4 weeks post-op

I can't believe it has been 4 full weeks since my surgery! In some ways it feels like just yesterday that I was wheeled into the OR, and in other ways it feels like the days are going by in slow motion.

At 4 weeks post-op, here are the things I am now able to do:

- Put my own socks on.
This is a bigger deal than it sounds like, and I am very proud of this. Here's how I do it without bending my back:
     1. Lay on my back on the bed or couch
     2. Pull knees up towards chest, while leaving feet on the bed
     3. Pull one leg carefully up and let the foot rest on the opposite knee
     4. Pull sock over foot that is resting on knee
     5. Repeat process with opposite foot until both feet have a sock on
And, I can do this in under 5 minutes...amazing!

-Walk for 30 minutes at a time, indoors.
I never wear other clothes besides my sweatpants and hoodies, and my hair is always up in a messy ponytail. I have forgotten what I look like with make-up on, and don't remember what regular non-fuzzy slipper- shoes feel like. These are reasons I walk indoors. I may look crazy walking in circles round and round the coffee table, but at least my neighbors can't see it. My dog, on the other hand, looks at me with deep concern in his eyes.

-Sit for around an hour with no support
I have amazing posture now. Who needs a chair-back when you have an endoskeleton like this?

-Turn the sink handles on and off
I am very excited about this development. Not being able to turn the water on and off is sure to make you feel like you're in kindergarten all over again.

-Take my painkillers every 4 hours instead of every 2
This has made my stomach feel much better! I do not miss feeling sick 24 hours a day. I am looking forward to when I can cut back even more, but I am taking my time and not pushing myself too hard.

-Watch T.V.
You would not think this would be hard to do. But I actually couldn't focus enough to watch a T.V. show or movie very well in the first 2 weeks of recovery. And even though I started watching some T.V. at around 3 weeks, I couldn't tell you what I watched. Being able to spend a few hours completely distracted from my current situation has been very nice. (I am still not able to read for more than 5-10 minutes without falling asleep; I'll probably have to be on less drugs before I can focus enough to read.)

-Go up and down the stairs 4-5 times a day
I still try not to overdo this one, I can really feel the consequences when I do.

-Heat up my own food/prepare my own snacks
Now that I am able to go up and down the stairs more than 1 time per day, I am able to get anything (and by anything I am referring to things that are at the correct height where I neither have to bend down to, or reach up towards) my heart desires to eat, or rather my stomach can handle with all my pain meds.

And those are just a few things. I really am happy with my progress, and am seeing a little flexibility returning every day. There are definitely things that I am not able to do, (putting dishes in the dishwasher is perplexing to me, as is giving non-robotic hugs) but when something seems too hard I remind myself of how far I've come. When I first got home from the hospital, I could not reach my sink-handles at all. I had to ask for help every time I needed to brush my teeth or wash my hands. I thought it was going to be like that the rest of my life, and visions of some sort of awkward sink-handle adapter filled my mind. But now that I am able to reach them again,  I realized that my muscles are slowly relaxing the further out from the surgery I get. I will probably be able to do things like refill the dog-food bowl on the floor, or pick up my cell phone off the floor, at some point in the future. I just have to be patient while my body heals, and figure out how to do things a little differently with my new back.

In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to give non-robotic hugs, let me know.

growing bone...

I am growing bone. It sounds strange, but that is what I'm doing right now. When I had my surgery 4 weeks ago today, part of the surgery included placing a mixture of my crushed up hip and facet joint bone combined with cadaver bone in titanium cages inside some of my vertebra. I can't remember how many are actually fused now, I think at least 3 of my discs were removed and fused in the way described in this video (except my surgery was all posterior, ie. from the back not the front). As I've mentioned before, I already had one level fused in this way 2 years ago, at the L2-3. So I think I have a total of 4 fused vertebra if I remember correctly. The instrumentation (ie. the 2 rods, 26 screws and two bridges) are only there to hold the spine still while this bone grows into a solid mass. It's also why I have to be very careful not to bend or twist for the next 6 months, so that the bone is not disturbed in any way. It's amazing to me that this mixture of bone actually grows. I am also amazed that people figured out you could take cadaver bone and place it in a living person's spine and it would have a whole new life!

