For all of our friends and family that we don't see much any more, we wanted to share a bit of what is happening in our lives.
First off, Don had his one month post-surgery check-up last week and passed with flying colors. Most of his initial restrictions were lifted. He still can't lift more than 10 lbs and he does need to be very careful about putting himself in situations where he could be injured. His stamina is not where he'd like it to be yet, but the doctor told him that by the three month check-up, that he would be able to tell a big difference.
We were able to see some views of his presurgery MRI that we hadn't seen before. The cross-section view looking down into the vertebrae was amazing. What was amazing was how little room there was within the vertebrae with the most damage. When we looked at that one compared to the others she showed us, our comment was: "Where is the spinal cord?" There was a cyst sitting in there along with stenosis (which is arthritis in the spinal canal) and scar tissue -- we couldn't actually see the spinal cord because of the amount of compression that was on it. The doctor told us that when she sees an MRI like that, that those people are usually bed or chair-bound because either a) it hurts too bad, or b) they have lost a lot of mobility. So we count ourselves very blessed. He is walking 2 miles a day on the treadmill and has been able to increase the speed at which he is walking quite a bit.
The week after his surgery we had a visit in our home by the new stake president. Our bishop had been called to be in the stake presidency...we had a bad feeling about that visit! On December 27th, Don was called to be the bishop in our ward and today he and his counselors were sustained. This is a very humbling position to fill and we wonder 'why'?! But we have learned that when our Father in Heaven gives us these opportunities to serve, He will also strengthen us and lift us to accomplish the things that He would have us do.