My dear friends, I know it has been a while since my last post. I have been struggling, and I plan to talk about it in a later post, but tonight I have a favor to ask. If you find it in your heart and have a moment to spare, would you please say a little prayer for me?
I will. I have to admit that at times, I have questioned why He has allowed me to go through so much. I have realized though, that the more struggles I face, the stronger my relationship with God grows. One thing that I know for sure is that He loves me.
As many of you know, I went through the SCS (spinal cord stimulator) trial recently. I have to tell you that overall it was a success! Here is how the week long trial went…
The day of the procedure if I’m being honest, was brutal. I was sore from where the leads were inserted, and it wasn’t particularly comfortable to lean back with the battery pack taped to me. The other problem was that I was in a ton of pain in my mid back. It wasn’t from the procedure or device however; I believe I pulled a muscle in the shower that morning. Don’t ask me how…I really don’t know…just that talented I suppose.
The day after the trial was amazing! The severe pain in my left leg was gone. My low back, down to my toes felt so much better. I woke up and moved about the house without waddling and wincing. I was able to lift my knees toward my chest without pain. I was able to lie flat on my belly without excruciating pain. I even stood for long periods of time without needing a pain killer. When my family checked in on me to ask how I was, I responded with “I’m good” and for the most part, really meant it. These are some things I hadn’t been able to do in years, and I was loving every moment! I felt so confident that this was the solution I needed, that I called my surgeon’s office to schedule my consultation for the permanent implant. His schedule fills up fast, and I didn’t want to delay things any longer. I will see the surgeon on the 30th of this month. With the last 3 surgeries, he was able to do them within a couple weeks of consultation.
Days three through six were just as great as far as pain relief. With minimal activity, I was getting 80-90% pain relief, and with more activity, 60-79%. To give you a better understanding of how awesome those numbers seem to me, a trial is considered successful if a patient receives 50% pain relief. What drove me crazy was the desire to take a real shower and to get that dang medical tape off my back. Otherwise, I really didn’t have any complaints.
The day the trial leads were removed, I felt happy to get the battery and tape off my back. I was also a little sad because I knew the pain would be coming back soon.
The device rep said I may continue to feel pain relief for a day. Sadly, by that night my low back began to ache, and by the next day I was hurting more. I am now back to the usual 8-10/10 on the pain scale. I am holding on to the hope of permanent pain relief being right around the corner. I just need to hang in there a little longer. I know that getting the permanent implant will make me a little more of a robot (with the hardware that’s already in place), but honestly, when the trial was in place, I felt more human than I have in a long time. Maybe you all can start calling me roboJ2019 😆.
As always, I appreciate all of your positive vibes, well-wishes, and prayers! Thank you for your love and support.
Looking at me, you wouldn’t know that I have a total of seven screws in my spine and a titanium cage in the space where my disk used to reside. Understandably, when I see a new doctor and they ask about previous surgeries, they are a little taken aback with my answer. They see a thirty-something female, who from the outside, looks fairly healthy. The typical response is usually along the lines of “Wow, what happened? Were you in an accident or did you fall or something?” Nope, don’t know why I’ve had all this trouble with my back.
I can tell you now from looking at the surgeon’s report from my first fusion, that I had degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. But why? Why all the issues and pain? What got the proverbial ball rolling roughly ten years ago? I’ve pondered this quite a bit over the years, and here are the possible explanations I’ve come up with; some are more farfetched than others. In no particular order:
My dad used to toss me back and forth with someone when I was little. Maybe I was dropped? I joke about this more than anything (Love ya, Dad).
Maybe it was that time in elementary school, when I slipped getting out of the jacuzzi and fell on my rear end.
Maybe it was from running track with flat feet my freshman year of high school. That’s how I ended up with stress fractures in both shins.
Perhaps using tanning beds throughout my teen years caused more than the occasional ‘sun burn’. Absolutely no scientific research that I am aware of.
I gained forty pounds in my first pregnancy. Maybe the extra weight and childbirth caused all this. If that was the case, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have an amazing son to show for it.
On the same note, was it caused by the epidural somehow?
Perhaps I am being punished for all my wrongdoings.
Maybe my days of self-harm played a role.
Maybe God chose me for this battle, so that I could help others somehow.
Maybe one day I’ll have my answer and hopefully one day I’ll have no more back pain. Until then, who knows what else my imagination may come up with.