I had shared with you my DH living with MS so I thought I would tell you about my life. I was born in 1941 with congenital scoliosis. My parents did not know there was a problem until I started to walk and one shoulder was higher than the other. They took me to Duke Hospital and they recommended I be taken to the Shriner Children's Hospital near Charlotte, NC. When I was around age six, I was put in a body cast from under my arms to my bottom. I wore a cast like this for seven years. Of course, every so often, it had to be sawed off and another put on. That was always a scary experience even though they promised me that the saw would not cut me. I wore this during the years before air conditioning--you can imagine how that felt! Being in the cast did not slow me down except that I could not go swimming like the other kids. All my life, I have been determined to try to do what everyone else could do. After those seven years of wearing the body cast, I was entered into the hospital and put in a cast from my chin to my knees and was there for almost a year. They decided after that there was no surgery they would be able to do. I finished high school and went on to Elon College for a one-year commercial course and was hired immediately when I finished.
A year later a man came into my life. We had know each other as kids growing up in the same neighborhood for a few years and then his family had moved away. Three months later, we were married! They said it would not last but if we make it to August 18, it will be 48 years. I never dreamed I would be married and then God blessed us with a daughter 18 months later. The doctors were concerned about me but I had no problems and a normal delivery. The doctor called me his "star patient". Then in 1971, we were blessed again with a son. Now, our family was complete.
I was doing fairly well until 1991 and I developed a terrible pain in my back and was in bed for a year. We found a doctor in Chapel Hill, NC that dealt with adult scoliosis. He felt sure he could help me. I was taking a risk with this surgery because it was to be three-stage operations. There was a chance that I would die but I had been in such pain and in bed and crying out to the Lord to take me home. I decided that I would do the surgery. On Feb. 23, 1992, I went into the hospital and had my first 10-hour surgery. Two weeks later, they turned me over and did a 10-hour surgery through the front to my spine. I was in intensive care for several days after that. Then two weeks later, they went back into my back and put in rods and screws--this was another 10 hours. When I woke up from this surgery, I was in intensive care on a ventilator. I was on that four days and then moved out to my room. They had to give me shots of morphine to be able to get me out of bed. I developed a kink in my intestines from the second surgery so they had to go into my stomach and fix it but could not put me to sleep. Any way, I finally came home on May 6, 1992. I was barely able to walk and had home PT for at least a month. I continue to have discomfort most of the time. I have had pain so much of my life that I have a high tolerance. I am able to be on my feet to do what I call "piddle". I do a little and then rest and do a little more. I am doing more right now since my DH can not walk.
We are trying our best, with the help of a lot of wonderful people, to stay in our home. Before my DH became unable to walk, he would push me in the wheelchair and we could get out and go to the Mall. Now, we have to have someone to come help us go where ever we need to go. Thank goodness, we both can find satisfaction where we are. I have a pity party once in a while but no one comes. Ha!
I have told you all this not for sympathy but to let you know the person behind the blog. Each day, I get up and try to make the most of the day and some days are not very easy. I am so thankful that our son set me up with a computer and taught me how to use it. It is wonderful all the people that I have met. I have two internet friends that I met in 1998 and have never met them in person but feel like they are almost family. Now, I am making new friends through having a blog.
Thanks for reading this.
The picture on the left is me in 1944 and
the one on the right is today.