Remember my last post, at least I think it was my last post, where I talked about advertising my blog on my brace due to all of the staring and looks I get? I figured if I was going to get weird looks, I might as well promote my blog and get a few readers out of it, right? I had so many great ideas on how to decorate my back brace. Where did it all go awry?
Anyone who knows me knows how impatient I am. I also don’t like asking for help and I like to try and do things on my own especially now that there isn’t much I can do by myself without help. A month ago, in a drugged out state, I decided to write Scolimom.com on the front and back of my ugly brace with a black permanent marker. I took a couple steps back to check it out and realized not only was it not centered but it was crooked and on a slant downward. Being the perfectionist that I am and knowing that it will bother me to no end, I proceeded to look up ways to remove this hideousness off my brace. I tried magic erasers, baby wipes, alcohol, peroxide, etc. You name it, I used it. All it did was make the color go from black to shit brown. My husband, of course, doesn’t understand why I would even try to do any of this in the first place by myself. And now we were stuck with the problem of how to cover up the even bigger eye sore.
I ended up leaving it looking like this up until this past Thursday when I decided to try and teach some classes at my studio. I realized that some of the students might be scared by this monstrosity and so Thursday morning after a grueling physical therapy session, we walked over to Michael’s to pick out some things to decorate my brace with. Of course through the whole store Neil repeatedly asked why I waited until the last minute to do this. I kept my eye rolls to myself. Neil actually showed interest in helping pick out rhinestones and came up with different ideas. Boy, we were going to make this thing look amazing. At least, that’s what we thought in our minds.
After picking up our 3 year old from preschool and not resting at all, which is what I should have been doing, we got out my glue gun and started to plan out where everything would go. We knew we had an uphill battle covering the original and decided that we could only straighten it out a little bit otherwise the faded brown would stick out like a sore thumb. I glued gold rhinestones on to make it say scolimom.com. The Scoli part looked great. The rest looked like a disaster. And that shit brown color I was trying to cover up, was even more noticeable. My husband told me it looked terrible and then left to pick Emma and Laura up from school. While he was gone, doing what I do best, I decided to try and camouflage it with stickers and positive quotes. It looked like a train wreck and I knew once Neil saw it, he would laugh.
At this point, I was so sore from standing I couldn’t do anything else with it. Neil came home and we decided to remove everything and then Neil would try to scrub the writing with bleach and borax. As he removed all the rhinestones with a butter knife, he said, “Now this is love, April. Not many husbands would bedazzle a back brace.” as I lay on the couch. Of course it didn’t come off and I was supposed to be picked up to go to class in 10 minutes. (I still can’t drive) So what did we do? We wrote back over it with black permanent marker and called it a day. I wish now I took pictures of this whole ordeal; Especially the one of Neil with his butter knife. Maybe I should go back to Target and get that Donut costume I tried on. That thing fit perfectly.
I made it to my first class that Thursday. You’d think it would feel daunting walking in to teach nineteen 6 and 7 year olds, but for me, having taught the majority of students in this class for 3-4 years, I felt it would be the easiest to do a test run in. I was hoping to make it through all 3 of my classes that day, but after one class, my body had enough. I came home upset that night. Where I want to be physically and where I actually am are very different. I felt defeated. As I sobbed in the shower, Neil reminded me how much I endured and how much progress I have made since July and that going to even one class 11 weeks after this whole nightmare is incredible. I can’t compare my recovery with others who have had this surgery because I went through a slew of extra crap that doesn’t normally happen. I feel bad for Neil because he literally has to remind me of this every damn day. I’m sure he loves being the broken record.
I went in for an X-Ray to figure out what I was feeling sticking out on my back and it is indeed a screw that I can feel. Luckily, no screws or any of the hardware have moved or backed out, but because I do weigh 15 bs under, there isn’t any fat cushioning between the screw and my layer of skin. So there’s that.
The good days are sprinkled in with a lot of bad days but at least I am starting to have a few good days. The problem I have is that when I do have a good day, I will push too hard and do way too much. I have been told by my husband, my Doctors, my Physical Therapists, friends and even random strangers to take it easy and not go full force. I am fully aware of this and I am trying to listen to my body. One of my doctors said I am doing amazing considering what I have dealt with and even heroic trying to push myself as hard as I have. This seems to be the consensus among everyone. So, why is it so hard for me to believe it and actually feel that way? I need to take my perfectionist attitude and throw it out the window!
Since my leg is starting to “wake up” slowly as time goes by, physical therapy has become more intense and harder on my body. It took me 4 days to recover from Thursday. I am hoping as I continue, that it will get easier and take less time to heal. All of my muscles are mush and the easiest of exercises fatigue me almost immediately. Yesterday, we tried electrotherapy on my back while doing exercises to see if it would help with my back pain during the session and afterward. Although it didn’t work too much on my soreness after, it did seem to help during physical therapy. Next week we see my spine surgeon and will hopefully have one ordered for me to use at home and possibly in dance class.
Tomorrow will be a huge deal for me. Neil needs to go to work tomorrow and I have to get the boys ready, in the car, then DRIVE Will to preschool, waste 2 hours, drive to therapy, waste another 45 minutes, pick Will up from school, drive home, somehow get Nicky in his crib for a nap or wait until Neil gets home. I am getting anxiety just thinking about it. This is a huge deal for me. I get tired walking up my stairs. How am I going to handle this? I also forgot to add that tonight I will be taking my last 12 mcg fentanyl patch off and going narcotic free. That’s right folks. Narcotic free! I am scared and excited at the same time.
I want to end this post with a huge thank you to the parents and students who have unwaveringly stuck by me and continue to be in class even when I am not able to be there. Your continued support means the world to me and I am trying my very hardest to get back to class and see all of your wonderful children again. Thank you for keeping my family and I in your thoughts and prayers.