Two months ago I hobbled, almost being carried by my fiance, into the neurosurgeon’s office and was told that I had to have spinal surgery.
I was so afraid. I was in pain. I wasn’t myself.
Today, I walked, with my head held high and a spring in my step into that same neurosurgeon’s office. I am six weeks post-op, and this is the best I have felt in about a year.
Besides some back stiffness from sleeping on a futon — who’s back doesn’t hurt after a few months on one of those? — this is the best I have felt in almost a year.
I have so many angry and upset emotions over this (see my previous post ‘Modern medicine can’t fix my broken heart‘) and I think I am finally ready to put all those feeling in the past.
I have never ever been a person who can hold a grudge. I usually tell people how I feel right up front and then forgive and forget. Sometimes it bothers me that I can’t hold grudges longer because even though I don’t like to be angry with people, there are a few times in my life where I wish I just could stay angry. I always forgive or just move on. Sooner or later, usually sooner, I find myself being nice and wanting to help this person who has jilted me. I get hurt all over again.
With this back injury, I didn’t have a person to blame. I certainly couldn’t blame the patient I was helping when I hurt my back. That person was much worse off than I was, even after my back injury.
So I blamed the profession.
Up until about three hours ago, I was still in this two-year-long anger cycle, a love/hate relationship where I was filled with hatred that I couldn’t work as a paramedic anymore, but I loved the job so much that I wanted to continue working even though it ruined my body, and in turn, my spirit.
But walking out of that neurosurgeon’s office today, I feel good. I am happy. My back is great, and I have a new profession that I am finally ready to fully embrace.
I am sad that I can’t work in the back of an ambulance anymore, but all of this heartbreak that I have been unable to let go of for the last two years — even though if it were a person I was angry with I would have only been able to hold the grudge for two weeks at most — I am happy that I am finally able to get this burden of anger out of my mind.
More importantly, I finally feel ready to jump head-first into journalism. I feel that I have only been dipping my toes in to test the waters. I am excited to see where this goes. I am finally excited to give it my all.
Don’t get me wrong, I have worked hard on what I have already written for the student newspaper and for my classes, but I know that I can do better, I know I have been holding back. I feel ashamed that I have been holding a grudge so big that it has kept me from really going out and trying, especially when I have encouraged so many others to go out and do things, while I am cowering in my mind.
So here’s to my better back, better body (just being able to walk properly over the last six weeks, I have lost 10 pounds) and a better mind.