Thursday, February 28, 2008


All further follow-ups at:

I'd be glad to answer any questions for folks who are considering this surgery.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Post-flight update

Well, I really turned a corner on Sunday. No pain whatsover, and only some stiffness (and decreasing at that) upon prolonged sitting.

A very long day yesterday. I raced down to the Marienplatz in a cab at 8 AM to get Mateo his German National Team "away" soccer jersey. It is a pretty cool red and black one. Then it was off to the airport at 10:30.

First, our leg on British Airways to London had somehow been cancelled, but the agent just put us on the flight - said this happened with American all the time. I made sure that we were to have wheelchairs waiting there, but alas there were none, so we had to hoof it over to the American terminal, which is a pretty far walk. I actually welcomed the walk after sitting, but my Mom would have preferred a wheelchair.

After a two-hour layover, we got on the flight to JFK. That was a little over 7 hours. I slept very briefly, and got up and moved around every hour or so. We got into JFK at 7:20 PM, and then had a layover until 10:30 PM, when we took American Eagle (small plane) to Washington, DC. Just a 45 minute flight. It was great to see Danielle and Mateo (who insisted on waiting up) at the airport.

So the entire day was about 22 hours, since we did not actually walk into the house until about midnight (6 AM Munich time). I am glad to be able to report that I had NO PAIN during this trip. Some stiffness from sitting, but no pain. And this after a 22 hour day, dealing with lots of sitting, handling suitcases, etc.

As I write this on Tuesday morning, I have not taken pain meds for about 18 hours and feel fine. No pain, and dramatically decreased stiffness. So, I'm feeling good about everything at this point. I have to remember to take it easy!! Even though I feel great, I will probably just hang out today, and let my body recover.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday morning update

We´ll be venturing out today, finally. Headed to the Marienplatz. My back is feeling good this morning. Over the last 2-3 days I had been having some pain, with the accompanying pain-avoiding posture. It appeared mostly after sitting for long periods. So, last night, I decided to try to go a 24-hour Alleve regimen - I felt great when I woke up last night, and so far this morning.

I don´t even really notice the incision anymore - pain 99% gone. My left leg is still weaker than my right leg, and my walking stride is not yet quite normal. It is slower, and more shuffling than before - again, very common post-op. All in all, I can´t really complain nine days post-up.

Tomorrow, we have our 16 hour return (including layovers) to Washington. We flew here on frequent flyer miles - in retrospect, paying for a direct flight would have made more sense.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday update

Not much to report. Continued back improvement. An hour of physical therapy and hour-long massage (nice). Other than that, just getting through the entire first season of "24", since we lived overseas when that show came out.

Tomorrow we will try to tour Munich. It will be a good mini-test, to see how my back will hold up on the plane Monday. I also have to find the German National Soccer team "away" jersey for Mateo.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday update

I had my last consultation with Dr. Zeegers today, before our flight home on Monday. That's him in the picture with me. Everything is going well. The weakness in the left leg is much better and hardly noticeable.
I also picked up some pain meds from the pharmacy for the 16-hour (including layovers) flight home, just in case.
Then I had physical therapy. I had been having some difficulty getting up from sitting, but today's therapist showed my some spine/pelvic rolling exercises, right at the end of our session, which helped immensely. I wish they had shown me the first day. After doing them I stood right up as if my back was normal. Amazing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday update

The back was still feeling not too great this morning, but my physical therapy session, where a broad-shouldered, blonde German fraulein did a fair amount of muscle work on my left side lower back and hip really helped a lot. Felt better immediately after. Feeling much better this afternoon and evening, no pain-killer needed at all. Will have the same tomorrow, along with a follow-up appointment with Dr. Zeegers.

Hoping to see the sights this weekend if things improve.

Ah, one word of caution. If you are using frequent flyer miles to come here on American, you cannot upgrade to Business for the 25,000 miles plus $300, as you normally can when you pay for the original ticket. So, hopefully the gate agents take mercy on a guy with a back brace and his 77 year-old mother, both in wheelchairs!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday update

Felt very good this morning. Then I was running around getting the bills paid before we left the hospital, and had very light physical therapy in the early afternoon. The back began to act up a bit later on in the afternoon and early evening, so I did have to break into the Oxycontin. Not the old pain, though, so no worries. Will be taking it a little easier tomorrow.