After Spinal Neck Surgery and recovery Why I Admire the Mayo Clinic, I was moved to Occupational and Physical Therapy. I knew what Physical Therapy is, but I had no idea what kind therapy could be provided for my occupation of Internet Consulting, Artificial Intelligence, and Writing. I soon found out that had to do with using my hands and personal hygiene.
I met my young therapist, Elizabeth Jones. She is from Apple Valley, MN (where my family and I lived for one year) and resides in Austin, MN. She received her degree and Masters of Science at The University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (where I grew up and received my Bachelor of Science Degree) but we never met until she gave me therapy at Mayo.
Elizabeth struck me as shy and serious and seemed a bit nervous but that was probably because I was sliced up and frazzled looking. I think I was still coming out of anesthesia to some degree, or maybe even a large degree. Anyway, I had no idea what occupational therapy is or would be but Elizabeth eased me into what it is about.
One of the first things Elizabeth did was to take me to the gym on our floor and show me what some of the equipment was for such as the large touch display that could be used to follow sprites with my finger. She also introduced me to some of the colored putty that I would play with. My initial conclusion was “this is going to be child’s play!”
Really, I knew it wouldn’t be child’s play because the reason I had surgery was my nervous system was being pressured and I was losing physical capabilities. I really needed to take therapy for the abilities that I was losing. It is not easy to admit to yourself that your body is no longer functioning as it always had.
The next thing we did was to go back to my hospital room to the toilet and bathing area. Elizabeth told me I would need to buy a
picker like the one she showed me. I think I told her that it was a silly idea and I would probably never use it. What I didn’t take in consideration was, I wouldn’t be able to been down for quite a long time to pick things up off the floor. The neck surgery had hobbled me. Continue reading
Last September I had my annual physical with my personal physician of 30 years, Dr. Dean Kahoi, and he noted that I had an abnormal gait in my walk. He suggested that I make an appointment with a neurologist which I did. I met with Daniel J. Kuyper, MD and he did some basic tests and ordered up MRIs of my brain and neck. The outcome of the MRIs was my brain was happily all right but I did have spinal stenosis.
In November, I met with a neurosurgeon from Minneapolis-St. Paul. My wife, Corrine Foley, was in attendance with me. The doctor showed me where I was having some strength difficulties and some muscle loss and proceeded to show me from my MRIs where the stenosis was occurring. He recommended that I have a couple of discs removed and then a couple of weeks later have additional surgery to scrape bone away from my spine. The discs would be removed from the front by opening my throat and then the scraping would occur from the back of my neck by cutting through muscle. In other words it would be a two surgery procedure. Continue reading