Thursday, July 2, 2015

Now Back Surgery? (Mandisa - Overcomer)



As much as I hoped, on January 1st that 2015 would be my year, it was not to be.  I've had a few physical hurdles to jump.  Hospitalized a couple of times for dangerously low sodium; esophegiatis that cause internal bleeding, leading to anemia...

Plus, I have a couple of other ongoing physical/mental issues, but they are managed, for the most part with therapy, medication, and acceptance.  So, once I got my sodium levels under control and my esophegiatis successfully treated, I was ready to get back to life.

Every time I feel I can breathe, Satan laughs and says - Ha! you just thought I was done.

Enter nagging, unrelenting, quality of life altering, back pain.  I completed six weeks of physical therapy that strengthened my core muscles and helped tremendously to get my balance under control (that had been another issue, and I kept falling and breaking body parts, so it was a relief to have that managed), however the back pain persisted.  Actually, it got worse, so I knew it was time to get to the doctor.

I first went to see my orthopaedic surgeon who replaced my hips in 2003 and 2008 to make sure those prostheses were still doing their job.  Luckily, everything is great in that regard.  I take time to savor the good news too.

However, it was found that I had significant (significant is doctor speak for - damn, that is bad!) degeneration in my lower lumbar spine.  Basically, the discs are gone, and my bones are rubbing together.  I knew that type pain from my previous dealings with degenerated hips.  There is no mistaking the feeling of your bones rubbing together without cushion, once you've experienced it.  Your bones are not made to rub together. Your body doesn't like it; it will scream loudly as an alert - in the form of significant (there's that word again) pain.

So, after consulting with a spinal orthopaedic surgeon, it was decided that the best option is spinal fusion surgery: Partial carpectomy L4, L5- with cage reconstruction and fusion L4-5, L5-S1. laminectomy L4, L5, bilateral foraminotomies L5-S1, posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation L4-S1, to be exact.  That is a whole lot of ectomies!

All those ectomies will require an approximately five hour surgery, leaving me with an incision in my abdomen as well as one on my back, along with some new hardware - rods and screws. to stabilize the spine while it heals and fuses together.

Obviously, I didn't make the decision to have this surgery lightly.  Much thought, prayer and discussion with my husband was done before I decided to go ahead with it.  It's a quality of life decision.  As it stands now, I have constant pain with little relief from pain medication.  I can't do much of anything except sit here and watch life pass me by from my bedroom window.  This is unacceptable - I have things to do!

I am grateful that this is a mechanical problem that can be fixed with surgery, and there is no life-threatening component to it.  I've successfully been through some major surgeries before, and I have no doubt I will successfully navigate this one as well.

That's not to say I'm not scared, nervous, worried, anxious, and apprehensive, but I do feel confident.  I feel confident that I am an overcomer.  I've successfully recovered from surgeries and illness, and still deal with clinical depression and anxiety daily. I've made it through a whole lot in the past 20 years and guess what? I'm still standing here. I am one strong woman, and I intend to keep being so for a long time to come.

I know for sure I wouldn't have made it through all of the [junk] I've dealt with, without a God who loves me, cares for me, stands beside me, goes before me, and has plans for my future. He's the one who made me a strong woman; an overcomer. Reminding myself of this that fact gets me through the worst times, and causes me to rejoice during the best times.  I owe it all to him, and give praise to him, and thank him in advance for getting me through this surgery next week,

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PS:  I would be truly grateful for any prayers, positive thoughts/vibes you have to come my way. Thanks