Saturday, February 25, 2012

3 Month Post Op Xrays

Yesterday I had my 3 month post op xrays taken locally which will be sent to Dr. Lenke.  Can you see the little cages:
There seems to be a little connector piece above the top cage that is connected to both rods; I'll have to find out what that is.

Don't the screws look huge:

My dad said they look longer than the screws holding up his house.  :)

I'm trying my best to completely wean off the last pain med.  Recently I decide to skip the 1 pill a day I'm down to but ended up waking at 1a really hurting.  I took 1/2 a pill and it helped a lot.  So now I'm down to 1/2 a pill per day and look forward to ending this cycle soon.

I realized recently how much of my days/nights preop were spent in bed because of pain vs. life postop. Preop days were comprised of me laying day every afternoon at 1p until about 3p or 4p, up for dinner then back in bed by 6:30p for the night. Now, I lay down for maybe 45 minutes at some point in the afternoon to stretch out, not because of pain and go to bed around 9p to watch TV until about 10:30p. My days are much more productive now that the pain is gone.

I've been walking a lot more this week; just getting lost in thoughts and losing track of steps taken.  The other day I walked 4.6 miles and was completely wiped out and slept great.  Lizzie and I went to the mall because I needed new jeans (I've lost 13 pounds because of the surgery).  I lost Lizzie's pedometer in the dressing room and when we went back to get it, it was gone.  Oops!  I can't tell you how many pedometers our family has lost in the past 2 years.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arlene Lob Memorial Fund for Cancer

In loving memory of our dear friend and Les Lob's wonderful wife, Arlene, we have established an Arlene Lob Memorial Fund to Fight Cancer.  It is intended to collect funds in the short term to be given to the battle toward cancer.  The Fund is organized by the We The People group of Tanglewood and the Highlands Tea Party.  Les is co-founder and an active member of both groups.  Arlene's support and encouragement for Les contributed greatly to the work of these groups.

We are accepting cash contributions and personal checks made out to "We The People" up until March 1st.  You can give donations to Zelda Kimm, Dale Pflug, Jack Nelson and John Larsen or mail contributions to Dale Pflug, 3312 Beartooth Pass, Sebring, FL 33872. 

We all recognize the ravages that cancer has made in our community and its growing threat in the future.  Tanglewood is in the midst of its annual Cancer Drive, and at the close of that drive, a check will be written by We The People in Memorial to Arlene Lob from funds contributed at that time.  Funds received afterward will be forwarded to other Cancer Campaigns as they become available.

Please give generously to this worthy cause! We know that many have already contributed to the cancer drive, but if you have not, please consider this initiative.  If you have questions, please call Dale Pflug at home, 863-658-1280

Thank you for your consideration. If you knew Arlene and Les, please pass this message to others that can help!

Dale Pflug
John Nelson
John Larsen
Zelda Kimm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Incision Pix

I have a funny little story to share about the incision pix.  Last week while at Dad's, I glanced down and saw some before/after photos of me on a table.  It caught me off guard because I didn't recognize the photos so I asked Dad about them.  He said Mom wanted to show them to some of her friends.  Yesterday, I asked Jeremy to send me all the postop pix he had of me because I'm ready to look at them.  I haven't seen many of the photos because I wasn't comfortable looking at them, until now.  Jeremy show me the photos but I did not see the set that Dad had at his house.  After speaking with Dad today, he said I received a letter from Dr. Lenke's office while he and Mom were here in December which contained the photos.  After digging through a file cabinet today, I found the letter.  Dad mentioned that when I received it, I told Jeremy to put it away and that I didn't want to look at it.

While I am a bit apprehensive about exposing my body to the world, I hope that those who are contemplating surgery may find hope/strength/inspiration in seeing what is possible with surgery.  I, myself, was very grateful to see before/after pix of scoli patients.  Here is the first batch:

The photo above is from Dr. Lenke's office showing 6 days preop and 9 days postop.  I was still swollen but the changes are obvious including my rib hump (side shot photos) disappearing.  I now have 36 screws, 2 rods, 2 cages and a couple of bolts comprised of a combination of cobalt chrome and titanium.  I regained the 4 inches of height that I lost last year so I'm back to 5'10".

The above photo is 12 weeks post.  Notice how my left hip sticks out now?  Dr. Lenke will look at this when I see him in May.

I have more photos to post.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Special Prayer Request - Updates

It is with a heavy heart I write this blog as Mom went home to be with our Lord on Feb 13.  I am finding peace in knowing that she did not suffer an exceptionally long time with the cancer and am especially comforted to know that she passed away peacefully at home with Dad by her side.  It was a humbling experience for me to be by Dad's side last week.  I am very thankful that my brother and sister-in-law were able to be there with us to help comfort Dad.  There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support from friends, family and neighbors; THANK YOU!  I pray that God continues to give Dad strength and peace and that He helps all of us heal.  It amazes me that Mom found the strength to be here for our family postop in December and that we managed to have an early Christmas dinner including my brother and sister-in-law.  We hadn't been together like that in many years.

The drive to Dad's is about 8 hours plus a little extra for a gas stop and lunch.  I discovered that after about 1.5 hours in the car, I needed to sit on a pillow.  We stopped 1/2 way in Valdosta which is 4 hours from home.  I don't think we could have pressed on beyond 4 hours as my back was tensing up from stress.  We stopped at the 2 hour mark so I could get out and walk.  It was chilly outside so we found a Kroger where I walked inside.  It was incredibly refreshing to be in sunny, warm Florida where I was able to walk outside on flat ground.  I'm restricted at the moment from walking inclines and since we live in a hilly neighborhood, Dr. Lenke doesn't want me walking my neighborhood yet.

Since I wasn't able to make it to St. Louis last week, Dr. Lenke will accept local xrays to be sent to him.  I'm back to walking 2.5+ miles a day.  It is interesting to realize how walking actually feels good now compared to preop.  I will try to remind Jeremy to take 12 week post op photos today and post a slew of pics from day 2 postop to present.  I'm eager to see the changes.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Special Prayer Request - Updates

My folks came to Georgia in December to help take care of Lizzie while I was in St. Louis and then also helped take care of me once I came home.  Their time here was cut short by severe back pain that afflicted my mom.  We all thought Ma may have tweaked her back with a pinched nerve or something similar.  Since they returned to Florida, Ma's pain has increased significantly.

It has been determined that Ma has lung cancer which was also found in her back.  She will have 3 weeks of radiation targeting her back and then will start chemotherapy afterwards.  Since all my prayer warriors will see this link, I humbly ask that you join our family in lifting Arlene up in prayer for God to protect her, keep her strong, stop the cancer and ease her pain.  I also ask for you to keep Pa, Lester, in your prayers to remain strong during this challenging time.

I'm doing well with my recovery: started driving last week, am down to 2.5 pain pills within a 24 hour period, and am walking between 1.5 - 2 miles every day.  I'm excited to see Dr. Lenke in a couple of weeks for my first follow up visit in addition to having a special Valentine's Day with Jeremy while we are in St. Louis.