Welcome to my First blog!

After spending a lot of time on other people's blogs I thought I should attempt one of mine own. I recently got married and bought our first house. With that came my own crafting room! :) As I slowly complete crafts I will post finished products. I will also be updating everyone I my health situations whenever we get new information.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Long over due...

A lot has happened since the last time I posted, who knows when that was.  It is ironic that the more I have to share the less time I have to share it.  First I finished my teaching classes and accepted a job teaching 6th grade in IPS.  It is very challenging but I love it!  I have already been told I have made a difference which is nice.  On the other hand a student in my class wrote about being excited to get a break from her "mean teacher." I loved it, I am doing my job well!  She will come up and ask to eat lunch with me or help me so I am not worried that I am really mean, I just have high expectations she is getting used to.

Aside from that I recently had another back surgery.  I will try to give as much information as I can without overwhelming anyone.  Yet again my back did not heal from the last surgery.  After several appointments, some research, and a lot of thinking we all decided another surgery was needed.  Dr. Trammell wanted to go back in and take out most of the hardware that was already in there.  Since the rods had been put in through several surgeries, they were segments that had been connected.  Dr. Trammell wanted those out so he could replace them with one solid rod on either side of the spine (or where my spine should be).  Along with this he extended the rods higher a few vertebrate and down into my hips.  The rods are bent to the natural shape of the spine.

While in my back he also wanted to find the exact point my nerve to my left leg was being irritated.  He followed the  nerve as far as he could and came to some bone that had grown around a screw in an unusual spot.  After removing the bone they found the cause.  The screw had slipped through the bone it was drilled into and went between the nerve and something else.  In all his years he had never seen this.  The screw usually would go on the other side of the nerve causing a lot of damage.  The way it went in my there seems to be no permanent damage and the nerve should get close to normal over time.  The bone had kept everyone from seeing the problem.  Hopefully my leg pain will get better!

The rest of the surgery also went well.  My doctor is very excited with the results.  I am doing the best I have done after any surgery and this was by far the longest at 10.5 hours.  I am still off work for a couple months.  I can walk on my own but I get tired quickly and get sick if I try to do too much. Overall we are all very optimistic about this one.  All the nurses and doctors keep telling me how amazed they are with my recovery since the time we were in the hospital.

Thanks for all the support! I will try to do better to keep this updated as several people were asking me to. I have the time right now I just don't usually have the focus.
Paula

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Good but Frustrating news

First I just have to say that I have the most AMAZING doctor.  I called a left a message about 5:30 pm on a Friday (yesterday.) Today while I was out my doctor's nurse returned my call.  It wasn't anything important and I figured I would hear by Tuesday.  For her to call on a Saturday was above and beyond.

I had my injection on Wednesday.  They inject something into the nerve where the bone has grown into it.  The injected stuff (don't know exactly what it is) numbs the nerve for 2-4 hours. They do this so they know if the source of my pain in my leg is that particular spot. 

It didn't take long into the procedure to know it was the right spot.  Let's be honest injecting fluids into a nerve is incredibly miserable! Since it does not instantly numb it you get an extreme amount of pain in the area first.  "A little pinch and a little burn" YEAH RIGHT!!!! And that was just for the numbing of my skin, the injection was worst.  Oh well. It wasn't my first time doing it but hopefully my last!

We now know that my pain is coming from the area where the bone grew into the nerve.  That means surgery is probably somewhere in my future to cut the bone off.  When and how is still unknown.  Going back in is dangerous since I have had so many surgeries in the area and the other bone is still growing.  Now we just have to wait while my doctor does some research and decides what he can do.  He is great about that! He will do something cutting edge if he is confident it will help. On the other hand he won't do surgery if it is not absolutely needed.

I am getting a prescription to go get some specially made support stockings WOHOO! Not so much but hopefully they will help with the swelling, bad circulation, and some pain.  So now it is a waiting game and I will let you know when something happens.

On the other hand I am loving my student teaching and can't believe there are only two weeks left. Cross your fingers I can find a job!

Thanks for the support!
Paula

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doctor appointment


                My back surgery was just over a year ago and 3 months ago we found out that the bone was not growing to fuse my spine.  Along with that I had increased pain in my leg that was affecting my normal living.  We found out that bone was growing in an area that it was not supposed to, on the outside of a vertebrate, and pushing against my already damaged nerve.  Since that time I have been wearing a “bone growth stimulator” to help the bone grow, for 30 minutes each night. Today I went back to the doctor to check the progress.
                The bone has been growing some but it is not fusing.  The goal was for the bone to connect two of my lowest vertebrate so I did not have one shatter again.  X-rays taken showed a significant amount of movement from bending forward to backwards.  I will continue to wear the machine and hope by some miracle the bone begins to connect.
                As for the leg pain, not much has changed since my last appointment.  My doctor said I could either just go on how I was or try getting an injection.  Going on how I am is not an option right now, I will try anything!  I am in a great deal of pain all the time and I am taking medicine for it that I want to get off.  So I went with option 2.  I will be going May 2 to get a “Nerve Root Block.” I have had this done before and they did not work but since the situation is different we are trying it again.
                If the pain does not change there are no more options for my back or leg right now.  If the pain gets better for a few hours then my doctor will look into how he could do surgery to cut off  the bone growth in that area.  The problem is that I have had too many surgeries in the area making it dangerous to go in and we do not know how it will affect the bone growing.  The surgery will not be anytime soon because he has to research what to do and things he might be able to combine or adapt for my situation.  He is amazing in that he spends forever in each appointment with me, spends his free time at home learning new techniques and study for patients, and won’t do anything unless the chances of it working are high and it is the last option if it is a serious procedure.
                I was/still am not sure how I feel.  I am upset that none of the situations are great but relieved there is still a possible solution.  Before we left I asked him how I should be feeling and he said, “I don’t know. You just bought the lottery ticket and now you have to wait because the drawing isn’t until next week.” We thought that was a funny way to put it. :) What he is saying is it could be good it could be bad there is no way to tell.
                I am also going to try a personalized compression sock to help with the swelling and color loss in my leg.  It should be quite the fashion statement especially with my new paper shorts they had me wear.  Thanks for all the support and prayers.  There is no way I could get through this without my family, friends, and faith.  If anything comes up I will do my best to update everyone.

