Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back Update

I have been going to physical therapy for nearly 3 weeks and doing the exercises prescribed diligently. Sometimes I feel worse after the exercises, and sometimes I feel better. The pain has actually moved from my butt to my hip and my piriformus muscle is VERY tight. I've been stretching it the best I can without further aggravating the nerve.
After 3 weeks of physical therapy and only minimal relief, I decided to go ahead with a cortisone shot in my back. I made the mistake of looking online for people who had done this before and got only negative feedback from people who had adverse side affects. This made me so nervous!
Yesterday morning I went in to Dr. Zamas, who is phenomenal if you are in need of someone, for the injection. I was getting so anxious and nervous for the shot I was really wishing I had taken a pain pill. The thought of a huge needle sticking into my spine right next to the nerve that is killing me was very scary. The Dr. came and got me and told me to lie down, hold very still and that it shouldn't last more than about 90 seconds. He hooked up the X-ray machine so he could see if he was in the right spot and injected the cortisone. The pain shot down my leg making my calf and foot tingle, but it was no worse than it has been for the last month. I was so relieved that it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought!
In the picture above, the white thing is the disc, grey is the spine, and yellow is the nerve. My disc and bone are both pushing on the nerve from different directions. The cortisone shot is supposed to reduce any inflamation in the area, and had some lidocain in it to numb the nerve for a few hours.
I felt the relief from this immediately! I was able to bend over and put my shoes on pain free for the first time in a month! Now that the numbness has worn off, I still feel it in certain areas and just need to be careful when I move around, but I am SO much better than I was! Hopefully this is the answer for me and I can keep it under control without having to turn to surgery. Thank you to everyone who has helped me and my family during this time. I really appreciate the great friends we have!


We got enough snow this week that the kids HAD to go out and play in it...before school! They love winter! We still have not taken the trampoline down yet, so jumping on it with snow was heavenly for them.

Kayman's snow clothes from last year still fit, luckily. I got him some boots from Kid to Kid for $6, and knit his hat. The only thing I didn't think of was gloves. Good thing Jessica's from last year fit him! Poor kid. Maybe I should knit him some?! Maybe.

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Pumpkin Patch for FHE Monday night to get a few pumpkins, one of the favorite things for the kids this time of year. Kayman has been looking at the pictures on our calendar (us at the pumpkin patch last year) and wanting pumpkins! I did attempt to grow some in my garden this summer, but they never even flowered. I hear they are the easiest thing to grow...but not in my garden. I think I put them in a place that doesn't get enough sun and stays too soggy. Anywho, we went to the pumpkin patch to purchase some. After we picked them out we took the kids on a hay ride, which they loved...

...except for Jess. She hurt her foot or something and was a little grumpy.

Kayman loved the hay ride!

Wheelbarrow full of kids and pumpkins!

Jess found her favorite pumpkin, which was not easy because most were rotten and soggy.

Our little farmer.

Blissfully happy Man!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Witches at Gardner Village

Gardner Village is amazing this time of year. They set up some really fun witches and displays and the kids love to go there. This year we went with my friend Robin and her kids. Here are the girls with the chocolate-lovin' witch! Spooked Syd right out!

Jessica the witch

Syd the witch

The boys. They found this spot all by themselves, sat together, and posed for pictures. They are good little buddies.

Jessica refused to sit with Syd and Man for this picture.

Jess and Man in the photo booth.
What a great day! It was nice to get out while the weather was still warm. Beautiful day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween, here we come!

The girls were invited to a halloween birthday party and had SO much fun dressing up for it! We went all out on their hair and glitter. Jess is a princess and Syd is a fairy. Can't wait for Halloween!

Boys will be boys

Kayman and I get to spend a few hours alone when both the girls are at school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I made a point to spend a lot of the time with Kayman on Thursday and really enjoy him without being distracted by housework or whatever.

We had a fun time outside finding bugs

Posing for pictures like his sisters,

And the 5 minutes I take outside without him, he finds daddy's cocoa puffs and helps himself... He thought it was pretty fun to crunch them in his hands and walk on them. What a stinker! I hadn't had this with my girls and thought I had avoided the cereal box dumped on the floor incident, but Kayman wants me to experience ALL the joys of parenthood! :)

Here he is getting into the decorative basket that belongs on the toilet. I walked in and asked him what he was doing and his response was, "Neen up, neen up, evo evo" (Clean up clean up, everybody everywhere) And then he started to put everything back into the basket! What a good boy. How can you get mad at that?!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


WARNING: This may be very boring to you readers...long and detailed about my current back trouble.

When I was around 12 years old I found out that I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine). It hasn't caused me a whole lot of problems over the years, although I would get back pain in my SI joints periodically. I have to be in just the right position when doing certain things like lifting and, um, well sneezing. It really is ridiculous, but sneezing in the wrong position has sent my back into spasms many times.

I started going to a Chiropractor in July of this year just to help get a little more motion in my back. It felt pretty good for about 2 weeks, then I had a severe episode of SI joint pain shooting through my lower back. I couldn't bend over to pick up Kayman, carry him around, and getting dressed was very painful. I kept going to the chiropractor in hopes that he could fix the problem, but to no avail.

