Creating, collecting & recycling textiles & papercrafts. I love preserving the past for the future.

Saturday, 31 December 2011


This vintage image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

Would love to visit France one's probably just a dream though.

MY YEAR my 2011.....a year I would probably rather forget.
Well tomorrow will be the first day of 2012.
What will this new year bring?
I have had a roller coaster of a year in 2011.
Housebound due to back pain.
Told there was nothing to be done to help me.
My Dad and Mum came up exactly one year ago to the day and said it was simply not good enough...I had no quality of life.
We looked up a certain neurosurgeon practise on the internet....
In 2010 one of the partners had operated on my brother and got him almost pain free and back to work.
One of the partners comes up to Toowoomba once a month.
I duly booked an appointment with him not expecting much...I had had so many doors closed to me over the last 17 years.
He said my back was 'a mess' surprises there....he could perform an operation on me that would help. He asked which part of my spine was causing me the most pain. I told him and he said that the MRI confirmed that fact.
A Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion or TLIF for short.
He could do it within the month...but in Brisbane
He was a lovely man....did not rush me or my shocked hubby.... Answered all and every question we could think of on the spot.
Such HUGE news for us....we walked out of that office and I burst into un-controllable sobbing....ushered into a side room to gather my emotions.....I walked out and all heads in the waiting room turned to me and I's all's good news not bad.... Walked out into the hot February sunshine...floating on air...We both were shocked, felt like we had won the lottery.
This image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

(Since 1994 my pain has progressed and worsened. Can't drive, hold down a job, do many household chores, can't queue, can't grocery shop, can't travel in vehicles very well, can't travel in a vehicle that is towing a caravan or trailer at all, can't sit much, can't garden, can't hold my nieces and nephews....the boring list goes on. Everything hurt in varying degrees but mainly everything just plain hurt).
The original operation was scheduled for March but ended up having it in May due to some problems with bladder infections interfering and holding things up etc.
Spent 10days in hospital...I won't lie the pain was cruel, but there was an end goal in sight...
Then spent 3 weeks at my parents house as we live about 3 hours drive from Brisbane and it was too much.
Arrived home about one month after the operation. Was walking everyday. It was deep winter so was VERY cold and walking was fun after all these years of suffering. It actually felt good to walk again. Before long I was walking so well that my husband was complaining that he could not keep up with me...just like years ago...YAY!
Was progressing really well. Could walk up to 3 kms in just over 30 minutes... a BIG indicator that the TLIF had worked.

Two months after the operation I fell over backwards and the pain was worse that it had ever been.

So now at 5 months since the fall, I have been back to see the Neurosurgeon twice. I have had a CT scan, bone scan and MRI. It seems I need two more TLIF's at levels above and below my original TLIF.....EWWWW!!!!!!

The first TLIF cost us roughly $13,000 after Medicare and Private Health Fund, but any more will only be bulk billed so that's a relief!!!
It's a lot to take in....

Recently saw a Pain Management Specialist in Toowoomba at the suggestion of my Neurosurgeon....he performed a diagnostic facet joint injection procedure in Day Surgery.
He thought that indicated enough of a result to go ahead with a Radiofrequency Ablation at one level below and 2 levels above the L5/L6 TLIF one week later.
Had the RFA 2 and a half weeks ago. Not much to report.
Still much the same pain as before.
So either it's taking its own sweet time to work or or it's not going to work at all.
I heard it can take up to 6 weeks to work....
My daughter is due to have her baby in 5 weeks. She lives a 3 hr car crive away. I really want and she really wants me to be there for her.
It's not too much to desire it it?

I have been housebound for the entire year except for medical appointments.
I have done nothing fun out of the house.
I don't know how I have not gone mad.
I did have my 50th this year and there were 17 here all up to celebrate.
That was before I fell over and wrecked the surgery.
Anyhow I am hoping for a better 2012 than my's only a date on the calender, but I would really like to draw a line under 2011 and hope for better things to come.


  1. Oh my gosh, Ellena, I am saying prayers for your total recovery and recuperation and sending all best wishes your way...Wishing you a healthy and Happy 2012!!!! Happy New Year!!!

  2. thanks so much, very kind of you to say so. Same to you and yours.

  3. Oh my goodness, after reading what you have been through in 2011 I can only hope and pray that you will have a much better 2012. You will be in my prayers. I am your newest follower, and I am looking forward to seeing all of your creations. God bless you and I will send positive thoughts your way. Happy new year my new friend!

  4. Happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings you continually improving health. Thank you for joining me as a follower on The Little Red Hen at Home--I'm your newest follower!


  5. Prayers for a pain free 2012....many wishes to you for the new year!

  6. Praying that this will be a MUCH better year for you!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine