Pain In My Back – Part 2

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, Costa Rica Medical Care, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters

Pain In My Back – Part 2

I am a lucky man. I live in this incredible country, surrounded by amazing people. I have 13 awesome dogs and thousands of friends; the absolute best job a guy could have; and the most beautiful girlfriend you could ever imagine. I also have great DNA, inheriting my parents’ good looks, intelligence, humor and wit (wink wink). Unfortunately, I also derived my mother’s bad back. I have degenerative discs, and I have to be extra careful about everything I do. Of course, that is easier said than done, when your name is Michael Simons. I have generally, NEVER followed Doctor’s advice, and pretty much fly by the seat of my pants, through most of my existence on this earth.

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 206 

For the last year or so, I have had this constant aching in my lower back, a sure sign that things were heating up again. You see I had a disc replacement surgery 7 years ago, having completely blown one out, so I know when things are going wrong and I am worse for the wear. You can read the Newsletter I wrote in March 2015.

A few weeks ago, the pain got to the point where I knew I needed to visit my neurosurgeon one more time. After an MRI and some X-Rays, I met with Doctor Huertas at CIMA hospital San Jose. He is, without a doubt, the cream of the crop.

When I told him I had spent the better part of the last two years, lifting thousands of pounds of beans, rice and dog food, during our food drives, I got the lecture I knew was coming.

“Michael! I told you NEVER to lift anything again.”

I know Doc, but I had to feed the people. What more can I say. He just shook his head and agreed. Fortunately, this time, we caught it early. It was a slight herniation; something that could be rectified very easily, with a non-evasive outpatient surgery. He pulled out a 12 inch long, steel rod, with a handle on it; it looked like one of those BBQ lighters. He explained to me how he would go into the side of my back, and basically EAT away the herniated portion of the disc; like PAC MAN, seriously. He assured me again, that it was a piece of cake, he does these all the time. The thought, sent shivers down my bent-up spine.

I figured it was better to do it sooner than later, so we booked the surgery for the following week. My private medical insurance, approved the procedure instantly, which again, blew my mind, and we drove up to San Jose the night before.

Just like the first time, everything went so smoothly. The staff at CIMA hospital were top notch, everyone was so friendly and professional, and they made me feel very safe and secure. I went in at 730, surgery two hours later, and I was wheeled out the door at 1PM. I spent one night in San Jose, and we drove back to the beach the next day. I am already up and walking around, just two days after the surgery, with very minor pain or discomfort. Even though I feel great, I might as well take advantage of the prescription drugs, and lay around buzzing for the rest of the week. Then I will be back at it; selling the dream; living the lifestyle; running around like a madman; cold beer in hand.

One of my oldest friends in the world, Susan, sent me a text, when she saw my post on social media. “I didn’t know you were having surgery?” Yes, I replied. Paying for all the crazy stuff I did in my life.

“What? You did stupid shit when you were young? I have no recollection.” Nothing like sarcasm from someone I have known for 43 years. Glad she can keep secrets. Thank God there were no iPhones back then.

I cannot begin to tell you how touched I am by the outpouring of support. I received hundreds of calls, text and emails, sending love and offering help. THANK YOU!  A special round of applause to Rosey, for taking care of me through this ordeal. Thank you honey, for always being by my side.

Like I said, I am a lucky man.


Come on down, baby!

Pura Vida.

See you soon.

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June 2023
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