Balloons Up the Nose and a Pain in the Neck

nose balloon

Today, Caryn had the same nasal surgery that Jon had back in December.  It’s called balloon sinuplasty and it’s an incredible medical advance.  According to the CDC, 33 millions adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.  After years of reoccurring sinus infections, Jon went to see Dr. Daniel Slaughter who did an MRI which showed complete blockage. Thankfully, we have health insurance but they required the procedure be done in a surgical facility for coverage.  Can I just say how ridiculous insurance can be?  Our insurance considered this easy procedure experimental when done in the doctor’s office but ok and fully covered at a surgical center.  Hello! someone is making lots of money.  Caryn’s being self-paid was able to do her balloon sinuplasty in the doctors office for 88% less, CRAZY right? Seriously, it took all of 10 minutes and she was done. Her surgery was at 2:30pm and we were home by 3pm.  The doctor said she had lots of infection and was the ideal candidate for this procedure. For two years she has had reoccurring sinus infections that flared up almost every time she traveled. Doctors would simply prescribe antibiotics but never once did anyone suggest an x-ray or MRI. Only because of Jon’s similar experiences and success did we encourage her to see Dr. Slaughter.  If you have reoccurring sinus infections I’d encourage you to see an ENT as many have been trained to do this procedure.  Better yet, see the doctor who invented it, Daniel Slaughter.

This morning I had a medical procedure totally not planned for until yesterday.  Oh how medicine has changed for the better.  When I had a similar  procedure done 5 years ago on my back it had to be done in a surgical center. Now it can be done in the Doctor’s office under a local vs. complete sedation. It was great to walk out not feeling hung over and able to go about my day to help Caryn.

Two weeks ago I began having neck and shoulder pain on the left side.  Last week I had three massages which sort of helped – but not really.  On Monday I was having horrible pain so I went to my acupuncturist and he did electrical muscle stimulation and I left still in pain. I realized that more was going on than muscular alone, so I called my chiropractor over at Texas Spine & Pain Center.  When I got there he first looked over an X-ray he took back in March when I had a small flare up. He told me that I should never have neck adjustments.  I remember him telling me how bad my neck looked and he was surprised that I was not in severe pain but I wasn’t and I didn’t see a need to do anything at the time (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.)  

I considered myself extremely blessed as I enjoyed our April cruise and then the amazing trip to Europe without any pain.  Dr. Bart ordered an MRI to compare to one I had done 5.5 years ago.  Basically, I have degenerative issues affecting the spine and discs. The good news is that the MRI done six years ago showed the same things below but I rarely had any pain because of it. 

neck xray

  • my neck curve is going the wrong way “cervical kyphosis” caused by poor posture (check), possible whiplash from car accident several years ago, maybe falling on my head when I was younger. 
  • C3 mild narrowing and arthritis
  • C4 the nerve is being compromised
  • C 4-6 “marked” narrowing and disc instability with 3mm shift 
  • C5 80% disc loss, bone spur
  • C7 is normal yea!!!

neck cervical c1 to c7

The new findings were seen at C2-C3 which explains where my current pain is.  I love how in-tune with my body I am, just wish I could fix it.  This unfortunately was an unusual finding and often occurs with those who have had surgery to stabilize C4- C6.  I had mild disc narrowing plus a disc hernia at the top of C2 causing the pain.  I have no idea how this happened as I have done anything traumatic to cause it.  This aspect of aging sucks!  On the bright side, my back is not hurting and I am able to do whatever my body allows except no roller coasters LOL!!! Yes, I am temporally moving at a slower pace as I have a pain in my neck.

My Chiropractor, Bart Atencio, fast tracked me to see the pain doctor that comes to Austin from Houston,Dr. Mikhail Fukshansky  Today he did a steroid injection which has provided great pain relief as this morning the pain had been the worse I’ve experienced so far. I will have another steroid injection next Friday and the third one the following week.  This is typical protocol. 

Next week they will conduct nerve testing to see which, if any, nerves are being compromised because of the narrowing and collapsed disc.

They will then follow up with stem cell therapy, which is experimental but well documented with much success. Obviously, surgery is the last thing I want to do so I will exhaust other methods while praying for a miracle.  

I share this because I read about a sweet friend who was going to have the stem cell injection done on the same day it was recommended to me and, while experimental, it gave me hope. Maybe someone will read this and have positive experiences to share.

5 Ways to Nourish Your Soul This Spring

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”  Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Photo by Cherie Werner

Spring Has Awaken

Spring is my favorite season. I love how this season invites us into the great outdoors where the air feels fresh. It is amazing to see the new life that is all around. It truly is a season of renewed hope.

