Monday, June 18, 2007

Lampwork winter hiatus, Surgery, Ageing

I have four ruptured discs in my neck. They bulge out from between the bones and press on the spinal cord and nerve roots. As a result, not only does my neck really hurt, but my fingers and hands are usually completely numb and/or full of assorted pains.

Now, you can still do things with hands you cant feel. Its just that they will take much longer, and you need to exercise considerable care to avoid injury. This is why Ive always said "Iam not a prolific bead maker."

I dont let it stop me doing things, (like playing with fire to melt glass into beads). After all, a gal still has to chop veggies for dinner, mend socks, etc. So the way I see it, if I have to do things Im not really happy doing, then I might as well also do things that I am happy doing. But man, do I get frustrated with these limitations. I think that is the worst part of it all.

Over time Ive realized that it gets worse in the winter. This winter seems to be breaking all previous records. As a result, I will be making very few beads till spring.

There are at least two surgical options available to relieve these symptoms. However, with both of them there is a very high risk of quadriplegia. The neurosurgeon therefore deemed me 'not a candidate for surgery'. Now, I agree with him, in theory...although in my heart (and my hands!) I would really rather they just fixed it!

But it made me curious, so I asked: "Who is a candidate for a surgery with a risk of total paralysis?" He answered, "If you were 76 years old, you would be a candidate."

I had to take some time to process that...
Im too young to be paralyzed...ok, Im cool with that.
A 76 year old person is not too young to be paralyzed.....What?!
Well, I know what he is saying, but it seems so wrong. Ive got some ageing relatives, and you can bet I will be asking thier doctors plenty more questions about thier care and treatment.

But enough of those dark thoughts, if I live to see the day, my next appointment with the neurosurgeon is in the year 2039!


Maggie Moo said...

Good luck-I know how you feel exactly though-I had subluxations in my neck and could barely turn my head. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the right shoulderblade too. Ick.

I am lucky enough to have been treated by a chicropractor though, and it's better...good luck!

Anonymous said...

That sounds pretty awful. Sorry to hear about your discomfort. These bodies of ours don't seem to be made for the long haul, do they? LOL...

Have you looked into alternative medicine as well? I don't ask because I know much about it. Just that I hear often that people who got no relief from traditional meds ended up with some improvement with things like acupuncture.

I hope things go well for you. And, in the event that they don't, I hope you're able to find some good coping strategies so you're not robbed of your joie de vivre! ;-)

Lavender said...

Thanks Chuck & Mags!

I hope the Chiro can keep you going pain free Mags!

Chuck, you know, I wonder alternative treatments, and at this point, what have I got to loose? :) Will give some a go!