15 February 2011

Good news first

A month ago, the vet and I both thought the cat wouldn't survive his health crisis. Today, he got a clean bill of health. He's still a bit thin, but gaining, and this morning, he tried to bite my toes through the quilt. Since the removal of the last of his stitches and bandages, he's been a purring machine.

As for me, I am still broken. And that's largely how I've felt: like a broken doll that's been tossed in the corner. But there's a light there, too. The spinal surgeon cleared up some misinformation today (which means that I now feel comfortable about bending over without fear of immediate paralysis), and there is still hope that the present damage will clear on its own. He offered me the option of immediate surgery (which I immediately declined. That's a surprise, isn't it?) or waiting another four weeks to see if the nerve compression starts to diminish. The bad news (you thought there'd be no bad news? Of course there's bad news), the bad news is that I may never regain sensation in my right leg, even with surgery. The neural damage may be permanent.

Of course, I've already accepted that as my new normal. I've figured out how to make the muscles my brain can talk to do the work of all of them. This is the upside of always being broken: adaptation. I don't have to like it. I just have to do it.

The other good news (yes, there is still good news) is that if surgery is necessary and desirable, then it will be minimally invasive. Just another Frankenstein scar to add to the collection. I'll have to start wearing backless shirts and dresses so I can show them off.

And even though I'm still technically in surgery limbo, today's consultation took a tremendous weight from me. Yeah, broken. What else is new? But at least I feel like I can start getting back to my regularly scheduled life.

Because there's stuff out there that needs to be done.

Go listen to some good music: "Good News First" from the album Snakes & Arrows by Rush. The surgeon told me, "no heavy lifting." and I said, "I never lift anything heavy." And the spouse looked at me like I was out of my mind. Because I never heave fully-loaded carry ons into overhead bins on airlines. EVER.

No comments: