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Seems sort of funny to me that the doctor's post operation advice was to get out and get some exercise. "I just stabbed you in the back with a metal instrument, drilled a hole in your spine, monkeyed about with your spinal cord, and cut out some of your disc. You need to get out and get moving!" Three days post op and it isn't sounding so ludicrous. The incision still hurts and the back is a little stiff, but I feel WAY better than I did two weeks ago. The surgery has been a long time coming. I hurt myself while water skiing in 1992 and the ol back has never been quite the same. About once or twice a year my back would "go out" again and I would be off my feet for a few days. But building a sand castle on Easter weekend with my nephew and my brother must have been the proverbial straw. I now know how that camel felt. Instead of getting better after a week, like it usually does, my back just kept getting worse. And after several episodes of not being able to stand up without tears streaming down my face I finally got an MRI. It turns out that I had two ruptured discs in my lower back and some sizable pieces of the disc were now pressing on my spinal cord and nerves. Looking at the cross section of my spinal cord on the MRI I could see that instead of being round, like it was in the rest of my back, it was being pressed into a U shape. By the time I got in to see the Neurosurgeon I didn't need much convincing that surgery was a good idea. At that point I would have done almost anything to relieve the pain. It was kind of comical watching the doctor work his way around to telling me that "The injury you have rarely gets better by itself..." I needed no convincing. I was ready to go to surgery that day! Being of the instant gratification generation, the 10 days I had to wait seemed never ending. I didn't really feel much anxiety about the procedure until they actually wheeled me into the O.R. The Anesthesiologist came to see me in the pre-op area, asked if I had any questions and if needed anything for anxiety. "Nope, I'm doing fine." I told him. "Oh, a tough guy, huh?" He replied with a smirk. But, when they wheeled me down the hall and into the O.R., past the sinks where the surgeons scrub in, and let me get a good look and all the equipment that they use to bring people back from the brink of death, I started to ponder my own mortality. I realized that these people were actually going to be cutting me open in a few minutes and wish I had taken the Anesthesiologist up on his offer. They parked me right in front of the operating table. It wasn't so much a table though. All black and covered with white and blue foam padding, it looked like a cross between some sort of exercise equipment and a hi-tech massage table. The combination of that hospital smell and all that exotic looking lifesaving equipment raised my anxiety from about 1 to about a 6. I couldn't help but wonder how many people had been wheeled in here and had never made it out. I felt like someone had set an anvil on my stomach and my mouth got very dry. I distracted myself by admiring the machine that makes the Micro part of a Microdiscectomy possible while the anesthesiologist babbled on about something in a cheery voice (why are those guys always so happy?) and I started to get light headed. I don't remember very much after that, but my back is feeling better. I seem to be recovering pretty quickly. Although, it isn't as "nearly painless" as I had heard it described by some. My parents have been a great help. The have taken all four of our girls for the last three days and given me some peace and quite around the house. Things are looking up.

Kari is out for the evening with Auntie Shell. So I decided to take the girls out for dinner. Just me and the kids. On the drive to IHOP (That is where they wanted to go) I was marveling at the progress we have made over the last couple of years. I never would have taken them all to a restaurant by myself on purpose even a year ago. But now it is sooo easy.

My blood pressure has still not come back to normal.

Before we even got to the restaurant Madison was in tears because she somehow scratched her arm. No idea how she did that while strapped in her car seat, but for the rest of the evening she would continue to insist (EVERY TWO MINUTES) that she have a bandaid. Which I didn't have...

At the restaurant we settled into a booth and examined the kids menu. They each changed their minds about what they wanted at least once. Madison, between tearful pleas for a bandaid, changed her mind 6 times. Rylee was starting to get a little restless while waiting for the food so I asked her to open a creamer and pour in in my coffee. You know, practice the fine motor skills. I don't know why I thought that was going to be a good idea. I should have seen it coming... Rylee opened it and poured it fine, but then all her sisters wanted to do it too. They preceded to come dangerously close to full on meltdown when I told them no.

Then they needed to pee. So we all marched to the bathroom. The phrase "like herding cats" comes to mind. Someone must have slipped them some sugar, because they were going ape. I think I kept repeating something like "Come here, come here, come here, comehere, comehere, comeer, comeercomeercomeercomeer, STOP!" We got the usual "Are they all yours?!!" "Whoa! All girls?!!!" "Man, are you in for trouble!" comments on the way to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom Reagan immediately locked herself in a stall, Jordan started crawling on the floor, and Madison began crying for a bandaid again. Rylee was pretty good.

The food had arrived by the time we got back to the table. I started to cut up Madison's waffle. I looked up to see Jordan had filled her waffle with strawberry syrup and was holding it up with both hands and stuffing it into her mouth, syrup dripping everywhere. Madison, between loud calls for a bandaid, insisted on ordering powdered sugar. Rylee was taking bites large enough to choke a donkey and Reagan poured at least a third of a bottle of syrup on her chocolate pancake.

There was about 4 minutes of peace while they were engaged stuffing their faces. But then Reagan and Jordan had to climb under the table (only one banged her head and required a kiss this time), then stand on the seats and wave at people, and play with sugar packets while dipping their elbows in left over syrup. Madison continued to demand a bandaid between devouring her meal and a large portion of mine.

I got them all out to the car with about a hundred more comments like "Come here, come here, come here, comehere, comehere, comeer, comeercomeercomeercomeer, STOP!"

They argued amongst themselves all the way home.

I don't have the time or energy to proof read this so forgive the misspellings and runonsentences.

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