Whirlwind times. On April 2nd I'll undergo a 4-5 hour surgery with the hope and goal that in the months that follow I'll be able to walk and gallivant without the limits of pain and endurance. The recovery will take up to a year, but I can expect to improve each week, and I'll be mobile from the start. After almost two months of confusion to confirm a diagnosis, I've found a neurosurgeon and hospital program where I have full confidence. Backs are tricky: the literature says the success rate is about 60% and my own rehab experience confirms that.
But I'm more optimistic than I am concerned. The surgeon tells me to shoot for 80-85% improvement and I'm psyched about that goal. Even if there's evidence to the contrary, I'm happy to accept his prognosis. This has been a wake up call for me: it's time to get myself in shape and stay that way. So I've lost 23 pounds so far and I'm heading toward the next 23 pounds. I'm swimming, I'm done with sugar and white flour, and I'm 'waiting to worry.' I hope to get off blood pressure meds sooner or later. I have a good life, a great family, loyal friends, plenty of interests. I live by the sea and I know enough to be astonished.
I'm surprised that I've been mostly good natured over the last two months. Sometimes my pain level is through the roof. But not always, and that's an important distinction. Mine is not a relentless situation so I have moments when I'm relaxed and comfortable. My doctor prescribed a little pill so I can get a good night's sleep. I'm heading into this surgery with a positive attitude and a commitment to take care of myself better than I have before. And when I lose enough weight, I'll start dressing myself like the (now older) babe I want to be. :^)
I don't remember my parents complaining about anything, including their last weeks of preparing to die. I make jokes that I'm the black sheep of the family because I LOVE to complain. But honestly, I think I'm handling my impairment pretty well. I've decide to anticipate the best and I'm willing to put in the work toward that. Maybe 3 weeks from now I'll be shaking in my boots, but I hope not.
For the record, I told JB I thought I've had a good attitude 70% of the time. She disagreed: "Maybe 60-40," she said. So maybe I'm not coasting as easily as I wish. But once my eyes open in post surgical recovery and I'm assured I'm still alive, I'll be spending at least 60% of my time anticipating good things ahead. And I'm shooting for 70%.
At least I hope so!