Monthly Archives: October 2013

Squished like a pancake

I had my surgical assessment last week. It was on my birthday, and I had to get up at 5am for the privilege so that I could get to Charing Cross Hospital for 8.30am while avoiding London’s rush hour and leaving myself enough time to rustle up a wheelchair once I was there. I also took so many painkillers because I was actually leaving the house that I was off my tits the whole time.

Thankfully I took my lovely friend Paul with me, so he reminded me what the surgeons said when I asked him afterwards, because I’ll be buggered if I can remember it all. (He’s also surprisingly good at rustling up wheelchairs for people who can’t walk. Now there’s a strange gift.)

Anyway, at one point – a point I do remember – we were sitting there and the surgeon showed me the MRI scan of my buggered disc. Well, actually he showed me the disc above it, which was all perfect and beautiful and skipping through fields of flowers with grace and dignity. This was so that I could contrast it with the disc below it, which (as Paul pointed out) looked as though someone had thrown Flubber on the floor and squished him flat with their boot.

Here’s a handy diagram to illustrate the difference. This is a cross-section of my spine, looking down on it from above:


At least this explains why I’ve been in so much pain. Flubber-disc has been strangling the life out of my poor sciatic nerve since February and, let’s face it, nothing likes to be strangled. (Apart from Gyp Rosetti in the last season of Boardwalk Empire… but let’s not go there.)

I’m now “on call” for surgery. It could be tomorrow, or it could be January: nobody knows. There are simply too many patients and not enough surgeons. But at least I’m serious enough that I’m near the top of the list, which is nice. Maybe I’ll be seen before Christmas. Who knows?

The good news is that for the last week I’ve been experiencing less pain than usual; hell, yesterday I only took 9 out of my usual 12 painkillers. Go me! It won’t last, though. That disc-bulge moves around, so at some point it’ll slide around again and hit my nerve from another angle and the pain will return big-time. Oh, and I still can’t walk, which is annoying.

In two days I will have been housebound for an entire month. It’s felt like four…

But hey, I can work from home (for the most part). I am immensely grateful for that. And my Frasier chair gets more comfortable every day. He’s a member of the family now!

I know that because I had to wipe chocolate off him yesterday.


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