Exactly one year ago, on this very same day, I almost died.
Ok, I was trying for a dramatic effect but it’s just so not me. So I’m going to let Artie tell you the story of what happened last year.
The Day That Changed My Life
Phew. That brings back a whole lot of memories.
He wrote this blog post shortly after my operation. It’s a beautifully written, heartfelt post. I’m so glad he was able to chronicle everything, being the blogger that I am, haha. (Thanks, babe! Since I was out of commission for a few months, I wasn’t able to blog about it.)
So, I’m going to blog about it now. I guess in a way, it’s my way of celebrating another year of being alive and giving thanks.
Apologies if the blog post is a bit incoherent. I’m trying to remember bits and pieces.
Memories After The Operation
You want to know how geeky I am?
When they wheeled me out of the operation, my first mumbled words were: “I’m in the game. I was healing the Blood Queen. See, my fingers hurt.”
My neurosurgeon got alarmed. He thought I incurred brain damage during the operation.
Artie, on the other hand started laughing in relief and explained to everyone that I was talking about a computer game that I play and it was no cause for panic.
Yes, folks. While my neurosurgeon sliced me up and poked around my spinal cord, I was dreaming about raiding with my Blood Elf Priest in World of Warcraft.
No light at the end of the tunnel for this geek girl!
That my friend, is hardcore geekery!
I also remember being very cranky because they refused to feed me and I haven’t eaten in like 48 hours. I remember being very bratty and wailing, “I’M SO HUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”
When I think about it now, I feel mildly embarassed. I think I terrorized a couple of nurses at The Medical City.
This was a week after the operation (a C1-C2 laminectomy). They had to slowly introduce me to an upright position again since I’ve been on my back for a week already. It’s a bed thingie that that goes up right. Look at my face, so fat from all the liquid from the dextrose, lol.
I have Horner’s Syndrome. Until now I think but barely noticeable. But then it was really bad, whenever I go through stress or strenuous activity, my left eye would squint and droop.
One Year After
So you might be wondering how I am after a year.
I’m around 95% to full recovery. There’s still slight weakness on my left side and I have altered sensation all over. It takes a while for my body to realize whether its hot or cold (very hazardous when it comes to cooking).
There is still a perpetual “pins and needles” feeling on the soles of my feet. My muscles are always spasmodic so I’m in constant pain, especially on the neck and shoulder area and my joints. But that’s easily resolved by taking muscle relaxants and pain killers when needed.
I walk with a slight, barely noticeable limp. I won’t be sashaying on the streets like I’m in a catwalk, that’s for sure.
But you know what, I’m not complaining. I’m just happy to still be here. Taking one day at a time.
Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’d be able to drive again by myself and go have my Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga sessions :)
Let me tell you, when things like this (you know, life threatening experiences) happen, they really change you. They change how you think, your perspective and priorities in life. I know it’s cliche, but that’s how it is, really.
It happened 3 months before our wedding. Prior to the incident, I wasn’t exactly a bridezilla, but I was slightly obsessive compulsive about the wedding planning, especially about time tables and deadlines.
Things had to be done on schedule or else. If I asked Artie to do something, he had to do it right then and there. If he didn’t, I’d get all ballistic cranky at him.
But after the incident, I did a complete 180 degree and became Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky (or better yet, Ms. Bahala-Na-Si-Batman).
I think it took Artie by surprise. It actually annoyed the heck out of him because I was so complacent with all the suggestions (‘Whatever you like’) especially about the decorations. It actually turned him into Groomzilla.
The point is, I didn’t care much about having a ‘perfect’ wedding. For me, what was more important was that I was alive and strong enough to walk down the aisle, with no cane and definitely not on a wheelchair.
The incident brought me closer to my family, strengthened my relationship with Artie and strengthened my faith. I’m still not religious, though! I still believe that I can talk to God whenever and wherever and I don’t have to go to mass or church to have a personal relationship with him. Ironically, I’m thankful that this incident happened. I know God has plans for me.
It taught me inner strength. If you’re thinking ‘Wow, she must be a superwoman to handle that operation and all’, then you’re mighty wrong. Going thru the operation was easy. I wasn’t even conscious. I didn’t even have time to get anxious about the operation since they had to do it as soon as possible. But recovering after the operation was a whole different story.
Relief about the operation being a success was short-lived. Waking up to the world with you unable to barely move can be rattling. For 3 months, I was unable to stand up, walk, eat, take a bath, poop and pee by myself. I felt disfigured.
Going to therapy and seeing that most of the people I’m with were old people who were stroke victims made me feel bitter. Why did this happen to me? I’m still so young! I should be out there conquering the world, not stuck in my house.
I was depressed and I cried everyday. I lashed at people. But the I realized I had to be strong. That this happened for a reason and I should just work hard at my therapy and at recovering. I had to be patient that it will take some time and I will recover.
So it taught me patience. I thought I was already patient when it came to certain things, but BOY, did this teach me patience. Until now, I’m still being taught to be patient, that in time, I will be 100% recovered. (One more year? Bring it!)
And finally, it taught me contentment. I may not wear expensive clothes, have the latest gadgets, or drive the newest cars, (I won’t say ‘no’ to graces, though,haha!) but I learned to be happy and be thankful for what I have. Because really, I’m still in a better place compared to some.
I eat three meals a day (even more), a roof over my head, and a car to take me a around conveniently.
I have a family who loves me, friends who support me and I can still enjoy living each day, one day at a time :)