April 6, 2017

Emergency Back Surgery

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1 week ago I had an MRI that changed a lot about how this past week went. Really changed. Really changed how life going forward is going to be too.

A lot changed.

Let me take it from the beginning and tell you how I’m feeling today.

Sunday morning I was doing my usual roll over in bed when a sharp shooting pain went down my right leg. I thought I had just tweaked it wrong, no big deal. But then, I couldn’t feel my leg. From my knee down my foot was asleep and it hasn’t woken up. A little concerned, I made the first appointment at Urgent Care that morning to see what was going on. We did X-rays, and an inflammation shot, but I still felt something wasn’t quite right. Monday morning I called my internal med Dr to see if I could have an emergency visit. They got me in that afternoon. We had gone through this same type of visit 6 months before – let’s do an MRI.  I had pain on my left side from pure barre and that had healed nicely over time.

I booked the first MRI possible – Thursday morning at 7:45. The tech told me that she was optimistic that I would hear something same day since it was so early.  2 hours later I get the call from my doctor that she is going to schedule me an emergency visit with her favorite neurologist and I would hear back later that day. She referred to my MRI as “Impressive”. Then the afternoon continued with calls from the neuro office trying to get me a same day appointment, but it just wasn’t possible and they would fit me in end of day on Friday. Later they called back and told me to stop taking all blood thinners in case of emergency surgery. I started to freak out.

Around lunch time on Friday the office calls again and says ” We don’t normally schedule surgery before meeting with the surgeon, but we are going to do that today.”


Insert all the crying right here.

Thankfully I held it together enough to call my mom, call Jeff and pack H’s suitcase to spend the weekend with Gram Gram.

We went to our appointment with the surgeon. We spend a good hour with him talking about the pros and cons and really at my age there are really no cons to the surgery and the goal was to get the nerves working in my foot as soon as possible so they can begin to regenerate. He explain I basically had a herniated disc blow out and the “fish guts” as he called it were pressing down on the nerves causing the issues and we needed to operate quickly.

So 6AM we were at the hospital. They don’t do many Saturday surgeries so we had to go a completely different way to get in. By 7:30 I was being wheeled into the operating room and woke up hours later in recovery. The surgery went well. My doctor even was able to get into the other side of the herniated disc on the left side and clean that area up too. By 11 I was in my own room, ordering lunch and the physical therapist arrived around 1 to begin my first session.

I was up and walking from back surgery in a matter of hours. Isn’t that crazy? They gave me walker to get started and fitted me for a AFO leg brace. Between the weakness in my leg and the brace, it gave me a lot of flashbacks to my Dad when he was first diagnosed with ALS. I know many people were worried that was the potential path we were looking at, but it typically isn’t passed down that way, so we haven’t been alarmed. We knew I had a history of disc issues, so no need to worry. The PT gave Jeff some stretches to help keep my foot straight and the brace, which should be here tomorrow, will help me with walking. I’m so grateful Jeff’s aunt had a walker I could borrow because I would have been stranded without it.

By 5 I was ready to go home, the pain was controlled, IV was out and we decided to wait till after dinner and then head home. I’d rather sleep in my own bed than have vitals checked hourly.  The first night was a little rough. I was tired, sore and just couldn’t get comfortable in my bed. It took till the 3rd night to really feel okay and get a good night sleep in.

Jeff has been home this week playing the role of stay at home dad. He’s been amazing. Hattie hasn’t napped all week so that has led to some often crabby evenings, but she understands mommy doesn’t feel well and is getting better. She wants to sit and snuggle and we’re trying to adapt to making it work for both us.  I’m not allowed to be in a car for 2 weeks or drive for 4. Little stressful for me who is an on the go, independent kind of lady. Relying on people and asking for help is not typically in my vocabulary, so I’ve had to step back and ask for help.

With that said, I have to thank my amazing mom for helping out with Hattie. She’s been so helpful and available when we need her. I think the struggle will be next week when Jeff has to go back to work. It sounds like we have the bulk of the days covered, and I have some amazing friends who have offered to help with Hattie when I need it. Hopefully weather will be nice and we can all play outside. Fingers crossed. I’ve gotten so many sweet cards and so many flowers and meals for us, that it makes me realized I’m loved. Often times I don’t think people like me (okay all the time) so when people do nice things, it makes me cry a little and make me smile a lot. I’m truly blessed to have amazing people in my life. I know so many people have prayed for a speedy recovery and perhaps those prayers are being answered in literal baby steps I’m taking daily.

Until then, I’m hanging out, watching way too much TV, finally catching up on blogging, planning for the summer and anxiously waiting for the kitchen to be finished and working on wiggling my toes. I go back to the Dr for a check up on Cinco De Mayo and then we can begin real physical therapy. I’m anxious to get this foot moving again.

So if I’m not around a whole lot, you’ll know why. I’m sure I’ll have good days and bad. It’s hard to stay positive when all you want to do is run around or wear all the cute shoes you just bought. I mean, dresses just aren’t as cute with sneakers. Am I right? So that’s where we are. Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers and good vibes. They are helping! And if you want to come hang out with us, just let me know, I’m always up for visitors and until then, I need to plan the most epic place for a girls night out once I can get out of the house!

3 responses to “Emergency Back Surgery”

  1. Rachel says:

    Well written Jennifer! I hope you’re recovery goes smoothly and as pain free as possible!!

  2. Gerlinde... Oma says:

    Big hugs from us and sending huge amounts of good vibes for a speedy recovery ♥?

  3. Molly Atkins says:

    Oh, Jen! I hope you have a swift and uneventful recovery. Thinking of you. <3

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