I remember those years in high school, lying in bed, thinking about the day when I would take my brace off for the last time. I would wear clothes that fit, tie my shoes without breaking something, and BREATHE AGAIN. After wearing a brace for 6 years, you get used to it. But I still wished it would come faster than anything else.
And then I would wonder what it would be like to need a spinal fusion. What would it feel like? And the surgery experience? Would I ever regret doing something like that? If I did, there would be no turning back. You can't take the rods out. I thought about all these things. But it didn't matter. It would never happen to me.
5 years ago, I woke up as I was being lifted and set down on the x-ray table. That was the beginning of a long, difficult recovery. But this recovery was a life-changing one for me. It was so painful to do the things that I had never thought twice about, like brushing my teeth, sitting up, rolling over, writing, coughing, sneezing, moving my arms, and the list could go on forever.
It has been worth every second of it-- even the nights that I couldn't sleep because of the pain... the days I cried because it hurt so much... the frustration of being so dependent on other people, when I should be playing volleyball or ice skating with my friends.