I have found my way back to the “Blog-o-sphere”, maybe as a form of cathartic healing, or perhaps just for “ventage” expression. The one thing that is sitting on my head today is the matter of perspective. Perspective is a lesson God taught me in Africa……and the most important lesson I have had in life. (I can’t WAIT to re-visit my experience then, but later.) EVERY single thing in life is subject to perspective, and I desperately try to keep it in check.
The last three years or so, I have walked an unexpected road, and I have turned a corner, to find yet another bend. I have had a range of emotions since the word came on Monday, and today, all I can do is wander around my house, searching for …… you guessed it!! The PERFECT perspective. In dire situations, I find myself digging for what some would consider a morbid comparison, BUT… it helps to hold the head a tad higher. There is ALWAYS someone hurting worse, with a condition that is worse, with life circumstances that are worse (based on perspective of course), and so I start there to set my own unit of measure, THEN, I try to decide if I had a hero, what would I admire in that person, and how they would handle the situation, news, etc. It’s like a multiple personality disorder!! BUT this week……. all I wanna do is kick rocks……or as a friend said on a FB post this morning….kick puppies. (And before any animal rights activists get up in arms…..NO…. I do NOT advocate kicking puppies, or any live animals of any kind. I <3 puppies….just an expression people.)
I am human, with human emotions, with the desire to be super-human. I am a Mom, a Wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a really special Grand-daughter….. The point is, I don’t have time for this, I don’t want to do this, and I just want it all to go away. I will, however, pick up my head, grab my bleeding heart off the floor, put my brain back in my skull where it belongs, and trudge the road ahead, because it is in my bones, and it is in my spirit. NO…. I am not alone. Remember, one of the 1st things I do is search for that morbid perspective, so no pity party going on here…. I am a tough girl, with a tougher God.
Here are the brass tacks of it all, since I can’t seem to get out what I want to convey. (I think I’m trying to talk myself into feeling better about all of this right now, and it’s not working.) Just a little history….. I have a Chiari Malformation, rare, but not unheard of. I had decompression surgery in Jan of 2010…… the day of the Earthquake in Haiti. Major big time surgery, that did the trick!!
3 wks post surgery, I had the opportunity to serve with the Extreme Home Makeover team, and help build a house!! (Tough girl, I am!!)
3 months later……. the bottom dropped out again. After a ton of tests and a spinal tap that revealed I had an UNBELIEVABLE high pressure (spinal fluid pressure) it was decided that I needed a shunt….in my spine, to drain the fluid. Didn’t work out very well, and at a time, got a little life threatening to say the least…….. skipping through the details, I had 11 spinal surgeries in 9 months, ending in them removing the shunt in my spine, and putting it in my brain June of 2011.
Since that time, life has gotten bearable again, was able to go snow skiing on Spring Break this year, and have done a little hiking even. But as time has gone on….. I have had this insane pain radiating throughout my body that has gotten worse and worse and worse in the last several months, like lightening going through every fiber of my being, with NO warning. I have really kind of cacooned myself, because I was starting to think I was going crazy. I’m telling you, I felt like EVERY SINGLE THING was going wrong with my body. I have had EVERY test, scope, X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and Ultrasound known to man……. until last Friday. I have spent sooo much time feeling worthless, and like I am letting my family down. I have wondered what in the world has happened to me and my state of mind, where did the tough girl go??? They weren’t finding anything, so what in the world was going on??? Even though I find myself in so much pain in the middle of the night, that I can’t even breathe, I am shaking, sweating, vomiting, etc….. they can’t find anything. I often found myself wondering if this is what the “rest” of my life was going to be like, and even at times….. was it even worth it???? (Not healthy to stay in THAT place very long…..I’ll just tell ya.) I drug my husband to the Dr. with me the last time……just to reiterate how AWFUL this thing was, whatever it may be. And a light-bulb went off (good thing the Doc personally knows me, and that I am unique….. in OH SO many ways) and he mentioned it could be a nerve thing……off to have my 3rd MRI in 3 weeks. (The good news is that every single one of my vital organs have been assessed closely and are in rock-star status) Then the report comes through my email on Monday, and it doesn’t look good. Then I get a phone message that simply says I have several abnormalities of the spine and need to contact my Neurosurgeon ASAP. Did I mention that my Neurosurgeon closed his freakin practice in MAY????? It was quite an ordeal to find a new neurosurgeon that would accept me as a patient ….. but i did find one. That’s a story for another day.
The 1st thing I did is grab a copy of that report, and run it over to my “old” Neurosurgeon’s house. (I conveniently had to pick my son up from his house that day) So he read the report, explained a little to me and asked for the films. I asked him HOW this could have happened, or if that was a dumb question. He said not a dumb question, just dumb luck. Story of my life……. Well, yesterday I picked up the films and delivered them to his house, and today, the final blow arrived.
While there are not answers for everything in life, sometimes an answer is even irrelevant, you still seek them. This too is rare…… shy of a major trauma from a car accident or something of that nature. There are several things that spark some interest, but there is ONE thing that is a major problem, causing everything I have been going through, everything just shy of me peeing on myself. It has affected my entire GI system, my vision, and OMGeeee the pain. My pain threshold is about the only thing that could probably be considered super-human at this point, but even this is TOOOO much. I have a “sequestered” disc. Like a blown disc, just completely, with the fluid all gone, and some part “floating” about in my spinal canal. No biggie…….. it’s just in the wrong damn place!!! It is at T8, with a “hemangioma” around it. (a big cluster of blood vessels). It is in the most narrow point in your spine… and it’s not easy to get to. It is a virtually immobile part of your spine, with ribs and other things surrounding it……an acute injury here is rare at best. Having said that, the Doc said I needed a Thoracic Spine Surgeon (only) and it needed to happen ASAP……because……. the piece is putting pressure on my spinal cord. He said the surgery was a very big one, and could be compared to the likes of my 1st brain “decompression” surgery. Yeah……. when I hung up, I wanted to throw up, AND kick rocks….. The original reason I needed the very 1st brain decompression was because my “problem” was bending my brain stem.
If you don’t know much about me, I am 5ft tall (and YES… bulletproof) and about 115lbs, but tough as nails. I am healthy (LOL!! Seriously though…..) Active (when not in excruciating pain) I have recovered in record time through all of this, with no need for physical therapy even. I’m not looking forward to this at all……. BUT, here is my perspective.
I have a fellow soccer parent (Dad) who lives his life in a wheelchair. A surgery will not fix his condition. There is a young man on my son’s high school soccer team who went on vacation with his family about 3 weeks ago…..to Destin, Fl. He is a Senior this year, and even a captain on his Cross-Country team. Rented a jet-ski, hit a boat, and lost his leg. You guys……. he is still smiling, and a surgery can’t fix his condition either. I have a sweet sweet dear friend who went in for an elective (but necessary) heart surgery (that he had had before) who had something go wrong, and he didn’t wake up from that surgery.
I think I will take this lickin’ and keep on tickin y’all!!