Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Housekeeping: I'm still kicking

A little bit of housekeeping before things go back to normal at TWFE.

I had the talk with my doctor Monday, and he's found out...well, not much.

It's confirmed that I'm bleeding internally, but they still don't yet know why, where, or how. I'm anemic, as the blood loss is causing a big time iron deficiency. I'm also feeling quite run down (thanks to the iron deficiency) and I'm losing weight, about 15 pounds in the last 4+ months, which is also somewhat concerning my docs. I'm kind of happy about that, (I'm thisclose to the weight I played high school football! w00t! I'm at my fighting trim! If I was fighting, that is...) of course the caveat being as long it's in thanks to me watching what I eat (which I try to do, but not to any extremes), and not a symptom of something else. Just add it to the list of things I need to monitor.

At least I have a good idea as to why I get so God damn exhausted sometimes, and don't even feel like writing, let alone doing anything else. Now we just need to figure out the actual reasons behind it all. Should be fun.

So the next step in figuring out the internal bleeding is seeing a Gastroenterologist next week, where we'll discuss my having an (ugh) colonoscopy. At least we're now taking baby steps towards a solution.

But the fun doesn't end there. The next week, I'm headed to Ann Arbor to meet with an orthopedic surgeon at U of M. We'll see if I'm a candidate for having my spine surgically straightened with an osteotomy. I was able to find the following about the "procedure" in attempting to do my due diligence better than Matt Millen ever did...

While rare, a procedure such as an osteotomy may be an option. This involves cutting through the spinal column so that it can be realigned to a more vertical position in order to significantly improve the posture of a patient. After the bone is realigned in a more vertical position it will be allowed to heal in that new position. Typically, spinal instrumentation (such as pedicle screws) and a spinal fusion are combined with an osteotomy to stabilize the spine during healing and foster growth of new bone to fuse the spine in the new position.

The area of the spine that is operated on will vary depending on the type of deformity and symptoms, and for some patients several sections of the spine may need to be surgically corrected. For example, for severe chin-on-chest deformity, surgical correction in the area where the neck meets the upper spine is typically done.
Boy, that sounds fucking pleasant. Carving up my spinal column, straightening my back, then wearing a halo and/or dealing with a hardware store in my back, for who know how long while the bone fuses together. Jesus...

But it's nowhere near being a done deal. I'll know much more about the surgery, and if this is something I may go through with, in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, my personal melodrama should be quieting down, with things returning to its normal, boring routine at Casa De Big Al . In other words, my father has left SE MI. With it confirmed that I'm doing OK for the time being, my dad and step-mom took off for Florida this morning, hoping they'll be able to find gas once he drives past the Mason-Dixon line. He wants to make Atlanta tonight, where my step-sister lives. She let him know the gas tanks in Hotlanta are as dry and barren as the Arizona desert...on a good day. My fingers are crossed they have an uneventful trip.

So that's the latest. I'll be back to writing about life's toy store, sports, shortly. One of my first priorities will be The Knee Jerks, as Eno and myself are hoping to get our little weekly chat up and running soon. As for TWFE's move to MVN, the latest from the MVN Grand Poohbah's is they are shooting for mid October. They are having issues with their new platform, delaying our plans. But it will happen.

By the way, I want to thank everyone who touched base, and were thinking good thoughts during all my medical bullshit.

Thanks for reading, and allowing me to vent a tad. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. How about those Lions and Tigers, huh?


  1. A colonoscopy sounds bad, true - but my mom recently had one (due to a history of colon cancer in her family) and she said it really wasn't as bad as she was expecting. They knocked her out during it, so the most aggravating part was the cleaning out procedure beforehand. The inconvenience was the worst. It sounds worse than it is, honest. My mom wouldn't lie to me about that. :)

    I'm glad to hear that at least it isn't anything immediately serious, at least. Take care of yourself, Al.

  2. Glad you're doing ummm.... well? Get better soon, and get back to writing. Your former other blog is slipping from my must read list, so I need a Detroit sports site that is well written and entertaining.

    And knows how to spell Honolulu.

    Keep fighting. If my hopes pan out and I move back home, I'll buy you a drink.

  3. This internal bleeding stuff sounds serious. I was having that sort of problem until I figured out that 13 years of uncoated aspirin as a heart attack preventitive ate a hole in my stomach. Ease up on the aspirin or go to low dose coated. As far as a colonoscopy is concerned, you have to take your fun where you find it. Make sure that after the spinal stuff you're going to be able to make a golf swing--that would be my first question, by the way--and remember, you might need a new set of Pings when it's over. And, just in case you missed it, Sarah Palin has a new nickname, "Bible Spice." And the Wolverines won Rodent Bowl I. All the best.

  4. Thanks for your concern, everyone!

    Baroque, my parents said the same thing, make sure you're sedated for the procedure. I'm not looking forward to having to fast though.

    GTW, that sounds like a plan.

    Omar, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some sort of stomach issue. Before the AS and OA were diagnosed, I pounded the ibuprofen to kill the pain the best I could. Good call on the golf swing. Bible Spice? That's hilarious!