Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another One Under the Knife

Those of you who are regular visitors here know I sometimes have a fun back-and-forth with Bobbe (pronounced "Bobby") Edmonds, a silat/kali teacher/writer who lives in Washington state.

Recently, the Kid blew out a low lumbar disk, and is apparently either about to have,  or just had, surgery to deal with it, since meds weren't doing the trick.

I wish him well, and ask that if you are a believer in such things, that you offer prayer, good energy, or whatever focus you can for his speedy and full recovery. 


Jay said...

I have him very much on my mind and am waiting for any news of the surgery.
Thanks for posting as well.
Nice picture too.

Worg said...

Having gone through that, I am here to tell you that what he's been dealing with is best described as horrifying. As I said to Bobbe, it's literally worse than death, the only thing that comes close is compound fractures, which blown disks essentially are except they're compounded inwards... into your spine... into your spine, the thing that transmits all pain signals from your lower body... Describing it is kind of difficult but "Both legs being ground between millstones" is a reasonable start.

He should be feeling much, much better already, even though it's going to be pretty uncomfortable it will be nothing to his newfound understanding of what pain really is.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, it is a nice picture. I have a bunch of these sent to me by an -- ahem -- anonymous benefactor, so that i will always have material with which to devil Bobbe when he gets feisty at me ...

Richard Sackville said...

Bobbe's a class guy, and I hope he gets better soon.

Regards Richard

Jay said...

have you heard anything at all?
A lot of us are in the dark.

Steve Perry said...

Nothing yet. I'm guessing they are at the hospital -- I left a message on their answering machine this morning.

Worg said...

Steve, you might wanna let them know to resist the hospital's efforts to send Bobbe home right away. They tend to do that-- I stayed in there for a day or so after they tried to send me home and I think it was a good idea, they'd send people home with sucking chest wounds if they could get away with it.

Steve Perry said...

I'm of two minds about this one, Worg. One is that you need to stay under supervised care as long as necessary. The other is that the reason for getting folks up and moving is that statistically, it is safer.

When I started training in the medical field, that trend was just getting started. Earlier, if you had major surgery, you'd spend weeks in the hospital recovering post-op.

Lying in bed and not moving after being sliced and diced would seem a good idea, but some of the sequela from that were bad. Doctors discovered that a couple weeks supine after cardiac surgery wound up killing more folks than getting up the second day and pushing your IV stand to the bathroom.

Each patient has to be dealt with individually, of course, but the general notion is that dynamic recovery seems to work better, with fewer problems.

The hospital makes more money the old way, and HMO's don't want to spend any more than they have to, of course, so there is that, but stasis pneumonia killed my great-grandfather, and lot of other folks.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Besides antibiotic-resistant pneumonia and other infections, hospitals are depressing places and depression's not conducive to quick recovery. It's also hard to sleep with all the ambient noise, and they turn the lights down but never really turn them off.

Knowing Bobbe, he'll want to be up and moving sooner rather than later, in the hospital or out of it.

Worg said...

yeah, that's probably true, and the infection risk is increasingly serious in hospitals.

Personally, I wanted to hang out there but that's just me.

This really is just about as minor an operation as spine surgery gets, insofar as any spine surgery can be said to be minor. It's a very simple and minimally invasive procedure, even more so now than when I had my surgery 9 years ago, and the post-op pain, while annoyng, is almost laughable compared to what it was before surgery.

Terry said...

Mr. Perry,
Please contact me. I spoke to Bobbe, and he wanted me to let you know he got your message.
I sent a group email, but couldn't find your email addy.

Steve Perry said...

Just got a forwarded email from Todd Erven and Terry Trahan:

"Alright guys, I got off the phone with Bobbe a few minutes ago, and it is not good.

First, he sends his thanks to everyone who called and left messages, it made him feel better, and was touching for him.

He made it all the way to the MRI room, and the hospital denied the emergency financial aid. He is back at home, and hopefully asleep right now.

He is looking for options right now, but so far, nobody is willing or able to help.

Between all of us, let's try to figure out if there is something we can do to help him.

He really needs help, guys."

I can't believe that there's no way the state of Washington can't help him, but if he needs some kind of down payment, I'm willing to chip in.

Dan Moran said...

I've got a buddy from my Lakerstalk days who had pretty much this problem: the surgery nearly killed him. Ended up in icu with a pair of collapsed lungs, if I recall. I don't recall the complications that led to it, but he was a pretty big guy and after the surgery he dropped 100 pounds or so ... which had more to do with his getting healthy again than the surgery.

He was also without insurance or funds -- the state of Idaho ended up paying for his surgery -- I'll ping him and ask how he got that together, though I don't know how relevant that'll be to Oregon.

Best wishes to Bobbe.

Jay said...

I am thinking something like the Mystic Eye Fund may be in the works.
I can't believe the health care industry would deny someone relief from the pain they are in.

