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Laminectomy

I mean if you don’t have to do it twice did you really even try the first time?

Would you rather listen? Now you can!

Well lets cut to the chase…

I fucked up.

I need surgery again.

So to read the back story of my back story you can go to my You Tube channel HERE

So a month ago I did a yoga class and the next day I couldn’t sit down, couldn’t lay down… and could barley move.

I KNEW i hurt myself… I knew it… My husband trying to be positive just talked me in to it being inflamed and okay, basically talked me off the ledge.

But deep down in my lack there of core I knew I messed it up.

Doing Yoga… not a roller coaster, or boat ride… or skiing in Colorado, didn’t slip… didn’t fall… not a high dive,  but yoga.

Fucking Yoga.

I tried everything you name it… foam rollers, anti inflammatory’s, cryo therapy, stretching, walking, resting, hot packs, cold packs…

I think I have re written this last part 4 times and then even tried to just record my raw feelings then I realized it was 16 minutes long and I said fuck a lot so here I am back to writing..

So last week I went in to the back doc and when I went in I had pretty much talked myself in to it just being inflammation… I just need steroids and some relaxers.. I have tramadol no big deal just something to calm my nerves down.. that’s all. Welp, Dr Henry just looked at me like um your the doctor or am I? So he did a few touch test, knocked my knee to check my reflexes and sent me for an Xray in office .. which looked great my spine is 100% stable….and in his words “just to be sure..” he said that we would need an MRI with and without contrast.

Just to be sure, cool I can swing that.

Going in for my MRI I am pretty sure I prayed the whole way there and then changing in to my scrubs I started to get choked up… I looked in the mirror in the dressing room and there I was.. The same strong girl who was here just two short years ago. Back in this small room, with the same x large scrubs and the same combination lock. Some how in that moment I knew what the outcome would be.. Ive hurt for to long.

In the MRI machine I laid there still and let the tears stream down my cheeks..

and I prayed.

Envision the place I went to was great to me, and gave me a DVD to take to the doctor.. one thing about being in the medical field is…. you can read those.

When I got home the first image I pulled up there it was..

Today was my appointment with Dr Henry, as he pulled up the images I was very strong in what I knew and what I saw but again I am not a doctor so I knew what he would say but I had a small glimmer of hope that it wasnt what I thought, or maybe it wasnt that bad..

You have re-herniated in a big way… you need surgery.

I lost it… I just started crying, I told him I knew and that I was over that hump in my life that I was on the other side… and Ive done this before and I just… I just…

So… he gave me options.

1 Epidural injections… pain meds & relaxers aka a band-aid until its necessary

2. Surgery next week

3 If the disc slips all the way out you have emergency surgery that day….

I told him thank you and that I needed time to process.

I then asked him can I lose more weight, can I work out, can I go to PT, can I get injections… can I fix this?

He said “Crystal you can lose weight but your not obese, that isnt going to help here… its like you have a rock in your shoe, you can change your laces even change your socks… but until you take your shoe off and take the rock out your foot is still going to hurt and bruise and maybe even bleed because you are walking on a rock…”

I asked about a fusion, he said it was overkill because my disc are healthy.. he thinks one more lamenectomy should fix me… and if not then there is a fusion involved.

I dont want surgery. I have cried so much today that I dont think I have any tears left to cry.

So I have decided against surgery for now… for now.

Maybe that is the wrong decision *shrugs* maybe I will regret that…. I dont know right now. This decision does come with risks.. He gave me things to watch out for like change in bladder control or frequency, also foot pain or loss of strength in my right foot… gone on for to long these things you cant get back.

Which is scary as fuck.

He said its a 95% chance not if I need surgery but when I will need surgery and I understand. Right now my pain is manageable,  when I sleep its a level 8 out of 10 but during the day I am okay-ish. We have summer plans with the kids, and a vacation with the husband and I… and its summer, I cant do that to my kids… I mean I am down for 4-8 weeks and then questionable after that. They deserve a good summer not a summer where mom is laid up on the couch cant move and is walking with a walker and picking shit up with a super grabber. So if or when I will get surgery….. if my body can withstand the herniation and not make it worse I am shooting for September….

Until then I watch what I eat, I keep my body as strong as I can, I walk  and I stay drugged at night hahaha

just being honest.

