Some good news! Margo called this morning from the hospital.
"My pain is totally gone and even the numbness. I was up a couple of times to go to the bathroom with a walker and nurse, but no problems walking at all and no pain. The surgeon came by early this morning and said everything went great. They said I can come home tomorrow--no rehab center needed. I can walk better than I did for the past several months!"
Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and support. It looks like the outcome was about the best of all possible ones. I can't speak highly enough of Mayo Clinic and the people who work there.
Dec 2 Update
Margo has been gradually having back difficulties showing up as sciatica (pinched nerve making it pains in the leg). Things were tolerable until about June of this year when the pain rapidly got worse.
After trying various pain killers and steroid shots without improvement she had surgery on her back today. We just talked to the surgeon who said he did a "decompression." He had thought maybe a fusion of vertebrae would be necessary -- a complex and slow recover surgery, but after wading in did the less invasive surgery. He was quite sure he fixed it well and that she would recover decently and be reasonably normal by February, and by March be ready to carry sap buckets.
I think she will be in the hospital 2 days and maybe a week in a rehab center, but not sure until we see how she deals with the surgery.
I do most of my "immediate" updates on facebook, so if you want to friend me there you can find out more details as they happen. I include my posts from today here.