Verlede week, Ek het probleme verhoog met my balans. Now that really helps when I've also got a torn peronealtendon op die regterenkel! In elk geval, Donderdagaand my Cauda perde sindroom upped die ante - Ek het toegeneem pyn in my regter voet / enkel (senuwee pyn, spierkrampe, denkbeeldige pyn - dit alles).
So verbeel my verbasing toe laat op Saterdag, net voor slaaptyd, die balans terug saam met baie afgeneem pyn!! I went to bed thinking it to be a fluke. I didn't mention it to my wife because I thought it was just one of those transitory things we get when we suffer with CES.
Wel Sondag oggend, die pyn was nog steeds baie laag. We went on to church and came home. I waited for the pain to increase... After returning home from church Sunday evening I was very hopeful that a permanent change had occurred, maar nog steeds ek het gewag.
Op wakker vanoggend, my voete gevoel asof ek weer kon loop op hulle as dit nie vir die tendon. Of course my legs wouldn't let me run anyway, maar dit is nou al meer as 36 uur - lank genoeg om te verklaar dat my voet pyn het dramaties verander vir die beter. All of this just after the 1 jaarpunt. In fact, as ek 'n boodskap van hierdie, môre dui die 1 jaar herdenking van my dekompressie chirurgie.
I've also regain some feeling in the back (dyspierbesering) area van my linkerbeen - that's new feeling too! So progress continues. God has a wonderful sense of timing - net wanneer jy dink jy moet aanmoediging in een gebied, Hy gee jou aanmoediging in 'n ander. And that encouragement reaches out and stretches itself right into the area you need it to go. So that is a double blessing! Dankie, Here!
Maand 11 het gevlieg deur (as het Maand 12 so ver, dus hierdie laat post).
Maand 10 ended with some bad things happening in my personal life. These continued through most of Month 11 as well. I was dealing with the feelings caused by mygesinmember and also a friend. Of the two, die gebroke vriendskaphurt far more. The relationship with my family member had been on a long slow descent with an abrupt, maar kort, cliff at the end. The broken friendship is something that I didn’t see coming… a total surprise and shock. We’ve all been there before, maar dit het so lank gelede iemand wat ek gehou wat naby in my hart het so 'n ding gedoen gewees.
Ek wil nie die vriendskap verbreek, but it remains that way to this day. For almost a month, I didn’t know how I would feel should my friend ask for forgiveness. Eventually, the hurt receded. This allowed me to align my feelings with my caring for this person. I am now at the point where I can forgive my friend should they ask for it. I can also continue the friendship; Maar dit sou nie so naby voor ... Ek is nie op 'n punt in my lewe waar ek is bereid leuenaars genoeg om te vertrou om hulle te laat in my sirkel van vriende. Perhaps I never will be. The really sad part is that I don't think this person has the first clue that they've done anything to hurt me.
Kersfeescame and went during Month 11. We had a nice, quiet time - Maar die older ek, the more I miss having a family that loves one another. We don’t have children and that puts us in a lonely place too. I come from a very dysfunctional family. Perhaps that is why I have such revulsion for liars. My family’s holiday gatherings (Thanksgiving & Kersfees) was altyd groot shows waar almal op 'n masker en het 'n leuen dat ons almal normale, caring family. The rest of the year told a different, sad story. I survived, maar nie ongeskonde, by getting out. 2014 punte my 21st jaar van die lewe van honderde (iewers duisende) of miles from family. If you rule out the “visits” when they were just bringing my Mom to see me, of tel haar op, Ek kan reken op die tone van die een hand hoeveel keer my familie het my in daardie besoek 21 jaar. I, egter, hulle besoek het ten minste 'n dosyn keer.
Op my CES ...
Terwyl ek loop soos Frankenstein en nie my enkels te voel, it seems I had such a poor gait that I tore a tendon in my right ankle. Now that I have some feeling there, Ek het geweet dat iets anders as die senuwee pyn van Cauda perde sindroomwas going on. The Doc said only surgery will fix it, but for now I’m only wearing an ankle brace. Had I noticed this earlier last year I would have had the surgery, maar dit is 'n nuwe jaar, with a new insurance deductible. And of course I’m on a high deductible plan (nie uit eie keuse nie - dit is al my werkgewer bied).
I have regained feeling in a lot of areas. The results of the nerve conductivity tests showed most of the L4/L5 damage has healed. This was the level at which the disk blew out, so I happy with that finding. However the points below L4/L5 still show significant injury and the jury is still out as to what will happen with those areas. I do have more “elektriese skok"Tik gevoelens, mostly in my right foot. The backs of my thighs and lower buttocks are still numb as is most of my genital area. B&B is nog steeds 'n probleem wat nie 'n baie van die bestuur (dis Blaas & Derm, nie Bed & Ontbyt).