Through struggle comes strength.

and repeat.

Image from before I ever had surgery ( the one with the circle) and the one from today…. same level, same bullshit.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Little Scar

Posted in Laminectomy, Medical, MIcrodiscotomy, My Back
on April 12, 2016

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If you would have told me this time last year that a year would go by fast I would have punched you in the throat, but first I would have to get you close enough because I wasn’t moving very um… fast….

Last year I had a laminectomy discectomy of the L4 L5 in my lower back. If you are not sure what that means, it means that they took a chunk of disc out of my spine…

A little re cap, but I want to focus more on the recovery of it all. I was having what I thought was hip pain for MONTHS. I used to rub a tennis ball on my butt cheek so hard and deep that I would bruise myself, I went to the chiro 952 times, took steroids, bought an inversion table, did yoga, stretched, was stretched at the chiro on some machine.. Until one day it was a snow storm and my dogs were laying on the floor looking so damn cute so I wanted to snuggle them, so I rolled off the couch and that was the end of it… I felt a pain so sharp that with the smallest of movements it felt like someone was stabbing me over and over again.. I couldn’t move. My awesome husband found a spine dr open that day and made me an emergency appointment… so after 2 mri’s one of my spine and another of my hip with a huge injection, 6 different opinions and lots of tears I had a doctor tell me that the nerve it was pinching controled my bladder and colon  and if I didnt decide on what I wanted to do soon, I would be peeing and pooping in a bag at 32 years old..

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After more tears, LOTS AND LOTS of prayer, more tears and more prayer my husband and I decided surgery was needed.

So I did it.. on April 13th of last year.

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I didnt sleep the night before, cried a lot… prayed a lot and my mom and sister came to stay with me.. it’s weird thats the one night I remember us EVER being a family and together and everyone got a long… and it was really a special night for me.. & I was so thankful to have them that night.

Surgery went well….

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Recovery was hard.

I was on a walker, then cane..

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then with patience and persistence I was on my own.

My husband and I walked hand in hand down the street.. it was also something simple that we do not do but it was so nice..

I remember thinking I would never sit comfortably in the bath again, tie my left shoe again or sit indian style again..

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Those were the three things that sucked the most.

When I tell you that its the small things we take for granted I mean it, its the small things.. like shaving your legs.. or tieing your shoe.. or sitting indian style, laying in the bathtub, doing a load of laundry or even laying in your own bed.. or just picking something up off the floor without a grabber! hahahaha

Then I got an infection… what the hell!

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But that to in time went away.

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So today… a year later.. I am happy to announce that I feel like surgery for me was the best option then and still the best option today. The pain I was in I do not wish that upon ANYONE! It was horrific..

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I can do everything I used to be able to do ( almost ) I can sit indian style, but try not to because come to find out its bad for your back as well as crossing your legs! I can run, I can jog, I can jump ( it still feels a bit weird) I work out at 100% now but I do not do any weights on my legs. I am sure I could but its just not a risk I am willing to take. I am also back in Spin class!!! I have my handlebars all the way up for support but um who cares!!

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The things that still feel weird are really my own fault.. I didnt stay stretching every day like I should have.. I should have stretched every single day… but I was a slacker.  Um laying straight back, feels weird so I do this side to back lay down, bending over straight down to touch my toes feels very wrong to..

Now I can do all of these things I just don’t like that weird pulling in my back I feel and I am 90% sure that is just the scar as well as me not doing what I am supposed to do and stretch every day.

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I take every pre caution I can, which is a personal decision not to ever have that pain or another surgery ever again. Will it happen maybe? but I pray not..

Dancing is also hard for me, which fucking sucks.

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I think the way I roll my body or something… like if I did it to much or for to long my butt cheek says whoa girl slow down ( or start stretching like you should anyway and you could do this fine)

I have had SO many people reach out to me via Instagram and Youtube about my videos and story. I plan on making a one year mark video today as well.

So all in all I am good, I feel good, I am back doing everything I was before just a little more careful than before. I have some weight to lose and I know that will help a ton also.

So if you are thinking about having the surgery what I recommend is this:

Pray about it.

Look up hashtags in instagram, this was my favorite and the best information! Find someone who has had this done and message them, ask for their number even! I know its weird but they wont think it is because they were just as scared as you!

