Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jennifer is 26 and single in St. Louis

This is my friend Jennifer. She is 26 and as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out.

Jennifer has a sweet heart and loves the Lord. She loves kids, so much so that she is a Sunday school teacher, works in the nursery, and teaches the Puggle class in Awanas at our Church. Here is a picture of her with her little niece who was born this winter. Aww! That little baby girl has her aunt wrapped around her tiny baby finger already.

She has a art degree and works at a photography studio. She also works at khols and is one of the hardest working girls I know. She paints and makes lots of crafts that she has for sale in a boutique.

Jennifer is also one amazing cook. My personal favorite is the Almond joy bars she makes from scratch!!

She is looking for a fun, spontaneous man that is a Christian and wants kids. Willing to have a long distance relationship. If your interested comment and let me know and she will email you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Part 2. spikes and screws and hives, oh my!

Part 1 is here

There was a 6 month wait to get in to Dr L and a nerve wracking day of xrays and a very long wait in the waiting room. My spine was not nearly as bad as most of the patients he works with, he deals with major deformity's and severe cases that made mine look like it was normal.The great news was I didn't need a full spine fusion. He would fuse only one of my lumbar vertebrae, for every lumbar vertebrae they left alone I would gain 7% mobility. My ability to roll my spine or hunch would be gone but I would be able to at least tie my own shoes. He agreed to take me on and I had a year long wait till the surgery but I knew it would be worth it. I wouldn't have to worry about someone hacking up my back and ending up in one of those nightmare post ops that end in multiple surgeries to fixed a botched up spine surgery. I wanted it done once and I wanted it done right.

The surgery was explained to us by Dr L sweet nurse and I got lightheaded and nauseous somewhere around the middle. Things like peeling all the muscles up, roughing up the bone surface, chiseling back chunks of bone with a picture that reminded me of those curling chocolate shavings made me feel like I was going to throw up right there on her desk. I really was having second thoughts and wondering how on earth I was going to back out of this. I didn't want to think about the 3 inch screws that were going to be inserted into pre drilled holes in my spine. I knew there was no other way around having this surgery but it went from a elusive surgery to a very real event in the near future. The big day was scheduled for December 3rd and that day came on a whole lot faster then I thought it would. I was excited for the surgery to be over and the recovery to begin, I wanted my life back!!

The night before the surgery unable to sleep and worry that traffic would make us late for our 5am appointment we ended up getting up hellish early. I thought that was ridiculously early for a surgery and that we would be the only ones in the waiting room. Wow was I wrong. That room was packed out. They herded groups of us from station to station getting us signed in and taking cups of pee then on up to the pre op floor. My husband and I got shown to a tiny little cupboard of a room to have all of the final pre op work done and to wait for the Doctors. The nurses said I was incredibly calm but to be honest we had just fallen into the routine we had at these things now.

We were kind of old pros at the surgery thing now, this was my third surgery since being married and we knew the drill. My husband is really amazing at distracting me and making me laugh. We both did pretty good up until all the Doctors were circled around my bed explaining all the risks and possible complications. They really want you well informed because they tell you about everything that may happen down to the .0000001% chance you may wake up part squid. They say all of this while the anesthesiologist is poised with a plunger full of sedative already screwed into your iv line ready to take you to slobbering oblivion. One of the things that was conveniently forgotten to be mentioned to us before was that since the surgery was on my back and they needed to lay me face down and still have access to my face for monitoring. I had already assumed that but what I didn't know was that the cradle I thought my forehead would be in was no longer used for surgeries. There had been many complications with swelling and pressure on the forehead and eyes causing temporary to permanent blindness. So in that case they would be sticking a bunch of large metal picks into my scalp to suspend my head. I wasn't the only one starting to loose my cool I saw look on McHotties face while we were saying our goodbyes. Holy terror batman this was not going to be pretty.

The first thing I remember when I woke up was oh crap someone gave me codine because I'm having an allergic reaction to a painkiller and why isn't my voice working!!! I felt like I was laying in a bed of stinging nettle and I don't really remember my back hurting at all. I wasn't doing a great job of explaining to the nurse that they needed to find me my husband and some benedryll NOW. What I thought I was saying and what was actually coming out of my mouth were two very different things. I do know I probably looked like a crack addict the way I was mumbling, thrashing around, and scratching myself like I had fleas. By the time I got to recovery and was able to see my husband I was given what amounted to a horse tranquilizer.

I hallucinated a lot the next few days from all the medicine they had me on. The first poor nurse was just trying to explain how my iv pain pump worked I thought she acted nasty and threw the pump trigger at me. She didn't. I told my husband that the one pretty nurse (who ended up being one of my very favorite nurses) was acting really awkward with him around and was flirting with him RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Which she wasn't. Poor McHottie went to get food from the cafeteria and when he got back I told him I had had a nice long visit with my father in law and that he said to say hi. Ya'll my father in law is in Texas and was still in Texas. I was a hot mess.

