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Brewer5

Brewer5: A Fresh Start

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Well, I had read through some old discussions and I thought I wouldn't know until midsummer (like maybe July 1) ~ BUT, in recent discussions with people who are also applying, I found out that I could actually know within a week or two.  They go through four rounds of selection...  Since my score is so high, I may be a first-round pick.  I will come back and let you know! :)

Thanks for the support, Sugar.  I appreciate it!

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7 hours ago, Brewer5 said:

Got my acceptance letter yesterday. :)  I'll start the program in August.  

Well Woo-freakin-hoo!  Congratulations buddy!

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Just stopping in today to ask my friends for any and all prayers / good vibes / happy stories & feelings you can send my way.  My husband has had almost constant hip/butt/leg pain & toe numbness from a badly herniated disc.  It's been 8 months, we've exhausted all other options, and everyone who has seen his MRI/report has said he needs surgery -- including our chiropractor, a woman we both really like & respect.  

We've consulted with the Laser Spine Institute, who do the minimally invasive surgery -- 1-inch incision.  We go tomorrow for testing, including an updated MRI since his was done in October.  Surgery is scheduled for Friday, if all goes well with testing & he doesn't change his mind.  This has been a HUGE source of stress for both of us.  We just need him *better*.  There are so many scary stories out there about back surgery -- but also many good ones.  We need  him to be a good one!  He's only 40 years old and if this went badly, I see a lot more stress & depression in his future.  

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Sending prayers your way.  I know several people who have had successful back surgeries, including my 80 year old mother.  Hoping for the best outcome for your husband.  Is the doctor a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon?

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Julie, thanks so much & good to hear from you! 

There are two surgeons at this facility, and they are both orthopedic spine surgeons.  

I LOVE to hear good stories.  

He has still been able to work this entire time ~ although much less than before, and having to make job changes to accommodate this situation.  His job is hard on his back, no doubt about it, but he is not in a position where he can/will consider any other line of work.  So I am trying very hard to remain positive, and not let myself think of all of the "what ifs".  What if he ends up worse off than he already is?  ..........Ugh, yeah, I just can't go there!

So thanks again!  I am glad to hear your mother is a success story. :)

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Prayers and good thoughts coming your way!  It sounds like a risk worth taking, being in constant pain must be exhausting.  IT sounds like you guys have done the research and done everything you can responsibly do before going down this road!  Prayers it will all go according to God's plan and that His plan is for full recovery and your hubby getting back to his former glory :)

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Thanks Sugarcube ~ and yes, it's been hard to see him turn into an "old man" what seems like overnight.  I'm sure he forgets what it even feels like to feel good.  I will update when I can.  Appreciate you guys!

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8 weeks of nursing school down, and just got some time to poke my head out of my cave and look around.  Who's still here? :)

Starting clinicals next week -- 2 days per week at the nursing home.  

Husband's surgery ended up being a fiasco, complete with a spinal fluid leak showing up at 6 weeks post-surgery after an all-day barf-fest.  A solid month of headache and TWO blood patches later... that finally went away.  He just returned to work after 4 months off.  So much for minimally invasive and shorter recovery time.  He still has 3 bulging discs, and he still has symptoms.  

Hope you all are doing well.  Nursing school is... going.  Lol.  Grades are great.  But it takes absolutely everything I've got.  I've been referred to as the "mother hen" and I guess that fits.  My teenager just got his license and is only a few years younger than many of the students in my class.  

All these years I've spent researching the human body, reading books about health, nutrition, and fitness -- that helps.  I have gained a good knowledge base that I did not possess in any way if I had attempted this program straight out of high school.  A lot of things just make sense to me because I'm not starting completely from scratch.  There is still SO much to learn.  It keeps me busy, always thinking, always improving.  I love that.  

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I'm still here. Realizing I never replied to your email :unsure:

Crazy about your hubs' surgery. I was just recently reading about inversion tables to help alleviate pressure from bulging discs, so if the surgery left things lacking maybe that could be an option?

 

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That's ok, kirkor.  Life gets busy for all of us. ;)

He borrowed an inversion table from a friend when things got bad a year ago.  It always seemed to help (very) temporarily, but you know... once you're upright again, gravity takes over.  It also really hurt his ankles to be strapped into that thing, no matter what shoes he tried.  So he eventually gave up and gave it back to his friend.  I appreciate the suggestion!

