When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

16 January 2006

Update: Mom's doing fine.

Wow, what a long day (and it's not over yet.)

I am pleased to report that Mom underwent apparently successful back surgery this morning (an L4-L5 microlaminectomy and disk decompression, for those of you with medical training out there.) Her neurosurgeon reports that the pressure is now completely off of the affected nerves, and that he accomplished everything he wanted to during the procedure.

The surgery did not go *quite* as uneventfully as planned, however; her stenosis (arthritis in the spine) was much more pronounced and severe than it appeared on the x-rays and the MRI, and so once the doctor saw what was going on, he had to do a bit more repair work than he had originally planned.

Also, and more worrying, her blood pressure shot up rather alarmingly while she was in the Recovery Room, and so as a precaution she is being kept in the Intensive Care Unit for overnight observation; she should be moving to a regular hospital room in the morning.

We were able to visit with Mom briefly late this afternoon, when they finally got her to her bed in the ICU. She was awake, alert, lucid, was in fact joking around with us, and was (naturally) concerned that we were worrying too much about her!

The medicine she is receiving through her IV lines has brought her blood pressure back down to a safe level, and we both anticipate and hope for a continued, uncomplicated recovery.

Here's what the rest of Mom's week looks like right now:

Tuesday: Transfer to a regular hospital room , where she can receive phone calls and visitors (she can receive neither in the ICU - also, no cards or flowers.)

Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly part of Thursday: Mom lies flat on her back in bed to help the "repairs" heal up.

Thursday-Friday: Work on getting Mom up and out of bed and moving around a little.

Late Friday or early next Monday, depending on progress: Mom is discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation center for three to four weeks of fairly intense and unpleasant but necessary physical therapy.

Thanks to all for your expressions of concern and support. Despite the scare she threw into us this afternoon, it looks like she's doing fine.

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