So much has gone on last since my last update but I will stick to the topic that weighs heaviest on my heart and soul lately. During the month of February my husband started complaining of some left hip pain and some tingling sensations in his left foot. My husband was convinced the problem was in his hip but since I have been typing notes on people with this same kind of problem for almost 8 years I knew it was coming from his back. I scheduled an appointment for him with my boss, who is an orthopaedic surgeon. He had x-rays of his back and hips done and other than an abnormal growth of bone attaching the L5 vertebra to the sacrum there was really nothing else alarming on his plain films. He gave him some anti-inflammatory samples and suggested therapy and thought that the symptoms of his low back pain would go away with time. Then on March 13 or 14th all SHIT hit the fan. He got INTENSE pain in his low back, left hip and all the way up and down his left leg. It got worse when he coughed and sneezed and I knew that was a horrible sign. Doctor ordered an MRI and my fears where confirmed. A diagnosis of a herniated disc at L4-5 was given to us. For anyone who doesn’t know what a herniated disc is here goes: The disc is the cushiony part that sits in between each vertebra in the spine. Now, my husband has that extra bony growth at his L5 vertebra and it is fused to the sacrum beneath it. That caused the disc between the L5 and L4 vertebra to stretch to the left because the disc is actually attached both to the top and bottom of each vertebra. The stretching of that disc and my husband’s being over weight most of his life just caused too much stress on that disc and it finally gave. The harder surrounding part of the nucleus, which is a jelly like substance inside the disc, got a weak point and the nucleus ended up squirting out fo the disk causing major pressure on his nerves in his back. Thus the major leg pain. Diagnosis: Herniated Nucleus Pulposus, or as I like to call it MAJOR FUCK UPEDNESS!!! Now, his father had several back surgeries all of which left him still feeling pretty bad and addicted to pain meds so I was not eager to see my husband go down this path. The doctor assured us though that only 10% of patients need surgery for this type of problem and that given time the jelly substance that herniated out of the hard section of the disc would eventually dry up and relieve the pressure on the nerve. He asked my hubby what he wanted to do and we chose the conservative treatment first obviously. Doctor canceled therapy for the time being because that would only make matters worse. Put my hubby on a major dose of anti-inflammatory (which isn’t really that good because my husband has a problem with his liver when taking meds like that) and put him in a rather strong narcotic. (I really hated that part.) After a while it seemed like things were getting a little better but then they got worse again. Dave was needing all kinds of pain medication, which again, I REALLY HATE!!!! Doctor suggested lumbar epidural steroid injections. This is where you go in and lay on a table and they take a fluoroscopic x-ray of your back which shows up on a computer screen. Then they numb you up, stick the needle where it needs to go and then inject all kinds of meds into the exact part of your back that hurts you. Kind of like an epidural for pregnancy so I knew a little about what he was going through. LOL I actually told him to try to imagine going through what he was going through while at the same time having it feel like someone was taking your stomach and twisting it. Not fun. But then again I didn’t have a pinched nerve in my back either. Anyways. He had one of those on March 30th and the next day he did great. This was a VERY good thing because I had a surgery scheduled for the 31st. Got my tubes tied. No more kids for me. :-) Anyways, yeah, he did good after that one and after two weeks he went back and got a second. Epidurals usually come in a series of 3. After the second one he continued to do pretty well. They scheduled his 3rd epidural for four weeks after he got the second. After three weeks into that time all hell broke lose yet again!!! Right before Mother’s day he started feeling bad again. Totally afraid to get out of bed for the whole weekend. Not much fun for me, in a very selfish way. Then we had both taken Friday, May 27th, off so that we could have one last day of going out just the two of us before our kids got out for summer vacation. Well, at 3:30 a.m. our ADT alarm started going off. My first thought was that one of the kids got up during the night and had tried to go outside. I’m always afraid for some reason that my 5 year old will do that. I don’t know why really. I know she is smarter than that. But anyways, so my first reaction is to hurry up and get to the kitchen where the key pad is and turn the fucker off because all the neighbors were going to be waking up soon. So I flew out of the bedroom and ran to the kitchen and finally got it turned off. I come back to the bedroom totally expecting my hubby to still be in bed waiting to see what the commotion was. I start talking to him. The room is still totally dark but I can tell that his voice is not coming from the bed. Nope. It was coming from the floor! He had tried to run after me because he was afraid someone had tried to break into the house and he didn’t want me to be alone. But his back totally shot him down to the ground. Another weekend ruined. At this point he could wait for his third injection. My parents go to a great chiropractor so around this time we started going to see him too. I was diagnosed with left cubital tunnel syndrome (pinched nerve in the elbow) and my mom thought that he could help me so I went also. (It actually has helped my cubital tunnel a VERY GREAT DEAL!) First adjustment was murder on my hubby. Doctor wanted him to lay face down on a table and he couldn’t stay there. Only for like 10 seconds. I felt terrible since it was pretty much my urging him to go that he was there in the first place. Doctor said he couldn’t promise quick results obviously since the problem had already been going