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 ;-)

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!


Blogger Donna said...

Girl! Am I glad to see a post from you. I'm glad you had the surgery and are recovering. Someone like you is definitely meant to live life to the fullest! Please keep us posted. :)


3:13 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

i'm glad to hear things went well. thanks for the updates.

congratulations on keeping your weight stable through all this. you must be exercising some great appetite control considering your greatly limited activity level. i hope you're proud of yourself! before long you'll be exercising in other ways and the weight will start melting off once again.

ps. where do you find all those fabulous pinups?

6:21 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Danyele, it's nice to see you around, I'm glad you found the root of your pain and had it can only go up (or down in your case) from here right!! Hope your recovery is going well!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

I am so happy your surgery went well. I had been checking every day to see if you posted anything. I should have picked up the phone and called to see how you were. I'm sorry my life has been so out of wack lately. We will have to get together soon.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Oh my word girl!!! You've been threw the ringer too!! ((hug)) I'm glad to have a partner on the mend too! :)

12:34 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...


Just came across your posting about PCOS - I suffer from it too.

Without knowing your full history, here is my 2 cents: all Docs want to treat you like a Diabetic and tell you to quit eating junk food and exercise more and put you on Metphorman and birth control. Walk out of the office and find another doctor.

I have gone through 10+ docs over the years, hearing the same thing every time. The ONLY thing that has saved my life is the following: exercise, a well balanced diet (butter, carbs, meat, fish, vegetables, water) and coming to terms with my eating habits.
Once I understood that I have to feed my body the right types of food (minimally processed, no/low hormones in dairy and meat products, high fiber veggies, grains and breads, no processed sugar (yes, I make desserts, real desserts - brownies, cakes, etc...) like sodas and juices, no meal replacement foods - eat real food) and confronted and overcame my mental (yes, partly PCOS caused) anguishes, the weight slowly came off.
I moved again (thanks USN) and found another Doc. I went into the appointment and told him the following "I have PCOS, I know the litmus about drugs that are available. I do not want that - i know how to take care of myself and this disease, and this is what I have done: changed my lifestyle and increased to purposeful exercise. I want to continue this way as long as I am healthy. I have lost weight, but I am at a plateau.” Doc said “I completely understand – a lot of people cannot tolerate Metphorman. I can give you something to up your metabolism and that should help get the weight off.”

And it has, and it is continuing to come off.

You can control this without drugs – Metphorman was killing me and making it impossible to live my life normally. If I can do it, so can you.

Good luck, I wish you the best!

6:28 PM  

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