Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One small gift...

This magical heart appeared on our kitchen window during the last snowstorm. Over the holidays, we had 4 storms in 7 days! I took a picture of it before the back window snow thawed out, not knowing how appropriate it would be for this blog.

I got in to see my doctor late last week and finally have some news to share. The pathology reports aren’t back on some of the other internal issues, but the spinal CT scan was fairly conclusive. I have very little disk left between my L5 and S1 vertebrae and thinning disks at the L4 and L3 levels as well. My doctor suspects that one of the clusters of nerves that leads down to the right leg (one that goes around the front area which is less common) is being pinched and is causing the pain. Degenerative disk disease is something that I can learn to live with. Keeping my weight reasonable and doing exercises for my core region to strengthen back and abs will probably help. I will probably start sitting on my ball rather than my office chair at the computer. I also know that shoveling is NOT a part of my winter activities anymore. I tried to do a bit last week between storms and the agony the next 3 days was not worth the calories burned as exercise!

What really brings me here tonight are not by own health concerns, but those of a close friend’s son. Grant has been waiting for a liver transplant for most of his 16 years, but things are getting critical. He is at the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto with his parents who are struggling to be brave as time seems to be slipping away from them. Prospects for livers are so slim right now that they are putting out a call for a partial liver donation instead and spreading the word through friends and family. This procedure only involves giving up a portion of a liver from a living donor, since the liver is the only organ that can regenerate and grow.

If you haven’t ever talked with your family about organ donation or signed an organ donor card, PLEASE don’t wait another day! There is such a huge shortage out there and such a great need. That new life can come from tragedy or loss is one of the greatest gifts out there.

Your prayers for Grant would be appreciated. Regardless of which faith you celebrate, please take a few moments to hold this young boy and his family in your heart.


Anonymous said...

*hugs* for both you and Grant (and my prayers for him). My Mom has degenerative disk problems and osteoarthritis. It's a hard thing to live with. Make sure that you explore all the possible options for treatment before you commit to anything.


Lori-Ann said...

Glad to have an update, but sorry it is mixed news.

I also deal with nerve problems stumming from my back... for about 13 years now. It took forever for a diagnosis, so I understand unpredictable pain in buttocks and legs although my situation is a little different than yours. No fun for sure, Jennifer (hugs). Getting used to restricting one's activities is a really hard thing to do, for sure! Good to see you have a plan to deal with this.

Grant is in my prayers. :(

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you , Grant and his family!

Your all in my prayers and thoughts!

Anonymous said...

YAY! An answer for you at last! That at least takes some of the burden away! And I have a friend who had a disc replaced(NOT fused) using cartiledge from his hip. Don't know if this would apply to you or not, but he has had no pain for the last 10 years as a result! I would also recommend massage therapy (I'm addicted!), for the pain management side. My prayers are with your friends, but just remember it is always darkest just before the dawn, and hope is a powerful thing.

Stacey in NS

Valerie said...

Glad to hear you have answers to your back pain. DDD is not fun - and snow shoveling is the first thing my own doctor took off my list. Twisting and bending were big no-no's.

As for Grant, I am very sorry to hear he is not doing well. I hope the call for a partial donation will do the trick...

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time.

Valerie in Bel Air, MD

tkdchick said...

Hey Jen,

You've been in my thoughts lately! Actually to the point I dreamed about you, you came ot Ottawa and joined me at Taekwon-Do! Needless to say in my dream I was just so happy to see you!

I'm glad to hear you have a reason for some of your probelms. Even though the pain may not go away its nice to know the "why", and be able to do something to help or slow it down.

Chin up and keep up your fantastic outlook on life and the world!