For better or for worse...

JimInVA

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For better or for worse...

So much of love and life is echoed within those words. I first pledged to them in marriage but find they are also much a part of every day living. In fact, I'm about to embark on another "for better or for worse" chain of events.

I've scheduled back surgery for November 12th. This surgery is for a degenerative spondylolisthesis and a degenerative disk that have become increasingly painful and which are affecting my ability for the physical part of care-giving (and most anything else). The surgery consists of two parts - a laminectomy (a decompression) and a spinal fusion (with pedicle screws and titanium rods). It will be a 6 hour surgery with 2 - 4 days stay in the hospital... 3 weeks of pain before it begins to subside... and 8-12 weeks minimum before I can lift anything of merit.

Gina, who already provides care-giving assistance for Darcey 3 days a week, will be here on a nearly full-time basis. She'll get Darcey up in the mornings, take care of meds, meals and potty breaks, and will get Darcey tucked back into bed each night. We're going to move Darcey's hospital bed from our upstairs bedroom to the downstairs dining room. Not having to move Darcey up and down in the stair lift will be helpful for Gina. And as I anticipate being awake and asleep at odd hours (likely based up mediation timing and pain levels), Darcey will sleep better at night if she's downstairs.

My son, Jim, is leaving Brooklyn and will take 2 - 3 months off of work (he does freelance film production for television advertisements) to become my primary caregiver. I've owned my own computer business since 1988 and was worried as to how I'd care for my loyal client base while I was down and out. But Jim, who worked for me a number of years in his youth and as an adult, will be filling in. And Andrew, who worked with me from his junior year in high school... through college... and several years after college, is taking a leave of absence from his current job (he is a lead computer tech for the NTSB) so as to be available to care for my client base (at least for the most critical first 3 - 4 weeks after surgery). And there's been another two handfuls of folks who said that they'd love to fill in from time to time to provide relief to Gina and Jim. Yep... I think we're going to be able to make this work.

With the date now locked in, I'm in a race with the calendar to get work caught up before I relinquish the reins. I'll continue to peek in but will likely return to "observer" mode for a time. Wish us luck as we continue on this great adventure called "Life"!

Always my best...

Jim
 

Nikki J

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Jim you will be in my thoughts. I am glad you have found a way to make this work. You and Darcey raised sons of whom you can be proud.

if anyone can drop in here or FB and let us know how things are that would be great.
 

MarieLaure

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Your family are a great team!
Sweet thoughts through surgery and all
 

affected

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I hope you can keep us updated as we are all behind you Jim - all the best for this surgery and the recovery. I'm so glad you have so much support so you can concentrate on recovering well 💙 💙 💙
 

lgelb

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Will be thinking of you, Jim. Just want to make sure you got a 2nd unrelated opinion on the surgery itself -- it's a heavy-duty one, on which honest opinions for indications may differ.

Best,
Laurie
 

KarenNWendyn

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Best wishes Jim. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought and preparation into this decision. I’m sure you put it off as long as you could, so it must be pretty uncomfortable at this point.
 

sassy

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Best wishes to you.
 

Narrowminded

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You will be in my prayers Jim. A difficult thing to do right now. So thankful you have a good team around you and Darcy. Hugs
 

KimT

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I'm praying for you, Jim. Sounds like you have wonderful sons.
 

JimInVA

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Laurie - Thanks for your concern and comments. I'm satisfied that this is the only viable option that I have for today and [hopefully] my many tomorrows.

Karen - You're correct in that I've put this off as long as possible. I've been dealing with the back pain since a fall while rock climbing broke my back (L1 - L3) in `99. But the nerve pain associated with the Grade 2 Spondy just isn't cutting it. It continues to worsen and already affects my ability to walk or stand. And there are already times when it puts me to the ground. I'm not going to be any good to anyone (including myself) if I don't care for this now.

Thanks everyone. Sometimes you've just got to share with "family". Thanks for letting me do so! :)

Jim
 

KateEmerson

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Wishing you the best Jim and hoping for a speedy recovery. What a wonderful family, friends, and caregiver you have.

Kate
 

affected

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Jim chronic pain is a terrible thing - I can't wait to hear how much this does for you and love your family rallying around you.
 

Jrzygrl

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All the best to you and your "tribe", Jim.
 

ReginaS

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Sending you good wishes and good wishes also for all your helpers and for your wife too. What a great team.
 

wishmobbing

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What an enormous amount of planning went into this so far! It almost sounds easy the way you break it down but I'm sure it's all kinds of stress. I'm sending lots of energy to your whole pack and you especially. Good luck, and better yet, excellent doctors for the surgery, quick healing and as little pain as plausible! Hope you get on your feet real quick so you get a little extra pause with all the helpers there. Take care!
 
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