I broke my back

T-0! — Well, mostly!

tl;dr Friday before last, I got a call from my neurosurgeon’s office letting me know that they were finally able to get my MRI results to show up, and my vertebra is healed, so I can wean off of the brace!!!

I’ve had some ups and downs since my last post. On April 11, I took some follow up X-rays. We got the lab results the next day, and they found that the compression fracture had worsened since I left the hospital. It had increased from around 20% to definitely over 30% compressed.

This freaked me out, and it was gonna be an entire week until I saw the neurosurgeon. When we called and talked to the doctor, he told us not to worry. He said it wasn’t completely unexpected, and he would explain more when we came in to the office.

When we went into the office, he explained that the additional compression probably happened when I started to walk, since it was the first time I had stood up since the injury occurred. To be certain though, he wanted to have me get an MRI so they could determine if the vertebra was healing properly. 😳 He said I could do an open MRI, and he prescribed some diazepam to help me stay calm.

I put the immediate terror of the idea of getting an MRI out of my head, and that day (after getting the Dr’s permission) we drove up to Atlanta. Right before the accident, Amber bought me tickets to see a live show of a Star Trek comedy podcast I am only slightly embarrassed to admit I love, The Greatest Generation, and I was actually going to get to see it!

While we were in Atlanta I got to see my best man, Ryan Dell, for the first time in about a decade. We got to hang out and catch up over some pretty amazing Mexican food.

The Greatest Gen Tour live show was hysterical, and after the show I finally got to see a friend that I have known for about seven years, but have never had a chance to meet in real life, Adam Ragusea. He’s the host of the awesome, eponymously named YouTube channel about food. He also is a pretty kick ass musician that has crafted the intro and interstitial music for the aforementioned slightly embarrassing Star trek podcast. You might have seen him before in that Vox video about why Mariah Carey’s net worth skyrockets every Christmas.

The rest of the time we were in Atlanta, we did touristy Atlanta things like eating at the original Chick-fil-A, getting brunch at the Atlanta Breakfast Club, visiting the Georgia Aquarium, walking around Centennial Olympic Park, and getting food poisoning from undercooked Brussel sprouts at a Truett’s Grill! (OK, I don’t think the last item is on any of the travel agent’s “must do” lists, and I do not recommend it.)

On May 9, I finally was able to get my MRI taken. Unlike the torpedo tube they tried to squeeze me into at the hospital, the open MRI was much easier.

It felt like I was laying inside a giant plastic hamburger, but it was wide open on both sides. It was still just as mind-bogglingly loud, but I had spent a couple days wearing ear plugs in bed which made that part easier too.

Unfortunately though, when I went to the follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon on the 11th, they weren’t able to get the scans to show up from the CD that the MRI office gave me. I had opened it on my computer the day before though, and I shot a video showing it to my buddies, Tom and Sean.

I showed the video to my doctor who really got a kick out of it, but he wasn’t able to diagnose anything from my iPhone. He told us he would give me a call within a week and let me know.

We finally got the call the next Friday and got the all clear to start weaning off of the brace! Unfortunately, I didn’t see the voicemail until the following Monday, May 23.

Ever since, I have been wearing the brace about an hour or two less each day. I’ll probably be completely out of it by the end of this week or so. You can’t understand how incredible it is to just get out of bed without having to do an exhausting 5-10 minute long routine!

My final appointment with the doctor is on June 15th, just to follow up and make sure everything’s good. So far, the hardest thing has been getting the muscles in my torso to work the way they’re supposed to instead of making me feel like I’m a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tubeman!

All in all though, it is really great to be back to a place where I can start living my life kinda, sorta normal again. I’m obviously still taking it day by day, but I’m starting to get back to work on projects around the house and the yard that I’ve been unable to work on over the past few months.

T-0 days.

Thanks again to everyone that helped us get through this. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would have been without your help. I am eternally grateful.