Many of us have “game changers” life is unpredictable. I have had more than a few….maybe I’ll go into those someday…
The game changer that is currently wrecking havoc on our day to day life is my back. February 13, 2017 I had a lumbar laminectamy and discectamy on my L4/l5, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I was blessed to have a skilled neurosurgeon and a team of specialists, because- I was scared! I mean, my spine? Who wouldn’t be nervous? I didn’t clearly “understand” what the limitations would be, but honeslty, I was in so much non stop pain for months…and years of on/off pain, I needed a solution.
Since I was pregnant with my daughter 11 years ago, I had sciatic nerve pain…or hip pain as I would describe it. I saw chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, massage therapists, you name it. I had x-rays, MRI, arthrogram, physical therapy, tried oils and any recommendations that were even suggested! I never found a fix. It would come and go with running and activity, but there was always a pain. When pregnant with my son over 5 years ago, it was awful….horrible pain.
Fast forward to this past summer, something changed. It was pain in my low back, behind my knee, my big toe. It radiated down my right leg, like little shots of electricity. I continued skiing, wakeboarding, jogging, and being a mom. One afternoon while on the lake, I lifted my son on the swim platform on the boat, my leg slipped…It was an “out of body” feeling. It didn’t really hurt, but I knew I did something. A few days later, I was lifting our kayaks my daughter and her friend filled with water to get the spiders out- I got dizzy, things spun, I felt this warmth in my back. As a few days went by…I no longer had feeling in my leg or foot. Being my right side, I had a hard time pressing the gas and brake pedals. I wasn’t sure what to think….over the next month I knew something was wrong, but it would get better, right? NOPE.
After receiving the news of my MRI, I was like..ok…and? I had a ruptured disc and degenerative disc disease. I went ahead and did an epidural, which was painful and a little nerve racking. It worked! Yay, this could be an “easy” answer. 10 days after we head to Duluth for a little family get away. After the 6 hour car ride, I felt stiff. I no longer could walk or sit without extreme pain. It was deep “nerve pain”. I was in tears, but also mad that I didn’t have relief. I then started on oral prednisone, it seemed to work,Sort of. I sent my MRI and information to the Spine center at Mayo Clinic, and I was told that it would be reviewed and need to be accepted. three days later, I received a call. I was offered appointments for the spine center AND a consult with the Neurosurgeon.
My husband and I stayed overnight at the double tree in Rochester the night before my appointments. It ended up being a nice little get away for us! The series of appointments took up the entire day, mainly of waiting…of course. We met with Specialists that could answer every question and provide added information. Our final appointment was with My neurosurgeon, which prior to walking into the consultation, we knew we would be discussing the surgery, because we knew the alternatives weren’t going to work for me.
The surgery was very successful, and everything went as planned. The recovery has been very interesting…nothing has gone “wrong”, but I really didn’t know what to expect. The first 3 weeks were tough! Readjusting family life, and day to day everything has been a challenge to say the least. I have learned, my family can really adjust to anything and come together to make it all work out.