Then I remembered that I had heard something few months back. I heard that the nutri-sweet in diet soda can contribute to nerve pain and numbness. I had switched to diet 5 months earlier, so I immediately stopped drinking diet soda. Yea, I'm back on the hard stuff. I tried. Anyway, it did help for a few months until 3 weeks ago. I was at the gym doing a step aerobics class and felt my SI joint pop. It didn't hurt, but I knew it was going to give me fits for the next few days, so I took it easy. About 3 days later I sneezed in the wrong position. I had been holding Kayman on my lap and didn't have time to "brace" myself. It really is ridiculous, I know. When I sneezed, I felt shooting pain go through my lower back again, and it wouldn't go away. After a few days my sciatic nerve started bothering me to the point that I couldn't sit down without severe pain. I tried all kinds of stretches, I iced it, and did everything people who have had sciatic pain recommended. Nothing helped in the slightest.

Oct. 1 we left for St. George for Conference weekend, and the ride down there was pretty miserable. I had to lie down the entire time and could not get the pain to subside. The next day I got a deep tissue massage in St. George because I heard that they can really help relieve sciatic nerve pain. It felt good at the time, but then the next morning I woke up (I say woke up, but I don't think I really slept a whole lot because every position was excruciating) and the pain was shooting down to my knee. The day before it was only in my butt.

I got through the day, standing, and finally decided to call my brother-in-law, who is an OB/GYN and deals with patients with sciatica, to see what he recommended. He told me to get to the Dr. as soon as I got home because he was worried about a possible herniated disc in my back, and that can cause drop foot (a condition where the muscles involved in flexing the ankle and toes are weakened). He prescribed some muscle relaxers to help me get through the rest of the trip, and I don't remember a whole after that. I did sleep pretty well, but when I woke up in the morning the pain was all the way down to my foot. I couldn't stand, sit, lie down, or do anything without wanting to die! I took the muscle relaxers and slept ALL day. We left for home that evening and I lied down in the back of my sister's car and tried to sleep. Seriously, nothing more miserable than this pain I was feeling. It was so terrible!

Monday morning I was noticing major weakness in my left leg. I couldn't walk without a limp because my foot just wouldn't respond. I got into my Dr. who ordered an MRI (and some good meds to kill the pain) and I was lucky enough to get it that afternoon. I got into an Orthopedic Dr. on Wednesday. (Thank you Karen for the referral) He read the MRI for me and it turns out that I have a bulging disc in my lower back causing stenosis (when the spinal canal narrows and pinches the spinal nerves). Another disc had a tear and protrusion.

By this time the pain was only bad when sitting, so driving was difficult, and I noticed that my leg was getting pretty numb. When I was shaving my legs (I had to because I hadn't been able to reach them for weeks because I couldn't bend over!) I couldn't feel the razor on the outside of my calf and lower ankle. The Dr. did a few tests and I am showing symptoms of foot drop, which can sometimes be permanent if nerve damage is bad enough. He recommended I go to Physical Therapy for a few weeks and see how things progress, and he doesn't think I will need to have surgery. That is a VERY good thing! I hope the physical therapy helps. I'm only feeling very minor pain now, I can sit and sleep fine, but my foot is getting more and more numb. I have rolled my ankle a few times because that muscle on the outside of my foot is just not working. Simple things like standing on my tippy toes to reach something is impossible. Or chasing down Kayman when he goes running away from me outside, which he thinks is SO funny.

I go to physical therapy Monday, so hopefully there will be some good results from that. I don't want this to be permanent nerve damage. I have noticed in the last 2 days that my left arm feels a little strange and I have a slight tremor in my hand. I don't know if it's related, or just from all the muscle relaxers, but it is concerning.

I have been very blessed by all the help of my family and friends this last week. I thank you all who took the kids for me so I could get to the Dr. appts. I'll keep you updated as things progress!

How's that for a LONG blog entry?! I think it's a record for me. I just wanted to document this for me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leaf collecting

We took advantage of the beautiful weather just in time for the snow to come. The night before the big storm blew in last week we drove up to Brighton to get some leaves for the kids. They didn't mind the cold too much and had a blast running around the mountain collecting things. The girls got a lot of leaves, and Kayman got a few sticks and rocks. There were lots of rocks to climb on and they loved that!
On our way back down the mountain we saw this big tractor. The kids couldn't help themselves and started climbing all over it. Kayman found himself a nice seat right in the tire.

Alpine Slide

My mother in law invited Andy, me and the girls to come to her work party with them up at the Alpine Slide. We got the whole day with unlimited access to the slide, coaster and zip line. We had such a great time!

Syd rode down the slide with Papa, and you can see Nana just a little behind them on the other slide.
Jess got to ride with her daddy and loved it! She was so happy that she "beat" me down the slide. Nevermind the fact that I went behind them...I'm sure I beat their time! :)
Waiting patiently for their turn on the chair lift, which they loved!
Thanks Nana and Papa for such a great time! We love you!

What an artist!

Kayman had his first experience with a marker tonight! He found one on the floor that Syd missed when she cleaned up her art stuff, and thought he'd give it a try! He drew all over his legs, feet, Syd's shoes and the kitchen floor. How lucky we are that they are washable markers and easily cleaned surfaces! Kayman was so proud of himself. He loved it! The sad thing is that Andy and I were sitting right there helping Syd with her homework. I should have noticed how quiet it was and that something bad must be happening.
Kayman has really started to liven up lately. He loves doing silly things to make us laugh at him. When I pointed to his leg and told him no about the markers he just laughed this mischievous laugh with a smirk on his face. It's a good thing he is so stinking cute!