Saturday, February 7, 2015

Take a seat. . . . .

You're sitting comfortably I hope, so I'll tell you what's happening in
my world. I understand if you don't like reading about health issues, medical 
procedures, the downside of aging etc. . . . . especially when it involves someone 
you may not know well, have never even met in person, or really don't care
to know personal things about. I don't blame you, that's a normal reaction, and 
if you don't wish to know and are leaving this page right now, believe you me 
I quite understand. However, don't want to alarm you here so be assured 
the news is good!

That said however, over my almost eight long years of blogging I have made
many wonderful friends around the world. Some of you might want to know what's 
going on, especially if I was to go missing for a bit. Quite a few of you I've met 
on my travels. For the great pleasure of meeting you I've sometimes made changes 
in my itinerary, or direction, just so I could get to see you, hug you, and spend 
some time with you. . . . and it has truly always been worthwhile. 

Well there is news!  Good news and better news! 

 I do not require a hip replacement or any hip surgery whatsoever right now. 
I'm still in a lot of pain and having difficulty sitting, bending, lying down. Getting out 
of bed and moving in the morning finds me at my worst, but once moving for an 
hour or so, I can walk/stand almost pain-free, for that I am very grateful.
After more tests, including a second MRI, we now know the pain is emanating 
from my lower back, not my hip. Yes, these aging lumbar vertebrae are playing 
havoc with my spine and compressing the nerves going through my left hip, thigh, 
all the way to my ankle. 
Historically arthritis in all its miserable forms has hit most members of
my family on my mother's side, so my diagnosis is not a huge surprise.

I was scheduled for major spinal surgery Thursday of this coming week. I will
save you the gory details of the procedure, but admit I was more than scared!
Having already missed the trip to Kenya this month, but with a still busy year planned 
with many things to do and places to go, I was also concerned there was not enough 
time for the weeks required for recuperation between a surgery and a trip. On Monday 
my primary care physician insisted I get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon.
Yesterday I did just that and, lo and behold, surgery is now on the back burner, 
instead I'll be trying a more conservative approach with an injection and physiotherapy.
Now that I feel a huge burden has been lifted, I already have more energy and am 
ready to do what I can. Gardening, lifting and other 'back breaking' chores will not be
in my plans, but I will also be walking more, eating better, hopefully lose a few 
pounds ready for Spring, and in April taking an exciting international trip with 
hubby and friends.


  1. Wow. I'm glad you were able to postpone that until you try the injections. I had oblation on my neck. It's a type of surgical procedure, but not surgery, to make the nerves stop receiving pain messages. I know they do it on other areas of the back. I was lucky; it worked. I developed arthritis in my neck possibly due to a car accident that happened in my twenties! Horrible. Horrible pain. But the procedure worked, and now I just take arthritis medicine, which helps most days, but not all. So I truly empathize with your hip pain that emanates from the back, and I hope that they can do something so you can avoid what sounds like a very involved surgery in your case.

  2. Wow! Well, Mary, you take care of yourself. Sometimes, just sometimes, get that hubby of yours to pack you up in cotton-wool; I bet he does anyway! It does amaze and surprise me, how many 'virtual friends' I have made doing this blog project; an unexpected bonus.

  3. That's good news, Mary. Hope you improve a lot with the physio!

  4. Mary, I'm very glad to hear you will not require surgery. Arthritis can be devastating as I am beginning to learn so a few magical cortisone shots are a great alternative to cutting.
    I just had a shot in my ankle and so far so good.
    Take care!!!

  5. Oh, this IS good news. I'm so glad to read it. It's good your physician recommended a second opinion before major surgery.

    As someone who deals with back issues, I value my physiotherapist equally, or more than, my doctor. I'm faithful with doing my exercises and very conscious of how I lift and move. I certainly see more of her! I hope that your physiotherapist is equally good at helping you with your specific issues. Wishing you healing and joy along the journey.

