I’ve been pondering what to post and decided I should just be honest. This week and the last few have been pretty wearing on me.
I think some of you know that I had scoliosis really badly as a young teenager. I wore a back brace from the time I was 12 until I was 15, when they decided that the degree of the curve was progressing steadily enough to warrant surgery. So I had surgery where they put what is called a Harrington rod along my spine to straighten it out and grafted a piece of bone from my hip over it. I gained two inches in height! And for several years, no problems. Some pain off and on but nothing major.
A few years ago, I went for a checkup with my orthopedic doc because I was having some discomfort and he said I was starting to develop stenosis (narrowing) of the spine and something called flatback syndrome. A lot of people who had Harrington rod surgery in the 70s, 80s and even early 90s are now being diagnosed with this. They only used one rod then (now they use two or more) and it didn’t allow your spine to flex except where the rod isn’t and your lumbar area gets flat instead of curved. As with most things, I put this information aside and went on like I was completely normal (haha, I know!)
Two years ago, though, I was simply walking through the parking lot at work when something popped in my back. I ended up in the ER and got some pretty strong meds. I went back to physical therapy for a while and actually ended up needing an epidural injection. But then the pain went away (pretty much)…until a few weeks ago when it came back full force. I was out of work for almost an entire week and now am back in pt again. : ( And the joy of pt is that they (a) often don’t know what in the world to do with me (though I think this therapist does) and (b) hurt me a lot in the beginning before I start to get better.
So, I am walking around feeling like an 80 year old woman and it makes me mad. It makes me mad that I can’t do simple stuff like weed or wash my kitchen floor. It makes me mad that I have to have people help me with things like that.
I joined a yahoo group about flatback syndrome and while people there are really nice, when I read the files of their stories I started to freak out and had to stop. I want to be the exception to what seems to the norm – ending up with revision surgery, six months of rehab, etc.
And then I get upset because I know my “stuff” is nothing compared to others and I should not be complaining! I look at Ruben(Each Day Counts) and his struggles with his illness, yet he is always encouraging other people. I look at my Caringbridge kids…some of whom may not make it to this time next year. I think about the scare my friend had with her daughter this morning and all the other people struggling in this world…
Who am I to complain???? I think if I could just get a good night’s sleep, it would help immensely!