Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Busted Back, A Birthday and Finally Some Sleep!

Well.....it's been an eventful couple of weeks and not really in a good way either.  It all started like an any other day; I got up when Penelope woke up and took her straight to the change table and changed her nappy. And that's where the comparison to any other day ends. My back went into a spasm which I at first ignored, then as I lifted her up the pain was so excruciating that ignoring it was no longer an option.Turns out I actually ruptured a disc at the top of the lumbar area of my spine.

 In layman's terms what has happened is this: the disc which cushions the two vertebrae (L1 and L2) has protruded out of it's allocated spot right at the centre of the back bit of it and is heading right for my spinal column. Then it's ruptured on the top bit of that, so that the gel stuff inside it is heading upwards along my spinal column. The disc which has ruptured is the L1/L2 disc, which is almost halfway up my back. Apparently the lumbar region is the most common area to rupture a disc, but the top one which is the one I've wrecked, is the least common of all the discs to rupture. Something like less than 5% of all ruptures are this disc. Of course. I wouldn't expect anything else.

I will say with all honesty here, that up until two weeks ago I had never experienced pain that compared to giving birth, even broken bones don't hurt as much as labour. But a ruptured disc in your back - the pain is without a doubt the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life, including giving birth naturally 5 times.
Anyway, I'm spending the vast majority of my time in that semi-reclined position on the couch, and I'm taking a lot of medication. But on the upside, my doctor is reasonably confident that I won't need surgery. He said that he'll have a better idea after 6 weeks but fingers crossed! Most ruptures do heal on their own, taking between a few months to a couple of years. Once the pain settles hopefully around that 6 week mark, I'll be in for some intensive physio and pilates and that's really the best case scenario at the moment. 
 
 
 
I still get to have cuddles with my baby though!

We had already organised to attend a sleep clinic for Penelope which obviously we couldn't go to because of my back. So the wonderful health nurse came to us! Things had really gotten to a point where we needed her to sleep all night, and we needed to not have to rock her to sleep all the time. So we implemented her strategies, and I'm happy to say that we have a baby who sleeps all night now!! She's cried a little, certainly nowhere near the amount we were expecting though. And last night was probably the worst - she was screaming the house down at bedtime! But it was definitely an angry cry, not an overly upset one and it only lasted around 10 minutes. So I'd say that's success!!! It's been exactly a week now since we fully implemented the strategies (which basically centre around a bedtime routine where she doesn't have any interaction with anyone else in the house except the person who is bathing and feeding her and no other stimulation like tv and toys etc), and it's fantastic to not have to get up 3 or 4 times a night. Not that I could at the moment anyway, but it still feels great to know she finally sleeps!!!! 


We have noticed that she moves so much more now in her sleep though! She ends up upside down, round the wrong way, bum in the air.....last night I found her squished up right against the top wall of her cot, longwise so she took up the whole space with her arm underneath her!! But go in half hour later or so and she's totally moved to the other side of the bed! Apparently this is because she is getting much better restorative sleep so her brain is practicing all the things she's learned throughout the day. Translation: we think she just rolls around her bed until the bars force her to stop!! 


The other thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks was the Awesome One's birthday! I had planned on getting him a record player for quite some time now. He had one back in America but being that electrical stuff doesn't easily adapt to a different country he didn't bring it with him. So he has all this vinyl that he hasn't been able to listen to quite literally in years! I had broken the surprise because I didn't want to buy the wrong thing, but was still going to get it myself. Unfortunately circumstances then meant he had to not only know about his birthday present in advance, he had to go and buy it and pick it up himself as well!!! Which did quite depress me, but I cheered up when I saw how happy he was to fiddle around with setting it all up and listen to some records! 

 

It's not the most expensive model, but it's a decent one and didn't break the budget too much. 



Penelope has also now learned the joy of licking the spoon so to speak! She tasted some of the chocolate frosting the Eldest One made for the birthday cake, and was pretty impressed I have to say. Messy....but impressed!! 


 So the kids have been pretty helpful while I've been able to do nothing, the Eldest One more so than anyone. While she was folding some clean washing Penelope thought she'd like to help. So here's a couple of photos of Miss P helping. :)



 



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2 comments:

  1. That's a really lovely photo of you and the little Miss asleep on the couch...painful probably, but cute just the same. She's an excellent helper isn't she? :o) big hugs and kisses..xxx

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    1. Haha, yes she thinks she is a wonderful helper!!! It's an ok photo, Matthew took it and he thought it was pretty cute so that's why I put it on here. xxx

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