Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ah yes, new metal...

I just decided to re-read my last blog entry and I just noticed how I'd quickly slipped in that little phrase....new metal....

Its true, I've mentioned surgery a couple of times, but did I actually say what? I'm sure I said why...didn't I? Hmmm, now, I have two choices:

1. Read all my old blog posts to see what I have or haven't said.
2. Just tell you all again anyway, on the grounds that after my last significant birthday I must be old and therefore inclined to forget things.

I have decided to opt for number 2, not because I'm really old, but  because I'm currently in a writing app and not a reading one! I will warn you in advance though...if you are squeamish, look away now. I will tell you when you can look back at the screen when all the gory bits are over...

First, some of the historical facts. I had a double major scoliosis curve operated on in 2006 and was literally 'cut in 'arf' as the BMB puts it. They inserted a metal rod in me from (for the technically minded) T9-L5, or to put it another way (for the not so technically minded), from the bra strap to below my waist. The curves in my spine were decreased by over 50% to around two 30°ish curves, neatly balanced above each other. My lovely surgeon left me a single moveable joint at the bottom and lots at the top. He told me I'd probably need to get some of them fixed 'one day'...

Now to the present. The joint at the bottom has given out and my bone graft has failed at the top. None of this is news to long term readers of my blog but I wanted to make sure that anyone reading this with upcoming scoliosis surgery didn't think that this sort of thing is inevitable - because it really isn't.  For me, it was a combination of my age and my spina bifida and the fact that I ask, nay expect, to be able to do all sorts of things I really shouldn't...

OK, now to the future and the gory details as far as I know them - I shall try not to be too graphic! They are going to extend my metalwork at the bottom by going in through my stomach (gawd knows how that works) and because I no longer have enough bone left to screw into, the plan is to add a metal cage which they will fix to my pelvis. If I don't already set off the metal detectors, I will soon! It sounds to most people like I won't be able to bend, but think about it, how much does your back bend when you sit down? Yup, its all hips, isn't it? Oh, and I can't bend anyway (back full of metal don'tyaknow)! So, that's that bit - they will also 'regraft' the top of my rod and 'maybe add some more metal one or two levels as needed', says my surgeon. I just think he wants to get in there again with the hammers, chisels and screwdrivers and have a big happy grin on his face while he plays at being Mr Carpenter with my back, but hey, I have an active imagination!

So...there you are....and oh yes, you can look back at the screen now, as that's the nuts and bolts of it (quite literally), albeit quite briefly. I'll keep you updated as we go.....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Putting my house in order...or something like that...

Its strange, isn't it, that there's nothing like having a deadline to make you get things done -even though I do know someone who always says they love the sound of deadlines as they go whooshing by!

So, I have a date - a date for my surgery that is. Its fairly soon and so I decided to sit down and work out what impact it was going to have and what I needed to get off various lists* to put my mind at ease. I began by putting all my various notepads and electronic devices on the desk and discovered a whole load of things I've been meaning to do. The thing is, that after my next lot of surgery, I won't be able to do much for a while - Christmas shopping for example is probably not going to be at the forefront of my mind and so I have to think about that now....yes, now....and its not even Bonfire Night yet! So, apart from that, the list comprised of getting the electrician and plumber in to do a couple of jobs (think I'm having them come round after surgery, when I'll be slobbing around in my pyjamas for a couple of months? Um, that'd be a no then!) along with various other things like that.  Some of the stuff I've just decided that it simply isn't that important so I've crossed it off one list and NOT added it to another! Feels wicked in a way... ;-)

Of course, there's all the hospital stay stuff to think of too - will I really want to show off the pyjamas I have with Grumpy on the front? Actually I'd be happy to, but they go over my head and I think with new metal in my back, the last thing I'll want to do is lift my arms above waist height! So, new pyjamas then - ones that button up the front, but not ones that make me look like my grandad. This week has been pyjama buying week - I decided I needed several pairs - in hospital you always end up with your nice clean pyjamas with breakfast, or sick or something straight down the front the second you put them on. (Sorry to be so gross, but you know its true...!) That led on to my tidy dressing gown (I'm probably not going to wear it, I hope they are going to let me languish in bed and be waited on hand and foot) but I looked at it, forlorn on the back of the bedroom door and tried to decide how long it had been there getting dusty (I wear the one I like, not the tidy one!). So, dressing gown, wash, check! 3 pairs PJ's, check! 1 nightshirt (maybe I won't be able to waggle my feet enough to get into PJ trousers), check! New slippers (did I mention my slippers are years old?), check! Going into hospital is starting to look like an expensive business and that's before I get into deciding whether to treat myself to a new Kindle with a built in backlight, because it will be so much easier don'tyaknow !

*I love a good list!

Friday, September 20, 2013

More in common than you think.

For many years, I have followed a blog called Wheelchair Dancer (http://cripwheels.blogspot.co.uk). WCD and I have more in common than many people may think, since I am not a dancer and she doesn't do what I do either. Its interesting though that we are both involved at the elite end of what we do. She's involved in dance, I'm involved with sport and of course, we both have wheelchairs....in common with many other folk in the world. I like her posts though - she tells me stuff I don't know, reflects feelings I have and explains feelings I don't. Its interesting just following someone else's life and feeling connected to them.

It was one such recent post, that I identified with, since WCD has just had surgery and she was mentioning her memories of it - the anaesthetic and how suddenly you fall asleep, all those muffled memories of waking, sleeping and drooling, all bundled into a time frame you can't comprehend. I remember after my really big surgery asking what day it was, convinced I had somehow been in theatre for at least 2 days! She mentions the recovery room and the bumpy journey up and down corridors (which I have to add always seem cold) and then she got onto something I've put a lot of thought into recently. It's the person who doesn't have all the drug induced bumpy wooly memories, the partner, friend or parent who does all the waiting. I can't imagine what that's like, not knowing what to do - stay and wait in the hospital, go home and pace the floor? As WCD puts it "The person having the surgery cruises through on happy drugs" but its not so for those who wait - even if they have had to do it before. How many times had hubby had to go through this? 5 or more times? Is he used to it yet?

Like WCD, I know too that when I get home, hubby will take care of stuff in the house. Everything will be within reach and he won't fuss (because he knows I hate it) - he will worry endlessly, but in the end he will be there. Who gets the easier deal here? Would I trade all the pain and healing for the worry....hmm, you know I'm not sure....
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