on for over two months but that he thought over time it would really help him out. Third epidural injection time finally rolled around and we did that. At this point the anesthesiologist looks at the fluoroscopy picture on screen and just stands back and looks. FREAKED ME OUT!!!! I was in the room each time and he had NEVER done that before. He was actually caught off guard by that extra piece of bone. This ticked me off because actually at the time of his second injection I had asked this doctor if he could see if the L5 was sacralized and he told me he couldn’t. Fucker! Anyways. He put his hand on my hubby’s shoulder and said “I think you are going to need surgery.” I about died!!! It took all of my will power not to burst out crying right there in the “operating” room. When we got done and left the exam room my husband broke down. We had been hearing for over two months that conservative treatment would be enough and then all of a sudden we were faced with surgery. Very shocking news indeed. So I freaked out and wrote a note to my boss asking him to please clear things up for us. He explained that that extra piece of bone is a thing my hubby has probably has since birth and is not the cause of his pain and that he still felt no surgery was indicated. Meanwhile, my hubby doesn’t get any relief from the third injection. NONE!!! The weekend right after the 27th he has another quick drop to the floor episode. This time it was a Saturday and we were due to take the kids up to Atlanta to meet my folks at the airport so they could go for a two week visit. This episode was much worse than the previous one and he COULD NOT get up off the floor. Now, my husband is a pretty big guy. There is no way I could help him get off the floor. If he had been in a chair or something maybe but not from the floor. I’m just not that strong and don’t have the proper knowledge to know how to properly lift a large person. (Though we have both lost 40 pounds since February. YEE HAW!!!!) Eventually, after almost an hour, he was able to get back to the bed and I could finally take the kids. This was interesting because I have never driving to Atlanta alone before. It was always good to have my hubby with me because he went to college up there and knew the way. Not me. But I did finally make it. Anyways, he took it really easy and has had a quite a few more chiropractic adjustments since then. He had a REALLY GREAT weekend last weekend which was awesome. It was the first weekend the kids were gone and we got to go out and have fun!! I missed it so. We went to see Star Wars for the 3rd time and went out to eat and all kinds of stuff. I needed it so bad and I know he did too. He went to see the new doctor at our office who is a spine surgeon. This is a MAJOR prick!! He told us that the disc would not go away and the only way to get rid of it is surgery. He said “You may be having good days right now but the pain WILL come back.” Blah, Blah, Blah. This guy just wanted to get my hubby under the knife so he could bill us for it. Fuckhead!!! I am so glad I don’t have to type his dictation. But we have had three other doctors tell us that the disc will go away with time so we are still doing the conservative thing. Hopefully it will all work out.
My emotional state varies on the issue. While I hate very much to see my hubby in pain and I want to be as supportive as I can be there are times when I feel extremely angry about the whole thing. I get pissed off at the fact that he is taking narcotics still (though nowhere near as much as before). I even count the pills. He says he tells me EVERY TIME he takes them but he doesn’t. His parents were both hooked on pain pills before and I DON’T want that in my life. I know he would never do it on purpose but that’s how a lot of people start out. Taking it for good reasons and then BAM... your hooked. I really don’t think I have anything to worry about there but for some reason it still gets to me sometimes. Needless to say with pain like that the sex life suffers. And when that suffers EVERYTHING suffers. After three months of dealing with doing EVERYTHING around the house by myself, taking care of the kids and taking care of my hubby needless to say my brain is a little FRIED! I used to be a cutter back in Jr. High. (Where you cut yourself to ease pain.) I actually had a moment a couple of weeks ago where I SERIOUSLY considered doing it again. I have started smoking again A LOT! I just don’t know what to think about things sometimes. Then I feel bad for feeling the way I do sometimes because it is EXTREMELY selfish. I should be nothing but caring for my hubby during his time of need and not be resentful. It’s not like he did this on purpose. But part of me does get angry. I get mad that he isn’t the same person right now because of all of this. I get angry that all the responsibility for stuff around the house and the kids is all on my shoulders. I get pissed that I can’t be with him the way I want to and let me tell you... It’s true that a lady’s sex drive ups in the 30s because I am almost there and OMG!!! Wanting it all the friggin’ time. I get upset when I see him in pain and get angry that all of it is happening in the first place. Then I feel like ultra shit for thinking all of it in the first place. I guess it’s normal... at least I hope it is.
Regardless, one of the doctors at our office just lost one of his 4 year old twin daughter’s to cancer. I should be thanking my lucky starts that my hubby just has a herniated disc and not some kind of cancerous tumor growing in his back. I try to focus on the positive. It is just really hard.
Well, I think I have rambled WAY TOO MUCH for now. That’s not nearly everything that has gone on the past year but that is my major issue right now so there it is. And I actually do feel a lot better after putting it all into words. I should have done this two months ago at least.
Hope all you guys I used to talk to at the House of Bean Dip are doing okay. I missing chatting with you guys and knowing what is going on with you all. I just don’t have near as much time these days as I used too. But I hope you are all doing well.
Love and Peace,