Monday, December 9, 2013

A Surgical Procedure

I will fill you in today on one of the main reasons I have been so scattered and unfocused on projects for the last 3 months. It's not been so much because of my teaching at OUC, as I've led you to believe. The more correct reason is sciatic pain which has returned with a vengeance. I've been nearly beside myself over it, and it's certainly prevented me from being as productive as I wanted to be.

I am writing this on Saturday to be scheduled for Monday, and as you read this, my Posterior Lumbar Fusion surgery will be (hopefully) underway. I scheduled it about 6 weeks ago, to coincide with the end of the university semester. I gave my exams a day early, and I am finalizing grades this weekend. I report to the hospital at 6:15am on Monday (today). After a 3-day hospital stay, I will recover for a month (becoming stronger and more mobile each day, I expect), and then I will be back to focusing on quilting!

Mentally, I am so ready for this surgery. Having sciatic pain is excruciating, and limits so much what a person can do. My DH and I were walking quite regularly all summer and into fall, but around the first of October, I was just not able to do it anymore. In hindsight, this was approximately a month after the semester had begun, and my book bag was getting heavier and heavier. I honestly think that is what triggered the increase in pain. Anyway, I realized that if I ever hope to be able to do all the things I want to do,  surgery is the only option. I don't want to settle for sitting on the sidelines and limiting my activities. For goodness sake, this next May, I want to wear heels and dance at my daughter's wedding! I want to feel good again!

Taken from a Yahoo! search.

You may not have thought you would have a biology lesson today: think again!! *wink*

The above picture shows a healthy spine; the particular region of trouble for me is L4 and L5. Arthritis has caused L4 to shift forward, which results in a pinched nerve. Here is a picture of what that looks like.

Taken from a Yahoo! search.

I first noticed sciatic pain in the spring of 2012, so this has been ongoing for awhile. It was bearable, mostly, and I took aspirin or Ibuprofen when needed. I doctored last winter (right about this same time, actually) and in January of 2013, had steroid shots which gave great, albeit temporary relief. By July, I needed another round of shots (they come in a series of 3), and that wore off by early October. Since then, I've managed the pain with heavy doses of Aleve, which has been incredibly successful. I've also stopped lifting. My reclining chair has been where I can be most comfortable. That pretty much is an abbreviated story of my arriving at this point.

Taken from a Yahoo! search.
Back to the biology lesson. The surgeon will remove the arthritis in the L4-L5 region and then insert a rod and screws to hold L4 where it's supposed to be. Over time, my bones will graft. In my reading, I've learned that often a "cage" is inserted. I do not recall my surgeon including this in the description of what he would be doing, but maybe he will. The cage, to the best of my understanding, serves as a disc.

I hope to be home on Wednesday, and I will update my recovery as soon as my meds will allow. I won't try posting if I'm loopy, in other words! Ha! How will we know?? *wink*

I am already beginning to plan out my projects for 2014. I've also begun reviewing my progress on the 2013 goals, which I can tell you are quite pathetic.

You all have to pick up the slack! I won't be quilting or sewing for a few days, so do a little extra for me, okay?

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Donna said...

Feel better soon!

Silvana said...

I began to live after spine surgery. Good luck!

katyquilts said...

Hope all goes well and you are feeling better soon!

Cindy Nielsen said...

I have followed your blog for quite some time now but have never commented. I am so sorry to hear of your pain. I have had sciatic pain since March and the first 4-6 weeks I thought I would never function properly again.
It is up and down now with small episodes here and there where I am very compromised in what I can do. I sure hope your surgery works well for you and that your recovery goes well.
Take care, Cindy Nielsen

Mary said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery after a safe and successful surgery. Pain is so very debilitating, it drags one down so nothing is enjoyable. I'm glad you will be getting rid of this pain and able to enjoy life again.

Deb said...

Jayne, I have had this exact surgery and it is such a blessing. One thing I would say though is, don't expect miracles. I thought I would be in hospital 3 days also and ended up being in 7 days, the pain from the surgery was totally not what I expected. But it was worth it although I will say I am very aware of my back and it does test me occasionally but no sciatic pain. Just take it slowly and don't over do it. Have a quite christmas and let everyone run around after you. Take care and I hope your surgery was the success mine was.

QuiltSue said...

I know this pain has been really getting you down, so take care and take it easy when you get home. After all, your sewing room will still be there in a few weeks when you've had time to recover.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I hope you are back on the mend quickly Jayne !

Lee Prairie Designs said...

Oh my, Jayne! So sorry to read this post. I hope your surgery goes well and that you will be on the mend, soon.

My thoughts are with you, Carolyn

Ramona said...

I hope your surgery was a success and that you will be back walking, quilting and doing whatever you want to do very soon.

Healing thoughts headed your way.

Sarah said...

Best wishes for a good recovery from your surgery. Here's to a pain free existence!

Jayne Hill said...

Oh good grief, THIS is what happens when I get behind on reading my favourite blogs. Jayne dear, I am so sorry to learn what you've been going through. Chronic pain is debilitating and unless someone has suffered from it then they will have no idea how much it can limit your life.

As I'm reading this three weeks on it is wonderful to know you are making a good recovery.