Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas at Wooddale

Again this year I was blessed to be part of the Christmas concerts at my church. The theme for this year's concert was "The Heart Is Waiting." With a new choir director as of last this summer, we weren't sure what to expect, but Wow! We were pleasantly surprised!

The choice of music chosen was lovely - and mostly arranged by the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Here is the program:

A Christmas Festival: orchestra only
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Christmas Bells: piano and orchestra only
Organ Solo: Woody Johnson
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
The First Noel
  Hymns for the audience: Angels From the Realms of Glory; Angels We Have Heard on High; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Piano solo: Soojung Hong—a Ph.D. in piano at the University of Minnesota (she was awesome!)
Away in a Manger
Mary, Did You Know
All Is Well (sung while the choir held candles)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Due to my recent back surgery, I had to sing the entire concert while seated, it worked out just fine and I'm so happy I could be part of this wonderful tradition.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Back to work!

This morning I went back to work and it felt so good to see my co-workers again. I had missed them so much! I'm going to work mornings only this week since I'm not really 100% yet. In fact, I'm still taking narcotics when needed for the nerve pain in my leg (this was unexpected).

While home, I was very lonely. There were days when I saw no one but my cat. Oh, he loved having me around and he spent a lot of time in bed with me. But I realized—actually I already knew it—I need to be around people. A little bit of time in seclusion is fine, but not an excessive amount.

I'm on the mend, but have a ways to go.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Back Surgery

Last week, on the 25th, I had surgery on my lower back—specifically between L-5 and S-1. I had been diagnosed with two herniated discs and a severely pinched nerve. During the surgery, bone was cut away and a broken piece of disc was removed to give more room for the nerve. This nerve controls the left leg and foot. My symptoms have been a strong ache and tingling on the outside edge of my leg and top of my left foot (picture along the outside seam of your jeans). I have been bothered by this since around the middle of August, and it hasn't been fun.

After being diagnosed, I had an epidural shot of cortisone in the nerve area, but it didn't take. I also did six weeks of physical therapy, and that brought no relief.

The surgery was billed as outpatient, with a possible stay overnight for observation. I think it was the word "outpatient" that made me think this was going to be a "piece of cake." Wow! Was I wrong. It has now been 9 days and I am still having some struggles. The nerve pain returned about 5 or 6 days ago and it has been very uncomfortable. You've seen the pain charts of 10 faces—10 being the worst. I have had a couple of those. Since the Dr. wants me to wean myself from the narcotics, I have tried to suffer through it, but have given in twice. This morning a second prescription was called into the pharmacy that is for a medication that is supposed to address the nerve problem. I'm praying it helps.

In the meantime, Nels is loving having me home and I have been enjoying visits from friends—those who have stopped by with meals, flowers, offers to vacuum, take out my garbage, pick up my mail—all of those things that I have not been able to do. Two individuals from work even donated 7 precious days of PTO to me (anonymously) because I had run out as of Monday this week.

That's about it right now. I have been playing Christmas carols on my stereo, but am not really in the Christmas spirit yet. Just hoping to feel better soon.