  6. So glad to hear that , Mary. Take some rest, don't overdo anything.

  7. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy you don't have to go through surgery at this time Mary! I am sending you wishes and positive thoughts as you start your injections and therapy. I am smiling a big old smile right now, I am so relieved for you! I am glad I am one of those friends you met through blogging and you and I got to meet in person and are now great friends.

  8. Mary, The news is indeed good. I am a big believer in second opinions and in conservative measures is appropriate. I've said it several times, aging is not for sissies. Sending wishes for continued healing and good news. Hugs!

  9. That is good news, indeed, that you can avoid surgery and get relief by other means. Thank heavens for second opinions! You have a "permission slip" to avoid all kinds of labor now, so please take advantage of it and get some rest! I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

  10. Hello dearest Mary
    Oh how I wish I could pop in and give you a big hug and fuss over you - that is such marvellous news.
    Second opinions are a wonderful thing - especially in your case my dear.
    You've been so very brave keeping up with your lovely blog posts that we all eagerly await, when behind the scenes your mind was in such turmoil.
    My analogy is of a beautiful swan seamlessly gliding across the lake but below the surface, paddling frantically to make it to the other side!
    The stiff upper lip of the English springs to mind too – you just get on with it.
    Dearest husband had the spinal op four years ago, no details here though. I'm still hoping that one day we may meet if you ever decide to visit the colonies again!
    I’ll email you.
    This good news has rounded off my week nicely – thank you!
    Now off you go and make plans, there’s so much in life left that we all have to do while we’re in our right minds!
    I’m sending you a virtual “tussie mussie” with little roses and cottagey things from my garden, tied with a blue ribbon!
    Sending much love to you and Bob
    Shane xox

  11. I am so happy for you Mary!
    That is wonderful news. I do hope
    the injection and physiotherapy give
    you relief. xoxo marilyn

  12. Delighted to learn this positive news Mary. Spinal surgery is not something to be undertaken lightly, so if you can get relief from injections and physiotherapy that seems a better approach all round. Walking, good food in moderation of course, and some relaxation sound to be just the tonic. You can always get someone in to do your garden. I can imagine your relief, I am feeling that relief for you too. Take care Mary♡

  13. Hooray!! That is wonderful news and I'm so happy to hear it.
    I trust the injection and physiotherapy will be just the thing to send that awful pain packing. In the meantime, take care and take it easy.

  14. Good news indeed. Anyone who can travel the world, negotiating airports, taxis, timetables, and customs can certainly deal with a bit of back trouble effortlessly. Yes, I know it is more than a bit, but things could actually be worse. Every year thousands of people probably go through exactly what you have experienced. It is not the end of the world, although it is quite annoying.
    I honestly recommend some hypnotherapy to help you deal with pain. You could go directly to a good hypnotherapist or buy a CD from a shop. The CDs all work pretty much the same way - they help you relax very deeply and then change your thought pattern. If you can not find a pain relief CD buy something that you are confident will do no harm, like sleep soundly or breathe well or be confident. The relaxation part will do the most good. The rest is mostly fluff.
    You are fortunate that you have access to good doctors. And supportive family and friends. And Bob, always your Bob.
    Remember your fellow countrymen, like Stephen Hawking and countless others, who never give up but play on. Difficult? Only a little, you are a woman after all.

  15. I am so glad for you. As I have said before - the horrific pain in my left leg was not from my leg, knee or hip - but from my back. The body does interesting - and mystifying things - but isn't it a relief when it is figured out? I did eventually have back surgery - but it was a huge success. The one thing that was required after the surgery was NO BLT - that is no Bending, Lifting or Twisting - I was quite happy with that and happy with the end results. Lifting and twisting was the worst possible thing - and I avoided it like the plague - and I'm happy today - no more pain.

