Tuesday, October 26, 2010
How many people break their backs -- TWICE?
.First off, I should say that in a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full world, we have a glass-half-full. Robb broke his back (again!) yesterday, but he had about the best possible broken-back experience imaginable.
Robb was walking from the shower to the bedroom yesterday, and his feet slipped out from under him. He fell to the ground, and landed squarely on his butt. And he knew -- instantly -- that something was seriously wrong.
He called me home from work, and we realized that he had to go to the hospital. Robb was in a lot of pain. It was clear that he wouldn't be able to get out of the house and into my car, so we called an ambulance.
Xrays were taken, then CT scans, and then calls to spinal specialists. What made the diagnosis so difficult was all of Robb's previous injuries and his current conditions. (If someone came into the hospital after a fall, and exhibiting symptoms of paralysis and lack of sensation, what conclusions would most doctors come to? Ours were taking no chances.)
In the end, Robb confirmed that the fracture in question (the anterior, or front side of vertebra T-11) was a new one. We were in the emergency room for hours, but Robb's condition wasn't so dire that he needed to stay the night in the hospital. The bone was broken, but there was no impact on the spinal cord or the nerves exiting the spine. We got lucky.
At the moment, we're waiting to hear back from the doctors, for follow-up. Robb has to practice "spinal precautions" meaning that he has to move very, very carefully. He's in a lot of pain, and is having some trouble getting around. I'm taking some time off from work, to take care of him.
Tomorrow is both our twentieth anniversary, and my birthday. This was not exactly how we planned on marking these occasions.
Nevertheless, we're counting our blessings. Things could be so much worse.