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March 05, 2013 9:29 am

The Amend Corner: Back to reality

Written by Don Amend

To all my readers of the Powell Tribune:

Sorry for the long silence, but I have been in a fog since early February. For the first two weeks of the month, I spent most of my time sitting, riding or walking around with weights as much as 30 pounds dangling from my head trying to straighten me out some, and it worked, too. After that 11-day ordeal, I was about four to six inches taller than before. More importantly, it gave the surgeons the needed space to repair my upper vertebrae.



The next steps were two day-long operations removing scar tissue from my surgery from last February, and, a few days later, fixing and strengthening bones with a lot of hardware.

Those two surgeries put my lights out for about two weeks. All I remember is loud, bright, noisy, scary nightmares and long, dark evenings with people talking in the distance and not knowing what they were talking about. In between, people would come into the room, roll me around in the bed, flash lights into my eyes and stab needles in my arms. Eventually, I learned to understand what was happening, although some of the nightmares still don’t make sense. I’m not sure where that very dark world is, but I certainly hope I don’t have to go back there soon.

Now for the good part — at least I hope it is good. So far, the surgery seems to have done what it was supposed to do. My neck is stabilized and my back straightened without a lot of nerve damage. And all my legs and arms work. But lots of therapy and other healing have to happen before I will be back in circulation in Powell.

There have been numerous times, even now as I’m writing this, that I have wondered if I did the right thing in coming here. The surgeon tells me he has given me an extra 10 years of life. If he has, I will take it, but I’m a little afraid of the limitations and quality of life I may have. But I guess that is always a gamble in life. You always take a chance on what you do and hope it works out and depend heavily on God for it all to come out right. As I said the first time I wrote about this trouble with my back a year ago, I still don’t know what all right will look like, once I have recovered, but I ’ll try to do my best with whatever is handed to me.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and concerns and for the kindness and support you have shown us.

Note that I have engaged a stenographer for this, as right now I am lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, wondering why my back won’t quit hurting. So I am dictating this to my wife, Karen. Think of her often, because if anybody needs help in this situation, it is Karen. I really got lucky when I married her.

We miss the activities in Powell and hope to see all of you soon.

(Editor’s note: Don’s surgery took place at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.)

1 Comment

  • Comment Link March 05, 2013 11:38 am posted by Tom Urbach

    Don I am so glad that the surgery helped and seems to have worked. Deb and I were wondering how you were doing and I looked up the phone number you gave at the wrestling duals and it looked like your home so I called Earl and he had not heard any new news. God Bless you and Karen.

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