After a series of visits to the doctor, x-rays, pain meds, steroids, physical therapy and an MRI, a neurosurgeon decided that it was time.
Today he'll go through the front of my neck - and from what I can understand - remove a couple of cervical disks, put something in their place, then use titanium plates to lock the vertebrae together. The irony is that evidently after the surgery, there won't be pain in the back of my neck anymore, it will be in the front from being open and worked through during the procedure.
I'm ready for it to be over. It's to the point that my left thumb, first and middle fingers are almost always numb - and I figure that can't be a good thing.
As much as I want to have everything fixed though, I really, really don't want to have surgery. I don't know anybody who does.
My friends at work were amazing yesterday and we had a big breakfast. They put together my favorite things and had them in a basket. One of my funniest co-workers gave me a hug and said, "I love you hon. Don't die."
It was good comic relief, but that's pretty much what it comes down to. We see complications from surgery in our job as therapists. Blood clots, oxygen deprivation, stroke...it kind of gives a whole new meaning to, "ignorance is bliss".
My head tells me that nothing will go wrong. I have the best surgeon, most phenomenal hospital and the greatest staff. I know this. That little voice inside is what haunts you though. The one that sends the paralyzing fear of something going wrong. The one that makes you not just kiss your children on the head, but smell their hair and take them in, never wanting to let them go. That voice that has you take your husband's hand just because.
It's that voice that I'm trying to push away this morning before surgery. It's the voice I can't listen to.
My girlfriends Marti and Stacy showed up during my lunch yesterday and we had some friends from work gather round too. We said a prayer which really helped. Marti asked for a blanket of peace and protection. That expression stuck with me and I'll continue to pray for that today too.
They say that when I wake up, the pain and numbness will be gone. I can't even imagine how wonderful that would be. I would like to say that it's a good wake up call to appreciate life and all that is in it. The thing that stinks, is I don't need it. I already know to be thankful for the amazing family and friends that God puts into your life. I'm thankful everyday.
For whatever reason though, I have to go through this and it will be good to get it taken care of.
I'll write as soon as I can and be so happy to be pain free when I do. It's going to be a fun few days but hopefully worth it in the end.