Condition: Grounded, But Determined To Try

(song: Learning to Fly/artist: Pink Floyd)

Jan. 5, 2016

Today was my 3-week follow-up with Dr. Rawlins, my surgeon from Hospital for Special Surgery.  You might recall that we didn't have a lot of time to get to know each other as I only met him 48 hours before he sliced into my back, so it was nice to see him under slightly better circumstances. We reminisced about the day we met. He said, "You were essentially paralyzed when you came in." And we laughed and laughed...

A hell of a lot happier and ready to make recovery my bitch.

I update him on my post-surgery progress. Three weeks after surgery:
  • I am now able to slide my feet into my shoes all by myself! (Seriously, I couldn't do that for the three weeks prior to surgery.) My toes have feeling and they can mostly grip again. I still can't use my toes to ease my shoes off the back of my foot, but I'll get there. 
  • The tops of my feet are no longer numb! Hopefully this is a positive sign that means I didn't sustain permanent nerve damage. Cautiously optimistic. 
  • My shins are still numb.
  • My lady business is still numb. (If you're a medical professional, this is called saddle paresthesia. If you've ever sat on a bike seat or had a Brazilian bikini wax, it's that whole area...)
  • I still have footdrop. Though it's not as pronounced as it was before surgery, it's still there, and that sucks big time. 
Now that I'm used to being asked about my bathroom functions, when that subject comes up, I tell him that while I get the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom, I am now able to sleep through the night without getting up to pee. If you've ever given birth vaginally and/or you're over 40-years-old, you know that's not normal. (In 2008, I was diagnosed with stress incontinence after I peed through my Spanx while dancing to Jump Around at a wedding, so yeah, my newfound ability to go for more than eight hours without peeing raises a flag.) For this and the other remaining numbness, he refers me to a neurologist for further testing of the nerve damage.

He was happy with my progress but warned that "some of the numbness may never go away". And while I do not find this remotely comforting, if it only means a lifetime of pain-free bikini waxes, that's pretty much like gaining a superpower so I can totally live with that outcome.

Then he cleared me for physical therapy! He says, "Getting the strength back in your legs is completely up to you now." No shit. It's going to be so fucking hard and tedious and frustrating and I just wish I could blink myself one year into the future a la "I Dream of Jeannie", but I can't, so I'm going to work my ass off because I hate being like this more than I hate hard work. I go!

Is it 2017 yet?!