Well I’m back already so that didn’t take long for things to change…but I guess that should be no surprise right?
So I believe I left things at if anything major changed I would make sure and keep you guys updated. Well as stated in my last blog, I was starting to walk funny and getting a little more pain from the first back surgery I had just done. If it got worse I was instructed by my doctor to call them and they would schedule another MRI. This was on Wednesday…and by Friday morning I was not able to walk again.
I called my doctor and informed them of my symptoms stating that I almost felt worse than I did before my back surgery so of course they instructed me to get to the ER. Tim had already left with Leah for chores so I called my parents and they came and picked me and Asher up to take me to the emergency room. The pain in my leg was excruciating so I was not able to even pack a bag or get Asher cleaned up. My parents helped me out to the car and cleaned Asher up along the way because, well, that kid never has a clean face.😋Edit
Once to the ER, it was very apparent that I was not able to stand so the receptionist brought me a wheelchair, however, the pain was also back to preventing me from sitting long so I was alternating as often as I could from sitting to standing but fortunately the nurses could see my discomfort and immediately took me back to get checked in and then they sent me straight back to a room.
The ER doctor came in to visit with me about my symptoms and explained that this pain could simply be inflammation even though it had been three weeks since my surgery. I felt some instant relief because the last thing I wanted to do was have another back surgery. The ER doctor was in communication with my original doctor who did my surgery and he ordered another MRI which was a little tougher this time due to being in such pain and having to stay still flat on my back for 45 minutes. Needless to say I did a lot of praying and focusing on the words of the songs that I was listening to.
Once back to my room, I couldn’t help but giggle to myself as I watched my dad and Asher kill time by playing their separate games on their separate tablets. And as much as Asher would lean over to show my dad the progress he had made on his game, my dad would do the same thing by tapping Asher on his shoulder and pointing to how far he was on candy crush ha ha…all while my mother just shook her head and rolled her eyes! And as entertaining as this was to watch I could also see the worry in my parents faces.
I was given some pain medication that did provide some relief but trust me I still had quite the pain. My parents continued to encourage me that everything would be OK because God knew what He was doing. We were hopeful it was inflammation and the worst thing about that was I would have to take some pills that would totally spike my blood sugars but at this point I was willing to deal with crazy high blood sugar instead of the pain I was dealing with now. And then the doctor came in…
The new MRI indicated that my back was actually worse than it was before the first surgery, therefore, I was going to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Unfortunately, due to me taking Plavix for my heart and stents, they were not able to do surgery until that medication was completely out of my system. The doctor explained that with spinal surgery the last thing they want is too much bleeding so they wanted to make sure the Plavix would be out of my system because this would be a much more risky and intense surgery.
I was frustrated and questioned how my back could be worse. I even pleaded my case stating that I had done everything by the books for three weeks! I hadn’t been stubborn and pushed myself! I hadn’t done any lifting, bending or twisting and our wonderful church family had provided meals so I didn’t even cook! The doctor agreed and assured me it was nothing I had done. He had said from the first surgery I had some more space than normal in an unusual spot and it did concern him when he did the surgery. He was worried about that spot due to so much damage as well and that is why he had prescribed me a brace to wear hoping that might give my body enough support and not re-herniate, unfortunately that was not the case.
So I was admitted to a room for five days in order to control my pain until the Plavix was out of my system and the surgery could be done. This too was a challenge as communication was a problem in the beginning between nurses so some of the medications were not given to me and I did not have any relief from my pain.
But I kept praying and I had hope that this second surgery would do the trick because the first surgery had given me instant relief for two weeks and it felt amazing. This surgery was more intense as he was going to fuse two of my bones together and in fact ended up fusing three of them due to the third bone showing some wear so he was afraid if he didn’t fix it now that I would have problems with it in the near future.
So the morning of surgery after I was prepped and ready to go… I said my “see ya later” and our I love yous to my parents and my husband. It was to be a 2 1/2 hour surgery and I would see them shortly. But once again unlike my oxygen being low with my last surgery and causing problems, it was my blood pressure that was extremely low this time,therefore, my family was not able to see me until 10:30pm that night which was about 10 hours later than planned.
