.)
I’ve done this all before, and so I know what the recovery will be like (not fun, but endurable). Oh, and except this time the surgeon will have to place screws in the L4 vertebra to hold everything in place.
For now, the biggest issue is that attending church is just too painful. Too much standing and walking. Yesterday proved to be pretty brutal on my back and spasming muscles. I may make Sunday school class some of the time (I can sit the whole 45 minutes). But class plus worship is unbearable. And I really like church.
So … it’s time to count my many blessings. (I always thought the tune was kind of corny, but I’m a big fan of the message. And I really like this a cappella arrangement.)
Report on children
So I’m the father of four sons. And I have nothing but good news. (I’m counting my many blessings.)
Chris has had a treatment for a possible TV show accepted. He’s working on a script for the pilot. It’s a long shot, but a great opportunity. (Can’t tell you what his idea is yet.)
Jonathan has moved from Ernst & Young in Boston to Tuscaloosa to join my law firm as a tax lawyer. Even better, he’s brought my only grandchild, Daniel, with him. Erin, his wife and my daughter-in-law, is pregnant with our first granddaughter — and this will be the first baby girl descended from Denise and me. (We’re very excited.)
Tyler is at Texas A&M working on his doctorate in chemical engineering. He’s been there a year and already has a patentable invention and will soon be published in a major journal. (I can’t tell you what he invented yet, but you’d be very impressed.) And his wife, Tara, has a great job as a graphics designer for the University.
(And if I can just manage the trip, I have tickets to the UA vs. Texas A&M football revenge match, and Tyler and Tara have a place for Denise and me to stay. Very exciting and very frustrating to have to deal with back issues during football season. But not many have tickets, and some who do have no place to stay.)
Philip is about to go to work as a game programmer for Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego. He’s always wanted to be a game programmer, and so this is a great opportunity for him. He’ll be working on something called an “MMORPG” called “Everquest Next.” (I don’t understand any of this, actually. But it sounds really cool.)