Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The first one

I am currently 18 weeks pregnant. It's weird to say the least. Somewhat unplanned, but it's not like I was trying to hard to avoid it. I went off my birth control pill on June 28th. According to the baby planning website I was not supposed to ovulate until July 11th. So I didn't worry about birth control on July 7th and 8th. Not really too sure if I ovulated early or if the little swimmers stuck around for several days. It's possible I ovulated right away since I had been on the pill since I was 18, I am 34 now. I guess it doesn't matter, I am knocked up. A baby is coming. Yes, I have felt changes, but some days I have a hard time believing it's actually happening. It's a good thing, I am happy, but timing just sucks. Paul hurt his back and is facing surgery. Since he's on workman's comp he's not making much money. Workman's comp pays him 2/3 of last years salary, but that doesn't include his overtime or tips. Not even sure if he'd even make as much considering the economy is so bad. I keep telling myself this is a blessing in disguise. The settlement he gets could change our lives. But is the pain he's enduring even worth it? He's miserable. Not only is he in pain, but he's distracted from the pregnancy, and his self esteem is in the toilet. He feels like less of a man and I don't blame him. He wants to be the breadwinner and he's far from it right now, not only that but he can't even do the "man chores" because of his back pain. It breaks my heart. He can't be there for me like he wants to because I am the one taking care of him. I have to be the strong one right now and that's hard when my hormones are raging from being pregnant. But I will say, I hold it together pretty good considering the circumstances.

He has 4 herniated disks and degeneration. Probably from lifting and carrying heavy furniture since he was a kid. I'm sure it was bound to happen one day. Thus far he's had 4 steroid spinal injections, epidurals. 20 gage, 5 inch needle into his spine. They provide relief to most patients. When none of those provided any relief he was referred to a surgeon who ordered a Myelogram. That was done last week. Not pleasant by any means. We went to the hospital at 7am, he changed into a gown, nurses came in to ask questions and give him valium to keep him calm. They took him away around 8:40. He was scared as hell. They first injected his spine once again, first to numb the area, then put a large needle in, then a smaller one inside the larger one to inject a dye into his spinal cord. Apparently he had some interns/trainees doing this and they couldn't seem to get it right, so they moved things around until they could get it right. Keep in mind, Paul is conscious while they are discussing their mistakes. After thay got that right, he had a series of x rays and a CT scan. The nurses said they'd be done around 10am, then he'd have to stay for 4 hours for observation, if things go well, he could go home after that.

I left the hospital, he told me to go get breakfast. So I did. I had the best pumpkin pancakes ever at Colonial. I went back to the hospital around 10 and sat there for an hour. He wasn't done until 11. They called me back to recovery and he was there and doing well. They gave him lunch. They told me he wouldn't be released until 2pm. So I hung out with him for a while then went home to try and catch a nap. Couldn't. So I got up, picked up a movie and some things I needed from Walgreens and headed back to the hospital. He was able to nap when I was gone. They released him at 2, they wheeled him out to the car and we headed home. He was in a lot of pain from the shots in his back. I got him home. The nurse instructed me to keep him elevated until 6pm. This was so the dye wouldn't get to his brain. The dye can irritate the membrane that protects your brain. If that happens it's called a spinal headache and I would have to take him to the ER immediately to get another injection to stop it. After 6pm he was instructed to lay down for the remainder of the night. I think this helped the dye disperse away. I was pretty scared that he'd get this headache, but luckily, he didn't.

The next day he was a little achey but ok. That was a week ago. Today he goes to the surgeon to go over the results. We are 80% sure he needs surgery, so last week we hired an attorney. I have never hired one before. I have the paperwork sitting on my desk right now. They just need to be signed and returned to make it official. I think it's best if we wait until after the appointment with the surgeon before we officially commit. I wish I could be there with him, but with the time I've taken off to drive him to and from the epidural shots, the day off for the Myelogram and the time I have taken off for my OB appointments, I felt I should just stay at work today. I'll post the update when I have it.

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