Saturday, October 03, 2009

Some Worrying News

I have a rather wonderful brother, Stephen, who lives in Australia with his wife, Margaret.

Stephen injured his back working in the garden a few weeks ago, and his GP put him on morphine until an MRI scan could be arranged. He had his MRI scan and had to see the Spine Specialist this week. There has been an interval of several weeks, during which time conservative treatment was tried, with no good effect. The long and the short of it is that the Specialist believes that the injury will not resolve on its own. He is going to have a diskectomy (?what I would call a laminectomy??) on 27 October.

This is routine surgery these days, but routine or not, it's a big op and will need quite a long convalescence. I have two special concerns :

  1. He has already had spinal surgery for an earlier back injury, and
  2. He has had a serious heart attack, which may cause problems during the anaesthetic.

Margaret's adult son Robbie has been looking after Stephen while Margaret is at work. It is wounding to Steve's pride to ask for someone to put his socks on for him and for other things of that nature to be done for him. He is a very independent man who likes to run his own life, and do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, and being dependant through necessity is driving him nuts. I daresay he is being grouchy because of it, which may explain why Margaret said that they had had 'a hard week'. A serious illness or injury puts innumerable stresses on a household. There may be financial stresses too as medical care is not free over there.

All in all, these are things they could do without. Lets pray that the surgery, anaesthetic and convalescence will go well.

This photo of Steve and his niecelings was taken in July when he and Margaret visited England. It was a family barbeque in Sean's garden, and it was a wonderful day.


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