We tried so many things before he resorted to surgery.  We do have a Chiro we love.  She's super friendly & knowledgeable.  But they can only do so much.  She's actually the one who told him he needed surgery.  She looked at his MRI and said, "no Chiro can fix this".   Her latest recommendation is to see the pain specialist for a ... spinal block, I believe she called it.  Apparently people can get months of relief with that.  I don't know what he's going to do next.  It has been months and months full of doctors, and we aren't "doctor people".   Lol.  Especially after all we've been through now... with his surgeon taking no responsibility whatsoever for the spinal fluid leak, while literally *everyone* else we've talked to (including employees in his own office) agree that it was caused by his surgery.  I understand where the CYA mindset comes from... but we weren't looking to sue.  We just wanted him better.  The way it was handled was disgusting.  

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3 hours ago, Brewer5 said:

 Especially after all we've been through now... with his surgeon taking no responsibility whatsoever for the spinal fluid leak, while literally *everyone* else we've talked to (including employees in his own office) agree that it was caused by his surgery.  I understand where the CYA mindset comes from... but we weren't looking to sue.  We just wanted him better.  The way it was handled was disgusting.  

There should be some sort of statute-of-limitations type thing, right?  I'd think it might be worth pursuing, especially if the pain will remain chronic, and if his work will continue to be affected.

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You may be right, but the idea of pursuing it is just not appealing at all.   We're tired.   The past year has been exhausting on so many levels.  

I don't even want to think about the surgeon who appeared to have no conscience at all as he came into the room -- sees my husband lying flat on the table in agony because the headache is so much worse when standing -- and says to him, "what did you do to your facet joint?"  ... {Proceeds to play dumb about the whole thing.}   I finally, FINALLY got him to admit that the fluid he was seeing in his facet joint could be an accumulation of spinal fluid -- you know, because (he shrugs) "anything is possible".

They paid for us to stay in a hotel that night, and paid for his blood patch with another doctor in the morning.  That's all we got out of them.  They don't care.  So ... the thought of another (much larger) battle with them is just not something we're even considering at this point.   We're just not up for it.  And no guarantee we'd even win.  A spinal fluid leak 6 weeks out from surgery is apparently unheard of.  Certainly not common.  A huge part of why it went on so long and why it was hard to get anyone to take it seriously.  

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Holy cow, I'm so sorry this is happening!  The doctor sounds like a total BLEEEEEEEEEEP!

I once had to have a spinal tap to test for meningitis and I was basically strapped down to the bed for 12 hours after because the headache you can get from your poor brain bonking around in your skull without that spinal fluid as a buffer is outrageous so no kidding a barf fest and terrible pain... gosh, that is just horrible!

Glad that your schooling is going well, I think it's great that you are realizing that altho you're a bit older now, you're actually ahead of the curve just based on life experience, personal research, adult common sense and all that comes from having lived life after high school!

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Thanks, Sugarcube ~ and good to hear from you!  I love your cat picture!  :D

With minimally invasive surgery like this, they are working through such a *tiny* space... they can nick the dura mater of the spinal cord and not realize it.  If they know they did it, they can patch it up while they're in there, and -- no big deal.  If they close things back up and don't *know* they did it... well.  Then you may have a real problem.  His situation was very unique, in that he did not have a headache for the first 6 weeks.  It started at the same time as he had an all-day barf-fest... so we thought he just had a virus.  Our youngest was sick the same day.

Only the headache never went away.  No medication would touch it.  Only lying down helped at all.  That is textbook spinal fluid leak.  So, the theory is that he had a tiny (very very tiny) leak all along, but his body was able to keep up with replacing the fluid.  OR (maybe more likely) -- only the outermost layer was damaged during surgery, and the violent vomiting caused it to break all the way open.  At any rate, to deny that it really could have had anything to do with surgery... to come in the room asking the patient "what he did" (umm, nothing... I've done nothing for 6 weeks, thankyouverymuch)...  It was just stupid.  Stupid and wrong.  Especially after we'd just spent quite a bit of time talking to the NP in his office, and she had already said to us:  "this happens rarely, but when it does, it's awful" ... "I bet you've had a leak all along" ... "I mean, I can see it right there on your MRI" ... "there's a pretty sizable pocket of fluid in there".

Anyway... haha...  He's back to work now, and we'll see how that goes.  The silver lining in all of this is that I had my husband HOME and able to do pretty much everything with the kids for the first 8 weeks of my nursing program -- which was a very jam-packed 8 weeks.  We had one class (Fundamentals) that many other campuses do in 16 weeks -- our campus jammed it down to 4 weeks.  Some other campuses also do Lab in 16 weeks -- and we did it in 8 weeks.  So.  This has turned out *in my mind* as one of those... "wow, things work out in mysterious ways" situations.  But he doesn't see it from my perspective, of course.  And I wouldn't expect him to.  He just feels like the entire surgery was a total waste, and wonders if he'd be much better off if he had never done it in the first place.  That, we will never know the answer to... all we can do now is move on from this point and deal with whatever comes next.

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