Happy Spring + A Personal Update

Hello friends! As you may have noticed, I’ve been out of commission for longer than originally anticipated when I signed off for the new year. Thank you so much for all the emails and messages on social media — it has really meant a lot. I’m OK. I’ve just been going through some physical and mental health issues and really needed to tend to them with the kind of love and compassion I usually only reserve for other people (I know, I know… I’m working on it!).

Near the end of 2017, I started having a lot of pain in my left arm that was exacerbated by being on my laptop for many hours at a time. I started seeing my chiropractor, then a sports medicine arm specialist, then a physical therapist. I had been trying to focus on getting the care and being diligent with my exercises to get my arm back to normal, but any relief has been temporary and the regimens and schedules have been exhausting. So frustrating.

After months of this work, I finally had an MRI of my neck. The MRI shows that I have two discs that are compressing the nerve that goes across my left shoulder blade and down my left arm. It was good to figure out what the issue has been, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about what this finding means. I will most likely need spine surgery.

It took a while to be able to get in with a spine specialist since the doctor I had been seeing was an arm specialist. The neurosurgeon I finally met with recently says he thinks I will need ACDF surgery — which is definitely not the minimally invasive variety I was hoping it would be. I am seeing another specialist soon for a second opinion to weigh my options and plan the timing that works best for surgery and recovery. Fortunately, I was prescribed a medication that has helped soften some of the nerve pain I’ve been experiencing and the neurosurgeon says that I’m not in an emergency situation and should be able to plan to have surgery for whenever it works for my little family this year.

I’m so happy to be back to blogging. It has been a difficult time with lots of pain and dark days, but being here sure pulls me back up and I’m certainly not mad at this spring sunshine! Thank you all for sticking with me during this cuckoo time in my life — I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I’ve got a lot of posts in the works as I’m getting back into the swing of things. I probably won’t be back to blogging every single day until fall, but I’ll be here sharing as much and as often as possible. I hope you’re all doing well! xx Jen

P.S. If any of you out there has had spinal issues or has any advice because of what loved ones have gone through — I’d love to hear about it! Thank you! ♥

10 Responses to “Happy Spring + A Personal Update”
  1. Despina Veneti says:

    I’m so glad you feel better, and the source of your pain was located, believe me, this is very difficult in many cases (the doctors still try to pinpoint the nerve that causes leg pain to my partner, after years).
    We certainly missed you, and we’re glad you’re back!
    I’m sure you already found out that the most essential (except for medication, and possible surgery) is to take it easy, make sure you don’t overwork the sensitive areas, and maintain the proper posture.
    All my wishes for a fast and full recovery,

  2. Marlena says:

    Still here, still reading, and glad you’re still writing. I’m so sorry that you’ve been experiencing pain. Here’s to spring bringing some sweeter news and healing your way.

  3. Marty Hegg says:

    Oh my goodness…YES, you take care of you. Please know that, while we’ve missed you and your lovely posts, everyone wants you to take care of yourself…and take it easy on yourself.

  4. mlleghoul says:

    Oh, dear! I was wondering about you, and if everything was OK. I don’t have any advice, or any experience with this particular issue, but I did want to say hello, and hi, and I am thinking about you! And that I wish you all the best in getting your health issues resolved–no doubt there are pain-free days, full of lightness and joy, just around the corner for you.

  5. Rebecca Mir Grady says:

    Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry to hear! Wishing you lots of warm spring days and healing!

  6. tiffany Cain says:

    You are one of my absolute favorite people! I hope you heal fast and all goes smooth. Stupid bodies!

  7. Rachel says:

    This all sounds super frustrating and difficult, but I’m so glad that it sounds like you’re making progress in your recovery. We’ve certainly missed your posts and voice, but your health is far more important.
    I’ll be having surgery in about a month for some far less serious and painful issues, and the prospect is somewhat daunting! So try not to be a scaredy-cat like me, and remember that there are lots of people thinking of you and wishing you the best. <3

  8. Shirley says:

    Keeping your recovery in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing – I truly admire your vulnerability / transparency in your sharing.

  9. Kathryn Rosewater says:

    I know a magical osteopathic doctor in Seattle that might be able to help you with adjustments. He helped me with an impossible situation that no one else knew what to do(I had ribs compressing brachial plexus nerves causing horrific pain down arm). Also, I went to the best arm/hand PT specialist in the country at Swedish. Let me know if you want any names before you resort to surgery. Just wondering if another viewpoint might help. I know of someone else that went to that same osteopath for something similar in her upper spine/neck and he was able to help. Note probably take 5 weeks to see him. Dr. Pontus Oberg is his name. Seriously, he’s a miracle worker.

  10. Amy says:

    Oh no, I meant to write a note when I first read this (after visiting your site because I thought, “huh, I wonder what’s up, I hope she’s ok!”). I hope you find relief and healing through whatever ends up being best for you. You bring such a unique and lovely perspective to your corner of the internet and whenever you have time and energy to create something I hope that means you’re finding joy in doing it, not because you want to feed a need. All the best wishes to you and because I don’t think I’ve ever said it, thanks for all the time and thought you’ve put into everything you’ve shared here over the years.