February 26, 2010

Grateful to Walk Again!

My dearest angels,

After so much trial and tribulation and seemingly endless road blocks, I had surgery this morning, Friday, 26 February 2010. It was very successful!! The surgeon explained to me that the L5 S1 disc was so huge that they had to pull the spinal chord over the enlarged disc to get the disc cleaned off the nerve. It was difficult because of the size of the disc. It took 2 hours longer than expected but I can walk!!! The disc had bulged, scarred over and turned hard against the nerve and then bulged again from a softer part of the disc and then that hardened. Literally, the body could never have removed all of the tissue from the nerve because of the scar tissue that had formed there. The same thing was happening on the L4 L5 disc which he also cleaned out.

Just for the record, LSI is an incredible institution. I have NEVER been treated like that at any medical institution. Every single care giver was friendly and kind and so human. They cared for me at every moment. They were cheerful and actually loving. When I was in so much pain they comforted me as a close family memeber might have done. They would soothe me by saying they knew how much pain I was in and how did I stand it so long and how sorry they were for the delay in my surgery as if they had all been in on the trials I had faced. It was remarkable to say the least. I don't know if everyone has a healing that goes there but one of the surgeon's assistants said that he loves working there because they help so many people get their lives back and he feels so good at the end of his work day. He actually came to help get me from our vehicle with a wheel chair and said he would be with me throughout surgery. The director of LSI came to my room twice.

I asked the nurse in charge at the beginning if she could help get me warm before they brought me out of the "twilight sleep" as they call it. I explained that I go into shock if I wake up cold. This has been my hospital experince. She said that she would be sure I was warm and then she pulled out a hose heater type of thing and put it under my blanket and it began to warm me immediately in the most perfect manner. I've never had anything like it before. It was amazing! But when I woke up I was so PERFECTLY warm as I could never have imagined. They had me under a special blanket of the type I've never before seen with the heater hose conncected and I was so lovingly "tucked in" that I was PERFECTLY warm. Oh, it was such a beautiful way to wake up. They told me that their surgical beds were warmers too and that I would not be uncomfortable.

Again before the surgery, I asked the nurse if she was going to cathetar me. I dispise that procedure because I ALWAYS get a bladder infection. She answered with a shocked, "Absolutely not." It was a kind but serious answer as though it were repugnant to her to put me through that. WOW!!!!!

Then I asked if I would come out of surgery feeling that I had played a game of rugby. She asked me what I was talking about and I told her that when I had a D & C three years ago the post-operative pain that I dealt with was something akin to what I think a 40 year-old woman would feel like after playing football or rugby with a championship team. My shoulders hurt sooooooo much as well as my hips and legs. Then I found out that when a patient is out cold they don't care so much how they handle the body, plus the body is heavy and in my case they put my arms and shoulders in huge straps and my legs at the hips in the same sort of sling. So my body was in a sling of types with all the weight being born by the shoulders and hips. Ouch!!!! I told her all of this and she looked straight at me and said, "We won't be doing any such monkey business here." Needless to say I began to feel more and more calm as they prepped me for this surgery.

Of course, the miracle is that I CAN WALK!!!!!! I will be able to sit very soon. He told me that my recovery time for full nerve recovery might be as long as two months but that I would begin feeling better immediately. He is right. As I write this, groggy from surgery and feeling extremely tender, I have no apparent leg pain. I WILL SLEEP TONIGHT maybe for hours in a row. I believe you are all angels sent straight from heaven. You have given me a new life. Thank you! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

I am giddy with delight to think of blessed sleep and playing with my children and dancing with them the way I used to. I am so incredibly grateful to you all!!!! I am praying that God will bless each and every person who donated to my surgery with blessings bigger than you can imagine.

With all of my most tender affection,


February 25, 2010

Surgery Scheduled

FINALLY!!!!! I am scheduled for surgery in less than 36 hours. Friday morning, very early sometime between 5:45 and 8:00 a.m. I am so so so grateful. I am praying that all will go well.


February 11, 2010

Ready for Surgery, Doctors Gave the OK

Sherri had her blood tested again this week to see if her iron levels had improved to an acceptable level to undergo surgery. She passed the test and is no longer considered anemic! The Laser Surgery Institute doctors also requested that she receive a referral and recommendation for surgery from a primary care physician in the Phoenix area. She visited with an MD this week, and he has also cleared her for surgery.

So, everything is a "go" now. The next appointment time available for surgery is in two weeks, so that is when Sherri is currently scheduled to have her surgery performed. She would like to have the surgery done sooner than that, as you can imagine, because her pain is still so intense and unrelenting. If another patient cancels his/her surgery, then she will be able to go in sooner. We are all hoping and praying that this will be the case.

Thank you all for your prayers in her behalf.


