Monday, September 7, 2009

Surgery, Surgeon Recommendation and Fun!!!

Ok, so this past week has been CRAZY, but the good thing is that I got a bunch of great pics of my GORGEOUS niece, so I can update my page with her beauty.

If you read my last post, you will remember that I was nervous about my sister, Dawn, having a cervical fusion. Part of my fears stem from working in the spine industry for 5 years. I used to sell spinal implants (rods, screws, etc.) to Orthopedic and Neurosurgeons. I have seen just about everything that can go wrong in a spine surgery, so needless to say, I was not incredibly enthused. However, experience in the operating room and the ability to witness tons of surgeries by many different doctors allowed me to help my sister in making a decision as to which doctor would be best suited for her needs. Ok, let me rephrase that, it allowed me to TELL my sister which doctor she WOULD be using. I was not about to let her take a chance in the operating room and end up with someone I wasn't comfortable with.

Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Dr. J. Bob Blacklock, the best Neurosurgeon in town. Heck, probably the best in the country. I have trusted both my mother, and now, my sister in the hands of this man. He is a surgical genius, has the steadiest hands and a great demeanor. Better yet, the man will not do surgery on you if it is not necessary. If you are having spine surgery, especially cervical spine surgery, I IMPLORE you to go with a Neurosurgeon. They spend an entire extra year of med school just studying the spinal cord and all the nerves around it. Isn't that reason enough? Wouldn't you prefer someone working on your spine who has the knowledge and ability to use sharp instruments next to your spinal cord versus a surgeon who has a history of studying mostly bones? I would.

Anyway, Dr. Blacklock did another excellent job. He did a minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with instrumentation on my sister. Once again, there was minimal blood loss, the herniated disc was COMPLETELY removed and she was done in about 2 hours. The only drawback was that she has a terrible reaction to anesthesia and was quite sick for a few hours. That was so scary, but after much assurance from the lovely staff at Methodist, all was well. She went home the next day and already feels relief in the finger that was numb as well as the shoulder that kept hurting her. Don't get me wrong, she can't do a cartwheel or anything, but she is going to be in much better shape than before.

I was going to post a picture of her post surgical wound on here, but I decided there was really no reason to. You can't see much and it wouldn't really give you a good grasp on what exactly she had done.

So, call Dr. Blacklock if you ever have any back pain, are suggested by your physician to see a back surgeon and/or have already seen another surgeon and want a great second opinion.

This Labor Day weekend, I did get to spend some much needed time with my absolutely stunning niece. While my sis was down and out, I took my niece, Taylor, to Rocket City. We had a fun time playing games, eating at the buffet and winning lots of tickets so that she could claim her big prize. A stuffed white tiger! She was so excited that she actually laid down on the ground in the middle of Rocket City to thank the Lord for blessing her with the ability to hit jackpots on the games so she could win her tiger. It was pretty funny. Then, I spent the night and she decided she needed to sleep with her Aunt Nellie. As we were falling asleep, she grabbed my hand and said "Aunt Nellie, I want to hold your hand while we sleep tonight". I can feel my heart swelling again. Isn't that ridiculously adorable?

Here are some pics of my gorgeous girl:

At home:

Posing in the booth by the buffet at Rocket City. Note the smeared pizza on her lip:

Posing with her prize:

The next day, I took her to visit her cousin (my nephew), Trevor, for some outdoor fun. They were going crazy! But, I'm glad they had a good time and it got Taylor's mind off of her mommy's hurt neck for awhile.

Here are some pics of the crazy cousins:

Please take a moment to notice how enchanted Taylor is with the sprinkler in the background as Trevor is acting a fool:

Here is a pick of Taylor practicing her "jumps". Aunt Nellie is very proud:

Poor Trevor trying to crawl down the "Slip 'N Slide":

Dancing Cousins:

Aren't they adorable? I'm so lucky. I have the greatest family in the world. Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. Looking forward to getting some new reviews to you here very soon!!!


  1. We are so lucky to have someone so knowledgeable about all of this stuff in the family.

    We had a great time this weekend - so glad you, Taylor and Mom could come over. Trevor had a BLAST and I know Dawn was probably relieved to have some time to recover.

    Love you!

  2. It was so much!! Thanks for the compliment. I really do believe Dr. B. is da bomb!!

    Those pics of Taylor and Trevor are way too adorable for words. What a good time. I wish Dawn could have been there, but I'm glad she had some time to rest/recover.

  3. I have an especially special family -

    and, yes, I'm so glad you introduced us to Dr. B.