It all started in February.
My back hurt. I don’t mean it hurt a little. I mean it hurt across my lower back, hurt across my buttocks, hurt down the front of my legs and ached from my waist down to my feet. Like crazy. In fact I had numbness around both of my thighs. I felt tired. Full-time pain.
So I went to my doctor. A wonderful guy who could not fix my ailment or stop me from complaining. He referred me to a specialist in spinal matters, surgery and physical therapy.
I took his advice. Saw the specialist. It took more than one appointment until I was convinced to get a shot. The medical term is an injection. The reality is a needle stuck directly in my spinal column. Wiggled around until the doctor finds the pain source. Then injects it full of pain reliever stuff.
After he pulled out the needle. Felt great. Instant relief.
Lasted 2 weeks. Then back to where I started.
More appointments with the specialist. He recommended surgery this time since the needle thing didn’t work so good. I hated seeing this guy. He kept giving me two choices – do it or not.
First I chose not. Pain overruled that decision.
I went one more time to see the specialist. Same choices.
This time I agreed to do it. No problem. Cut open my back. Fix the problem. Sew everything together again. And then see if the slicing and dicing (the “procedure”) might fix the problem. I asked for a guarantee. That got a laugh. No such thing. Just trust in the doctor. So I did.
Skilled surgeon. Worked beautifully. Wonderful care. And pain free. Miracles happen.
Then about the time that the bandages were removed, I developed another problem. My butt hurt.
Now I have been told more than once that I can be a pain in the butt, but a pain in my own butt is not a pain I was prepared to experience.
I went to another doctor. A personal friend. A skillful and caring surgeon. He had relieved some hemorrhoidal problems I had experienced in the past. I was prepared for him to recommend another appointment. For a little cut here and a little cut there. Then I’d be all better after a couple days.
Nope. No way. Not this time. I had the kind of hemorrhoidal condition that required the full monty. Cut out the cause both inside and outside, if you know what I mean. Put it another way, the results would leave me raw for thirty days in the most tenderest of places in the human body.
What could I do? So I signed up for the hemorrhoidal thing to be done just two weeks following the back thing.
I was ready to give my body to science.
Again a great surgeon. Perfect job. Hemorrhoid free. Butt. Pain full.
Tried recuperating several days at home under my wife’s oversight and caring. (And there is no angel greater than my wife, Maxine.) Then I had to stop taking opiods since I had been taking them since the back surgery. That’s when the pain became unbearable. Went by ambulance to Chambersburg Hospital as I couldn’t sit in a car. Or anywhere else for that matter.
Ended up in the emergency room at the Chambersburg Hospital. First doctor was not sympathetic. He looked at me and told me that my butt hurt because I had a hemorrhoid operation. Then left. If I were not crying so hard from the excruciating pain, I would have hit him with a pillow. Twice.
Then another doctor came. Prescribed pain medication and recommended I stay the night. The medication was a gift from God.
During the next three days I met with a hospitalist, my surgeon and others who were caring and understanding.
For me, experiencing this kind of pain was debilitating. And I am anything but an easy patient. I want to know everything and the how’s and why’s too.
I rest at home now as much as my schedule will allow. I am taking a non-opioid pain killer along with Tylenol that seems to be keeping everything in check while I heal.
I recognize that there are people who are out there (and perhaps reading this column) who hurt. Hurt even more than I can imagine. Who suffer from diseases and operations that leave permanent scars and sometimes little hope. To them I apologize for complaining about my own pain. Which is insignificant to what you are suffering. I am sorry. Truly sorry.
I hope that you, too, can say with me that one of the greatest places on earth is right here in Chambersburg – at our own Chambersburg Hospital.
Having a sore butt is bad enough, but being a male patient with female nurses cleaning and caring for that part of your body is embarrassing and very painful.
During the time I was in the Chambersburg Hospital, I had a day time nurse and a night time nurse. And a change to another day time nurse on the day of my release.
They never once complained. They treated me with the greatest of respect. And they cared. Not for me just as a patient, but for me as a human being.
When this is over, I wish I could offer each of them a big hug. There are no better nurses.
And to all of you at the Waynesboro and Chambersburg Hospitals – from Patrick O’Donnell, the CEO/President, to the kind and friendly lady who brought me my disgusting liquid diet – you can all be proud of what you do for the community and for people who so desperately need your care. I am truly grateful to all of you for the concern you showed to me.
Two words. Thank you.
Bill Gindlesperger is a central Pennsylvanian, Shippensburg University trustee and founder of eLynxx Solutions that provides Print Buyer’s Software for procuring and managing direct mail, marketing, promo and print. He is a board member, campaign advisor, published author and talk radio commentator. He can be reached at Bill.Gindlesperger@eLynxx.com
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