“Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better,
you have to take things into your own hands.”
Earlier this year, I had spinal surgery. I had a degenerative condition that pinched my spinal cord that was getting progressively worse. I would lose feeling in my legs, had fallen twice and broke a leg and foot in an unexpected loss of control.
After visiting several doctors, I was directed to a surgeon who said he could repair my condition. He exuded confidence and won me over. Surgery was scheduled and MRI and X-rays were taken in preparation.
The doctor warned me that immediately after surgery, I would lose feeling and the ability to control one leg for a few weeks. He said this is to be expected. He also told me that I would be unable to step without a walker for several weeks. If I obeyed him and the home therapy staff, I would be back up in better shape than before the procedure. I felt that the long-term results would be worth the immediate pain and discomfort.
As predicted, after surgery I was unable to move one leg. It felt like it weighed 1,000 pounds! I couldn’t control the muscles at all. I remember the nurses asking me how I felt. When I told them that I couldn’t feel or move that leg, they would “freak out” and tell me to report it to the doctor. I smiled and said, “He knows; he told me this would happen.” I guess he didn’t tell them, too.
The surgeon reassured me on his first visit that day that this was perfectly expected. Then he said, “Okay. I’ve done my job. Now you have to do yours.” I knew he meant to follow all directions and do my therapy.
What I Learned
1. Things would get worse before they got better. I was aware that there would be pain and discomfort. I knew that I would need assistance doing several tasks. The rule after this type of surgery is: No “BLT” (Bending, Lifting or Twisting) until further instructions. I fell once when getting out of the car the day I came home from the hospital. Fortunately, two neighbors were there with my wife to lift me up and get me inside.
When change comes, conditions will get worse BEFORE they get better. You experience discomfort. You can’t fall back into your comfort zone. You may feel like it is an uphill battle, but if you keep the focus on your goal during change, you can bear with the discomforts.
Have you ever moved...