My intention has been to provide ongoing information and anlysis of the World’s Columbian Exposition continually and I fell dramatically short over the last several months. No doubt those of you who are regular visitors to this blog noticed the Grand Canyon of gaps in editorial. The reason: I injured my back twenty years ago (yup, playing soccer in my late forties) and after a variety of unsuccessful and mildly helpful treatments, as they say, “I submitted to the knife.” But fortunately surgical technology has evolved dramatically, so that “knife” is hardly what it used to be. I had a fusion–without hardware!–over a three-disc area in my lower spine.
Rather than a hefty knife, the surgery was accomplished with two half-inch incisions and aided by microscopes rather than large blades. The fusion, as opposed to the typically envisioned rods, screws and or plates, this one was quite natural: The fusion was accomplished by inserting cadaver bone between the vertebra.
So after this monumental (to me at least) event I had a more debilitating problem, a neurological issue that lasted some five months and only now is 90% resolved. I was sent to the excellent Parkinson’s research facility here which frankly scared the hell out of me. I was told the best neurological docs worked there on many issues other than Parkinson’s, so my fears were quickly abated. The doctor’s first comment was “you don’t have Parkinson’s” which despite her rather cool approach thrilled me quite obviously.
She and my regular physician believed my tremors, shakes, jerks and other issues were caused by medication, but they were somewhat guessing as to which one or which combination thereof. So I spent far longer than I’d like taking this medication and eliminating that one, and combining these, and changing the does on that and still having difficulty typing, drinking and so on. Can you picture someone at the keyboard attempting to use the mouse and suddenly having it fly across the desk? Or attempting to drink a glass of water and tossing the glass across the counter. And not being able to text accurately even slowing using only my index finger. It’s been an adventure.
Now, with this journey from last spring to the first of December seems as if it is coming to a close. The tremors are virtually gone, although the speed and accuracy of my typing has only partially returned. And my back? I actually experienced a few days pain-free, but driven by the neurologcal problem I had the misfortune of falling a couple times which has caused a return of some level of back pain. I’d especially like to thank the Seattle Mariners fan whowaved his arm wildly at the end of a game and sent me backwards landing on the concrete steps on my back. Not what one should do shorly after surgery. Next stop–a visit with the surgeon in January.
All this adds up to what seems like a silly excuse (to me) for my absence here for many months. It’s all been more difficult to get my head around the situation than to evaluate the purely physical problems. I’ll do my best to get back on a schedule of sharing Columbian information quite soon! Thanks for your patience and please do read the other posts I’m sharing this week! –Norm Bolotin