Extraordinary Stories

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The "The TIme Is Drawing Nigh" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Sitting next to my wife in my surgeon's office at Crooked Oak Medical Complex.  Dr. Kuhlengle is sitting across from us telling us what we can expect when he operates on me to correct a few problems in my back that is causing considerable pain in my right leg and causing my left foot to be partially numb.  He greeted us and after talking about travel to the Caribbean and his approaching cruise to the Western Caribbean, he asked what questions I may have.  I began with, "I have a friend who has a friend that you recently operated on for back problems.  You had to open her up in the front, remove all the organs and whatever else is in there, and then work on her spine.  She said you then put everything back in place, turned her over and opened her back and did the same on the rear of her spine."  "And you're worried that I am going to do the same with you?" he said.  "Well, don't worry.  I don't have to do that in your case."  As he showed me a metal device with bolts coming out of it, he said, "This is what I will use on you.  It will relieve the pressure on your nerve by stabilizing L4 and L5 vertebrae."  Pretty neat device.  The surgical hardware will be screwed into both the L4 and L5 and with the aid of bone marrow from some part of my body, will allow the nerve to go through the vertabre once again.  He pulled up my CAT scan and showed me, from the top, left and right sides how my backbone is curved.  He isn't going to try to straighten my backbone, since that would create many more problems, but he is going to stabilize what my last surgeon did when he operated on me a few years ago when I had a Lumbar Laminectomy.  Dr. Kuhlengle explained that my previous surgeon might have been too conservative when he operated.  I did research on Dr. Kuhlengle and he is listed in different publications as one of the top 100 spine and brain surgeons in the country.  Took me three months to have my initial appointment and another two months to set up the surgery.  Found out that other doctors go to him when they have back problems.  His assistant told me that he is very meticulous in all that he does.  Even has developed his own tools for certain procedures.  I questioned him as to how he turns the screws into my vertebrae and he said, "By hand.  Others use a small electric screwdriver, but I want to be able to feel that I am in bone to make sure it will hold when you become active again."  I'm looking forward to being able to stand for longer than an hour or so without leg pain and being able to have feeling once again in my left foot.  I'm confident Dr. Kuhlengle is the right doctor for me.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.   PS -  If I miss a day or so of stories, don't worry.  I will be confined to the hospital for several days and I doubt if they have WiFi in patients rooms.

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