This post is going to be a long post with a little nostalgia, a little reminiscence, and just some thoughts I’ve been having these last few weeks. So either read or no, but know it’s heartfelt and something I need to share with my fellow spineys here.
As you can tell by the amount of posts I have, I’ve been with SH many years - since I first knew I had cervical issues in 2008 that only surgery could to fix (3-lvl fusion, C4-7). I knew so little and wanted so much to get information and support, so I came here at the suggestion of my surgeon. My hubby and I were pretty scared. At that time, the language from the reports, docs and surgeons was Greek. We were in total ignorance. Since then, I’ve learned so much and am so much more knowledgeable about the spine and spine problems, learning from this site, research and experience. I’ve also had a 1-lvl (L4/5) fusion and am now facing a 1- or 2-lvl fusion above L4/5 due to adjacent bone disease, probably because of my job. (The doc will decide what to do when he gets in there - MRIs aren’t the whole story, seeing is believing.) The good news: I'm no longer ignorant, I know what most of the words mean. :-)
What I want to say is this: Having been with SH for so many years and through so much, I’ve tended to come and go like most, but in the first year, I needed you. Then I got laid off after my cervical surgery and logged on, able to help others while looking for a job and getting better. That was two years and in the middle of that time I had my first lumbar surgery. SH helped me recover, both with camaraderie and filling in my boredom.
Once I found that job I so desperately needed, I slacked on coming here to help and, guiltily, stopped posting because I no longer needed you. If you needed me, I’m sorry, I wasn’t here. I was living. I helped for a while, but then it just became too much. I was busy walking the dog, cooking, cleaning, going to church, - living. I had a year of really living - golfing, being happy, what we strive for.
Then a year passed by and I find myself back where I was - facing surgery again and feeling alone. I feel I can no longer talk to my hubby of my daily pain (I don’t blame him at all - he’s tired of it after so many years, but is still supportive, just doesn’t want to hear my daily updates, he prefers the weekly synopsis), so I find myself needing SH once again.
For the newbies, always remember here. You may need it again one day, after you feel good then don’t again. Or maybe you love it so much you stay daily or weekly, but having a job and a life tends to interfere with our life here. But don't forget that you may need us again one day, and if you do we're here and if you don't, fantastic-o!
For the oldies like me, you may post every day, or you may ebb and flow. But in the end, we all need a place to go when you stay or become a needy spiney again. I thought my days of NEEDING here were gone - I had a job and a life. It’s gone again. But you can always come back - we’re always welcome. ALWAYS!
I appreciate that SH is always here. I’m having another surgery, I’m scared. I face another 3-4 days without my sweet Wally (my adorable dog), needing someone for a couple of weeks to care for me, not being able to drive for 4 weeks, not being able to do everyday things, needing my recliner, toilet seat riser, grabber, losing my independence.
Don’t take it for granted. When you have those good days, live them. When you have those bad days, fight it. I believe once a spiney always a spiney, but I had no idea I’d have a surgery facing me every 2-3 years.
I’m sorry for those I’ve been long friends with then seemed to abandon. I’m sorry that I have to be here in this situation, not so much helping, but grateful beyond words that you’re here.
So much to say, so little time. Know I’m not looking for sympathy, support or anything else from this post. I only want to say don’t take SH and its forums for granted. Someone is always here to support, help, inform and commiserate with you. You never know when it will hit you, or hit you again. I myself am humbled by the need for another surgery. It may never end, and to those that are lucky enough to have it end, don’t ever forget that you’re a spiney and you have friends here. Need us now or not, we’re always here, be it a few days, months, or years, there’s always someone here that understands and no doubt has been through it or is going through what you are.
Take good care, my fellow spineys. I’m a little nostalgic and meloncholy tonight and am once again extremely grateful for you and SH.
PS I will still support anyone when I can and will be there for you. It’s no ALL about me, just mostly as I await the knife. LOL