Becoming Superman Again

This photo was shot not long ago, for a short entry in my Book, “Been There, Done That,” called “Scarred (for life?)” In it, I go into the story behind each scar and explore the physical trauma behind each and their associated mental and emotional implications. I’ve posted this silly photo here as a “before” image for me, as I get ready to beat up on another super-villain and come back as more-of-a-Superman-like version of myself than ever before. Arrogant and obnoxious and delusional? Yup, maybe a little, but saying this kind of stuff motivates me and keeps me accountable so, what the hell. The villain this time…my back.

The long and short of it: increasing (i.e. agonizing) pain in the top & bottom of both sides of my butt. MRI in JAN diagnosed mild spinal stenosis. 5 epidurals over a 10 month pain worked to alleviate that pain to one degree or another. Pain spread to lower back and upper legs a few weeks ago. Second MRI July 18 upgraded the mild to severe (the spinal stenosis that is) and as wholly new bonus, added two blown discs (aka “herniated). Nice!

A 6th epidural last Wednesday missed its mark and punctured the dura and hit a nerve. Ouch! The pain became so ridiculous after that it’s difficult to describe. I woke up Tuesday a.m. with a headache so severe that I couldn’t move (I’ve never had a migraine, so I can only imagine. For those of you who suffer these, God bless you). I ended up in the ER, where they gave me a spinal tap and ended up hitting that same damned nerve again, but couldn’t actually draw any fluid as I’m so depleted (ER Doc says he has never seen this happen before) F me! They drew and ran my blood. My sodium came back at 122, which apparently is so low that –at those levels– you’re running the risk of stroke, seizures, kidney or liver failure at any moment. So, they admitted me the hospital, where the awesome team there worked to manage my pain and to get my sodium levels up.

While in the hospital, I met some great folks, including my Doc there, the wonderful nursing staff and my roommate, who is 95 and probably nearing the end, and his wife, 91 (names withheld). She kept a mostly tearful vigil at his bedside. I spoke quite a bit with her. 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 71 years of marriage, through just about every kind of up and down imaginable. Those are some impressive statistics! My prayers are with them. I also got hooked on the new Netflix series, “Orange is The New Black.” I mean, what’s not to love about lesbians in prison, right? I digress.

I’m home now with a giant goblet of wine and a few vicodin. Ramone and GoGo are sleeping next to me on the sofa and as long as I don’t move, I’m feeling pretty damned good. That will be a whole different story tomorrow when I have to get up at 6:30 to get the babies to doggie daycare and myself over the hill to see my neurosurgeon, but it’s part of the journey to the “new Superman” finish line, so…so be it (after getting home from the hospital, it took me 10 minutes just to get the pups on their leashes and us to the elevator, as the pain was damned near paralyzing, so I guess we’ll see if I’m bragging tomorrow, huh?)

For those I haven’t bored the sh*t out of with this little woe-is-me tale, I’m going to keep an on-line journal of sorts documenting the next few months, through the surgery and the recovery and back to “Superman” status. Next year –as part of my second Book, “1,2,3,4…LIVE!DIE?—I intend to do a fight and surf a very big wave (and a whole host of crazy things) so I hope you’ll wish me luck on my quest to come back stronger than ever.

(p.s. Dear LA/Valley Friends: For those of you who are up for helping out a darned-near invalid in the interim, please hit me up!)
(p.p.s. Have an awesome weekend everybody!)

out for now…