  16. Wonderful news Mary. I hope your treatment works and gives you some pain free days.

  17. Yay !!! Now we can listen to Tango music and swing our hips and laugh ! I am so happy for you .. Now that you can be active again, the weight will come off and you will get stronger from being able to move around more and by the time that trip comes along, you will be bouncing around like a 20 year old girl. I am so glad :)

  18. Yes, we are very interested in your well-being. Thank you for sharing your health issues and especially for this good news so we can rejoice with you and pray that the injection and treatments will have you feeling much better very soon. Take care and thanks for your wonderful blog.
    Farm Gal in VA

  19. So glad that you don't have to have surgery right now. I was in therapy and had several cortisone shots in my hip. Terrible pain. After physical therapy it felt the same. My therapist on her own called my insurance company and got approval to do therapy on my back. I have the degenerative disc problem that we all probably have or will have. I did water therapy for a long time and that was great. I had to have an laminectomy on one disc when it pressed against the nerve that controls the bladder and bowels. It wasn't optional. They just go in and clean things up where there are chips and things. I still have one bad disc but it has helped o much. I am careful lifting and overdoing things. Good luck with your back. I hope these things help you.

  20. Well, that's great news, Mary. So happy for you. Time to make some plans. :) Deb

  21. Such wonderful news, Mary! I'm relieved for you. Now you can go forward and make all those plans. Sending you a big old hug!


  22. Oh, Mary...I am SO glad you do not have to have spinal surgery! I know (not from personal experience, but from friends) that it is a difficult surgery. Seems arthritis is pretty much a given when we start to age. I am 52 and have been doing yoga (weekly classes plus daily shorter practices at home) for about 4 years now. I am hoping to keep my bones and joints as supple as limber as possible by doing this. I know it's not a cure-all, but at least a little preventative. Now go and make those travel plans! {{hugs}}

  23. Oh, what wonderful news, Mary! I'm relieved that back surgery is on the back burner. Therapy is much better road if it will give success. I wish you well. No gardening will likely be an unhappy thought for the upcoming spring days, but hire someone and sit in the adorable gazebo drinking tea while you direct. I admit, I'm doing more and more directing rather than digging of late. It's my hands that want to freeze up after an hour of digging or pruning. Yes, so much for the aging body. Take care, sweet friend. Hoping that one day our travels bring us to enjoying a teatime together. '-)

  24. Dear Mary, Such good news! I am really happy for you. Hope the therapy will do the trick and you will feel much better soon.

    Take care!

    Madelief x

  25. Dear Mary, What made you think that we din't want to read about your health issues. That is what friends are share in the good and the not so good.
    I am so pleased to hear that, for now at least, you do not have to face surgery and you are well enough to go on your planned trip in April. ox, Gina

  26. So glad that you don't have to have major surgery Mary. David has back issues too and injections have helped him. Hope all goes well for you with this new treatment. We all care about your well being and appreciate you sharing it with us. My best for the future. Sounds like you have exciting plans in the Spring.

  27. That is wonderful news Mary. I really appreciate you sharing it with us as I feel we are all friends through our blogging and have got to know each other a bit. I'm so glad that you went for a second opinion and hope this will be the answer to your health issues and will provide the needed relief. The thought of traveling again must be so exciting for you. So, take care and be well. xx Pam

  28. Happy to hear you're better and you won't need surgery! And that you will keep us envious with more pics from your next

  29. Mary,

    I'm thrilled that you now have an option to possibly avoid surgery. If this doesn't work, I would suggest that you give acupuncture a try. My hands were screaming in pain from carpal tunnel syndrome before I tried acupuncture. And it completely healed my left knee when I couldn't even stand on it and had to use a walker.

  30. Alleluia!! I have not been able to read much lately, so came by today to catch up. Such good news - I am so happy that you let us know!

  31. I'm glad to hear that you are able to take the conservative approach and didn't just jump right into surgery. A friend at school had knee surgery last year, and now is in need of it again because the first doctor used an old procedure from the 80s. Turns out, your feet also have a lot to do with your knees. When one thing is out of alignment, it can affect so many other major parts of the body. Take care, Tammy


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