Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update on spinal stenosis surgery

Because Lilly was asking, I thought I'd post an update on hubby's surgery in February.

You know, I think the surgery really did help the pain he was having in his lower back.  It has taken forever for him to heal.  There are huge long scars running down the front and back center of his body.  But they are healing nicely, now that it's been 9 months.  The wound that is still healing is the one on his ankle where they took the vein out for his open heart surgery in March 2010!

When they fuse the vertebrae, there is limited or no movement in those areas.  So other joints have to work harder to compensate for what doesn't move.  We were told this.  It was all explained quite clearly by the surgeon and I was present at all of those meetings and remember the conversations.  Hubby doesn't remember them.

His lower back was fused, so of course, 4 months after the surgeries, his upper back started hurting.  As did both of his hips.  But now, one of his hips is so painful that he's back to not moving.  Which means he is putting on weight.  He's probably around 280 pounds at this point.  So this weight does not help with the joints hurting either, but because he hurts, he won't move....and he just eats and put on more weight.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely not.  But then he is "special" in that all of his internal organs shut down and he needed multiple dialysis treatments to get his kidneys to function again.

Does he think it was worth it?  He said that considering what he went through and his current level of pain - probably not. But we both agreed that when you are in the moment and desperate for pain relief, you do what you think is best not really thinking that there's going to be more/different pain down the line.  I hope we have both learned that lesson at this point.

If I were to compare him to a year ago, I'd say he's worse off.  He doesn't have the back pain, but he has worse hip and upper back pain (2 locations instead of 1).   He is no more mobile than he was a year ago, but this extra year of not moving has put more weight on his body.  His A1c is higher than it's ever been.  His determination to avoid doctors is greater.  And because he's still not mobile, his depression has increased.

Would he do it again?  At this point he is saying "no".  I asked him if he wanted to start the process of getting his hips replaced and he said no - and it was rather adamant!  LOL!!!   But I have to wonder as time goes on, will he change his mind?

Of course - neither of us are going to make a decision right now.  But the less he does or is able to do, the more it all falls on me and I'm afraid it's going to wear me out over time. There's only so much one can do - especially when they become a full time caregiver for another.

But now worries - I've slept good the last 2 nights and today I'm off to work in the garage - taking advantage of a warmer day weatherwise!!!


1 comment:

Lilly said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this. I very much appreciate it. I am going to copy/paste it into another document (really don't want him to know about our blogs), print it, and hand it to my husband!

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

Thanks again,