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Checking in! I didn't vanish!

14 years ago

Hi everyone!

As Sue (in the Seed Exchange forum) requested, I'm checking in so everyone knows I'm doing alright :) Thank you for all that have been concerned!

On May 26th, I had spinal fusion surgery for the L5-S1 vertebra in my extreme lower back for a condition I've dealt with for 24 years- Spondylothesis. I have not been able to work since January because the condition worsened drastically. The surgery was a success, more so than my surgeon thought it would be. But, there have been complications since. The first was about 3 weeks after the surgery, I took a step and my hip popped. This is the hip that they took donor bone from to perform the fusion on my spine. Well, when it popped, it created a myriad of micro-fractures over that hip. Already painful from the removal of a piece of bone for the fusion, it became excruciating! I went from being able to walk, though guardedly, to being back in bed for just over a month and using a walker when I did need to get up. I'll find out in bout a week if that has healed completely or not. If not, it may continue to cause future complications that may lead to needing hip replacement surgery.

So, I become able to bear weight on that hip again, and I keep having severe muscle spasms though it as well as over the foot long incision from the fusion surgery. The incision has healed VERY well and is almost unnoticeable at this point. The problem is that I'm still in a great deal of pain. Still having burning pains shooting down my legs, muscles still terribly bunched and tight. Still having more trouble with the hip than I really should be if all were going right.

The possible answer to most of this will hopefully come after the next CAT scan I'm having done on Aug. 31. My surgeon feels that the muscle issues may be due to the fact that my bones are really small and the screws they use to bolt the fusion plates to my vertebra are about 2 inches long and about the size of wood screws. The muscles are laid back over this and he feels the tops of the screws may be irritating and damaging the muscles from underneath. Hopefully we'll get some indication of why I'm still having the burning pains, which is a neurological issue, as well. My surgeon is a Neurosurgeon, so he will be able to deal with it all. The CAT scan will also show more clearly how well the fusion is healing and once it has progressed far enough to be safe, they will be doing another surgery, this one not as major as the first, to go back in and remove the screws and see if this will help with the muscle issues.

So, right now I'm not progressing as I should have. Still cannot bend at the waist at all, nor reach further than arms length. Can't lift anything over a couple pounds without pain. Keep in mind, a gallon of milk weighs 8 lbs. I can't cook or clean, can't garden, can't sit for long, nor stand for long. Can't lie down for long and my sleep at night is very broken. I try to walk as much as possible, since this aids the healing from this surgery, but it's difficult because I limp very badly. I have been on morphine at home for the pain (after the fractures) as well as Percocet (oxycoton) and Darvocet (hydrocodone) and am currently on Trazadone. Way more medications than I ever dreamed I would need on a daily basis. I take them as little as I can deal with because they are all addictive.

I've not been around much because it's difficult to sit for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. I also can't garden. My amazing DH and kids have been maintaining my beds. They plant cuttings and plants that friends have sent for me, so at least I can enjoy them. Doing things from seed is too difficult at the moment because of the care seedlings need. I've also stayed away, though lurked!, because I find myself depressed and feeling as though I'm whining. I don't want anyone to have that impression of me! It just really sucks to not be able to do anything. I am NOT an inactive person!

I miss everyone dreadfully and would enjoy hearing from anyone who wants to write, either email, here in this thread, or snail mail. I can write snail mail lying in bed or sitting :) For the moment, all of my garden plans for this year are put off until next year. A few garden buddies from the Round Robin side sent me a few plants before the surgery as get well wishes and I really appreciated them! It has helped soothe the depression at not being able to expand my gardens as planned this year :) My DH and kids planted them and they are doing wonderfully and are really a delight to look at from my windows and when I can walk outside when someone's available to walk with me :)

Hope everyone is doing well and I'm really hoping to be in better shape and perhaps get in on some winter trades and wintersowing :)

WHEW! Took me a couple hours to manage to type all that. I'm gonna go take my pills like a "good little girl" *grimace* yeah, I've gotten several lectures from the surgeon and family about not taking them as much as I really need to. I hate taking them and being druggy! ANYWAY... I'm gonna take the bloody things and go lie down before the boys get home from school.



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