Saturday, August 11, 2012

“Lynne's Healthcare Adventure – Part I”

Dear Friends,

Lynne is currently enjoying her best physical health in quite some time, and it comes at the end of a recent challenging journey through the public healthcare system. Rather than tell you the tale of the past two months, I thought it might be fun to show you a compilation of the periodic updates I sent to my family and some friends throughout the experience.

Once I put these emails together, I saw that I would be posting something three time as long as what you usually read from me, so I'm going to divide it up. This post is the first installment.

As always, I appreciate you reading.


You only forget the things you don't care to remember.
- Vic Baranco


June 7 - “Lynne's Surgery”
Hi Family,

As most of you know, Lynne has had sciatica on and off for over a year. The pain has had different manifestations, the current one being that she has to stand pretty much nonstop because it hurts too much to sit. An MRI has revealed a 3-cm mass, a cystic lesion, on her T-12 and L-1 vertebrae, which is most likely pressing on the sciatic nerve. She is scheduled for surgery next Tuesday, June 12 to remove the lesion. The operation involves her lying on her stomach while they enter through her back. She will be in the hospital for a few days after the surgery before coming home. The doctors at Alameda Medical Center - Highland Hospital have an excellent reputation, so we are expecting good outcomes. 

Thanks for your good thoughts.


June 12 - “Lynne”
Hi All,
The surgery was completely successful, in that they were able to remove the entire mass and all her post-surgery motor functions check out fine. In addition, they did a frozen section and found that the tumor was completely benign. They won't be able to know for some time about sensation (pain or numbness) or how much the removal of the tumor will affect her sciatica.

The surgical team numbered at least five, and they introduced themselves to us ahead of time, clearly competent and confident. The operation took about 6 1/2 hours, and those of the doctors with whom I spoke afterwards were all smiles at the results. When I left her this evening, Lynne was quite groggy but smiling and conversing. Pretty impressive, considering she'd just been told she'd have to stay completely flat on her back for 24 hours. I'll be returning to the hospital at 8am.

Many thanks to all for you for the constant blessings being sent our way.

Overwhelmed with love,

June 13 - “Day Two”
Hi Loved Ones,

After 24 hours in the Patient After-Care Unit because no beds were available in the hospital, Lynne was moved to an actual room today, which she shares with three other patients. The hospital had hoped to get her a better room, but they were desperate for space in the PACU and had to get her out of there. It was quite a shock to her system. In the PACU, there had been limited access and she was surrounded by nurses. In her room, she is surrounded by patients with large families and loud TVs. In addition, her doctors had told her that she was doing so well that she could get up and move around. But when she got to her new room and tried to move, it was too painful to do so, and she had to take more pain medication. She was very disappointed, as she had been looking forward to more mobility. However, once the meds kicked in and she got acclimated to the new place, she calmed down dramatically and was actually able to nap for a while before a nurse came in with a computer and started taking all her information. I'm rallying the troops to visit her while I'm at work.

Let's all pray that her recovery is so swift that she can come home sooner rather than later to her familiar house and her close friends.

Thank you all for your love and support.


June 15 - “Update”
Hi Everyone,

Lynne has improved immensely. Today she was able to stand with the aid of a walker. Tomorrow she is being transferred to a rehab facility in order to focus on physical therapy. She still has to take a lot of pain medication and we are told that the newly-freed nerves in her spine may take some time to recover.



Well, readers, that's all for now.  As you'll see in the next installments, things get better and better from here.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us Gerry! I am looking forward to the next installment. Wishing you and Lynne the very best...


  2. Thanks, David! It's good to hear from you!