That changed for me on a beautiful fall evening when I decided to get out of the house with Jerri and Barry and of course Whinnie. We had a goal of a fifteen minute walk. It wasn't long into the walk when I went over on my ankle in a very unusual way. It wasn't a trip, I hadn't stumbled, it just happened. What was even more bizarre was as I was looking down at it I couldn't make it move. My ankle stayed that way for what seemed like an eternity, as much as I tried to fix it, it didn't co-operate. Finally I was able to stand again. Barry and Jerri questioned what had just happened, wondering what I had tripped on. Secretly I knew there was a problem, my swollen sprained ankle was the very least of my concern.
When you have a spinal cord injury the signal sometimes doesn't get to the brain. This can mean a quick mishap, like a fall, or I can't always pee when I need to and various other things. It usually corrects itself fairly quickly.
This was different because it left me with back pain, leg pain, and inflamed nerves. I tried to carry on with the hope I had before this happened.
When I went to Toronto for my surgery follow up, the cat was out of the bag. After a brief examination it was clear that I was dealing with a bigger problem. Nerve conduction testing, MRI, and neurological testing confirmed that there are many different areas of nerve entrapment and two discs that have to be removed and replaced with artificial discs as well as rods and screws. For all you medically inclined here is the link that shows an animation of the procedure.
This is a big surgery, period. However for someone with a spinal injury it adds risk and the recovery is much longer.
This is not the outcome I wanted, not by a long shot. It is what I have to do if I want to try to experience that elusive feeling of freedom I experienced this fall. It was a short period of time but it left me wanting more. I want to have a little more freedom, a little less pain and most importantly not live under the threat of paralysis. Choosing not to have the surgery would be a wait and see game and I'm a proactive person, so surgery it is!