Monday, October 12, 2015

Surgical Ground Hog's

You ever feel like you are stuck on a hamster wheel? You work hard, get up push forward only to end up finding yourself right back where you started.  As I lay here watching the time fly by tonight, unable to sleep because my nerves are just racked.

Last March 2nd I did the very same thing... I had my 2nd anterior cervical disc fusion (ACDF). I had a previous one back several years ago and did great. I was fused at levels C-5, C6 and C6-C7. The surgery went well and I was home within 24 hours. I was also right back at life after just a few short weeks and with the help of a few physical therapy sessions you really couldn't tell I had been fused. So preparing for my March surgery was pretty simple. I knew this time would be a little tougher but I was far from prepared. I spent the first few weeks in agony. Muscle spasms were awful, the shoulder pain was bad, but worst of all was my throat pain. At my post op appointment I expressed my frustrations and pain. I was told sometimes these things happen and with time it would get better. They explained I had some pretty major surgeries and there was a lot of arthritis and bone spurs they had to remove, plus removing the old hardware and having two more levels fused so it would just take time.

Months pass by and I'm still struggling with swallowing and eating, along with throat pain and my shoulder pain. I was noticeably losing weight. As time keeps moving I am having more problems, now my neck is back to causing pain and these nightmare migraines. I push through and manage through the summer just trying to ignore it and hoping with time things will improve. By September I have lost over 20 pounds and my family becomes more and more concerned for me so I give in and make a call to the surgeon.  They decide I need a new MRI and let's look at what is going on. So I make the trek to Alabama and have the MRI and see the surgeon. I honestly I wasn't fully prepared for the words he was about to say. MRI reveals I am not only looking at a failed fusion but there is a compressed ligament, a lot of swelling, and my spinal cord is being pushed from the back. The words no spine surgery patient ever wants to hear... A revision surgery is needed to remove the ligament and damage, and he thinks he needs to add more bone to the exisisting fusion but this requires a posterior approach.  Posterior is the one surgery that makes me nervous. I've had posterior lumbar fusion and the recovery was long, painful, and tough. At this point I am beyond ready to have my life back to normal.

So tonight I'm laying here waiting for the morning to come and head back to Alabama to have yet again another spine surgery, hoping that #9 is the magic number. I can't help but think of the pain of the last surgery and how difficult the recovery was, and how it failed and I'm left praying things go well, better than the last time even. As a parent you can't help but think about your kids and your family and worry that something might go wrong and how you just aren't ready for that. Is anyone ever ready for that though? I am so blessed with amazing kids and a wonderful husband and I know this is all tough on them too.  Most of all though, I'm just ready to get through this and get off this hamster wheel.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I find myself getting a little sad as I realize in a month we have been here 2 whole years. I admit I have been guarded in who I meet, I never realized just how shy and anxious I am in unfamiliar surroundings, trying to meet new people. It has been a struggle for me but honestly most days I am completely content at home with the furbabies and hubby, and now that Ashlyn is here, it makes my days move so much faster. Nothing like keeping up with a teenager and her schedule to help time pass.
   I can say, I have been so blessed in having the 3 amazing friendships back in Decatur, well 1 of those wanders the East coast a lot but her home is there. Surprisingly, these friendships have grown stronger and stood the test of time and distance. The changes our family has undergone have been great, I am so proud of our boys and all that they have accomplished here and seeing them create amazing lives of their own.
   Now that we are coming up on living in our little tiny house on the hill for a year in 2 short months, I realize too, that we need more space, or at least more customized space, especially with a full time teenager and our part timer too. Plus it never fails, we have one of the boys over 2 or more nights a week, sleeping on the floor or in my chaise, lol. But this moma doesn't mind one bit. I do miss them when they are busy with their work and lives and don't get around to visiting as much. I've learned that life is so much more than the big house with the swimming pool or pretty door, I've learned it's more about the life inside.
   I've have some struggles this year. My surgery knocking me down for a while really reminded me of why I loved having true, caring friends around that would make it a priority to come hang out on nights Vern had to work, Or come help me if I asked. I have been blessed with a husband who never misses a beat when I need him most. Also, family who will drop what they can and do all they can to be here for any of us when we need them. I've also got two great boys that have been so helpful coming to visit on days Vern had to work, taking me to out of town Dr appointments, or just tagging along on one of my Alabama trips just to keep me company. I couldn't get through those rough days without any of  them.
    I'm feeling the familiar pains of memories of summer, and summers past flooding my mind, as it seems always happens this time of year for me. Knowing that it's just a matter of time before the shorter, darker, damper, colder days start creeping in and take away my time outside working in the garden, doing yard work, or finding a New treasure to hike around in these beautiful mountains that surround us.
   More than I ever thought possible, our move to Tennessee has changed my life in countless ways. I still find days I'm extremely homesick, missing the craziness of our life in Florence. Even though I didn't call it home for long, that's where our family came together, our kids became siblings, where we created so many wonderful memories... And where I took on the best title I have ever owned. Vern's wife....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

RIP Stuart Scott

ESPN personality Stuart Scott passed away after a long battle with cancer :(


 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying