Hello Everyone! It’s been a bit where I’ve written about my recovery from surgery that my wonderful Neurosurgeon did. I want to tell you my thoughts on it. Some of you may have similar things and may be going to have it. I’m always upfront and honest .You can be concerned or even have little anxiety. That is normal as we are human. But if there is a way then you should be willing to take what is offered. And of course if you been researching,praying,and asking questions. Always look at all your options, 2nd or more opinions before making life changing events. If it’s a big emergency,well then you know you got to just let things happen. As always these are my interpretations, my feelings,my experiences. I cannot tell you what to do and diagnose your issues. Just here to share and help you in your journey.
Okay, So for many years I’ve fought wide-spread pain literally from my head to my toes. I had experienced a lot of numbness/pain/tingling, shooting pain,headaches and hard to use my arms/legs over time and especially last year and past few months where it was getting worse. If you’ve followed my posts you would see of the issues from violently throwing up, headaches, suffering,and loss of mobility at times mainly in my arms. It kept getting worse. No matter how hard I tried, It was so horrible and I just wanted to give up so many times but I didn’t . I just kept going for myself and for my family and just kept my faith and know that God knew what was best. No matter what! You must do the safe. I had those times where I was on the floor begging to take these burdens from me. God didn’t . He just built me up stronger to handle them. It was so hard everyday and to be a mom/wife/and work and go to school. But I did it. I’m still doing it.
I had used many different medications/therapy/ran a lot of blood work, mri/x-rays/ct scans, doctors /specialists over the years. No one could figure out the throwing up. The doctors ruled out diabetic neuropathy as my a1c went from almost in the 10’s to in 5.7 and now my sugar is controlled so well,losing weight and feeling so much better. So that wasn’t the issue. So it was racking up my bills and now I have over 11,000 dollars in outstanding debt. I stayed focused on that at times thinking I wasn’t that bad. There are others more important that need the care. I was reminded I AM WORTH IT! So quite worrying about the cost. WE’RE ALL PRICELESS. ONE OF US! SO KEEP BEING ALIVE~
Services were available to me and despite costs and times and the patience and suffering, I must keep on. Things have a way of working on. So it does for you too! Then here comes Mother’s Day May 2017 weekend, My doctor got the results of my Mri, and said to find a neurosurgeon I’ll need surgery. He stated that he feels strongly when I get surgery a lot of my issues will be taking care of. It will be part of that missing puzzle. Then once that’s took care of we will knock out the rest which is my middle back down to toes .
I have what’s called severe cervical and forminal stenosis. Started at birth. My spine was being crushed from my c3-c7 in my neck. Blew out my discs in my neck from c5-c7. And when I seen my neurosurgeon, he basically said SURGERY! If I waited longer I would’ve lost mobility in my arms and legs and also my bowels etc I also have TMJ-with restricted airway. My specialist said my tongue isn’t fitting in my mouth lol. And I have a small mouth ( SEE I DON’T HAVE A BIG MOUTH ) LOL.. So with these issues it was making my tmj even worse,especially the horrible headaches. Oh so horrible! Between the violent projectiling and couldn’t keep anything down, my gag reflux and nerves was so messed up. The nerves through my body were being all over the place or compressed and since my head was pushed forward it was making me even wackier LOL. No wonder I was called wacky Jackie ~ 🙂
So the canal was supposed to be like 8-10mm of room for the spine, my spine had like 5mm . My spine had no room .Which then the nerves and discs were getting damaged and this was over time. Here I was being diagnosed with other crap over the years and tons of doctor visits/appointments/medications/therapy etc.. and nothing helped. The neurosurgeon got the spine uncrushed and made room in the canal. Then he took out my dics from c5-c7 and replaced with cadaver bones. He then put plate and screws and locked my neck down. So I’m not able to look up and look down all the way and turn to left and right all the way. He locked me down the rest of my life. So I have new buddies forever 🙂
The first picture is when I was headed to go in. I don’t know if you see but my head is all forward . Then it’s being ready to go into surgery. Then I am sitting in chair getting ready to go home. Then it’s on the ride home. Then recovering and then the last is today (aug.19th,2017 ) month of recovering! 🙂 I was trying to smile in the pics and to help recover 🙂 Some may worry about how you would look . I have tons of scars from abuse and from surgery etc… Don’t worry about how you look! GEESH! I’m natural. Very seldom do I wear make up. Took me through a lot of bullying and abuse over the years to get to where I’m accepted of myself. I don’t need the world,fame,or other things to make me pretty and beautiful . Your scars and your challenges is who YOU ARE AND MAKES YOU EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL! BELIEVE IT AND NEVER COMPARE!
