What a difference a month makes!

A month ago, I had just found out that I had no other options than surgery.  I was devastated.  Surgery was not an option in my mind, but to be told by two doctors in less than a week, I had to reconsider.  Although I was terrified, I knew it was my best option.  So, from May 2nd to May 17th, I worked hard, prayed, called for others to pray, and did everything I could to expedite the process.  May 17th (my brother Brad’s birthday!), I got one of the best phone calls of my life.  Surgery was set for May 22nd, with preop the very next day.  It was a whirlwind, but an answer to prayers.  It was frustrating, emotional, and HARD.  But, I had more support than I ever imagined it, and managed to come out of it smiling.  Although the surgery was quite serious (removing a vertebrae from my spine and fusing the others with a spacer in between), I had VERY little fear regarding it.  This was my miracle I had been praying for for four months- just not in the package I was expecting!

Day of surgery, my mom, dad, Bear and I all arrived at the hospital at 7:30 ready to go.  My mom and I talked to pass the time, the boys mainly concentrated on their reading material of choice (my dad in his magazines, Bear on my laptop.  They both withdraw a bit when they’re nervous.  Yes, I realize I’m marrying a version of my father and I could not be happier about it!).  Surgery was supposed to start at 9:30, but due to complications from the previous surgery, it didn’t start until 10:30 or so.  I got my “relaxation” drug first and fell asleep before they ever gave me the official anesthesia.  (Which was a relief- I was worried about seeing the tools.  I had still been awake one time when being wheeled into the operating room and saw the tools once.  It added a lot of anxiety right before going under anesthesia.)

I woke up in intense pain very groggy and quite pissed off that they wouldn’t let me bend my legs. (I had my legs up the entire six weeks of bedrest, so my legs weren’t used to being straight.)  They got my pain under control, I felt great and started joking around with the nurses.  I guess they figured I was fine because then they left me alone in recovery for 45 very long minutes.  I was on some type of pain shot that lasted only eight minutes, so by the time they came back to check on me, I was hyperventilating and crying from the pain.  It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.  I can’t even describe it.  They were ready to take me back, but I refused until they got my pain under control. (Yes, as you can tell, I was very alert and a wee bit sassy.  Don’t mess with a girl in pain.)  They had to transfer me from a recovery bed to my hospital bed and I had heard the patient before me scream throughout the entire thing.  I wasn’t subjecting myself to that until they did their job.  The rest of the day, I enjoyed my hydrocodone and morphine and kept my pain under control (relatively) for the rest of the day.

I forgot about the joys of hospital living. I finally got my pain low enough to sleep around one fifteen or so (I’d been trying to sleep off and on for a couple hours), had a vitals check at two. Took me a while – maybe thirty minutes or so?- to get back to sleep and woke up to a machine error at three. Went back to sleep (much faster that time) and then just got woken up again for vitals and blood work around 4:30. At least i can say they keep a very close eye on me! 🙂
What I didn’t add, was that the nurse checked my vitals and my blood pressure was 77/38.  WAY too low, so no more morphine for me from that point on.  I was shocked that I was able to handle it with hydrocodone!
Here was my next update on my first walk:
I had my first Post-op walk. Actually getting out of bed and standing up was the most painful part. Walking wasn’t that bad! I also sat up in a chair for thirty minutes. I am amazed at what my body can already do. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. They’re working!
As the two days went on, I continued to progress.  The Sunday after my surgery (five days later) I was doing laps around my driveway.
  • Thursday, I went to Tuesday Morning and walked three of the aisles.
  • Friday- I went on a DATE.  We went to Sam’s (I walked in and then used the motorized cart inside the store), then we went to dinner at Olive Garden.  It was awesome.
  • Saturday, I went with my mom to get pedicures.  I obviously didn’t use the massage chair, but I was still able to sit up during this.
  • Today, (Sunday), twelve days later, I walked (with Wilhelmina the walker) 0.4 miles. I also went and saw my fiance, Bear, play softball for the first time in SIX months!  It was greatness.  I loved being out there to watch my man do his thing. 🙂
Incredible to me what my body can do so soon after surgery.  Endurance wise, I’m back to where I was in March, maybe even better than that.
It’s been an incredible ride!  I can’t believe what I’ve been able to do in such a short time.  It really is my miracle.
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