Recovery is a b*tch. There. I said it. *Heavy sigh*
A surgery virgin prior to May 24, 2017, I had no idea what surgery or days and mos post surgery was like. The only reference point I had was childbirth. Granted I had all of my children au natural without the benefit of an epidural, I figured it would be the same kind of mind numbing pain. And it was. But I figured it wouldn’t be long before I was back up and at ’em. Ha!
Now at roughly 17 weeks post op (Anterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion aka ACDF), I am still struggling to get my life back to where it was prior to the auto accident that precipitated the cervical spine surgery.
Funny-not-so-funny thing is that I was on my way to do my weight training workout when I was T-boned & broadsided. Wrong place. Wrong time. I reckon.
The 7 month wait and see approach to the nerve and muscular pain was a pain, to say the very least. Sprinkled in was physical therapy. Torture. Then epidural injections along my spine. More torture. Then the fateful decision that surgery was the final frontier.
Dare I say, as a former surgery virgin, getting sliced and diced on is not a pleasant circumstance. However, the nerve pain in my left arm has improved. The right arm? Not so much. The MRI of my right shoulder is next week to see if it’s a rotator cuff injury. Ai yi yi. Hopefully, it won’t point to another surgery.
So now as I recover, I longingly reminiscence about old Jacq. The runner, weight trainer, workaholic, computer geek, DIYer, cross country coach, … Alas. No more. At least for now.
Reimagine – reinterpret (an event, work of art, etc.) imaginatively; rethink.
As I recover I’m learning my new limitations.
- Neck rang of motion – it’s definitely better. Quite a ways to go before backing into or out of a parking space or my driveway is comfortable.
- Running – nah.
- Weight training – nah.
- Dressing – Getting stuck inside or out of my clothes has been absolutely CRA-ZY!
- Styling my hair doesn’t go so well. So if you see me on the street looking a little ragged in the head, now you know why.
- Driving – SMH. Who knew how much you used your neck and arms when driving? I mean, really knew. For now, I drive as little as possible avoiding highways and night driving and I drive with my right hand in my lap.
- Sleep – It’s still evasive. I haven’t slept well since before the car crash (October 12, 2016). My neck cramps up. All of the muscles involved with my neck are still kinda angry and acting out. And my right shoulder (presumed rotator cuff situation) continues to be the squeaky wheel..even when I am motionless.
The little things have become the big things. It would seem that my life from henceforth will be different. However, it is indeed true that it could have been worse.
A reimagined life. Sometimes change can be a good thing if we but allow ourselves to not dwell on what was. If I’m focused on what’s in front of me, my neck limitations are my reminder to not look back.