Aug 272022

The month of August has not kind to my soul. I rushed my sister to hospital – the was timing pretty good as a few hours later her appendix burst. I spent an amazing week caring for dad, working in the office and driving home to care for John, who had back pain.

John had used Dr Google to diagnose himself. He soldiered on for a week longer, his legs collapsing under him at random times. I offered to take him to the doctors several times but he was stubborn. Until last Saturday…

He collapsed in the toilet, the door closed. I had trouble getting to him. He finally dragged himself out and got to a sitting position. I am sure his knees are still broken but no one looked at those.

I called ‘nurse on call’ and she patched us through to the ambulance.

This was getting scary. I had never seen him shaking from pain. While his back was giving him lots of pain, he was paralysed from the waist down!

The ambulance carted him off to the hospital emergency ward. He was admitted, they injected marker dye up and down his spine (over 100 injections!), then did several CAT scans, after which he was transferred to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

They found a ”mass” in front of his spine and scraped and did some stuff to his back (laminectomy, P11 & P12), 2 slipped discs and said that the ”mass” should be absorbed by his body over time.

He is now home. During this whole time, my neighbours have been feeding me and checking on me.

For the first 3 days I hadn’t eaten and drank little. They started bringing me meals and Chai. After that… I could get used to being spoilt.

With John home, they have taken to feeding him too. I am learning some Punjabi words to show my gratitude. Having neighbours like this restores my faith in the words neighbourly love.

Many thanks to the Singh family!

* John’s reason for a laminectomy was degeneration & arthritis of the spine. This leads to narrowing of the pathways that nerves travel through (vertebral canal or foraminae) and can also cause sciatic nerve pressure. It may be difficult to walk due to aching or burning in the legs after short distances (claudication).

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