Hello all! It has been over a year since the journal has been updated so this entry will be rather long to tell everyone what we’ve been up to!
So Josh had another surgery in December 2012, right? That went all fine and good. Then in March 2013, after only a week of not having to wear his TLSO (that ugly turtle shell brace), he snapped a supporting rod while turning to cook pasta. Because of the way the rod broke, it was grinding back and forth causing weird auditory anguish, so Josh elected to have surgery again to “Splint” it with another rod.
We were able to take a lovely vacation at the end of July-beginning of August! We made a road trip out of it, drove to Colorado and back home via Wyoming & South Dakota. Took 13 days, over 4,000 miles, but it was totally and absolutely worth it. The mountains were beautiful, we were able to go places even with Josh's wheelchair! It was great to take a vacation ourselves and with the installation of hand controls in our car, made it a little easier on Whitney not having to drive all the time!
Throughout the summer of 2013, after healing from surgery #3, he subsequently broke the rest of the supporting rods in his back. From what we’ve heard from various doctors, this is because his T10 vertebra has never really healed completely. Because of that, there has been minute amounts of movement, or torsion, which if you bend a rod enough times, it weakens that bend spot, and will eventually break- hence the continual broken rods.
So, this has all been quite the medical journey. Josh’s original surgeon never came up with good answers as to why he wasn’t healing or why the rods kept breaking. After talking with some other doctors and hearing about what probably needs to be done to fix Josh’s back, a major surgery would be planned. So upon recommendation from Josh’s physiatrist Skip, we visited Fairview University in Minneapolis and had a consultation with Dr. Polly. He is a highly respected Orthopedic and Spinal surgeon with a lot of experience. We visited the hospital just last month, January 2014, and Dr. Polly recommended a full reconstruction. Without throwing all the medical terminology at you, this means all the hardware in his back will come out, and new stuff will be put in. This includes that T10 cage put in December 2012 that has never fully healed. A surgery this large requires 2 surgeons, 8-10 hours, and a large incision in his back and along his side, removing a rib in the process. He’ll be all scarred up!
This brings us to the end, with me telling you that surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday, February 10th, 2014. He will go into surgery around 7:30 AM and who knows when he will come out that day. His expected stay in the hospital there is 5-7 days, but I anticipate a little longer than that simply because in the past Josh has taken a bit longer to heal. After he is released from the hospital, he will attend inpatient rehab again- up in Duluth.
We are greatly looking forward to this surgery and with it the hope that Josh will be able to have a WAY better quality of life! That means not having to wear a TLSO all the time, get to go out and do normal stuff, even work out!
I posted some updated pictures from the past year, including a few from our trip out west. Take a look!
I will keep posting journal entries as time goes by in the hospital, and we look forward to seeing guestbook entries from you readers!
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