Steve Perry said...

Thanks, Dan.

This taking place in the state of Washington. Anybody there know anything about the system?

Steve Perry said...

Update -- 2:15 p.m. Friday the 9th, from Todd Erven, one of Bobbe's students and fellow beer drinkers:

"From what I can gather, the MRI is needed to get any sort of ball rolling. The hospital performed a battery of tests yesterday but refused to do an MRI. Our doctor friend was with Bobbe through the ordeal yesterday and apparently got in a few "heated arguments" with the staff there about the tests that they were performing.

Bobbe couldn't give me a lot of information. He was pretty out of it due to the pain and the "pain relieving techniques" that he was imbibing in. I'm going to try to get a hold of our doctor friend today and get some more information. If the MRI is needed and the state won't pay for it, then my recommendation is that he gets it done anyway. The cost is a drop in the bucket when looking at the whole procedure. Besides, hospitals are very flexible in their bills and payment methods; the key is finding a place that will do it for a man with no insurance.

The first step is getting a hospital to say,"This is the procedure that you need." Because nothing will happen until we can get someone to say that. Once Bobbe gets to that point, then we can look at how we're gonna get it paid for, State, fundraising, whatever.

I'll see if I can find out some more information tonight and I'll keep everyone updated."

Worg said...

MRI will be roughly a grand.

All told the procedure will be roughly 10 grand, if the problem is what it sounds like (herniated L4-L5 disk or in that neighborhood).

The numbness in his arm is most likely just from a pinched nerve in his neck due to posture adjustments caused by the lower back injury.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Damn, damn, damn. Count us in for whatever we can come up with. (Including live-in assistance if necessary. I'm sure Todd can dust off his nursing skills.)

And people still don't think we need health care reform?

Steve Perry said...


"Hey all,

I just got off the phone with Bobbe. He's not doing too hot; situation is about the same. Logistically, nothing has really changed. He's been looking into different options but hasn't found anything very promising, or at least that would get the situation taken care of in any sort of timely manner.

I also had a long conversation with our mutual Dr. friend. Everything in the medical field is a political nightmare and nothing is a sure thing. What he did say though, is that Bobbe's next step is the MRI. No matter what the test results are, nothing is going to progress until they are in hand.

It looks as though Bobbe is just going to get the test done. He/we can figure out the finances after. Hopefully the test results will be conclusive enough to point to the next logical step, whether that is surgery or more tests. We're hoping that he will be able to get the tests done this week; our doctor friend is going to help facilitate everything.

I'm sure he will be on here before too long so I'm not gonna put any words in his mouth. However, he is extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the concern that everyone has expressed.

I'll make sure that you all stay up to date. Hopefully Bobbe will be well enough to update us but if he is not, then I'll take care of it.

Thanks again, everyone.

-Todd Erven"

Steve Perry said...

From Todd E.:

"Hey all,

Bobbe is going in for his MRI tomorrow (the 14th). Keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I hope we'll have good news soon.


Steve Perry said...

And the latest:

"Hey all,

Bobbe went in for his tests yesterday. They were unable to get the MRI done, because of a scheduling issue, but they did get all the prerequisite visit, lab work, whathaveyou, out of the way. He has an MRI scheduled for four days from now, possibly sooner if something opens up. Everything is happening at our Doc friends clinic so he is able to help move things along.

Even though he couldn't get the test done yesterday, Bobbe is happy. The ball is finally rolling and he is confident that it will end up someplace good this time. I haven't heard him sound so positive or uplifted in quite a long time. He is still in a lot of pain but is spirits are definitely up.

Regarding the cost, the clinic is doing all the tests based off of a tiny deposit and they are going to bill Bobbe later. There are all sorts of interesting ways to deal with hospital bills, so we'll see how that goes =) We still haven't figured out the surgery issue, but we aren't quite there yet.

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. As always, he wants to pass on his thanks and his gratitude.

As he is in the best mood that I've seen for quite awhile, if anybody wanted to call him, I would do so today. He is awake now; I just got off the phone with him. Just don't tell him that I told you all to call... he can't move fast but he can still throw stuff.

-Todd "

Steve Perry said...

Talked to the Kid. He's hanging in there, but the situation still needs to be resolved. Looks like progress is happening, in that he's supposed to get the MRI done on Monday, but that by itself is taking a lot of finagling.

He sends his best to all the people who have expressed their concern and he really appreciates it.

Steve Perry said...


Hi all,

Bobbe had his MRI yesterday. The test results are in and he does indeed have a ruptured disk. He has a meeting with DSHS (state insurance) on Friday to see if they will help him get the surgery done.

His spirits are up. He has definitive proof now that he has a serious medical issue and that he needs surgery. We need to keep our fingers crossed that the meeting on Friday goes over well. If they refuse to help, then it's time to start thinking creatively. The ball still seems to be rolling; let's hope it ends up somewhere good!