Saturday, September 8, 2012

All's Well that Ends Well

I feel that it has been way over do to write my next post.  The past week and a half has been quite tiring on this end and I would like to explain.  I'd also like to say that I hope to never have such a long time away again for such a reason.

My Husband is in the Navy.  His current job is quite exciting  - he's a Hovercraft Craftmaster!  He flies hovercrafts.  He spends his days at his command either flying, providing maintenance to his craft or doing boring paperwork.  He is a very physically fit person and thoroughly enjoys his mornings PTing (physically training).  Last Wednesday while running the obstacle course on base he fell, landing on his rear end.  Normally this type of fall would warrant a little rub on the area and not much else.  However, he fell over 8 feet off of a platform. 

It had been raining (like it does so often in our area) and the course was slippery.  He usually just jumps down from the platform and continues on, but for some reason on this day he decided to be careful.  He tried climbing down and dangling so he'd only drop 2 feet or so.  In the process his hand slipped before he was in position resulting in him falling and landing on his bum.  He stayed put for a minute, got up, checked for tingling/pain/numbness, felt nothing out of the ordinary so continued on the course. 

Later in the day he was sore.  Sore enough that he actually went to see someone about it.  In typical Navy remedy fashion they gave him some Ibuprofen for the discomfort.  But the doctor felt it was a serious enough incident to take some x-rays.  Thank goodness!  It turns out he really did do some damage to his back (not his booty).  The next step was to head over to the hospital for a CT scan.  After lots of waiting in the emergency room (because that's how the military healthcare works) he finally got to see a doctor who...ordered more x-rays. Again, the doctor was concerned enough that he said my Hubby needed a CT scan (Duh!  That is why he was there in the first place!!).  Well, those results came back and it turns out that he had a compression fracture in his T12 vertebrae.  It was serious enough that the doctor admitted him immediately, put him in back brace and told him he'd be there at least overnight.

As you can imagine Hubby was less than thrilled at this whole occurrence. Fast forward to the following morning.  I pack up the baby and head over to see our wounded man.  After a few more doctor visits, a consultation with a prosthetic technician, and some not-so-good hospital lunch food my Husband was released on the terms that:

1.) he was getting a custom brace made and should be in it on Monday (Labor Day).

2.) he had to be back Tuesday for more x-rays to see if the brace was helping.

3.) he had to leave the brace on whenever up and moving or lay down without it all weekend.  No out and about.  No lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (which our daughter is).  No bending, twisting, working out, etc.  No driving.

4.) he was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday if the brace was not doing what it needed to be.  The surgery would fuse together 5 of his vertebrae (T10-L2) permanently.  He would lose about 10-15% of his mobility due to this surgery and most likely have pain in the area later in life.

After a very long, tiring, and boring weekend we all headed back in for the follow-up.  We got the most amazing news!  He didn't need surgery!  The doctor was very happy with how the brace has been supporting him and feels that if he heals how his back is currently holding he would be able to live a very active life.  Then came the bad news.  No working for 30 days (minimum).  No driving.  No lifting. 

It has been hard on my Hubby because he is usually so active.  The brace is uncomfortable, keeping him in a strange position and itchy.  And he wants to be doing much, much more with our daughter. 

It has been frustrating for my daughter and I because we have become accustomed to him interacting with us both more often than he is capable of right now.  Plus, I'm whooped from 100% baby time! 

We are looking at the positives of the situation and focusing on his improving status.  We are very thankful that the outcome wasn't more serious (because it could have been so much worse).  I am impressed with the level of care he received at the naval hospital.  It was unexpected and is apparent that they had concern for my Husband's welfare.  There have been a few emotions surrounding this incident, and I'm sure more will come as he heals (he could be in the brace for 3 months or longer which means the same limitations apply).  I am just so very thankful that he is o.k..

Have you had scary medical moments in your or your loved one's life?

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