final friday five for 2012

As usual, credit for everything below–except my answers, that is–goes to the wonderful gals over at RevGalBlogPals. And I owe them a hearty “thank you” for giving me a some much-needed writing inspiration!

I should mention that I did have my neck surgery last week and the surgeon said the procedure went “swimmingly.” I find this reassuring because those raw and burnt nerve endings feel, well, raw and burnt. Not a pleasant sensation. My usual brilliance is most likely lacking today since I’m on pain killers and muscle relaxers, so bear with me. 

 

The FINAL Friday Five for 2012: Recycle, Re-Gift, Reflect

As we take a breather from the busy weekend of Sunday/Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, it’s time to reflect on the past year. It’s hard to move out of this holiday season with its delights and celebrations. Here at our home, we’ve barely finished the eggnog. The tree is still up and our cats delight in knocking off the lower (unbreakable) ornaments. As we are rounding the final turn on the year 2012, I hope you’ll play along with these questions. 🙂
RECYCLE:
1. What is some “old news” this year that you’d like to repeat for 2013?
Saturday lunches and outings with my birthmom, Judy. We try to do this on a fairly regular basis, although it has been difficult to get together for much of this year because of her hip surgery and my neck surgery. My lack of a car doesn’t help, either. But we have a lot of fun spending time together. Plus, I finally know where most of my idiosyncrasies originate! Here I though I was eccentric all by my lonesome, only to discover that I inherited most of them from the Lubys! (The others come from growing up a Resch of course.)
2. What “new thing” have you started that you want to keep going in 2013?
Not having neck surgery!  Making an effort, through journaling, meditation, prayer, reflection, and reading, to really observe Advent, as a season of waiting and preparation for the gift of the Incarnation.
RE-GIFT:
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon “Return to Sender”? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad.
I would gladly surrender the experience of running a stop sign and crashing into another car this past June! The gentleman driving the other car, luckily, wasn’t hurt, but I would up with whiplash and neck surgery. And my darling little GEO Metro was totaled! It wasn’t damaged that badly, but the repairs would have cost more than my 16 year-old baby was worth. Monetarily, anyway, disregarding my love for my first car. So we are in the market for a new car, but all we can get for our money is junk. But I can’t drive now anyway, temporarily at least!
REFLECT:
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year.
George and I celebrated our ninth anniversary this October. I think the joy comes from the reassurance of being loved, truly loved, for myself, along with the realization that in nine years we have been through more than many couples endure in a lifetime, and we are still together. And I love him more with each anniversary that goes by. When we got married, I thought I could not possibly love him more than I did, but as time goes by, I find that my love for him grows and evolves, teaching me to appreciate the feeling of contentment that washes over me before I go to sleep, when I see him and Fiona (our dog, naturally) sleeping beside me. Or the simple pleasure of playing frisbee in our backyard together on lovely summer afternoon.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.)
George and me at Kieran’s Irish Pub after I lectored at the 4:30 Mass at The Basilica of St. Mary
BONUS:

Share a recipe! I’m in the doldrums and need some healthy eating options for my menu planning. Soup, stew, main dish, side dish or a healthy dessert – any and all are welcome!

This is where I need help, too, desperately! I’m hoping a reader will come to my rescue with a nice slow-cooker recipe, perhaps? Please?!

me and my neck

I haven’t written here since September? To be honest, this entire semester has gone by in a blur. Really, I ought to say non-semester, since I’ve been on medical leave, yet again. This time, it’s mostly my neck. Apparently, my facet nerves are damaged and inflamed as a result of my car accident this summer, so as well as the physical therapy I’ve already had, I need to have an outpatient surgical procedure called a radio frequency rhizotomy. At least it sounds impressive, eh? (And of course, now the weather is being its usual crazy Minnesota self, so my fibromyalgia is kicking in.)

