My first thoughts before writing this were along the lines of who really cares? But then I decided that I would do it anyway as a record of my experience and if there's a chance it helps a fellow rider who finds themselves in a similar situation that's cool as well.
It's pretty common as you get a bit longer in the tooth to have back issues and if riding motorcycles is something you love doing it can be more of an issue than if you spend your life in a cage.
Back problems can present themselves in a number of ways but it seems one of the most common is sciatic pain down one or both legs. This is generally caused by the bulging of the spongy tissue between the vertebrae into the spinal chord, or by bits of the vertebrae itself impinging into the spinal chord, or both.
The symptoms are back pain and sciatic pain in the legs and resultant restriction of movement.
Often the first thing people do is try chiro or physio which rarely does much good, eventually you end up having an MRI which reveals the cause and sets off the chain of procedures which brings us to the point I am at now.
The first visit to the neurologist involved a discussion of the MRI results and the options available. Those being do nothing and hope that in time things healed themselves or surgery. The surgical procedure is known as Microdiscectomy and Laminectomy.
I am now at day 9 and what follows is brief chronicle of events as they played out.
As time isnt something I have in spades i chose the surgical option. I believe this procedure is sometimes done by orthopaedic surgeons, personally I wouldn't want anyone less than a neurosurgeon anywhere near my spine.
Surgery was done done at 6pm on the 20th of this month and took about 2 & 1/2 hours. I awoke in recovery pleased to see I didnt have any tubes in my wang or morphine drips.
That night was a blur of short naps in between observation tests, painkiller tablets and largely in vain efforts to use the pee bottle.
Day 2. The physio arrived mid morning to show me how to log roll to the edge of bed, swing my legs over the side and sit up. From there you stand and hopefully walk to the toilet. That all went pretty well, so well in fact that i went for several walks around the ward that day.
Day 3. All that went before was forgotten, everything hurt, it took three tries to get out of bed, once standing muscle spasms just about dropped me several times. It appears that there are a lot of local anaesthetics pumped in during surgery which all wear off about now and bring you crashing back into the real world.
Day 4. A combination of Panadol, Endone and valium (for the spasms apparently) are making life a little more bearable. A pleasant session on the hydrotherapy pool with a very cute physio named Sarah sees my mood improve somewhat.
Days 5, 6,7 are pretty much a repeat of day 4.
I am now at home, doing the prescribed excercise and walking several times a day. If I lay off the pain killers I am soon reminded to get back on them. They are in themselves part of the recovery process.
I've fire the bike up daily just for the hell of it but cant see it getting a run for a while yet.
That's it for now Day 10 onwards and upwards.
Day 13. Went for a drive to the Barossa yesterday which is about 3/4 hour from where I live. By the time I got back there was much pain and a lump the size of a golf ball under the scar. My guess was scar tissue aggravated by the lengthy sitting position.
Several ice packs and a good nights sleep and it seems to have subsided back to almost normal.
This morning I fired up the bike (my normal morning ritual) and tried to get on, nup that wasn't gonna work got the leg half way over and got stuck.
Will try again tomorrow. My biggest fear is that even if I can get on and out the driveway, even a slight imbalance at the first stop could see me arse up.
Patience old man, my wife keeps telling me. She's right of course.
Day 17. Not so good, pain is back big time, we have developed a lump the size of a golfball under the scar, sent back for scans last night and waiting to hear the results, could be a haematoma, blood clot, or disc pushed out of alignment, fark it, could have to go back under the knife again, hope not.
Trying to stay positive but that's proving difficult. Getting further behind at work which is added pressure. Getting plenty of help offers from friends which is gratifying, nice that people show their colours when the chips are down, I'm lucky that way great family and friends is a big thing in life.
Doing all my whinging on here helps a bit cos I know no one has to listen to it, unless they trip over this blog by mistake. At least here they can turn me off with a click.
I keep telling myself there are people a lot worse off and there are that's for sure, some of the disabilities people live with every day makes them heroes in my book.
On the other side of the coin some of the whinging, agro shitheads I see make me sick.
That's my rant for the day.
3 weeks: Neurosurgeon is happy although told me off for going back to work so soon, if I had his income I'd be lying under a palm tree. Today was my best day so far even though it was also my busiest, all things considered I'm pretty happy with the way the battered old frame is standing up.. Still will give it another week off the bike to be safe I think.
5 1/2 weeks. Follow up visit to the surgeon today and he is well pleased. Still stiff in all the wrong places but looks like it is healing well. Weather permitting I am going to go for a ride on Sunday morning, perhaps just a run up the freeway to Aldgate and if ok on with some other guys for a while. See how we go.
The End ( I hope)