This is a note written to inform our friends and family of our progress. Thought I’d put it here for my friends and family of DOW to see too.
Billy had a successful surgery this morning. The original pain from the ruptured disk stabbing him in the spinal cord at L5/S1 seems to be almost completely gone. Those sensations remaining seem to be due to the need for nerves to heal after the continuous irritation they have endured for several months.
That said, he woke up from surgery experiencing severe pain from the incision/opening site. The intention of the surgeon was to do the the surgery in such a way as to not cut any muscle, but rather to dissect them. Basically they separate the muscles the way we would when we butcher an animal. This allows for faster healing (of Billy, not the animal), but also sometimes very painful initial recovery because of severe bruising.
The surgeon performed the main surgery process between 6:30 AM and 7:45 AM at Emory University’s Spine Hospital. The trip home from Atlanta was very difficult and required many stops to move around in hopes of finally finding a more comfortable position in the van, but to no avail. Billy remained in significant pain from when he woke around 9:00 AM until around 7 PM this evening when the medications really started to take affect. That seems to have been hastened by a walk through the fig trees to pick his favorite North American fruit with his wife Erika about that time. (with doctor’s permission of course). He was able to get about 2 hour’s reprieve from severe pain with this little exercise and the drugs, but then it returned, though not as bad as before. Even with much pain, he is still very satisfied with the idea that this pain is temporal and the pain that so far seems to be gone was not. He is able to stand on a hard floor with his left leg barefoot for the first time in many months.
Those doctors at Emory are very good. We would say the same about the entire staff, with the possible exception of a couple of nurses that can’t seem to find a vein. It took 3 nurses and many pokes to get an IV in. We are very appreciative of the staff there and also of the fact that we were born in a place where such health care is possible. We have been in many places where such is not the case. Also, we appreciate all of you who have prayed for and supported us through this time. Please continue to do so. Especially pray that the narcotics Billy has to take will not cause any kind of problem with forming habits etc. He does not want to take them as much as is required at this point, but has little choice. He has had to take them on and off (mostly on) for several months now. It is said that 50% of people taking hydrocodone or Oxycontin for 3 months with become addicted. Since last week he has had to stop taking all his herbal remedies to fight inflammation and pain, including the CBD oil that was working so well. Perhaps he can restart some of those now after the surgery in order to reduce the narcotics, but the doctors have asked him not to do so. In any case, he is not worried about getting addicted to the drugs. He says, “Greater is he that is in me than he who is in the world.” Nevertheless, it will be nice when he can be rid of them altogether. Also, please pray for continued healing and most of all, that Billy can exhibit the self control necessary to allow his body to heal fully. He is committed to doing so, but he has often been accused of being a workaholic. His family is a great blessing as they are pitching in to fill the gaps and pay the bills, etc. Also, the brethren in the church are quite available to help if need be. Also, please keep Erika in your thoughts and prayers as well as she carries a big load through these times.
Thanks again, News from the North clan.