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Wordless Wednesday: the Naked Gamer

via Welcome to my semi-crunchy life

I am eleven (11) days post-op for my spinal concerns and I am disheartened. It is getting harder and harder to remain optimistic about my recovery and what functionality I will be left with.

Before any of you say it is only eleven days, you must understand I have had this type surgery on two prior occasions.  In both of these prior instances, the relief I felt was almost immediate. I was up and walking, extensively within hours of my surgery. After this surgery it was almost four days before I could walk without agonizing pain.  I still have significant foot drop and neuropathy, all things that had improved drastically at  this point in my prior recoveries. I can only walk without my cane for a very short distance. If I walk very far at all I start stumbling and tripping over the ground. I am still reliant on prescription  pain medication more than I care to be.

The status of my recovery is causing me stress. I am worrying over what the future holds.  I worry what I will not be able to perform the essential functions of my job, my career. Then I worry what will I do if  I can’t do what I have been doing? I don’t know that I have the proper skill set to do anything else that will bring in a comparable income.  This comes as my oldest is about to start college, and I will have a child in college for the next decade.

I guess I will do what I must, just like I always have. I friend of mine once said “Steve, you have to quit worrying about the things you can not change.”  My response was ” Damn it Bob, the things I can change don’t worry me in the least, I just change them. It’s the things I can’t control that stress the hell out of me.”  Every time I get stressed about things beyond my control, I recall his words, but my response is still the same.

Writing this is in its own way a form of stress therapy.

Thanks For Reading

Steve AKA FatherNoRest

This is my beautiful brides very first blog post. If you are reader of mine, I ask you to travel on over to her blog at http://welcometomysemicrunchylife.wordpress.com/ and give her a try.
As Always
Thank for Reading
Steve AKA FatherNoRest

Who are you and what have you done with the old me?!? The old me would crank up the air conditioning so I could light the gas fire-place in July. The old me would crank up the heat so I could open the windows in January (mmmm fresh air). The old me always wanted to recycle (as a former beach bum I savored the thought of "saving the planet/oceans") in fact I did it ALL THE TIME if there happened to be a recycle bin right next to the trash bin.     … Read More

via Welcome to my semi-crunchy life

Memoirs of a Single Dad is running a small contest about the motivations of bloggers, specifically for love or money.  The winner is a random selection, but is a chance to foster community and share an opinion the topic. If you look around my blog you see that I have no sponsored posts and that the only ads, if any, that appear are to the benefit of WordPress .

My motivation for writing and maintaining this blog is my desire to write. I enjoy reading the posts of  many other parent bloggers and wanted to be a part of that community. I am enamored by the spirit of honesty and the desire to share stories, good and bad. This type of open and honest community fosters learning and improvement of us all, as parents and individuals. I have a hope that others can learn from me, and that I can also learn from them as well.

In addition to the love and desire to write, my blog serves as a communication tool. It is a place that family and friends can come and see updates  related to Tabitha, the children and myself, without having to weed through the thousands of useless posts on a certain social media website. You know the one that is becoming a haven to post links to videos, post generic updates over and over, and to beg people to help you in one game or another. I enjoy having control over the material that is presented. So I guess you can say there is a little narcissism to include within my motivations.

Now that I have said why I blog, the question that begs to be asked: Would I ever do a sponsored post or accept a free product in return for writing a review. I would have to say yes, with conditions. I would have to truly believe in the product and I would need to be open and honest.  I know that no company wants to negatively advertise their product, but I believe honesty in a review is a must or you are nothing but a TV commercial or print ad.

I currently write for the sake of writing, but I am a practical man. If the proper opportunity to profit from my writing presents itself, I would be fool not to accept it.  I know if something you enjoy becomes your job, then it loses its joy. However, if you can occasionally profit from you Hobby, then so be it.

Again, this post is a contest entry that has the potential to allow me to profit. Though subject is assigned, the opinion are all mine.

As Always Thanks For Reading,

Steve AKA FatherNoRest

P.S. Don’t forget to go to Memoirs of a Single Dad and to find links to what others have to say on this topic. Oh and Dan, if I win Best Buy is my candy store.

Dad and my kids

Sissy and Max love each other🙂

Max loves his Bubby

Last night we were under tornado warnings,  but most of the storms skirted around my neighborhood.  This morning as I look at the news, I realize how lucky we were  and what could have been.  It makes me stop and put my worries and problems in perspective.

As I say, my particular area was lucky, but many in our region have lost everything.  People to North, South and West of our area were hit by tornadoes.  To get a better idea of what I am referring to, you can see WAVY TV’s Slide Show of damage. You can also go see WTKR TV’s video of the aftermath.  I have seen news reports of worse damage in North and South Carolina. If you feel so moved please consider donations to the South Eastern Virginia Red Cross Chapter . Or a American Red Cross chapter in one of the other regions that received these devastating storms.
I have been stressed over my recent surgery, worried about my recovery.  Worrying whether I will be allowed to return to my job once my convalescence period is up. This morning those worries are placed aside and I am thankful. I am thankful that I got to hug the beautiful bride and each one of my children this morning, that I got to hug my Dad before he left to go back to West Virginia. I am thankful that I awoke in a warm, dry bed. I  was able to turn on the water and have fresh clean water to pour in my coffee maker, the electricity was working to allow my coffee to be brewed. Many things we all take for granted, as we complain about our problems and lament our poor luck, so many do not have.  Even though my back has and is currently causing some inconvenience, I have a great life. I have the basic necessities that many in the region would consider a luxury right now.

