I did manage to get an appointment with the surgeon in Baltimore scheduled for November 6. It will mean 13 hours on the road in one day, by myself, but I don't care.

As I usually do when I'm faced with a potential surgery, I initially tried to tell myself that I could put it off. Let's face it, surgery is no fun. With back surgery it has an affect on every part of your body, and the more surgeries you have the more difficult it appears to recover from them in a timely manner. And given my track record with two previous back surgeries that did nothing but make the situation worse, I suppose it is natural to fight against having a third surgery that could also prove pointless.

But after I went through the denial stage, I had a brief period of depression and then skipped right to acceptance. At least the acceptance regarding the reality of my situation; I need surgery sooner than later. It would be great if I could wait a year, but I can't. Realistically, I should try to have it in late November or early December. This period is the slowest time of the year for me work-wise, and would be the best time for me to squeeze this major surgery in.

I know I'm not done with my "denial, anger, bargaining and depression". After reading the recent reports regarding the disc I had put in 3-1/2 years ago and the similar problems it is causing others - including several lawsuits out there that I am wondering if I should try and join - I probably have every right to feel those things. Given the lack of support by the medical community and what I've had to suffer physically and mentally, the anger increases that much more. But in the end it doesn't change the end result - the disc must come out, and bone must go in.

Which, after saying that, put a Simpson's saying in my head. "Knife goes in, guts come out, that's what Osaka Seafood Fish Concern is all about."

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