02/15/2016 Blind-Sided

Had my appointment with Dr. S, the neurosurgeon this morning, and I feel like I've been metaphorically bitch-slapped!

I researched and read everything I could find on brain health. I discovered how negatively sugar effects the brain, so I'm eight days in on going sugar/grain/dairy free! Woot woot!!! Now that the worst detox effects have passed, I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Going into this appointment I was armed with knowledge on how to delay, if not completely eradicate, the onset of Parkinson's and dementia, and ready to do battle for my brain, if that's what it took! I had all the books I'd read on the subject in a bag at my feet, with pertinent areas highlighted, and page marker flags sticking out strategically. I created an index of citations, and had that handy too.

Dr. S walked into the room, shook my hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Dr. S. You have to have surgery."

In my mind, I can almost feel his his palm strike my cheek as the first blow lands.

"Excuse me?"

"To put it simply, you have a bruise on your spinal cord, which is what is causing your fine-motor function impairment..." He tested my fine-motor skills, which were abysmal.

The fancy term for it is "Cervical Stenosis with Myelopathy and Radiculopathy", and the reality of it is that the arthritic vertebra in my neck have disintegrated to the point that chronic irritation and inflammation are putting enormous pressure on my spinal cord, and the nerves branching off of it at my neck. The numbness, heaviness and lethargy I feel in my limbs, which contribute to my overall sense of feeling drained and un-energetic all stem from this.

I abhor surgery; needles freak me out; and the very thought that my skin is being cut/pierced creeps me out to no end!

However, I love my body, but over the past couple of years, have mistrusted it. Mistrusted myself! This may sound strange, but, on some level, it is good to know that my body hasn't betrayed me. It's simply in distress because I have not addressed specific warning signs, and needs the assistance of a trained surgeon to help it heal.

Typically, I'm all about natural remedies. I've managed chronic pain without medication for 35 years through deep breathing, stretching, and relaxation techniques, but have come to realize that all forms of healing have their place.

He explained to me that four of my discs have to be replaced, three of my vertebra will be fused together, and bone grafts done, all to take the pressure off my spinal cord, so it can heal.

At this point, I'm a bit numb. I looked down at the bag with my books, which reminded me that we hadn't even gotten to my brain yet.

"What about my brain? Parkinson's..."

"That is the least of your troubles right now."

My hope that this was one-stop shopping died, and in my mind I felt the back of his hand smack my other cheek. "I'm going to refer you to a colleague of mine, a neurologist, who specializes in stroke recovery."

Time is of the essence, so he's having his scheduler "massage his schedule" to fit me in quickly. I'll find out my surgery date tomorrow. I imagine it will be soon. I'm seeing the neurologist in two days, my primary care physician for a pre-op physical on the same day, and a battery of pre-op lab work will be drawn then too.

Honestly, I haven't even begun to process this. There is no time for it.

Usually, I'd be researching alternatives like a woman possessed, but this time, I think I'm going to trust something larger than myself is at play here. Call me crazy, but, even as I'm walking through this, I feel...protected, and blessed.

Life can take some hard left turns from time to time. I just wish it'd slow down and not take the curves so fast. A dear friend remarked that I'm doing quite well emotionally. In fact, I've only had two crying bouts.

Guess I'll fall apart later, but for now...onward!