Exactly one year ago today, I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. I had two discs removed and replaced with cadaver discs (I’ve always liked vintage) and then they were fused to an existing disc with titanium. Now, can you say that you have titanium in your neck? I didn’t think so.
Did you know titanium has the atomic number 22? And it’s low density and strong, lustrous and corrosion-resistant? You have no idea how glad I am that the metal in my neck is corrosion-resistant. I mean, really. Just thinking about internal corrosion is disturbing.
So it’s been a year.
At one week, I thought I’d never make it. It truly sucked. My friends and family were great. Did you see all those flowers? I had yummy meals, pedicures, trashy magazines, Godiva chocolates, and lots of visitors. But that first week was long. Maybe the longest week ever.
At a month after surgery, I cried. Not a little, either. While probably not realistic, I thought I’d be well on the way to my normal, happy self at a month. THIRTY DAYS. That’s a lot, right? My mobility was greatly improved but I was not okay. I was moody and uncomfortable and frustrated.
Did I mention that I cried? True story.
At my three month check, the doc said that nine months was a big turning point. What? Six more months to the big turning point? With new resolve, I refocused my workout and recovery strategy and started making real progress and getting stronger. (Thanks, Cyrus. Not that you read blogs.)
I am pretty sure you don’t want to read about every setback and every step forward. And I’m not even sure I remember them all.
But I can tell you that I can do all sorts of regular things that I couldn’t do before the surgery. Like pass a plate at the dinner table. Fold the sheets. Dry my hair. Put the groceries in the trunk.
And now, at one-year post surgery, I can do bicep curls, tricep push-backs, and skull crushers. I can do 10 push-ups and even though I could do 100 at a time a few years back, 10 seems like a great accomplishment to me now. I’ll get to 100 again. Mark my words.
I could say how grateful I am for the people who helped me through this but I’d probably cry. You know who you are. (sniff, sniff)
A year. I can’t believe it’s been a year.
Next week, maybe I can do 15 push ups.