A tree surgeons recovery

The MRI Scan-Day 3

Me in hospital with my brother

At 7.00am I was woken, at 7.45 I was picked up by the porters as expected. It was the first time I was able to have a look at the ward and the hospital as we made our way down to the scanning department. It was nice to get out of the four walls I was used to.

Arriving at the scanning ward I was wheeled into a bay where I was to wait, along with a few others waiting, some in hospital beds others in wheel chairs. After answering some questions and being transferred into another bed I was wheeled into the room where the MRI scanner was. 

They placed some ear defenders on me and I was placed under the scanner, I was told to put my hands by my side and to try and move as little as possible. For anyone who doesn’t like tight spaces this wouldn’t be the best experience. Once inside, the machine makes a load noise, you can’t really describe the noise other then its load and annoying. I was in for about thirty minutes as they scanned various parts of my spine. I was certainly happy when it was over.

Once out I was wheeled back to the bay where my bed was, they used a board to slide me back on to it. The porters collected me and I was back on my way to my room. Once back I had breakfast. All I had to do was wait for the results.

Another routine I’d settled into and to help the time pass was hospital TV, not that it’s any different from home TV other then its extortionate to buy and you only have limited TV programs, but I did have a number of films I could watch. My TV day would start with BBC News until 9.00am, followed by Frasier for a double episode. 10.00am, Homes under the hammer. 11.00am, Cowboy builders. On Friday the rugby world cup started which meant another thing to add to my routine of TV watching.

The highlight of my day was my visitors, it’s amazing the difference of regularly seeing people. Even if at times there wasn’t much conversation it was just being in company, knowing that someone is with you. 

It was that evening that two consultant neurosurgeons surgeons came to see me, Dr Dardis and Mr El-Maghraby. They had the results of the MRI scan. Dr Dardis had been assigned to me from the off and would see me regular so he led the discussion. The diagnosis was as confirmed a bad burst L2 fracture, from the scans parts of bone had splintered and the bulk of the bone was badly fractured. 

They gave me two options, the first was to lay flat on my back for six weeks in hospital to allow the bone to heal. After six weeks they would re-scan my back, if it had healed correctly then great, if not they would potentially have to operate to correct it and then it was recovery time. The second was to have an operation, this was where Mr El-Maghraby came in, he was a specialist in non invasive treatment. This involved making four small keyhole incisions, two screws would be placed in the vertebrae above the broken one and two below, then titanium rods would be connected. This method would mean the rods would support my spine while the bone healed, which meant I would be able move while the bone healed. They said that within 72 hours of having the operation I could be up and about and at home. However, with every operation there are risks, especially as it involved screws near my spine and infection. 

Mr El-Maghraby couldn’t operate for ten days which they said would allow time for my body to recover, but also it would allow for me to decide which option to go for.

Click here to follow my next progress


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