Back To Square One

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 102019

In a blog post a couple of days ago I said that we were planning a trip up to Ohio to do some research on the family saga series I want to write. At the same time, I said my back was acting up again, so the timing of the trip depended on that. As it turns out, we are still at home.

The pain was back on Thursday and growing in intensity, and by Friday morning I could hardly function, even taking oxycodone and wearing my back brace. And I’m back to using a cane to get around. So basically, I’m back to square one, where I was eighteen months ago. This is really getting old.

In the past I’ve been told I’m not a candidate for back surgery, but that’s because basically all the VA ever wants to do is fuse something, which would not help me. But Dr. Kent tells me there are some new techniques that are proving to be successful in cases like mine. When I talked to him yesterday he was trying to get me set up for another MRI of my lower back as well as a consult with a neurosurgeon who specializes in things like this. He said the neurosurgeon is not one who wants to operate just for the sake of performing surgery and will only do so if he believes he can help the patient. We are in a holding pattern right now, waiting to see what happens.

The good news is that the MRI I had of my brain last week doesn’t show any sign of a stroke or TMI. One less thing to worry about.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on writing to take my mind off of everything else. But the drugs leave me in a fog that I don’t like, and I told Miss Terry that I have no idea what will come out the other end when it’s time to proof what I’m doing.

In other news, I received an email yesterday from a longtime blog reader who just hung up the keys after fourteen years of fulltiming. He said it was a choice that they did not want to make, but that family health issues required it so they could care for his elderly in-laws. He asked me how long it takes to get used to using a regular toilet and not trying to flush with his foot after he goes to the bathroom. I replied that we’ve been off the road almost three years now, and I still find myself doing that now and then. Old habits die hard, I guess.

And in closing, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I’m not sure what the message is here. Are the lap dances gluten-free? Or are gluten-free couples welcome? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thought For The Day – Facebook is a lot like jail; you sit around and waste time, have a profile picture, write on walls, and get poked by guys you don’t really know.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Back To Square One”

  1. Nick, I would sell my Mustang and check into stem cells before I would think surgery. I have been watching a documentary series called pain revealed. Just a suggestion. I wish you well.

  2. When we get back to our cottage after several months on the road where we put toilet paper in a basket instead of the toilet and we have been in countries where people never put it in the toilet, it always takes me a long time to remember to put it in our toilet. I often start to put it in the waste basket and then remember the toilet.

  3. here is a link to the documentary. I hope it works.
    there is what looks like to me a good doc. in Sarasota, FL

  4. Took me a few months to remember that I did not need to flush with my foot. Now, after Mr Wonderful opted to install a kitchen faucet with electric sensor, hands-free operation, I find myself waving my hands widly at spigots everywhere … expecting the water to magically begin flowing. It’s embarrassing.

    The back pain merry-go-round is frustrating and depressing. After several nerve ablation procedures, which actually gave 18 to 24 mos of relief, our newest Dr at the VA has advised us that she would not recommend those procedures any longer. There are certainly Drs who will happily perform them, but they are the “block jockeys” who are less than conservative in their approach. So … we rely on the blessing of cannnabis for pain relief. The opiates are just dreadful. They cause nausea, persistent mind fog, depression and just do not help with the pain, and the body builds a tolerance that demands more and more for the same level of relief.

    I wish you relief and success in finding skilled healers.

  5. When I was diagnosed with my back problem at age 20, my doctor also advised no surgery because it was hard to predict outcomes. Fast forward 46 years and my back problems had escalated to twice the problems. Instead of the initial problem, I now had two areas that were affected. Walking had become difficult and the pain was constant. At the same time, my father had back issues as well, could have been similar to mine, but they would not do anything for him except pain control. He died a broken man, on pain killers, could barely move, constantly out of it and no love of life as he had had earlier. I decided I was not going to live/die like that. I found a doctor a friend and her family had gone to for multiple back congenital surgeries. I went for a consult and was impressed with his assessment of my situation. We returned early from Texas the next year and I had surgery in March, so I could get my multiple checkups out of the way before we left Indiana again. I am two years post op, have absolutely no pain. I have 6 screws, two rods, two cages and 3 bad discs removed and replaced and fused. I can still bend and touch my toes and tie my shoes. We have been emptying the last rental here in Goshen and I make about 20-30 trips up/down the basements steps DAILY carrying boxes, trash bags, furniture, exercise equipment, etc., and have not had the first pain. So surgery can work. I am proof of that. You must find a good neurosurgeon who specializes in backs/nerves, etc. Check reviews, references, etc. When I came out of surgery, he told Terry he was able to remove ALL my nerve impingements. No guessing. . . he said he was able to do it and he did. Back issues do not go away or improve. It will all be about pain control, constantly adding/removing more pills, etc., as they quit working for you.

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