Getting Older and Maybe Better

Today is not a good day for writing, whether it’s writing a book or a blog.

Tomorrow Bill will undergo back fusion surgery.  He’s hung in for a long time, dealing with chronic pain that has only gotten worse over time.  When he said the word “fusion” to me a month ago, I almost fell out of my chair.

So he’s done the tests; done the scans.  As one of the X-ray techs said, “Boy, you have a really bad back!”

Knowing about Tiger Woods’ back surgery issues, we watched his amazing win of the US Open with a good deal of amazement.  It gave us hope.

Tomorrow’s the big day.  We’re worried.  We’re hopeful.  We’re scared.

I know we’ll be in many people’s thoughts and prayers, and we’re thanking you for those in advance.

Keep the faith!


A post-op PS:

The surgery is over.  The surgeon says it went well.  Bill says it went well.  He can move his toes for the first time since … well .. 1985!  Did I mention that he is stubborn?

This afternoon he talked a blue streak.  He ate seared salmon and green beans for dinner.  Red J-E-L-L-O for dessert.  He says his pain is at level 1.  On a scale of one to ten it’s been approximately 15 for years.

I’m home.  I’m tired.  I’m grateful for everything—for the surgeons, the nurses, and for the two good daughters who were there with me for every minute all day long.

I am truly blessed..


PPS:  For those of you who have followed my shoulder saga for the past three months, here’s an update.  For the past three days it hasn’t hurt!  It feels so good to feel better.

39 thoughts on “Getting Older and Maybe Better

    • Looking forward to seeing both of you again, knowing you will both be at ease and free of pain. Can’t imagine how Bill managed to work his way through all of your book signings while in such pain for so long. He just wanted to be with his sweetheart, I guess. Glad you are both better.

  1. Sending prayers for continued recovery and a back that doesn’t give Bill so much pain. Thanksgivings for the medical team that were able to perform the successful surgery. Continued prayers for your shoulder that the healing continues and the pain is going away!

  2. Sending prayers for you both!! Rest well both of you knowing that prayers are being sent up on your behalf!

  3. Simple pleasures — life without constant pain. Happy for both Bill and you and praying that this pleasant state continues! Assuming Bill will have a regimen of physical therapy and occupational therapy, those folks are wonderfully knowledgeable and helpful as well — especially if you are willing to put in the work on their recommendations. Good luck to you both!

  4. Back pain as well as shoulder pain is terrible. It is pain that seems to never end and over time it wears on you and your body. I am so glad to hear Bill is not in bad pain and the surgery went well. Also glad that your shoulder is better.
    Both you and Bill are in my prayers. Praying for full recovery for Bill.

  5. I know how you feel. Three years ago my husband came home from the Doctor’s saying he needed both hips replaced. He, too, was like your hubby – STUBBORN. But way too much pain so in he went and today I have a happy, pain-free husband. Tell Bill life has just begun AGAIN!! Glad your shoulder is doing better too!! Thoughts and prayers…

  6. Praying for you both – so happy the surgery went well. I’ve had 3 spinal surgeries due to scoliosis and am now having lung issues because of restrictive lung disease. Back pain and surgeries are very serious. Glad your shoulder is feeling better. Sometimes having another problem to focus on (e.g. Bill and his surgery) takes the brunt of one’s own problem. Know that you both are loved.

  7. So glad Bill’s surgery went well! After 25 years of pain, I had fusions of parts of my lumbar and cervical spine 4 years ago. I thank God every day since that I am free from the pain and so grateful to have had the surgery.

  8. Good news. My husband has “a really bad back” too and many surgeries. Monitoring 2 tumors that haven’t moved and don’t seem to be growing but probably cause pain but that surgery is the last resort because of location and danger. All the best to you and Bill.

  9. I had my back fusion 10 years ago at UW Bone and Joint Center, Dr. Ted Wagner. It went very well, but long recovery. I still feel great today! Wishing you husband all the best!

  10. When Bill starts PT and/or OT, please pass on this advice from my sister who is a physical therapist: Do exactly what your therapist tells you to do, and no more. Overdoing it will slow down recovery. Very happy to hear that the surgery went well. He now probably wonders why he didn’t do it years ago!

  11. I had a laminectomy and fusion one year ago. Such a relief! My thoughts are with Bill. I really don’t think he will regret having the surgery. It is so wonderful to be out of that awful pain. ?????

  12. I had a laminectomy and fusion one year ago. Such a relief! My thoughts are with Bill. I really don’t think he will regret having the surgery. It is so wonderful to be out of that awful pain. ?????

  13. Hooray for both of you. I had successful back surgery 40 years ago. Bill can look forward to many good years(by being careful of how he does things) relatively pain free! Prayers for both of you!

  14. So happy to hear it is fixed for Bill and better for you too! Just finished your latest book. Another fantastic Joanna story. She is my favorite and I am her when I read! I miss her when I finish each book. Take all the time you need (both of you)! Your shoulder is getting better because you are taking time off!
    Love and healing to you and Bill!
    Kathie Bell

  15. I had back surgery 17 years ago: fusion of L4 and L5. Had the greatest surgeons and I’m still upright and pain free. I hope Bill will say the same 17 years from now. Glas your shoulder is better, too. Hang in there.

  16. I too have suffered with back pain for years. I have spinal stenosis. So 3 years ago I went in for spinal fusion, I hadn’t felt so sood in years. After 6 days in hospital, I came home to recuperate and immediatly lost my grip on the walker and spun and fell flat on my back. The pain is worse than anything I have ever felt. I am allergic to most pain medications, but I can take Fenrhyl, the one drug I would not wish on any person.
    So my personal advise for Bill is to take it slowly and ask for help! I wish the borh of you very speedy recoveries.

  17. Thats great news on both of you. I also have back problems so know something about back pain.
    Kids are GREAT to have around anytime but mostly in hospital waiting rooms.
    Take good care of yourself so you can continue to care for him.. have a good week…Jan

  18. Thank God for modern medical help! Bless you both! just wanted you to know I just finished “Field of Bones”—Loved it, loved it! As I have lived in Tucson for a few years, I’m very familiar with all the areas in your stories! Makes the reading, double enjoyable! Thank you! Can’t wait for the next one! Always, Carolyn

  19. Thank you God for such Wonderful. Please continue to take good care of each other and stay in as little pain as possible. You both mean so much to so many others. It is so Great to hear some Good News at the Beginning of this New Week! God’s Blessings, Richard and Robert

  20. Just now had the chance to read this post. Give Bill my best wishes. I’ve had three surgeries on my spine. I’ve now been fused three times. I’m 79 and still traveling around New Mexico selling my three mysteries. Tell him it gets better and better–especially after rehab therapy!!

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