I really thought I knew what to expect when I went to the orthopaedic surgeon’s office to get the results of my MRI. I knew I had a severely herniated disc at T9-10. I assumed we’d talk about PT, losing weight and eventually surgery if conservative treatment didn’t work. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard.
Temporary disability leave; lose 50 pounds and get stronger as fast as you possibly can; spinal cord damage has already occurred; further damage could cause you to lose control of bodily functions or paralysis.
Wow. If he was trying to get my attention, he did a good job. He was blunt, and to quote him “serious as a heart attack.”
On the plus side of things, he said it was fixable, just not easy. I have to do my part or it won’t work. I have to be thinner, healthier and a whole lot stronger than I am right now. I have to exercise as much as I can tolerate every day. I’m not allowed to exercise on land, only in the water.
In the next 2-3 months, I have to lose 50 pounds to get ready for the surgery that will keep me walking, feeling and functioning. The doc wants me to give up working until all of this is over and my rehab is complete. I don’t see that happening. We’ll see how it goes. I suspect he wants my full focus to be on exercising. He also expects to pain to get worse and there’s nothing more they can do until surgery takes place. I found out in a rather miserable way that I’m allergic to steroids.
I have lots of very supportive family, friends and co-workers. I appreciate all the prayers and the show of support while I do my part to get ready. Starting today, I’ll be posting my weight loss and strength progress here so that it keeps me honest and open with myself about my status.
Tomorrow I appear in public in a swimsuit for the first time in…well, a long time. If anything requires prayer, that does.
Stay tuned. Stronger, slimmer person will be shown here in the future. In the meantime, I think the group of birds in my office will need to adopt some sort of water fowl to represent my new commitment to the pool. 🙂