If you missed Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, I’ve been battling the shards of an exploding disc in my spine.  When we left off, I was awaiting surgery and trying to survive a “no ibuprofen” mandate from my surgeon.

If you can’t sleep, just re-define “sleep.”

After two days of raging, spastic agony, I was too afraid to go to bed.  This turned out to be fortunate, though.  I resumed sleeping* against my pillow stack on my couch, which, combined with a steroid that was riding the needle the doctors had plunged into my spine a few days prior, got me back into a quasi-mobile state!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) pretending to sleep in the position in which he has had to sleep for several weeks on account of a back injury in February 2012.

I sit, I lean, I sit, I sleep*, I sit, I sleep*, I wake.

* “Sleeping” in this context means “sitting still for a long enough time that it’s safe to assume that I was unconscious for some period of time.”

If ignorance is bliss, distraction is at least peaceful.

Fortunately, I had plenty of friends and family visiting me over the week before surgery and, among other things, I was able to construct my chocolate piano!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) sitting behind the chocolate piano he built out of white, dark, and milk chocolate candy bars including Kit Kat bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis, Hershey's Cookies 'n' Cream bars, and Hershey's Chocolate Bars in February 2012.

Okay, so you haven't seen this picture, but you HAVE seen the rest of them (if you haven't, just click on the picture).

Seriously, if you’ve found a way to this article but haven’t seen my chocolate piano, then you’re missing the good stuff!  For your sake, please go to facebook.com/graceatarmsbastion and become a fan.

Hack!  Hack that back!

Friday, February 24 finally rolled around and the story gets short from there:
1.  Dr. Jean-Pierre Mobasser, MD has Jesus-hands.
2.  He removed some scar tissue, disc fragments, and other junk and patched me up in under an hour.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) lying on his bed in the Naab Road Surgery Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, following his back sugery performed by Dr. Jean-Pierre Mobasser, MD.

Me, still drugged, making myself comfortable post-surgery.

An hour and a half later, I was sitting in my mom’s car eating a Qdoba burrito and sending doped up texts to the handful of people whose names I could remember despite the anesthetics.

…and now… and more now… and more now…

So now, I’m healing.  Not only am I healing, but with a Tylenol and two ibuprofen, I feel closer to “painless” than I have in years.  The only battle I have left ahead of me (barring the unexpected) is patience.  I have to wait until I have healed completely before I go off and do anything stupid, no matter how stir crazy I get.

An image of Bastion Crider's head with his memories on fire designed, photographed, and edited by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in December 2011.

This seemed like an appropriate time to bust out the image of my mind ablaze again.

Fortunately, madness is a good substitute for creativity!  Maybe Grace@Arms will see some new material as a result of this!  Thanks for the hopes and the prayers!  Hopefully, there will only be one more chapter in this story: my return to life as I knew it.

T-shirt update:

One benefit of the boredom and unusual schedule just manifested itself in that I woke after only a few hours of sleep, grabbed up an old photo of me, and fixed it so you can see what the new shirts will look like (note: this shirt doesn’t exist yet–I’m kind of proud of those Photoshop skills)! The pre-order ends on Sunday, so if you want this shirt, click the picture or just go to graceatarms.com/alive2012 and order it now!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (Grace@Arms) wearing one of the new "baseball style" t-shirts for GRACE@ARMS' @LIVE 2012.  All photos, art, and logos copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms 2012.

The back says, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK"

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