Well, March came in like a lamb, and left like a lion for us this year. After experiencing debilitating sciatic pain after baby Lucy's birth in November, I finally saw an orthopedic doctor who talked with me for 5 minutes, ordered an MRI, and left without answering any of the list of questions I had made for him. Turns out, those questions were pretty irrelevant because I had a herniated disc in my back. A large disc is 5 ml (or mm? I'm not sure which measurement they use) and mine was a 10. Apparently, even my injuries are bigger in Texas. I really could have lived without that, Texas.
The only option for such a huge herniation is surgery. The problem would not go away on its own and would only go downhill. Apparently, the pain I was having was twofold: chemical - the disc irritates the nerves, and physical - the disc is putting pressure on the nerves, like someone standing on a garden hose and preventing communication down the line.
So, after hanging up with my doctor, Brad and I talked and felt a lot of peace with the decision to have surgery, and soon. I called my sweet mother-in-law, we talked and before I knew it I was scheduled for back surgery on March 28th. The next couple weeks were a blur of preparation, cleaning and doing things I wouldn't be able to do for a while, like just hold my 4 month old baby.
|Waiting to be wheeled into surgery. There were a lot (LOT) of dolphin pictures in the room.|
I went into the surgery and woke up in the recovery room with absolutely no recollection of the procedure. Big Yay there! I didn't even see my doctor again, although he did tell Brad that everything went well. He just keep saying that I should have had it done much sooner. I keep telling him, we did it as soon as we knew what the problem was.
|Recovery Room Haze|
After hanging out in the Recovery Room for a couple hours I finally started waving my arms around and got the attention of a nurse and asked to be taken up to my room where my husband was waiting for me. They were a little hectic down there. However, when we got to my room and the nurse started talking about breakfast the next morning I hit the proverbial brakes. “I'm not staying. I'm going home today.” Those words sent people into a bit of chaos as the nurse tried to track down a doctor and see if that was true. It was what we had been told up until I was rolled into the surgery room, and I just wanted to get home to my bed, my baby and my quiet space. Hospitals are not quiet places for recovery. After a few hours of playing hide and seek, Nurse Caeser finally found a doctor who could release me. He walked into my room just in time to see me standing up and checking out my new corset brace (this thing is awesome!) and was shocked to see me up. I told him I'd already gone to the bathroom 3 times, sat in the recliner, and had a short session with the physical and occupational therapists. I was so ready to go home. He explained, again, that the disc was huge and most patients at my stage were in bed yelling in pain. I nodded, thinking, that's nice. Now send me home. He did.
|Waiting for the doctors to LET ME GO HOME!!!|
We went back to the doctor's office on Thursday and the first doctor that walked in was again shocked at my movement. He held up his finger and pointed out that the disc was as large as his first joint. “And you were up and walking the first day. That was a lot of pressure on your nerves. It was in your canal.” So, I'm beginning to think my recovery isn't normal, though it is roughly what I was expecting. I can see that I have been tremendously blessed by the Lord. I can get up and down the stairs, the radiating nerve pain is gone and my nerves are recovering. I can't lift anything for at least another week, but I am able to get up and down much easier in less than a week. I get the staples out on Tuesday and can start lifting light things the next week, if I'm up to it.
|This little beauty is sleeping in our room again.|
|She's so happy!|
I am counting my blessings: We followed the prompting to see this doctor, do an expensive MRI and follow through, we decided to do the surgery, Mom Reynolds came out to help for 3 whole weeks, my friend Jodi will come out for a week after that, I'm healing quickly, my nerves are coming back to life, I am able to move more smoothly every day, my kids are being responsive to “Be gentle with Mommy,” my baby still knows who I am (hey, I'm a nursing mother, it's a thing we worry about), and my husband gives the best sponge baths. I'm a lucky lady.