And of course due to me having dangerously low pressure of 80/40 if not lower, and the fact that pain pills cause blood pressure to drop, I was not given the option to have pain pills so after one of the most painful surgeries, nurses resorted to ice packs and Tylenol to provide some sort of relief…which did not work.
I do remember being very uncomfortable and in a lot of pain and I do remember questioning why once again everything had to be so complicated and hard for me. From the start of this back problem nothing (according to my plan) had gone right.
The course of my back problems began when I tried physical therapy and injections but still ended up not being able to walk and had emergency surgery, which lasted for 3 1/2 weeks before I could not walk again with extreme pain and was hospitalized but had to wait several days to have the surgery in order to get the blood thinner medication out of my system to avoid excess bleeding…and then the low blood pressure causes me not to be able to take any pain medications for such a painful procedure…oh, and don’t get me started on the 19 pounds of fluid weight I gained by once again lack of communication!😬
In my mind I felt like everything that could go wrong did, in fact it went more wrong than I ever could have imagined because seriously…how many people have these many issues? I just couldn’t understand why and how much suffering God has been putting me through.
The day after my surgery my blood pressure slowly began to rise and once it got up to 98 the nurses began giving me pain medication but then it would drop my blood pressure again so we would skip the next round of meds. This was the game we played for the first day until finally my blood pressure stayed up enough where we were able to be consistent with the pain medication which made me comfortable enough to get up and walk! And the kids enjoyed going for a walk with me also… After my family and company left one day, which I truly did enjoy all of the visits, I thought about my situation and laughed out of disbelief. Nothing with my health seems to go smooth…if there’s a chance of an obstacle I better be ready to jump! I know I might not get answers right now as to why this is happening and why everything seems to be such a struggle but that’s okay! After the surgery and before the surgery when the pain was so horrific all I could think was “Lord, my suffering cannot even begin to compare to the suffering that Jesus had when he died for me on that cross.” So really, I am okay! I can’t complain.
As for recovery, the doctor did stress that this will take a lot of time with minimal movement. I cannot drive or even be in a car which means all of the important appointments coming up in Iowa City next week for my heart and female issues have to be pushed back at least one month until after my 3 week follow up on my back…which is disappointing since I still continue to have issues with my low blood pressure and fast heart rate.
I will also be using a brace along with a walker because of my leg/foot being so numb that most likely I would fall, which I do tend to stumble at times even with the walker. The doctor described just how bad my muscles and nerves had been, and bad for so long, so I would be dealing with pain and limited mobility for quite some time, however, he does have some confidence that the use of my foot and leg will come back…with time. He also showed me some scans where he put in rods, screws and spacers….and with my eight stents I just might be the next bionic woman😜
With my right foot being numb I can’t move it in certain directions and then my right calf about halfway down is also kind of like deadweight so while I can walk on it with a walker, when I get into bed I have to use my hands to pull my leg up or I will use my other foot to kind of support the leg and kick it up. I also can get on all fours on the bed and then just kind of drop down and use my hands to reposition my leg. It is quite the site to see me do this and the doctor even laughed when he asked me to show him how I was adjusting, saying this was the first he had seen anybody try it like that.
So once the doctor and I had a good laugh I was discharged back home!! And better yet the kids were waiting home for me (with my walker) when we pulled up… The family was wonderful enough to make our basement pretty much in to my own little apartment so I’ve got a fridge down there with a microwave, a bed and a treadmill because I will eventually be able to walk on the treadmill for five minutes a day.
Tim has also been great doing everything with the kids and Skyler has been absolutely amazing with making sure I have everything that I need. I came out of the shower one night, which I was excited to do on my own, even though I had to use a shower chair, and when I came out Skye had my supper sitting on the table for me!
Everyone has been so supportive and is filling me with words of encouragement! It means so much to me knowing I’m not in this alone and I am so thankful for each and every one of you!
And while I know this is going to be a slow process, it just amazes me how God uses these type of situations for good and to glorify Him. But I was kind of thinking one day, “hey Lord I think I’ve done a pretty good job of growing and glorifying you in my suffering so could we be done with this part now?” ha ha!
I don’t understand why God does what He does, but the amazing family and friends and blessings we are surrounded by shows how He is faithful and steadfast in His love for us.
As always, thank you for your support and prayers!😍