The Bone Growth Stimulator
Last week I got my Bone Growth Stimulator. It is this fancy contraption that I have to wear 4 hours a day. It doesn't feel like anything is going on, but the brace sends a pulsed electromagnetic field or PEMF into my body and stimulates my bone to grow stronger and faster than if it had to heal by itself. My surgeon wanted me to wear it because I've already had surgery 3 times on the same area, and he wants to make sure that my bones get all the help they can get. Here is what the website says about how this works:

"Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) bone growth stimulation is a safe, non-surgical treatment prescribed by a physician to promote spinal fusion and to heal non-union fractures. Electrical currents have been used to heal bones since the mid-1800s. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that scientists made the important discovery that when human bone is bent or broken, it generates an electrical field. This low-level electrical field activates the body's own repair mechanism, which in turn stimulates bone healing."

Me with my "positive results"
So, I have to wear this thing for probably the next few months, for 4 hours a day, broken up into 1 hour segments. At first I was not too happy about having to wear it, especially because I can't lay down with it on. But, I have found it has motivated me to use those hours each day to spend focused time walking and sitting up. I know that sounds odd, but sitting up is actually quite hard when all your back muscles have been cut through! I can already see positive results after just a week of using the time to build my core muscles back up again.

I am so amazed by all the science and technology that is helping me heal. I also realize how blessed I am to live in a country where this kind of medical treatment is available for me. 

on track...

Sorry it's been a while! I haven't felt like writing for the last week and a half. When I started this blog, I promised myself I would be honest about the good, the bad and the ugly. I don't want anyone to read it and think this recovery is easier than it is, or harder. I am usually a very positive person, because I have hope through my faith. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this last week has been a real challenge to my up-beat attitude.

Not that anything bad has happened, my recovery is on the right track with big and small improvements everyday. But nothing prepared me for the mental challenge of almost 3 weeks trapped in my bedroom, and almost 4 weeks before I stepped outside my front door for the first time. It doesn't help that the pain killers I'm taking around the clock are depressants, and that I get a little less than 4 hours of sleep at a time for the last 3 and a half weeks. Top it off with the constant pain and discomfort and you've got a recipe for a bad mood!

I have to remind myself constantly that this part is not going to last forever. And when I get discouraged, I try to look back at where I was a week ago and see how far I've actually come. I may not be able to put my socks on just yet, but I'm able to sit on the couch, heat up some food for a meal, and sit up for almost an hour at a time now without any support. I've also been able to push my pain meds back by half an hour, which eliminates about 2 doses from what I was taking. I'm hoping by the end of next week to push it back another half hour. So I am on track. Those are all big things that I couldn't do a week ago.

But that's hard to remember when your laptop is on the floor and you can't pick it up and have to get your husband to get it for you. Or when you're not able to go out with your friends, get groceries, or simply put on my socks! I'm missing all those normal, everyday kind of things.

Ultimately though, I am content with where I am. I know this time is absolutely necessary for my body to recover. If I start doing things too soon, I can actually prolong my recovery. So I am asking daily for patience and strength to withstand this slow and often painful part. I know that this "momentary, affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). I know this healing process is temporary, even when it's slow, painful, and hard to see the finish line. As long as I remind myself that every part, every hour of my day is not just mine but my Creator's, my discouragement melts away and is replaced with a peace that passes all understanding. It sometimes just takes me a while to remember that!

I do want to say that I've seen some amazing things through sharing my journey with you all. Every time I've asked for prayer for something, I've seen God answer those requests almost right away. When I asked for my headache to pass, it was gone by the next morning. When I asked that I'd be able to get better sleep, I started sleeping better. And when I asked that the swelling start to go away on it's own, it has! So thank you for praying for me. I can't imagine going through this painful time without the knowledge that I was being supported by so many people.

slowly but slowly...

I thought I would check in and let you know how I am doing. Overall I am doing very well. I am able to walk for about 10 minutes now, every few hours. I am sleeping better, though I still wake up every four hours because my pain will not let me sleep any longer without another dose. My muscles get very stiff while I sleep at night, so mornings are a little rough when I first wake up. I need to get up immediately and walk up and down the hallway for at least 5 minutes to get my muscles warmed up and relaxed. I have found that hot showers are almost as powerful as the prescribed muscle relaxer I'm taking, so I take between 1 and 3 hot showers a day.

