Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting Back to Normal

Get it? "Back" to normal? Heh. Sorry.

Just wanted to give an update. The back is still having a lot of spasms, and I found out this could last for quite some time. I try to get all of the important things done in the morning, so I can take a muscle relaxer in the afternoon (when it really gets bad). The pre-surgery pain is gone, except for the spasms, so this is a major improvement. I still can't do much around the house, so the rest of the family is picking up the slack.

The kids are busy. Bren hits the golf course every single day. He likes to get there early and stay until they kick him out so they can close. He has found his passion. He shot an 82 a couple of weeks ago. He is hoping to continue improving throughout the summer.

Katie spent the first two weeks of summer in Religious Ed classes. She is now participating in swim team and golf. She wanted to do tennis again this summer, but we couldn't get the schedule worked out to fit it all in. I think I'm going to put her in the City's tennis program this winter. It will keep her active, and give her the chance to play and prep for next summer.

Mr. C is busy at work. This seems like a broken record, doesn't it? I'm just grateful he is less busy than he was last year at this time, and the year before at this time... He is running when he gets a chance. He takes Bella when he can, but she really got out of shape this past winter, so he takes her for a run, brings her home, then goes back out to finish up. She loves to go, and her endurance is increasing all the time.

Brendan leaves for a week-long faith-building retreat at Notre Dame next weekend. He is so excited to go. He loves ND and has aspirations of attending school there. But his parents have aspirations of retiring at some point in our lives, so this isn't an option for him.

I still need to post pics of Brendan's 8th Grade Promotion dance. He had a wonderful evening, and he looked incredibly handsome in his tux. I am hoping to get some pics posted to my FB page this week.

Have a blessed week! I will be back again soon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Long time, no see!

2014 has already been a crazy year. I don't even know where to begin - so much has happened since my last post.

In January, Mr. C received three unsolicited job offers. He had been working very long hours for the past few years, and we knew he needed to change something. The offers were tempting, and he had decided to accept one of them, so he went in to speak with a couple of the partners, to let them know he was considering taking another position. They asked him if he would give them a chance to discuss it with him the following week. They have been really good to him since before he began working there, and he felt he owed it to them to reconsider. They met, and discussed the changes he needed to make, and in the end, he decided to stay where he is. We feel so blessed that he works for such a great company. We were truly humbled by the way they treated him during the process.

During this same time, my back began causing me a lot of problems.

Back story: I've had two herniated discs for 18 years. I have lived with constant pain, and periods of time where it would go out on me, leaving me flat on my back for weeks.

Last fall I noticed the pain was getting a bit worse. I prayed that it would hold out for our vacation at Christmas, and it did. It hurt while I was gone, but it was livable. About a week after our return from Santa Barbara, it was so bad I ended up in bed with excruciating pain. What I didn't tell many people was that I have been in bed most of the time since then. I would do the things that HAD to be done, then go back to bed.

I went to a local neurosurgeon, and began a series of treatments (Physical Therapy, spinal injections, etc.). The situation deteriorated so much that I couldn't walk without limping, my right leg was numb, and my PT eval showed I had only 50% of the strength of the opposite leg. At the end of April, I went back to the neuro and he told me I needed to have a two-level spinal fusion (L4/L5 and L5/S1). I was not at all pleased.

Eighteen years ago, my only option was spinal fusion, so the neuro told me to put it off as long as possible, in hopes that technology would improve enough to offer me other options. Mr. C and I were hoping I could go for at least 5 years, and I made it 18! It was not an easy process, and there were a couple of times we were afraid I'd have to cave in and have the surgery, but I somehow made it through. So, to have this doctor tell me my only option was fusion was a bit disheartening. I decided to seek a second opinion. I knew there were other options available, but wasn't sure I would qualify for them, but I felt it was worth a shot. So, I found a neurosurgeon in Ft. Collins (he came highly recommended by several people), and was pleased to hear that he strongly believed the fusion was not the best option for my case. He recommended a Laminectomy and Micro-Discectomy (the same surgery Tiger Woods had in March), and I had surgery on May 15.

The surgery went very well. By the next morning, the limp was completely gone. During the procedure, they had to cut my muscles, so I am having a lot of muscle spasms, so I'm on meds for the next couple of months to help with that. The more the muscles spasm, the longer it will take to heal because the muscles are sewn back together using three layers of stitches.

The recovery is a bit longer than I'd like, but I don't want to run the risk of re-injury, so I am following dr.'s orders. Mr. C is exhausted. He is working full-time, handling all the household tasks, and taking care of the kidlets. I feel bad that I can't do more to help.

Now, summer is upon us! School gets out for summer on Friday! Brendan and Katie are excited to have warm weather, no classes, and lots of activities. Golf begins next week, so do tennis and swim team. They have already been informed that there will be more chores for each of them than they are used to, and those chores will come before any activities. Anything to give Mr. C a bit of a break. I can't vacuum or change bed linens for three months! No mopping or sweeping, no laundry, no cleaning bathrooms, etc.

I do have some GREAT news: Mr. C let me get another dog! There was a little pug at the Rescue where we adopted Bella. She was a "senior" dog, and her owner had passed away so she ended up in the shelter. When nobody wanted to adopt her due to her old age, she was allowed to go to Rescue, and I fond her. It took a lot of talking (I.E.: Begging), but he finally relented and let me get her. Her name is Sadie and I simply adore her. Bella is getting more used to her, but it hasn't been an easy adjustment for her.

Well, I'd better get to bed. My pain meds are kicking in and I'm falling asleep as I type. I will make it a point to post more regularly, and hopefully ad more pictures, too.