This is the time of year when many of us like to review the past year and take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Then we get depressed, drink a bottle of wine and call it a day. Ha!
I wanted to share with you my journey of 2013, not because it was the best year ever – it wasn’t. It was probably one of my worst years, which is why it’s important to share. I am hoping that by knowing about my journey, it might help one of you with yours. This crazy planet provides us all with lessons to learn. It’s like one big petri dish of spiritual growth opportunities.
My plans for 2013 were to build off of the great momentum I achieved in 2012. I lost a lot of weight, more than 40 pounds, and started dating a wonderful man, G, who I am still dating. Thank you baby!
But the Universe had another plan in store for me and as it often happens, it had to use pain – both physical and emotional – to drive me to where I needed to be to move along in my growth. As winter turned into spring, the pain in my neck, the home of the throat chakra, became worse. I was getting terrible headaches, numbness in both of my hands, sharp & shooting pain in both of my arms and was having a very difficult time concentrating and even speaking. In addition to the severe spinal stenosis I suffered from, my neurosurgeon diagnosed me with a very rare disease called OPLL. It’s so rare in fact that the National Institute of Health (NIH) has it listed as a rare disease, meaning fewer than 200,000 people in the US have this condition. I’d like to post a link to this but WordPress is not playing nicely, so here is the link: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/medical/opll.htm.
In September, I had a 6+ hour long surgery to rebuild my neck. I had 4 procedures done during that one surgery, including C5-6 corpectomy, anterior fusion of C3-4, laminectomy and mass lateral fusion of C3-7. I now have 14 screws, 2 rods, and a metal plate holding my neck together. The titanium in my neck is worth more than my overall net worth. The first night after this lengthy procedure I spent in the most excruciating pain of my entire life because I didn’t receive the pain pump that was ordered in my record. Apparently, I found out 2 days later, there had been a death on my floor and everyone was busy with that patient. I went from approximately 11 PM to 8 AM, without adequate pain medication despite the order for the pain pump in my record. When my surgeon’s resident came in to check on me and found me with bloody palms from digging my nails into my hands and crying hysterically, the nurse finally gave me a shot of morphine and hooked up my pain pump.
Next, I was diagnosed with a condition called C5 Palsy, extreme weakness in the deltoid, bicep and/or tricep, in my right arm – the dominant one of course. This condition prompted my surgeon to consider doing a second surgery, which I eventually talked him out of doing. I told him unless he could find concrete proof, through MRI or CT Scan that this weakness was being caused from something other than C5 palsy, that I wasn’t going to agree to a second, exploratory procedure. After my first round of inadequate pain management, I was NOT going to allow this to happen again. I seriously think I have PTSD of surgery. I’m afraid now to even go to the dentist to get a cavity filled.
So I went home with a neck brace, 2 different pain prescriptions and no working right arm. Luckily, I had the help and support of many wonderful friends and family to get me through this. A few weeks after my surgery, I was diagnosed with depression, which is common after a massive surgical procedure. Apparently telling your PCP that you’re upset because you can’t even kill yourself because your stupid dominant arm isn’t working is cause for alarm and an anti-depressant instead of a testimony to my remarkably dark sense of humor.
In the first 6 weeks following my surgery, because this was not enough to prepare me for 2014 according to the Universe, I found out that my very estranged father died and that I would lose my job at year’s end. Combine this with the fact that my greatest source of support, my BF, is in the military, stationed 5 hours away from me, my whole world literally came crashing down on me.
But you know what, I AM STILL HERE. I am here to share my story with you, to hopefully inspire you. Sometimes life really sucks. And it’s OK to get mad at God, Creator, Goddess, whatever you call the Divine Spirit or Divine Order in the world. Trust me, I’m still grumbling to Creator about my right arm, like when I drop a heavy skillet on my foot because my nerves decide to spasm at that moment I’m washing it. I really do need a dishwasher.
I don’t think it’s coincidence that all of this happened now. I was in a place in my life where I wanted more but my forward momentum had stopped. I was stuck in a rut which happens to so many of us. I also was not voicing and/or expressing my needs, my truth, my desires. I really had shut up my voice, which is why I believe this manifested as pain in my neck, home of my vocal cords and throat chakra.
So how have I made it through? With the support of so many wonderful friends, too many to name here, but I hope to thank you all through some gesture soon. Also through the lessons I’ve learned from Yoga, most importantly self compassion and letting go.
I’m a big WHY person. I kept asking God “why me?” What have I done to deserve this suffering? Well, I haven’t learned the lessons the Universe needed me to learn so I could achieve greatness in 2014. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. This blog is just one of MANY plans I am making to make 2014 the best year ever for me. At least until 2015, because I want every year to be better than the last.
Thank you again all for your support. Sending you all love and light.