Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spine Surgeon #3

He was a university researcher, and he saw mangled spines and tumors and horrible things on a regular basis.  He was kind but discouraged me from considering surgery.  Out of the many (maybe 10?) that I have met with now, only 2 said they thought that I would be able to feel the rods and screws and that I would be really uncomfortable.

So, I left disapointed.  No flexible fusion, complications from feeling the rods and screws.  I don't have a lot of meat on my bones and my nerves are really sensitive so I know I would feel them.

As far as the mess left by that injection, he thought it wouldn't hurt to try another injection later and he had good people to refer me to.  It was safer than surgery.

Ironically, at least half of the surgeons I have seen since this one were trained in some way by him.  All the good ones I keep finding have him on their CV.  He is a fantastic surgeon and I really appreciate that he was honest and didn't encourage me to do something that wouldn't work out well.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spine Surgeon #1

I had been suffering from extreme pain in my legs for several months.  At the time, I didn't know why they burned and were so cold and stiff and crampy.  Now several years later, I believe it was because my room was so cold that winter.  The cold, and the resulting lack of time spent stretching led to some really tense muscles and inflamed nerves.

Anyway, it was a lady spine surgeon.  She asked a lot of good questions, and was very thorough in her exam.  I think I probably asked her about flexible fusion and would have been disappointed to hear what I know now, that it isn't proven, and it probably will never be useful for spondylolisthesis.   The reason is that the vertebre will have a tendency to slide forward, and it most likely wouldn't hold or would eventually break the wires.

Amusingly, she agreed with me that I move like an 80 year old woman.  But then she was rather grouchy with me during the physical exam.  "Push harder."  "I need you to try here!"  "Bend more, all the way you can!"  I wanted to say, "I CAN'T!  That's why I came to see you!"

Obviously she wasn't the one, no grouchiness needed in a surgeon.  Onward and forward... I saw two more that summer, and now I have actually lost count.

What I Miss...and What I Have

What do I miss the most?

~climbing hills
~going for walks
~eating in restaurants and enjoying great food and long conversations with friends
~curling up in a comfy chair and reading a good book

I could keep going...but what do I have?

~my car, where I can sit and read
~favorite shady places to park and spend time with God
~a chair that let's me enjoy a short meal out occasionally
~3 amazing new friends this year
~grocery shopping
~2 jobs that I really enjoyed this year
~a bed where I have been able to rest usually pain free for several years

I am blessed.  He takes care of me.  How many times has He worked things out so I could do things without hurting myself and even without drawing attention to myself. 

Example:  The work meeting at Coco's.  There was no way I could sit in those chairs for even a minute, so I got there early to check things out.  The host informed me that our table was already reserved in the back, and I AMAZINGLY was able to get my chair out of the car without hurting myself, and rolled it in. 

Only one other teacher was there, out in her car.  She didn't ask about the chair, and I wouldn't have minded if she did, but it was nice not to draw much attention to myself. 

I happened to be the last to leave somehow, and once again, had no trouble getting the chair back in the car.  I don't think everyone even noticed my rolling chair.  A little miracle from above. 

So when I am down and depressed, let me bring to mind the victories He has made for me and the ways He has been faithful and will be faithful.