BadBird’s Bad Back

29 Jul
BadBird’s Bad Back

I have 16 days left before my new hip arrives and is installed.  Five more shifts in two weeks.  At least that’s what my calendar says.  

My husband has had a bad back for the last week and a half.  He has a history of back pain which is sometimes debilitating.  He misused his back when he was in high school and played football.  Then he damaged his back when he worked in the wrecking yard lifting small engines single handedly.  

When he tested with a local police department 25 years ago, they told him then that he had the back of a 65 year old and they couldn’t hire him.  Now that he’s 65, it is worse.

Typical back pain means two weeks of ice, muscle spasm meds and pain meds.  Mostly ice.  This time it is different, with pain radiating down the front of his thigh and weakness to the point of falling to the ground.  The ice and The meds don’t work.  He walks hunched over with a hiking stick or walker.  Three visits to the Emergency Department later, we finally got his MRI.  Normally, insurance won’t authorize an MRI until the patient has been on nsaids and six weeks of physical therapy.  For us, PT would start six weeks down the road.  Not very helpful for someone who is in agony right now.

After the imaging and a rest at home, we visited the PCP.  “It’s a good thing we pursued the MRI,” he said.  One disk bulges into the spinal column impinging on the nerve and on the nerve root where the nerves branch out of the spine to provide the electrical power to the leg.  The pressure from the misplaced disc slows down the electricity.  Think of a garden hose going full blast.  That is your healthy nerve bundle with electricity flowing like gangbusters.  Now, park your Ford F150 on the hose and see how much flows.  The truck represents the disc blocking some of the nerve’s power, making the leg weak.

What makes this an emergent problem is that a part of the disc broke off and has traveled UP the spinal column.  It must be removed by surgery.  Soon.  Maybe next week.

This is not the best timing, since my own surgery is two weeks away.  I briefly thought to postpone it, but I don’t have much more to work with.  Just walking through Wal-Mart too fast caused me so much pain.  I’m still able to work, thank you, Father.  

So, both of us will be laid up.  Momma asked if he would be well enough to drive me to the hospital, and I couldn’t say.  I didn’t have enough information.  Our original plan was to rent a hotel room the night before, and he would stay there during my stay, driving me back home upon discharge.  Now I don’t know.  I told Momma what she told me so many times as I grew up: We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.  It is wonderful how my mother’s words have become so much wiser as I have grown older.

My oldest daughter and her husband arranged the downstairs to make it more manageable for me post surgery.  Now, it appears it is not for me after all, but for my husband.

Ok.  I don’t know what the future holds, and I don’t know how laid up we will both be at the same time.  I do know that God has a plan and that I trust Him.  I have a calm faith, the same as I did when he was in ICU on a ventilator because of a massive PE, a blood clot in both lungs.

A nice non-scale victory is that as I was At work to tell My boss in person, one co-worker came by and told me I was a Skinny Minnie.  Of course she was joking.  My daughter also told me that I must have lost more weight.  No, I know I didn’t.  But I checked the scale, and it still says “more than 20 pounds” off. My BMI shows me still obese, but not morbidly so.

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Posted by on 29 July 2016 in family, healthy, surgery


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