March 21, 2011
Just over a year a a half ago my doctor took a simple x-ray of my spine to check the location of my spinal cord stimulator. Low and behold my vertebrae looked as if they were beginning to slide to my right. Less than one year later a new x-ray revealed vertebrae that looked like stacked dominoes ready to fall over!
What could have brought about such a dramatic change in my spine at the age of 59? Believe me, I have had tons of x-rays over the years to this point, actually if my records are correct, I have had 53 surgeries! . Why you ask? Well at 17, my horse fell on me after someone had cut the girth & leather cinch just before I was riding in a barrel race & when I leaned over to put my flag in the bucket without knocking over the barrel, well....you guessed it, my girth & cinch broke all the way through. I was on the ground, saddle on top of me, then my horse on top of the saddle!!! Wow! I had a very LARGE horse! But what did I do, got up, borrowed a friend's horse, ran the race and WON! (That's my personality.....push through and get the job done!) Then in 1983, I was going through an intersection in Miami (near Dadeland Mall), a woman in a fast 280 Z decided she could beat me through the intersection and cross in front of me to get on the Interstate ramp! Well, I was in a Spider 2000 Fiat convertible and it was a fast little thing....long story shorter...she totaled my car! And unbeknown to her, she changed my life FOREVER! At this point: 5 left shoulder surgeries, one right shoulder surgery, 5 cervical (neck) surgeries with 4 being fusions: fused C4 to C7, too many laminectomies, lumbar(low back) fusion L4-5-S1 in 1975. After my 1975 lumbar fusion, I had NO pain! I had two pregnancies, one successful delivery by C-section 1977. But as I said the accident in 1983 changed my life forever.....I have not had one day in all these 28 years without pain! That is really hard for my mind to think about and that is one of the reasons that I believe God does not allow us to know our future! We could not bear the thought of what is to come!!!!!!!!!!!!
All too often we humans bring on our own difficulties. That day in 1983 I was going to a new pharmacy where they did not know me, to pick up a bag FULL of laxatives. You see I was an anorexic and bulimic. My husband was an alcoholic and I had a very small daughter from a previous marriage and I felt terrible guilt because he was not that kind to my daughter but rather more of a bully and he got drunk every night of our life together for almost 9 years, ......until he died from pancreatic cancer that was a direct result of his alcoholism in 1988. Now I know I am going off here a little from my medical history, but I abused my body because of my torn heart. I loved the Lord and I worshiped Him daily and every Sunday at church. I raised my daughter to love Jesus and I prayed daily that my husband would accept the Lord...he did two weeks before he died from this nasty cancer. So in the end, his life was saved by Jesus and my pain was worth that, but.......my daughter's life is another story all together....I will discuss that perhaps later.
But I believe had I NOT been mistreating my body, my temple of God, I probably would NOT have been at that intersection and Emma would not have hurt me so badly, so in some sad way, I suppose I believe deep down that I deserve my physical pain. Though I KNOW God has forgiven me for the sin of abusing my body, I have a hard time letting myself off the hook. But that too is another story.
Back to 2010, Dr. Billys showed me my second film taken about a year later and everything that I had been experiencing made more sense: pain so unbearable that all I wanted to do was lie down, but the cruel situation was I had not been able to lie in my bed to sleep for 4 1/2 months, but rather had to sleep sitting up. Why...pain so horrible that when I would lie down for about an hour, both feet would be totally numb & numbness would move slowly up both legs, I couldn't get out of bed by myself, and finally legs so weak, they would not hold me up 2 minutes. I was in a fine pickle. I had a CT scan after a myleogram with dye and it showed that my vertebrae were not only falling to my right, but also some were moved forward toward my spinal cord. My spinal cord was being compressed in different areas, depending upon which way the bones were moving. I no longer had a choice. I HAD TO HAVE SURGERY, BAD SURGERIES! I needed 2 stage scoliosis surgeries, 5 days apart. Step one on November 10, 2010, Dr. Billys went between my right ribs, 6 of them, to remove 10 DISCS to be replaced with cages filled with cadaver bone and other substances to make the bone harden. On November 15, 2010, Dr. Billys took me back to surgery and entered through my back to place 24 very long screws into the vertebrae and attach two very long rods along either side of my spine. Now I am being fused from between my shoulder blades to my tailbone!
More to come......