Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cyborg Birthday: A year and a few days post-op

X-rays from during surgery 1/16/13
I started this post at the year and a day mark (although I just today finished it because of school & medication issues that I'll blog about soon)...kind of like a Celtic wedding, except for my cyborghood is a bit more permanent than that.  I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this past year, and a lot of those thoughts really boil down to "hindsight is 20/20."

For example, I really wish that doctors wouldn't have told me that I was too young for surgery and that I should wait as long as I possibly could until going under the knife. Recently, I've found information that is specific to the spine abnormality and injuries I had (spinous process fracture, bilateral pars defects, grade 2 spondylolysthesis, resulting in degenerative disc disease...for those of you medically curious) that points to surgery being more successful in people with low-to-mid grade vertebral slips (spondylolysthesis).  Well hell's bells.  Add to that some anecdata from other "spondy" patients that show that the longer we wait, the more nerve (and in some cases like mine, spinal cord) damage we have....that can become irreversible if surgery is postponed.

I have to admit that this is one of those things that I wish I could go back in time and change.  The time, money, and energy I have invested because of chronic pain is immense.  The things I've given up, the time burned away because my thoughts were stuck in painbrain, the events I've canceled or skipped because I couldn't function....the list goes on, and yeah, I'm a bit bitter and upset, and that's valid.

Long story short, I have a lot of nerve damage that probably would have healed had I not waited (especially with my birth defect....less damage would have been easier for my physiology to attempt to heal from).  Chronic pain is exhausting, and it's really wearing down on me.  It's also exhausting to live as a fat gimpy person where doctors refuse to believe my activity levels or desires, especially in a society that privileges walking over wheeling and assumes that all wheelers are paralyzed.

I regret postponing the surgery, not the surgery itself.  There's no telling that I would have a better outcome, so I'm trying to not beat myself up about how everything happened.

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