"The time has come," the Walrus said...

"...To talk of many things! Of meds and splints and spinal facts! Of surgeries and dreams! And how much a curvy spine can suck and how we deal with things!"

It was an interesting sort of holiday season. The sort of interesting that ends with a person spending two and a half days at a bus depot, sleeping on the floor, making friends with random strangers, and doing your gosh-darned best not to lose your mind. Lambchops tiddliwinks. I mean-!

I spent the solid portion of the last week trying to get back into the school mood. New classes, more work than last semester, I need to get a part time job, I'm still trying to get my writing to professional standards and, oh! What's this? An appointment with the Advanced Spinal Care Center in Calgary for cortisone injections? This week? What?! Yes, apparently time itself decided to speed up because I had no idea it would be so soon (and consequently told my teachers that, and I quote "will be going away sometime in the next couple of weeks.") Fortunately they were all relaxed about it; I guess when you get to post-secondary standards people are forced to acknowledge that there is indeed life outside of learning institutions, and once every so often those little pieces of life need to be addressed before Chapter 3 Summary Questions.

I leave tomorrow bright and early to meet my mom in Calgary. We try to take every opportunity we have in Calgary to make a 'Girl's Day' out of it. As I'm of legal age that generally ends with us drinking G&T's and Tom Collins in the lounge of the hotel, giggling over Bobby, the cute bartender (I kid you not, his name actually is Bobby.) I think I look forward to that more than anything; now that I live away from home Mom and I really don't get to interact enough, and the holidays were miserable because we had limited (if any at all) girl time to ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers, but a girl needs to spend some time with her mom, just one-on-one every so often.

I'm not really sure what to expect on Thursday. My appointment is at 9:30, so of course we'll arrive a half hour early and fill out the obligatory "What Else is Wrong With You?" form. Generally I have to take those seriously because, hey, I don't want the doctor screwing something up. Lord help them if they give me a questionnaire to fill out once the whole thing is over and done with.

I'm supposed to be having four injections in total, one each week. Unfortunately only the one is booked so far, so I have a feeling I'll be waiting a considerable amount of time before I get in for the second. Here's hoping the first one is a roaring success (although I must admit to some pessimism, especially after what I've been told by those who have experienced the same sorts of injections.) And I can't really say that they can't make things worse (because every time I do say it, something inevitably gets worse.) But hell, I can't let fear get in the way of a possible solution. Growing old is daunting enough, and if there's even a slim, minute, tinsy-tiny chance of this helping, I'm willing to try.

The next day (because one night in Calgary for medical stuff just isn't enough for me) I'll go see my surgeon and find out if my curve has hit and/or exceeded the 50 degree mark. According to him, once it hits 50 degrees, the curve itself will start growing excessively. I can only assume that has something to do with the maniacal power of gravity, once again doing its very best to make life as difficult as possible. It's bad enough that I can't jump off a building and fly; now you're telling me a 50 degree curve will start to get rapidly worse? Blast! Logically I should be at around 52 degrees or so (that's going by previous x-rays and my surgeon's considerable math/estimation skills), which means I need to start thinking about what I want to do. If the injections work then hey? Why not just keep going with those? On the other hand, if the curve is starting to get rapidly worse (as rapidly as a slowly curving spine can go. Much like a snail trying to escape a burning building) then the injections will hardly do me much good in the long run. So do I wait it out until, say, next summer when I'll be done my diploma and can take some time off from school - or do I get it over with for the sake of, well, just getting it over with? I'd be losing the last of my mobility in my spine, on the other hand that gut-wrenching cracking noise that it has been making consistently for the last three months would probably stop.

Oh lordy, those cracking noises are enough to drive a girl batty.

If I wanted to get really technical I could throw in the fact that after I'm done my diploma I'll need to take a break from school anyways to raise more money to finish my degree (Because the horrible circle of not being able to work because my spine is screwed up, because I worked too much to get money to go to a school that I can't even attend full time because my back is screwed up... goes on and on and on...) So, logically, next summer would be ideal (not this summer coming up, summer 2012). Granted, Kelti and I planned on doing a train trip to San Francisco then as well; I could always book a surgery for after that.

On the other hand maybe everything will go according to plan. And maybe I'll win the lottery with a ticket that I found stuck to my shoe with a piece of cinnamon gum (I hate cinnamon gum!)

Life can never be easy, but it'd be nice if for once it wasn't complicated.

So there you have it, injections, surgeon appointments, curling into the fetal position (because that's what the Foothills Hospital does to any normal person), recuperating at home, going back to school... the circle is unending. Wish me luck!

Kathleen

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