Back at my desk again, about to rejoin the fray.....
09 March 2019
NOOSA - It's been quite a week. But I'm at home in one piece, though it doesn't feel like that right now.
Seven days ago I lay on a hospital gurney, flat on a decrepit back, trying to take in anaesthetist Jack Huang's mandatory briefing about the risks I faced at his hands.
I was at ease with those risks. I'd built them into my decision to have this surgery, the fifth on my spine and third in three years.
Told by the previous surgeon he wouldn't undertake a further operation because "it could well leave you much worse off," this day was something of a last chance saloon.
For me, not being 'much worse off' meant declining mobility and increasing pain. This day's procedure was a bet against invalidity.
I'd done my research, took some months to consider a decision and found my man - Brisbane maestro Dr Gert Tollesson - to slice open the lower back like a fillet and find every bit of intrusive bone, displaced disc, problematic nerve ending and strand of scar tissue so as to forge a clear pathway for constrained and impeded nerves, giving them a clear run and doing the same for me.
Nearly four hours later, I emerged into morphine-addled stupor in intensive care, many tubes poking out of many orifices. The grand theatre of surgery was over and the ugly process of recovery had begun.
And so it continues but in a place we all yearn for at times of great stress - at home amongst family and friends.
And PNG Attitude, my companion over so many years, resumes. Thanks for sticking with me.
Now to get this old cart back on the road.
Yes yangpla olgeta taim. Good to hear you will be up and about soon. Great man!
Posted by: Mathias Kin | 27 March 2019 at 06:58 PM
Great that you are back at the desk.
Praying for your recovery.
Posted by: Simon Davidson | 13 March 2019 at 07:10 AM
Posted by: Michael Dom | 12 March 2019 at 10:31 PM
I am happy to hear you are back home recuperating. Been under that blade many times and it's like kind of normal thing for me, you know.
Take it easy old boy, you will get to full steam soon.
Cheers buddy and warm greetings to Ingrid.
Posted by: Francis Nii | 11 March 2019 at 06:52 AM
Great to have you back at the desk. I also expect to read in the press where your surgeon will be attending an international conference to explain his successful procedure with you as his case study!
Posted by: Ross Wilkinson | 11 March 2019 at 12:12 AM
Happy to hear that you back to recovery. Pax et Bonum.
Posted by: Philip Kai Morre | 10 March 2019 at 01:25 PM
My best wishes for a great recovery. x
Posted by: Susan Francis | 10 March 2019 at 08:11 AM
Welcome back Keith... err... sorry wrong phraseology.
Good to have you back... rats...
I mean, glad you're OK.
Posted by: Paul Oates | 10 March 2019 at 07:52 AM
G’day Keith, I am pleased to see that you are safely back at home.
Anyone who has major surgery knows how right you are to refer to the long and sometimes arduous recovery process as being far worse than the procedure itself.
I trust that your neurosurgeon has turned you into a medical triumph and that you will, as a consequence, be and feel hugely better.
Posted by: Chris Overland | 10 March 2019 at 07:50 AM
Welcome back to the living, Keith. The world has been a lonelier place without you even though you sent brief messages from your sickbed.
It made me realise that you and I have been exchanging ideas, arguing and rubbing shoulders for nigh on fifty years.
Take it easy Keith. Get well. Sincere best wishes.
BBB (Bloody Bill Brown)
Posted by: Bill Brown | 10 March 2019 at 07:45 AM
Welcome back, Keith: we missed you. Get well soon.
Posted by: Ed Brumby | 10 March 2019 at 07:05 AM
Best wishes and speed recovery.
Posted by: Jimmy Awagl | 09 March 2019 at 09:32 PM
Dear Keith, best wishes for a full recovery from the spinal operation.
I had a similar operation in July 2017 which removed the pain but left me with stenosis from damage to the spinal cord. I am mobile using walking sticks or a 4WD walker but have not had to use painkillers for two years.
Thanks for your work on PNG Attitude which helps so much to keep us B4's in touch. All the best and kind regards.
Posted by: Bob Hallahan | 09 March 2019 at 08:12 PM
You were missed, Keith. Guess you feel inclined to at least some years of relatively painless enjoyment after all that dissection, scraping, cutting, stitching. Do wish that for you.
I’m such a coward when it comes to hospitals and indeed all things medical. I hyped myself for the polio vaccine either in The Guards or just after.
The doctor saw my apprehension and asked, “What’s a matter?” I replied, “I hate injections!” Then he put a small piece of sugar in my mouth and a few drops of the vaccine. “That’s it!”
I thought of the company's motto: 'Ovna na ovna angai' (for non-Welsh that's 'Feared be he who fear not death'). Mmmm.
Posted by: Arthur Williams | 09 March 2019 at 07:25 PM
Welcome back, Keith. Rest up and travel well.
Posted by: Robin Lillicrapp | 09 March 2019 at 07:20 PM
Welcome back to 3D.
Posted by: Slim Kaikai | 09 March 2019 at 06:31 PM
Mi na Julie amamas long lukim yu gen long hia. Best wishes from 'Wayback' Wabag.
Posted by: Daniel Kumbon | 09 March 2019 at 05:43 PM
Keith, best wishes for a full recovery.
Posted by: Garry Roche | 09 March 2019 at 04:48 PM
Best wishes for a Keith for a speedy recovery.
Posted by: Norm Wilson | 09 March 2019 at 03:24 PM
It's good to see your face again! Hope you'll soon be smiling!
Posted by: Barbara Short | 09 March 2019 at 03:20 PM
Wishing you a seedy recovery Keith.
Posted by: Joe Herman | 09 March 2019 at 03:15 PM
Struth! You look like you've been hammering the chardonnay for a week. I bet you feel like that too. I guess I'd feel the same way if I'd been eviscerated in the manner you describe.
Lots of good wishes coming from the cyber sphere - all on your side. If friendship heals you're in good hands.
I'm in good hands. Reminds of the political anecdote: "The branch wishes you a full and speedy recovery. The vote was 9-8" - KJ
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 09 March 2019 at 02:48 PM
All the best Keith, Had a few Dimple's for you last night, They went down well. Ho He Fat Choi.
They really helped too, William. Felt much better after learning you'd had them for me - KJ
Posted by: William Dunlop | 09 March 2019 at 01:23 PM
That cart-ography maps easing of inclines? Vast landscape of metaphors. Go well.
Posted by: Lindsay F Bond | 09 March 2019 at 10:15 AM
Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
Posted by: Daniel Doyle | 09 March 2019 at 09:31 AM
Kia Kaha Keith, thanks for all your great work.
Posted by: Johnny Blades | 09 March 2019 at 09:21 AM