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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

District 44 Rep. Thomas well after surgeries

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Keeping a law office going can be difficult at times.

Keeping a law office going while also being a state legislator can be even more difficult.

Especially when you're facing surgery.

Brazil resident and Indiana State District 44 Representative Amos Thomas has been doing just that throughout the holidays.

Nearly one year ago, Thomas began noticing he had trouble walking up the steps of the Indiana Statehouse, something he had never had problems with before.

The pain persisted, forcing Thomas to have a laminectomy earlier this month. A laminectomy is a surgical procedure for treating spinal stenosis by relieving pressure on the spinal cord.

"The first hint I got of this was last winter walking up the steps of the state house," the 77-year-old Thomas said Monday. "I noticed my left leg was extremely weak."

Thomas -- who is an avid biker -- said the weakness got worse and he had difficulty walking during parades.

In fact, he said he walked with a limp in some of the parades he participated in.

He elected to get a professional opinion and opted for surgery, which also included the removal of bone spurs.

"For months, I've been facing this problem," Thomas said. "Some people just live with it.

"(The elderly) face it a lot, but they just put up with it because they don't want back surgery."

Only days after diagnosing the problem, Thomas had the surgery at St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, on Dec. 13. Dr. Rick Sasso of The Spinal Group performed the procedure. According to Wikipedia.com, during the procedure, the lamina of the vertebra is removed or trimmed to widen the spinal canal and create more space for the spinal nerves.

Thomas said his late wife, Mary, had the surgery six years ago so he was aware of the procedure.

"I knew what it was all about," he said.

Thomas was treated as an outpatient and released, but only days after the surgery, he began experiencing severe headaches, which he said were similar to migraines, although he had never experienced a migraine before.

"When I lied down, (the headaches) would go away," he said. "When I'd stand, I'd get a headache.

Doctors informed Thomas the aches were spinal headaches caused by a leaking of spinal fluid.

They then performed a procedure on Thomas by creating a patch in the area. Thomas was allowed to get up from bed for certain things, but was basically bedridden for a couple of days.

However, after the second procedure, Thomas was back dealing with legislation.

"That is something that doesn't happen very often," he said.

"It's not considered a really big problem if you catch it in time."

Still, Thomas fell behind with some of his normal duties.

"I got my Christmas cards out late," he said. "But I guess they're better late than never."

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