McHottie stuck by me though, amazing man that he is. Every time I opened my eyes he would be there with a spoonful of ice chips ( btw whoever thought up ice chips as a sufficient food replacement should be hit.) wiping the mass amounts of sweat off my face and neck with a washcloth and was even learning how to rotate me side to side and tuck my pillows. He is so sweet and I think I will be keeping him around :)

part three - I sweat and sweat and sweat some more. What was up with all that sweating???

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Part 1. what, my spine isnt suppose to look like that??

I am a private person and don't like to talk publicly about all the fun my body has in acting out. If you ask me I will tell you I'm fine and the recovery is no big deal, mostly because I don't want to start talking about it and end up whining or freak people out when I say I get anxiety thinking about a screw working itself loose and jabbing a new hole in me. I'm already covered in scars and when I try to wrap my mind around the magnitude of what I have been through and am going through I mentally freak out. Its not pretty and its definitely not something I want a lot of people to see. Me loose my shit over things that I cannot change and cannot control.

I never have understood the people who invent medical drama for themselves or make up symptoms and problems just to get attention. I would give a lot to be a normal 24 year old and have not experienced surgery. Let alone 5 of them already. Don't get me wrong there are many far, far worse things to have and those of you who genuinely suffer from very real medical problems my heart goes out to you. The medical problem inventors? bugger off and get a life.

I meant to write on here every day post op and keep a journal like entry to look back on after it was all said and done. Painkillers though? They are fun and they will kick your butt. Or rather I should say painkillers in self pump Iv form, pill form, along with huge doses of Valium to keep my muscles relaxed. Not to mention the benedryll I was taking for the allergic reaction to some of the painkillers I didn't know I was allergic to. I spent 4 1/2 days in the hospital recovering from surgery and I spent a good chuck of that time high as a kite, drooling, and chatting with people only I could see.

I have scolosis. Or rather I should say I had it and as a result had a spinal fusion. Scoliosis was painful, embarrassing, and a pain in the ass to have. I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at 16 and at the time it was pretty minimal. My spine was curving three ways, a top curve (thoracic) and bottom curve (lumbar) which made my spine look like a giant S drawn by a kinder gardener first learning to write. I was lopsided with a fun third curve with the entire spine twisting in one direction. This pushed my ribs in on one side and curved out on the other forming what my husband lovingly later would refer to as my hump. My parents opted to have my new found deformity monitored as I grew and see how fast it would progress. At 18 it was decided I was borderline surgical but since my hip bones had fused (meaning I was done growing) chances were that it would not get any worse. I was pretty much told go live my life like a normal human, this is as bad as it will get. Ha. What I didnt know was idopatic meant they have no idea what caused it, no idea how bad it will get, or when it will decide to rear its ugly head and jack my back up some more.

Fast forward 5ish years and 1 pregnancy later I was having nasty back pain every single night. I was use to daily back pain just caused by scoliosis but this was different. I was popping Ibuprofen like they were m&ms and started visiting a small town chiropractor to get some relief from what I thought was back pain mostly caused by hauling around a cute chunky baby and new owner of some chunky fat rolls on myself thanks to very cute baby. Every appointment I would leave and be in pain for hours and not really see a lot of progress toward what I felt like was normal scoliosis back pain. My neighbor recommended I see the same chiropractor he saw for his back injury and I made an appointment. I went in but this chiropractor wouldn't touch my back until I got xrayed. So I had them done and I made an appointment for the following evening to get my back cracked, I was pretty desperate. It will be awhile before I forget how it felt to see those new xrays up on the screen that next evening. I broke down and had a good ugly cry right there in the office. I knew just by looking at those cold black and white pictures that my back deformity had gotten much, much worse. They tried to convince me that I could reduce the curve by 1/3 just by visiting their office for traction and therapy 2-4 times a week for 6 months and then once a week for the rest of my life. My eyes glazed over as I was trying to do the math in my sleep deprived brain. I could not picture myself spending a huge chunk of my time in a doctors office hoping that my back was flexible enough to make reducing the curve possible. What about when I got old and my bones didn't want to move anymore. I knew that once scoliosis got to the degree I was at gravity started to help it along. I wasn't in the - it shouldn't move anymore category. I had moved on to the territory of - we have no idea when or how much this could move but we can promise you it will. Not to mention all the anxiety I would have worrying about my back slapping on a few more degrees just for the hell of it, I felt like my body had a sick sense of humor and there was no way of knowing where this would go. Getting pregnant again was out of the picture unless the curve was greatly reduced.

Like any normal person I spent hours and hours consulting Dr Google. I did my research and knew what I needed to do and I knew what Doctor I needed to perform it. We lived 30 minutes from a Doctor that specialized in fixing severe spinal deformities. Dr L is one of the best in the world in his field, people fly from all over the WORLD to see him, observe his work, meet him, have him slice their back open and perform miracles. This was just not another hernia surgery that could be trusted to most any Doctor with a license. This was my spine we were talking about. I had to get into see him and that's all there was to it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I meet the amazing Doctor L, my jacked up spine is finally made to behave, and recovery conversations with people who didn't actually visit me.