I got sick coming out of anthesisa. I was sooo sick and I was so scared to puke. Thinking that my throat would open up LOL. I was given medicine to go around the clock from pain meds/nausea and muscle relaxer. I was sent home. I couldn’t rest,drink or talk. I was so sick to my stomach and I didn’t eat for a good solid 3 weeks almost. I had surgery on July 14th. I just hit my 1 month mark on august 14th. The fusion takes about a year to see if it works. You will have several post op visits with x rays taken. Be honest and upfront on everything you experience. Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor. Everyone is different. It is crucial to your healing .Things do happen and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Never compare your issues and problems with everyone. Even though they do this type of surgery on many, my issues were different from anyone else. He did other things as well. It’s not the same and you don’t feel the same.
Never rush. I was put on leave and I know money isn’t everything but I needed to stay working, so I had the doctor put me back to work at 2 weeks. I work from home so I can rest etc when needed. But It helped me heal better to know what I can and can’t do while working (Even if it’s a desk job and wearing a headset) Trust me, it’s not that simple. The hours you work and I have to sit, stand,walk, lay, whatever to adjust myself. Then the customers calling in. I know we have bad days. Just adjustment I remind myself.Rest is still horrible. I can’t get comfortable at night. But it’s all an adjustment which takes time. YES! You can be grumpy and cry and just get fed up. I try to uplift myself in those times through my passions .Because it’s hard. It’s not a simple fix. So much goes into this major surgery. Life changes too!
I am still on restrictions and cannot bend/lift more than 10lbs, reach,pull etc.. Basically just be careful. I am not able to ride in car over an hour and I have to switch from standing/sitting/walking/laying . Walking ,rest and good nutrition will help see if the fusion takes place. The first week was HORRIBLE. I was so swollen. So in pain and I had a slice in my throat LOL. My husband took his vacation to help take care of the kids and me. Many friends and family helped with meals and sent wonderful cards and flowers.
WHAT HELP ME IN MY RECOVERY ?
PILLOWS. LOTS AND LOTS OF PILLOWS. Got a king size pillow and memory foams and I just packed them all around me. Get a recliner as well. Get help for meals and I mean it you can’t cook/clean etc.. Just reach out for help. Swallow your pride. I had too.
REST! As bad as I hate just laying around, I rested. I read,watched shows,wrote letters. Hung out with my family/friends. I worked on my projects and my writing. Couldn’t do music lol. But I also followed others in their passions and showed support even if it was just by a message. I believe that you have to have the mindset you will get better and not to rush. I rushed my previous surgeries because I didn’t have helpful companions or anyone there. So I suffered and paid attention to others. Because I was willing to rest, I was given love through cards/flowers/messages and love and support from my husband and family and friends and church. The lord knew that I needed to be reminded I matter That it was really hard for me to let someone care for me because I wasn’t used to that. So please take time for yourself and rest. There’s always someone willing to help . If not seek out churches and I know my church (the church of latter day saints) we all serve and not wanting to be paid. There’s missionaries and members willing to help .NO YOU DON’T HAVE TO JOIN. We are there to Serve !
ASK FOR HELP ~ It gets lonely and when you are like me missing your family/friends/vacations/reunions/church etc.. And no one is there, ask for help. Either ask someone to talk to you. See if you can get a visit or a lunch date or something. Vent with a family or friend or in your journal or talk in your journal. I used my writing and my sites to help me. If you pray, then pray.. You may not get answers but someone is there ready to listen.
