Patricia feels that her physicians have given her a quality life. She feels confident in their hands, but each time she thought she had had her last surgery, something else popped up. Sometimes she feels that all she can do is keep moving forward and keep things in perspective. Her husband is endlessly supportive, but Patricia brings up that he too needed some emotional support from his own friends. She wanted to keep her surgeries secret but came to realize that wasn’t fair to her husband.
I have a good support system. My husband is very encouraging, very supportive. He has seen me go through a lot of pain. He knows sometimes when to walk out of the room. And, sometimes you’re gonna have one of those days and you’re gonna cry and you’re gonna be unhappy and you’re gonna go “this is not fair.” And, I found that when I was going in for a surgery, a couple times I said to my husband I really don’t want anyone to know. Well, I was taking something away from him. He couldn’t talk to people about his feelings and his fears for what I was going through. As a consequence, I realized, no, I- I can’t do that. I felt selfish. I thought he needs his support and if he benefits from their caring and them checking on him while I’m in surgery then that’s a good thing and it is what it is.
You know, I’m a simple person with a very complicated body and I just keep trying to face it with, you know, grace and acceptance. I just try and be my own cheerleader and know that I can do this because I can do anything for one minute. You always hope that the last surgery you had is your last one. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and that’s not a stretch.
I’m going to have to have another fusion and it’s in an area that I thought was gonna be okay forever. It’s in the lumbar. And, having walked that road, you know how difficult and out of control you can feel and even feeling sorry for yourself at times. And, I know what the post recovery is, I know that it gives a new meaning to pain and I know what’s required of me to get through that and recover from that, but I’m confident in my physicians. The surgeries have given me a life. I wouldn’t have had one. I wouldn’t have lasted. I could not have survived.
So, I’ve tried to incorporate things that make me feel better and I’ve had to lower my expectations and I think sometimes when you’re a patient, you have such high expectations. I’ve learned that I only have to do the next indicated thing. It has made me slow down in the sense of knowing what’s really important to me and to my family. I’m glad I have those-those tricks in my bag. I go out of my way to do things that make me feel good. I dress the way I want, I play my music loud, you know, when something hits me big, you know, I have songs that instantly come in my head, “Hit me with your best shot,” you know. I need to be my own cheerleader and I’m aging just like everybody else so things don’t work as well.
But, I try and have a good mindset. I feel extremely fortunate that I have insurance and that I can have it fixed. I find that if I take it one day at a time, and sometimes it has to be watching that second hand on the clock to keep it at one minute, and know that in the past I’ve been able to recover well. I don’t have any complications after surgery. I try to keep myself lean and mean to be up for the battle.
I think with having experienced great pain and discomfort, I don’t know if it’s shock or your last nerve is just worn down, and I know that the pain I’m experiencing will be taken away by having the surgery. Just keep moving forward. That’s all. I just have to keep it all in perspective because when I look at it on a global, you know, stage when I’m feeling sorry for myself I can’t because it’s all about me. I honestly think this probably won’t be my last procedure because of the problems I have and I haven’t been given anything yet that I haven’t been able to handle, maybe not real gracefully sometimes and maybe not the way I would like to square my shoulders and stand up, but it doesn’t take me long and so I just one foot in front of the other.