Keep Your Scale of One to Ten: I’m a 12

I am exceptional for many reasons, but one you wouldn’t likely guess is that for a reasonably healthy 40 year old I’ve gone under the knife a bunch. Nothing cosmetic, and I have no bionic parts. Maybe that makes it more extraordinary? Hard for me to say, but statistically I’d imagine so.

When I first went back to the podiatrist about getting the screws removed from my foot, she was fine with doing it if they were bothering me, but the X-rays showed no reason why it should be. So I waited a few extra months, hoping to avoid the procedure. Hoping the discomfort would go away; instead it became more painful to wear any shoes. It would appear my immune system was working hard to reject the screws. In fact by the time had surgery the other day, the doctor was a bit surprised to find this reasonably large granuloma had formed. And so, although it meant a more involved operation, the doctor decided to take the plate out of my foot too.

As I sit here with my foot on my desk, recovering from #Frankenfoot: #TheReturn, I’ve been thinking about this.  Everything about that story should be extraordinary. For my world, that is par for the course. 

I had to recite my medical history several times leading up to the surgery & I noticed it brought about a one of a few responses. “Goodness, you’ve been through a lot.” “Oh… I don’t have room for all that in the space provided.” “Wow, that’s… a lot of surgery.”

Truth be told, I always laugh at whatever is said. I make jokes, because otherwise I get uncomfortable. Otherwise I have to deal with the sympathy.

I used to joke that each visit to the operating room was going to be lucky 13. Well, as of the other day, I’ve made that trip a dozen times. Just for giggles & clarity, here’s the list:

  1. Arthroscopic: my right knee to remove torn cartilage. 
  2. Arthroscopic: my left knee, lateral release on the ITB
  3. Inner Tibial Osteotomy: left leg/knee, with lateral release
  4. Removal of hardware from left leg (screws)
  5. Surgical biopsy of my right breast (2 incision sites)
  6. Inner Tibial Osteotomy: right leg/knee, with lateral release
  7. Removal of hardware from right leg (screws)
  8. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removed)
  9. C-Section: Boy
  10. C-Section: Girl
  11. #Frankenfoot: Foot surgery to remove bunion, fix hammer toe & reshape arch of my right foot
  12. Removal of granuloma & hardware (screws & plate)

I’m not even including the injury on my 12th birthday when I broke a bottle over my right leg, which resulted in a deep laceration that required a feckton of stitches, on top of a visit to 2 different emergency rooms. (Don’t ask – It is a good story I’ll save for another day.)

Stop! This is not a cry for sympathy.  Frankly, I’m not even sure what my point is. All of this is just a part of my story. A small slice of what makes me the person I am.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain at the short and random Serendipity:  Every day I wake up and there is pain somewhere. That is as much a part of me as the scars I have from all the surgeries, my brown eyes and the filings in my teeth. If you didn’t know where to look, you wouldn’t see anything to give you that knowledge.

If it’s a good day (and most are) I won’t tell you about my pain. I doubt you would know the difference. If it’s a bad day, and I happen to mention it, believe you’ll never know how bad it must be for me to speak up.

Honestly though, I usually just get up, stretch and get on with the business of living. As one does.

Although, looking at this picture of Baymax (from Big Hero 6) I’m now thinking, I would love to have the big squishy robot as my personal health care companion.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?

Can you just imagine what that would be like on a bad day?

It is okay to cry. Crying is a natural response to pain.
I’d curl right up, hug, cry, while Baymax pat my head. Then I think I’d have him cushion me as we fall backwards out a window and bounce. No harm, no new scars. Seriously, that would be sweet.

Am I the only one who has this fantasy? I really have always been more of a laughter through tears kind of gal.

I started off saying I’m exceptional. And I guess on one scale I am. But I certainly never feel extraordinary. Maybe that’s my point here – on my scale, I’m normal.

Well, I’m may still be using that word a bit loosely, I suppose.

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