Thursday, October 30, 2008


I posted before about this spot on my right calf, that feels like there is warm oil on it.

I've had some very bad Charlie Horses in this calf lately.

I'm remembering right after I broke my neck. I was lying in the hospital and was a mental mess, but I was sure the back of my head was bleeding. I felt warm fluid, like blood, in the occipital area. I begged the neurosurgeon to check back there, though he kept insisting it wasn't bleeding. Finally, he put a finger back there and it hurt so incredibly bad that I roughly pushed him away.

I also think back to that time and how badly the back of my head felt, that I spent a lot of time, when I was awake, thinking of how badly it felt when the EMTs put me onto that hard backboard. Bumping over dirt roads to leave the ranch and stopping at traffic and stop signs, I was delirious with pain, begging the EMT who was riding with me and watching over me to pray with me (he wouldn't).

I recall now that, in those days hazy with pain, I thought I had the most ingenious and revolutionary idea that, when I got all better, I would develop and it would help so many. A simple gel pad for the head to rest on while strapped onto the back board. I remember telling the neurosurgeon about this, tho he didn't seem so impressed. I suppose, now that I can think more clearly, that this is something most likely used often, just not in my case.

Anyway, I did get off track, as I was writing about my right calf. So, for a few days, I've had intermittent feelings of hot oil on the outside of the leg. Today, it has increased to feeling like that all the time. And tonight, the whole leg is hurting, the foot is throbbing and gets occasional shots of pain, and the calf feels like it's on the verge of a Charlie Horse all the time. I wonder if tonight, or early in the morning, I will get hit hard with that spasm that takes my breath away.

In reading the AME reports, the neurologist stated that, upon examination, I drag my right foot and have "mild spasicity." He was so right, it seems. Though the mild part might be in the past.

It's odd to have something so new come up now. It's not the worst thing anyone has ever experienced. It's nothing compared to the incredible headaches that my peers suffer. But it's new, it's worsening, and when you have what I do, you can't help but wonder if you might lose the use of the leg someday.

But these days, I face all of these things with a positive attitude. I know they are all pushing me willingly to the fusion. Something I dreaded has become a welcome goal. Now, I just pray Dr. B will proceed with my surgery in light of whatever my next bone scan results are. Dr. B, in his report after my follow up last May, wrote: "Patient is aware of possibility of CCF (craniocervical fusion) to be intraop aborted in case of normal DEXA scan but severe osteoporosis at C spine site."

I can't imagine going into surgery, and then waking up to find that no fusion took place, that my bones were not good enough to hold the screws that hold the hardware in place, that I will have to live like this and progressively get worse.

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