A year ago today, I had my spinal fusion/laminectomy on my L5/S1 that was necessary for me to walk again and get out of the eight weeks of bed rest. Dr. Bianco promised me that if I had the surgery six weeks before the wedding, I could walk down the aisle. (He’s since told me that my surgery was one of the scariest ones he has ever done because of the promise he made me and he thanks God every day he didn’t have to break his promise. The man does BRAIN surgery, people. That blew me away!)
Great story, huh? I think so. 🙂
But, unfortunately, that’s when the recovery process got rocky. The preparations for the wedding, wedding, reception, and mini-moon were just too much for my little back to handle and I developed an infection underneath the scar that set me back pretty far and caused me to have to almost start over recovery-wise. After a rough month or two, I got better and made some huge improvements.
Then I went back to work which sent my back in a tailspin. (My physical therapists later told me that I should never have gone back to work that early, but I was determined and they didn’t fight me on it.) So, that set me back a bit, but I pushed through and made progress.
In the fall, I went on a school bus for a field trip and triggered my sciatica and we found out I had sacroiliac joint dysfunction (basically really weak hips that will flare up from time to time) which took a few months to get under control.
Then, on the way home from therapy during Christmas break, a lady ran a stop sign and I was involved in an extremely minor car wreck that, of course, wreaked havoc on my back and set me back a few weeks.
And, then in February, I finally got the diagnosis I knew in my gut I had all along- probably since even before the surgery. Arthritis in my spine. (Spondyliosis) So, different meds and interacting with all the doctors to figure out the best treatment.
And, here we are, a year later. It’s been a tough year with a much, much harder recovery than I ever expected. But, I’ve made SOOO much progress. I’m still in physical therapy to work on some key areas of weakness, but I’m getting stronger every day.
For example, today in therapy, I:
– lifted weights
– did core work with weights on the balance ball
– did 5 minutes on the stairmaster (I normally do 8-10 minutes, but we increased the weights on my legs and they weren’t having it! lol.)
All after going up 5-10 flights of stairs and a ton of walking this morning at our school field trip.
That, my friends, is progress.
So, if you’ve prayed, helped, encouraged, commiserated, or just been in my life this past year, thank you. Thank you for being there for me during one of the hardest times of my life.
And, though the recovery continues, I’m so glad to see what this back can do. (Don’t you worry, I’m not going to do anything crazy, but I am going to spend less time in the chair and more time experiencing life!)
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”- Christopher Robin