Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Battle of the Bulge

So Jill has been diligently keeping the FairchildPA blog going for at least 2 years now while I've sat silently on the sidelines enjoying her posts as much as you have.  However, with Jill now 19 weeks pregnant and getting more pregnant (?) every day, she doesn't quite have the energy she used to.  So you'll have to put up with me and my poor writing skills on and off for the next little while as I try to fill in.

Enough of that...on to my first official post.  For a little over a year now I've been fighting the battle of the bulge...the bulging disk that is.  In Dec. 2008 I injured my back while helping a young man in our ward with an Eagle Scout project.  We were delivering beds and dressers to a number of needy families in the Philadelphia area.  While moving the mattresses I began to feel some tightness in my lower back and within a few days, just in time for my Christmas vacation, I was in alot of pain and barely able to move.  With the help of some painkillers, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy, I was able to get back on my feet.  Because the bulge was putting pressure on the nerve that runs down my left leg, which caused my calf to not function properly, I also received an epidural steroid injection, which relieved my pain and calf issues. 

Well, I wish that was the end of it, but I had no such luck.  At the end of the summer the back pain returned and I was advised to get another epidural injection, which I did.  About one week after the injection though, things took a turn for the worse.  Somehow I reinjured my back, but this time it was worse than ever before.  For about 2 weeks I couldn't even leave the floor.  Jill started calling me the family dog because I did everything on the floor...I slept there, worked there, and even ate there.  The pain was excruciating if I did anything but crouch in a ball on the floor.  This is getting long and wordy, so I'll refer you to the pictures.  One is of me eating dinner one night, as the family dog.  The others are of the MRI showing this massive bulging disk.

Today, however, I am pain free and the battle of the bulge has been won!!  In Oct. I went back to see the spine surgeon I'd seen in March with the MRI shown above.  The first thing he said to me when he walked in the room was, "Wow Mike, that's one big !$*#& herniation!"  He got me into surgery within 2 weeks and now, here I am, 2 months later and completely pain free!  I'm in physical therapy to strengthen my back and stomach so I don't hurt my back again.  From the MRI picture on the left you can see that my nerves for my left leg took some serious abuse, leaving me numb in parts of my leg from my hip down to my toes and with my calf not functioning fully.  However, I'm told these nerves will heal in 6-9 months.  Right now, I'm feeling great!  Side effects from the surgery?  Well....when I use the bathroom, sitting or standing, I feel nerve pain in the sole of my left foot (what??).  And just last night I was picking at the last remaining scab on the scar and suddenly felt something like a hair poking my finger.  Turns out it was a stitch.  Jill grabbed it with the tweezers and pulled it out about 1 1/2 inches before it wouldn't give anymore.  I think it's attached to something......when she pulled it hard enough my left leg did a karate kick into the wall!   Not really, but that stitch wasn't coming out.  So I trimmed it down and assume the rest will find its way out eventually. 

1 comment:

  1. Dude, your buldge was huge. You know what they say about guys your age with big buldges...big back pain.

    Glad you are on the road to recovery. We miss you guys.