Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday 12-8

It is an anniversary of sorts today.  28 years ago, I had the surgery which straightened my spine.  I have scoliosis and while they could fix the big curve, the neck and the waist curve they could not.  It was a new type of surgery at the time with only 5 doctors in North America trained to perform it.  I had one of those doctors, in fact, I had the doctor who's son invented the new clips for the 2 steel rods fused to my spine.  I didn't have a cast (like the old surgery) nor did I have a brace (like the old surgery).  I had to be careful for about one year and then I could do whatever I wanted.  I learned how to dance after that.  That had been a dream of mine since I was a child and I finally had my first dance lesson in my junior year, in January of that year.  I was 16 at the time.  I loved dance.  I still do, but I can't do much anymore.  One of the things I regret is that when I first got sick, I threw almost all of my dance pictures out.  I couldn't handle looking at them because it hurt so much to dance.  The only reason I have one picture is because Mom had it in her room.  She was so upset when she found out what I did but she didn't yell or anything like that at me.  She just said she wished I had just put them away in a box because someday I would want them.  Mom was right, but I am very thankful that I have the one that she had in her room.  I remember how nervous Mom was about my surgery.  I wasn't nervous or scared at all.  I think partly because it didn't occur to me that it might hurt.  I had watched the video (and grossed out) of what they were going to do so I was just fine.  Mom, on the other hand, apparently was a nervous wreck who was not sure she wanted to sign the consent form.  Finally, her friend, Bev, said she didn't have a choice or I would end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.  Mom signed.  She told me about this after the surgery.  I remember waking up in the recovery room.  I had to go to the bathroom so they brought the portable bathroom and got me up.  That was a shock to me because I didn't expect to be moved the day of the surgery.  When I got back into my room, Mom was there (of course!) and so were my brothers.  Richard told Mom to go to our friends house and get some sleep.  He would take care of me that day and he DID.  He really did.  If I needed something, he was there.  I will never forget that about him.  He really came through to let Momma get some sleep.  I was in the hospital for 10 days and then Bev drove me home.  She put a mattress in the back of her van.  The doctor wanted me to fly home because it would be faster than the 4 to 5 hour drive but we didn't have the money so our friend, Bev came up with the plan we eventually used.  I started off sitting up in the passenger seat.  I don't think we even got out of the city before I had to lie down.  I fell asleep for most of the trip.  I also remember Christmas Eve.  Momma always had this rule (even when we were adults) that you have to go to church Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus' birthday in order to get your Christmas presents.  Well, since I had just had surgery, I was excused from church.  (Mom would later read the Christmas Story from the Bible with me later that night so I would still have our tradition)  Richard then quickly volunteered to stay home with me incase I needed help.  Well, he got me all comfortable in my room with pillows all ready for me to sit on my bed and then he was ready to take off.  I got upset so he stayed.  Poor guy, he was forced to watch the TV show FAME.  I loved that show so much at that time.  He stayed until Mom and Andrew came home and then he left.  I remember spending much of Christmas Day in bed or lying down in the family room.  It was still a good Christmas.  Momma had finally gotten a good job (the one she retired from in 2002) about a month before the surgery.  They were so nice to her about being off for my surgery.  It was really a good, family owned company at the time.  Her new bosses even sent me a get well soon card.  During the Christmas vacation, Kathy came over and we decided we wanted to go to a movie.  Well, her mom and my mom were rather nervous about this.  I said I could stay up that long.  I proved it by watching TV and playing some games with Kathy for a few hours.  Finally, Mom said okay.  Kathy's mom would drop us off and Momma would pick us up.  Everyone was so worried I might fall with the snow and the ice.  I didn't, Kathy did.  She slipped on some ice but wasn't hurt.  We went and saw the movie and had a good time.  Of course, there is very few times when Kathy and I are together that we don't have fun.  It is just hard to believe that 28 years have passed.  The rods are fused to my back.  There is no way they can remove them.  I can't feel them.  I can break every other bone in my body except where the rods are, not that I wish to experiment with that.

Speaking of Kathy, I have very sad news.  Her Grandmother (92) passed away this afternoon.  Apparently, her grandmother had a stroke a couple of days ago but she didn't wake up.  Kathy was able to see her in the hospital.  This will be a tough Christmas for her and her family.  This grandmother was her Mother's mom.  It is just very sad.  I spoke to her a bit after she received the news.  I knew immediately when she called me right back that she had bad news.  Please, if you can, say some prayers for her and her family.  Even if you expect it, it is something you can't ever be prepared for, or at least I don't think you can.

this has been a sad day for Kathy.  It will be hard for her, but we will be together for Christmas so that is good.  I hope your day was good.


  1. that sounds like a pretty intricate surgery. So nice you had your family around for you at the time. Sending prayers for Kathy and her family. take care.

  2. That surgery sounds pretty invasive! Thinking of Kathy, it's always hard to lose a loved one.