I was able to lay on the couch propped up with pillows for the first time last night, and just being in a different room besides my bedroom lifted my spirits quite a bit. I managed to pour my own cereal for the first time since my surgery this morning, and even heated up my own lunch!

It's strange because I seem to be getting stronger every day, but my pain doesn't seem to go down at all. I get very discouraged sometimes, and have to remind myself daily that it's not going to be like this forever. It's exhausting to be in so much pain with so little relief day after day. I know I am making progress, the fact that I was able to prepare my own meals today is huge, but the pain is unrelenting.

Anyway, I am praying that my pain starts to go down soon, although I don't really expect it to for a few more weeks. The people I talked to before I had the surgery, who had it themselves all said the same thing, that it takes around 2 months for the initial pain to start to ebb. As I'm only 3 weeks post-op, I have a ways to go.

I am very thankful I haven't had any major complications, and my strength levels are ahead of most people at this stage. But please keep me in your prayers, that I would not get discouraged and that I would be able to take less pain medicine during the day.

I knew it would be hard, and it's not really harder than I expected. It's just slow and painful, and very boring.

Before and After!

I had my first post-op visit with my surgeon today. I am happy to tell you all everything is healing the way it should be right now! My surgeon was very happy with the fusion, and how much I am able to walk. The only thing that is of a little concern is I have incision swelling that has not gone down since my surgery. It's not getting worse, but it hasn't reduced yet either. He didn't want to drain it just yet, because there is a risk of infection if the area around the stitches is punctured, and there is also risk that my spinal head ache could come back. He decided to wait until my next post-op visit in two weeks to see if it goes down at all. So, I'd love it if you all could be praying that the swelling goes away on its own, so I don't need any drain! Other than the swelling though, everything is looking really good. I was really surprised that the trip down town (my first time in a car in two weeks!) went very well. I didn't feel sick at all, and my pain was very manageable. It feels like I've come a very long way in two weeks.

Pre-op T52  degrees and L52 degrees, Post-op T15 degrees and L15 degrees
It was amazing to see my new spine. I am so excited! Here is my post-op x-ray along side my pre-op x-ray. I am fused from T4-L4, with 26 screws. I didn't end up needing to be fused to my sacrum after all. During the surgery my surgeon was happily surprised by the flexibility in my spine, and was able to get almost perfect correction with less hardware. I am a little nervous about not being fused all the way down, because it means I will have to be extra easy on those few bottom discs for the rest of my life. But I am glad I have that little bit of flexibility for now, and it seems like the trade-off is worth it. My surgeon was able to get my curves down to around 15 degrees, (they were both 52 degrees pre-op) which is more than he was thinking he would be able to get originally. A successful scoliosis correction is 50% of the original curve, so I am really blessed to get such a great correction.

I also want to share how amazing the correction has been on a superficial level. My back is still very swollen, but even with the swelling you can see the amazing difference between my pre-op back and my post-op back.
Pre-op and 2 weeks post op.
I feel very blessed that my surgery went so well, and that my recovery is going so well. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I have a long way to go, but I am very encouraged!

2 Weeks Post-Op

Just thought I'd check in again and let you all know how I'm doing!

It seems we finally found a way to balance the pain meds with the amount of fiber to eat, and so I'm not constantly feeling painfully bloated any more. I'm up and walking every 2 hours for about 5 minutes at a time, without my walker. I still need my walker to get in and out of bed, and if I walk for more than 5 minutes I get very tired. I'm giving myself little goals of increasing the walking time by a minute every 2 or 3 days. I am also able to go up and down the stairs, but I'm only doing that 2 times a day right now, and have to go very slowly. Sitting up is hard, but I am trying to sit up for all my meals now (partly because I was tired of spilling everything on myself; try eating cereal while lying flat on your back, it's not as easy as it looks) but I am only able to sit for about 5 minutes without any support. I can sit up a little longer if I'm propped up at an angle with pillows, but this is not very comfortable yet.

Rib Hump
My pain seems to go up and down throughout the day, and it changes intensity often. I can feel different parts of my back "waking up" and that can be very painful. Up until a few days ago, my entire back was numb, except for an aching pain. Now I can feel the rods, as well as sharp, shooting pains that run around my shoulders. There is a lot of burning feeling too, but all these pains are part of the healing process. All the nerves running down my back were severed when I had the surgery, and that's why it was numb for a while. Now the nerves are healing, and the tingling, shooting and burning are just the nerves coming back to life. The worst pain is a deep aching pain where my rib hump used to be. (A rib hump results from the rib cage rotating along with the spine, altering the contour of the ribs. That rotation causes a "hump" either in the lumbar or thoracic region.) I have a completely flat back now, with no rotation or hump, but the muscles are all in different places and the pain results from all the manipulation of those muscles. 

