About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prepping for Back Surgery

I had an MRI on Friday, July 25th in preparation for my upcoming surgery. I thought it was going to be just like having a CT Scan, but there were some differences - not all pleasant.

MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed. I needed to have one in order that the surgeon could fully understand what he'd be facing with regard to my spine (the bones, nerves, and spinal cord) when he opens me up.

Two things to remember if you ever have to have an MRI. First, you must not have anything metallic on you. You even have to remove hearing aids and dentures because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit and ruin them. Also, if you have any problem with claustrophobia, be sure to let them know as you might need a sedative. I don't have any problem with being in close spaces, but after having the MRI, I understand why some people actually freak out when having it done. I was given a "panic button" in case I felt the need to get out of there, but thankfully was able to manage the entire time without freaking out. However, about 3/4 of the way along, my heart did start to pound pretty fast and I had to concentrate on images in my head. I had to keep my eyes closed the entire time because the top of the tube was only about 4 inches from my face - and I was not able to move. Every once in a while, the technician would ask if I was all right, and I told him to just get it done as it would be a relief to get out!
So today I saw my surgeon, Dr. Yummy for those of you who recall my post on that appointment. Apparently, I need a triple fusion at L3, L4, and L5. What can I say? Let's get it done and over with! One question I did ask him was if I could play tennis again when I was all better. And he said, "Yes." YAY!!! Of all the sports that I've done in the past, that is the one that I really miss. Not that I was that good, but I could beat my husband one set out of three!

Monday morning I go to get fitted for my brace that I'll have to wear whenever I'm in an upright or standing position for heaven only knows how long. I guess I'll find out. Thankfully, it's covered in my extended benefit health plan - it costs over $300!!! Yikes!!! Thank God for MasterCard. Once I pay for it, I'll send in the paperwork to get the money back and pay it off. I found this photo of a lumbar back brace online and I assume it'll be something like this. I understand that it has a rigid back with a corset type sides and front that I cinch up from the front. I even got instructions on how to put it on all by myself. Yeah, right. Maybe I'll get some pornographic photos done of myself wearing the thing! Hah!

I'm on the cancellation list for the surgery and Dr. Yummy told me that he prioritizes his back patients and they get in pretty fast. However, the operating rooms are only working at 50% capacity because of the summer holidays. But who knows? Maybe it'll be over and done with before the end of August - I sure hope so. Fingers crossed. Toes, too.

I know I have to go through a horrid experience and suffer a lot of pain, but in the long run it's the right thing - and the only thing - to do so that I can get back on my feet and moving again. During those terrible moments, please remember to say to me, "Tennis dahling! Tennis!" And I'll go off in a morphine coma imagining myself leaping gracefully around the court in my cute little white skirt making fabulous shots with Dr. Yummy!


jmb said...

Good luck with your back surgery Leslie, I am sure it will be worth it in the long run, although very unpleasant in the short one.

I always say if I have to have an MRI they will have to anaesthetize me! I used to have lunch sometimes with a MRI technician at my hospital and asked her if they had to stop the test and she said occasionally but it was a pain as the patient had to come back again and take up another slot.

Best wishes and I hope your tennis dream will come true, different partner of course.

photowannabe said...

Whew...I will definitely be thinking of you and pray for a speedy recovery.
May all your wishes come true.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

hello Leslie,
I did not know about your upcoming back-surgery but now I do, how good that you are able to blog and tel us/me about it, don't you worrie my dear ( You would say " why not, I am worrying1'?) I just mean to say, that doctors now-a-days are SO clever and so advanced!!! Please stay relaxed and trust on the experience (or the lord when you believe)I wish you all all all the BEST and all my love and strenght you need!! I think about you my deAr!! ( just had a surgery myself so I know where I am talking about!)

Take care and toi tot toi or " wAanna tennis ?" That what you said..... Take care and HUG!

JoAnn from Holland
( now in FRANCE)

Jo said...

Leslie, the time will pass very quickly, and you'll be back on your feet (and playing tennis) very soon!

That's quite the sexy back brace. Do they sell those at Victoria's Secret? :-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Good Luck Leslie...lets hope you get it over and done with as soon as possible..it will be worth it in the long run.

I for one would need a sedative...I cannot bear to be in confined spaces...

Take Care, you are in my prayers.

Country Girl said...

Thanks, Leslie, for sharing this with us. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I just want you to be pain-free and happy. Well, happier. You always seem pretty happy!

RiverPoet said...

I'll remember you in my prayers, Leslie. I hope that you will have some help while you're recovering.

Peace - D

kissa said...

Hi Leslie.
It is the right thing to do and well worth it in the long run. I have a titanium rod in my upper left arm so an MRI scan would be out of the question. Morphine is the best painkiller demand as much as you can it really does work well. Will be thinking of you when time for the op. comes.

Daryl said...

There is OPEN MRI technology here in the States and I am sure its in Canada as well ... not all facilities have it ...I had an MRI of my neck/shoulder a few years ago and I found the ICY cold of the room more of a problem then the closed-in feeling or the noise of the machine .. in fact they did 4 'scan shots' .. each was a different length of time and by the end I was falling asleep .. the clanging became soothingly rhythmic .. and I am an odd duck...

Hope this all happens sooner than later and you make a swift recovery ..


Ruth W. said...

Leslie, I also will be thinking and praying for you for a very successful recovery. I also love the game of tennis, but have not been able to play it because of bad knees. I had played both doubles and singles in high school and college and loved the competition. I have to admit I was pretty good, was first seated in both.

I do so miss it...hope you will be able to get out on that court and show them "your back".

Louis la Vache said...

Great news that you'll once again be able to ask "10 S in E 1?

sally in norfolk said...

Thinking of you and hoping all goes well..... sure you will be playing tennis again before you know it :-)

leslie said...

Hey Louis! A great personal license plate for my car:

10S NE1

Thx for the idea! ;D

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Rooting for you, Leslie. I admire the way you can find humour in the situation. I'd have to have the sedative! Love from Sicily xx

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