Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vertebroplasty on my spine

I've been on pain pills and muscle relaxers for about 6 weeks for a compression fracture on one of my vertebrae. I'm not sure how the doctor explained it to me. I'm not smart about medical stuff. My brain interpreted the doctor's words as "put a needle in the spine and shoot in some glue". That is probably an over-simplified version but you get the idea.

So the surgery was Thursday. I imagined that it would be simple; stick a needle in my spine and squirt in some glue. Easy peasy. Not quite. I found out that they normally put you under for this type of surgery. But because of my emphysema and apnea, the doctor did not want to take that risk. They gave me a local so I was awake for the whole thing.

Well, it seems that you can’t just push a needle into a vertebrae, the bone is toohard. Really? Now I think that I would remember if the doctor had said anything about a hammer. So he had to use a hammer and chisel to make a hole for the needle to get into the vertebrae. I was on my stomach with my arms extended over my head so they could get an IV in one arm and a blood pressure cuff on the other arm. I never lay on my stomach, it is too hard to breathe. So I kept my eye on the prize and focused on my breathing.

I just felt pressure on my back, no pain. But that hammering noise really surprised me. There was a large x-ray machine in the operating room. It was like a 7 foot tall “C”. The doctor pounded the chisel for a while and then he
took an xray to see where the chisel was. He took 3 or 4 xrays until the chisel was where he wanted it. It was just under 100 taps on that chisel. He told me when he was putting the glue in. Oh, yeah. I'm almost done.

So far no real pain. Then two nurses came up to my head where my arms were extended and they held my hands as the surgeon pulled the needle out. OMG that was horrible pain.

It has now been 3 days and I can feel the difference. I have pain from the hammer pounding my spine but it is more of an ache that the piercing pain that I had with the fractured vertebrae. I am down to one pain pill and one muscle relaxer a day. I am still sleeping in the recliner, though. I am hoping to be able to sleep in my bed by Tuesday and start quilting again by Thursday.

I entered a Mexican Star quilt into the Machine Quilter's showcase (MQS) in Overland Park, Kansas. Entries were due March 19th. By then, the Mexican Star was pieced and waiting for me to quilt. I am still keeping my eye on the prize. The prize is to finish quilting it in time to send it off to Kansas. A ribbon would just be gravy.

No comments:

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

My photo
Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

Blog Archive

Followers of my blog

Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks