Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dear Son Comes Home!

It's hard to believe that time has passed so quickly! On the evening of August 29th, we dropped Dear Son off at the Respite House so I could have surgery the following day. On August 30th, I had a Lumbar Microendoscopic Discectomy (also known as a Lumbar Laminectomy) on L3-L4 and L4-L5. It went fine. In my follow up appointment, the neurosurgeon said that it was really two surgeries since they operated at two levels of the spine versus just one. He said he did that otherwise I would be looking at a spinal fusion in less than one year. I am so relieved to have this behind me.

We picked Dear Son up at the Respite House after school today and I brought him home. That was a long time to leave him there! He was all smiles from the time we walked into the house until he came home. I was so proud of him for helping me out and staying there so long.

As for the spine surgery, I have been recovering fairly well. I am amazed that I can have back surgery and be walking so soon. I am walking fine (O.K. maybe a little trouble now and then.) and the surgery has eliminated all of my leg pain. I can sleep in my bed and roll over easily. Prior to the surgery, I had such leg (and back) pain, that I had to sleep some or all of the night in a chair in my living room. I was unable to roll over at all due to the pain. I had some numbness in my right thigh for about a week after the surgery but that has gone away.

Although I am not supposed to drive for four weeks, I started driving to see Dear Son about a week after surgery (it was only three blocks away) and I am doing fine. I am self employed and work part time so I returned to work this week and will work three days. That seems to be o.k. but I do seem to have a little back pain towards the end of the day. I would have preferred to take more time off but I need to work to keep the income.

I still have some back pain however I am hopeful that will go away soon. There are still a few things I can't do very well and all of them involve bending over. I can't seem to bend over at all without any pain. That means, things like washing my hands, I need to wash them one at a time or taking out my contact lenses and leaning over a bit is quite painful. I can't stand and blow dry my hair just yet (I have to sit down.) and I've had to elevate the pet dishes since I can't bend over and get them off the floor. My cat has adjusted nicely to the transition.

Regarding caring for Dear Son, I am able to push the wheelchair easily. I also learned how to use the Hoyer Lift and with his new hospital bed, I am able to get the Hoyer Lift under the bed. I tried it once today and hope I can do it by myself in the morning when I get him ready for school.

The things I thought would be easy are the hardest. It is very painful to lean over and give his medications and excruciating to lean over to change him. I think putting his shoes and socks on and securing his foot straps on the wheelchair may be challenging as well. I wish I had some nursing care available to help me for another week but I don't have any coverage on either insurance plan for him. The good news is that he is in school 1/2 day tomorrow and all day Thursday and Friday then his Dad will take him for the weekend and I'll have another break. I think I just need a little more time to heal since it's only been 12 days.

I am so excited that he's finally home. It didn't feel much like a home when he wasn't here. Every time the cat did something that I knew he'd like, I'd imagine him laughing. I sure missed that. I missed getting up every day and seeing his beautiful smile. On the other hand, one of the CNAs told me that one of the things she loved the most about him was that he was so happy and that he got up every day with a smile on his face. It was nice they got to see that. It was also not much fun doing things around the house. I love making our house a home because he's in it. I enjoy taking care of him and it gives me a sense of purpose. Granted, if he wasn't here, I would be working full time and could build a different life but I think I would feel that something was missing.

All in all, it's great to have him home. I couldn't ask for more.

13 comments:

Dreaming again said...

I am sooo very glad for you that Dear Son is back home!!

as for you, yourself ...my prayers for continued healing will remain with you!

Lois Grebowski said...

Welcome home to the family!!!!!!!

catherine said...

Sounds great!

Kathryn said...

I am so glad you two are reunited! I know what you mean about feeling something is missing when he's not there. I feel that way about Ellie. I hope you continue to heal quickly. It's got to be tough going just 12 days after surgery. Maybe there are some volunteers from the community that might help you with the shoes and the meds. Those are simple things to do that you could supervise and would require only a little time on their part? I know, easier said than done to find such folks.

You are one of the strongest people I have ever "met"! I'm also glad Dear Son is still smiling.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have been following your son's respite care and your surgery. Hope everything goes well. I also have a teenage son with severe disabilities. He's much smaller than Dear Son, but lifting him is getting more and more difficult.

Thimbelle said...

Be sure to take care of yourself - you are still in the recovery phase!

I am so thrilled for both of you, that you are home safe and sound, and together again! :)

Ashley said...

yay!

Anne K. said...

Oh, what happy news. I am so glad he's back home with you! Here's to a full and speedy recovery for you!

Ex Utero said...

I'm glad the surgery went well. I agree with the others. Don't over do it. You're still healing.

Linda said...

I popped over from Lois' blog to wish you well with your recovery. I had a lumbar laminectomy of my L4-L5 two years ago due to a severely pinched and twisted nerve. It took awhile before all the pain was gone but now my leg only bothers me occasionally (like when the weather is changing!). Take it easy and take it slow and I hope that you never need that fusion!

Summer said...

I'm so glad that Dear Son is home again! I'm so glad the surgery went well. My co-worker had that same surgery four years ago. I think he (a bachelor) was home resting for 2.5 weeks. Take it easy on yourself.

Dream Mom said...

Thanks everyone for all of the prayers and good wishes. They are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Back Pain is a pain in my… well… back!
I was hit by a car a few years ago and since then I have suffered a lot of lower back pain and back ache! I was on strong painkillers for awhile but then I was getting addicted to them so had to drop them before it got too bad. That was about a year ago now and since then I have been looking for alternate ways of relieving the pain and aching until a month ago I was struggling to find anything that helped but I managed to get hold of some Cheap Sleepeezee Beds and I finally got a good nights sleep! It was great!
However!
Upon waking from my beautiful bed the relief only lasted until I got to work then the suffering began once more.
Can anyone give me any advice to ease my pain?

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