For those of you who follow us on Instagram you may have caught this photo in our feed a few weeks ago.
Below is a post ALL about Cason's back pain.
Because it's important to me that we tell our story. Because SO MANY of you have asked tons of questions. Because when we went "googling" for answers, someone took the time to write out their experience, and it really helped us.
FYI: I'm not sugar coating anything. This is our real experience with back pain, the steps we went through to get relief, and finally our entire process with an intense spinal fusion surgery.
WARNING: There is a picture towards the end of this post of Cason's back incision. It is a bandage with stitches (nothing too graphic), and I show it so that people can know what your back may look like, and how large your scar may be if you end up having a similar surgery.
Like a lot of people (I've found out) Cason suffers from horrible back pain, and has for the past 8 years. He didn't fall, get in an accident or gain tons of weight suddenly, he just... has crappy back genetics.
Even though Cason's lived with pretty bad back pain for the last 8 years, it wasn't until about 2 years ago that it started becoming unbearable. The nerves in his back were being pinched and shooting pain had started to not only plague his back, but now his legs; especially the right one. So much so that he could barely walk or even sit sometimes. He was always hunched over, and after about a year he had started losing feeling in some of his toes and parts of his legs.
For those of you who have had to, or currently ARE suffering with this type of pain in your life... I am SO sorry. For Cason it was maddening. Some days were better than others, but being in constant pain almost EVERY day, not being able to workout, lift more than 20 lbs, or even walk with your back straight, is something that NOBODY should have to endure.
For the past two years we've tried countless things to help with Cason's back pain. Strong pain meds, physical therapy, oils, medicated shots into his spine... you name it.
Cason was frustrated, and to be honest, I might have been even more so than him. I know that doesn't sound fair to say, because YES, the person who is in pain all the time should be MORE angry and annoyed than anyone, right? But try seeing it from the other side as well... the person/spouse who has to hear about and see someone suffering all the time! Having to change plans, or even miss out on doing things with that person who has horrible back pain, just because you CAN'T get them relief!
It was a few weeks ago when we took a road trip to Oregon/Northern California (more on that trip soon), that I had absolutely HAD it.
We'd stopped at a really fun hike that I had been waiting to go on for a few days, to see all the amazing forest and massive trees that surrounded us, and Cason couldn't even make it across the parking lot to use the restroom once we got there. His body was in so much pain that he looked completely crooked as he slowly and painfully worked his way towards the bathrooms, only taking small, little baby steps.
Luckily we had been able to stop at a trail off the road a day before, and snapped a bunch of cool pics, so it wasn't a total bust.
While the girls played around outside the gift shop, I sat on a bench and cried. I was so angry, frustrated and mad that Cason couldn't enjoy this moment... and that we couldn't enjoy it WITH him, because he had to lay down in the car just to get relief!
I was furious that his stupid back pain was going to control our plans that day, and that it was SO unbearable for him, that we couldn't even do this ONE thing as a family that we had just drove 13+ hours to do!
Once Cason returned from the restroom we all got back in the car, kids upset that we weren't hiking, and me giving everyone the silent treatment for a good hour.
Now let me explain, before you think I'm a heartless (you know what)...
I know that it sounds like I'm being totally insensitive, but I wasn't mad at Cason at ALL (even though it may have come off that way at the time... yes I apologized immediately). I was pissed at his BODY!!! I was angry that we were STILL dealing with this problem after dishing out thousands and thousands of dollars from our own pockets, and ridiculous amounts of time, trying to fix something that seemed basically unfixable!
We were both beyond angry after that incident, and called for an appointment the very next day to get in to see a surgeon. The ONLY and last thing left on our list of "ways to fix this crippling back problem".
After another round of MRI's and x-rays , the doctor took one look at Cason's horrible back and told us that a spinal fusion was pretty much our only option if we wanted a shot at living with a lot less pain, for a long period of time.