I just wanted to pop in quickly to let you know that I had my surgery and am doing ok. It was a very difficult surgery, tougher than my first one and I had a rough time in the hospital. I woke up the day after surgery on a ventilator in the ICU with my mom and my husband standing over me. This was not what I was expecting. I expected to wake up in a recovery room and definitely not on a vent. I was also extremely coherent and in excruciating pain. I kept kicking my leg because it was as close to writhing as I could get. I motioned to the nurse to give me a pad and pencil so that I could write. I wanted to know what happened. My husband explained that I lost a lot of blood in surgery. I was transfused with 9 units of blood in the operating room and another 3 during my hospital stay. My blood pressure was dangerously low which meant they couldn’t give me enough pain medication or sedatives to keep me comfortable. It simply wasn’t safe. As my blood pressure came up, they were able to slowly increase my meds and I was able to eventually fall asleep. I woke up the next day still on the vent but not in pain. By this point, I had a PCA so I could just press a button and give myself a monitored dose of dilaudid. I just wanted that damned tube out of my throat. Later that day, I was breathing well enough to remove the tube. I hated the fact that my children saw me like that. The next few days were a drug induced blur and I will write more about it later. I’m not real comfortable sitting and it is difficult to write about all that went down. For now, suffice it to say that I am doing as well as can be expected. My flatback was corrected and I can stand up straight again. I am very happy about that. Sorry for the choppy update but I’m on morphine and oxycontin and my attention span is non existent.
So, here it is. Another post after a long hiatus. I’ve been very busy working and prepping for surgery next Thursday (holy shit!). It’s right around the corner and while I’ve been eerily calm about the whole thing, I am beginning to feel the first signs of pre-surgical anxiety creeping their way into my thoughts. I remember going through the same realm of emotions the first go at it but at the same time, knowing what to expect does provide a strange bit comfort and peace.
I am less than a week away from surgery and do have a few concerns. Last Friday, I was unable to donate my second unit of blood due to anemia. Pretty discouraging. I know donor blood is quite safe these days but still. It’s just something else to be concerned about. I had my pre-op physical later the same day and as far as I know, I’m in the clear. On Monday, I have pre-admission testing and then I wait for the big day. I so want to get it over with, start healing and get back to living my life. I’m over scoliosis and the shitty effect it has had on my life. I swear, if I never have another muscle spasm again it will be too soon.
These last few months have been uncomfortable. I have been steadily weaning off pain meds so as to have better pain management post-op. This means I am in pain. Constantly. Not excruciating, bent over, ready to poke a fork in my eye pain but annoying, persistent and unrelenting pain and it sucks.
So now you know what’s going on in my “life”. The blog world has been very inactive lately. Is blogging on the way out? I have wondered this on more than one occasion while attempting to catch up with my favorite reads. Maybe you’re all at some fabulous blogger’s resort, sipping margaritas while discussing feed readers and the like. Or, maybe you are enjoying all of life’s sweetness and I’m jealous. I’ll let you decide.
Oy! It’s raining like mad and I really just want to stay home. I feel like crap but have to teach a class and have a meeting to prepare for. I tell you, I look forward to having at least 3 months off after surgery.
If my spine were a person, I’d totally kick it’s ass.
I have a love/hate relationship with body. I am thankful for it in many ways. It has given me 3 children, taken me places I never thought I’d go and kept me healthy and strong for the most part.
My body has also betrayed me. It has caused me pain and embarrassment. It has made me feel at least 20 years older than I am. It has caused me to become dependent on pain relievers and muscle relaxants, which humiliates me. It forces me to spend far too many hours in doctors offices, radiology centers, and emergency rooms. It makes me speak for it and defend it to others. It forces me to shop for clothing that doesn’t fit so that I can camoflage its many flaws. It exhausts me. It causes me to question why I am here. Why I was created, why I was born. It makes me envy my normal brother and sister. My normal parents. My normal friends.
I have spent countless hours hating my body. Countless days crying, praying, questioning, pretending, pleading, dreaming, asking questions I’ll never know the answers to.
I am allowing myself this day, this post, to feel sorry for myself. I just wish I could go home and pull the covers over my head and sleep until the morning of my surgery. I want to get it over with. I want it to be behind me.
I don’t want anyone to read this and feel sorry for me. I will be over feeling sorry for myself in no time. I hate pity. I wrote this post mostly for me. No one I know personally wants to hear this anymore so this is where I can work through my crap.
Oh, scoliosis, how I do hate thee.
Since a couple of holidays and an election have passed since I last posted, I thought I owed you an update.
I have to be honest. I’ve been avoiding this site like the plague. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why. Yes, I’ve been busy with work and family, and yes, my back still sucks but, I don’t know if that’s it. Weird, I know.
I have scheduled my revision surgery for February 5, 2009. Also known as my 15th wedding anniversary. After originally thinking I would wait until spring, I woke up one day after nursing a particularly bad spasm and decided enough was enough. The procedure I am having is called a pedicle subtraction osteotomy. They basically cut wedges into the new fusion mass in my back and through the use of bone grafting, create a natural curve in my fused spine. In order to accomplish this, they must remove my existing rods, hooks and screws, fuse an additional one to two levels and insert new rods, hooks and screws. It’s a big deal, But I really don’t have much of a choice. I take that back. I do have a choice: walk around stooped over like an old lady and endure the accompanying pain or do something about it. I’m doing something about it.
My family is scared and understandibly so. They went through an emotional nightmare last time. I don’t want to put them through that again. I am trying to prepare them without making the mistake of giving them too much information like I did last time. My friends don’t get it. They all think that back surgery is the end of everything. They have done everything from accuse my surgeon of being “cut happy” to sending me names of doctors to get a second opinion from. As frustruating as it is, all I can do is laugh it off. I knew the possibility of additional surgery existed before I had my first surgery. That possibility will still exist after this one. There are never guarantees. I understand this. I accept this. My friends forget that when you have scoliosis, spina bifida, several hemivertebrae and a spinal fusion the rules go out the window. It isn’t fair to compare my problems to Aunt Sally’s or so and so accross the street. I appreciate their concern, but I know what I’m doing.
I intend to start blogging more. I need the outlet this site provides. I just hope I don’t bore you to tears in the process.
I am sitting at work with an icepack between my neck and right shoulder trying to prevent my pain in the ass spasm from turning into an “I want to kill myself” spasm. This sucks all kinds of ass.
In the meantime, I am trying to decide when to have my revision surgery. I’m thinking late April/early May, 2009. I don’t want to do it when it’s too hot out, especially if I will be wearing a post-op brace for a while. Oh the joys.
Thanks for your questions. I love seeing what you all come up with. Feel free to ask more if you want. What can I say, I’m cool like that.
Only two of you have questions for me? Come on. If you are new and have never commented before, say hi and ask a question. I don’t bite. Well, that’s not entirely true but it’s awful hard to do over the net.
Don’t be scared.