Thursday, March 22, 2012
I'm sitting here at almost 3 in the morning and I'm thinking about my back surgery and for the first time in almost 2 years, I'm thinking of the severity of it. I was really torn about whether or not I was going to have back surgery. I was scared, nervous, and just anxious. I really really did not want to do it.
Then I got to thinking: I could be paralyzed by this. I could end up in a wheelchair, unable to walk or even go to the bathroom or take a bath or shower if I didn't get some sort of help for this. I thought mostly about my children and the lives they would lead because they wouldn't have a Mom who could go outside and play or push them on the swing. It almost brings me to tears just typing that.....
Up to the point when I first saw my back surgeon, I hadn't listened to the doctors much, I had lost faith and hope in anyone because all they seemed to want to do was put me on meds and stick needles in my back multiple times.
So, what did I have done exactly? Here is some medical terminology. But in layman's terms, I had a disk removed, fused to another, bone graft put in and a titanium rod placed with screws. I think it's 4-6 inches, I'm not exactly sure, probably 4 inches though.
Diskectomy. This involves removal of the herniated portion of a disk to relieve irritation and inflammation of a nerve. It's done as an open surgery and typically involves full or partial removal of the back portion of a vertebra (lamina) to access the ruptured disk.
Laminectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the bone overlying the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal and is performed to relieve nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis.
Fusion. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in your spine. It can relieve pain by adding stability to a spinal fracture. It is occasionally used to eliminate painful motion between vertebrae that can result from a degenerated or injured disk.
Yes, all three of those plus the rod placement and bone graft. I hate hate hate that I had to have this surgery. Some days, it really bums me out if I dwell on things too much. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy I can walk and I'm happy that I did go through with it, but just sometimes I have to wonder if it really was all worth it. Sometimes my mind can't wrap around the fact that I have something foreign in my body. That that little rod is holding things together and if at any time it decides enough, that I'll have to have it removed or everything redone again.
I'm still in pain all the time, my leg and foot are still numb and I will probably be on medication the rest of my life for it. I can't walk through a grocery store without paying for it once we get home. I can't walk for long periods of time, I can't sit for long periods of time and I just really wonder sometimes....
Do you know what the real kicker is??
That I have another disc that is bad, could go at any moment, but hopefully not for another 10-15 years and that surgery will be the one that really disables me. That's why the doctor didn't do it when he did the other surgery. To have that looming over your head is just...it's really...odd...and just so final feeling. It's like it holds some power over you...mocking you that you'll have to go through surgery all over again....
To be honest, I hope that disc never gives out and I die before I have to even consider doing that surgery again. Kind of morbid, yes, but that's what I hope.