This is a partial description of the procedure from SpineUniverse.com:

Once you are ready, you will be given an IV with a mild sedative to keep you comfortable but awake during the procedure. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area where the injection is to be done. An x-ray machine is then used to guide the exact placement of the needle/electrode. Once the needle is injected, a mild electrical current is used to stimulate the nerve and confirm its exact location. You may feel slight pressure or tingling during this part of the procedure. Then the electrode is heated to deaden the sensory nerves. When the procedure is completed, the needle is removed and the injection site is bandaged.

In fact, the nerves are cauterized (as in burnt, yes) so they can no longer transmit pain signals to the brain. It’s obviously a much longer-lasting fix than just having a cortisone shot, which was another option.  In my case, the doctor will cauterized my facet nerves from C-4 to C-7 (In normal English, that means four facet nerves in my cervical spine, or neck.) Apparently the procedure itself isn’t that bad, because they are going to keep me so sedated I won’t even remember the surgery! It’s the healing that is going to be the tricky part. It can be fairly agonizing, I’ve gathered, because my nerves will be raw until scar tissue has a chance to form, which takes at least a week. And it can take up to four weeks for the results from the procedure to become clear. Ugh. And I’m having it done only five days before Christmas!

I was quite busy feeling sorry for myself the other day when my friend Nadine pointed out how lucky I was. Lucky that I have a problem that medical science can actually fix! Imagine the days not so long ago when people just had to put up with this sort of (at times excruciating) neck pain. I remember thinking about that years ago, when I was seventeen years old and had my two scoliosis surgeries. I have never, ever, forgotten the first time I saw myself after the surgery, reflected in the window at the end of the hall. Even wrapped up in a cheesy hospital robe, I could see that my spine was straight. For the first time in years. I actually looked like all the other girls I knew. And boy, did the tears ever flow. I still have quite a bit of back pain from the surgeries, and have degenerative disk disease and osteoarthritis in my cervical spine as a result, but I have never once been sorry I had those surgeries.

Sure, life would be easier without the surgeries and the fibromyalgia etc., etc., but I am not powerless in the face of them. And I am so grateful to all those in medical research who care enough to invent procedures and medications that either cure what I have, or enable me to cope better. George is taking a couple of days off work to care for me and then my birthmom is coming over for a day, and she’s promised to arrive bearing her delicious manicotti! And I have Fiona to take care of me, as she does so well, lots of books (piled everywhere in our bedroom and downloaded onto my Kindle), and podcasts on my iPod I’ve been meaning to catch up on. And the house is nice and cozy, decorated for Christmas. Plus I already have several visitors lined up, whether Fiona likes it or not! So in the end, when I think about, it looks as though there will be many benefits beyond the obvious medical ones.

PS Prayers welcomed! As are lavish get-well gifts, huge flower bouquets, the works!

Image of spine from:

http://www.backandjointpain.com/injection-procedures/cervical-spine/rhizotomy

 

Oblate Life

A Benedictine Oblates Take on Life

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

Crock Pot Chaos

It's my chaos and I'll cry if I want to. And laugh. And cackle like a lunatic. Depends on the minute.

There Will Be Bread

The intersection of faith and life.

DETAIL ORIENTED BEAUTY

All things skincare, green beauty and beyond!

doxaweb.wordpress.com/

Our every encounter leads someone toward beatitude or away from it

Minute Meditations

Presented by Benedictine University, Campus Ministry

Medievalists.net

Where the Middle Ages Begin

Reflections

We are what we think.

PTSD and beyond

The good and the bad of having an illness

Lavender and Levity

Laughing at myself, and learning to love (live with) it!

A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully

Photography and Thoughts About Life and Aging

Living A Fibro Life

My life with Fibromyalgia

Ramblings of a now 60+ Female

Scotland, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apneoa, Mental Health, Endometriosis, Osteoarthritis, Nature.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health

Women With Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Support for Women

image into ikon

exploring creativity and spirituality

Being Benedictine

Living the Rule of St. Benedict in Daily Life

CoffeeMamma

Just a Mom that loves her family, coffee & blog.

%d bloggers like this: