Peter had been the anesthesiologist for lumbar fusion surgeries, so he knew what is really entailed. Being on the other side of a surgery was hard for Peter. When he woke up he noticed that the pain in his right leg was gone. He had a PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia), an IV hookup where the patient can push a button and deliver a measured amount of narcotic pain medicine. In the hospital he was constipated, bloated, and had no appetite. By the fifth day after his surgery, Peter didn’t need a walker anymore to get around the hospital corridors.
But the only way to-to deal with this permanently, and to give you the kind of relief that you're looking for is a fusion. When I heard the word fusion, I freaked out. Totally freaked out, because I understood, intuitively and immediately, that it meant both an anterior and a posterior approach.
That's a big operation. I thought I was gonna have maybe a microdiscectomy, maybe a little decompression. Fusion just-just blew me away. And I panicked. Well, I think most people don't appreciate what that means. It just-it scared the hell out of me. I walked out of the office, basically in a state of shock. And came home, sat my girlfriend down and... said, I think I bit off more than I can chew. And by the way, I have done anesthetic for these operations, so I really knew what it entailed.
And I just sat with it. I knew that the diagnosis was correct, I knew that the... proposed surgery was correct. I mean, I was having anxiety, and I was having a really, really hard time accepting what I was gonna have to go through. And after about two weeks, I said, This is enough. You've got a good surgeon. You have a competent anesthesiologist. The surgeon that I picked does three, four of these a week. And I let it go. I just said, I'm gonna go through this. I've got the best... of everyone available, and it's gonna be okay.
It's really interesting when an anesthesiologist has surgery. Because all of a sudden, you're on the other side. And... I think you in fact learn something from that experience. You don't really appreciate how frightened how people are going in to that operating room. They don't really know what to expect. They wheel you into the operating room, and that's-that's it. That's the last thing you remember. The next thing you remember is waking up in recovery.