Look on youtube

STAY OUT OF CHAT ROOMS!!!! They will scare the living shit out of you… Instead find a Facebook group, they are out there and so helpful when a few of you are going through surgery at the same time.

Pray about it.

If you decide to get it done.. then get a grabber get two of them because what ever drops on the floor is dead to you.. 0 fucks will be given. hahahaha Stock up on stool softners your bowels stay asleep for to long.. and it sucks… you’re welcome 🙂 Buy a wedge pillow and a TV tray, do atleast a weeks worth of crock pot meals and freeze them! this was a LIFE saver to me.. My husband worked all day so all I had to do was throw them in the crock pot and let them cook for 8 hours and I wasnt stressed. Wear your back brace… wear your back brace wear it all the time….

Lastly pray about it. 

Things will get better, easier and less painful.. do what the doctors say, take it easy even when you feel better.. dont sweep or mop because that sucks and you don’t even know it.. trust me.

I will say I do have a numb spot on my left leg, its like a strip and it feels really weird.. and my two end toes are hyper sensitive when touched.. the doctors say that it takes time for that to go away or “heal” and I am willing to deal with that over the pain any day!

God is good all the time y’all all the time.

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All the time.

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The part about my back.

Posted in Fat Girl Gettin' Her Skinny On, Laminectomy, My Back
on December 14, 2015

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So I have had a few people ask about how my back is doing.

It is one of those things I really hate to even talk about for fear I will jinx myself.

I am now 8 months post op from a Laminectomy Discectomy, Micro of L4 & L5. I was up and ready to go back to the gym as soon as I could after surgery. The first few months were very scary and you can see all about it on my video blog on you tube.  I was in the gym but I would have 2 good days in the gym and about a week or 2 in pain after. My left buttcheek was a killer and I just had some pain. So it was one of those things do I suffer through it or…. just stop going to the gym?

Well I tried to just walk, seeimingly that would be enough to hold me over. Well, I suck at small stuff and so it pissed me off to go to the gym and not break a sweat more than it did to just decide not to go at all. Then I decided to try dancing, well that was the worst. The movement that I put my hips and back through while dancing was a no go… so that was out.  So I tried Spin which was okay but I think at that point I was so pissed off that I just pretty much gave up.

I take that back I didn’t give up I just decided to decide to give my body the rest I think it was asking me for. So I haven’t gone to the gym in about 4ish months. If I have its been a one day kinda thing.. no routine no nothing.

I have to tell you that I have been pain free since.

I have also gained about 20lbs.

Which is not good.

I hit the 8 month mark on the 23rd of this month and I have started setting small goals for myself this week to try and get back in to it all again. Its not that I can’t, its that I have ZERO motivation to do so, and not only that but I do have a small fear that I will start hurting again and hurting sucks.  So I am doing a week of eating 100% clean ( besides coffee creamer) and logging all of my food. After that I will start adding in the gym 2 or 3 days a week. Making a plan logging my food and trying to find my happy medium between Lift All Heavy Things and Mall Walkin’ like a boss.

Sometimes I see myself in unplanned pictures and I feel like I dont know that girl, her double chin or thicker thighs. But.. it doesnt hurt me, it just makes me wonder if I will be able to find that happy place somewhere in between obsession and healthy, without pain.

I see some people in the facebook surgery group I was in and a lot of them are still on pain pills, had a 2nd surgery or in line for a fusion, in pain and depression even. So i have to thank God I am not there, because I have been and that is no place to live.

So as for now I am okay just on the slow road to finding a good place for me to land without pain.  I do not regret the surgery at all. Actually sometimes I will do something simple like get in bed, tie my shoe, sit in the bathtub and think about just 8 months ago or shit even 5 months ago this was such a HARD thing to do.. Sitting indian style, putting both pant legs on like a normal person or walking down my street un assisted, unlike a few months ago when I had to use a cane.

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I am blessed.

Pump That Ishhh up.

So I pretty much woke up like it was Christmas morning.

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Yup you think I am crazy and these are a list of 0 fucks given.

1….. zero fucks.

Last night I took ibuprofen before I went to bed and had my gym clothes and stuff all laid out.

