Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mend (to fix, to repair)

If your hospital gives you a free whoopie pie, then it counts as healthy, right?

Okay, I'm still limiting my online activity to spare my arms, but I wanted to write something because people keep sending me sweet emails and it's so hard to keep myself from replying. I'm going to type this very slowly.

Here's some background: I've had repetitive strain issues since 2005, when a combination of constant guitar-playing and geeking out caused two years of pain in my ulnar nerves (along with the 'carpal tunnel nerve', the ulnar nerve is one of the main nerves in the arm). I stopped guitar cold turkey and modified my activities enough to limit the pain to a few months a year.

Although I got much better - well enough to pretend I was fine - I never 'recovered'. I spent my first internship out of grad school using the mouse with my foot, and speaking all of my documents using voice recognition software. Many of the things I'd trained to do have been off-limits.

Besides the misery of the pain, I feel so unproductive and useless every time my arms flare up and 'remind' me that I have a problem. Nothing makes me happier than feeling buried in a work project, and all of my work involves my arms; sadly, soccer is not one of my projects.

The whole cancer thing, though, kinda pushed this issue to the side for a while. I was blindsided when the pain returned two weeks ago. (I'm blindsided every time it returns. Brains are pretty dumb adaptable.)

So, on Monday I saw a surgeon.

On Tuesday of next week, he'll cut into one arm to try and fix it.

I'll be recovering for a few weeks, so no blogging for me, probably. If all goes well, you're next, other arm! LET THIS BE A WARNING TO YOU.

I'm, uh, 99% terrified. 1% whoopie pie, but mostly terrified. Nerve surgery is messy and painful. And this Friday I get my Lupron shot. I'm also terrified of that. Both of these decisions have been so hard; I'm a ball of nerves and I hope I'm doing the right thing. I just want to be able to get back to feeling like I'm contributing to the world in the small ways I know how, and these decisions might get me there, or stop me.

A few positive bullets to round out this post:

  • I've had warm nights sitting and watching movies and drinking tea. I'm getting better at doing nothing and just breathing.
  • My husband is the most wonderful person.
  • My mammogram today was clear.
  • I've had some phone and g+ chatting with some inspirational ladies (I'm thinking of you, C and N).
  • Halloween is coming up, and I'm planning something amazing based on my post-chemo hairstyle.
  • Free whoopie pie.