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February 6, 2009
"Can he move all his fingers and toes?” she asks without preamble.

“Yes.”

We pepper the stoic surgeon with questions, and he says that although the surgery went well, the patient’s back is not in good shape and he may well require more surgery in the future. The fact that he had surgery last year as well doesn’t bode well for the future. “He’ll be lucky if he can do sedentary work,” says the departing surgeon of a man who has been a carpenter most of his adult life.

The future can wait as we rush to the recovery room.