Hi everybody. As I'm reading through the posts again after a few months' absence, I see there are a lot of newbies, but still some old ones hanging around. Nice to see that as well as the new moderators, whom I know. Congrats to you.
I just wanted to let you know that I'm not dead yet, and plan on being back on the forums regularly as I continue to fight with my painful back. First, I'll tell you that personally, I still own my home and we still have our 4-year-old Corgi, Wally. He's not who you see in my avitar, that Merc, my beloved English Setter who passed away soon after my second surgery. While Wally can't fill Merc's shoes, he sure comes in a close second.
I'm 7 months out from my third lumbar fusion and laminectomy (L3/4 on Dec. 18) and had my check-up with my surgeon. All is going well as far as fusion, but my pain is never going to go away. He says the best we can hope for is to try to keep it to a steady 2-3 on the pain scale, but to expect flare ups, of course.
After the company I worked for (that broke my back from lifting heavy boxes, emptying recycle bins, etc.) "let me go" two weeks after my surgery, I at least had a severance package and they paid for my health insurance for three months. The good thing was that I would have had to go back in February and I wasn't ready. This way, I was able to have just over four months to recover as I looked for another job.
So I found that job and it's working for a family-owned, small print shop where I do nothing but graphic design and desktop publishing. They refuse to allow stress into the workplace and respect my limitations. The benefits are nada, zip, zero and the pay is much less than I've ever made before, but as my hubby says, I now have to look for jobs that are ok for my back, not so much for the paycheck. I'll probably keep looking for something that's got benefits, but this is a great fit for now.
I'm going through the expected mechanical pain from L2/3 and L5/S1 working overtime and my cervical area hurts (I had a 3-lvl ACDF with plate and 8 screws in 2008) during weather changes and when I look one direction too long, but that's part of the deal. I've also got a huge dent in my back where all my lamina are missing so it's hard to keep a Lidoderm patch on.
Anyway, I just wanted to catch up with those that I know and who know me and introduce myself to those that don't. I used to have a huge presence on here and want to start getting back in touch. This forum has saved me in more ways than you can imagine over the five+ years I've been a member, and I want to give back again.
Thanks for reading and please update me on yourself if we're friends and if not, feel free to introduce yourself right back.
PS Ooops, I guess I better update my profile - a lot's happened since I wrote it. :-)