2 min read

The short story -- Claudia's back

I have a lot to say here, but for now, the short story is going to have to do.


On November 24, 1994, I was pushed off a trampoline by a six year old child. I managed to land on my feet completely unscathed.

In response, she hurled herself off the trampoline.

I caught her.

The force of this event, smashed the L2-L3 joint in my spine destroying the disk and breaking the vertebrae. The force traveled down my right leg, dislocated and broke my fibula (bone on the outside of the lower leg).

I fell off balance. Rather than let the child fall, I tucked her into my belly and we rolled down a steep, rocky incline. At the bottom of the hill, she was completely unscathed and my ankle was destroyed.

And then all hell broke loose.

Because of the way insurance worked at that time, my medical insurance didn't transfer over for 3 months. By the time I had insurance, most of these things had healed enough for me to hobble around.

Six years later, my entire ankle had to be rebuilt due to the catastrophic injury I received that day in November.

On August 22, 22 years later, I'm going in to have this section of my back repaired with a 3 level fusion.

Things to know:

  1. It's an extreme and extensive surgery for "someone so young." The surgery was necessary in 1994.
  2. We waited until I was completely unable to get around (which is now). If you look at the arrow, the vertebrae has moved to cut off most of my spine. This means that I have lost a lot nerve interaction in my legs.
  3. The damage to my back was so extensive that it's likely that this is the first of what maybe may surgeries.
  4. I've done every form of non-surgical interaction you can possibly think of and more than most doctors know about. I've been in PT for the last 4 years.
  5. Because the damage is so extensive, I'm not a candidate for microsurgeries, disk replacements, or laser treatments.

These are just the facts.

I'm sure you're wondering how I feel about all of this, and some day, maybe, I'll write it all down. For now, suffice it to say that I'm learning a lot.

This week, I'm getting ready for a six hour surgery to repair something that's been broken for more than 20 years. If all goes well, I may have less pain for the first time in all of those years.

It sounds like a dream to me.