I haven't been able to cut down on the pain pills at all yet, but that's very normal for this surgery. Some people don't even start cutting back until the 3 month mark, so I'm giving myself a lot of slack in that area. If I cut back before I'm ready, the pain will keep me from doing the sleeping and walking that I need to do to get my strength up.

I am sleeping a lot better the last three nights, after I asked my dr. for a sleeping pill. I was having a hard time falling back to sleep after I woke up for my mid-night doses, and was really struggling during the day. After getting the sleeping pills, I am now able to wake up and fall back to sleep with no problems. Sleep is such a big part of this recovery, I could see an immediate improvement once I was able to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.

So, all in all, I'm doing very well and feel very blessed that my recovery is currently uneventful and boring. I have my first post-op appointment tomorrow, and will get my first look at my new back from the inside. I'll be sure to take a picture so you all can see the change too!

misery loves company...

I have been thinking a lot about how knowing other people with scoliosis has really helped me through this surgery. Before 3 years ago, I don't think I'd ever had a conversation with someone with scoliosis. So, for the majority of my life, and my battle with my curves, I dealt with my scoliosis in isolation. I don't mean that as a knock on my parents or friends, God has surely blessed me with great family and friends, but I mean it in the way that they will never know exactly how it feels to be crooked, to wear a brace every night for years, or the challenge of choosing between being flexible or crooked the rest of their lives. I think I was very blessed that my curves really did not affect much of my life when I was a teenager. I only wore my brace at night, and no one ever teased me because my curves were unnoticeable. I have often wondered how hard it would have been if my curves were more advanced at that young age, and if I would have suffered insecurities as a result. I am sure with no friend to relate to in that area, my self-esteem could have taken a very harsh beating at that tender age.

When I first started having terrible pain about 3 years ago, I started searching the internet for more information on scoliosis. (As a side note, I think it is interesting how I was content with what little knowledge I had about scoliosis until I started having problems. I am not sure what that says about me, but I think it does have something to do with denial and laziness.) I stumbled across the National Scoliosis Foundation Forums. People of all ages from all over the world, who either have scoliosis themselves, or are parents of children with scoliosis, post their thoughts, questions, experiences and advice. I was so relieved to talk with people, even if it was over the internet, who understood the frustrations and challenges of this strange deformity. I sometimes read things written on there that I have thought word for word in my head.

Without speaking, sometimes almost daily, with other women my age with similar curves and pain problems, I don't know that I would have taken on the challenge of this surgery now. But after talking with many women with scoliosis who were forced to the have the surgery in their 50's when their bones were no longer in the best shape, or to women who's curves progressed after having children, I began to really think about what my scoliosis meant for my future. If I had continued to live with this, without the benefit of knowing other's perspectives, I am pretty sure I would have waited until absolutely necessary to have it. And that may have been fine, or it could have had dismal consequences. But now, even though I am still in a lot of pain, and have a lot of recovering to do, I am already glad I did the surgery. I feel that listening to these women, and having them answer my many questions, really helped me make a great decision.

I can't imagine going through this experience without those perspectives, or without the comfort that community of fellow scoliosis sufferers brought as I struggled with my decision. Even if I never needed the surgery, or had decided to wait, I still would have been comforted by the knowledge that I was not alone in my struggle. It brings to mind the verse in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, that reminds us that God comforts us so that we can be a comfort to those who are suffering as we are. When we first encounter trial or suffering, it may seem like we are the only ones who have ever suffered the way we suffer. And that feeling of isolation can be heavy, and keep us from seeking comfort from others. Or the opposite may be true. In suffering, a person may feel so awful, all they want to do is make others feel as awful as they do, as the old saying goes, "misery loves company."

But what I have found is not that I am glad other people have the same problem I do, or even that some people have much worse conditions. That is not where I find my comfort. I find comfort in the people who despite having the problem I have, are doing well, living life to the fullest and are victorious over their difficulties. And, as a Christian, I find comfort in the knowledge that my struggles and pains may help other people through theirs.

