Well.... It's done. Overall the surgery went smoothly, the tumor is out, and they were able to reattach the bone and sew my ass up. That's great. However you get a totally different perspective of healthcare from being the patient. That being said I have had some really good experiences and some not so good ones. I don't even remember the post-op recovery period. I do however remember being moved to the ICU. The day nurse I had on the day of surgery was great. She was very helpful to me and my family. Pain control was excellent. Overall a great A+ experience. My night nurse however started out strong, but as time went on really couldn't give a shit. She was short with my wife, which I didn't appreciate. But the most infuriating part was the approximately 7 hour gap in pain medication the day after surgery.
Now please understand me here. I am not one of those people trying to get drugs. I haven't ever really been on pain meds until this experience. However, imagine this. You have been laying face down for a four hour surgery. They cut through your skin, and some of the most dense muscle in your body. Then they saw off the rear portion of two of your vertabrae, open the dura, and cut out a nerve root, slowly slice off a tumor, and reseal your dura, screw your bone back on, and then sew up the muscle of your lower back, and stich the skin. That muscle contracts every time you do anything. Even a simple cough causes pretty siginficant pain. And now imagine that 20 short hours after this, all of your pain meds have been discontinued because this nurse had the forsight or the willingness to simply change an order in a computer, or even enter the room when you asked for help. Unacceptable. I guess I simply wasn't exciting enough for this critical care nurse.
Fortunately that day I was transferred to telemetry. The nurse there was someone I had known for quite a while. She was great, the night nurse was great, and then I was lucky enough to have her the next day. I spent three days on tele, and then was discharged.
The Neurosurgeon, Internal Medicine doc, and Cardiologist I saw while inpatient were all great. I am lucky in the respect that I work with my Internal Medicine doctor. So when this all started I had the luck of picking the Neurosurgeon. The Cardiologist was a random assignment as far as I was concerned. But I got lucky, and he is a good guy.
More people than I expected came to see me, and I heard from just about everyone I knew on the internet. I am very thankful for all the support from my friends. And for God's sake my wife. That poor woman, I have been such a pain in her ass. Just ask her about it.
Overall I am home, and recovering. All things at this point are looking good. I am able to walk fine, albeit slow at times. I am not on anything for pain, and the incision is looking good. If I had to put a number to it I would say I am 98& independant. I am still stuck with lifting restrictions however. So we follow up with the Neurosurgeon and he wants to scan the rest of my back and brain. So until then...