Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back Update #4 - Surgery Consult / Spinal Injection

I haven't posted anything in a while because not much had changed over the last week or so.  Physically I lay around and when I stand I have a 3-5 minute window before my sciatic nerve acts up and I need to sit due to discomfort in the leg muscles and my ankle.  It's hit or miss on how extreme it is and at the peak of my anti-inflammatory medicines for a hot second I sometimes remember what it feels like to walk pain free but that lasts only a few minutes.  One big thing that did go down last week was the actual scheduling of my spinal surgeon consultation. The problem is that the soonest this particular surgeon could get me in was August 8th (that was eventually moved to Aug 1... big whoop).  My mouth hit the floor, I had visions of my next month and a half of me laying on the ground going bonkers.  I called the spinal nurses and left a voicemail and basically said this is crazy and never heard another word from anyone.  On Monday I called the surgical scheduler and tried to at least get to the bottom of why it would take so long and it makes sense but it still sucks.  That was last week in a nutshell. This brings us to today.

Today I had my 2nd cortisone spinal injection. It was extremely different than my first one two weeks ago and not in a good way.  My doctor wanted to make sure he was in the correct spot so he somehow set my sciatic nerve off to make sure he was exactly in the right spot.  This experience is something that is almost indescribable.  When he set it off I felt a wash of extreme fiery pain go down my right butt cheek, and into my leg.  I felt every branch of my nervous system in my right leg light up like a christmas tree.  It felt like someone lit a firework in my leg and it exploded on the inside.  I let out the most guttural groan and sucked wind.  It was horrible.  It was numbed very quickly so it was probably a whole 2 seconds that went by but what a horrible 2 seconds.  That was indeed the spot.  After the injection my spinal doctor told me that surgery for me is probably the way I should be going and said he would personally work out getting me a sooner surgical consultation.  His last comment was "a month is way too long."  And that is where we stand (or lay) at is moment.  I want to still hold onto the hope that this 2nd injection will work but it seems realistically that if I want to be up on my feet and moving well before September, surgery is looking more like the right answer.

Let's see what kind of magic the doctor can work for me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back Update #3 - Cabin Fever!

Saturday was a rough day for me.  Physically it was worse than usual and mentally I'm struggling.  Michele started working her full time hours this past week and I am supposed to be taking care of the girls.  My littles are starting to show signs of getting really board with me barely moving around and with the nice weather they want to go out and play.  That's just not an option for me.  Also, M and my Mother-in-law Debbie set up our Intex pool Friday night and so it's now swim ready.  I told Avery she would have to wait until Mom was home.  With all of that happening, I am feeling pretty worthless.  I'm also getting really sick of just sitting around.  I'm trying to keep active working on band stuff and reading but the bottom line is I'm going a little stir crazy.  M took the girls out once she got home and I felt better but was in a funk the rest of the night.

Fathers Day!  I woke up to Avery bringing up some breakfast in bed.  The littles and I ate together on the bed and snuggled.  I needed that.  Debbie is here today so I can relax a bit and know the girls are getting some well deserved attention.  Avery is really trying to take care of me by setting up a comfortable spot on the floor with blankets and stuff.  Incredibly sweet.  I was excited to get out of the house.  We plan on going over to my Dads so the girls can play with their cousins in the pool and hang with family.  I actually got in the pool, I was curious how it would feel.  I found that dangling from noodles wasn't the most comfortable but if I put my feet up on another noodle it worked.  It was the most movement and activity I had had in a while and it was a welcome feeling.  Even better that I could spend it with the ones I love so much.  When we got home I snuggled with Avery on the couch and watched some TV with her.  I was worried about pain so I iced, hooked up the Tens Unit, and hit the bed a little early.  I needed this today.  Mentally and physically.

I want to start this off with talking about someone very special.  My Mother-in-Law Debbie has been here this past weekend.  She is a really great lady but words couldn't say how much I really appreciate all she did these last 3 days.  She came into town because she was working out near Kalamazoo on Friday and Saturday but took Sunday off to help M and I out.  As soon as she got here my littles were cared for, the house was cleaned from top to bottom, our cloths were all washed, folded, and put away and did I mention Avery and Lil had a ton of attention.  This lady is a superwoman.  I know there is a stigma about mother-in-laws being a pain but that is the furthest from the truth in our household.  She is so greatly appreciated and I hope she knows this.  I try to thank her as often as I can but it is never enough in my opinion.  Thank you Debbie for taking care of us.

