It’s been a while since I’ve written…and there’s a good reason….I’ve been busy at life! WOW! It sure feels good to be getting back in the game with everyone else! I have a LOT to share with you before I go to San Diego. And I know I’ll have TONS to share with you after I’m back!
First I was filmed here at the house by two absolutely wonderful people. I really enjoyed their visit… I call it a visit because they seemed more like friends just visiting than someone doing a job. I’m still swimming or should I say I was up until Friday when I pulled into the parking lot and saw water gushing from the side of the building of the pool and 3 city trucks with men running around busily trying to stop it. A sign on the door read: NOTICE: Facility Closure Due to maintenance………… Ya THINK??? LOL
Also I needed a picture of me for the folks at the conference so I had to cut and color my hair sooner than I wanted to… but it all worked out… I got my new profile shot for Facebook out of the deal! I couldn’t get into the gal who cuts my hair the day before I took the pic, so I cut it myself…OH MY I made such a mess of my hair, she may never want to talk to me again! LOL I’m gonna try straightening it out before I go to the conference though… it’ll be a real crap shoot as to how it looks!
And then there’s the issue about my nails! Geesh! Of all times for my nails to grow out and all break off at the same time…. even my toenails… they”re down to nubs… Do you know how hard it is to make nubs look presentable let alone nice? Well I’ll tell you! It’s gonna be downright impossible! I’ll have maybe an eighth of an inch of nail by the time I leave for San Diego… bummer! I’m not one for fake nails…they feel way too funky… and what if one of them pops off? HUH? THEN WHAT? I can’t stand the acrylic nails, they’re waaaay too funky for me! Naaaw, I’m not a fake person, so my nails will have to do. I think they all broke off because of the meds I was on… I guess I didn’t realize it takes about seven months for a nail to grow completely out! NOW I DO! LOL I bought a couple different colors of polish and will try to change em so they’ll be nice for when I’m all dressed up! After all, I can’t talk unless I’m waving my hands! (NO I’m NOT Italian!)
I met the producer and ghost writer for the second time two days ago and I’m happy to say they came to the same conclusion I did. It’s a little unconventional how we’re gonna go about getting the book completed but I think it’ll work better this way. When they proposed the idea to me, I took a HUGE sigh of relief….we were all on the same page! I’ve been trying to figure out a way to say it to them without them getting offended, but I think it’s the least expensive way to complete the project. Now I just have to raise the funds to get it done. A lot of time has gone into thinking about how I want our relationship to go and I couldn’t be happier. I think it’ll be a win win situation for us all.
The producer is still dangling a possible companion project much further down the road, but first I mustget the first book written. A possible movie has been tossed around for about two years now. Also, a second memoir, a sequel or prequel may be possible too. There’s soo much to think about!
I’ve had some dear friends who’ve started their year off in not such great strides. One who lost her home and turned 50 all at the same time. I had a friend whose mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and is now doing the back and forth several times a day to care for both in-laws. I’ve had a friend who is struggling with being a stay at home mom with four beautiful children and a husband still in med school. There’s the 92 year old neighbor from the old neighborhood who had a lump removed from his back and his 90 year old wife who still bakes bread every Saturday. Then there’s my dear friend who will turn 50 in a few days whom I haven’t seen in a few years. She is caring for twins, one who is severely handicapped and trying to make sense of all his health needs. There’s the friend who just put her beloved cat down and her sister who is a single mom raising two beautiful children on her own. My heart hurts for ALL of them because I’ve walked most of those miles before them and I know the loneliness and pain that goes with all of those situations. But since I’ve had to reflect so much these past few weeks, I’ve come to realize I can be a beacon of hope for all of them.
They all personally know me and know the situations I’ve been in and the pain and suffering I’ve gone through. And they also all know that I’M STILL STANDING! That should give them hope. Hope that they CAN get through all of the lessons put before them, hope they can come through the storm a better person for having gone through the experience, hope that they can one day pass on their experience to those in need of what they know as well. That’s what I’ve come to discover about myself in these past days and weeks… all of what I’ve gone through has given me the perspective to share my life in an intimate way through words to give others hope. Hope is the one thing I never gave up having…it was my driving force that led me to today… I can only hope now that I can live up to the task and responsibility I’ve been given to share my life in a way that will give others hope. Some days, no, a LOT of days, hope was all I had, and it had to be enough to get me to tomorrow.
And now I’m asked to give others hope, and knowledge, from my experience from my surgery. I’m happy to do such a thing for only one reason. By my sharing, if I can dispel the myths and help others put aside their fears about having a “life-changing” operation that will free them from the chains of pain, or help someone who’s already had the surgery and needs reassurance that all will be well in time through words of encouragement, then I will have had purpose to all I’ve gone through and it will have been all worth it.
With each new thing the NuVasive people have asked from me I’ve been led to reflection… some of their questions are…
It took you a long time to find the right surgeon and insurance coverage you needed. What was it like going through the process of Workman’s Comp? How did you find your surgeon, and about XLIF?
My answer will be a brief explanation of how Workman’s Comp wouldn’t allow my back as part of my claim, but after seven years recognized the injury, then we moved. By moving I pretty much voided the claim and then ultimately had to close it. I researched all the health plans offered to us here in Nevada, getting a PPO. Getting a good health plan is just as important as getting a good doctor, without it, his hands are tied. I came to Dr. Smith through my general practitioner who had surgery with Dr. Smith himself. I saw a couple of other surgeons but knew in my heart I wanted a neurosurgeon after all of my research. It was through Dr. Smith that I learned of the XLIF procedure.
You’re obviously leading a very full life again and are a busy person. Why did you want to become involved in The Better Way Back to help others?
I once had a professor tell me that “Noblis Oblige” the noble are obliged. Not that I’m noble, but I have more experience which can be shared with others so they can learn from my experiences. It’s a way of giving back so others may not have to suffer the way I did. There IS a better way to live, a better way back.
You had a long time to reflect on all those things in life you had given up because of your debilitating back pain. In fact, word has it you’ve created a bucket list that we’re now sharing with other patients. What prompted that, and what are the top three things on your list?
Yes, a very long time to think about all the things I’d like to do, it was a way to lighten the burden of pain. My Mom always said your days are made better by your daydreams. It helped pass the relentless hours. Everyone needs at least one thing on their bucket list they know is almost unattainable… it keeps you driven to keep trying so my first thing on my list would be to sing The Impossible Dream with Andrea Bocelli. Secondly, I want to own my own home. And thirdly, I want to generate an income so I can do and buy all the rest of the “stuff” on my bucket list.
With all the reflection, I’ve become very introspective, about how I’ve led my life so far and how I want it to go now… it’s been pretty amazing, this journey I’ve been on! Stay with me and we can travel together!
Remember to take care of you and yours,
I’ll be posting soon,