Blog All About It | Risk

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This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2019 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

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This month’s prompt is: Risk

I usually schedule my posts for the 2nd Saturday of the month but having bronchitis has delayed me by a week.

I will admit, this month’s prompt was difficult for me since I am a self-proclaimed wuss!! I really had to dig deep to decide how risk is/was part of my life.

Jumping out of a plane? Hell NO!!! I’m terrified of heights, so bad that I have trouble getting beyond the 4th step on a ladder. Roller coasters? Nope!! Same reason!

I realized that maybe the greatest risk(s), I have taken in my life, has to do with my health, specifically my back surgeries. Most people would probably say each of the 8 times would be risks, but looking back, I feel that 2 of them were highly risky and 1 of them I took a huge leap of faith.

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After my 2nd operation, and 2 pregnancies, I was in trouble again. My youngest was 6 months old and my oldest was 2 years old. The pain once again excruciating so I went back to Boston for an evaluation. After X-rays, myelogram, etc, I received a phone call 3 or 4 days before Christmas from my surgeon. The news wasn’t good. My fusion had let go and he wanted me admitted asap. There was NO WAY I was going to be in the hospital during Christmas and I told him so. His words haunt me to this day, “you are taking a huge risk, paralysis could be possible”. I told him that I would be careful and that he could admit me right after the holidays.

As I think back, I’m not sure what the heck I was thinking that I took the chance of being severely compromised. Prayers and faith protected me and I had the surgery the first week in January and it was successful.

In 2009/2010, I was in trouble again. Another surgical procedure and this one was a 2-day consecutive surgery that had to be performed. However, this one left me worse after the surgery than before. A had a severe reaction to a medication that was prescribed and once home, I fell twice. Because of the falls, the fusion and my spine healed in a 45-degree angle. Mechanically I couldn’t stand straight, had to walk with a cane, couldn’t walk 50 feet without difficulty, had more pain after than before and had a poor quality of life. And as each year went by, the pain got worse and the pain meds kept getting increased with little to no relief.

In 2014, I had had enough. I had to take another chance so back to Boston., where again I was blessed and protected. The surgeon I saw was one of only 5 on the East Coast that performed the surgery I needed and it would be another 2-day consecutive procedure. However, I was told up front that 3 things could happen. The surgeon would go in and if it was too bad,
he would just close me right back up, or that he would do the procedure but couldn’t guarantee I would be better and the third was that it would be successful. I decided to take the chance.

While in recovery on the first day, the surgeon came in and said that another day would be added to the procedure. What could I say? So I told him to go for it. What I didn’t know until one of my post-op visits, the surgeon told me that what was done in surgery hadn’t been done before. He put me into a medically induced coma for day 2 and 3 because all of the previous hardware was removed and he couldn’t take the chance of me moving around since nothing was holding my spine in place.

Two days after the surgery, the doctor came to visit me and said it was time to see the outcome. So he made me stand. As I stood and went past the 45-degree angle and kept going until I was standing straight. The tears fell, not only mine but his too.

To this day, I can stand straight, don’t need a cane, can hold and lift my granddaughters clean my house, which I had to have someone in the past because I couldn’t, go shopping, etc., etc. I do sometimes have pain but nothing like before. Because of all the surgeries, I do have severe arthritis so if I overdo or the weather changes, there is pain but now it can be controlled.

This is what I look like on the inside. I do have 2 rods on each side f my spine, which is hard to see in the films.

I took a huge risk. But I can honestly say, because of my faith and the faith in the doctor, I was lucky!!!! This time success!! And I’m not naive, I’m sure other discs will deteriorate with age but I’ll cross that bridge then. Right now I’m enjoying my life!!

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