Monday, December 28, 2009

Quality of Life Question

I wish I could say I was always all sunshine and roses about deciding to go through with the surgery, but the last few days that hasn't been the case. I has been looking on the positive side of everything and pretty much still am, but after my last visit with Beijanni I started to second guess my decision.

I took a tumble on the ice a couple weeks ago and did everything I could to not hit my head to the point that I hit my head. So I had been feeling a bit off and called in to the office and they sent me for a CT, after the CT they sent me for an MRI, just to make sure everything was ok and to make sure I haven't developed Syringomyelia (cyst on the spinal cord) luckily everything looks good. I had my follow up appointment on the 23rd and took my parents into meet him. It was then that my mom asked the one question that I had neglected, "What exactly should we expect in recovery"? Well sure I know that part of my head is going to be shaved and that I'll be off work for six weeks. I knew that I was going to most likely be waking up in the ICU and spending a couple nights in the hospital. But it was the word PAIN that came out of his mouth that smacked the reality into me. PAIN, I am always in pain so what's the difference? Well, its the kind of pain that makes you question why exactly you made the decision to do this in the first place. Oh yea and then there was the whole, "Melissa, you can't do anything for six weeks, I mean anything, you can't even lift a gallon of milk or you are looking at 6 months...not weeks" Oh....crap. That is a lot of time, and I love lifting gallons of milk, it's like my favorite past time, I am screwed.

Christmas weekend was great and relaxing for the most part, I was hurting from all the running we were doing but of course was in such a jovial mood that it didnt bother me. Saturday Ryan and I decided to start organzing the upstairs of our house because we are getting new carpeting and I decided I could move a dresser by myself, which of course doesn't sound like much, I used to do that all the time, but about 10 minutes after I did it, I knew I was screwed. Oh so looking forward to the day I can move dressers and lift gallon jugs in the same day!

So really I am just freaking myself out for no reason, it feels real now, it's going to happen. I'm still ready that isn't a question, I just suppose I'm being more realistic now. It will improve my quality of life. As I'm writing this, I just took a nice big muscle relaxer and IB8 combo because my legs weren't working after playing Wii for 45 minutes....that was it.

I suppose the question a lot of my friends/family ask is, if this was there all along why is it so bad now? That is a question I ask myself everyday. A lot of the people I have talked to that have CM or SM have all said the same thing, it is through this disorder that you truly find out who cares about you and who your real friends are. I'm starting to see this. It was hard for some of my friends to understand why I was always sick or why I would cancel plans, it's because I just don't know what is going to happen every day. Every day I wake up is a challenge, if I sneeze I could throw my whole body into overload and have a Chiari fit, if I stay outside in the cold 2 minutes too long, if its rainy, if I sleep wrong, if I don't sleep at all, if I don't eat right.....the list goes on. To hear a friend tell you that you aren't there anymore and the only time you speak to them is to talk about your big brain or gush about your husband and your wonderful life, that hurts. Friends are supposed to be there for the good and the bad, right?

So when I start to freak myself out about the road I'm about to go down, I have to remember, how important is the quality of life to me? I'm 26 years old, married to the most wonderful man in the world, working for an amazing company, getting my masters and have my sights set on starting a family. So yea, the quality of life is worth it to me, because I have my whole life ahead of me, and I'm not letting some stupid big brain hold me back.

To make things more official I'm taking the big steep tomorrow and scheduling all my pre-op work and doing everything I can in the next few weeks to keep my mind off of it and just enjoy myself. By summer I'll be all active with my dresser moving and gallon lifting and if I get real crazy may even start going to the gym again. Yea, I'm going there.


  1. ...Yet you still have your sense of humor, you wonderwoman, you. I never knew lifting gallons of milk was your favorite past time!

  2. Don't worry. Aside from the terrible pain, it sounds like recovery is standard surgery recovery. (No lifting, no exercise, no driving, etc., etc., etc.) Which, although it doesn't sound like it right now, is a good thing. You'll do great and be back to lifting gallons of milk in no time!