I have been very absent lately and I guess it is time to let you all know I appreciate the inquiries, thoughts and prayers. Those of you familiar with my book and my story are aware that I have had neck issues for quite some time. It is actually the opener for my book! The pain has become progressively worse the last 18 months as has the deterioration. My neck spasm causing me to be pretty much unable to move till it passes, there are other issues but I won’t drag all that out here.
So I have gone from Ortho Docs, Physical therapist, to neurologist, and now to a Neurosurgeon.
I can opt not to have the surgery. That will leave me ultimately addicted to pain meds and handicapped in ways I can’t bring myself to dwell on. So saying no is not an option.
In the morning I am making the 5 hour drive to Portland’s Oregon Health and Science University for my second visit with the surgeon. There are only two places in Oregon who can perform the repair I need, OHSU is one. The staff there has been incredible. So… I see the Docs Thursday and get the dates and all the details I’ve been dreading to take this forward.
They will be using several cadaver bones, plates etc., It’s extensive. I won’t be sporting the usual scar hidden in a neck line wrinkle. I will be from just under my jaw to the front at my neckline. If I understood at the last visit C-3-4-5 and 6 will be replaced with cadaver bone, fused and then the will work on the back. Whew! Pretty risky stuff. Scary stuff!
I’ve been seeing doctors, getting test and seeing a counselor and my pastor. I discovered I was angry all over again at the beatings from childhood and the continued indifference of my mother. I’ve had to face some fear concerning the outcome of all this. I discovered that I was feeling pretty alone! And, horrors, I have been feeling vulnerable. Tough things for us survivors. Especially to feel vulnerable, exposed and at risk. I have to trust strangers to do the right thing. I know you get that!
I didn’t want to discuss it here until I felt strong, confident. I don’t know what the next year is going to hold for me. But I will be OK. I promise to post daily, keep you informed. Please know I am feeling pretty strong as I write this. Please pray I stay that way! Please promise to keep me in your thoughts. AND never ever beat a child, it could last them the rest of their life. XOXO Annie O Sullivan