Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Surgery scheduled

The saga of my back will continue for another 12+ weeks. I am scheduled for back surgery on Wednesday, June 21st. Recovery and restrictions after surgery will last at least 12 weeks. The surgery will be a minimally invasive procedure to remove the extruded piece of disc currently displacing my L4 nerve root. There are lots of risks, of course, but they each occur 1% or less of the time, and the chance of never regaining my ankle flexion is high if I don't have the surgery. I can't run with foot drop. There is a chance I will not regain my ankle flexion even with the surgery, but surgery is the best option to make me a runner again. I can't imagine my life without running, so the decision was actually pretty simple.

I'm anxious, of course, about the surgery. I'm trying to keep the negative thoughts at bay. The thoughts of waking up in even more pain or paralyzed are the worst, but I push them aside, as I must, or I wouldn't be able to move. Even with no surgical complications, it will likely be a long time before I find out if I'll be able to run again. It's going to be a long road of re-strengthening what is now a very weak left leg. I've already lost so much.

Thinking about what I've lost, and what could have been saved if my MRI had been read correctly, and if I had been listened to by my inpatient treatment providers; it's of no use to me now. I sent a letter to the radiologist explaining the negative trickle down effect his erroneous reading has had on me and my care. I honestly answered all of the questions on the hospital satisfaction survey I received. I don't expect an apology. I don't need one. I did what I could. Now I have to work on letting go of my resentments. Now I have to face and deal with what I can control in today alone. So that's what I'm trying to do. Let go. Move forward. And pray for the best outcome possible.

UPDATE: Surgery moved up to Monday, June 19th. I'll let you know how it goes.


Julie Gathman said...

So sorry about all this. Just can't believe it. But with the surgery scheduled, it's at least a fixed point to hang on to, and it MAY help.

Julie Gathman said...

Just to let you know, tonight I read (some of it re-reading) the 5 or so posts about your spinal injury from the last month, so I could see the development of it. Also the details about the mis-reading of the MRI, their pre-judgment based on your depression in your medical record, and what you did to (at least partially) correct the situation were so instructive. I hope you are able to get some healthy food in you.

Jules said...

So sorry you're having to go through this Etta. As if battling (and winning!) Recurrent MDD isn't enough...just want you to know I pray for you everyday. You are such an inspiration to more people than you will ever know. You are an overcomer and will triumph through this as well.

etta said...

@ Julie and Jules: Thank you both for your kind, supportive words. I need the support and encouragement right now. This is tough. It is comforting to know there are people like you out there, holding me up and seeing me through this battle.

Wendy Love said...

Oh my, there are no words for the sorrow I feel over what you have gone through and what you are now going through. If anyone told you this stuff ahead of time you would have been sure you could not endure it, but here you are, blogging about it! Although I am sure you still have days where you want to give up. I am continuing to pray for you and have marked my calendar for June 19th to pray for you specifically that day.

Fran said...

Etta, sending you positive and healing thoughts! I know how even a sore throat throws my mood off so I can't imagine. Know we are all thinking of you.

The Real McCoy said...

Just reading this today. Sending positive thoughts your way, that your surgery goes as well as humanly possible, that you wake up feeling loads better, and that recovery is swift and perfect. So sorry for all your troubles.