Sunday, March 18, 2007

“Fill Me In!”

18 March 2007

Sorry for the very long hiatus. I received an email from a friend of mine that was titled “Fill Me In!” and that reminded me that I hadn’t written any updates on my situation back home in quite some time. So to make my job easier, I’m going to cut and paste parts of emails that I’ve sent out recently to others to catch you up or “fill you in.”

27 February 2007

Well, when I got this email last night, I was feeling pretty good. However, I just got the mail today and there is a bill for $7500 for a bicep reattachment that should have been taken care of by Workman's Comp! I'll get it straightened away. Left messages for the doc's office and for workman's comp too.

I finally got the alc test back about the blood sugar...negative/no pre-diabetes. Yes, it is a relief about the diabetes thing.

I was able to take a shower today and take off the bandage they had over the cut in my back where the herniated disk was removed. It is held together now with surgi-strips...they didn't even stitch it! So far, so good. No problems at all. A bit of soreness around the muscles that were cut to get to the disk, but that is healing well. My major fear has been overdoing things. I am not going to herniate this disk again! So naturally, I'm bored because I AM taking it easy like the doc told me to.

I've been a good boy and haven't done any weight lifting or extreme bending/stretching, blah, blah, blah. I start physical therapy for the bicep on Thursday and have my post op meeting with the back doc on Friday. So for the next 6-8 weeks, that will be my life. I guess that now I'm in a pattern of recovery.

The arm is causing me more pain right now, but I start phys therapy this week...finally. Still have pain in the wrist and at the back of the upper forearm. I'm sure these are the areas that the phys therapist will be working on to strengthen. I'm driving to the doc tomorrow for that and then on Friday to the post op for the back. I will be 7 days out tomorrow, so I'm good to go.

As you can see, things are finally feeling like they're going well and the time home has been going by fast. I felt so ancient last week and like I was falling apart and this week I am ready to go and conquer the world...slowly. Now I'm just bored. I catagorized and cataloged all my pogs, so now what should I do?

05 March 2007

Had my first meeting with the physical therapist last Thursday. I have my sched for the next four weeks of pt for the bicep. He commented that I'm doing well with my progress, mobility and range of motion so far. Still have some pain in the wrist and in the upper forearm, but as I do more of the stretching exercises for the elbow, arm and wrist, things seem to hurt less.

Most of the exercises are more isometric in nature and then I have to rub cream into the scar to help soften the scar tissue and to help make the scar less stiff. The scar under the forearm is barely noticable, but the one in the crotch of the arm is a bit ugly looking. Only time and my masochistic physical therapist rubbing and pinching the scar tissue between his thumbs will soften that one out.

Was supposed to have met with my back doc for the post-op on Friday, but we had another snowstorm here. Didn't have but an inch of snow, but with 40 mph winds blowing out here, there were periods of white-out conditions during the day on the toll way between Sycamore and Aurora. Phil called me twice from work to convince me to cancel and change the appointment, so I did.

I had my meeting with Dr. McGivney today and he was very pleased with the progress I'm making. He and Wayne his nurse reminded me to still not do any serious bending, lifting, stretching and nothing over 10 lbs because the scar tissue has not formed yet where they removed the disk material and it could still blow out again if I'm not careful.

I reminded my back doc that I still am on lifting restrictions from the bicep, so maybe that is my blessing in disguise if that is possible in this kind of situation. The doc did comment once more about how badly ruptured my disk was. He said that the way it ruptured and migrated down, it had also calcified and was pushing up against the sciatic nerve so closely that I shouldn't have been able to walk without pain. I told him that I like leather and just know how to take it like a man...just kidding! :)

Now that I've got a sched and phys therapy started, I feel like I have something to do during the week. Felt like a potted plant, sitting around here all day long! I need to run again! I miss sorting through things in my head on a good 4 or 6 miler.

11 March 2007

I'm actually hoping that my physical therapy for the back isn't going to be 8 weeks, but it is starting to look like it. That puts me out to mid May before I'm back in Baghdad. We will see. At least the bicep phys therapy is going well. Both the doc and the therapist are very happy with my flexibility and my range of motion, but still no strength training for the wrist, forearm and bicep till after April 3rd. The outer cut is healed, but the inner tendons and all aren’t healed enough to stand the stress of any strength building.

I'm "working" in the basement right now putting away Christmas ornaments so at least I've found something to keep me busy. Drop a line and let me know if the coffee at the Green Bean is still as bad as I remember it to be!

16 March 2007

I wasn't ignoring you, just lazy on answering email lately.

I'm sure you're looking forward to your cruise and vacation. The weather in Chicago is anything but lately. We had a day on Monday that broke the records of 74 and then right back down to 41! Not exactly a pleasure cruise.

Physical therapy is going well. The doc and the therapist say that my outer wound is healing good, but we still aren't able to start strength training on the forearm, wrist and bicep till the end of March/beginning of April. With the phys therapy on the back and arm ongoing, I'll be shocked if I get release for 01May. I am pushing for 15May at the latest. Believe me, my bank account wants me to be back there working too!

Not to worry though, I will keep you notified as soon as I have any word from them. Otherwise, I'm just healing here, and bored silly.
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