Friday, 10 November 2017

what a week

I missed last week and then had a hectic week so am posting now for this week and last.

Some years ago one of my sons fell down concrete fire escape steps at work.  Two broken ankles and when he started to move we found there was a lot of damage to his back.  One operation to free a nerve was botched and he has had trouble ever since and more operations.  It was suggested that an impulse generator be used to kill the pain.  This was the very latest technology and he wore it strapped to his back for some weeks as a test.  It was then fitted into his lower back and the leads went through tissue to nerve spots.

Almost immediately he developed severe cramping.  It has gone from bad to worse.  He takes a cocktail like mix of several very potent painkillers and absolutely hates them.  Many pain management clinics helped a bit but he was obviously getting worse and the muscle spasms and cramps stopped movement, stopped sleep, contorted his body and more.  He tried to hide how much pain he was in, but we could all see it.

The neurologist decided to remove the implant as it seemed it was somehow connected with all this.  That was a long operation a week ago today.  He was in agony and could lie down only on hospital room floor.  Things got worse and the hospital did an emergency MRI when it was found the discs further up his back had been damaged by the spasms.

Another long operation to fix that problem. Two of them in four days has been very hard on him.

However, it seems that this has been a turning point.  He is home, on bed rest for two weeks before checkups.  He sounds better, has post-op pain but that is healing.  For the first time in a long time,he sounds optimistic.  It may well be the beginning of a much better season in his life.  He is bone weary, he has had little sleep for months.  However he can now lie down and when he does he falls asleep straightaway.

No one has been able to work out a reason for the spasms and cramps till now.  It is only a hypothesis but it is possible.  We know the gadget, big as two matchboxes, works.  Externally it showed that.  The problem started after it was fitted. Top state of the art from the USA.  The neurologist now believes that while the technology works, it was the physical side which was wrong. Son is very tall and as skinny as a beanpole.  Many Americans would be 20+ kilos heavier than he is for the height and there would be a cushion of fat for the implant.  As he is skinny, no cushion and the implant box has rubbed his body whenever he moved.  Eventually the body set up its own defences and the cramps started to stop his movement.  Sounds odd, but it does fit the circumstances.

It has taken many months for the muscles to be almost frozen in twisted, tortured positions.  It will not be a quick recovery, but the signs are very hopeful.

The week has been hard.  I have done little knitting, not enough to mention.  I do not cry much, but when he rang me to say recovery was not only probable but had already started in a small way, I cried. Both he and his wife say he walks almost normally now without dragging left leg and they described this as almost miraculous.

Hopefully more good news next week and some knitting too.  Am working on that.


1 comment:

2paw said...

Oh what a relief after all this time and all the pain. Sounds like his body thought he had a giant splinter. Being able to sleep again must be heaven. No wonder it has been a difficult week: my mum says no matter how old your children are, you always worry about and for them. Good news at last Jan!!