Friday, February 7, 2014

Going under the knife

Ever since I've known my husband (5 1/2 years) he's suffered from chronic, sometimes severe neck and back pain. It started from an old football injury in high school (one of the reason I don't want Hunter playing football) and just continued to get worse over the years. When we met back in 2008 he had just had one neck surgery a few months prior which was done incorrectly and then another surgery a few months after we started dating to correct the first surgery. He has told me that the way I helped take care of him after the second surgery pretty much solidified his desire for wanting to propose to me.

After the second surgery the pain decreased but never went away entirely and since then has gotten increasingly worse as the years have gone by. He's tried many different options over the years to help relieve the pain but nothing has really worked. Last year he had three injections in his upper back to help numb the area (similar to an epidural) which seemed to work for a while but eventually wore off. He did the same thing this year but unfortunately even after the third injection he didn't get any relief. He's been on many different types of pain medication but doesn't really like the side effects and really doesn't want to be dependent on these heavy narcotics for the rest of his life.

He went to have another MRI done and after showing it to his doc (who did his second surgery) they determined the best course of action was another surgery. It seems that he has some discs in his spine that have degenerated and moved and are pinching into various nerves. So they need to remove the discs and fuse that part of the spine. This is actually in a lower section of the spine than what was worked on 5 years ago.

So in less than two weeks he's going back under the knife for what is a very serious back surgery. This time the surgery is more complicated and has a longer, more painful recovery process. He will be in the hospital for 3 days and then on bedrest for 1-2 weeks with an additional 1-2 weeks where he has to just lay around and not do much. He won't be able to work or drive or lift anything over 10 pounds for about a month. One of the most upsetting parts is that he won't be able to lift or really play with Hunter and of course Hunter won't really understand why so I know that will be upsetting to him.

Fortunately my boss is very understanding and is letting me take time off on the surgery day, work half days on the other days he's in the hospital so I can visit and then work from home for a few days after he's released. Thankfully my in-laws live close by so I know my mother-in-law will be able to come by during the day while I"m at work to help out and we have several neighbors and close friends that have also offered to help out. My mother is coming down to stay the weekend after the surgery to help watch Hunter so I can get all the chores done around the house while Kristian rests.

We went through this 5 years ago after his last surgery but of course didn't have a wild toddler in the mix. So for about a month virtually all the parenting and household duties will fall on me while also trying to work full time. Not to mention taking care of my husband on bedrest. I know there are people in similar or much worse situations- single parents and those caring for sick relatives and I just thank God that this is only a temporary situation for us. The most important thing is getting and keeping my husband healthy and hopefully pain free. It's so hard watching the person you love in constant pain and not being able to do anything to fix it. I know it has affected his quality of life and overall happiness.

I'm not going to lie, I'm terrified of him having surgery. Any kind of surgery is scary but especially when it involves the spine. So I will be in prayer overdrive for the next few weeks and would appreciate any spare prayers that anyone wants to throw our way. He took such amazing care of me after my c-section and during my painful recovery so now it's time to return the favor. In sickness and health right?


Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

YIKES!!!!! i hope everything goes well for him and the surgery. is there anyone who can help you (ie. parents/relatives etc)?

Vodka and Soda

Stephanie said...

I'll be thinking of you guys and hoping the surgery does exactly what it's supposed to and he gets relief. As you know JJ struggles with back pain too and it wouldn't surprise me if he needs surgery down the road too. It's wonderful that you have family close by and able to come help, I'm sure it won't be easy for anyone but the extra help has to take some of the stress away.

princess apr said...

Good luck and a speedy and full recovery to Kristian! It lifts such a load of worry when you have an understanding workplace and family nearby.

Rob was supposed to have surgery on both his ankles which would incapacitate him, but he postponed it until the baby is born and then way after that.

I'm not adverse to football partly because we're skiers and all have chronic injury from that. My dad just cracked his helmet and my mom is literally right now seeing if she needs surgery from the sport. Both Rob and my sister's boyfriend both were hurt last year and will need or had surgery from winter sports injuries (tubing and snowboarding). So, we'll see what interests arise and then go from there. Plus, I'm banking on some new procedures in the next 5-10 years before I even have to worry about it. It's bizarre enough that Laura is skating and skiing with a helmet. I never did. Of course, I also got a concussion when I skied into a fence (and my sister skied into the chairlift), but that's not the point. :)

Shannon said...

Wow! That sounds scary for him and you. I'll be thinking of you during that time for a successful surgery and a smooth few weeks after. You can do it!!!

Kathryn said...

So crazy- my Hubby actually had that exact same surgery back in 2010. We didn't have kids yet so it was a little easier but still so stressful! I will be praying and thinking about you guys!

Stephanie said...

My Dad has something similar if not the same thing. He is much older than K and that was worrisome for his recovering but he did well and has little to know discomfort these days. I will say to make K rest. That's the most important part of his recovery and if he is anything like my Dad, laying around is going to be hard on him. I'll keep him in prayer over the next couple of months. I hope he finds the relief he has been wanting.

sara said...

I will be thinking safe thoughts for you guys and for his surgery! I really hope it helps the pain. *hugs*

Heather said...

I will definitely be keeping him and all of you guys in my thoughts. I hope this surgery will allow him to get relief and live pain-free.