some stuff going on…

I believe strongly in the power of prayer.

Let me recap the past few months:

Two things simultaneously happened to me around the middle of February. My back started hurting which turned into a sciatic nerve pain that made it impossible for me to walk more than a few steps at a time. The pain was truly horrific. Sitting on the floor or a hard surface, thankfully, relieved the majority of the pain for small periods of time. Lying down was the worst position, making sleeping next to impossible.

Then a tooth that had a piece broken out of it developed an infection. Have you ever had a tooth nerve infection? Holy cow!, right?! Pain shooting to the front of my mouth or up through my ear. Unbelievable what happens when a small little nerve gets infected. Wow!

On February 18 I went to the dentist for some relief. He inspected my mouth, took some x-rays and determined that two teeth needed to be removed and put me on penicillin for the infection and hydrocodone for the pain. He sent me to an oral surgeon to have my teeth removed. Since I have a heart condition, they were concerned with the amount of bleeding (due to heart medications that thin your blood) as well as any stress to my heart. I had the extraction surgery last week. The recovery has been amazing! Scott has been a constant rule follower for me and a gifted and loving caregiver.

Over the course of the last few weeks I have been to a primary doctor, a physical therapist, the urgent care and the emergency room – all for my back. The pain in my leg was unbearable!

Eventually I ended up at a spine specialist. I immediately liked Dr. Trinh, orthopedic surgeon. He ordered an MRI for that afternoon. {Sidenote: Have you had an MRI? I was extremely uncomfortable and claustrophobic. A very uneasy feeling. I don’t want to ever have to do it that way again!! I would request an open MRI or some kind of anxiety something to calm me down. It lasted for a half an hour (did I mention how uncomfortable it was to lie down?!)}

The results from the MRI showed a sizeable cyst located in my spinal column and laying on my spinal nerve (which included my sciatic nerve.) All the exercising and treatments I had been going through would never have relieved my pain. The cyst needed to be removed in order to relieve the pressure.

cyst 1 0001
(looks like I swallowed a round marble!)

But first, Dr. Trinh wanted me to get cardio clearance for surgery. As a new resident to Omaha, we had not yet established our various doctors. I quickly found a cardiologist who was accepting new patients and met with her this afternoon (Monday). She was extremely thorough then ordered a stress test for me tomorrow morning at 10:30am as well various bloodwork tests. After reviewing those results, she will call me tomorrow afternoon to let me know whether or not she will clear me for surgery on Wednesday (everything we have done for the past few weeks has been back to back and puzzle pieces that had to fit a certain way and within a specific and short time period. So far, everything has fallen into place exceptionally well.)

Should all those tests come out okay, I am scheduled for surgery at 9am Wednesday morning. I refer to my first statement: I believe strongly in the power of prayer. I covet your prayers on Wednesday as they perform this delicate surgery of “messing around with” my spinal cord and spinal nerve. Of course two words are floating through my mind: paralysis and cancer. Dr. Trinh is very sure it is not a cancerous cyst. I will be happiest when we find that out for sure. But it is most likely a result from an injury to my back.

I have my pre-surgery instructions laid out and ready. My overnight bag is packed. It is impossible for me to communicate the level of love and respect and appreciation I have for my husband, my children, my family, my friends. I am hoping I will be able to play out those feelings of love and gratitude for many years to come.

Mostly, my soul is ready. It is securely scrubbed and packed and ready for the days of recovery ahead. For whatever lies ahead.

I am thankful for the deep support I have received from family and friends. Texts asking not how I feel physically, but how I am processing internally. Notes of encouragement. Words of love. Sarcastic jokes of norm.
I am grateful to finally have answers as well as receiving more answers shortly.
I am happy for the tooth surgery healing which was much better than the surgeon expected.
I am scared. I would be remiss to not include that reality. It has all been a little overwhelming. The chemical stress test tomorrow is not pleasant at all and a very scary feeling! The idea of spinal surgery……
I am anxious to be off pain killers. I have taken them every 3-4 hours since February 18 (increasingly stronger drugs as the weeks progressed.)
I am blessed – for too many things to express.
I am ready. All the i’s have been dotted all the t’s have been crossed.

If I cross your mind in the next few days, please say a prayer of healing. Say a prayer called Calm Down G’s Crazy Worried Mind (I’m not sure how many beads on the rosary necklace that would take up!)

I would love to hear from you on Facebook or however it is we communicate. I will be increasingly bored over the next few weeks of recovery. They predict 6-8 weeks. I am stubbornly hoping for much less than that.

As my old pastor, Tim Isley, would say: “God is good. All the time. All the time…” (…you finish it.)

A promise I never question and stand on securely.

My love to each of you…

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