Week In Review | May 4 – May 10, 2015

What a whirlwind week!  I wanted to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram feed with you.  Here’s the buzz:

week in review back surgery microdiscectomy

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I didn’t post as much as usual last week.  That’s because my week was consumed by my husband, Don’s decision to have back surgery.  This wasn’t something he had planned on or even considered before last Tuesday.  After years of suffering through on and off and again bouts of lower back pain, Don has been plagued in more recent months with pretty severe issues that were affecting his leg as well.  He went through all of the nonintrusive remedies suggested to him, including chiropractic work, physical therapy, and even a cortisol shot.  None of these stuck and the pain got so severe and debilitating in the last few weeks that he was finally able to get approval to schedule an MRI.

He went in for the MRI on Tuesday morning and I accompanied him to the follow-up appointment that afternoon.  The results revealed that his L4-5 disc was herniated, and while the therapies he had already tried might help short term, they were most likely not a long term solution.  The doctor suggested a microdiscectomy, which is a pretty routine and low risk spinal surgery on the spectrum of things.  The doctor said he could operate that Thursday and we set it up.  It all happened so fast!

The procedure took just under an hour and I was able to bring Don home after just another hour in recovery.  It’s so amazing to me that he could walk right after he woke up!  I, of course, was a nervous wreck, but did my best to hold myself together and focus on helping Don.  Thankfully, Don’s Mom, Suzanne, accompanied me to the surgery so I didn’t have to wait alone and helped me get him settled.  She’s such an angel!  I don’t know how I would have fared without her support.

Now, just five days later, Don is doing amazingly well.  He makes marked progression every day.  He’s able to get up and walk around smoothly, can take the stairs like a champ, and has even started doing more of the things he used to like cook himself breakfast and lunch.  Of course, I have been more than happy to do these things for him, but it brings him satisfaction to be able to do them himself again (he wasn’t able even for the couple of weeks before the surgery due to the pain).  He says his back and leg pain is all gone and all that remains is tenderness at the incision site, which is to be expected post-op.  We go back for his follow-up tomorrow and hope for good news so that Don can get himself back on the golf course again soon, which is where he’s itching to be.  Modern medicine is amazing!

spring pretty flowers 2015

Of course, Don’s well-being and recovery has taken priority over all else, but even when I’m super focused (and worried!) about something, I always manage to notice and appreciate the little things that bring me joy on an every day basis.  I know I post a lot of flower/nature pictures on Instagram and that’s because I want to share the joy of this beauty with others.  Watching my magnolia tree blossom and enjoying a gorgeous bouquet of lilac roses from my sweetheart brings a warm smile to my face and my heart without fail no matter what else is going on in my life.  This is extremely important to my sense of balance, as I am the type of personality that can get easily become consumed by worry.  I love that enjoying something as simple as a spring blossom is powerful enough to fuel my sense of joy.  I do my best to hold onto, cherish, and encourage this trait.

mother's day baking

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Don and I laid low this weekend, focusing on his recovery so that he could come to the Mother’s Day brunch my father-in-law, Keith, hosted on Sunday afternoon.  I pitched in by baking up a batch of my family’s favorite cupcakes (brown sugar poundcake with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting!) from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook.  I also tried out a gluten-free banana bread recipe, which turned out awesome and got rave reviews from my loved ones.  We enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day celebration together.  I am so happy that Don was able to be a part of it.

I vlogged on Mother’s Day, so you can check out this video if you’d like to see more:

 I’d love to know how you celebrated Mother’s Day if you care to share.  Happy May!


* This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *


15 thoughts on “Week In Review | May 4 – May 10, 2015”

  1. Keep the flower pictures coming Jen! I think it’s a wonderful trait to find beauty in God’s creation. I know the feeling of waiting for your loved one in surgery- not fun! So glad he is doing well and back to somewhat normal activities. My Mother’s Day was delightful (a Jen word)! My mother died 3 years ago, but each year gets a bit easier, and this year I decided that staying busy was my best option for coping. Each year is different. I threw a fun brunch for the mother’s in my life and family members. So glad you had a nice weekend, and thank you for always sharing and being so thorough.



  2. Hi Jen I love coming on to see a Vlog makes
    My day! Thank you
    For always being so cheerful and making life fun 🙂

  3. I went through a very similar experience with my back. I experienced severe back pain for years and eventually I started having trouble doing even day to day activities. The fact that I’m a nurse really complicated things. PT, spinal injections, etc did not help. I had a herniated disc at the same level as Don’s, as well as spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease and had a laminotomy performed. It was a same day surgery as well but I had to stay at the hospital until 11pm due to a couple of minor complications. Since my surgery, my life has improved significantly. I’m back to working in a hospital and have only had 2 back spasms in the past 4 years since surgery. Best wishes to Don and his recovery. It’s amazing what a change a relatively minor surgery can make on your life! Hope Don has a speedy recovery!

  4. I love your true devotion to your family. You are so true to yourself and that is so uplifiting. I look forward daily to view you videos and reading your blog. It brightens my day and refreshed my views on life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep them coming, I like the inspiration.

    Have a wonderful day!


  5. For us, any day is a regular day. Mothers Day doesnt matter. No big deal. No need to spend $$$ on just one day.

  6. Hi Jen. Sorry to hear that Don had to have surgery, but it sounds like he’s doing great. I had a fusion at L4, L5 to sacrum when I was in my 20s and it took care of the severe sciatic pain. Unfortunately more damage was done to that area and my neck as a result of being hit in motor vehicle accidents. Although I had more fusion surgeries, many other therapies and have an implanted spinal cord stimulator device, I still have chronic pain. I do the best I can to remain active and divert my attention away from the pain and focus on serving others and finding ways to be creative. I have been and continue to be inspired by organized and creative people like you. Thanks for sharing. Prayers for Don as he continues with his recovery.

  7. Thank you for this lovely week i review and the video is always so nice!
    Very happy that your husbandfeels well now.
    Wish you a wonderful day!

  8. I’m glad everything went well with Don’s surgery and that he is recovering quickly. Being in pain all the time is really hard so I’m glad his surgery brought him some relief. I love the flower pictures! Have a great day!

  9. Wow, I’m so glad your husband is doing well, and you’re right it’s amazing that he walked straight away. I always assumed with those types of things you wouldn’t be able to!

  10. Back pain can be incredibly painful and debilitating. I’m so happy to hear Don is recovering quickly and will soon be better than ever. It’s never easy to see a loved one have to go under the knife or have any medical issue. I’m so glad you have such a wonderful support system from your family. Sending big (but gentle) squeezes to Don! Also, remember to take it easy as much as possible, so you can continue taking excellent care of your sweetheart! Positive thoughts and prayers to all.

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