I decided to make this a Randomized Randomocity because I wasn’t planning to write a post about it. For those of you who care what’s been going on in my personal life, you can find out below.
I’ve been slightly inactive as of late, but I’m slowly getting my groove back. First, I went on vacation in November. I came back in December, but only at about 25% my normal presence. I was enjoying what time I had left with full mobility with my family, because I knew I might soon be permanently bedbound. My back had begun deteriorating at a rapid clip. Almost daily my pain was increasing and the things I could do on my own were decreasing. I was depressed, and the best medicine for that is not being alone. Company does not help or fix depression, but it does keep the depressed from doing something stupid. So I prescribed myself more family time and less internet. It helped. I was finally willing to accept paralysis if that should be my future.
Some of you know that I’ve struggled with back problems since 2005. I’ve had disc decompression surgery every three years during that period (2005, 2008, 2011, and 2014). The last surgery in 2014 didn’t stick for several reasons. One, I’m too fat. My belly tugs me perpetually down and forward and my back never truly recovers due to the constant tension. Second, it was my fourth surgery. L4 and L5, the affected lumbar discs, were tired of being decompressed. I had multiple tiny fractures running through both discs due to them weakening after so many surgeries. Third, I should have had a fusion after the second surgery, but I couldn’t find a doctor willing to do it because of a) my weight, and b) my age. I was too obese and too young for their liking. Fourth, I went straight back to work after my fourth surgery because I had to finished editing and rewriting Cruelty. I don’t regret doing that. I’m proud of that book, and the pain I went through added to the emotional quality of the second half. But all those hours in a chair post-op was not smart. I fucked myself up. Oh well. Because I really liked that book.
Anyfloop, January saw me back in the emergency room. I was finally referred to a doctor who had the balls to try a fusion. (Dr. Timothy Holt, thank you.) I had my fifth back surgery on January 25th.
Now recovery is my number one goal. I’m walking without the use of a walker, or when out and about, a shopping cart. I’m doing more for myself, even though I still can’t put on my own socks, underwear, or shorts (Thanks, Chelle, you’re a trooper, and I love you), and I’ll be in this brace for the next two months, but I’m actually doing better. Dr. Holt says that most people return to 70-80% mobility after a fusion. He’s warned me that, because of my previous surgeries, my percentage might be lower, but I’m hopeful.
Welp, there you have it – an update. I didn’t post about this while it was going on because the last thing I wanted was a bunch of sad faces in the comments. It’s nice to know you guys care, but the real result is bringing those around me down because they cannot actually help. I have a positive outlook and I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. Besides, paralyzed or not, life goes on. It’s my choice to smile or frown while it’s going down. And I choose to smile.
Many thanks to my good friend Gregor Xane, who lent an ear when no one in the house was around to listen to me bitch and whine. He always had some silly shit to say or share that made me smile. My wife and Gregor have never met, but they were the team that kept me bright during the darkest moments. Not really sure how this would have ended without them.
*hugs and high fives*