Mondays with Morie–Episode 38–Prior Proper Planning

I’m almost getting to the point that I’m going to quit pretending that we are planning to do anything on our Mondays with Morie. My list of activities seems to be growing, but our ambition to do them has been waning. Neither of us is interested in an inside activity that would require wearing a mask, and to be honest, there’s not that much inside we’d like to do. We were fortunate to have been able to visit some of the local museums last fall and winter before…  The combination of the summer heat and my husband’s increased hip pain has curbed our desire to do most of the things we would enjoy, except for vacation or as the more “woke” person would say “vacay”. I am in the planning and preparation stage for our weeklong vacation to the Lake of the Ozarks. This time next week, I will be writing about our Monday at the Lake. I have been looking forward to this vacation since April when I booked our rooms. It will be refreshing for my soul.

alhonna pic
Alhonna Resort

My husband has been dealing with hip and back pain for over a year now. He had an MRI last year that showed he had several spinal discs that were compressed and his primary care doctor referred him first to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopaedist then referred him to a neurosurgeon, who then referred him to a pain management doctor. Last year he’d had several steroid injections in his back at a pain clinic but the neurosurgeon wanted him to be seen by a specific doctor who would more closely manage his care instead of just going to a clinic and being seen by whoever happened to be there on that date.

 

disc

He started at the pain management doctor earlier this year and of course, like just about everything else, his treatment ceased when the Corona hit our world. Finally last month he was able to return for another injection, something like a nerve block. The doctor said if this block worked then he would be able to do a more permanent solution. Unfortunately, as the months have progressed, Goat (as he has been so lovingly nicknamed by me) has been in increasing pain, but mostly in his hip. I asked him if he had ever had an MRI of his hip and he said he’d had x-rays several years ago when he fell off the loading dock at work, but they didn’t show anything wrong.

electrodes

We had a Zoom visit with his pain management doctor about ten days ago and the doctor was describing how he believed the next step in the Goat’s treatment would be the implantation of electrodes in his back which are connected to a battery pack much the same as a pacemaker. The electrodes would capture the pain signals from the back before they would get to his back or hip. He explained that the FDA first required a temporary implant with the battery pack being taped to his back for a week and if this proved to be successful in eliminating his pain, he would then move on to the permanent implant.

I had encouraged Goat to talk to the doctor about getting an MRI of his hip just to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong there. Although the doctor didn’t think his hip was the problem, after a little hesitation he agreed that before proceeding with the electrode implantation, we needed to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with the hip,

He ordered x-rays (he said the insurance required they be performed before an MRI) and the MRI, to be done the same day. Luckily, Goat was able to get them done together within just a few days. He went to the Metro Imaging which touts getting results before you leave, and much to my surprise (not!) the MRI revealed he had a partial or complete tear of the gluteal tendon. (So, my statement that he is a pain in the ass has been true!) Just kidding. Well, I did have to threaten to divorce him if I caught him in the tree with his chain saw.

gluteal tear

So again we begin the waiting game. He has to get a referral from his Primary Care doctor and then get in the waiting line to see an orthopedist. Goat’s not as impatient as I am. I would be on the phone with the Primary Care’s office as soon as it opened to get this ball rolling. (It’s for that reason I chose an insurance policy that didn’t require referrals).

Luckily while we are in the waiting mode, a nice chunk of it will be spent sitting on the dock, with him fishing (his most favorite pastime) and me either reading or sewing or just watching the boats go by. I’m craving this, a place where we can largely forget the word’s been going to hell in a handbasket.

By the way, the rest of the quote in my title is part of the Law Enforcement creed: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

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