It is a shame that it takes the misfortune of others for many of us to count our blessings, and though I have many of my own worries and issues, they are nothing to that of those affected by last nights nasty weather.

Thanks for Reading and please consider a donation to the Red Cross. You don’t have to use the link I provided or the chapter I linked to.  Look over the news reports and pick one of  the many regions of the Mid-Atlantic / South-East that was devastated and do what you can to help.

Steve AKA FatherNoRest

An Open Letter of Gratitude

To all my family, friends, tweeps, Facebook friends, Blog readers and some people I don’t even know,

I have received so many well wishes, positive vibes and prayers. I am truly grateful that you took time from your own concerns to consider mine.

I have found my name to be on the prayer list of the church that my ex-wife, her husband and my three older children attend. I have had prayers offered up by many of numerous beliefs, so chances are one of you is right lol. Personally, I am not very religious. However, I am thankful that so many of you took time to think of me in your prayers and thoughts. To those who know the strangers who sent vibes or prayers on my behalf, please convey my gratitude.

As I am on morphine and percocet, I will wrap this up. But will say once again, THANK YOU ALL

Steve AKA FatherNoRest

PS excuse anything that makes no sense, as I am receiving very good pain management.

Huddle

Emerald's nose stuck in phone. Isaiah causing more weeds in lawn

What is my daddy doing?

Uhoh Sissy got Max

My Upcoming Surgery

For those of you who have read My Wretched Spine , you know that I have been having back trouble again.  I have since been back to the spine specialist and have a plan to getting better, at least somewhat.

I have to go the hospital in the morning to have my pre-operative screening done,  just some blood work. Provided that all checks out, I see no reason it wont, I will go in for surgery Thursday. The surgical plan is to do a hemilaminectomy and discectomy on two levels of my lumbar spine.

I am going to explain my symptoms and the surgery with the  use of some illustrations and try to not get too technical for my non-medical readers. For my medical reader, sorry for the over simplification.

Spine as seen in Gray’s Anatomy textbook on http://www.bartleby.com

The image to the to left represents the entire spine. In the image you can see that the spine is divided into sections, the cervical with 7 vertebrae, the thoracic with 12 vertebrae and the lumbar with 5 vertebrae. Between each of the vertebrae there is what is  commonly called the disc. The disc is filled with a jelly like substance that provides cushioning for the  spine.  Sometimes, when the back is injured the disc either bulges or ruptures. In the case of a bulge, the jelly like substance is pressing on the outer layer of the disc causing it to protrude outside the body of the vertebrae. In the case of the rupture (also known as a herniated disc) the jelly like substance breaks through the outer layer, dries up, and hardens. The bulge or rupture can happen toward the front, back or either side.

In my particular case the areas of concern for my surgery are with L4-L5 (the disc between the fourth and fifth vertebrae) and L5-S1 (Lumbar five and Sacrum or the tailbone).  I also have some slight bulge at the area of the L3-L4, but the surgeon doesn’t feel that this area needs surgical intervention. My disc are ruptured and bulged to back and to the right, thus the pain and numbness are on the right side of my buttocks and down my right leg all the way to the foot

Lumbar vertebrae as seen on http://www.back.com

The image above shows the lumbar vertebrae in the axial view. An axial view is as if the vertebrae is removed from the spine and is seen from above.  The vertebral foremen,  the hole behind the body, is where the spinal cord passes.  When the disc is protruding to the rear, it pushes on the nerves and causes pain and numbness to areas of the body below the area of injury.

Herniated disc as seen on http://health.allrefer.com

The above image shows a herniated disc that is compressing on the spinal cord. This a sagital or lateral view, which is a view from the side.

Now that I have went through mechanism of my pain and numbness, I am going to give a brief description of the surgery. First in a discectomy, the disc or protruding portion of the disc is surgically removed, to relieve the pressure on the nerves. Second they are going to do the hemi-laminectomy.  This involves shaving a portion of the vertebrae called the lamina(refer to the second image of this post), to remove pressure from the nerve roots.

In my past two surgeries the relief was immediate, but there is an eight week or more recovery period. Realistically speaking, the surgeon has informed me that getting a 51% percent improvement of my symptoms will be considered a success, especially given that I have had prior surgeries on these areas twice.  He feels that there is a good chance that I will get more than 51% improvement, but if that is all I get, than surgery has not failed.

Of course there are always risks with surgery and anesthesia. I am not too concerned with anesthesia, I have been through three surgeries under general anesthesia and never had an adverse reaction. There is an increased risk of a spinal fluid leak, as I have scar tissue from my prior spine surgeries. Even if a spinal leak occurs, it is a relatively minor complication.

Again, I write this to inform, not to search for sympathies.  I have a rather large family, and this seems the easiest way to provide the information to those who care to know.

As always,

Thanks for Reading

Steve aka FatherNoRest

Hey gang, John the author of The Daddy Yo Blog invited me to guest blog. This is one of my favorite blogs to read. He is also @thedaddyyodude on twitter.
John is an inspiration as a parent and blogger. It was a great honor to be asked to guest post on his blog.
My post is Charity is More Than Writing a Check. So get on over to The Daddy Yo Blog and read my article. After your done with mine look around, you will like what you see.
A big thanks to John for allowing to reach his audience.