Don't worry, I'm not going to rant today... It doesn't do any good and my blood pressure is high enough already... but I thought you all might be interested in an update on Bob's recovery.
When he was discharged from the hospital we were told that he needed to protect his broken sternum while it was healing and that he should see his regular doctor in two weeks for a follow-up. That was all. Well, within the first week his regular doctor found that the hospital had missed two additional broken bones but the issue that was really bothering him was the pain and numbness in his hand. Last week we finally had an appointment with a Neurologist to evaluate that problem and guess what he told us? Bob has a fractured vertebra in his neck. The pain he is experiencing is because the vertebra and disc are out of alignment and possibly sitting in an unstable position on the vertebra below. The numbness is because there are bone fragments impinging on the nerves that run through that vertebra and into his left arm. The Neurosurgeon was shocked that Bob wasn't wearing a cervical collar to stabilize his neck. The collar had been removed in the hospital the day after his accident because they had determined that he had no neck damage... But, the CT scan done just hours after the accident clearly shows the broken vertebra. They just missed it. (Ok.. this is the part where I don't rant about the state of medical care or the fact that he had been transferred to the trauma center, by helicopter, at a cost of $14,000.00, to insure that he had the best level of care, or the fact that he was concerned about his fingers being numb just minutes after the accident and every doctor he saw told him not to worry about it. Nope, I'm not going to rant today.) Bob put the collar on as soon as we got home and hasn't taken it off since but it doesn't seem to make a difference to his pain.
The Neurologist wants to do surgery to remove the bone fragments and fuse the broken vertebra to the one below it. Bob, understandably, is a bit reluctant to trust doctors right now so he's taken a couple of weeks to consider the options and make a decision. Unfortunately there aren't many options to consider. There is no guarantee that surgery will repair the damage and he could have pain and mobility issues for the rest of his life. However, without surgery there isn't much chance that anything will change. It's a dreadful choice, especially when you've lost faith in the doctors who are supposed to be taking care of you.
Recovery is going to be slow. Whether or not he has the surgery won't change the fact that he must wear the neck brace for the next ten to twelve weeks and he can't drive or travel for work. But we really are lucky that he's alive, that he is able to walk, that he took this job in May that allows him to work from home and provides excellent insurance, that we have each other no matter how bad things are. I'm working on finding the positive in every day and enjoying it because complaining just makes things worse.
(I will not rant anymore, I will not rant anymore, Iwillnotrantanymore)