Quick mental note about blog writing…when you get an idea to write, stop what you are doing and write. Don’t write a few lines, then get distracted and think you’ll come back to it…you’ll forget your great idea and end up going days and days between posts (thus I give a weird drug induced explanation for lack of writing since the Super Bowl)

Today’s valentine’s day came and went. This is one of those weird holidays that everyone pretty much acknowledges as a Hallmark Holiday, totally faked and that all the sentiment we show on this day should be available EVERY day to the ones we love. For as long as I can remember, this has been a very minor day for Shannon and I, always sworn to spend no more than $10 on gifts. What with Christmas, New Years, Shannon’s birthday and my birthday all with in 2 months, it does make for a bit of a crazy gift giving time of year. This year, though, I think counts up in the strange Valentine’s space that we all have a sub-category in our lives for. Shannon and I got to spend Valentine’s in a hospital, with my getting my umpteenth MRI, drugged out of my mind to relax my body…but hey at least I can say I’m always transparent to my love! (cue groaning)

I can’t even count now how many MRI’s I’ve had in the past dozen years, but this one is specifically to check the status of the shunt installed last year and see how things are going. I did beg them to not make me watch the intro to MRI video one more bloody time. Thank god MRI’s have advanced to the point where a scan that 10 years ago took two hours, now takes only 40 minutes. So, if the scan is so short, why am I currently writing this blog post while more than a little bit spacey on meds? That parts easy…spinal cord damage makes your legs very hard to control at the best of times. Now try lying still for 40 minutes without any muscle spasms causing problems as the metal tube you are in gets quite hot and vibrates all around you. You try lying completely still for 40 minutes in ideal circumstances and you’ll see the problem. So a few drugs in, and Shan there to help not only drive me home, but make sure we actually wheel down the right halls and to the right car to end the night. It makes for one auspicious and exhausting Valentine’s Day for us, with her in bed early and me about to follow. Valentine’s means one very important thing to us. While it is a Hallmark holiday, and quite silly, it is a reminder of the journey we take in life and who we choose to do it with. I will quite proudly announce from a flag pole (if I can find one I can wheel up) how amazing my wife is. (Yes Matt you can berate me later)

Now moving on, since I haven’t posted in ages. For reasons I MAY get into later, I have been collecting up 11 years worth of medical data related to my various surgeries in 2000. It’s been intriguing to say the least, as I shared out one MRI pic already. I just wish I could interpret the MRI better to illustrate where the problem lies. That being said I did find a very cool X-ray that was taken the night after my surgery in 2011. That was the night they had to crank my morphine pump WAY up (but it goes to eleven!) and were trying to determine what was causing so much pain that night. They never did really determine it, best guess was air pockets that took a while disperse, but it is always nice when they can’t give you a real answer.

Now here is the really interesting thing as I attach that pic. First person who can figure out what the little C shaped lines on the X-ray are gets a shout out. Yep, they are real and no they aren’t just scratches on the X-ray copy. You may have to peer really close to find them.

Amazing how even on a x-ray you can see how damn thin I was.

Shannon sat at the dining room table reading through the surgical notes, and browsing through MRI’s, little comments of shock and awe (literally) coming from her when she started telling me details I had never been aware of. How could I? I was knocked out cold the whole time and its a damn good thing I was! I’m of two minds on how much detail to go into as I don’t want to gross anyone out…but it is interesting to learn how they had to cut through a rib and even graft whole sections of skin around my spine. Was it any wonder I was the self-administered morphine for so long?

By the way, a quick tip, and I know I’ve said this before but…MORPHINE SUCKS! Get off it as fast as you can keep the pain manageable if you are ever prescribed it after surgery. That being said, don’t be spare with it when you do need it. One thing I’ve learned is that pain management is key to getting better from anything. Pain stops us from pushing ourselves, and despite the side effects, you can gain a good long-term benefit from short-term use of meds like these. Just be VERY away of what they can do and try to wind yourself off them as soon as you can. Not an easy process at all.

So we are beginning on phase…3? No maybe 4, of this adventure as we look back at all the old work done and see if it all made sense. While that’s done we’re doing some work around the house to make it more accessible and safe, and I am very grateful this winter has turned out to be a mild one. So far the new chair is doing well in the light snow and seems quite agile, if needing more maintenance to keep the nuts and bolts tight. I am pondering quite a few things to expand Geek on Wheels, both the Geek and Wheels parts, so expect to see all kind of strangeness, short and novel length coming soon.

Here’s hoping we haven’t lost all interest yet…and wow spell check is REALLY needed when doped up! Night and Happy Valentine’s Day one and all. I am blessed with the best partner in this challenging life I could have every hoped for. Here’s hoping all had a less medicinally hallucinatory day, but a good one none-the-less.