Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More updates on Michael

Michael's appointment with the surgeon was yesterday; I spent a good portion of the morning and early afternoon driving around to pick up his MRI and X-ray films so that we could take them with us to the surgeon.

Michael's condition is indeed pretty bad, as far as herniated discs go. He has nearly a centimeter and a half of disc material protruding and compressing his nerves. The doctor says that's worse than most. Although Michael isn't in much pain now, the biggest concern is permanent nerve damage; the longer the nerves are compressed, the more likely it is that he'll never recover all of the sensation in his left leg. The doctor wasn't pushy, but he did make it clear that he thought Michael should have surgery as soon as possible to get that out of there, instead of trying non-invasive treatments for a while. Considering what's at stake, it sounds like a good idea to do the surgery, so Michael is planning to schedule for next week.

As far as recovery time goes, Michael will probably be out of work for about three weeks, and complete recovery is expected to take about six weeks. The surgery is called something like a micro discectomy, and is fairly small as far as surgeries go - they just make a small incision and remove the protruding disc material. Because the integrity of that disc is damaged now, Michael will have the same odds of having further problems with it regardless of whether or not he has the surgery, so he definitely has more to risk if he doesn't have the surgery.

The end result is that starting next week, I'll be home taking care of Michael. It will probably provide a lot of distraction, but at the same time, it'll require that I be home more, which will increase my writing time. Despite the fact that it is surgery that is requiring the time off, I'm looking forward to spending more time with Michael.

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