Yes, I’m having surgery tomorrow morning. January has been a hell of a month for us. I’ve taken take of my daughter now it’s my turn to take care of myself.
About 8 weeks ago, I started to experience pain in my back that traveled down into my right leg. Didn’t think much of it, until it started to get worse with no relief. I finally had to call my Dr. A couple of years ago, I was experiencing lower back pain. I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. I did physical therapy and it went away. But now it is back.
First they tried me with 800mg of ibuprofen. The pain just kept getting worse. Then they gave me prednisone which is a steroid for 5 days. Nothing. After that I received muscle relaxers to help. This was around Christmas time now. I can honestly say, it ruined my Christmas. I had a couple of mimosa’s in the morning trying to enjoy my Christmas morning with my family, but it is true you cannot mix booze with muscle relaxers. Let’s just say, I worked so hard to have a beautiful Christmas for my family and it did not turn out that way.
Went back to my Dr. and now they had me go for an MRI. At this point the pain was just ongoing. Every moment of the day, it has been getting stronger and stronger. I cannot sleep, and if I do I end up waking up around 2-3 in the morning with pain that I have to stay up. Laying down makes it throb more. When I had the MRI done, it was so painful. I could not lay still, my back and leg kept going into spasms. I had to just bite down on my lip and keep telling myself you can do this. The whole time I was having this done, I kept thinking about my daughter and all the procedures she had to endure. If she could go through the hell she went through, then I could do this.
Results from the MRI came in. I was on the phone with my Dr. and she said “normally I would have you come into my office to talk, there seems to be a mass on your spine”. I really wasn’t sure I heard her correctly so I said to her, “are you saying that I might have the C word. (I couldn’t say the word). She wanted me to see an Neural Surgeon. I just sat there and cried, I felt like my whole world just ended. About an hour after I got off the phone with my Dr., my phone rang and it was the surgeons office calling. They wanted me to come in that day. Now I was really scared. Called my husband and he was home before I could get myself together enough to be able to talk. We went to the office and to our relief, it is not a mass. I have 2 herniated disks that is hitting my sciatic nerve and the image she saw was my bone protruding out a bit. We scheduled the surgery but it was going to be 3 weeks away. So for the last 3 weeks I have been living with a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. They have me on percocets to help with the pain, but it is really not touching it. This is how bad the pain is…Dean and I were invited to go to the Patriots playoff game. Great seats so there wouldn’t be that much walking. At first I said no, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk it, but then said the hell with it, I can do this. Well, I only lasted till half time. Thank God we had a hotel room close to the stadium.
So tomorrow hopefully I will be able to get rid of the pain I have been living with. When we went to the hospital with Lauren I actually had to use a wheelchair, I could walk the hospital. I am very nervous about having back surgery, but I have no choice at this point. I guess it’s Lauren time to step up and take care of her mom for a bit.
So to all my friends out there, if you haven’t heard from me in awhile, this is the reason why. Just staying in and trying to find positions that try to make me comfortable.
Wish me luck
Lauren told me, “you got this mom”.
Source: Sum up Lauren’s last surgery
2 years after my daughter Lauren had heart transplant, in January Lauren had her yearly biopsy. The biopsy came back no rejection, but they found she had an arteriovenous (AV) fistula which is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. Normally, blood flows from your arteries to your capillaries to your veins. After meeting with a Vascular surgeon, they scheduled surgery to correct the fistula. Since Lauren’s transplant her blood flows have always been high, but the Dr.’s didn’t seem to concerned to much about it. The main concern was the body wasn’t rejecting the heart. The surgery was scheduled a couple a weeks ago at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Ma. We were told the surgery would be around 2 hours and they were going to admit Lauren in the hospital over night just for observation.
My husband Dean and I were nervous about Lauren having to go through another surgery after everything she has been through, in the back of our minds we knew there are always chances of complications with any surgery. Not to mention how Lauren felt about another surgery. The three of us talked and agreed it was going to be a quick surgery, and also Lauren wanted to be able to see some of the wonderful people that helped her get through her life changing experience again.
Every time I go back to Brigham’s I have anxiety, to many memories of when we were living there. My husband has a wonderful way of keeping me and Lauren calm to get through it. We are two lucky women to have him in our lives.
We arrived at the hospital 6:00 a.m., Lauren’s surgery was scheduled for 8:oo a.m. When they took Lauren in, they told my husband they would be in contact with him with updates while we sat in the family room waiting. After a couple of hours they called and said she was doing good, relief was all we felt. You see, every time she has had surgery there was always complications so in our minds it was always there. Well, this time was different. To sum it up, Lauren’s surgery ended up taking 6 hours, not 2. The original ultrasound showed one fistula, but they found 3. They were able to fix 2 of them only, Lauren was in surgery to long and they didn’t want to keep her under any longer for safety reasons. We were shocked to find out she 3. The surgeon told us her blood pressures did improve enormously. With all the procedures she had in the past couple of years, we were told they were really not that surprised, but it was something they didn’t expect to have to do. By 6:00p.m. we were able to see Lauren in the recovery room. We were then told, her room wasn’t ready yet, it would be another couple of hours. All we kept thinking was, OK it’s over and our daughter is going to be alright. Big relief.
So back to waiting. Give my husband the remote and he’s a happy man.
Lauren was suppose to stay in the Shapiro Building, but they didn’t have any rooms so they moved to the Towers Building. I kept thinking Lauren was going to be upset, we never stayed there and she wouldn’t be able to see any familiar faces. Come to find out it didn’t matter. Lauren was so sick during the night, throwing up from all the meds she was given. The room we stayed in was in the Pavilion Suites. They really upgraded her. This floor is for celebrities or you have to pay big time to be able to stay there. Talk about a hospital room. Imagine this, hardwood floors, cherry trim all around. The menu could have been from a 5 star restaurant. She deserved it. But she didn’t know where she was until the next morning when she woke up.
This is how they served the meals, room service style. Lauren’s breakfast.
That morning we told Lauren about what happened during her surgery. She was shocked to find out she was in surgery for 6 hours and she had 3 fistula’s instead of one. Lauren did have quite a few visitors from the Shapiro Building that took care of her. They found out where she was and everyone kept saying “wow, how did you get this floor”. It made her feel very special and she was able to visit with old friends.
It was a long trip for my husband and I, but the end result was Lauren was doing great now. Sore but good. They took great care of her and we were told they are not concerned at this time about the last fistula they could not repair. Maybe down the road, but not at this point.
It has been two weeks since her surgery, last Friday the three of us got back in the car and had our appointment with Lauren’s surgeon for a follow-up. All is good. Lauren is still sore, but we were told it is normal healing.
Thank you Brigham and Women’s Hospital for taking great care of our daughter again.
With much love
Lynne, Dean & Lauren