05 January 2017

So much to figure out. So much to remember and to trust. I used to be much better at this.

All that coping with a rare chronic illness does get in the way now.

Suddenly I am in a situation where the doctor produces the evidence, explains procedures in precise sentences, expertly circling shadows in the MRI printout, almost bored he stresses how often he has performed this surgery in the past.

Whereas the usual scenario is that baffled questioning look. ANCA vasculitis, yes I heard of that one but never met a patient etc. And I usually provide the prompts and watch them taking notes or doing a rapid search online.

So strange being a normal patient with a common and garden sequestered  disc that had to be removed from the spinal canal to release the trapped nerve and halt the advancing paralysis of my right leg.

Last night after surgery as I was lying flat on my back attached to various tubes I was unable to sleep for sheer delight that I did it and that the most awful pain was gone. I silently cheered my healthy self for her unexpected reappearance.

But now, 24 hrs later, I am again in familiar terrain, battling with the constant undercurrents of a chronic illness, the what if dragons, the supersensitive nerves and the overactive inagination of all the worst case scenarios ever.  There is a slight nagging pain in my right shin.  Possibly the end of the world. Etc.

It's hard work. But this is only day one.

For the next four weeks no lounging, cycling, driving, curling up in R's arms. But also no laundry, no filling or emptying the dishwasher, no housework. Period.
I am not allowed to bend or turn or lift anything. And lots more don'ts and no nos.

All I have so far figured out is the basics: getting in and out of bed and brushing my teeth with a straight back. And pouring a cup of coffee.

They tell me I am doing very well and that I can go home on Saturday. Maybe.

Must get ready to climb my very own Everest.


  1. Exhausting, I always think of that as an adjective for what you go through. And then there is another one: clarity.
    I learn a lot from you, Sabine, things I probably should have learned by now. I'm seeing progress for you, maybe not a bike ride, but definitely a loading of the dishwasher, R could use the help, ha!....and yes, laughing, that's something one can easily do while laying flat. Tell R. to get a book of jokes, he could read to you between chores :)
    My best to you and R!

  2. This is wonderful news. You did it! Now the recovery. You will do that too, my brave friend. You inspire me.

  3. I don't know how you do it, but if attitude assists in healing, you'll be scaling Everest in no time. Been thinking of you and am so relieved to know you are on the other side of surgery and learning the new world of your body for now. Heal well, Sabine, and take care.

  4. You've been in my thoughts. Relieved to hear that your surgery was successful and happy to know that you will be home soon with R.

  5. I've been thinking about you today, wishing you well.

  6. Sounds like it's good riddance to that pesky disc.....And now the long recovery. Let everyone pamper you --- you've earned it with your grit and humor in the face of such problems!

  7. You are doing awesome! And I hope saturday will be your release.
    The combo of a rare chronic thing and an acute run of the mill thing - I get you. And the worry that the first may hinder the healing of the second...

    Second opinion
    Man goes to doctor. Doctor examines him.
    Dr.: Yes, I'm sorry, but you have a broken leg.
    Man: What? That's not possible! I want a second opinion?
    Dr.: ... well, okay... I think you're ugly too.


  8. I hate those "what if dragons," especially when they visit in the dark of night and keep me awake. You may need to pull out your sword and spend a little time in dragon slayer mode. It will give you something to do while you heal. And it will clear your mind to start planning that ascent of your own Mt. Everest. I am happy the surgery is over.

  9. As others here have said- you inspire me. I am so glad the surgery is done and yes, that's probably the easy part. Oh, Sabine. May this time of recovery go quickly and well!