February 17, 2006. I have to remember this date every time I complain now about back spasms or hip pain or scoliosis. That was the day a spinal epidural abscess hit me and changed my life forever. Briefly, "A spinal epidural abscess threatens the spinal cord or cauda equina by compression and also by vascular compromise If untreated, an expanding suppurative infection in the spinal epidural space impinges on the spinal cord, producing sensory symptoms and signs, motor dysfunction, and, ultimately, paralysis and death."
My abscess went untreated for almost 14 days and left me with permanent nerve damage. I have to remember where I was then to appreciate my life since, especially when I get down on myself. While in the Rehab hospital, I had to learn how to walk again. I had to relearn how to train my bladder and bowels. After a month in hospitals, I could barely walk 50 feet and needed help to climb the 6 steps into our house. I used a walker for most of a year and a turtle shell brace for 18 months from the time I got out of bed until I went back to bed that night.
Today, theres no walker, no brace, I walk 2 or 3 miles 5 times a week, and when I see my doctor I climb the 96 steps up to her office and then the 96 steps down. I have to remember where I was 6 years ago to appreciate where I am today.
Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.