Sunday, March 25

Are we talking about back surgery or ..... Football?

Gene and I waited for Dr. Dickman to enter the room, anxious to meet him for the first time and ask our many questions about the upcoming surgery options, etc.  "Hello, Curtis Dickman, Gene Smith, my wife Pam, 'smiles' all around" ..... then we hear "my son is really excited to have the opportunity to play at the University of Alabama as a walk-on offensive lineman" ~ REALLY? Trust me, neither of us were wearing any paraphernalia that suggested we were for our beloved team. It goes without saying..... Guess we will have more to talk about then back surgery.

Today, Sunday, I was googling the doctor for a picture and came across an article that mentioned his talents (besides the guitar):
Dr. Dickman’s surgical fetes at BNI have often made headlines, including the Phoenix teen whose skull was literally detached from his spine, when he was hit by a drunk driver. In a daring surgery, Dr. Dickman reattached the teen’s skull to his spine with a first time ever technique.  Wow. That sounds familiar, like I remember hearing about that!  Guess Gene will be in good hands! But, I am WAY ahead of myself.

Barrow Neurosurgical Associates is located on the same site as St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, near downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Their front office has an aquarium full of colorful saltwater fish swimming about. Many young 'doctor's-to-be' dressed in blue scrubs hurried in to get some coffee on their way to their work destination for the day. The mood is upbeat all around.  Gene and I are joined by a couple other early appointment patients before heading back to a room. As stated above, the introductions were made, small talk had and then Dr. Dickman went right into examining Gene and discussing his own abilities, etc.  He is a confidant doctor. Skilled. Knowledgeable. Someone we feel we can trust with the delicate surgery at hand.  We had been sent to him because he has been doing a minimally invasive procedure that can be used on Gene's Thoracic herniation's.

Dr. Dickman noted that Gene's reflex's showed some spinal cord damage that could worsen if the herniation's were not addressed. He has two that need to be tended to. One other smaller one will be left alone. I felt comfort in the fact that the doctor can do BOTH the less invasive procedure AND the "older" cut you open one, as well as switch gears if he sees that the minimally invasive one is not going to do the job. Before leaving the room, a contract was signed..... giving Dr. Dickman permission to perform the surgery.  Gene's doctor's back home need to sign off and say he is well enough to handle it.  One other thing is in order; Gene needs to work with his pain management team and start coming off his pain medicine regimen. With a plan in hand we can schedule the surgery.......

When, when, when? We should be able to get on their calendar within a month of calling to schedule. 

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