Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ready as I'll Ever Be

Mostly by neglecting the earns-real-money work I should be doing, I've managed to finish both of my Bead Soup Blog Party pieces a full week before the reveal. I say "both" because the focal went on a necklace and the clasp when on a bracelet, and even though each is chockful of beads sent to me by my soup partner, Jenni C, I still have beads left over, so generous was that sweet Aussie. I've even taken the photos because tomorrow I'll be donating them to an upcoming charitable auction to benefit a local organization that prevents and treats sexual abuse of children. That's a pretty easy and safe cause to get behind (reminds me of celebrities' standing up in opposition to land mines; is anyone really in favor of land mines?), so I don't think I'm going out on a limb here with this donation, especially because I got Jenni's blessing. (I didn't want to sell these pieces since all the best beads were freebies Jenni sent me, and believe it or not, I wear very little jewelry myself, so donation to a good cause seemed the way to go.) I'm not at all happy with the photos I took, but they'll have to do. I'm out of time and patience (blast you, photography!!!).

The only other news is that I go for my back surgery on Tuesday. I selected from the ala carte menu -- I'll have the laminotomy and diskectomy, please, hold the spinal fusion -- which means the surgeon will make a small incision in the skin of my back, then another small incision in the lamina around my spine (the -otomy) to cut out and remove
(-ectomize) the piece or pieces of disk that are bulging between my L4 and L5 vertebrae, hopefully bringing relief to the nerve that has been compromised for nearly a year. (The sad thing is that I was able to type that sentence without looking a thing up. I'm a medical editor, so that's the sort of dry, prefix- and suffix-heavy language I deal with all day. Pity me for more than my hurt back!) The procedure is both common and not high risk, so I should be home the next day. The CT scan I had the other week unfortunately confirmed that I have stress fractures on both sides in exactly the same spot as my herniation, so it's possible that the fractures are what's bothering the nerve rather than the ruptured disk. Hence the option of a spinal fusion. However, the doc can tell that I've had the stress fractures for decades, so I'm assuming that they're old friends who wouldn't stoop to hurt me in this way, and I'm going to leave them alone (and keep my fingers crossed). It helped my decision to know that recovery from a spinal fusion is 3 to 6 months as opposed to 2 to 4 weeks for a diskectomy. Easy choice, huh? Being operated on and then being "postsurgical" was another reason I needed to finish up my Bead Soup pieces a bit earlier than I typically would have.

Hmm, wish I had some fun photos for this post. How about this mental image instead? Two days ago as I was leaving the post office, I trotted down the three steps that precede the exit door and somehow caught the toe of my shoe in the rubber mat at the bottom, leading me to pitch forward with no hands to break my fall (since I was holding the package I'd just picked up), which bashed my head into the glass on the lower portion of the door with such force that the door swung open. So for a moment I was sprawled just inside the post office with my head basically outside, holding open the door. Can you envision it? A couple of fellows who'd just passed me on their way in heard the crash and came hurrying back to check on me. I had to sit on the floor for about 30 seconds gathering myself before I was able to move up and sit on a step for a few more minutes to make sure I was all in one piece. I was, though bruised and sore and even a little skinned up on my left side from what really was a fairly spectacular T&F, as my lawyer friend tells me trip-and-falls are known in the business (the business of suing when one has hurt oneself, that is). I'm still a bit tender on that side and am sporting some vivid blue-green patches, but I'm okay, and there will certainly be no lawsuits related to my inability to navigate three steps, a landing, and a door like a normal person. I'm only glad this happened the week before my surgery and not the week after. For once, I had excellent timing.

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