Greetings all! Well, here I sit 11 days later from my cervical fusion surgery on Jan. 15th, 2018 and I’m finally realizing that it’ll be awhile before I truly feel 100% again. My throat’s sore and it’s difficult to swallow, my voice is hoarse, my shoulders and back hurt, I’m dizzy and weak and tire quickly, and this neck brace is driving me Crazy…
It was last year when my neck pain started to really become difficult for me to dismiss. It was disrupting my day and giving me headaches. Anyway, I went to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Thomas Loftus at the Austin Neurosurgical Institute who had performed surgery on my lower back in 2015 and did a great job. Dr. Loftus has pioneered a technique called “minimally invasive spinal surgery” which means you don’t get laid up in the hospital for months at a stretch. I was able to walk out of the hospital the same day in ’15. I walked out like RoboCop but I Did walk out. *L*
Anyway, after an MRI was done on my neck, Dr. Loftus told me that yes my neck has three degenerative discs that need work. But, it was up to me based on 3 possibilities – 1.) It may never get worse and I wouldn’t need the surgery. 2.) How high is my pain tolerance? Maybe I could learn to live with it… or 3.) I wake up and feel weird numbing, tingling sensations in my extremities in which case surgery was required to avert permanent neurological damage.
One thing bothered me still though, because it was “minimally invasive” didn’t mean I wasn’t very concerned about the effect it would have on my vocal abilities. The Dr. had to go through the front of my throat to get to the affected discs… But, I know I didn’t want to be permanently nerve damaged either so I decided I would do it if it was needed.
Well, number 3 took place last September when I woke up and my left arm felt… weird. Numbed, tingling which then over time became “Sciatica” type pain down my left side and arm. Acupuncture helped to alleviate that pain and put it back in my neck until last Monday, the 15th.
So, here I am… Wanting to get back to work so badly but ground to a halt… Frustrating, very frustrating. My friend, Johnny Stitches of Sirenicide offered me a short role for the Season 3 opener of his Cool horror podcast and I didn’t want to let him down, you know? I managed it, with lots of lemon juice, zen-like calm and control over the leftover hoarseness in my voice, and by staying in the lower baritone registers of my vocal range. Still, sitting in my booth working on it was Exhausting and it was barely 30 seconds of audio.
Last night, I managed to edit chapter 23 of my great friend, author Steven Moore’s latest Hiram Kane adventure, “The TIger Temple” that I had recorded before my surgery. I still have a handful of chapters to go on it so I really want to get on it right? Steve’s my friend and I want to get my work finished so we can move on to new projects. Again, I managed it over the course of an hour or so but the exhaustion and dizziness and pain from sitting so still in my booth were back.
Here I am now, it’s just after 1 PM and I want to master chapter 23 but I wanted to write this blog entry first and post it for everyone. Now, I’m wondering if I should’ve just went to the booth instead because the fatigue is back, the pain, the slight, faint, in the background dizziness…
Just because it was “minimally invasive” doesn’t mean I didn’t just have my throat opened up and my spine fused. It’s been maddeningly slow for me. I know, it’s only been 11 days and I should cut myself some slack and let my body heal, but I keep thinking I’m missing out on so many opportunities. I feel like, after a lifetime of athletic activity, I should be bouncing back faster right?
Frustrating, friends, very Frustrating indeed…
Well, I’m going to give mastering chapter 23 a shot. I need to get back to work. I’ve got to get back to recording and submitting auditions because no one’s going to do it for me no matter how difficult it may be.
Just remember all, take good care of yourselves, you never know when Life’s going to throw you a curve ball that’ll bring you to a screeching halt.
Until next time, my friends, be well… 🙂