(Getting To The) Moment of Truth November 11, 2013

Photo credit: Steve Richey/Unsplash

Photo credit: Steve Richey/Unsplash

This weekend was such a mixed bag.  Yesterday I had that great walk in the park. Last night some good longtime friends came over and brought us a beautiful dinner. It felt so good to hang out and laugh, to eat good food and visit with friends we’ve known for decades.


This morning I woke up feeling pretty optimistic and confident. I decided, it’s probably time I start really cutting back on the prescription painkillers I’ve been taking. Narcotics. Way less than I was at the start, but still way more than I want to be taking. I tried taking some over the counter Tylenol in hopes that I could maintain my level of comfort. We planned to go out for another little walk in the park, but it felt really different than yesterday. By the time we had driven up from our house to the parking lot (about 1/4 mile), the familiar stabbing near my shoulder blade had started up.

I took a deep breath. This is not going to get the best of me, I said. We walked maybe a total of ten minutes and at that point all I could think of was coming home and getting horizontal.

Discouraging. I gulped down my pill and lay on my back. Again.

Tomorrow the surgeon comes back. I was still hoping to get to Minneapolis on Thursday. But I think some kind of reality hit me today. When I realized that even though I am so much better than I was a month ago, I am still so far from normal.

Here is the hard truth. I still can’t:

  • work (any of my three jobs: physical therapy, writing or leading Weight Watchers meetings)
  • get through a day (0r night) without prescription pain meds
  • exercise in any meaningful way (including: Nia dance class, work out with my trainer, run, swim or ride a bicycle, lift weights or do any of the workout videos in my house)
  • carry a purse or a backpack
  • drive my car, or independently get myself anyplace outside my house
  • pick up anything heavier than a coffee cup
  • prepare meals for my family that involve more than a microwave
  • go shopping or run any errands
  • do anything that involves being upright for longer than an hour maximum

People, these are a LOT of big things on the “can’t” list. Yes, I am super happy for the progress I have made. But this has been going on too damn long. Too long. An entire season has passed by while I have been down.

The surgeon comes back tomorrow. I expect we will probably have a conversation sometime in the late afternoon or evening.

I’m ready to be done with this.


7 Responses to “(Getting To The) Moment of Truth”

  1. CarolynD Says:

    Yes, that is a long list of “cant’s” for anyone. It has to be a hard decision to have surgery when you are making baby steps to feeling better but this “better” is not good enough. I hope today is a better day with less pain.

  2. Deb Roby Says:

    Yes. That and significant list of can’t. Can’ts that take away your independence and freedom. Wisdom with the conversation tomorrow.

  3. I am so sorry you are going thru this! I sure hope you get some help after the discussion with your doctor – very hard to have your independence gone…

  4. Gina Says:

    Praying for your speedy recovery. Bumming that you won’t be coming out to MN (it’s cold here this week…not good for muscles and bones). This just means when we do finally get together it will be that much more awesome :-)

  5. Tilly Says:

    Sending positivity waves to you and your family: +wave +wave +wave!

  6. Dildar Says:

    Health is so obvious when it’s with you that we forget the overwhelm when we aren’t in the best of health. Take care, keep moving forward and get well so you can travel to Minnesota, carry a backpack, laugh and fix a dinner for your family. I’ll keep you in my POSITIVE thoughts

  7. Sheryl C. Says:

    I realize I am commenting late and you have already met with your surgeon. As someone who had neck surgery, I want to encourage you to get it done. I felt better the minute I woke up from surgery. And recovery was very quick. I know it seems rather drastic to have someone work on your spine like that, but for me, it was so worth it. In fact, I have decided (this minute, may change my mind) that when I get to the weight I need to be for them to actually do surgery on my lower back (I have too much abdominal fat still for the surgery I would have to have), if I do not feel significantly better than I do now, I will get the surgery. I have been on prescription pain killers for 3 years (and getting off of them will be difficult). I can’t do the things I would like to do physically — for exercise, or in any other way — so I should do it. I won’t ever be able to run marathons, but I would be able to do more than I can now. Just wanted to tell you getting my surgery was a very positive experience for me.

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