Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things going well...

I am really doing pretty well these days. Perhaps it is because I'm taking a good pain med at night now that seems to be helping a lot. Perhaps it is because I feel a heavy load lifted from my weary shoulders, that shadow that haunted me, the fusion surgery.

What changed everything for me was receiving the written report from the doctor who evaluated my bone scan. He said that I lost 8% of my bone mass in less than a year. He also wrote that I am "significantly worse."

It's all out out of my control, and I just can't be having the surgery any time soon. In fact, in contrast to my last post, I am not pushing now to figure out a way to have the surgery. I've let go, and am going to "let God," as they say. I now am accepting who I am, and what I can do...and what I can't. And instead of wishing for better days, right now, I'm able to be in the moment and enjoy those moments as they come.

Today, we drove 55 miles to the town where my husband had an appointment. The snow-covered hills against a bright blue sky were entrancing. I noticed deer trails criss-crossing already the tree-less side hills. Bound up in my CTO, I kept working with the heater and defroster in order to keep the windshield and windows clear in our little truck. It was about 2 degrees this AM.

By the time we got to the appointment, I was feeling horrid from the painful head-sleep of the CTO. But inside, I had such a pleasant visit in the lobby, while waiting, with a couple of local, elderly men, who told me hunting stories, and the one man, now retired from firefighting, has played Santa in the community for 48 years! This year, he was 2 weeks past surgery and using a walker, but he still climbed up onto the fire engine for the parade through town the night after Thanksgiving.

At Walmart, I went in with my CTO and my walking stick, and for the first time, I was just happy being me. What I look like, well, I know it's comical. Especially with the knitted, snow hat on over the wide body of the cranial helmet of the CTO. But that was okay. I'm just me...and it ain't gonna change.

Years ago, I learned a saying: If you don't like your situation, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude about it.

Well, I spent over 4 years trying to change it. Now, God has changed my attitude. It's a beautiful thing, because I know I don't have the strength or power or will to change my attitude. That is a God-thang.

Dr. Fu's office is proceeding with putting in a recommendation to work comp that I be seen by the endocrinologist in Portland. If it happens, I'll go. I do need to find out how to stop this bone loss. But even if he took new tests and found me ready for the fusion/hardware surgery, I am pretty sure I would not go for the surgery.

I'm not ready to risk it. I've read too many stories of fusion failures, especially from those with osteoporosis. And when it fails, it's a very bad thing. They will go in and take the hardware out, if necessary, but that definitely means a permanent halo.

I gave up my dreams to fly up to Alaska, to drive to Vancouver, BC, to even ever drive again myself. I gave up the plan of getting a travel trailer and going back down to NM to see old stompin' grounds. I'll never get a mini horse or two and train them for the county fair. I won't be able to go to National Cowboy Gathering in Elko, NV to sell spurs with my husband. I won't be hiking through the woods across the road. I will have to get help with my gardening next year.

If I get so sick and pained after riding 35 miles in a nice car, I can't take trips, not even short day trips.

So, I'm going to be happy in my home, with my wonderful husband and best friend. And let go and let God.

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