The Knapper Family

Moorhead , MN
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Name
Erin Knapper
Injury/Illness
Back Injury

My name is Erin Knapper and three years ago I injured my back. I was trying to deal with it until I could save up enough sick leave at work to have surgery. Beginning of January I ended up having COVID-19 and exhausted all the leave I had. Early March my back started acting up and I couldn’t walk upright or stand for very long and had to call in to work. Finally in April I was able to get in for a new MRI and once my neurosurgeon saw the images he admitted me that moment and told me I was having surgery the next day. May 12, 2021 I had a laminectomy on my L4-L5 disc. Surgery went great and I felt better than before. One week later, May 18, 2021, I ended up having a horrible migraine and was brought to the ER. They diagnosed me with a spinal fluid leak and admitted me to the hospital. I had almost a week stay in the hospital and ended up getting a blood patch to fix the leak. I was discharged on May 22, 2021. I will for sure be out of work until atleast June 28, 2021. My 6 week post op check up is June 25th and I will find out then. All of this time off since March is all unpaid. My husband and I just purchased our first home and now are trying to deal with all of this and loss of pay. Any help that we receive would be so appreciated! Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my story. Love to all! 

Recent update: May 25, 2021 I was admitted into the hospital again with migraines. I had another MRI done and found there was some more spinal fluid and figured out the blood patch didn’t work. I had to go back in for emergency surgery on May 26th. They cleaned everything up and found the leak. I had a little fragment of bone floating around in there and that tore the membrane and caused the leak. It was all patched up and fixed and I am hoping to be discharged on May 30, 2021. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions. I’m hoping this fixed everything finally and I can start my healing process now and be my best self! Much love! 

July 15, 2021
Recovery

I’ve been home for about a month now. Three emergency surgeries in a matter of five weeks really took it’s toll on me but I am finally starting to recover. I’m taking it day by day. Each day I’m feeling a little bit better. With this last surgery I was told that I have an infection in my spine and had to have a picc line put in. I’m doing at home antibiotic infusions 3 times a day. I will be on the antibiotics for a couple more weeks and then I’ll be able to get my picc line taken out. My surgery check up is August 4th. I’m hoping they let me start physical therapy so I can get stronger and move on from all the chaos that’s been my life for the past 2 months. To top everything off NDSU fired me as soon as my FMLA expired. Just another thing added to an already full plate. Thank you all for all the prayers and support. Much love! 

June 17, 2021
3rd times a charm… Right?

Hi Everyone,

     It’s Erin, again. I have quite the lengthy update for y’all. Today is Thursday, June 17, 2021. This past Friday I went to my neurosurgeon’s office to get my stitches removed and he saw the incision site was very bulged. He told me that as I was only having very mild symptoms of a spinal fluid leak that I could go home and see if it will heal on its own. He told me to go back in if my headaches got worse, the incision/bulge started leaking or if it got bigger. Of course… it started leaking. They checked it out at the ER and said to just keep it covered until I could see my neurosurgeon on Monday. Tuesday, June 15th I had an appointment with him and he admitted me to the hospital right away… again. Wednesday, June 16th I had surgery to fix that leak again and do a spinal fusion at the L4-L5 as he thought stopping movement would stop the dura from getting pinched and leaking again. He took a microscope and went up and down my spine to make sure there was nothing he missed and I ended up also having a small leak up in my neck. He said what I’ve been through only happens to 1-2 of his patients a year but that I should be all fixed up now and hopefully won’t have anymore issues with this! Thank you all for taking time to read this huge update! Much love! 

June 7, 2021
Finally Home

Today is June 7th and I was discharged from the hospital on June 1st. Sleeping in my own bed is just about as great as I thought it would be! I’m still having slight headaches but they are bearable, no where near as bad and usually go away when I lay down, even if for 10 minutes. I feel like my hearing is somewhat hyper sensitive to certain noises and pitches, assuming as I heal that it will go back to normal. I’m so grateful to be healing at home now and can’t wait to see what I’m like at my 6 week check up! Thank you all for taking time to read my story! Love to all!