I got my MRI done to discover the problem. I herniated L5 in my lower back. The doctors have describe this to me as I now have two rocks sitting together that have squished out crabmeat. And the texture of crabmeat will not go back in between two rocks, no matter what I do it will not go back in! What will eventually happen is the swelling around L5 and L4 will go down, then it will stop putting the pressure on my sciatic nerve. But through out my life and activities, the remaining “crabmeat” in between the two disc can come out and cause me to be in this pain again and then cause me to have some sort of an invasive surgery.
Before I went home from the hospital the doctor gave me a shot in my spine (kinda like an epidural). He said it would once again, “kick in” in about 7-10 days. So here I am again counting the days this time instead of the minutes. It never kicked in, I was purely managing the pain through meds and unfortunately my body was growing accustomed to the pain.
I left the hospital mad at my husband. He really pushed for me to go home. He said I could go home and get the same treatment and care of course without the expense. He was right, but I was scared. The pain was so bad. Much, much worse then labor! No joke!
I now have 1 of 2 choices.
1.) I learn to deal with the pain with medication all my life and be limited in my activities. Doing activities I’m used to will land me right back in the hospital or immobile once again. The doctor said I would have to find new activities like walking, no more races or duathlon. Maybe a 5k but certainly not anymore 1/2 marathons or full marathons.
2.) Get surgery to get this cleaned up and my recovery will be 6 weeks long and I will not be able to run for about 3 months. I picked option 2. Not without a lot of hesitation, therapy, prayer and opinions from EVERYONE, that’s one big thing I have learned through this experience, EVERYONE has an opinion!
Over time I did feel better, I was still walking with a permanent limp though. And if I tried to run or spin I would lose almost complete feeling in my foot and I would get pain in my leg and especially in my calf muscle. This was hard for me to swallow. I was mad. Plain and simple, I was mad. I thought, “how could I go from running, spinning and weight training to barely being able to get in and out of the car? My life was upside down.
I thought I was doing all his stuff so I could prevent things like this. I was above things like this happening to me. Boy, did i have an ego…But in all reality I had no balance of all these activities. I was beating myself up, literally. I remember thinking, “God what is it, do you want me to slow down? What are you teaching me, I need to figure this out so I can go back to….normal.” Then I heard God say, “Tahny do you remember about of month ago I was telling you to slow down and spend more time with me? You didn’t listen, you still kept going on ignoring my nudge. I knew what would happen going on like you were. I was here trying to help you.” Dang! Missed the boat on that one! I truly believe this was going to happen eventually with my back, I think I rushed it along by not listening to my body or God. God, didn’t do this to me, but He is here to get me through it.
The hardest thing about this new issue I developed was not being able to pick up Rudy. It was heart breaking to have him look up at me with his arms reached up for me to pick him up. So we did lots of naps together. Napping was easy for me considering I was drugged up most of the time. I’m not a pill taker so to be in the position now in my life where I have to take them is quite an adjustment.
After meeting with two different doctors and getting a second opinion I went with Dr. Brodkey from Ann Arbor Brain and Spine Clinic to preform my surgery. It was a hard choice. But, I felt at peace with it. Dr. Brockey said a comment to me that made a lot of sense. He said that I could live a long healthy life with this problem but I would always feel like I’m sitting on the side line instead of being in the game. He said if I’m ok with that and if I promised him that I wouldn’t try to run or bike again in my life then don’t get surgery. Or, I’m only 34 years old and getting this fixed would put me back in the game after a long recovery. April 19th, 2012 was my scheduled surgery date. In classic Tahny style I made my surgeon a box of cookies. I handed the box of cookies to him right before I was knocked out! I told him that he needed to treat me like I was his family and that I was his favorite. He still reminds me of that.
Everything went really well, my family was waiting in the waiting room. Surgery was supposed to only take 2 hours. That was mistake #1 NEVER TELL MY MOTHER HOW LONG SURGERY IS GOING TO BE. My surgery was almost 3 hours. When Dr. Brodkey went and talked to my family after surgery he told them that it was a good thing I got this done because it was a lot worse then he could see on my MRI. And that is why it took longer during surgery. The only thing I remember after surgery was my dad on one side of my bed and Kent on the other. I told my dad to go to the end of the bed and rub the bottom of my numb foot to see if I could feel it. I did!!! And over time it has gotten better. My surgery was called a Microdiscectomy. It is a minimally invasive, but even with a small incision this surgery is doing crucial work thru your spine and bone. I stayed in the hospital 1 night and 2 days. When I went home I was excited to get on the road to a full recovery, so I thought……
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. (NIV)