It was two years ago yesterday that Steve had back surgery. He had a micro lumbar discectomy. I have written several times on my blog about the process and his recovery. You can look under my blog labels and looks under “Herniated Disc Surgery” to see them if you are interested.
I thought that I would write about it now to give an update of how he is doing since his surgery.
Steve starting having back pain a good five years before he had his surgery. He hoped that his back would heal itself and just get better. He didn’t realize that he had multiple herniated discs as well as some arthritis in his lower back and neck. Needless to say, his pain got worse through the years. His sciatic nerve would get pinched by the herniated disc and immobilize him. He tried epidural shots, pain medication, and cortisone and eventually nothing was helping the pain. It would mask it temporarily. He spent many years in pain and he looks back now and wishes (although he agrees God’s timing is perfect) that he would have had surgery earlier.
We began our search for a surgeon about 4 months before the actual surgery. Of course we had to have the necessary MRI’s done in order to properly diagnose him and know exactly where the worst bulge was coming from as well as multiple professional opinions on what should be done. It turned out that he had an 8MM bulge in his L4/L5 spine area. In order for his pain to go away that disc needed to be fixed because that was what was causing the major pain.
We settled on a very well known Neurosurgeon (who has actually been written about and on TV for his miraculous surgeries he has done. We didn’t know this when we chose him though.) Before we settled on him we had seen an Orthopedic surgeon and we were warned that the solution that kind of surgeon would give would be to have a spinal fusion done. That surgeon did recommend a fusion. We did a bunch of research on that and prayed and decided that was NOT the way to go. The problems down the road with a fusion could be awful. If you are in a similar situation now please consult an Orthopedic Surgeon AND a Neurosurgeon. They go about the “fix” very differently.
We felt peace about choosing the Neurosurgeon. We prayed a lot about the actual surgery since there are risks. On the day of the surgery everything went as planned and the bulge in his disc was “cut off” and the nerve was placed back in it’s proper place. You can read about the week after surgery at the links on my blog.
It took Steve about 3 months to get fully back to life. He was back to (light duty) work within a month of the surgery which was a praise. He made baby steps all along the way in healing. The muscles all had to heal and the inflammation had to go down. Once that did his sciatic pain went away.
Now, two years later, he has a full life. We find ourselves reminded of all the things he can do that he couldn’t do before. Wrestle with his boys, mountain bike, lift weights, lift heavier things (not too heavy though) and more – all without pain. He will always have to be careful of picking something TOO heavy up, and twisting his torso too much. In the mornings he is usually a little stiff in his back and when he has long days on his feet his back aches a little. Other than that he has no pain and the sciatica is gone. He has a quality of life that we certainly don’t take for granted. We thank God for leading us to a top neurosurgeon who was very skilled and meticulous with a great bedside manner. We thank God for healing Steve! We do pray that the other bulges he has in his spine and arthritis stay pain free as they are now – Lord willing!
While I was typing this an old hymn came on Pandora. I thought it fit perfectly what I was typing about and it is one of my favorites. Click on the link below to hear it. (I have been SO blessed today listening to sweet old hymns while doing my work. I absolutely love them.)
To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!
2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.