Steve's pills on the bathroom counter

And What a Week It Was…

The last couple of weeks have been, well… intense.

I traveled to Florida to visit my mother. I was there for one day when Steve called with unspeakable pain from the worst sciatica flare up (while actually doing physical therapy for the sciatica) to date. He couldn’t stand, sit, move, be still. He could barely talk or think through next logical steps. I caught the next flight home.

He spent all of last week in the hospital nuked out of his mind on pain meds while the doctors tried to relieve his pain and the side effects caused by the pain with nerve blocks and steroid injections. Only the nerve blocks provided minimal relief for a short time. The nerves were just too compressed. Surgery on two areas of the spine seemed to be the only hope for relief. But, one never has any guarantees of benefits, just risks and mounting expenses.

Steve's pills on the bathroom counterFortunately, the six hour surgery provided immediate pain relief. Now, just over a week after the ordeal began, he’s home with an entire pharmacy. We had to alphabetize the medications to keep track of what to take and when (every 4 hours, every 12 hours, as needed). Having multiple names (generic and designer) for each prescription makes managing the medications even more complicated. Take these pill for pain, and take these three pills to counteract the side effects of the pain pills. Take this pill to keep the inflammation down, then take this pill to counteract the side effects of that pill… If you have these side effects, then take this pill. Only take this pill with food. … Oh, good grief.

Family, neighbors and friends have been most kind: well wishes, running errands, offering to cook, etc. One of the most effective things that kept me from losing my mind with anxiety and worry, especially during the long surgery (I did mention it was 6 hours…), was occupying myself with social media updates and continuing to learn how to use new pano stitching and viewing software. (I’ve never worked with software that has no graphic user interface! KRpano is very cool, very powerful, and the most complicated software on earth for the “uninitiated” like myself! Just getting my head around a basic workflow has been mind boggling.)

Well, the recovery process will take time, but I’m very hopeful that the worst is behind us. And now the emphasis is on developing habits of taking care of our backs. Yes, I’m trying to do this too: learn to respect the back: No BLT (bending, lifting, twisting), getting in and out of bed and chairs without stressing the back, standing and sitting with good posture, strengthening the core.

Getting old…

Living Room Flower Vase Arrangement
This week’s flower arrangement: The Happy, Get-Well-Soon Arrangement!

One thought on “And What a Week It Was…”

  1. Oh dear, Steve! Hope you are seeing some good improvement by now. I too am a veteran of spinal disasters… have 12 fused vertebra to prove it…You know we’re all getting old when we start comparing ailments and scars! It will get better, I promise. Although I haven’t seen Tim in many years, my best memory of him is sitting at the piano with nail-straight posture…Can’t imagine him ever having these problems. So glad you have a good nurse! Keep us informed. Mind the doctor re. any ant-iinflammatory,etc. but get rid of the pain meds as you gain confidence – you will recover quicker even with a little pain but a clear head…. that’s my advice… oh, and no matter what, don’t let Tim make you laugh!

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