January 31, 2010

Thank you! An Update From Sherri

I am so grateful and filled with love because of all of the angels that Heavenly Father sent to help me through this trial. All of you are amazing. I feel the strength of your prayers. Honestly, if you weren't here praying for me I can't imagine the difference in my days. They are extremely difficult at best. I am working tirelessly on getting my iron levels up. I have an incredible product that has seen me through similar situations when I was pregnant or had bled excessively after a birth. I have made up the same distance in points in 10 days before. If you'd like to pray with detail, I need to go from a 31 to a 36 hematocrit and a 9.5 to a 10 Hemoglobin. My goal is to take another blodd test on Friday, February 5th in hopes for surgery on Monday, February 8th. I will post updates here on the blog as I can. I have looked into everything you have mentioned. I am so grateful for the ideas. Many of them I will employ as soon as I am able. Some I am employing now. The chiropractors who are helping me are very honest and feel that I will probably have to have surgery for the L5 S1 disc as it is very advanced in its size and the nerves it has impacted but they believe that we can save the L4 L5 disc. They are different chiropractors than any I have ever been to. They employ ALL of the best techniques I have seen over the years. Dr. Brimhall is the son of the Dr. Brimhall that mastered the techniques used there and truly they are amazing. The Acupuncture is helping too. All in all, the miracles keep happening every day. I cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers and the financial support you have given to me. May Heavenly Father shower his choicest blessings down upon each and every one of you as well as your families.

Love forever,


January 26, 2010

Update: Sherri's Surgery Delayed

Monday and Tuesday this week Sherri went into the clinic for some blood work prior to the surgery. The results showed that she was a little anemic. Therefore, the surgeon is requiring that the surgery be delayed for 7 to 14 days to give her some time to increase her hemoglobin levels. She will have the surgery performed as soon as her blood work reaches acceptable levels.

Please keep Sherri in your prayers -- she has not been able to sleep for more than 3 hours at night for a few weeks. Sherri says that her pain is increasing daily while her ability to cope with the intense and continued pain for so many weeks is decreasing.

Many heartfelt thanks to all of you who have donated to her surgery. The outpouring of love and your generosity have been incredible--more than Sherri could have ever imagined! Please know how much she loves you and appreciates all that you have done for her.

Heather (Sherri's friend & blog moderator)

January 17, 2010

Sherri's Story

Hi, my name is Sherri Jensen.

As is the case with all moms I wear a thousand different hats. As mothers, we become professionals in almost everything: being a nurse, debater, taxi-driver, school teacher, chef, scriptorian, the law and judgment for those moments of childhood arguments, music teacher, spiritual teacher and the most important, we are the ones who always carry the balm of love to heal our child's wounds.

I am 44 years old, a mother of eight and a wife of 21 years. I have spent significant amounts of time with my children preparing them for their futures.

We are a musical family and we perform often in many different venues. We tour once a year spreading the gospel and adding credence to the principle of family. I want to perform with them in days ahead.

Over the years I have had lower back pain but through therapy and exercise I have managed to maintain a very active lifestyle. On November 4, 2009 my back brought me the familiar pain of trouble. I began all the procedures of getting back on my feet. For 5 weeks I had no improvements. I finally decided to get an MRI to see why I couldn't get better as I had many other times.

The MRI showed two extremely herniated discs. My doctor suggested decompression treatments. I took 11 of these treatments but it only continued to worsen. I have now been in bed for 11 weeks. The pain has intensified every day for the last 3 weeks. Every day I can do less and less until now I am completely bed-ridden. I have finally come to the point where the pain is so intense that I must seek surgical care.

David, who was employed with Novell for 20 years was laid off last February, 2 weeks shy of 1 year ago. He has sought employment in every way we can think of but it is a difficult time. He is starting his own business in order to generate income. We are not on our feet, financially speaking. We still have all 8 children at home. We are truly in need at this time.

Through a series of miracles I have come to be a candidate for a highly successful laser surgery. Only 12% of the applicants are accepted and scheduled for surgery mostly based on whether the surgery would help. I am one of them. This clinic only takes patients that they KNOW they can help. I feel it is a miracle to be part of the 12%. I have been scheduled for surgery on January 27, 2010, just 9 days away. I have to pay the bill of $22,500 in full the day prior to surgery.

We have exhausted our savings over the past year of unemployment and have no insurance. In order for me to walk again, sleep again, be a mother again I must have surgery. Please help us - help me get my life back and resume my duties in a myriad of different roles in my every day mothering.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and compassion.

Sherri Jensen

Jensen family's performing group - "Sizzling Strings"

This is a longer video of the Sizzling Strings, made a couple of years ago. It shows all the children except the youngest, Krystal. Meet the Jensen children:

Joshua: violin, age 19
Jossalyn: viola, age 17
Ty: cello, age 16
Kenna: violin, age 14
Tennyson: bass, age 12
Caleb: cello, age 9
Kassandra: violin, age 7
Krystal: violin, age 3

You'll also be able to spot Sherri on piano and David playing percussion in a couple of songs.

You can learn a little more about the family and hear Jossalyn perform a viola solo on NPR's "From the Top" program at this site:

Sizzling Strings - Jensen family performs at Showtime Utah