Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Spinal Surgery Complete

It has been quite some time since I last posted, and I do apologize. Without going into too much detail, there were some unexpected issues that came up, both PD related and not PD related, that I had to deal with. I am hoping that most of these issues have been laid to rest permanently, so that I may refocus my energies on the “important” things in my life, one of which is this blog.

As I have previously written in other posts, aside from Parkinson’s Disease, I also have multiple spinal problems. I have had a herniated C5-6 disc for about four years, but up until recently was able to control the associated symptoms conservatively. In May I decided that the pain and weakness caused by this problem were becoming no longer tolerable.

On June 10, 2008 I had a cervical fusion done in the hope that some of the issues could be resolved. It was important to find just the right surgeon because of the Parkinson’s Disease. I wanted to insure that the surgeon was familiar with Parkinson’s Disease, so that any risks or issues could be addressed prior to the surgery. My experience with not only the surgeon, but also with the local hospital, turned out to be one of the most pleasant I have ever had.

Prior to surgery, I created a list of all of my Parkinson’s Disease medications, both prescription and over the counter, and provided both the surgeon and the hospital with this list. I also took all of my medications with me on the day of the surgery. This worked very well, because one of the medication that I needed to re-start after the surgery was Azilect. I had to come off the Azilect prior to surgery, because it could have conflicted with some of the drugs used during anesthesia. I found that the hospital and surgeon made certain that I received my medications exactly as needed. In addition, because I had brought my medications with me, I was able to take the Azilect, even though the hospital pharmacy did not carry that medication.

In addition to providing information about my medications, I also made sure that the hospital and surgeon knew exactly how my body reacts after surgery. One of my main concerns is that it appears that my digestive system seems to have a difficult time functioning properly after anesthesia. Because of this, I requested that the hospital not serve me any “solid” food after the surgery and would allow me to get up and walk around which encourages the body’s functions to return to normal more quickly. Again, the hospital and surgeon took this information into consideration, and my digestive system had little opportunity to “shut down” completely. It was still more sluggish than I believe most non-PD patients experience, but it did resume to its “normal” pre-surgery function without any real problems within about a week’s time.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making sure that everyone who will be involved in your medical care during and after a surgical procedure, has as much information in their hands prior to that surgery. Because I provided this information in writing, there was little room for misinterpretation with respect to my medical condition and needs.
Again, I do apologize for being away for so long. In the next few days I will do my best to answer any comments that have been left and give additional update on other issue that have kept me away for this period of time. My thoughts are always with my fellow bloggers and everyone else out there who is just looking for answers. God Bless to all.

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