Monday, May 3, 2021

Patients and Patience

 Hello from 2021! 

Yes, we survived the year that was and wasn't. I can't help but laugh at my last post, where I thought for sure we'd all be back to work by the end of summer. I guess everyone knows how that turned out!

We worked from home full time for quite a while, but slowly transitioned back to a few days in the office by fall. I personally was suffering from really terrible sciatic pain through the summer and fall, thinking it had everything to do with the change in where I was sitting for work. When school started for my daughter, I moved my work space to my upstairs desk next to her so that we could be together. Her request, I swear! I love it, though, because soon she'll be taking college classes and it won't be quite the same. I'm enjoying every minute.

In October I made the mistake of lifting something unexpectedly heavy, which caused me to fall forward a bit to keep from dropping it. That night I had muscle spasms in my back, and the next day I could barely walk. The pain was phenomenally bad all down my left leg and I would cry just trying to climb the stairs. This finally led me to my doctor, who I'm grateful did not mess around and sent me for an MRI right away. (Probably because the pain started as early as March.) The MRI showed that not only did I have a herniated disc in my spine, but that it was pressing so hard on the sciatic nerve that you could barely even see it in the MRI. Yikes. That also explained my foot starting to go numb.

Long story short - six months ago yesterday I had spinal fusion surgery. Basically they knocked me out, flipped me over in a contraption that reminds me of a spinning waffle maker, and proceeded to put my disc in place and add in a plate with screws to keep in there. To say it's a long recovery feels like an understatement. I was happy to lay in bed a lot for the first few weeks, but then suddenly laying down hurt more than anything. (Imagine someone trying to split you completely in half, starting with your lower back. Yeah.) Sleeping in a recliner downstairs solved my lack of sleep problem for a few months, but being all by myself down there got old fast. Finally now, with the help of many pillows, I'm back to sleeping in my own bed. It's supposed to be a year of recovery, and I can honestly say that at six months I feel better and better every week. Sure, it still hurts to turn over in bed, and getting up in the morning isn't my favorite thing. And I could really do without the sharp pain that comes if I twist the wrong way or step poorly off of a curb. But as long as I'm careful, I can definitely handle a day at the office when I need to be there, and unfortunately I can grocery shop and do chores again. I'm just very cautious about everything and hopeful that I'll feel pretty normal again soon.

What else is new? baby graduating from high school next month feels insane, but I'm very excited for her. I just hate that, because of the state of the world, she won't be having a prom or in person graduation or fun weekend at Disney, etc. It's not fair! She'll never have any of those special memories and that drives me crazy. But in the end there's nothing I can do except invent ways to celebrate and make it a new kind of memorable. And indeed we will. We also plan to make a big deal out of her 18th this summer, which by her wishes lands us in Wisconsin for many days. We can't wait!

That's all from me for now. Happy, mostly healthy and thankful for an awesome job with an awesome boss.

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