Me, trying to throw a football as far as I can, two days before anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery. Six months from now, “How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?”
I’ll admit it, I’m scared, but I don’t want to continue living life like this. And, if I don’t take care of this now, it’s going to get worst and I’ll have permanent paralysis. The good news is I have the best neurosurgeon in the Dallas and this is his second most common surgery. I pray he gets a good night’s sleep tomorrow night. I expect to make a full recovery. Right now, I can’t feel me left hand. As a matter of fact, when holding my phone yesterday, I wondered what I was feeling with my right hand, which is also very numb. It turns out it was my thumb. It’s weird being able to feel with one hand and touching the hand you can’t feel with, it’s odd and hard to describe. I wrote most of this post using speech-to-text.
Of course, recovery will be a challenge Heck, the entire year has been challenging, but it’s an excellent opportunity to work on dealing with adversity and building up resilience. You don’t learn those things any other way than going over troubled waters. That’s much easier said than done. It’s a bit freaky thinking how the surgeon will go through my throat, move my esophagus over, and then remove and replace parts of my vertebra. Funny story, when I was researching videos of the surgery, it amazed me at how rough the doctor was treating the patient and didn’t understand why certain sanitary measures weren’t used. It wasn’t until 20-minutes into the video that he mentioned he was working on a cadaver.
Maybe I’ll post some video updates when I’m on my pain medication. That should be fun. I think I’m most worried about the emotional part of it all, like waking up from surgery and not having any family there and then not seeing my kids for 11 straight nights since my ex-wife has possession of them. And going through my first holiday season as a divorced dad is going to be awkward. The word “alone” keeps haunting me. I hope 2022 will be a better year. There’s also a cabin fever aspect I’m concerned about as I’m not supposed to drive for a while.
I often tell my kids it’s not what happens in life that matters, it’s how you respond. Again, that’s much easier said than done. It’s a long path up ahead and it’s all unchartered. I don’t have a map or compass, just my faith, which doesn’t feel all that tangible at the moment. But no matter how tough I may feel I have it, I know someone out there would switch spots with me in a second. Having that perspective helps. I’m not used to asking for help, it’s awkward and hard. I’ve always prided myself on independence and was the person doing the helping, not the one who was being helped. Thankfully, there’s a U2 song to help me learn that lesson. I’m also thankful my church has set up a Lots A Helping Hands page to meet any needs I ask to be filled. I just need to feel comfortable asking and accepting being ministered to. Never did I imagine I’d be doing all this alone. I can’t help but wonder what things will be like when/if I become old and near death.