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This is my journey from pain to passion, from darkness to living again...
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The Surgery

Posted 04-30-2011 10:37 AM by ssofalvi

It has been a bit since my last post. I have had a rough couple of days and I am trying not to write this from a place with overwhelming pain. I am trying to stay positive in this space, while still addressing the negative and when I am bad, I tend to see through black coloured glasses rather than rose. On to this post…

This post will bring me up to actually getting my spine fused, exactly one year and one week from my injury…

After making the decision to go for surgery, I stopped pushing in physio as it was obvious that I was not getting better with increased core strength, and instead I participated in a pre-hab program. Essentially I did the same exercises as before, but I didn’t push if it hurt. I was back at work for one four-hour shift a week, and it was incredibly hard to go in and focus on managing a pharmacy with pain killers in my system and months of sleeping irregularly. But I did it because it helped to do something. At this point I was feeling sorry for myself in that I felt useless and more like a burden than a pleasure to those I loved. Because I was always in pain I had isolated myself to avoid talking about how I felt and how much everyone else was accomplishing. It was a combination of the two that made me feel like I didn’t add anything to the lives around me, I was always avoiding contact.

My best friend gave birth in the middle of my injury and I as so happy for her, I love her death and I love her little one just as much, but there was also this part of me screaming ‘when can I start dreaming and planning!’ and ‘why me?’ (As I said, this is the time I felt the most sorry for myself. I had already been trying to recover from this injury for almost a year with very little progress and I now was faced with another year at least, and up to two or three years for a full recovery. It was scary and infuriating. I had fought so hard and gotten nowhere.) I distanced myself from her just a bit, and I really didn’t realize it until just this week when she called me for the first time since moving hours away at the beginning of April. I realized how much I missed her and how much I had been missing her the last few months when she was here. I guess I didn’t make as much of an effort to see her as I could. Now I miss her horribly and would do just about anything to see her, but it is impossible until I can at least ride in a car for prolonged periods. Anyways, Darling if you are reading this, I am sorry if you have missed me as much as I missed you. You know who you are!

Okay, enough of that. I guess I just wanted to show just how much I had isolated myself. I went through every strong emotion I can name in the weeks after getting my surgery date. Part of me hoped I would wake up better someday, even though I knew it was impossible. Another part of me was looking forward to a solution, and yet another was as scared as I have ever been.

I was so nervous I actually had a couple of anxiety attacks, so I tried to keep myself busy. I still went to physio twice a week and for a massage once a week, I managed to clean the apartment with the help of my cousin (thank you!)

But the dark hours of the night are long ones, and I hadn’t slept the night through in almost a year. I tortured myself with all the what-if’s I could think of, and then I remembered I was living something of a waking nightmare… The what-if’s were worth the chance to be pain-free.

Not that I accepted it calmly… Quite the opposite in fact. While I tried to keep it together on the outside, inside I was wailing. I was so scared, anxious and a thousand other panicky emotions I can’t describe. Suffice to say, there were a lot of tear and blank stares on my part. I learned everything I could about my operation and recovery but not matter what I did, I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I would wake up with metal in back with a forty percent chance of being the same or worse than before the surgery. I didn’t know how to feel, so for the most part I tried to bury it. When you do that though, your emotions tend to surface at inopportune times.

I remember being brought into the surgical suite and my eyes were streaming with tears, I was begging them to let me off the table, I tried to convince them it was all a huge mistake and I could handle the pain… I was freaking out! When they went to lower the anesthesia mask I cried harder and a nurse grabbed my hand (and I have no idea who she was or what she looked like because she already had her mask and scrubs on, but I would like to say thank you!) and squeezed it looking right at me and said, ‘it will be okay, we’ ll take care of you’… I believed her and that is really the last thing I remember. I was under for the scariest operation of my life.

In my next blog I will focus on waking up and the worst five days ever… My nightmares in the hospital.

As always, thanks for reading! -S.
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