Surgery Day Part 2

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate it in the US. There is a lot to be thankful for this year despite the events, challenges, and changes that have affected all of us. I am thankful for my family, health, and a possible new career direction I have recently been aiming for, which I may describe later. For now, I’ll continue working on that goal and decide if it will be a good fit for me, scoliosis and all!

I can attest that I do not remember much after my scoliosis surgery was completed. My mother patiently waited in the surgery waiting room for 7+ hours or so, her nervousness nearly reaching boiling point minute-by-minute as the second hand ticked, ticked, ticked by. Once this became nearly unbearable, my surgeon burst through the doors and exclaimed that “Everything went great!” and that I was in the recovery room. After some time, my parents were able to visit. To my knowledge, the photograph below is the only one they took following my procedure that day. I remember bits and pieces of the post-op area, nurses hovering and moving about, figures standing in front of the viewing window, my mother asking me to smile for the camera. Half awake, half not, I tried to my best to smile…

In the recovery room after scoliosis surgery, 7/12/1997.

My recovery seemed to progress well. A neurological exam revealed that I retained feeling in my legs and was able to move my toes in bed after an incredibly invasive spinal procedure. The next morning, my physical therapist helped me try to stand and walk for the first time… only I could not. I could not stand and could not walk. My brain was telling my legs to bear weight and to move, but my legs were not responding! I could not walk! This was not normal! Fearing the worst, I was immediately taken to MRI or CT for evaluation (I can’t remember which, all I know is that it was an incredibly cold room but I was able to sleep through it). The scans would reveal what might be amiss and would determine next steps in my ordeal…

Still sleepy the day after scoliosis surgery, 7/13/1997.

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