Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday morning gift

This has been a very long, very hot (to this 53 year old female) summer, and I am OH, SO ready for fall.  Can I get an amen?  Can I get a witness??

At any rate, we were given a lovely gift this morning.  A beautiful, glorious morning with very low humidity, and temps in the 60s.  I got a little tingly just typing those words!  This truly is a noteworthy day, after so many sticky, oppressive, un-noteworthy days have come and gone.

So I got myself together this morning and headed out for a walk.  I love to walk when the weather is cool.  Heck, I love to walk when the weather is downright cold.  I just can't abide it when the humidity hits 70% or more and sweat is dripping off my appendages.  Again, just why is it that we live in Memphis, Tennessee?  Oh yeah, my husband reminds me...the barbecue.

I headed out on one of my favorite routes.  With my back and leg issues, I am so much slower than I used to be, even though I never was what you would call a Speed Walker.  But hey...even a turtle eventually crosses the road.  If he doesn't get run over in the process. 

If I am very fortunate, I can time my walk when all the neighborhood dogs are outside in their yards.  And wouldn't your know it, such was my fortune today.  I got serenaded all along my route.  There is one particular area that cracks me up because it's a concentration of different breeds and sizes of pooches.  First I come upon a medium sized dog who sets off the alarm that someone is encroaching upon their territory.  Then, there are a couple of little yappers in the next yard who pick up the battle cry.  Finally, this BIG dog with a deep booming voice will bark once or twice.  He's not really into it that much, but will play along just because he knows they all expect him to.  Doggie peer pressure is alive and well, folks.  Reminds me of the song "Daddy sang bass, mama sang tenor, me and little brother would join right in there........" and never fails to put a smile on my face.  Even when the day isn't as picture perfect as today. 

But today?  Today the smile was there already. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Time for an update

I know, I know, it's actually way past time.  I've been putting it off, hoping for some better news to emerge on the back/leg situation, but unfortunately, I seem to be continuing with the "three steps forward/two steps back" form of recovery.  And the steps are not very big.  It is quite discouraging, and I have to admit, I sort of swing between a determined grit-my-teeth hopefulness that, "by-God, I'm going to get through this and to the other side if it kills me", and a "woe is me; I wish I'd never had the surgery; this is as good as it's ever going to get; I'm going to spend the rest of my life like this" and on and on ad nauseum.  And all shades of emotion in between.  Poor Steve.

To recap, I had two-level spinal fusion on 4/15/13.  Had complications during surgery in that the dura was nicked, and spinal fluid leaked out during surgery.  Ended up staying an extra 4 days in the hospital flat on my back due to headaches from the spinal fluid leak.  Also, and most importantly, I woke up from surgery with pain radiating down my right leg.  This is significant.  I did not have the pain before surgery.  I remember lying in the hospital bed with no pain from the 5-inch incision in my back, but burning pain going down the back of my right leg.  This pain has not ceased since that time.  It has gotten worse, gotten better, but it has never gone away.

I attempted to return to work part-time the week of 6/20/13 but could not, due to the pain in my right leg.  Sitting makes it much, much worse.  I've had physical therapy.  I'm now on my second round of therapy and am trying a different approach -- myofascial release therapy.  It seems to be helping, but the leg pain is stubborn and seems to be stronger than even the myofascial therapy at this point.

My latest victory is that finally, after months of me begging him, my surgeon has agreed to order an MRI for me.  I haven't had one since before the surgery, and it is a logical next step diagnostic tool to figure out what is going on with me.  I am anxious to see what it will show.  The surgeon warns me that now that I have hardware, it probably will cast shadows and make it difficult to get a good, clear scan.   Oh well.....I figure at this point, a shadowy scan beats no information at all.  I am relieved and hopeful it will show something, anything, to explain this debilitating leg pain.  And I am fearful of what it might show to explain this debilitating leg pain.  I know that sounds crazy.  Welcome to my world.

And just because I want to leave you with a smile, here are a couple snaps of my babies.