Where exactly do I start? It has been almost an entire year since I last decided to let the thoughts from my head escape through the keys on this keyboard. It seems like so much has happened, but the reality is, nothing much at all has happened. At the time of my last post, I was approximately 30 days post-op from the second spinal fusion surgery I had on 11/28/14. The hope of recovery was still high, I was determined to feel better, THIS time I was actually “fixed”. I dont think anyones bubble will be burst when I say that that has not been the case.
As with my previous fusion, my body took an inordinate amount of time to heal. Regardless of who says what, I 100% believe that this is a direct result of having steroids injected directly into the sight of the injury prior to the surgeries. I have always been slow to heal, but now, my immune system, my bodies natural ability to heal itself, is pretty much non-existent. As the post-op weeks turned to months, I had to face reality – I was not getting better. Again, mirroring the first fusion, I am no better off, I have actually gotten worse.
The pain has increased, my mobility decreased. It is absolutely impossible for me to find comfort. I have had to give up sleeping in the bed and spend most of my time in my recliner. Being in such debilitating pain constantly, causes a great deal of stress on your body. Since last November, I have picked up several new diagnoses with an extensive variety of torturous symptoms. The cruelest, the all consuming exhaustion that can not be alleviated because of chronic insomnia caused by the pain. Your mind is enveloped in a deep fog and the only thing you can think about is the one thing you can not have, sleep. It wasn’t that long ago that I would sleep for HOURS and HOURS. Now, I nap a for an hour or two in the evening, again in the early morning. The rest of the time I am thinking about trying to sleep once I am able to finally get comfortable. But that never happens.
Watching my health steadily decline has not been easy on the people who care about me. As I have mentioned before, desperate times, call for desperate measures. After exhausting all possible medical intervention, we packed up and took an extended vacation in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. When we arrived I started a high CBD/low THC cannabis oil treatment regimen. Within the first 24 hours, I noticed the fire shooting down my legs lessen, the vice grip tightened in my back loosened, the brain fog lifted and I felt like I was living. After a full week on the cbd oil, I was hiking in the mountains, making my way up and down the stairs in the 3 story house we rented, I was functioning at a level I never thought I would see again. There are no words to describe how that felt. When you live in a perpetual state of torment, you fantasize about relief, you don’t actually expect to find it.
As we arrived back in Texas, so did the pain. To have experienced that much relief, only for the pain to return immediately upon coming home, is more than heart breaking. It is soul crushing. Its as if I played a cruel joke on myself, teasing myself with a pain free life. There is a lot of hope knowing that it is possible to live without the pain and exhaustion dictating my every movement. There is also a lot of hurt knowing that the only way I can access this miracle, is to move 1,000 miles away from everything, and everyone, I have ever known as home. In the few months since we returned home I have found myself in a deep depression. Pity party – table of 1. To be forced to chose between the people you love and reclaiming your life is hell. There is no easy answer. There is no fair solution. As if the last 4 years of my existence have not been hard enough, now I have to make a decision of this magnitude?
Every day that passes, I get a little more jaded, a little more cynical, I feel a little more resentment. When you dont sleep you have a lot of time to think. So that is what I do. I think about feeling free, breaking the chains, releasing myself from the limitations that pain has forced upon me. I think about leaving my parents, my family, my friends. I think about my children having their Mommy back but not having their Grandparents. The ball bounces back and forth, never-ceasing. This is not a decision I was in anyway prepared to make, but as time passes, and I continue to decline, it is becoming more apparent that there really is no decision to make.
Now my life is full of wonder, but my heart still knows some fear, of a simple thing I can not comprehend.
Rocky Mountain High.