Hi there Jpurssey.
I think this is essentially exactly the same error as I had.
I found a way around this error by updating with a new empty database then deleting the old tables one by one and copying in the previous tables. This works if the site is not too complex and is mainly pages or articles etc. I'm not sure if you have the knowledge of myphpadmin or similar to do this? There are only about 10 tables that need to be copied over. (Backup your database first though and use different names.)
This error seems to be only tested for at initial installation.
I assume that there is a field that is missing or maybe has the wrong properties. I'm not sure if anyone with a knowledge of the code and the required intimate database knowledge can help you with a manual repair?
However the problem will keep occurring with later upgrades.
In my case this error probably was created by some database messing around I did at some stage in the past rather then being spontaneous.
I am solving the problem by completely redoing my site. Copying and pasting articles and pages and reediting at the same time. This is going to take quite a while but will be worthwhile in the end as I am restructuring a number of things at the same time now that I have a better understanding of the software.
I am able to run the existing site on 17.1 and the new one on v18.X at the same time so as to not loose continuity and will only switch over when ready.