Surgery for Spondylolisthesis

Tomorrow, at or around 0700 CT, Doctor Devesh Ramnath will be performing a lumbar lamenectomy fusion on my achey-breakey back.

I’ll chronicle as much of my experience here as I can, as soon as I can.

Let me start by saying the last few weeks my pain level has been steadily climbing. I firmly believe that this is a psychosymatic reaction to finding out I had a fractured vertebrae, coupled with the approaching surgery date.

Tonight, with surgery a mere seven hours away, I’m feeling like an ice pick is being twisted between my vertebrae. Despite 10 milligrams of hydrocodone coursing through my veins.

Surely it can’t get any worse.

I know some close family and friends will be looking here for updates. I’ll do my best to post in a timely manner.

Thanks for the prayers and support, folks.

Riding Three Twisted Sisters in the Texas Hill Country

Bandera HouseStanding on the balcony overlooking the river flood plane below our rented house in Bandera, Texas, I was itching for sunup. The sunset was beautiful, and the small herd of wild deer jostling each other aside as they worked for their share of the grain Robin had strategically piled in the back yard were a joy to watch from so near a vantage point, but I was there for one thing and one thing only: the ride.Bandera Sunset

We had arrived and unpacked in a stellar former ranch house that had been up converted into a two story with a massive master bedroom and bath over the car port, where the gleaming Yamaha Road Star Silverado and Triumph Rocket III now waiting for morning.

While the rest of the family finished their wildlife observations and settled into the great room to watch TV I slid into the king size bed upstairs and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

I awoke shortly after sunrise and within an hour Mike and I were in our saddles and pointing our bars north to the Three Sisters Hill Country Scenic Drive. I had the GoPro Hero mounted on the front right dresser bar and snapping a pic every thirty seconds as we leaned and accelerated through 150 miles of curves, hills, and valleys.

We made it back to our “base camp” well before dark and had a nice barbeque dinner in downtown Bandera. Within a couple more hours we were all nestled back into the rental house and watching the NRA 500. I wasn’t able to make it through the entire race, as I had consumed my nightly regimine of pain killers for my fractured vertebrae and soon had to drag myself back upstairs to dream of the hairpin turns and majestic rolling Texas hills I’d ridden over mere hours before.


The final day of our trip was spent breakfasting at the Old Spanish Trail Cafe and browsing the local antique shops prior to loading up the cages and heading home.

I said a forlorn goodbye to Moonshine as she disappeared into the distance on Mike’s trailer. She will be staying in his capable hands in Tyler untill I’ve recovered from my upcoming spinal surgery.

Perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze one more ride in this weekend before I go under the knife next Tuesday. I may just drive to Tyler Friday night in the motor home and do a one day swamp or piney woods ride before she get’s locked away in Mike’s garage for the next several months.


Three Sisters

EveryTrail – Find the best Hiking near San Antonio, Texas

Gearpocalypse Day 187

My Triumph Rocket III v5

One-hundred-eighty-seven days, thirty-four minutes, and two cigars.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve planted my butt in the saddle of my Triumph R3 for a good long ride. I’m probably going to have to take up smoking.

Two weeks ago I stopped in at Eurosport and Tony was nice enough to pull me into the shop so I could see what was being done to my bike.

There’s a reason that surgeons don’t allow family to come in and watch when they are meddling around with the innards of a loved one on the operating table. Motorcycle mechanics should have the same basic rules.

Seeing my precious in a hundred or so pieces made me feel nauseous. I have full faith and confidence that Tony’s crew knows what they’re doing, but I’d just as soon not see behind the curtain again. The only parts I could readily recognize were the front forks and wheel propped up forlornly in the corner, and the barren frame on the lift in the middle of the shop floor.

The guys are working hard to re-assemble Moonshine after replacing a few gears and linkage parts inside the gearbox. I’ve told Tony I’m desperate to get some riding in before my back surgery in late April. After that it will be another six months of no riding.


Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion on the Horizon

I have about 7 weeks to get some serious two-wheeling in before I go under the knife yet again; this time for a rebuild of my lower back.

For those who stumbled onto this site looking for personal experience with this surgery, I intend to blog all the gory details about the 9+ years of pain in my lower back, how difficult and painful the recovery is, and how fast I get back to “normal” as well as the extent of improvement post recovery.

My surgeon has already warned me that relieving the pressure on my spinal cord by removing the lamina and fusing the L4, L5, and S1 vertebrae with the addition on titanium rods, plates, and screws will not cure me of back pain, but it should cure my sciatic leg pains and numbness. I will be ecstatic even if that’s the minimum I get out of it.

My current condition is constant pain ranging from 4 to 7 on a one to ten scale, with spikes to 100 on a one to ten scale if I do any heavy lifting at all. This type of pain defies the laws of mathematical statistics. I have a fractured vertebrae…the common medical term is a “burst fracture”, which means that a sudden compression crushed the vertebrae and it cracked into multiple pieces.fusion I also have two herniated discs above and below that vertebrae which are pressing on my spinal cord, That’s where the sciatic nerve junctions off to travel down the legs, hence my constant leg pain.

I’m hopeful that in the near future I will be able to perform physical labor without having to spend the following two days consuming pain killers like Doctor House.

Stay tuned if you’re interested.

A Warning About

walmartGot a account?

Don’t store your credit card info in it.

Here’s why:

Walmart currently has a personal computer at one of their Maryland stores that was shipped there for store pickup via a fraudulent order on my account. I assume someone hacked my account due to lousy internet security. My experience with customer support indicates the whole company may be infested with incompetence.

I recieved an email notice about this charge on 2/12/13 and immediately called customer service at 800.966.6546 to alert them that the order was fraudulent. I also called my credit card company’s fraud reporting line and reported the card as lost or stolen.

The service representative assured me that the Maryland store would be instructed not to release the product and that my credit card would not be charged.

He lied. My card was charged with the full amount a couple of days later.

I called the Maryland store directly this morning and was told the product had not been released. As to the charge on my card they redirected me back to customer support at (800) 966-6546.

I called, and was informed that I would have to dispute the charge with my financial institution.

When I asked why WalMart charged my card after I informed them the order was fraudulent I just got a repeat of the statement that I would have to dispute the charge with my financial institution.

I asked to speak to a supervisor, and got Diane.

Diane stuck to the story, and had no explanation of why would charge my account when no one had recieved the product. She merely stated that she could not provide a refund under federal law on a fraudulent charge. I told her there shouldn’t have been a fraudulent charge because WalMart made the charge AFTER I reported a fraudulent order, and what happened to the policy of not charging a customer until the item was picked up?

She wasn’t willing to provide any answers, and just kept repeating the same irrelevant nonsense.

So now I’m sitting here deciding whether to pay some bills late or dig into the savings account because WalMart has charged me for a product I haven’t recieved, that WalMart still has in its possesion, and my bank is closed for President’s Day.

The little guy once again has to deal with the hassle and accept all the risk.

I’ve closed my account and plan to avoid their stores like the plague henceforth.

I would appreciate anyone and everyone reposting this article, as the web is the only recourse we have against large corporations that tilt their shoulders and force their customers to accept all risk in every transaction.

Tell ’em it’s all because of the way they mishandled order #2677063-458618 and allowed a thief to victimize their customer.