Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shoe Tart On Hold

No shoe tart pics yet. I'm thinking it's not going to happen for a couple weeks. I found out Wednesday after seeing my doctor that I have a "significant herniation" of my L4-5 disc(s). That means that my lower back has, close your eyes and picture this, the skeletal equivalent of a jelly donut with jelly innards gooing out the hole. Those jelly innards are pushing HARD on my sciatic nerve. That would explain the pain, the numbness and the ridiculous drop-foot loss of strength I have going on. My doctor, concerned about the loss of strength (which is getting more pronounced as the weeks go on) suggested surgery. He called the surgeon in, who also did a physical exam, whistled at my MRI and said I need surgery. I scheduled surgery.

Rash you might say? Bollocks I might respond.

First of all, the surgery is a one hour, outpatient procedure called a microdiscectomy. Basically, they make a tiny incision, go in with tiny instruments, remove tiny bone fragments and part of the disc, maneuver around the nerve and shave off the bulging disc nucleus/jelly goop that is causing all the ruckus.

I have spoken to a lot of people who've had the procedure and they are very satisfied. Most importantly they are glad they are not in the daily pain that comes with this kind of herniated disc. I have SCOURED spine sites who ALL say back surgery is a last resort UNLESS you have one of two issues occurring. One being loss of bladder control. Thank you God, that's not the case. The other is loss of strength. And, considering the loss of strength in my foot is profound, I am a candidate for immediate surgery.

I spoke to my chiropractor, whom I trust implicitly, and he ALSO said I am a candidate based on my symptoms. If it was otherwise, he'd say so big time.

I'm a little scared. Maybe I should be more scared. I don't know if this sounds weird, but it's almost inevitable that this is happening. (I believe in law of attraction and manifestation....for good and bad, so maybe this has something to do with it...) ANYway, I mean inevitable by the fact that having this surgery will put me in third generation of women in my family having back surgery. My grandma made the medical books in the 60s with hers. I vaguely remember my mom being in hospital then in bed for what seemed like forever when I was a little girl. And now this. Genetically speaking I was dealt the fuzzy end of the lollipop when it comes to backs. Even my mom's brother has serious back issues. I've had them all my life...well...ok, since I was 21 after a car accident where the xrays show my neck is almost straight, versus curved, which causes a whole set of other problems and pain, which I've dealt with for 20 years.

But the low back stuff...this is new...relatively (see last post). And I don't like it. I'm an active person. I have two small girls. We go to Disneyland a lot, we like to hike, I work out at the gym, I like to walk (I hate to run, but have forced myself to do so, though not lately, obviously), and I like the freedom of knowing that when I want to I can ride horses, scuba dive, go camping, etc.

I don't have time for bullshit pain and bullshit bulging discs and stupid crap that keeps me in bed most days. I like being outside, I like outdoors stuff. I like being physically strong and feeling powerful. I also like really good, sweaty sex. All that wonderful stuff I enjoy is on the line here. I am not a gimp, not a cripple, WILL NOT be housebound and bedridden. I refuse. So I am doing the surgery and looking at alternative methods to use in conjunction with the surgery for post-operative recovery.

Anyway, back to the inevitability part, I grew up in a household where surgery was not taboo. I guess it was like my c-sections...I was a c-section baby and neither my mom nor I had issues, so I was not concerned with it like others I know, some of whom surgery of any kind is anathema to them. I guess the climate growing up was of surgery-oriented solutions. Don't know if it's right or wrong. I do know that attitude and perspective play a HUGE role in recovering through ANYTHING. So my attitude and perspective that this is the right solution for me and that I will recover well is the important thing.

I am also realizing that my impatience is my biggest enemy. One foolish desire to prove I'm perfectly well is going to mess me up further.

I have to be smart, patient and reasonable. This back thing has had me down for too long. I have a chance to rectify it and improve. If I am smart, patient and reasonable.

Lots of people in lots of back surgery forums have complained their surgeries weren't successful.  At least many of them were honest enough to admit they had done something like go out and try to run a marathon too soon, or lift a 130-pound toolbox or whatever.

That's what I paid attention to. Now, if I can wipe away the stubborn German-Irish redheaded leo part of me, I will come out of the on top. In more ways than one I hope. ;)

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