I'm back in the wheelchair. At 300 am on 16 March, whilst taking walker to the toilet, I noticed my right leg was dragging. When I got up at 700, neither leg was working and I was in the same condition as before surgery: useless. I was unable to do any of my leg exercises that morning. At physical therapy that day, the therapist who is very experienced in spinal cord injury said that my symptom is not uncommon. My strength will probably return, but I must work hard daily to regain the progress I had attained in the 5 weeks since surgery. (I'd been out of the wheelchair for about two weeks). As a result, I have requested 24-hour caregiving while Erin is on tour next week; if something happened at night while alone, I could be helpless until morning, unable to even reach my cell phone. Sigh, sigh, double sigh. Will use walker AMAP today and resume trying leg exercises. Triple sigh.
I think it's important to relate here what I have to tell myself more than weekly: I did absolutely nothing to myself to deserve this. I did nothing to cause it. Shit happens. Nor did I coach the four incorrect diagnoses from three neurologists and one orthopedic surgeon over a four-year period of slow deterioration; I merely accepted blame and one unnecessary back surgery. Neither blame nor surgery helped. I am where I am, that is, a victim of the "best health care system in the world." Only frequent bouts of cursing seem to help temporarily, as does a lot of sleep (everything I do is an exhausting effort). According to my neurologist, it could be six months to a year before any real progress might be noticed. No guarantees as to how much progress I might experience nor how long it might take because we have no real idea how much nerve damage was done before the corrective surgery, which may have come too late. Only guarantee is that symptoms will not get worse. That's something, at least.
Am looking forward to a corned beef sandwich today to celebrate St. Paddy, as well as more of the world's second finest athletic event: NCAA BB Tournament.