1/06/2013

Spinal stenosis, foot drop and my emergency surgery

It's 2013 and for me, New Years Eve must have been a kicker. My "buddies" were spinal stenosis and foot drop. I don't remember much about the "party" after about 11:30 pm. That's about the time that I was wheeled into surgery. We can laugh about the timing but believe me, spinal stenosis and foot drop is nothing to laugh about.

Surgery was already scheduled for later in the month. Even though it was insanely severe, I didn't think much about it when the pain flared. The docs phoned in a steroid dose pack to help with inflammation and relieve the pain.

I woke up in the wee hours of Sunday morning with the feeling that something was wrong with my leg and foot. It wanted to drag and I couldn't pick it up enough to take a real step. Using a car accelerator was a no-go.

Hubby had to drive me to church. Fortunately, none of the congregation members minded that I preached from a stool! They were/are very helpful and Hubby and I are completely blessed to serve these churches.

Things started going downhill that afternoon and into the night. On Monday morning I phoned the doctor. My thought was that they could suggest an exercise, brace or whatever. Not so. Emergency surgery was needed, a team was assembled and away we went.

It would be hard to tell who was more surprised. My family and I were stunned. Until this happened, my thoughts of emergency surgery were related to strokes, heart attacks maybe appendictis or a bowel obstruction. But, a leg problem?  Never.

Foot drop can be a serious symptom of spinal stenosis. What happens in stenosis is that arthritis, bulging discs apply pressure and begin to choke off the spinal column. That causes a nerve(s) to be pinched. This can lead to damage (which may or may not be permanent) and to foot drop. Hence the need for surgery to alleviate further damage to the nerve.

This article from Mayo Clinic explains more about what it is. I just wanted to touch base with everyone to explain my absence. Thanks for everyone's patience as I catch up on emails and life in general. Back and leg problems are scary. Don't make my mistake. If you think that you have a problem, then please get it checked out.

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