Nervous nerves nearing neurosurgery

A rainy and somewhat warm Christmas day in the greater Philadelphia area, at least for this time of year. It’s been a pretty chill day. We were set to visit friends for a bit but the kids have colds, and my surgery is now just a few days away. I’ve been double masking and avoiding places where I can to not be sick before surgery. My Covid test is in the morning. I’m getting nervous for the surgery.

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

It’s funny, in my twisted linguistic-way, to use the word “nervous” to describe a surgery on my back to stop nerves from being impacted and causing pain, to provide relief to let the muscles in my back fighting to keep my spine in place. Over the last week, I’ve busied myself, and thoughts, on the holiday. Wrapping gifts, finishing up the few last minute things, planning out our brunch and charcuterie boards, and generally avoiding the reality even as all the activities leading up left me in immense pain. Today, the gift I’m giving myself is rest — and it’s keeping my pain levels in a mid-range area. It’s amazing what you get used to and call a good pain day. I won’t take any pain meds today unless things go totally south. It has happened, but that won’t be today.

It’s the little things that make me nervous — how will I dress myself? I won’t be able to bend for a while. I already bought slip on shoes so that helps solve that concern a bit. Am I to live in frocks? And what about underwear?

Also, what to do while I’m “grounded” for a few weeks? Yes, I’m to be walking and such, but also resting. I have books I’ve stocked up on, I have games, writing, I ordered a puzzle to watch mom put together. I want to know what my recovery will be, but from everything I’ve read — and I have driven Google crazy asking it the same question every other day for the last month — it depends on so many factors, it’s hard to say. Which is hard for me. Really hard.

And then there are the things I do at home that Joey will be doing. He will do them, but my control issues are popping up because I feed the cats a certain way at certain times. Then there is my laundry. And it will all be okay even if my brain worries that I might be too tired or drugged feeling to read or that one load misses fabric softener once. It’s simply deflection for one thing: being nervous, and scared.

This isn’t my first surgery, or even second, but it’s the one that is arguably the most significant. My only reassurance is that I know I have done everything possible — treatments, PT, different treatments, more PT, even more treatments. It hasn’t worked. And that’s the other reason I’m nervous, the ‘what if’ this, too, doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t get better, or what if it gets worse?

It’s just 3 more sleeps away.

Song of the day: Smile when you call me that, Jakob Dylan

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Normal human in an extraordinaire world. Memoir / Humor / Just Life

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Nikki Barr

Nikki Barr

Normal human in an extraordinaire world. Memoir / Humor / Just Life

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