Well, almost D-Day… I’m 4 days and 67 years off that fateful day in 1944. But today, I made my decision and I’m set for my own European invasion. Surgery on July 13th with Mr. Boeree in England. I’m apprehensive, but feel I’ve made the best possible decision with the information, technology(mechanical, biological or otherwise) and surgeon currently available.
I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Meerholz today. It was VERY different from our first meeting, let me tell ya. I think I was probably way too nervous, upset and ill prepared for my first visit with him. This time, I arrived prepared and composed and I think the Doctor appreciated it. He was far more compassionate, thorough and really gave me the time to voice my concerns over not doing anything and went through all of my international second opinions with me. He fired up my MRI one more time and noted the large facets and said there was an 80% chance Dr. Bouchard won’t even touch me here in Calgary because we are so conservative. He did book me in for a meeting with Bouchard, but indicated I’d be waiting quite a while for surgery if I’m deemed a candidate. When I brought up Europe, he said they are far more advanced than we are and really know their stuff. Essentially, he said if he were in my shoes, he would choose Europe. Specifically, London. The Germans are great, but London is the place. I didn’t need to hear any more, but he also reiterated that $30k is small in the grand scheme of things, and it will help me to get my life back. They are also cheaper in Europe and more advanced than the US. Meerholz knows his shit! 4 weeks vs 2 years? I’ll take the former. Dr. Meerholz also said there would be no issue doing my follow-ups with Caleo and a revision to fusion isn’t the end of the world if the ADR fails. I am a changed man right now and I feel calm and confident in my decision going forward. Also, I asked him outright if I would see any improvement after 8 months of my current condition and he sadly shook his head. My canal is too narrow to improve and any little change like my disc at L4-5, will result in greater symptoms than someone with a normal canal. Nora and “Tank” are doomed to the same fate in spinal canal and foot size! I can only imagine what losing L3-4 and L5-S1 will do to me at this point. I pray I will never have to face it.
I have full support at work from everyone, including the CEO for my time off (3-ish weeks) and will be able to work my surgery into my visit to London for training in early July. I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am to work for such a great company.
My wife has also been so good to me during this ordeal. She’s been understanding of my lack of energy, pain and complaining over the past while and is all for the surgery if it will make me better. She’s 6 months pregnant, so I can’t imagine how annoying I’ve been to her while she’s going through some pretty major changes of her own!
Now I just need to break the news to my parents… I’m going to need to bring one of them over a week early to look out for me post surgery. They were planning on being in Scotland on the 20th of July anyway, so this could work out perfectly.
Just as I was leaving the office, I got an email from Mr. Boeree with some post lumbar patients to speak with about their recoveries and ordeals. I’ll talk to them soon and one of them is a stuntman! I’m still waiting to hear back from CWURUGGER and I hope he’s doing ok.
Thanks to everyone for helping me to come to this difficult decision. Flights will be booked today or tomorrow.