New Year, New Me

 This year we decided to finally get me in for a tune up.  As you all know I have a crappy back that has gotten worse after having my third baby.  It was limiting me in what I could do and I was in constant this was the year to do it.  So we headed to Utah to have the surgery and to get some playing in before I was down for the count.  We spent New Years Eve with my brother Kurt and his awesome wife Taylor.  They were a blast to hang with and we actually did something fun on New Years....which I don't think has happened in years.
 We spent some time on Temple Square and then headed over to get our eating on!  No holding back....this was a celebration so Lobster and Filet Mignon was a must.
 The cool thing is we got to watch it being cooked before adds to the entertainment and you will never leave wondering if the cook/waiter spit in your food!

 Night before surgery.  I know this is a fuzzy picture but it was the only one that Matt smiled in...the guy does not smile for pictures...I guess he is too cool.  So you will not see very many selfie's of this guy on the web....and you won't so him smiling....unless his has killed something or purchased a new toy to kill that something, then you will see his beautiful smile. (oh and when I say kill something that means animals...not people....just wanted to clear that up.)
 Morning of surgery I was a nervous wreck and he was cool as a cucumber.  We got to the hospital we went to the floor where I would be having surgery.  Other patients sat in the waiting room with their loved ones.  Then the receptionist all called us up and opened the doors and instructed us to follow her in.  From there she assigned us to our specific rooms where a nurse would give us further instructions.  I found this a bit humurous becasue it was kind of like surgery camp. They assign you to your room/bunk while others wait to be assigned to their own.  I was one of the first so as I walked by the crowd I received sympathy smiles and head you can do this...or don't worry, you'll be fine....or I hope you don't die on the operating table.

I sat and waited what seemed like forever and then a bossy nurse from Brooklyn who was not into making small talk had me pee in a cup and then put my sexy gown on.  My anesthesiologist came in and talked with me, she totally rocked and I could not even feel the needle she put in.  Then the Doctor's assistant came in and told me what to expect and then I was off.  I gave a brief hug to Matt and then I was wheeled down to the surgical room....and from there I don't remember anything but waking up.

The last time I had been in surgery was when I was 14 and I talked a lot about my worries about taking my ISAT'S and making the basketball team.  Apparently the surgical team got a kick out of that and told the story to everyone, so this time I wanted to act ...not so drugged up.  So when  I started coming to I remember thinking...ok be calm, don't say anything weird.  So I am not sure exactly what I said but I think I asked the nurses about their families and tried to be adult about it.  I also remember feeling like I got hit by a truck.  My whole body hurt and not to mention my eye kept twitching and burning.  Ya I felt like crap and was very disappointed when I found out I would not be getting a morphine drip!
 The cute flowers my nieces brought me...who I am not sure I said a word to because I was in a lot of pain and really just wanted to vomit.  After surgery they wheeled me into my recovery room and I was put on some narcotics to help with the pain....which for awhile it seemed like I was taking placebos.  Not to mention my eye kept burnig.  They had to bring an optomogist to look at my eye and discovered that my cornea had been scratched durning surgery.  I had to have dye in it, then a numbing cream and then daily cream put in it.  Which got me thinking, how in the hell do they scratch your eye during back surgery? I know they tape your eyes shut but come on!  Then I started to think it was a conspericy to make more money.  They would damge another part of you so that the eye doctor and hospital would make more money.  The guy wanted us to come back in a week to check it out and I was like, " ya that's not happening."  He looked a little disapointed that he would not be getting more of our money:)

My overall hospital experience went pretty smooth.  I had a lot of support.  Matt was by my side almost the whole time....except for the time he went out to get food and did not come back for scared the crap out of me! I was sure he got mugged but he had just met up to hang with a buddy.  But Matt's mom was there in the beginning to help me and was seriously an angel.  Her nursing background came in handy and I was so glad to have her and Ron there.....Ron was great at bringing me the food I actually wanted to eat, rather then the crappy hospital food.  My family also came and it was so great to have them.  My mom stayed by my side and stayed the night with me...which was such a sister Lara sat with me so Matt could go get some good sleep and her hubby helped chase down nurses when I needed some more meds.  My brother Kurt came and stayed and was so adorable as he stayed by my side and helped out and my dad and his support....sticking around and holding the barf bucket for me.  There is nothing like family support to get you through the tough times.

