You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet over here since the beginning of the year. Well, there's a good reason for that!
Have you ever had the rug pulled out from under you and had something happen that came so far out of left field that there was no way to see it coming? Well, that's what has happened to me. Right after Thanksgiving 2017 I woke up and my hands felt funny, kind of like I had slept on them, but they wouldn't "wake up". With my medical knowledge of course I jumped to terrible conclusions, but I decided I was crazy and just waited. Finally, I saw a neurologist and after Christmas I had an MRI of my spine. Check it out below. Pretty cool to see your insides :) Anyway, I have learned that I have 2 herniated discs in my neck which are pushing on my spinal cord pretty significantly. Many people with herniated discs have pain because their disc is pushing on a nerve, but mine is on my spine directly, so its both good and bad. Good that I am with minimal pain, but bad that I basically have injured my spinal cord and can't wait around. I continue to have weakness in my hands and legs and I've been told that if I let this go, I could permanently lose function and sensation throughout my body.
All this to say, that I have had to take a break from most physical activities - only the necessities. After wishing this would just go away, consulting several surgeons, and reading everything I can get my hands on online, I am scheduled to have a pretty major spinal surgery in February. If everything goes well, they will be able to replace my broken discs with artificial discs - just like a hip or knee replacement. (The surgeons all say it's "routine" but there is nothing routine about cutting someone's neck open to reach their spine and replace what has gone bad. - look up ACDR, or ACDF) The recovery from something like this can be quite long. I haven't wanted to schedule any future photography work until I know how I am going to recover. I hope that by April or May I will be back to light duty work, and can complete any obligations I have to current clients, and get back to work with my next group of seniors for the class of 2019!
Any words of encouragement are much appreciated as I have never had a surgery/anesthesia, never taken much more than ibuprofen before! It sucks that this had to happen at this phase of my life, trying to be active with a toddler and a career, I've been told I'm pretty young for this to have happened, but hopefully that means I'll be able to heal fast!
Thank you so much for understanding and sticking with me while I take care of myself. I feel so bad that I can't keep up with my work as I would like. I really don't want to miss anyone from the class of 2018 or 2019!! I still plan to continue with my senior model program, but we will be getting a later start this year. However, I may be slow to respond, or have to push scheduling sessions for several months. Hang in there with me, and I hope that I can put all this behind me by the summer. Thanks so much!!