II Corinthians 12:9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities... for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Truth or Dare?

In this game of "truth or dare," here are your options: I tell you the truth about spinal fusions, or I dare you to go ahead and experience it for yourself.

Truth? That's what I thought.

I'm active in several online health communities and forums. One thing I've found is that many people tend to "sugar-coat" their surgery to the point that I'm wondering if we had the same surgery. It's somewhat easy to think that way when it's been so many years since you were lying in the ICU with a fresh incision down your back. There are also others who are considering surgery for (in my opinions) all the wrong reasons.

Of course, I'm extremely thankful for my spinal fusion. It's pretty much the best thing that's happened to me since my salvation, when Christ saved me from my sins. But that doesn't mean it was easy, by any means. I've talked with many people whose curves aren't at the point of being serious, but they just want surgery for different reasons.

One reason is that they are sick of the way they look. It's understandable not to like the fact that your shoulder blade sticks out or one side of your chest caves in, but here's the truth. This surgery is not for looks. After my fusion, yes, my spine is straighter, but you know what? My shoulder blade and chest are exactly the same. I was disappointed when I realized that at first, but I'm so glad that I didn't have my fusion simply to make myself look differently.
Another reason is that they are sick of wearing a brace. Yes, it's uncomfortable, yes, it doesn't look the greatest under most clothing, and yes, it restricts you from bending or eating a lot (which might not be a bad thing). But the truth is simple on this one: if you can't handle a brace, you can't handle surgery. I speak from experience in both cases. And guess what. You can't bend after surgery, either. So for me, my braces actually prepared me for my new back. I usually don't even think about not being able to bend, because all these years I've been squatting down, instead. But my point is this: be faithful in your responsibilities (like wearing a brace) and optimistic in the place you are now, whether you're wearing a brace or facing surgery. Surgery should not be a cop out for bracing. You can take off the brace, but you can't unfuse your spine.

Spinal fusions are huge deals, and NO one should take them lightly. After saying that, for those of you who need surgery, it will probably be the one of the best things that you could do for your body. Although it's definitely not easy and the recovery can seem long, in the long run if you truly need this surgery, it will be totally worth it. I have no regrets. And that's the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! Wanting surgery, that is something I have never understood. I have congenital scoliosis so I never had the option of a brace. It was surgery from a young age. I know people who didn't need surgery but went doctor shopping until they found one who agreed to do it. Complications abound! They could have avoided so many health issues. I think people forget that serious things can and do go wrong, there are worse things than a curved spine!