Cervical Stenosis Surgery

I finally had my surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital for a 2 level fusion for cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord in the neck. I will wear a support collar for one month and I am currently in very little pain. I can already feel the numbness abating around my shoulders and hands. Dr. Coufal was the attending neurosurgeon and he had a wonderful support team of all women.

While I was in the hospital recovering after the surgery, I was taken care of by Isabelle, Raquel, Carrie and Jean, all nurses of the utmost talent and compassion for taking care of patients. I found out that Dr. Coufal was the doctor on call when Victor Espinoza was thrown from a horse in training at the Del Mar Race Track. Victor rode California Chrome to wins and American Pharoah to the Triple Crown. My good friend, Dolly, who committed suicide last May took me behind the scenes to photograph him racing and warming up. She knew him well and he returned her familiar shout of “hello” with a hello right back. Dolly was always there to offer support and encouragement to the jockeys and their mounts. She could pick a talented horse out of the pack with great success. She will always be missed but I am comforted to know that she isn’t suffering anymore. Shortly after Dolly had passed away, Victor had sustained a life-threatening injury to C-3 and could very well have become paralyzed if it weren’t for the expertise of Dr. Coufal and the support team at Scripps and not only is he able to walk, he may be able to race once again.

And here I am now back in my awesome ICON 24ft Class C RV. There is a heatwave scorching a good portion of the country and I have the AC on and we are watching Cinderella Man starring Russel Crowe. It is based on a true story about a boxer during the depression that wins the world boxing title as an underdog. Michael had taken the RV in to have a leaky faucet fixed and our TV hooked up properly when I went into surgery. There was a bad connection and we never really have had the use of the TV until now. It isn’t something I like to do very often unless a program is well done and not too violent. I decided to watch this film because I admire Russel Crowe so much and I knew that it had a happy ending.

Our good friend Fred helped Michael pick up the RV and return it while I was in the hospital and even invited Michael and Callie to spend the night at his place. Callie adores Fred and I felt less stressed leaving her when I knew of the arrangement. She and I are so bonded that when we are separated, we both miss one another very much.

So, Callie, Michael and I are doing very well and our daughter is arriving on Monday. What a fun couple of weeks I am going to have while I get well after my surgery with my entire family all together once again.

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