Thursday, May 14, 2009
My surgeon never promised I would be all fixed after surgery. He promised that surgery would save my life. After all was said and done I was left with many physical changes. I had a very hard time with my legs, due to constant back pain I walked like a drunken sailor half the time, or 90 year old with a cane the other half, I suffered a great deal of irreversible nerve damage in the back of my neck and down due to the 2 surgeries, it traveled down my arms. My hands had completely lost all motor skills. I went from typing 90 words a minute to 20 with mistakes in every other word, I could no longer hold onto a beading needle , I could not do even the most basic household chores like sweeping the kitchen or vacuuming the living room. I spent a long time allowing my doctors to try out one drug cocktail after another in an effort to releave the constant consuming pain. The medications did nothing to releive the pain, they just turned me into a zombie to willing to spend my time zoned out in my recliner not caring that I hurt. I went through a long period of feel sorry for me time because this all changed my life so drastically. I went from being a strong, independant woman raising kids and doing it all to a drugged up whiner sitting in my recliner letting others do for me. Fortuneatly I am very stubborn and while that has often gotten me in trouble it now became my saving grace. I knew I was not willing to live this way and I finally realized I have to accept my physical disability but in no way did I have to accept my current attitude and decided the way to fix my life was to fix my attitude so needed to work on all the emotional stuff. Step 1 was to stop taking all the medications the docs gave me. I learned to take tylenol to take the edge off the pain and just take the rest in stride. I then made myself go outside and take a 10 minute walk several times a day, who cared that I used a cane. Eventually I was able to do the walks without the cane up to half an hour three sometimes four times a day. Then I decided to get my hands working again. You can take alot of things away from me but not my ability to turn a pile of beads into a unique piece of art. That took along time, a very slow process starting with much bigger needles and working supplies. I will never create the perfect work I once did but I sure have come along way and I think most of what I make is pretty darn nice. I have come to accept the short term memory problems and make myself lots of notes on the calender. I have come to accept the fact that I can never be the type of secretary I was, my typing is slow, I can't remember my spelling and it hurts to talk on the phone. I can never again waitress or bartend because I can't stand longer than 15 minutes, walk like a drunken sailor, can't hold a tray of food or drinks. Who cares? I have as many hours a day as I want to sit and create my beadwork , I have learned to be a part of a community online, I may never meet you but I can call you friend because we have fun connections through this little machine every day. I am slowly but surely building a business, people are buying, slowly but someday that will build. When it does, I no longer have to say, I am unemployed because I am disabled. I can say, I have my own business and plan on it helping me support myself. The financial part of this whole 5 years has been devastating. So this brings us to the present and I have always loved the poem "Every cloud has a silver lining" I have found my silver lining.