A Pain in the Neck

The expression is getting old. It used to be cute. Because it’s literal, haha, how cute. I’m so over it. A couple of weeks ago my neurologist sent me for a catscan to see if we could figure out why I wasn’t healing from my RFA procedure. The catscan showed that my neck muscles, while they weren’t damaged or infected (which is what we were wondering) were spasming. I did know that. My neck is so stiff and the muscles are spasming to such an extent I could lose my mind. It also showed that my herniated disc had gone from being a very mild herniation (one we thought wasn’t even worth a concern) to being so severe that I was directed to see a neurosurgeon immediately. This scared me. Any doctor with the name “surgeon” in his specialty is one I’d rather avoid thankyouverymuch. Also, did you know that there is not such thing as seeing a neurosurgeon “immediately”? You can call all of their offices, and tell them that you are sitting on your couch, possibly at death’s door, and they will ask you if April of 2014 is good for you. WHAT. THE. HECK. And when you begin laughing (because in most cases, I prefer laughing to crying), they all act as if I AM THE CRAZY ONE.

I’ll fast forward. I was given the very good advice to head over to the ER of the hospital I trust the most, and hope that I could be seen by the attending neurosurgeon there. We planned well, we prayed, and a precious woman from my church drove me there early on a Monday morning. My husband wanted to go with me, but I knew that this would be a long day of waiting, and had a sneaky suspicion that he should get in whatever work he could, because I was about to really need him by my side for more important business. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, we walked into the ER of this world-renowned hospital, I explained my situation, and I never even sat my booty in the waiting room. The day was filled with tests, MRI’s, ect, lots of waiting. And in that waiting, already our dear friends were popping in with treats.

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Stu came in after work, and my sweet friend, Pam, went home. She was determined to not let me be alone all day. I was pretty discouraged by this point. We had spoken to the resident neurosurgeon, and he appeared to not know what to do with me. One of the main problems is that my symptoms are not consistent with what I should be feeling with a herniated disc. I have all of this muscle pain, but not all of this nerve pain that I should be feeling. I’m confusing everyone. Just when we were starting to think we were going to be sent home with orders to take some Advil and go to PT, the ER doc came in and said they wanted to admit to the neuroscience floor. He didn’t know why exactly yet, just that the attending doctor had seen my MRI, and said that I could not go home without having surgery. Oh, well if that’s all.

So I did what any level-headed woman would do. I cried. Of course, I wanted to be treated. But the reality of not going home to my boy that night (and how many more nights?) made me so sad. And then I pulled it together.

And I called our amazing friends. How lucky are we? We have amazing friends. Just hours before I had received a text that assured me that my friend wanted to keep B if I had surgery. That she would love to. That he is not a burden to her and her family and that she loves him. How? How can a person express her gratitude to a friend like that? Another call and another dear friend gladly goes to pick up our scruffy pup. And she packed us a hospital bag. And her husband drove it up to us at midnight. Because they are awesome.

So, around midnight, they wheeled a terrified me, and my ridiculous balloons up to the 12th floor. I had no idea what was about to happen.

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