Monday, September 10, 2007

My donuts got no jelly!

So I finally, a full 10 months after my inital injury, got a concrete diagnosis on what went wrong with my back.

For those of you who don't know the story, I shall summerize briefly:

November 06: injured my back while rowing in Fours Head in London. Was in agonizing pain. Completed the race (and beat the quad!!!) but had to be carried to an ambulace after we crossed the finish line. Was flat on my back on heavy pain meds for 3 days.

Received unnofficial diagnosis of ruptured disk from Dr. D'Artagnon who came galloping to my rescue (with aforementioned heavy pain meds). Couldn't get the student health service to even acknowledge I had a problem, let alone do anything about it.

Quit rowing to recover, suffered chronic back pain of varying intensity for months. By easter was flat out again.

Became depressed from pain and lack of rowing, went on happy pills.

Bounced from therapist to therapist hoping to find someone who could help.

April 2007: finally got an NHS referral to a back specialist.

May: Saw back specialist, who ordered an x-ray which showed nothing wrong with my vertebrae. Specialist then ordered an MRI to examine the soft tissue.

July: MRI scan was conducted.

10 September: results of MRI are finally revealed to me.


yes, you read that right. They did the MRI in July and wouldn't tell me what it showed until SEPTEMBER. This is the National Health (lack of) Service.

So what did it show???


I have a degenerate disk (L4/5).

Your disks are like jelly donuts. When I ruptured my disk i sqirted all the jelly out, but it doesn't regrow. So now I have a shrivelled, permanently dehydrated disk in my lumbar spine.

The good news is:
  • it's as healed as it's ever going to get, so
  • I can return immediately to rowing, and
  • the little whinges of pain i get are nothing serious and can be ignored, because
  • my back, core, and ab muscles are doing a great job of holding my spine up and keeping the dried disk from collapsing, and
  • I might go conceivably go the rest of my life without the problem ever becoming worse.

The bad news is:
  • At some point, tomorrow or never, the disk my begin to collapse because it doesn't have the internal pressure of the fluid.
  • This will hurt
  • And will probably require spinal fusion surgery to correct, which sucks.

That said, Tim Foster had spinal fusion surgery TWICE and still managed to win an olympic gold medal, so there ya go. Not the end of the world.


Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with an ergometer that needs to be taught a lesson.

13 comments:

First Nations said...

you SCHOOL those ergs! LARN'em! damn! get in there and PITCH baby! throw that oar! back! now out! yeah, baby!

i feel fitter by osmosis!

my brother in law had fusion surgery too. he's not an olympic anything, unless eating sub sandwiches is an event, but he's still upright and mobile.

Rimshot said...

oooh, fitter by osmosis! I want in. If I sponsor a few 1000 strokes of the oar, can I get fitter with you doing the work?

I've never been a fan of fusion, Al DiMeola does nothing for me.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

FN: really? wow. i thought it was this rare amazing thing, but the minute you mention spinal fusion surgery all these people pop out of the woodwork who've had it done.

a doctor once told me about a patient of his who'd just had the surgery, and while she was supposed to be flat on her back in bed, he walked in on her, 8-hours post surgery, on her hands and knees in her hospital bed giving her boyfriend a blowjob! (and thereby instantly un-doing all the benefits of the surgery by bending at the waist.)

rimshot: feel free to sponsor me all you like. 4,500 pounds for a single racing scull, blades, and insurance would be ideal, but i'll settle for new pair of spandex leggings. i'll even write your name on my ass, as advertisement. deal?

Rimshot said...

Does it have to be a human scull? I might still have a few monkey, cat and the odd hippogriff scull [sic] lying around.

While I'm sure your posterior would look lovely with my or anybody's name on it, I wouldn't dream of it in deference to the noble Pirate.

I'm hoping for the "good" list (e.g. going the rest of your life without incident re: spine). The word spinal and anthing other than tap (and then only in the mock rock band sense) is creepy scary to me.

Dave said...

Were you planning to have your sponsor's name tattoed (sp?) there, or just written in felt tip pen? If the latter, does the sponsor get to do the writing? This may be a great way to raise money, albeit that the Pirate may not enjoy seeing the list of names.

ziggi said...

right I'm imagining rowing and I am definitely feeling the benefit - this osmosis is marvellous apparently imagining doing music practice makes you improve so I hope you spent those months lying prostrate practising something useful!

just off to imagine smoking something illegal


WOW

I, like the view said...

hi CB

I wonder if you have any suggestions for dave's upcoming birthday?

if so, please leave them at the special blog to be found on my profile page (there's an open post to comment on at the bottom and then I'll try and create something around your suggestion)

cheers!!

ILTV

Chaucer's Bitch said...

rimshot: Hudson or Empacher, please and thank you.

Dave: i was plannin on using fabric paint to put rimshot's name on the leggings, but you're idea of charging people to write in felt-tip on my bum is intriguing. let's do a feasibility study: all those who would pay me for the priveledge of writing your name on my amazing ass, raise your hand!

ziggi: now imagine yourself doing 100 crunches on a pilates ball with me. ready, go!
wasn't that fun?

iltv: how about a CB's-ass signing party?
you do realize that Dave will read your comment, don't you?

Dave said...

Yes, she hasn't really thought through this surprise party thing, has she?

Da Nator said...

Yay for rowing again!

BTW, I've had the surgery, a friend just had it, and my brother just had his second surgery for his third spinal fusion. And we all lived!!!

I, like the view said...

it's all part of my cunning plan

he thinks I'm doing a surprise birthday blog. .

but really I'm -

oh, better not write that, eh, or else he'll cotton on!

;-)

(thanks for the idea - pop in say hello when you have a mo if you fancy!)

Anonymous said...

Ha ! D'Artagnan is NEVER wrong .xxxx

llewtrah said...

Dad had spinal fusion surgery in his 50s and he did fine, just a little lost flexibility.

I damaged my back using poorly designed hospital equipment. I can thoroughly recommend using a TENS machine.