UNLOAD AND CRY ~ As I am used to being a mom/wife and working and going to school and other things, I felt uneasy and even now that I’m in a month of recovery, I still can’t do certain things and even drive. It gets uncomfortable. I feel like a ‘prisoner’ kept up in my room since my office is in my bedroom. We are looking for a house and I know that takes time. Bills are piling in for my medical. Trials are happening all around me and to those I love and I can’t help them the way I want too. Yet, I unload and I try. I unload in prayer and to my parents and my husband and family and friends. I cry to them or in the shower or wherever. I’m not ashamed to do so. Don’t let it build up. Sometimes I have more passion and love for others that I always put myself aside and tend to their needs whether financially,physically,spiritually/emotionally.. .Whatever the case may be whether I know you or not. That is me. I’m always putting others first. Even if it looks like i’m doing things for me, I really have other things going on for others and I just barely get to myself.. That I’m okay with. As long as everyone is safe,happy,and well and blessed. I’m happy. 🙂
LAST JUST SMILE AND BE GRATEFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES AND HAVE PATIENCE!
It’s hard to have patience. Especially when you are suffering. But you must be humbled and know that despite all the challenges you’ve had in your life, you’ve come this far. It’s not going to stop either. Life has challenges and many at one time. Some are from consequences you have made. Other’s are at the hands of others which isn’t your fault. And the rest, it’s just life. You are being perfected. You are in this life to make a choice. Whether you believe it or not, you chose to come on this earth, from premortal life. I strongly believe that. I can’t tell you what happened before then or why you chose. You must seek your journey. But I do know, whether you believe in my faith, or in me or in anything else, that’s your choice. You have a choice in how you act and how you live your life. You have a choice in giving up or keep going. No amount of pain and suffering will help those choices, but I can firmly testify that in my life and what i’ve encountered, it has an AMAZING IMPACT ON MY LIFE. In all the good and bad. In all my complaining, wanting to give up, flaws,failures,suffering,challenges, it all has a reason. YES! OUR SAVIOR DIED AND SUFFERED FOR US AND KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT I’M SAYING AND LIVING AND WHAT YOU ARE TOO.
I came to understand that more and will the rest of my life. Again, I’m not asking you to believe in it and join ‘mormons’. I know what is said about that. I know everyone has their own belief and I’m not going to argue whether I’m right or wrong. I’m just going to say, you just have to be grateful in all cirumstances and have patience and to smile. Smile in everything. Even if it takes you time. I fall and I complain and really have those horrible days where Nothing I do and say is right. That I’m a failure. I’m not good at my writing and singing and no one is caring etc.. You know what then? I smack myself! Not literally… I’m smacking myself back to my strength and look at how far I’ve come and how far I’m willing to travel. .It’s not easy cupcake! But if I’ve suffered so much and accomplished so much already, you think I just want to give up now? HELL NO! I have ALL I NEED AND EVER WANTED. I have a beautiful life, family,friends,children,talents,heart,gospel and so much more. I have food,clothing,shelter,challenges,and faith to rise above them. I have patience and understanding and willingness.What more do I need? Only things I can think of is more service,love,
Finally into week 2 I was able to talk little more and walk little easier but my pain in my neck/throat/spine,upperback and shoulders were just so horrible and had a lot of discomfort. My arms still felt the same and some pain was worse than when I went into the surgery. So my surgeon took xrays and normally they don’t on your first post op. I go back on the 24th for my 6 week check up and more xrays.
I was told not by my surgeon but family and friends reminded me to take the PAIN MEDS. To do as it follows. That my body can’t heal if it’s in pain. So if you have any kind of surgery, always remember that. IT’S OK! They will manage your pain and medications so you won’t become dependant. So I had to tell myself that. I’ve had knee surgery, removal of uterus, right tube and ovary, 2 bladder slings, several scopes, gall bladder,appendix,lasic eye surgery, numerous tests and this surgery was BY FAR THE WORST RECOVERY ever. Not going to lie and not going to sugar coat. We are all different. I had my first surgery in 2005 of removal of uterus , the next day i was babysitting 12 neighborhood kids and I was like 21. Then in 2007 the right tube ovary, then gall bladder than appendix. Then in 2011 they did knee surgery on my knee to fix meniscus tear but couldn’t so they cleaned it. I went and did school for certified nurses assistant. I then had a bladder sling and that didn’t take which then 3 months later another sling put in and they didn’t take that old one out. Still have many issues from that mesh sling but I kept working and kept on. And the others so between 2005-2012 I have had many surgeries and no help from others. I kept on working and completed school. I had 2 bad marriages then and suffered greatly but I KEPT ON.
