Thursday, April 29, 2010

Not really news.....

Today I went in for another MRI. It was of my brain and neck. After over an hour in a machine that sounds like power tools and some pokes to get an IV with dye in, the conclusion was that there's nothing wrong with my head and neck. That's good to know. If I had to choose, I think I would choose paralysis over brain damage. :)

Next, I went for the EMG testing. I'll call this the "Poke and Shock" test. They shock different muscles to test the nerves. It just felt like touching the electric fence. There are some that they can't shock, so they poke you with a needle hooked to a strange microphone. They measure the static noise from the microphone.

The EMG test wasn't really too informative. They said I had some nerve damage from the herniated disc in my lumbar spine. He didn't know if it is reversible, but said there's a good chance since I'm young.

The thoracic spine is where I have discs touching the spinal cord. I guess they can't test those nerves. That's okay. I had enough pokes and shocks for one day.

The doctor said I might need surgery for the lumbar spine and the thoracic, or maybe just the lumbar. Or maybe the lumbar now and then wait and see if the thoracic gets better. He basically just said to wait and see what the surgeon says. I go to the surgeon next week.

So today's round of tests seemed like a waste of time and lots of pokes. I could think of a hundred other ways to spend that much money and a whole day.

Yesterday my walking improved a lot. Today is a little improved over yesterday. My limp is starting to disappear. I am still wobbly on stairs and can't lift my leg much. When I try to lift my leg, my toes twitch instead. Its actually kind of funny. I've started taking a lot of anti-inflammatories. It won't fix my back, but helps the symptoms.

Tuesday was the worst day for me yet. By the end of the day it was so hard to walk. I tried crawling, but that wasn't any easier. So I just gave up and went to bed early. Rachel asked me if I wanted a cane for Mother's Day. (No, I don't want a cane for Mother's Day)

I've posted a picture that a took about a week ago. I love Spring.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Someone mentioned to me that I forgot to say what Dan's good news was. Dan was named the Director of Operations for the company he works for. So now, he's the boss for the company in Salt Lake City. I am really proud of Dan. He has worked so hard, and does a great job.

You might say that it is a cooincidence, but there's no such thing as a cooincidence. We know that Heavenly Father was sending us help in our time of need. We feel very thankful that we will be able to pay the medical bills that are coming our way.
Last week, a friend and I were talking about things, and she calls this "tender mercies". I've been reflecting on this recently.

I am not going to list all the trials I've been through. I know that you've all been through challenging times as well. But I know that I have seen the "tender mercy" of Heavenly Father in every single trial I have gone through. He's never just left me alone without any help. I'm not saying I've never struggled, never been scared, or never been sad. But there has always been a way for things to work out. I've always had the comfort I needed at the times I've needed it most.

A scripture I read recently was this:
Mormon 5:23
Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?

As much as we like to think we are in charge, and we know the plans, the truth is that we are in Heavenly Father's hands.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Update

I went to the Neurologist today.
This is what he said:
1. I wish I had seen you in January when your leg first started having problems.
2. I will come in on my day off so we can do a test to see how much nerve damage you have.
3. Get an MRI of brain and neck, just so we have a complete picture of you spine from top to bottom. (I've already had one of middle and lower back).
4. See a Neurosurgeon ASAP. There is one in the same office, and he put me on the schedule without the usual month wait that it takes to get in.
5. I have 4 herniated discs in the thoracic region and 2 in the lumbar. The ones in the thoracic region are squishing my spinal cord. They need to get fixed ASAP.

You would think I would have been in a major accident to have all the damage in my back that I have. Right after Alex was born, I bent down to pick him up and threw my back out. That's the only thing that I can ever recall that could have possibly done any harm. Any how many moms bend down to pick up their baby? All of them. How many end up with a messed up back from it? Probably just me.

The hardest thing for me is probably going to be the lack of independence. I don't want to need help. I want to be the one helping others.

I am thankful I live at a time where medical techonology is awesome. I'm thankful for blue sky and sunshine. And all the blossoms and flowers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MRI and Update

I went for the MRI on my back this morning. It wasn't too bad. I only had to be in the machine for 70 minutes. I kept my eyes closed the whole time so I wouldn't feel clausterphobic. It had good air flow, so I really didn't feel like I was closed in a small space. (Like when we used to close ourselves in the toybox and then a sibling would come sit on it.) My weak leg felt like it was going to flop over, and I tried not to let it flop over during the MRI.
My doctor's office called me with some results this afternoon. There a problem with the discs in my middle back. They didn't give me any more details than that. I'm probably going to call them for more specifics when they open tomorrow. They asked when my neurologist appointment was. Originally, they couldn't fit me in until the middle of May. However, they called me back a few hours later, and now I have an appointment next week. I am anxious to get in to the doctor. My leg is weaker than it was a week ago. I sure hope this is reversible. If it isn't, then I guess that's life. I guess I just won't be running or jogging up or down the stairs. (Anyone ever notice that President Obama always jogs up the stairs on Air Force One?)
I am really grateful that I am not in much pain. My back bothers me off and on, but not consistently. I know people with back issues that are in constant pain.
So, I know where the problem is, but not what the exact problem is. I am hoping and praying it is not degenerative and is reversible.
I also got the pleasure of going back to the ENT doctor. I'm on sinus infection number 8 or 9 since my surgery in Nov. The one side of my sinuses (AKA the one in my left cheek) does not drain even though they cleared all the obstructions during the other surgery. We are trying a different treatment for a month. If the treatment doesn't fix this issue, I'm in for another sinus surgery. They'll put a "drain" in. Hmmm.....that might be interesting. As long as they don't add a third nostril, I'm fine with it. :)
Other interesting stuff: Rachel is learning the Recorder in 4th grade. She is very excited about it. I think the recorder is not my favorite instrument. I remember loving it when I was in 4th grade. I bet my mom loved it too.
Caleb was excited and came home with a new calculator today. He got it for being able to count by 2's, 3's, 4's, and 5's. That's how his teacher is introducing multiplication. That's a good idea. I bet that would have made it easier when I was a kid.
Dan got some very good news at work today. It is not public knowledge, but will be announced at a company dinner this week. We feel very blessed.

That's the last 24 hours in a nutshell.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Unknown

I've been having knee issues from running. Recently, I went to a Sports Medicine doctor. He concluded that it was from a weak hip, and gave me some excercises to do to strengthen my hip. I have been doing the exercises for two months now, and I have made some improvement. I still cannot lift my left leg as high as normal, and I feel a little unstable going down stairs sometimes. I've been running around 10 miles a week.
Feeling like something still isn't right, I went to my family doctor today. He is a great doctor. He spent over half an hour in the room with me. (Sorry to all the patients after me.) He did not come up with a diagnosis. But he thinks there's something wrong. I have muscle atrophy on one side of my body. It might possibly be a disk in my back or something else. I will be getting an MRI done on my back, and other tests done by a neurologist to try to figure out what is wrong with me.
I went in to the appointment thinking I would just get a referral for some physical therapy for my hip and knee. I've been a little emotional since my appointment, since this is not what I expected. I really hate the unknown. I feel nervous about what comes next. What if they find something wrong? What if they don't?
I know everything will be okay in the end. I know that Heavenly Father knows me and will help me through whatever comes next. But I can't help feeling a little nervous about the unknown.