September 28, 2010

Bionic Woman?

Just got out of the shower.  Ick.  I can't believe I used to take one of these things each and every day before work!

My surgery is only 2 days away now and I am getting more and more anxious.  I don't really know what to expect.  I have never even been under anesthesia before.  For every procedure I have had where I was given the option to be put under, I have always opted to stay awake.  There's just something about being put to sleep that terrifies me... perhaps the possibility of never waking up? Yes, that must be it.

So the neurosurgeon explained the basics to me regarding my procedure, but with the clock ticking I feel some more in-depth sleuthing is necessary.

PART ONE: The Discectomy

The neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon enters the space between two discs through an incision in front of and at the right or left side of the neck.  The disc is completely removed, as well as arthritic bone spurs.  The disc material, pressing on the spinal nerve or spinal cord, is then completely removed.  The intervertebral foramen, the bone channel through which the spinal nerve runs, is then enlarged with a drill giving the nerve more room to exit the spinal canal.  (Wikipedia)

And I thought showering was gross.  

PART TWO: Application of the Artificial Disc

(Above: My soon-to-be Robo-neck)

When they once would have removed the injured disc and fused the two vertebrae together, there is a newer technique that involves an artificial disc implant.  The artificial disc (or spacer) is placed between the two vertebrae following the discectomy and is then fixed into place using screws.  That's right folks, I am going to be part robot! 

Maybe getting schooled on all of this was a bad idea right now.  But knowledge is power, right? I am trying to stay positive, and that means thinking about all of this from the "Bionic Woman" perspective.

The American television series "The Bionic Woman" aired for three seasons starting in 1976.  It starred Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a tennis player who almost lost her life during a tragic skydiving accident.  After being "rebuilt" using artificial or bionic parts she gained certain special powers: the ability to run faster, increased hearing in her right ear and super strength in her right arm.  

Is it a coincidence that my injury also happens to extend into the right side of my body? I can't wait to see what new superpowers I will have!

Check out the clip below to get a sense of what to expect from me in the coming months.

September 27, 2010

The Beginning

Lately, I have had a hard time doing much of anything.  I have had to force myself to even leave the house, to eat, to sleep... and making myself take a shower has been the absolute worst.  I just don't want to get wet! And don't even get me started with the subsequent brushing of the hair and the blow drying necessary to alleviate my annoying cowlick.  Ugh.

So now that you are imagining me as a troll-like, dread headed, middle aged, funky smelling recluse... well, that's not entirely true.  But I will let you keep that picture in your mind for the time being.

I haven't worked in almost four months now.  I have spent most of that time holed up here in my apartment, in bed and trying to get the surgery I need covered by insurance.  It was finally approved for this Thursday.  I am thankful that it is going to be covered and that I (hopefully) won't be in pain anymore.  I am getting pretty nervous about it though.

I have been sort of floating through time for the past three years, without any sort of direction.  I am stuck in a place where I don't want to be and where I have very few friends. How did I end up here? Honey, I will tell you all about that once I get to know you a little bit better.

Before 2007, I was living in Chicago and working on my own documentary.  I went to art school and up until that point, I made plans for projects and then executed them.  I mean I actually followed through with something! But then something happened.

This blog is my first stab at committing to a project in a long time.  I am hoping it will give me some sort of outlet - a place to document and post my thoughts, as well as a home for my photographs and other various junk.  Maybe this will give me a direction: out of bed and over to my computer?

So my goal was to set up and complete one blog before I go under the knife this week. There! I will have one thing accomplished in a matter of minutes.  Times they are a' changin.