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All’s Well

In my last post, I shared that my husband was going to have outpatient back surgery. I never thought “outpatient” and “back surgery” would go together, but they do.

Greg’s surgery was successful. “No surprises,” according to the neurosurgeon. We were at the surgery center from 7:30 am to 6 pm. Unfortunately, he had nausea. (I wonder if it had anything to do with the 17 drugs they put into his system during and after the procedure). The nausea took a few hours to get under control, and they wouldn’t let him leave until he had urinated.

I never thought I’d be so happy to hear my husband pissing.

They also had him up and walking around before we left, and we learned how he needs to move in order to avoid bending or twisting. He has a six-inch-long incision that I gently wash twice a day.

He has his pain medications which he only takes at night. He’s already figured out how to use a long-arm gripper to get his clothes on, but I help him most of the time.

He’s becoming a bit more active every day. Day 1, he walked around inside the house. Day 2, we walked outside and down our street about halfway and then back. Day 3 (today), we walked outside, up our hill, back down and a little past our house before turning back.

He has tingling in his legs now and says he can feel the ground under his feet now.

This is very hard to write. You see, the surgery was to correct severe spinal stenosis: bone growth on his spinal column was squeezing his nerves, cutting off communication from his brain to his lower body. Two neurologists told him that without the procedure, he would eventually become incontinent and likely lose the use of his legs.

We’ve known for some time that something was wrong. Over the last couple of years, he lost muscle mass in his calves, and his gait was becoming increasingly wobbly. We didn’t know how bad it could become. Worse, we didn’t know how bad his condition already was. The story of how he finally got the medical attention he needed is a tale for another day.

For now, my husband is home, and he’s getting better every day.

This is will be my last blog post for a long while. One, I’m spending more time doting on my husband as well as doing things that he can’t do (like maintain the bird feeders, that sort of thing). Two, I’m taking an online environmental writing workshop through Orion Magazine with Scott Russell Sanders. The workshop started the day after my husband’s surgery. (Trust me, we didn’t plan it that way.) The workshop is wonderful, but I’m struggling to find the time to focus. So, no more blog posts until either my workshop is over (mid-July) or I get a grip on my time. I’ll leave it to you all to guess which will likely come first.

Stay safe, well, and happy. Hug a loved one as often as you can. (In my husband’s case, the hugs are very gentle.)

Categories: life

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

28 replies

  1. I’m so relieved to hear your husband’s surgery went well, Marie. With such a scary prognosis, I know you’ve been worried. My father has recently been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease when I turned 30 years old. It’s nothing to mess around with. I’m happy he has a great nurse! I know you’ll take good care of him, but take care of yourself, too. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill! Oh, dear, I feel for you and your dad. Back problems are awful. Greg is doing well, thankfully. We’re taking walks in the morning, and today he’s been up and about more than he was yesterday πŸ™‚

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  2. I’m so glad the surgery went well–the boy’s ability to heal always amazes me. I’ll be thinking of you during your blog silence, that you are learning and invigorated by the workshop, and that your husband continues down the path of healing.

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    1. Thank you, Jan! I completely agree with you. My greatest fear is losing Greg. Fortunately, I get to keep him for a good while longer πŸ™‚ He’s improving quite well, and I am so grateful for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. With paralysis and incontinence on the very near horizon, it seems this operation was a Godsend of success. I’m glad you have the workshop to balance out your new caregiving schedule…both worthy of your attention.
    Don’t worry about the blogosphere – we’ll all be here for whenever you decide to make an appearance.
    Take care!

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  4. Oh my, Marie! How scary all this must have been for both of you! How was he able to do all that biking?
    I’m so happy that the surgery went well, and that your husband seems to be recovering well, too. Gentle hugs to you both. Enjoy your course, and don’t worry about the blogosphere! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril! Yeah, good question about how he was able to bike and even walk. When we met with the neurosurgeon and went over Greg’s MRI, he said he was surprised that Greg could even walk. Sheer will? We just had no idea what danger Greg was in. And he is recovering so well. He’s reducing his pain meds and is up and about more … and it’s only Day 4 πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you, RoseMary! Greg continues to improve, but he also knows when to rest (thank goodness). I’ve had one workshop meeting, and everyone is really nice and supportive πŸ™‚

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  5. Good news all around. I’m happy to read that your husband is doing great, such a relief. And I’m pleased to know that you’re taking an online class. I took one, once. It does take time away from blog land, but maybe that’s good once in a while?

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    1. Thanks, Ally! Yes, Greg is doing well. Some ups and downs (no surprise there), but every day, he’s more mobile. Time away from blogland is not a bad thing, and at least I’ll still be writing πŸ˜‰

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  6. Wishing you and your husband well Marie – I know how it feels! I almost lost my husband a few years ago to a rare infection he got from a small scratch during a hike. Our doctor caught it just in time and sent us to the E/R where he was given amazing attention and his life was saved. His recovery took a good 6 months of hard work for both of us. Hoping your recovery period is shorter and easier but whatever it is remember how fortunate you are that he’s come through. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Tina, what a frightening experience! I’m so grateful that your husband got the proper treatment and you still have him with you! Greg is doing much better than we expected (we tend to keep our expectations low in these cases), so he’s a happy camper. And, indeed, I’m grateful for every moment with him πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you, L. Marie! I’m happy to say that he’s recovered enough to be independent πŸ™‚ He’s doing so well, he feels the surgery was no less than a miracle πŸ™‚

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  7. Wow, Marie. I’m so overwhelmed and relieved to hear at the same time both your husband’s condition and that his surgery was so successful. YAY!!! for the latter. But what a scary thing you both have been going through! You have your hands full with taking care of him and taking the class you’ve waited so long for!!! Enjoy both endeavers and talk to you when you come up for air. XOXOXOXO to you both.

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