My last post was in February, and I had just started my whole weight loss/fitness thing. That went well. I took the
I don't really know what I did to mess up my neck. The neurosurgeon who did my surgery said that they rarely see someone my age with an injury that severe unless they've been in a serious accident. Car wrecks, falls down flights of stairs, being blown up by bad guys in Afghanistan, that kind of thing. It doesn't happen from picking up 12 lb weights at the YMCA. It was sort of a "wtf" moment.
After my surgery, he told me he'd discovered that the ligaments holding my cervical vertebrae in line are unusually loose, giving my neck joints more room to move in and out of line, and making me more vulnerable to more of this fun in the future. He said I'm likely to have this happen again if I'm not "very careful with activities." I thought I was being very careful to begin with. This loosey goosey neck thing is apparently just genetic. They didn't really know. They just told me to avoid "wild activities." I still don't really know what they consider wild activities, since I apparently did this on an elliptical machine or something.
Elliptical machine of DEATH, that is.
Here's a picture of my gnarly neck stabbing, which I got just in time for Halloween.
Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
They went in through the front, scooped out the bad disc, which was described to me as "a squished jelly donut," (I imagine it would be less delicious), put in an artificial one in its place, shaved off a piece of my own bone taken from somewhere inside my neck (I guess you just have extra pieces lying around), and put it in the middle of the new, fake disc so it would fuse. To something. Oh and there's a titanium plate in there, too, presumably to hold my head on until the bone fuses. To whatever it's fusing to.
They didn't do a lot of explaining. After months of having severe pain in my arms, numbness in my hands and arms, stabbing pains in my shoulder blades, and a plethora of other issues that I assure you were most intolerable, I didn't waste much time asking. I was just happy to hear that I didn't have MS and was getting the disc surgery right off the bat instead of being put through steroid injections, traction, physical therapy, and the whole rigamarole they usually force people to try before going to surgery. The squished jelly donut was pressing into my spinal cord and apparently posed a danger of permanent, no-joke, eff you up for life damage if it wasn't fixed.
My older kid turned 4 a few days ago, the younger one is almost 15 months old, and needless to say my daily life involves a lot of lifting, carrying, hauling, moving, pushing, pulling, being pushed, being pulled, and generally being treated as a piece of playground equipment. So it sucks for everyone that I can't lift anything heavier than half a gallon of milk for an uncertain amount of time, but at least 4 weeks. With a 15 month old who weighs about 24 lbs and still has to be lifted into his high chair, crib, etc.-- not to mention all the places he has to be lowered from, what with his climbing tendency (because of that and his love of eating paper, we call him the billy goat)-- this basically means I can't be left alone with the kids, ever. And my "ever" I mean "not at all for at least four weeks." Suddenly, the value on what Mommy does went through the roof. I couldn't help but feel a little bit satisfied when I saw it sinking in that it would be absolutely impossible to find another person to do my job from dawn to dusk every day while Tim worked. Quite the pickle, huh? Fortunately, Tim had 3 weeks vacation built back up after the vacation from hell (another blog post), and he took them. I'll have an x-ray in about 2 weeks to see if everything's healing as fast as they hoped. I may be released by the end of November, or I may have to wait longer. If that happens, I have no idea what we'll do. Tim's vacation time will be gone, and that baby ain't gonna levitate into or out of his crib, high chair, or anything else. Maybe I can just feed him on a saucer in the floor, like a cat.
So that about sums up the bad news, I guess. The good news is that I've spent the last 10 days post surgery chillin' and watching my husband do everything. At first it was no fun. It hurt to move so much that I couldn't enjoy it, but once that initial intense pain started to fade and I could enjoy it, I really started to take in the beauty of the situation. Him changing diapers, fixing meals, bathing kids, cleaning house (kind of), making lunches, going grocery shopping...all while I eat Percocet, play video games, and, who knows, maybe even resurrect my blog.