Sorting Through My Thoughts…

When you’ve been through what I have, the thought of a second surgery is anything but an easy decision. My Mom and I talk about it often and I just tell her I don’t know how to be confident in this decision, I don’t know how to trust that what happened last time won’t happen again. And being a nurse, she see’s both sides, making it easy for her to understand where I’m coming from but also making it easy for her to believe it won’t happen again. What I don’t tell her is that it’s also about her. My Dad was in the ICU with my Mom and I the day it happened but he went home that night, visited the next day and then went to visit my brother in AZ. A few of my sisters visited when they could but also carried on their daily lives with work, families, etc. But for my Mom, her world stopped that day. She slept next to my hospital bed and went home only to feed my dog and stay the night with her. She was back at 9 a.m. every morning and spent all day with me. She helped me to the bathroom and encouraged me to walk the halls. She was my advocate, my cheerleader, my saving grace. She wiped my tears and kept my spirits up. For 13 days, her life revolved around me and the hospital. And when I came home, even though she had to go back to work, she slept at my house. She did my laundry, walked my dog, helped me learn the stairs, took me to doctors appointments and whatever else I needed. And for the past 8 1/2 months, she has continued to be my saving grace. She reminds me that she is there to help financially whenever I need it, she gets me out of the house so my depression doesn’t get the best of me. She gives me pep talks and celebrates my wins. She goes to every doctor appointment with me and is by my side always. And while I appreciate her confidence that last surgeries events won’t repeat themselves, I know she isn’t convinced this second surgery is the answer. She has watched me struggle for 8 1/2 months, not being able to return to work and being limited in what I can do. And her level of understanding still surprises me. The other day I expressed my frustration with having to explain myself to people and she says “You have to let them see it sometimes for them to understand. I know you and you’re always trying so hard not to let anyone see how limited you are but I could name 100 things just off the top of my head that most people do without thinking twice, such as picking up a pencil or getting up off the floor that, for you, requires careful thought and planning because of the pain”… And she is right. But she also understands my depression, my anxiety and how these challenges have changed my life and essentially put it on hold. Not to mention, at 29, there’s plenty of time for all these surgeries to effect other parts of my body and cause the need for future surgeries or effect things like my ability to have a baby, meaning there’s so many factors for me to consider when making this decision… I guess needless to say, she plays a significant role in my decision. And at this point, it feels as if we’re just… stuck. I have seen physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors. I have had medications, injections, pain patches, so on and so forth. My surgeon tells me my options are to have this second surgery or learn to live this way. We see another surgeon this week for a second opinion. But the more doctors I see, the more therapies I try that prove unsuccessful, the more discouraged I become… I want to try everything I can to avoid surgery but at some point we have to hang up the towel and admit we’ve tried everything outside of surgery… Until then, I still just sit here, researching and educating myself and trying to sort it out so some way, some how, I can figure out the answer to this enormous decision… 

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