Yesterday, dad had another MRI on his back. Then, the doctors scheduled him for surgery immediately.
See, there was an infection growing right next to the bundle of nerves at the base of dad’s spine. No bueno, to say the least.
The doctors weren’t shocked to find something growing again — dad’s white blood cell count had started to climb again that morning. But when they got into dad’s back at about 1:30 p.m. yesterday, they did find a shocker: He had another big growth of bacteria on the muscles next to his spine.
So, the surgeons got out whatever they use to scrape icky stuff from fragile, important areas and took out the bacteria. The stuff near those nerves was buried deep, so they had a lot of careful work to do.
My mental image of this is much like that of my grandmother noticing there’s a touch of mold on the end of a loaf of bread and using a case knife to remove all evidence while preserving the bread. I’m sure it’s nothing like that, but hey — when doctors treat you like you’re 6 and can’t handle the big words the grown-ups use, that’s the sort of childhood image they conjure.
Anyway, dad came out of surgery well. I came down to visit for the holiday weekend, so I got to see him last night. He looks much less like a wax doll and more like himself. He’s growling a lot — not grumbling, but truly growling — when he’s in pain, which is much of the time. The doctors have a wound vac in his back now, so he’s laying on bits of plastic sticking out of his back. I imagine we’d all find that growl-worthy.
Last night, before his pain got so bad all he could say was “help” or “move the bed up… no, down down down that is AWFUL,” dad made it clear again he is fed up with being in the hospital. When the nurse asked how he was, he shrugged and said “where am I spending the night? How do you THINK I am?”. He definitely wants to go home.
Hopefully, this time, the doctors got all the mold off the bread. I’ll happily make dad French toast when he gets home.