Ek is aangemoedig, as Maand 11 gesluit, deur die klein groepie Bybelstudiewe’re doing in our home. Between that and studying for myCMA eksamen in Februarie, I haven’t had much time for other things or maintaining relationships. I’ll be so glad once this exam is taken. I’ve had to give up some things – things I love doing - on the schedule in order to concentrate on these. After the exam, Ek het 'n paar van die ander projekte op my gereed lys, so ek sal voortgaan om besig te bly.
Maak my cauda Equina sindroom raak al hierdie? Definitely! Does it help shape my life? Absolutely! Is it defining me? In some small way… it is a part of me, just as my arms or legs are. Ja, Ek het 'n slegte dae, beide fisies en emosioneel - hopelik nie albei op dieselfde tyd! Through it all I rely on God’s love to see me through. In His love He knew that my back would be injured and He used that event to prod me to grow closer to Him. He has sustained me, my gekoester, and lifted me up. I am a better person, at a better place in life because of God taking the lemons of Cauda Equina Syndrome and helping me make lemonade out of them. Where that will lead I do not know, maar wat 'n avontuur, ek is op!
Maand 9 het in die geskiedenis boeke oor 11/11. I have continued to have improvement in the symptoms of myCauda perde sindroom. Minder van my bene is heeltemal lam nou, met ongeveer 'n ander 10% van die lam areas herwin tingly voel oor die loop van die maand. The bottoms of my feet feel less pain, less like they are walking on rebar (http://wp.me/p3A64Y-6Y) and more like normal. To top it off, my legs are getting stronger.
Due to the move back to Lancaster, we’ve changed primary care doctors (again) and the new one suggested using a plantar fasciitis boot to help with my foot nerves tightening overnight. When I get up in the morning, my toes are curled right down and it takes a little while of walking to straighten them. With the nerve that runs from my big toe up through the ankle (thecommon peroneal nerve, I think) tightening, it makes taking a normal length step with my left leg more difficult. This is because the right foot will not bend upward enough. So it gives me a bit of a limp or rolling movement in my gait.
The last half of month 9 was getting ready for my wife’sknee replacement surgery. She has been in pain for quite some time. The pain was keeping her awake at night. It was getting too much to bear and getting the surgery done outweighed the drawbacks. So after seeing a highly recommended orthopaedic surgeon, attending a class (I had to go to it too), and convincing the health professionals that I on my cane could take care of her, the surgery was set for 11/13.
We’re getting ready to launch a new ministry at church & in the community, which is taking up a measure of our time. We’ve made some lifestyle changes, or more accurately, we’ve made changes in what haspriorityin our lives. We’re busier than we’ve been in a long time, yet we have time and energy for the new things, as old things take a smaller place in our lives. We look forward to Month 10 with anticipation of my wife’s surgery and recovery. We are looking forward to her relief from pain and more feeling coming back for me. Even though only one of those has a high probability, we will take what God gives and enjoy it. Maand 9 has been good.
My 8stemonth withCauda perde sindroomis in the books now and what a month! We moved back to our old house on Sep 6steand began the process of unpacking. Ek het tyd af van September 6 - 15 so I could help monitor the move (and maybe even help a little bit.) We’ve been taking it slowly, metering our energy and pain levels out. My wife and I enjoyed our time together immensely. We did our devotional times together and then discussed it in depth, often spending an hour or more a day on it. We found out that there is a lot of truth in the statement, “The closer a couple gets to God, the closer they get to each other.” We had a great time of reconnecting in a relaxed atmosphere. We sure needed this time!
Just prior to the end of Month 7, I reached a low point in battling CES. The long days of physical challenge, the emotional toll, and the strain on my wife as well came to a head. Ek het nie geweet dit dan, but God was preparing me for what was just days away. He broke me down completely as I spent several hours one night, sobbing and crying out to Him. I was looking for answers and understanding. Eventually, I was spent physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Then there was nothing. No prompting, no comfort, no answers. I fell asleep.
Immediately upon waking the following morning, I knew God had answered. His peace was on me like never before and I felt His comfort wrapping me. Not a in a physical sense, but just knowing, throughout my being, that He had heard and was showing His love for me. It changed my outlook on life, my Cauda Equina Syndrome, and much more. I even changed the title of this blog. You can read more about it here - http://wp.me/p3A64Y-7V
During the study my wife and I were doing together after moving, each of us (separately) came to a realization that we had slowly taken back our lives from God and that He was calling us back to fully committing to Him. We explored the depth of that commitment because it was clear that it was far more than we had ever considered it to be. As we each pondered it that day, the Word sank in. That evening, I told my wife that I had decided to go all in – yielding my life to God for His purposes. She had made the same decision. We rejoiced together.
