These last couple of months are nearly a blur. so many things have gone on that i know i won't be able to recount everything.

my first semester back in school came and went. it was tough. really tough. i cursed peter's name several times for telling me to take chemistry and physics in the same semester. even though i only had two classes, it was like having four, as both classes have extensive labs. i made out with B's in both. this semester i'm taking physics 2 and psych. i've managed to never have to take psychology till now. oh well. at least i'll be able to make an A in physics. i hope.

justin had to have back surgery. we had exausted all possibilities as far as treatments go and the doctor told us surgery was our only alternative. so because we'd already met so much of our out-of-pocket expense with the insurance we chose to have surgery in december. it was scheduled for the 23rd. let me now expound upon the worst christmas-time in history.

jill came into town. not knowing how justin's surgery would dictate our time together, we hung out for about two evenings and went to have our pictures taken with santa for the twelveth year in a row.

the morning of the 23rd, justin and i went to check in for his surgery at the oklahoma spine hospital. after about an hour of waiting, we were taken back to the prep room where he recieved his gown and iv. my mom showed up, then his. he was taken back for surgery around one o'clock. i went to the surgery waiting room with our moms and visited and waited. after about an hour and a half, the nurse called to let me know they were done with the front and were about to start on the back. he would end up with a large incision on his stomach and two medium sized incisions on either side of his spine on the back.

my mom left after a while and justin's grandma arrived. about two and a half hours later the nurse called and he was finished, i would be able to see him soon.

he was wheeled out his way to his room and stopped long enough for us to be able to see him. he was in an excruciating amount of pain, i'm so glad he doesn't remember this part. his mom and grandma left at this point as it was beginning to get dark.

in his room, he was very uncomfortable. unable to sleep on his back or stomach, but having to be propped up by pillows to sleep on his side, every move was painful. because of the incision on the front of his stomach the doctor did not want to give him morphine.

the nurses told me to remind them about his medications every three hours. apparently i was staying. about three in the morning he was comfortable and sleeping and i was uncomfortable so i went home.

i knew check out time was noon if he were to be released so i was up and around by nine. justin had called earlier to tell me the weather was horrible so not to come. yeah right. so i got ready and headed up there understanding it was very likely i'd be staying the night too. When i got there, i was told that the doctor had released him. it was christmas eve, and it was snowing heavily. so heavily i couldn't get into the circle drive where patients are picked up.

after about two hours he had eaten and we had been given extensive amounts of things to take home. bandages, a walker, a breather, an ice water machine and instructions. i had tried to move the car several time in that span and nothing. i was still stuck at the front of the hospital. luckily the hospital is small so he only had to walk a relatively short distance, just not as short as he would have had to walk otherwise. as you can imagine, it was difficult enough even the short distance. the snow was falling at an incredible rate and the wind was fast and icy. we loaded up and started on what should have been a twenty minute trip.

after driving less than 20 mph on the highway, we got off on 63rd as we needed to get his pain medication filled at a cvs. stopped at the light, we got stuck. as luck would have it, there was already a team of firefighters working on another car there. they pushed me a few feet and we were back on our way to the cvs. up until now, things were just seen as setbacks to me, i wasn't terribly concerned. i had my mind on simply getting justin home and settled. i knew with the weather that it would be insane to try to take him home first, so we pulled into the cvs and i parked in the spot with the least amount of snow. i was inside for probably 30 minutes while he waited in the car. here's where it starts to get really crazy.

after some trouble with the insurance and pharmacy i walked outside with half of my bags and a snow shovel. the snow drifts were to the top of my wheels if not higher in some places. the snow and wind were even worse than before. i ran back inside to get the rest of my things. after loading them up, i began the task of shoveling my way out of the spot i was in. i was completely stuck. couldn't go forward or backward. justin must've looked like a jerk since he wasn't helping me. no one else would help either. no one.

for thirty minutes i battled. my hair was wet and then frozen into ropes. i couldn't feel my hands or feet. justin was understandably cranky. i had gone into the store to get something to melt the snow and give me traction. it didn't help. FINALLY, the store manager came out and helped me. after twenty more minutes or so, we were back to being on our way. somewhere in there i had hit justin in the head with the handle of the shovel. he was even crankier now, in pain from sitting in a car seat and not getting any more pain medicine.