To sum it all up, I will say this: while comparison is the enemy of contentment, (it leads either to envy or pride), community is the friend of comfort. Having even one person who has struggled with, or is struggling with what you yourself struggle with can bring you relief. To know that someone really understands your pain, because they have felt it first hand can shake you out of a self-absorption or delusion that "no one has ever felt as badly as I do." We are not meant to suffer alone. And when we find others who have suffered like we do, we should do everything we can to be a comfort and an encouragement to them. I have many friends from that scoliosis forum who keep sending me messages of encouragement, reminding me that the pain will not last, and the suffering is worth the end result. Those messages are very uplifting for me in my current state. And I hope to be that encouragement for others who will come after me. I pray that my suffering and pain will not isolate me from others, but will make me that much more of a blessing to those who need it.

Lastly, I wanted to share this video with you all. I was having a rough morning earlier this week, feeling very sick and struggling with my lack of bending, when I came across this interview:

I was uplifted and encouraged by this, and reminded once more that ultimately everything in my life is meant to glorify God. Even the scoliosis. I hope that my suffering can be used to point others to Him, and in Him they will find the only kind of comfort that really lasts.


I am at the moment, feeling pretty good. In other words, I am neither in a ton of pain, nor am I feeling sick to my stomach! So, I thought I'd capitalize on this rarity and use it to thank those of you who have been so supportive of me and my family through this huge challenge!

I have been blown away by the numbers of people, most of whom I've never met, that are praying for me. I can not think of a better way to help me at the moment, so please continue! I am seeing small improvements every day, and have actually been able to sleep in four hour increments over the last two nights (the most since my surgery). I am able to walk without my walker very well, and am able to go up and down the stairs very slowly, once a day. My stomach is still very upset by the daily intake of drugs, but I knew that I would have a hard time with this and we are very close to figuring how much fiber I need to eat to counter-act the amount of pain killers I'm taking every 2 hours.

I am also amazed by the people who have brought us delicious dinners since I've been home. My mom has been on the same schedule as me, and therefore getting only a little more sleep than I have, and it has been incredibly helpful for her not to have to cook. Thank you to each person who has taken the time to bring us a hot meal!

Thank you for sending me books to read, movies to watch, and magazines to pass the time. Your kindness has been such a blessing and encouragement to me. I don't feel like I'm going through this alone, but like I have a crowd of people wishing me well, and cheering me on.When I have rough hours, that feeling is invaluable.

Thank you to every person who has asked me how I'm doing. It means the world to me know that people care!

This is the hardest thing I have ever done, and it's not going to be easy any time soon. Your love and support are blessing me moment by moment and I want you all to know how much I appreciate it.

what it's like...

I am now semi-alert, so I thought I'd take a stab at describing what I can remember of my hospital/surgery experience.

I'll start with Monday morning. We got about 2 or 3 hours of sleep Sunday night, and when I woke up, it just didn't seem real. I've had 3 previous spinal surgeries, so the getting up and going to the hospital routine is almost habit now, and I think I just let myself feel like it was "just another surgery" to get myself out the door.

We got to the hospital at 5 a.m. and everything goes pretty quickly when you're scheduled to be first surgery of the day. I asked specifically to be the 1st surgery so that I couldn't get pushed back in line, due to a surgery ahead of me taking longer than expected. I've had that happen before, and waiting in the waiting room with no food, no liquids, no meds, and no sleep is a very hard thing to endure. So I made sure I got that 1st slot when I scheduled my surgery date, and I'm glad I did it. Everything went almost too fast. I had to say goodbye to my mom and my husband almost as soon as I was checked in. But again, I think it was better than having those moments of anticipation dragged out any longer than they had to be.

mark from blood pressure monitor
I was whisked away to the pre-op room, and they started the process of hooking me up to all the machines and IV's that would help me through the next 7 hours. I got 2 IV's in my arms, a monitor that plugged into my arm that kept track of my blood pressure, and a line in my neck. I was sedated for all of these, and it's a strange experience to lay there awake, but feeling no pain as someone starts digging around in your arm for a good vein.