Paula

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's been a month...

I have thought about writing a post often but never seem to get around to it. Kindergarten has been great! I am having so much fun with the kids and teaching. Today we got baby caterpillars that we will watch turn into butterflies before we release them.  I have never seen such tiny caterpillars.  The kids were yelling and dancing they were so excited to see them finally, we have been waiting for a bit. They are cute because many of them cannot say caterpillar correctly. Here is a picture of the babies.
We had a good Easter. Mostly relaxing and seeing family. My oldest nephew finally says my name all the time! I love hearing him say it. I have to share this super cute picture of Mike's two little cousins and his brother. They all had their camo gear they got for a camping trip so I made them get in the bushes for a cool picture. :) I plan to photoshop out the utility box.

I go to the back doctor at the end of the month and will update everyone on whether or not the bone has started to grow. Pray that it has! That is all for now. Thanks for the support and thoughts.
Paula Peters

Monday, March 5, 2012

Finally! Student Teaching

I started my student teaching today and I am so excited.  I will spend the next ten weeks in an all day kindergarten room.  The kids are so cute and I can tell it will be an adventure.  Most of all I am excited we are celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday ALL month! I just finished my first lesson which I will teach next week.  It is a math lesson using One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue, mostly just the fish images. 

I will keep you updated as I continue. I also have to take one last state mandated test on Saturday. After that and teaching I will be finished! I can't believe how close I finally am.

Paula

Monday, February 20, 2012

A positive post

A lot of times I get on here with bad or blah news.  This evening I was sitting on the couch watching some reality TV thinking about how good today was.  In any recovery there are good days and bad days so I thought it important to share the good so the people around me can share in it.

I woke up at 7:45 this morning for no reason with a good amount of energy.  I used to sleep twice as much as I was awake because everything drained me so much.  Sitting here I realized I haven't had much pain today.  Yes I am still on pain medicine but still have pain on top of the usually but not much today. 

I got outside a little today and it was nice out.  Also, I got some things done and feel rather productive.  I haven't been sleepy all day which is another huge deal.  This morning I got ready doing my hair and make up which sad as it sounds, usually requires too much energy. 

Sitting here reflecting on the day I am very grateful for where I am and pray that these days occur more often.  I want to get my life together to be a normal 26 year old and it seems to be on the right track.  Hopefully this machine is making a difference!

That is about all for now but I wanted to make sure that I shared by up and just my downs! Thanks for all the support.
Paula

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is a Bone Growth Stimulator?

I was thinking the other day about what exactly this machine I was wearing 30 minutes a day was doing.  This is the first time I can remember ever agreeing to a treatment or health plan of any type without doing a lot of research first.  The doctors I have are the best and I have total trust in them. Also at this point there was nothing else to do, that was not a huge guessing game, and my spine was not healed. I had to get improvement some how and this was my only option.

Backing up about a year, the surgery I had was still experimental.  This machine is the same but both have studies done and the foundations proved to work.  I will do my best to explain the little I understand about the machine and will share more information if I learn more later.

I only wear the machine for 30 minutes in the evening and a "treatment" lasts about 24 hours.  While on the machine combines two types of magnetic fields and sends them to the area where the bone is.  This helps stimulate bone growth.  Now to refresh your memory it is not exactly bone that is growing.   This last surgery the doctor put in a compound of material that was supposed to turn into bone because using bone the first two times had not worked. It started but did not grow nearly enough.

Here is what the machine looks like. You cannot see it here but there are two large straps that come out of the large part on the sides near the writing.  It just wraps around me and Velcros. The remote has a clip I just hook onto the strap and can still move about for the most part.

I put the large circle over my lower back where the bone needs to grow.  I push and hold the button on the remote until it beeps.  On the screen a 30 minute count down begins and it beeps again once it is finished.  Once you start a treatment you cannot pause or stop it and you can only do one a day, it resets at midnight.

Besides the beeps it does not make any noise while it is working and I cannot feel anything.  Without the countdown on the screen I would not know it was working.  It can go over a shirt but needs to be tight against my body.  I usually put it on before bed while laying and watching TV.

I know that is not a lot of information but I am still learning about it as well.  I do think the compound or something from the last surgery, makes my body heat up.  The pain medicine does make me over heat but often just my back will be VERY hot to the point you can feel heat coming off it without touching it.  Hopefully this goes away eventually but if everything else comes together I can live with it! Now we just cross our fingers and say a prayer that this machine works: making the bone grown and relieving the pressure on my left leg nerve getting rid of the pain.

This is the website from the company I got the machine from but there is not a lot of information there. http://www.vqorthocare.com/Products/Bone_Growth_Stimulators/spinalogic.php

I will update you when I have anything new. Thanks for your support!