Getting through this was harder then I expected and I did not bounce back as quick as my little 14 year old self.  A few hours after surgery the physical therapist came and wanted me to get up and see if I could walk.  I seriously thought it was a joke and I am pretty sure I said something like, "you gotta be shitting me." (sorry for the profanity but I felt like I got hit by a truck and he wants me to get up and walk it off)  So I rolled out of bed and walked a little...just to make this jerk happy.  I did not connect with him well.  Also the narcotics were really affecting my blood pressure.  I already have really low blood pressure and the narcotics would bring it down very low.  The first night my nurse was scared and wanted to limit the drugs...which made me a very unhappy patient.  The next day I had a great nurse who scheduled my drugs and when the CNA's came in to take my blood pressure when it showed 71 over 35 she assured them that I was ok.  I had some great nurses except for the one that could barely speak English, I really disliked her. Not that she could not speak English but that she did not do her job and was not there when I needed drugs...I waited over and hour and a half trying to get her to come in and give me my meds......not a happy camper.

It was intersting to me how I connected with some of my all you nurses out there I solute you, you can make a world of difference.  My low blood pressure made me nasues and slightly dizzy.  One day after my morning walk with the PT I had to use the bathroom, which is a community affair.  As I got up I instantly got dizzy and could feel the blood draining from my face.  I notified Matt that I was going to pass out and probably vomit...which both happened.  Somehow I made it to my bed...and laid down.  Later that day my nurse told me how scared it had made her to see me go so white.  She promised that she would help me get to feeling better.  She took her job seriously, and talked to me more like you would a friend.  When her shift was up she left excplicit instructions for the next nurse and even wrote them on the white board in my room.  A few days later she was on again and I was having a bad day, I had just vomited agian and the PT showed up wanting me to walk some more.  She yelled at him to get out of the room and that I would not be going anywhere today. I was so grateful for her.

My last nurse was the cutest lady and it felt like having your grandma take care of you.  I will never forget her potty dance, as she tried to get me hyped up about having a bowel movement.  She was darling and when it was time for me to leave I felt a little sad, like I would miss her.  She gave us our goodbyes and wished me the best and as we stood in silence I asked for a hug.  She gave me a hug and I told her how grateful I was for her and her help, she was a wonderful nurse.  She shook her head and said, "a good nurse is only as good as her patient, and you were one of the best."  It is funny to me how people like that, who you will never have a lasting relationship with, can still make an impression in your life and change your circumstances. 
 This is my hardware.  The one was taken out in 1997 and the other in 2014.  I requested that I get my hardware back because they have been a part of me for 15 years.  I used to let people feel them where they poked out and told them that it was my tumor.  They were there through all my basketball career, track and high jumping.  Holding me together as I had all of my babies, through all of my falls and then in the end when they were a main source of my pain. They have been there for half of my life and I really couldn't let them go.
 You can see how bent up they got as they tried to pull these suckers from my body.  No wonder I felt like I got hit by a car.  I kind of wish I could have had the surgery filmed....just to see how they actually did it.
The new me!  New hardware on both sides, a new fusion and a spacer...which I just found out was made of cadaver bone....which creeped me out and made me grateful at the same time.
My new scar.  It went a bit higher then the old one and not as low as the old one.  And to tell you the truth looks much better then the scar I got in 1997.  Ya it is pretty sexy!  Who needs a tattoo when you have this thing! Although it is really going to effect my modeling career:)


Justin, Kalia, & the little nippers said...

Amie, I so would have said the same thing! What an ordeal! It's always nice when it's over because going through it feels like you'll never get through it. Glad you had good help along the way, especially a husband who really stepped up at home! Love your blog! Love how inspiring you are! Love, kalia