Living the Stressful Lifestyle Pre-operatively.

I just posted about my mortgage approval stress.  I really seem to want to live the stressful lifestyle. So here’s my new pre-operative stress.

As a Christian, I am to count it all Joy.

As a human, this is starting to feel difficult.  I am tired. I am in pain. I am unsure of what is about to happen to me. It really could be worse. As I saw this week already it did get worse.

Life is rarely fair.  We all face trials and tribulations in life.  Some of them look horrific on the outside and others don’t look so difficult.  For the person going through them, if it causes a feeling of anguish, it really doesn’t matter that someone else “has it worse”.


This is a possibility or not.  I am comforted by the fact that this misery in life is not experienced only by me.

On Thursday I had my Pre-op visit where I discovered I had a Pars Defect.  I left the visit miserable, and the surgery scheduler stated that the actual surgeon would call me, because I felt like something was wrong with what the PA had told me.

Note here: always always be your own advocate. If I had accepted the PA’s glib explanations and not spoken to the surgeon…I may have ended up with the wrong surgery. 

After a few angry phone calls to the office, the surgeon did finally manage to call me back around 4:20 in the afternoon. I know he wasn’t in the office and probably wasn’t at home because he did not have my films handy.

I explained to him firstly that I was having a lot of trouble with the PA.  He did apologize for the PA and agreed that he had been over the top inappropriate with someone terrified. The joke, “I gotta go read up on your surgery cause it’s the first time I’m doing it”  is so stale and stupid that it isn’t funny when one is feeling cheery, and when one is feeling terrified, it is just rude. I appreciated his open apology and I would hope the PA has one prepared. I expressed my desire to never see the man again, but I know they will try to have him manage my follow up. Luckily I’m an old Emergency Department nurse, so slightly more aggressive than many and I am sure after one attempt that will be scrapped. I understand the attempt at humor, I just didn’t appreciate it.

The Surgeon then admitted he had not seen my plain films and had not been informed that I was experiencing new symptoms. I fell in “Surgeon Love” at this point.  I was super happy that he flat out said he was unaware and had not seen the latest studies.   He then stated what I suspected…. “Your left sided pain may be more related to the Pars defect.”  (to be honest I just was concerned that I needed a bilateral laminectomy rather than a R laminectomy, not that the Pars had anything to do with it.)  He then went on to say that if that was the case, he wasn’t sure the surgery that is planned was the correct one. WHOA Nelly!!!!


When I asked the PA, I got, “All you have to do is show up on Monday.”

He was even more honest by telling me that if he felt I needed a fusion, he didn’t particularly want to do that on Monday because he felt unsure if I understood what was involved with a fusion.  At this point he chose his words very carefully describing with a fusion my back would be more stiff, I would have a longer recovery time, and that “some activities would be more limited”

If I need a fusion, I have finally just decided to have it done. This man is a professional and so far he has been honest and appropriate. I’ve read about the procedure and I could likely do some running again.  I am also tired of fighting the fight with pain, and frustration.  I mentioned that a fusion would make for a very difficult recovery, and he kindly said…. “You are going to have a hard recovery no matter which surgery you end up with, this is not easy stuff” So appreciated this…everyone else has been trying to sugar coat this whole thing…but really I am having major surgery…I got a clue when I got Typed and crossed for 2 units of blood. (Which surprised the heck out of me.).

In the end, he stated he wants to review all my films again, which he is doing today and then he stated he would call me after his first case. on a SATURDAY. He is doing some emergent cases so he said he would be over at the hospital.

That’s the mark of a professional, and actually above and beyond. He could have just cancelled the procedure, and told me to come to the office on Monday.

So here I sit.  My fate in the hands of a neurosurgeon, who I do trust. I feel reassured at least that I have a really good person getting ready to work on me.

I really really hope we can do the procedure because I am exhausted from living this way.

images-9I am so tired now, I really just want him to fix me in whatever way he thinks will work.


Hopefully the phone call will come soon, in an hour or two.

Otherwise, I am madly washing dishes and clothes, and feeling entirely overwhelmed by what’s going to happen to me.

I used to think I was lucky with the surgeon, but then I realized no. I am not lucky.  I chose him. I researched and visited several…I’m not lucky..I’m thoughtful.


4 thoughts on “Living the Stressful Lifestyle Pre-operatively.

  1. So commenting on my own post. My Surgeon did call and I did get kinda good news. No need to fuse my back on Monday.
    TO make things even stranger, my friend who is taking me had a car breakdown today! Luckily I have convinced her she can drive my car.

  2. Fingers crossed on the success of your surgery! Your story is frightening in that most of us don’t have the expertise or knowledge to correct a mistake made by a doctor. I had one friend who almost had surgery done on the wrong hip when she went in to replace the joint: she caught it when she noticed the nurse was prepping the wrong side and fortunately wasn’t so sedated she couldn’t yell out.

    Will be thinking of you when you go in on Monday.

    • I myself was bit frightened. I think also I know the level of education for a Physican’s Assistant isn’t as high as people think it is. I have a lot of respect for Nurse Practitioners, as they were all Registered Nurses prior to becoming NP. To become a PA, you can just go to PA school, and I’ve met some PA’s who just weren’t that bright. My Surgeon’s PA is actually pretty good, despite his not the best social skills. It is very easy for an error to be made. I was so glad that the surgeon was willing to discuss with me my situation over the weekend. I feel like I understand much better, and probably the best part of that was when he said, that before he was OK with me trying to heal the disc, and now he is not ok with that, the disc is getting a lot worse and he feels it must be removed. Onwards Monday!

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