Becoming the Pin-Up Girl

I'm on a journey from obesity to health.. and I'm hoping to reveal my inner Pin-Up Girl along the way ;-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shhhhhhhh.. can you keep a secret?

Guess who just put a bid on a vintage engagement/wedding ring set today? Chris did! I don't know if we'll get this one, but it's so fun to talk about rings and shop around a little bit. We've been talking about taking this next step for quite some time. Yep, it's been a pretty nice day - just the thought of being Mrs. Stewart is taking the edge off of the pain!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Wow - has it really been that long since I've posted?! Well, life has been rough for a while. The pain that I've written about continued to get worse and worse, and I finally found out what was wrong. The disc in my neck between my C5 and C6 vertebrae was completely ruptured - it had ripped all the way across the front and the material from inside of it was putting a lot of pressure on my spinal cord. It was causing severe pain, numbness and spasming from my neck, up into my head, down both shoulders, down my arms, and all the way to the tips of my fingers. On July 21, I went on disability because I just couldn't bear to type anymore. I saw a neurosurgeon, the amazing Dr. Randall, and he recommended that I have surgery to remove the disc. At first, I was just really scared and not ready for such an extreme surgery. The thought of anyone messing with my spinal cord scared the holy hell out of me. For four weeks, I tried some conservative treatments, like traction and physical therapy.. even acupuncture. Nothing worked and the pain continued to get worse. I went back to Dr. Randall and told him, "Ok - I'm ready. I can't live like this anymore. Let's just fix it." So he scheduled the surgery. I then saw a pain management specialist who put me on Fentanyl patches - they're very strong opiate pain relieving patches that give off a time-released drug through the skin. That helped me just to manage until the surgery. So - this Monday, the 22nd, I had the surgery. Dr. Randall cut a 2 inch incision in the front of my neck. He removed the blown out disc and replaced it with a piece of cadaver bone, and then he put a titanium plate over the C5 and C6 vertebrae to hold everything in place. Over time, my natural bone will fuse with the cadaver bone, and then the area should be secure. Everything went really well. I was up and around shortly after I got out of recovery and into my room. Chris was there for me (what an angel.. I am so blessed to have him), and so were my Mom and my stepfather Jerry. I spent one night in the hospital and I was able to come home yesterday.

It's amazing how much better I feel already. The nerve pain is completely gone - the pain that I have now is just from the surgery. My neck is swollen and it hurts around the incision, and I can't move my head a whole lot, and I'm having spasms between my shoulders - I think that's just from the position that they had me in on the operating table.

I'm very hopeful that this will help me heal and get back to the life that I had just begun to live after my gastric bypass. My 2 year surgiversary was on September 19. Thankfully, I've maintained my weight through this whole ordeal. I weight 186, which is kinda funny - I weighed 186 during my last post, over 2 months ago. I think that's a good sign. My next goal is to heal up and when Dr. Randall gives me the ok, I want to start strengthening my core muscles so that I can support my spine. I'll always have to be careful with exercise, because it is possible to break the fusion in my neck, but there is a lot that I can do. I can't wait to start!