Honestly, I was very nervous. I knew this was a life threatening, permanent life-changing surgery. I had to take deep breaths over and over to keep myself from crying. I was not particularly scared, just nervous. I was very happy once they gave me the sedation because I could finally start checking out. I was also very blessed by a last minute discovery. One of our friends is an anesthesiologist assistant and works at the hospital where I had my surgery. He asked to be put on my case, and monitored my anesthesia during the full 7 hour surgery. He was also able to send my husband texts about every 30 minutes to let him know how I was doing. I am so thankful for this because I know if the situation was reversed, I would have been dying of stress just waiting in a waiting room for 7 hours while the person I love is undergoing such major surgery.

My last memory before going under is seeing that friend's face, and feeling so happy that someone who knew me and really cared whether I made it was going to be with me the whole time.

The next thing I remember is waking up in my private room, and someone asking me to move my toes. I moved them and felt so happy. I don't remember any pain at that point. It is like being very, very sleepy and people waking you up for a second.

My face all puffy from the anesthesia
God protected me in that surgery, and really blessed the outcome. There were no complications, and I was so stable coming out of anesthesia that I did not have to go to ICU. This is almost unheard of. I know it's because God heard all the prayers, and gave me that strength. I did end up needing a transfusion of 2 pints of blood on Tuesday evening. But this is very common, and not even considered a complication after a surgery of this magnitude. They used to make you donate your own blood because you end up loosing so much during the surgery. I opted not to, as I felt I would be stronger going in "full", and would need less transfused blood. Transfusions take forever by the way, but they are nothing scary. You just lay there and the blood drips down the line into your IV, and I think the whole process took around 4 hours. I found out I am O positive.

After I got the transfusion, I felt much stronger and was able to get up and walk around without getting dizzy or feeling sick. They took me off the morphine and switched me to oral pain meds and that's when I can start to remember things more clearly. I do remember a sweet friend visiting me and bringing me food, which I have to say is so helpful when all you have to eat is the nasty hospital food.

As you already know, I was doing so well by the 4th day that I came home. Again, this is very, very rare. I also would not recommend anyone to come home from the hospital after a surgery this huge after such a short time. But my mom is medically trained, and I knew she would be able to help me. I'm glad I got out of there when I did, even with the spinal headache. Being miserable in your own bed is much better than being miserable in the hospital bed. (But that is ONLY if you have a super Mom who knows what to do when things get bad! If she hadn't been here, I would have had to go back to the hospital right away.)

Well, that's all the energy I have for this right now! Again, thanks for the prayers. I really believe they made a difference in how that week went!

checking in...

Well, I must have readers who pray. After I posted yesterday, I immediately started feeling better, and by this morning my headache was completely gone. Thank you. I am now able to take short walks, sit up for a few minutes at a time, and took my 1st shower since before my surgery! Praise God!

I'm still not up to much typing, but I just had to tell  you all how thankful I am for your support. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. So keep 'em coming! I am now focused on getting my pain controlled without making myself too sick from the side effects, and this is a VERY hard line to walk. Please pray that this would be worked out over the next few days, and that I would start being able to sleep.

Before I check out, I just wanted to share this photo. The bottom mark is how tall I was last Sunday, December 26th. Five feet 8 inches.

The top mark is my new height as of Monday, December 27th. Somewhere around five feet 9 1/2 inches.

I told you I would be taller! =)

home safe...

It has been almost a week since my surgery, and for those of you who have been praying for me I want to say THANK YOU. I came through the whole thing with flying colors, and did so well I skipped ICU and came home from the hospital on day 4. I am so thankful I did not have any major complications, like paralysis, fluid in the lungs or infection. God really blessed that surgery, me, and my family. I will tell you all about it when I'm feeling a little more up to it.

post-op life is very glamorous as you can see here.
I currently have one major obstacle, which is a spinal headache which I got during the surgery (a very common problem during spinal surgery, when the spinal cord is punctured and the fluid leaks out causing terrible headaches when standing/sitting up). It has lasted about 3 days so far, and can last up to a week. This is a BIG problem for me because the only cure for this horrible, super-sized migraine type pain is laying completely flat and drinking lots of caffeinated drinks. Not being able to take the short walks that are needed after this huge surgery to help ease pain, and get the bowels moving has been incredibly painful. I am getting very little sleep, and eating very little because I can't keep it down. Every time I get up, I have an intense headache and can throw up if I take too long going to the bathroom.

So I'm asking, PLEASE pray that God heals this headache immediately. Thank you for the prayers for my surgery. God heard and answered them according to His perfect will!