This surgery was AMAzing Because I have an amazing husband/family/friends/church support and Great surgeon and doctor. So if you have surgery you need to REACH OUT! Whether you are stubborn or not and you get the support you need. Yes, many will be cocky and think Oh! IT’s not that bad,,they do this all the time. Well let me tell you, Yes! They do. But if you have had many surgeries/tests. Health issues and not use to support, you will have to adjust your life. Just as I have to adjust my life living with a plate and screws in my neck. To be more alert with my exercise,mental state,and health. To eat proper foods and to LISTEN TO COUNSEL. I can’t go back to what I was doing. So really pay attention. I’m blessed I had this surgery. I’m blessed the lord guided my doctor into looking at other tests to find the answer of many causes. I’m blessed for my challenges and no matter how I feel and painful it is, or discomfort, I am truly blessed to grow in this.
Outcome so far : It’s been a month and I’ve held down food. No headaches. My arms have no pain. Little numbness but it’s getting healed. I can use my arms. My head is straight and posture where it’s not forward anymore. The pain/discomfort is subsiding in my shoulders/neck. Throat is little tender and I tend to choke on my food/water sometime but that is normal for this surgery.Just keep an eye on it. I must say it’s took a lot of my issues away. I still have 11 more months to see if it will take. I am still listening to my body to rest and taking it easy and following orders and eating the right foods. So Yes! I’m blessed that despite the troubles that led up to this unexpected surgery and the recovery, it’s worth it in the end. As I go further alone I’ll update here and there my status.
LEFT ISSUES: The pain/numbness,glass sensation/tingles/hard to walk at times, stiff, from my middle back down to toes is still there. Hurts so bad at night. I suffer greatly and have been especially lower back for many years. My doctor is consulting along with me and my neurosurgeon on this issue and will soon fix this. These are just the last of my issues. I know one day I’ll be healed and I’m feeling better each day. I have my challenges. I shed many tears but I have a drive to keep going. We are so blessed to be able to have physicians and other angels in our lives that will help us. You must listen and be willing. And there are so many of us around the world that are in desperate need of care so we must be grateful and do our part to help in anyway to help each other. No matter what’s going on, I keep going and I’m so grateful even if I have troubling days where I want to quit. I JUST DON’T. NEITHER SHOULD YOU!
I hope this helps you and finds you well. I hope that you too can learn and grow in your own experiences and seek the answers and help that you need in your life. It may not make sense to you what I write, but it sure makes sense to me. I just find this is an outlet to help me grow and helps others that follow. Always listen to your body. Seek the help if things are wrong. If you aren’t getting the proper treatment or need opinions ,then go and find them. Sometimes it may take years or even few days to find out what’s wrong, but have patient and it will happen. It takes time and I still have to be patient but I can do that and still LIVE And BE BLESSED AND HELP OTHERS ALONG THE WAY. Even though I and others may appear to be doing just great and looking good. Always remember and have respect that silently they may be suffering and hurting. So never judge someone from how they act and look. Always look within and see that their strength in their trials is what helps them and will help you. I may have been fixed and doing alright in some ways, but I still have my ‘demons’ and suffering that not even writing and singing will help. I know health is one of my biggest challenge in life. I have accepted it and I have the drive to keep going. So before you say ‘you’re fine” or glad ‘all is took care of”. Be reminded I am happy and I’m finding the joy, but I’m a work in progress still 🙂 All the best to you! 🙂 You keep going and finding your passions and keep going strong!. Much Love ~Jackie