Oh, my. Will this provocative title garner a bump in reads? I’ll let you know.
I’ve been missing in action of late. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, it’s more that I haven’t had the will to hit publish. Do I really want “my affairs” made public? I can tell you this; I’ve been busy getting them in order.
Since that day several years ago, when I sacrificed my spine in service to the mAAn, my hobby and profession became pain. My side job for a while was engaging in a legal battle with a workman’s compensation insurance company.
After surgery fusing (C4/5) vertebrae in my neck, leaving two screws, foam disks, and perhaps a junior mint behind, I had laparoscopic shoulder surgery, to mend a torn labrum and rotator-cuff. Both surgeries were successful. I only needed my lower back repaired to be pain-free.
A doctor, hired by worker’s comp, denied my neurosurgeon’s request for further treatment, as I suspect they paid him to do. The corporate physician declared I was just fine without the surgery, and I should go back to my physically demanding work as a flight attendant, a job I started in prehistoric time. In those early days, we worried about flying dinosaurs being sucked into the engines during takeoff.
Despite proof, MRI, CT, X-ray, nerve testing (⚡️), notes written by physical therapists, a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, an orthopedic surgeon, witness of the incident when it happened, he almost had me convinced that I was faking my spinal injury.
I was separated from my career in September 2020 because I could no longer perform the physical requirements of the job… because my lower back had not been repaired. Since my injury, caused by turbulence (a combination of g-force and negative g-force,) sleeping without drugs is impossible. Sitting hurts, standing hurts, walking hurts, bending hurts, lifting hurts, and although I’d like to refuse to allow back spasms to dictate my life, they do.
I’m about to be released from my lower back purgatory. My (L4/5) surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.
On a side note, I was just informed that when the 5/6 vertebrae of my cervical spine was removed, they replaced it with that of a (fucking) cadaver. I’m vegan. I can’t believe my body didn’t reject it. I feel dirty, confused, and Frankensteiny. Am I two vegans now? Am I a cannibal? Have I lost my v(egan) card? These are the philosophical musings I will ponder in-depth at a later date, when sedated.
So what have I been doing with my time? For the past several weeks I’ve become a full time patient again, in and out of pre-surgical testing and hospital visits. My mysterious blood disorder that I thought was resolved is not. I will likely have a bone marrow test in September. I’ll keep you posted on that sub-plot.
Aside from medical affairs, I’ve been also been “getting my financial affairs in order.” And my house repairs are wrapped up. I still have a to-do list, but what hasn’t been marked off can wait until autumn.
“Just do it.” I recently learned that Nike slogan is a quote taken from a dead man walking, aka convicted murderer on death row. (Swoosh.)
I’m excited about this surgery. I realize I won’t wake up magically pain-free. I also know I won’t have my old life back. But once I heal, if the pain is gone, I can work on getting a new life.
I have an idea for a new Marvel Comics superhero character. (Yes, of course it’s me. 🙄) She’s made of titanium, an indestructible metal that can connect her to high-speed Wi-Fi— for free. Hahaha, here’s my catchphrase: “Free Xfinity and beyond.” My Achilles heel will be airport magnetometers, of course. It’s a work in progress.