i couldn't get to our garage or even up the driveway. i had to park in front of the house. justin had to walk all the way up the deeply snow covered drive with his walker. i helped him up laden with bags. i got him inside and dumped all the bags where i could and went down the drive for more. the snow was so deep it was like trying to run through water. i had to make five trips back and forth to get all of our things.

on my last trip i noticed that our neighbor was stuck so i went and tried to help them. how silly of me in hindsight, i needed to be inside getting justin settled. i was half way out of my head trying to get everything done. all i knew was what a horrible feeling it was to be stuck and not have anyone to help. so i helped them, and got no thanks or anything. just a "you can quit pushing now." so infuriating.

i managed to get back up the driveway, shut the garage door and begin to get things situated. oops, my phone was still in the car. here i go again. got it. back inside, ready to collapse.

i took some bags into the kitchen. nearly had a heart attack. justin had gone out onto the back patio. he came back in and almost fell. he pulled down half of my vertical blinds and tracked mud EVERYWHERE. i was nearly beside myself.

i put up all the things i had bought at cvs (i had not gone grocery shopping and while at cvs i realized that i would not be able to) and then i had to get justin's ice machine set up. its sorta like a heating pad only with a cooler that pumps ice water to two pads to reduce swelling on his surgery sites.

after getting that situated and getting him blankets and medicine and anything else he needed, i went to the bedroom to take off my soaking clothes and to get warm. at that point i just broke down and bawled for twenty minutes.

once i had regained what little composer i had left, i went back out into the house and commenced the complete cleaning of everything. i also spent quite a bit of time on the phone (which everyone knows how much i love) updating the families on justin. that was my christmas eve.

christmas day was the same. more cleaning. justin was more awake than he had been the day before, which meant more work for me, but it wasn't bad. the family got together, but after the day before i refused to get out. which was a good thing, considering i got stuck three more times in three days after this all happened.

so there's my sob story. now the good part.

since his surgery, his nerve pain is completely gone. he no longer kicks me at night and no longer jerks with pain in his sleep. his back still hurts but nothing like it did before. the surgeon said that his disc was so badly degenerated that he could see through it.

his pain is so much less that even his old personality is back. he's no longer cranky 97% of the time. last night was a bad night. he was hurting and didn't feel like doing anything. out of a week that's about the only time its happened. i'm so thankful.

john was home this past week and justin even felt like hanging out at my mom's till all hours of the night playing games and hanging out. he even played some games with us.

yesterday was his first day back to work and besides feeling a little sick at lunchtime, he did well. apparently today has gone well too.

so after saying all of that, i come to my point.

God is good. He allows us to go through troubles because it makes us stronger. i didn't know i could do all that on my own. i remember thinking several times about how i really wished my dad could be around to help me. but he's not. The Lord has shown me that all i need is Him. he is the one who provides for me and mine. He is always there for me, especially when i feel most alone.

thank you everyone who keeps me in your prayers. i appreciate it more than you'll ever know. thank you for your posts on here. i'm so surrounded by a god-less world everyday, its a relief to look over your blogs and see how He's working in everyone else's life.


Rachel said...

Wow, Beth, crazy story...I'm so glad your husband is doing better though! Good thoughts too, about the Lord bringing us through trials.

Grace said...

Beth, God must've truly been with you on Christmas Eve. I do not think I could have done all that. It's wonderful to hear that the surgery seems to have helped Justin. I wish I had known so I could have been praying. You need to be tweeting!

bandanachick said...

Oh Beth, your post is making me weep. I am so sorry you had to go through all that, but thankful the Lord was faithful to bring you through. We'll continue praying that Justin continues to improve.

Christina said...

Oh, Beth, I'm so sorry you had such a rough time! But I am SOOO thankful that the surgery has brough some relief to both Justin AND you.

The Almighty Betherson "Ninja" said...

thanks you guys!! he's had a rough couple of days, staying home from work thursday and friday. school and work start back up on monday, so we're praying that its not too much too soon.

Lista said...

Geez!! No fun! I'm glad you both made it through the surgery and that you made it home safely in that mess! It took us more than two hours to get off our street on Christmas morning!