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Arlo Kalon

Arlo Kalon 2.0

New Member
Finally browsing through old posts after nearly a year of not visiting 101. An update would be (along with thanks for the concern:) I underwent a 10 hour surgery to fuse my spine from the top of the lumbar with the rods anchored in my hip bones, 9 level of spine locked together. Every time I walked I felt the rods flexing my hip bones. After 7 months of unbearable pain my oldest son told me about a college friend of his who was a surgical tech for a phenomenal spine surgeon who had people from all over the world coming to Dallas to have him operate on them. The tech told me they usually do one surgery a week at least to fix the screw ups of other surgeons. At my first appointment with him we reviewed new xrays he ordered and he informed me my pain was due to the fact that the entire rods and screws implant was loose and he considered it to be a shoddy job. The only recourse was to take it out. I asked about how my spine would be supported as the neurosurgeon who did the fusion procedure had removed the lumbar discs and replaced them with titanium cages seeded with ground up bone from my hip to facilitate new growth, which this surgeon told me never occurred. He said I likely had sufficient scar tissue in place that there might not be any issues but we'd just have to wait and see. Six months later I underwent a 9 hour procedure to redo the rods and screws implant as my spine developed a number of issues. The fusion had to be enlarged to twelve levels, meaning my spine was effectively immobilized from the middle of the thoracic portion back down to my hip bones. This time however he anchored them in my hips properly and the flexing pain never developed. I'm now at 9 months from that surgery and still experience pain on a constant basis but I'm improving exponentially. Everything I've learned from others on support sites says it'll take up to 2 years before I reach a point of not feeling the fusion anymore. I'm extremely pleased with this outcome finally and have become close to my former pre accident activity level. Of course, the craft fairs I attended to sell my hand lettered interior decor signs were all canceled last year due to the pandemic debacle but I've used the time to build a huge inventory of my best sellers. Any day now I will be receiving a huge settlement from the at fault driver's insurance finally. In the meantime, my house out in the country went up in value by $130,000 in five years since being built. It's because the rural area where I live made the top 10 list of growing communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I refinanced my house and cashed in enough of the equity to get completely out of debt except for my mortgage. When the settlement arrives I'm buying a bus conversion type diesel pusher class a motorhome and we'll be travelling extensively as well as taking grandkids camping with us. Oh yeah, I also bought another guitar for my collection and have had time to get my bluegrass chops back to what they used to be so a lot of trips will be to camp at bluegrass festivals. While all this seems like a good outcome finally, I'd trade all of it if the accident never happened. Prior to the wreck I had been working out at a nearby gym 4 days a week for a number of years and enjoyed a level of fitness that sadly most guys in their 60's don't have. The fusion surgeries have made that impossible and I've felt the effects very measurably but I at least can take long walks down the country road I live on, stopping numerous times to visit with horses at fences along the way. I'm also pinstriping a lot of motorcycles and picking up sizable cash payments for it. Best of all, I've reached the point again with hand lettering where quitting time always comes waaay too soon as I get into the zone. Again, thanks for wondering about me. I recall fondly the many years of my former daily participation here and the many friend I had. The evolution of digital in our trade never amused me so I rarely stop by anymore.