The sciatica pain became unbearable. It was driving me to the brink of insanity. Bearing in mind I only needed a nudge to get me there anyway. Even the prescription painkillers were no longer working. So after 5 months of unrelenting pain, I had to accept I had no control over this situation. I had done everything right – physio, chiro, pain management. But it kept getting worse. The combination of bipolar meds and pain meds were wreaking havoc with my moods, and the pain meds were beginning to eat into my stomach. So I had to pack my pride and self-sufficiency away and accept surgery as the only option.
In hospital the MRI scans revealed a rapid and massive degeneration of the herniated disc, so under the knife I went. It came with no surprise that my surgery had complications because hey, I’m a complicated gal. The sciatic nerve plus another nerve were pinched and both were so compacted into the herniated disc that the neurosurgeon could not tell the nerves apart from the disc. He had to call in his boss to assist. Apparently a renown neurosurgeon in South Africa who was due to retire in one months time. I was told I was extremely fortunate to have been under his care because there was a real risk of me being left paralyzed. One false move and all of that. But after a 9 hour surgery that usually takes 2-4 hours, I emerged from the anesthetic intact.
Rehabilitation with a physio for 6 weeks and a hefty dose of grit and determination, had me on my feet, mobile and able to sit for extended periods. What a journey. I was off work for 7 weeks. So much for my new year’s resolution to have less absenteeism. But this was one resolution I was happy to break. Coming so close to not being able to walk again has changed my outlook on life. I have a greater determination to live. To enjoy and appreciate. To be grateful for all that I have. To have fun. I feel so far removed from the desperate depression I was in last year. I feel as if I’ve been given a second chance.