In Month 8, I also came to the end of the road for legal action regarding my Cauda Equina Syndrome. I had 2 separate law firms look at the case for a possible malpractice claim. Both attorneys say that without doubt there wasmedical malpracticecommitted on me. Egter, under Ohio law, the “value” of a medical malpractice case is determined by how much better your outcome would have been if the malpractice made a difference. I have been very blessed by the Lord in my recovery thus far. Most who are afflicted with Cauda Equina Syndrome are left mostly or totally disabled for the rest of their lives – dealing with pain, numbness/lack of feeling, bladder and bowel problems and sexual dysfunction.
I’ve pushed hard since my surgery, spending a week in Acute Rehab at the hospital then 2 months of outpatientFisiese terapie. I’ve done my stretches and exercises faithfully. I willed myself back to work and worked through pain for several months. My recovery, by objective standards, has been remarkable. My prognosis at the time of the surgery was in the worst possible outcome category due to the malpractice and delay in diagnosing and treating the CES. God fooled them all. I still have all of the above problems, but they are quite manageable with proper treatment and sensible limitations on my activities. I’m in the top 5% of outcome possibilities. So you can see that had the malpractice not occurred, my actual outcome wouldn’t be much, if any, better than it has been. Legally, that means the malpractice didn’t matter. I will be dealing with these symptoms and restrictions for the rest of my life but because I am doing better than I should, it isn’t worth anything. You know what? I’ll take my recovery over having done poorly enough to have a good malpractice case – ANY DAY!!!
The week after my wife and I committing and yielding fully to the Lord was one of great spiritual attack upon us. Everything that could go wrong did, 10 times over it did. And then some! I’ve never seen anything like it in my 55 jaar. We were so overwhelmed with PROBLEMS that arose with everything, from fighting with an unscrupulous business, to insurance issues with health, home, life and auto insurances, to mail going missing (it took one important letter 20 days to make it 40 miles), pharmacy orders disappearing in transit (and unable to reach anyone in the company to fix it), to car problems, and much, much more!
At first, we fell back to our old ways and began to feel overwhelmed and angry. But God wasn’t going to let us go back to what we were. He showed us that it was a spiritual attack and calmed us with His comfort. You know what, He was right. None of it surprised Him, He has our lives so He can do whatever He wants with them, and the result was amazing. We put out a prayer request and many people from all over the country prayed. We were protected and the attacks ceased.
In the rest of Month 8, I’m now commuting 100 miles a day, round trip. I can make the trip in to work in just 45 minute. Egter, the trip home takes about 65-75 minute. In the old days (last month), I would have worked myself up in a tizzy with Road Rage in that time! Now, God is in control of when I get to work and when I get home. I just enjoy talking with Him and being courteous to the other drivers who are desperately frazzled. I used to pride myself on my “excellent” driving skills allowing me to move through traffic quicker than others. Now I drive to help others, even though they won’t often know it. And I get a much bigger charge out of the new way!
In summary, at the end of Month 8, life is good. It certainly isn’t what I would have designed or wanted from the individual aspects. But the whole of what God has made of my life and done in me with His relationship with me, is great! I love my wife more than I ever knew one could love. And the love for my Christian family has multiplied many times over. My life is now focused on how I can help others as I go through life knowing that God’s desire for me is to become, in words, gedagtes, and actions, an extension of Jesus. When others interact with me, they must see Jesus and His love for them. This is what drives me now. It is what should drive all who call themselves Christians. Charles Spurgeononce said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Which are you?
Maand 8 = more normal feeling, more changing of tingly not painful into tingly painful (this means movement towards normal feeling), and better bowel & bladder activity. I was told the nerves would regenerate for a year with most of the regeneration occurring in the first 6 maande. I’d had no significant changes since Month 2. Maybe I was too busyfightingCauda Equina Syndrome rather thanlivingwith it. I’m not going to say that this is a reward from God for yielding to Him because I don’t believe He operates that way. He loves us all and wants us all to trust in Jesus, first for salvation and secondly for life. All that He allows or causes in our lives are to bring us to those two goals – first to rely on Jesus’ death in our place as the only way we can have a right relationship with Him and live with Him in Heaven one day. Once we have done that, God focuses all of His resources towards us to make us into images of Jesus – we are molded to have kind and loving words like Jesus, have gracious and generous thoughts like Jesus, and not WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but WDJD – What Did Jesus Do? How did He act with love for others and for the Father? Not what we think He would act like regarding something today, instead acting out of His love in ALL things.
What a month! What a life! Thanks for reading, my family, my friends, and my extended family in His Spirit.