I pretty much looked like this pulling up…

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Then this happened…

I mean…we haven’t worked out together in a REALLY long time.. and Amy is kinda my Swole Mate. She totally gets me.

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So it was necessary.

I stayed with more reps low weight. I did upper body mostly shoulders, bi’s and tri’s… I tried to throw in a few things that I thought may or may not hurt me and there were a few that I was like nahhh… don’t want to risk it.

Normally I would push the shit out of myself, but here is the deal. I dont want to re hurt myself. So I am staying on the straight and narrow.. which in fact left my arms shaking like a leaf when I was all done.

I totally started giggling when I saw it.

It’s so stupid how excited I was to be there even being so limited on everything.

My arms need some work, but I am all about a before picture.

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If you are just reading this for the first time I am 7 weeks post op of back surgery. Laminectomy discectomy of L4 and L5 on April 13th of this year. Had some minor setbacks such as an infection where my incision decided it wasn’t going to close up… and it still isn’t all the way closed up. So weird.. Numbness in my left leg and foot and well I can’t tie my left shoe.. So I am still a work in progress.

I started a walking group for June “The Walking Wenches” and today is our first meet up. Im excited about that to! I am just hoping that I don’t do to much today by going to the gym and then walking some miles with the girls.. I may have to take a relaxer tonight and ice the crap out of my ass cheek and back… I guess you never know what you can do until you try it though sooo we shall see!

I have a small obsession with bratwurst right now. Yes I know its sodium is through the roof but it’s a good source of protein and a good thing to mix in for me every now and then so I don’t want to ban the eating of chicken forever… and ever…

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Chocolate shakeology for breakfast with ice. Now that it is getting hot I am loving “eating” my smoothy…

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I am finally starting to feel like I am on my way back… slowly but I am just happy that I am finally moving in that direction.

10,000 steps at a time..

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Thankful Thursday : PT Take 2

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So today I had physical therapy again.

Dr. McHotson.

This was the 2nd time.

It wasn’t nearly as weird or as bad as the first time I went in and it was pretty nice walking in and the staff greeting me by name. I had the same set of workouts I did on day 1 as today.

My left buttcheek and hip were pretty much on fire through the whole thing. It is so crazy how simple exercises such as just lifting your leg in a “Jane Fonda” type motion can be so freaking hard. Next time maybe I will wear my orange tights and sweat band….  Anyway it hurt on BOTH legs. I guess all this time I have had off and the millions of medications really took a toll on my muscle memory and strength becauseeeeeee my hips and butt have little to no strength at all.

The rotation consisted of:  dry hump rocking, then air humping, z walks with weighted bands and squats with the same, stretching with this awesome rope that I have to get one of, leg kicks out and then to the side then laying on my side raising my hip and  leg.

When I was leaving I wanted to stop and talk to the pt and ask him how I was doing, if I needed to do anything at home etc. He the told me that I was doing awesome and that the way I was going at just 6 weeks post op  I would be back to my “new normal” in no time. That I had to remember slow and steady wins the race but as long as I was safe and smart that I would be on my way in no time.  He then…

GAVE ME THE GREEN LIGHT TO GO TO THE GYM!!!

Now I have HUGE restrictions but really at this point if he told me I had to wear a dress and a wig to the gym while singing ring around the rosie I would. When he told me that I pretty much teared up… lip and chin quivering the whole nine! I am pretty sure he thought I was crazy.. but I didn’t care.

I can only do 3 days a week, HAVE to wear my back brace, I can only do upper body, no more than 10lbs, no elliptical..stairmaster or press anything over my head.  I can do the bike but only for 12 minutes per day.

I know it sounds like why would you even go?

Because I can is why.. and I can do so many thing I haven’t done in MONTHS!

Months.

Im so happy and excited.. there is hope.

I am WAY scared of reherniation so I will be more than careful…

It’s just such a crazy operation, your body tells you one thing and your mind is ready to freaking go go go and then you do something and you are down for two days, praying that you didn’t over do it and hurt yourself. People reherniated by sneezing… coughing… laughing… doing to much to fast. Some people even reherniated the same day of surgery from the dr’s rolling them over to be put back in their beds!

So crazy huh.

So today was a good day…. I got in my steps, got a new positive outlook I haven’t had in a while and God is so good..

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Now it’s time for a come back, and be better than ever.

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