Because we are way into traveling to exotic locations lately, the husband and I are hauling the suitcases down from the attic and heading back to St. Louis this weekend.
(Just Kidding. We really love St. Louis. It is a fun city with lots more going on than just a big arch.)
Sunday marks three months since I had SDR in October of 2013. These past 12+ weeks have gone by rather quickly. I imagine that has more to do with busy days of homeschooling, physical therapy and that whole Christmas business that happened back in December than with the actual passage of time itself.
The question I get right now is “How are you feeling?”
My basic answer is “Wonderful!”
At three months post-op, I feel like the strength that I had lost in my legs due to having SDR has returned. My gait is greatly improved (and faster) and aches and pains I felt before have disappeared. In December, I bumped my physical therapy sessions down to twice a week and headed back to Boot Camp class at my local gym. Being back in that setting really made me feel like things were getting back to normal and also made me see true results from having SDR. The sleeping issues I was having post-op are resolved and I am no longer up watching random television at three o’clock in the morning (The introvert in me who relishes quiet moments to herself slightly misses that. My body’s need for sleep does not.)
I still have sensory issues in my legs (which one should expect when have 2/3 of one’s nerves cut). Basically it feels like my legs are semi-asleep from the middle part of my hip down. I help control this unusual sensation by wearing shoes most of the time and by stretching and massaging of the legs during the day. My knees have also given me trouble, as the constant beating they have endured for 36 years of dealing with spastic muscles is now more apparent now that the spasticity has been alleviated. These issues are all minor and not interfering with daily life. My back feels great and I cannot even tell that I had my spine cut open during a major surgery.
Since I am doing quite well and life has returned to its usual business here at casa de Phillips, we figured we would shake things up a bit and head back to St. Louis for another surgery.
Obviously, our health insurance company loves us.
When we were in St. Louis in October my neurosurgeon recommended that I have PERCS (most likely on the left leg only) in the months following SDR. I have had similar operations as a child and he felt having it post-SDR would yield some great results. The husband and I agreed and figured having this procedure as soon as possible would be beneficial. Everything was scheduled for January, including follow-up appointments and PT evaluations. Because I will be dealing with a new surgeon (same office…just different surgeon because it is a different procedure) and because we live in another state from this doctor’s office, I simply asked that the two office managers talk among themselves and let me know of a date that works for them.
January 28th was deemed the day where everyone’s schedules could come together nicely and I could see two surgeons and one physical therapist all in a cozy afternoon.
On Sunday, the husband and I leave for St. Louis once again. Monday is filled with these appointments and evaluations (and temperatures in the teens. Our thin Southern blood is going to revolt over that aspect of the trip.). Tuesday is the day I will have PERCs (which is out-patient) and we travel home on Wednesday. A 3.5 day trip seems like nothing compared to our eight day stay last time.
My goal is to resume regular life the following week. I am pretty tough and all moms know when mama is down the whole ship slightly sinks (however, our ship floated quite nicely during the last recovery period, thanks to the husband. However, I hate for him to have to pull double-duty again and for friends to have to bring our dinner for the length of time they had to in the fall. ). We are going into this surgery a bit blind. The doctor is not sure if he will lengthen the gastroc muscle or the Achilles. Lengthening of the gastroc would mean simply wearing a brace for a while (Ugh) while lengthening of the Achilles would mean a cast (double ugh). I am attempting to put on my big girl attitude and accept that wearing a brace for a few months can be tolerated (I will pull off a cute look, even with a brace) and my husband has strict orders about what type of cast I want, if we get a say in the matter (girly colors, waterproof). The decision of what is going to be lengthened could be made in the operating room. I have prepared myself that I may wake up with a big ol cast on my foot. I have dealt with braces before as a kid, my mom using colorful tube socks to cover them up (God Bless the 80’s) and casts at various times (My older brother once colored a set of my casts with magic marker…he was ahead of the game when it came to colorful casts. )
My kids are giddy over the concept of a cast. They have been promised as being the first to sign it.
My older brother will just have to wait his turn in line…
We will keep the blog updated during the course of this second leg (excuse the pun) of our journey.