Bobbie Wayne's Blog
We Are Not Strads
The roads from Marblehead, Massachusetts to Boston's Brigham and Womens Hospital are challenging, as are most in this state, and not just for those of us with bird bones. Even wearing my soft cervical collar, my teeth clack like castanets with every pothole and ditch. Driving on Massachusetts roads is, I imagine, like riding the Oregon Trail in a buckboard. I am on my way to see my neurosurgeon and know that, as usual, my blood pressure will be high from the trip.
"Your neck is not normal…," he tells me after I've had my MRI. He should know, having fused most of my cervical vertebrae not just once, but twice. I make a face. I'm bracing for bad news: a third surgery to reposition the nuts and bolts he used to shore up my neck three years ago or even worse, having to remove the titanium box he inserted when he fused c4 and c5 in 2011. Or what if the bones spurs that had strangled my spinal cord were growing back?
Pain-free until last June, I lifted a suitcase and felt a "ping" in my neck. A series of stiff necks followed, partially healing before returning. I am impatient with my body. I expect it to keep up with me as I race around an agility course with my Border Collie, move huge stones in my rock garden and lift my thirty-two pound antique harp out of its case. The harp, built in 1795, is fragile. Humans, I think, are like harps; we don't improve with age like fine wines and Stradivarius violins; we wear out.
"…but your MRI looks fine," my surgeon finishes, interrupting my gloomy ruminations. "Nothing out of place. Just stop hurting yourself. Let your neck heal; give yourself a break."
I practically dance my way out of the hospital. That is good advice: "Give yourself a break." All Americans should all do that more often; after all, we are not Stradivari, we're just human.
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Best Childhood Friend, Beeber: a delightful read which brought me right back to our numerous conversations during our ‘elementary lives’ about life and the fragility of ourselves. I’m just returning from a 10 day adventure in the Pacific Northwest and resting to restore myself after 50+ miles of hiking. We explored the Cascade Mts, hiking dormant volcanoes and then Redwood Forests along the Pacific Coast. I’m strong and sturdy, but know what’s needed to replenish myself for future excursions. Love these ‘simple’ reflections on living fully in the moment. Thank You.