Six years ago today I had my first of 3 back surgeries. The first one was supposed to fix the Kyphosis in my back and alleviate the pain I dealt with on a daily basis. Due to complications, I needed 2 more surgeries after that (one in 2008 and one in 2012). The surgery that happened 6 years ago was a massive one that lasted 9 or 10 hours. I stayed in the hospital for almost 2 weeks although I should have probably stayed longer. The nurses said that sometimes we feel ready to go home but we aren’t because home isn’t set up like the hospital. They were right but I wanted to go home so badly after being cooped up so long. So I convinced them to let me go.
Having my spine fused was a huge adjustment. First, I had to deal with the fact that all the muscles in my back were cut through and it affected everything from walking to lifting to getting up and down from laying or sitting position. It felt as though I had to relearn to walk because my muscles got so weak. I had to regain strength which took several months. I couldn’t lift a plate of food, walk to the bathroom on my own, change my clothing, shower by myself or any other simple tasks that we take for granted. I was completely dependent on other people which was hard for me because I love to be independent. I say this not for sympathy or to complain, but for understanding.
Usually, October 15 is a very hard day to get through because it reminds me that another year has passed and I am still in so much pain. It has been a very long journey for me so far and I would love nothing more than to move on and be able to work again. But it is what it is and I try to do what I can.
Over the weekend I remembered something that was helpful in making today less difficult. I remembered that I needed the surgery and if I hadn’t gone through with it, I would be dealing with worse stuff than I already am. My back was in really bad shape and I found out that if I didn’t have surgery, it was a matter of when (not if) I would end up having something happen that I would end up in a wheel chair permanently. Thinking about that, I realized that despite all the complications and pain I have dealt with, it isn’t as bad as it could have been. I still feel like I am stuck thinking about where I was 6 years ago and the stuff I went through…. but as someone that I know said to me, I survived it and that is something to be proud of. 🙂 So I am trying to be proud of myself and focus on what I have gotten through instead of looking at how far I still need to go.
I could have shared much more about my experience 6 years ago and what I went through but that isn’t my focus today. If I focus on that, I seem to get stuck reliving stuff that I don’t want to. It is a time of my life that I am glad I got through and don’t want to have to deal with again. Maybe some time in the future I can share more of my experience but not today. Today I just want to say that I did get through it and I am slowly learning to be proud of progress that I have made, no matter how small it may seem sometimes. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. I appreciate it!