Cut 2 C Spine

A word of warning: I’m going to do a fair bit of whining to start, but I promise it will get better.

I’m done.

Cheryl thinks I should have come to this conclusion a year ago. That’s how long the pain in my neck, shoulder, arm, and head have beat me up and down. For now I’ve given up on physical therapy, massages, chiropractors, pain management specialists, and a few others lost in the fog of drugs and pain. I’m still stretching though, trying in vain to keep some of the surrounding muscles loose.

I said yes to surgery.

Some folks fear the knife, but not me – not now. I’ve given a year to every other option I could think of not called acupuncture. All of those little pins/needles/whatchamacallits freak me out, man. I don’t look forward to six weeks in a cervical collar, stronger pain meds, or the rehab to be named later. My Doc wrote up the docs for work saying I’ll be out ten weeks, which seems like a freakin’ long time. But I don’t want to repeat last year. I’m pretty sure I could, but I won’t. I’m saying no to 2012: no to the pain, depression, and helplessness. I’m saying no to the feeling of isolation that follows this unholy trinity of despair.

I don’t want to know my heart rate from the hammer blows felt inside my head. I want to be free of the vise that sometimes squeezes my upper body, as muscle spasms fire up and down from my neck. I’d like to take a deep breath without fear it will feel like I’m tearing muscle from bone. I don’t want to stay behind while my family experiences life.

Day after day I struggle to put on a good face, wanting to be a relief to the tensions of an office in disarray. I come home physically and emotionally exhausted, collapsing on the first appealing/horizontal surface. Sometimes it’s the floor. I often lie in odd positions seeking relief that doesn’t come, not moving for fear of making it worse. I sleep little overall, but in lots of short, non-satisfactory bursts.

But today it feels good to be moving forward. There’s a lot to be said for doing something, even when it involves waiting. Effort gives purpose and can fuel hope.

Does it sound odd hearing someone say they’re looking forward to surgery? I can’t wait to get me in there and fuse me some vertebrae! I suppose you could interpret it as desperation, but I don’t feel desperate. Some would say it goes against my nature, but I’m optimistic. I don’t expect a miracle cure. I don’t even expect to be fully cured. I accept the chance it won’t cure me at all. I’m hopeful most of it will go away – not counting the sleep.

Surgery is just the next arrow in the quill. The aim may or may not be true this time, but I’m not afraid to try. Well, not much anyway.

It’s passed time to rejoin life, and the living.


  1. I’m with you. After a year in hell, I’m sure something — anything — will seem like a step in the right direction because it’s a step away from where you are now.

    I’m optimistic, too. I think this will be good. I speak for many when I say that we’ve missed you.

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