 “Behold I am making all things new.”  Revelation 21:5

He makes all things new! We are included in this. He redeems, restores, renews, and transforms us.

photo by Cherie Werner

Sping Has Awaken

Join me over at The ART of Domesticity as I share 5 Ways to Nourish Your Soul This Spring.

From Spectator to Participant – Tips to Grow Your Marriage with Hubby

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How would you rate the health of your marriage? Now check with your husband for his perspective.  My husband’s cup is always overflowing and mine tends to be half full.  Today I’m continuing with the series Life is too valuable to merely be a spectator, shape up and become a participant. We’re looking at the H in SHAPE.

 

Husband – Growing in the Relationship with your Husband.

  • Keep romance alive – Couples should not just date to get married rather they should get married to date. Make dating each other a priority.  Do you want to know WHY?   Never stop having fun together.
  • Communicate Daily – Set aside a daily time to talk so as not to become isolated. Communication means both talking and active listening.  Listen with the intent to understand and not just to reply. When our girls were young, Jon would call to let me know he was headed home which was a “cue” to get the girls settled so we can have time to catch up.  The girls and I would pick up toys and find a video to watch or books to read.  They excitedly would run out to greet daddy and then would watch a 30-minute video so Jon and I could catch up face to face.  We would also call or email each other during the day. Even when Jon travels, which was over 100 days last year, we will talk daily. Are you struggling with good communication? Last night I watched a brilliant Ted Talk 10 ways to have a better conversation.
  • Ladies, respect your husband as our love is not enough – Men would rather be alone and unloved than feel inadequate and disrespected according to research by Shaunti Feldhahn in For Women Only.  Emerson Eggerichs wrote Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs  which I highly encourage couples to read.  I’d been married for 20 years to a wonderful man that I thought I was respecting. I never realized, however, how many little things I said and did that made him feel so belittled. (And he certainly didn’t know how to share that with me!) It wasn’t until we were at a counseling session and had to share ways we thought we had offended each other, yikes!!!  I remember praying that God would reveal the many ways I had hurt or offended Jon. I was shocked when the word disrespect came to mind so I asked God how I had disrespected Jon and, let’s just say, it wasn’t a short list.  I can vividly see myself asking Jon to forgive me for being disrespectful. He sat shocked but then as I shared how I felt I had disrespected him, he began to weep.  I share this only because it was a turning point in our marriage. Are you questioning if you truly respect your husband? Ask him what respect looks like and be ready to listen.
  • Be covenant keepers, AKA committed – Eliminate the word DIVORCE from your vocabulary as it plants seeds for potential marriage failure as well as causing stress, anxiety, worry, and fear that the other person may just pack up and leave. Marriage only survives the difficult times when divorce is not an option. Have the attitude that FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.
  • Invest in your marriage – A good marriage is worth the investment of time and money. Don’t be naïve thinking a few weeks of pre-marital counseling prior to marriage is all you need; continue to be teachable. Need ideas on investing in your marriage? (otherwise known as  fireproofing your marriage)  I’ve been married 30 years and I still have much to learn.  Jon and I attend a marriage conference every 2-3 years such as A Weekend to Remember, Art of Marriage, or a seminar like Love and Respect, or do a book study, or bible study with a community group. Find an older couple whose marriage you admire and ask if they would meet with you. How about a marriage cruise?  Family Life Today will be hosting their 5th year of Love Like You Mean It, Marriage Cruise  You will hear some of the best speakers and experts  on marriage. Jon and I went three years ago and truly recommend it.  A good marriage is worth the investment of time & $$$. Seek professional help when needed. The Center for Relational Care, in Austin, Texas, has great counselors and incredible marriage intensives which are costly but not nearly as costly as a failed marriage and attorney fees. Jon and I use CRC occasionally for a tune up like we did 10 years ago when we unexpectantly went through many changes (turning 40, loss of a job, selling our dream home to start a company, Jon working 60+ hour work weeks, a new baby and home schooling, insurmountable debt, etc.).

unified marriage

  • Hard times will come – So be prepared & unified. Persevering through the struggles can bring you closer together than you were before. I often tell others that when you are in the midst of a storm you are so busy trying to stay afloat that you don’t remember the calmness of where you came from and often you can’t see the rainbow just on the other side.  Keeping a gratitude journal will help your remember God’s previous faithfulness to you.
  • Appreciate your man – It’s a hard world out there and our husbands need to know that we believe in their abilities.  Show and tell your husband how much you love and appreciate all he does.
  • Have sex!!! – Men spell love S-E-X. Plus, intimacy brings couples together better than anything.

 Go out and enjoy your man.  Does any one idea resonate with you? How will you grow your marriage?