Waiting game

Time has passed and I am still living in pain. Recently I had returned to see my Neurosurgeon for follow-up on my 5th surgery and the symptoms indicated there was a major problem. After getting an MRI it was confirmed. There was a large Arachnoid cyst at T4-7 compressing my spinal cord. There was only one possibility, yet another surgery. Arrangements were made and I was admitted to the hospital.

The surgeon explained the procedure as normal, but also added that he may leave the existing tubing in place instead of replacing it. What this means for me is that I will have two different drainage devices instead one working one. The anxiety caused by knowing that so have two things that could fail is enormous. Yet, I have been feeling rather calm. God has blessed me through this. There are so many times I am overwhelmed and then I instantly feel calm.

Apparently, my surgery took longer than expected as my surgeon performed a Duraplasty . A procedure that is not done in the thoracic spine, but in the head and cervical spine. The Dura is the outer covering of the brain and spinal cord. So in this procedure the Dura is cut open and a patch is sewn in to give more room for the spinal cord. The surgeon opted to try this as he said that amount of scar tissue I had developed was incredible. He believes that this should give more space for my spinal cord and reducing the amount of new scar tissue.

Prior to surgery I was able to walk and care myself with minimal help. I had some proprioception deficit in my left leg and total feeling in my right leg. Now I am completely numb on the right side and have proprioception issues in both legs. This means starting over with intensive Acute rehab. and then eventually to outpatient therapy.

It is painful both physically and emotionally. I have to stay at the facility where I am away from my family, friends, and dog . I can have visitors which helps, but they can only stay for a short time. This leaves me alone most of the time. But I am never really alone, as I have God. I talk to Him all the time asking Him to guide me, give me strength and continue to heal me. He is awesome! The power of prayer is real! Thank you Lord for all of you love and sacrifice. Amen!

Published by Denise Rogers

I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, gardening, and I am learning to live with being disabled. In 2017, after my 8th thoracic spinal surgery, I lost all feeling from the waist down as well as losing my proprioception on the right side. This has made it difficult to stand without assistive devices and made it, so I am having to relearn to walk. Plus, I have another uncommon condition called Chiari Malformation Type 1 which also creates balance issues as well as many other health issues. Because of the Chiari and the spinal cord injury, I have been left with severe nerve damage which causes a great deal of pain (5 and greater on pain scale) as well as spasticity, muscle spasms, and allodynia (burning) in various areas of my body. I have endured 8 surgeries on my Thoracic Spine and will probably need more as the drain that was placed will eventually clog and require replacement. Currently, I have a spinal to pleural cavity shunt, which drains the CSF from my arachnoid cysts into my pleural cavity. Professionally, I am a retired Health Care Professional with over 26 years of experience. I have worked in the Public Health realm as well as in Long Term Care and Acute Care. I have a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. It is my hope that through sharing my personal trials, experiences, and triumphs that I can help others keep moving forward. No matter what life throws at us we can always tell a better story. I know that God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be by my side every step of the way helps me to keep pushing on even when there are setbacks.

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