As for today, I'm excited that it's a weekday again.  I am waiting for that phone call from the surgeon to get in for a consult.  When the Dr. office called last week to let us know we were on the waiting list I was relieved but it ended with a big "?".  They just said, he is extremely booked and we are pushing for you to be bumped into an open slot (which is a good thing) but it could be up to a week before you hear anything from his office.  So I wait.  Wednesday will be a week.  I knew nothing would happen over the weekend but now at least I know there is a chance of a call.  I will keep my phones close!  As for today, Debbie is leaving a little later today, Michele has the day off (we were supposed to be at the Great Wolf Lodge :-(   but oh well), Avery is currently at a dentist appointment, and we are just keeping it real.  No big plans for us.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back Update #2 (Facebook Posts)

Here are the updates I have posted on Facebook so far.

Hi everyone. Some of you know I have been dealing with some lower back issues. As of right now I have had an MRI and I have a disk protruding between my L5 and S1 section pushing on my nerves affecting mainly my right leg/hip. Physically I'm hit or miss depending on that disk. Last week I couldn't sit upright for more than a couple minutes but the disk moved a bit and now sitting is ok to an extent... Laying is still best since it takes most pressure off. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and I'm trying to still move around as recommended. Yesterday I got out with Michele and we did some flower shopping, well I walked, she shopped. I tried to work a half day on Tuesday and that went ok but I was pretty sore afterwords. So it's day by day. I have my first spinal specialist appointment on Monday. I'm guessing that at that appointment they will decide if we are moving towards direct injections into my spine or surgery. As soon as I know more I will let you know. Just thought I would fill everyone in.

FB #2
Hey Everyone. Had my appointment yesterday with the spinal specialist. Saw the MRI... not pretty. The disk ruptured and the gooey center has moved into the nerve area which is causing me quite a bit of pain. The Dr. said that between the MRI, what he saw of my movement and the physical tests he had me do I am a candidate for surgery. We are going to try injections first though. Today I will go in and they will do a direct injection into my nerve area to try and calm down stuff. I will have 2 injections (one today and one in two weeks) and if that doesn't work we go to surgery. It was a rough morning physically between the doc moving me around to see how severe the pain was and just being on my feet for so long (also had no pain meds so that didn't help). They gave me a tens machine also which basically hooks to my back and sends an electrical pulse that scrambles the nerves and eases the pain down my leg. So today they will have me hooked up to an x-ray and will put a needle right to the spot and inject the stuff. There you go gang, thats the update so far.

FB #3
Yesterday afternoon I went in to have my first injection. They use an X-ray to guide the needle in and inject the cortisone shot directly to the spot. Let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant thing I have ever had done to me and I was pretty drained physically and emotionally after the whole event. I find that being up and moving around for more than an hour is the big breaking point (sweats, major discomfort down the leg, and shaking). So after a comment from my Dr, talking to several close friends who have either been through this or are in the medical field, I decided to schedule a surgery consult. This process will take a bit of time so I wanted to do it while going through the shots instead of waiting till after and having it take even longer if necessary. If I have the procedure done its called a microdiscectimy and the simplest of all options I could have had. So that's where I'm at. Not sure when the next update will be since it may be a week or so before there are any more visits. So that's what's up. In the meantime I'm laying low and trying to move around here and there and trying to not go crazy. That's the scoop. Talk to you all soon.

Back Issues #1

As some of you know, I have been dealing with some issues with my back. Since I am spending a very large part of my day laying on the floor, the couch, or in my chair, I thought that blogging my be a bit therapeutic for me. I'm starting to have some pretty major cabin fever. I thought I could post the updates I did on facebook and then continue updating people via the blog.

Here is a brief history of my back. About 5 years ago I actually went through a very simular situation. It was pretty bad but fortunately the PT helped and within a couple months I was back on my feet and things were fine. Actually the MRI I saw just recently showed the scarring/and calcium build up from that old injury. I didn't know before but it was in the same disk L5/S1.

So with that being said we jump to a couple months ago. Michele and I did a couples yoga workshop February 18th and due to some of the cool acrobatic moves we were doing it caused some pretty strong pressure on that L5/S1 area and I think this may have been the beginning of the end. With that being said, in February/March when I would work out, my tailbone area would be a bit irratated. Nothing major, just a little sore. Through out April it continued to progress and I started to walk a bit funny. May was a rough month. I started having issues sitting and the pressure of sitting would set off my right leg but I continued to work and eventually had to go to the Dr. They recomended physical theripy again so I started going and at first it was working a little and keeping the pain controlled but I couldn't seem to catch a break. Something would set it off and I would be back at square one again. I should have shut down all activities looking back. It would have gotten better but I was caught in the moment and thought I NEEDED to get that lawn mowed, I NEEDED to pick that up so we could get this done. I felt that if I couldn't get things done around the house I wasn't living up to my end of the bargen. Now I regret that because I'm not living up to any of my bargins. I know if I would have layed low for a couple weeks I would be walking around and probably not in the situation I'm in now. I can't change the past but I sure am learning from it. So that is the history. As I move forward I will post more and we will get through this.

That's it for now. Talk to you soon.