10 Months Post-Op

I saw my surgeon last Thursday for what was supposed to be my 9 month post-op visit, but last month at this time I was in the middle of the 9th circle of hell that is otherwise known as moving, and I had to reschedule. I remember thinking at the time that rescheduling my follow up visit was surely going to cause one of my rods to break, or a lung to burst or some other life threatening condition because I chose not to go in. But thankfully putting my visit off by one month did not in fact cause my remaining discs to rupture or any of my screws to come loose. I did have an intensely realistic nightmare the night before I went for the appointment. In that nightmare I was sitting on the examination table when my surgeon, casually looking at my x-rays, says with a creepy tone of voice out of a horror movie, "Well, it's that time of year! It looks like we're going to need to schedule another surgery, and quickly too!" I of course spent the rest of the dream running around trying to get my life in order before I had yet another surgery, and I was so sad because I was going to have to put off adopting yet again. I awoke feeling literally sick to my stomach from the fear and stress of thinking I had to have another surgery so soon.

The funny thing was, I hadn't really thought about the possibility of my needing another surgery at all, probably because I've been so preoccupied with the move. But that fear, while put on the back burner, was very real, and caused a very intense feeling of anxiety and nausea. It also made me realize how having 4 surgeries in 4 years can make you really, really afraid of follow up visits! But seriously, that dream, and the very real stress it caused, made me think about how much those 4 surgeries have affected my life. At around my 8 or 9 month post-op visits every year for the last 4 years, I've had something come up that either required surgery immediately, or made me consider surgery within a month or two. So these post-op visits in the fall don't have a great track record, or usually contain good news. This October is the first one in four years where I haven't been recovering from a surgery or contemplating the need for one. And I almost got away with taking it for granted.

Thankfully, my nightmare was not prophetic. My surgeon had no bad news for me at all. In fact, he and his entire office staff, (which have become like my extended family), were elated with my progress. He asked if I would be willing to speak with future pre-op patients around my age to help them in the decision making process, and I of course said I would love to. He took x-rays and they looked great! I was out of there in less than 30 minutes. It is such a  big change. My visits used to take hours and hours, and usually involved me breaking into tears at some point. Now I'm in and out and everyone, especially me, is all smiles.

I may continue to have those nightmares before my follow up visits, but I don't think that's surprising considering what I've been through. But the exciting thing is...in three months I'll have my last surgery related follow up visit. I'll be over a year post-op at that point, and who knows...maybe the reality of how well I'm doing will really sink in.

i've dropped off the face of the earth..er..blog

I am too pooped to party. I have been going non-stop for the last week and a half, and don't have time to be writing this blog right now. Even if I had the time, I don't have the energy.

So this will be brief. I am very, very, very happy. I am in a beautiful, single story home, with a POOL. Be jealous my friends...because I will be floating with a fruity drink in my hand just as soon as I finish doing the 90,000 things that go along with moving your home and your business at the SAME TIME.

I have a great sense of relief as I walk around our new home, because I am no longer trying to figure out how I would carry a growing child up and down the stairs. I am thankful to have a pool to exercise in and enjoy the relief it gives from the constant pressure of a fused spine.

Most of all, I am thrilled to be able to do so much activity with so little pain in my leg that I often forget that a year ago I couldn't have done or enjoyed any of this. But when I do remember, I stop and thank God that I am, at only 9 months post-op, so blessed to have a new home...and a new life.
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If you can't find me...check the pool.