ADR Recovery

This blog chronicles my recovery from a new type of major back surgery, Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR). I injured my back at L5/S1 when I was 9 and have always struggled with back pain, but was unable to walk after a minor car accident in ‘05. Research became my second job and with the support of my family and friends, I decided go under the knife. My intention is to keep my friends updated while I recover and help others who are suffering with back pain understand the recovery process.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Do you feel lucky?

May 15, 2006

The first time I had surgery everyone told me that bad things happen to good people. They reminded me of this the second time. By my third surgery I started believing in Karma and was sure that I had bad Karma. I tried my hardest to develop good karma, helping other gimpy people, giving money to the Red Cross, not cursing as much, etc. As I was wheeled into the OR for my forth surgery in two years I decided that the only explanation was that I was a bad person. And, if I was a bad person, I might as well enjoy being bad. Now, as I am about to have my fifth surgery in 2 years, I know it’s not about being good or bad, karma or fairness, it’s all about luck. It’s all about the roll of the dice, your hand of cards, the turn of the wheel. You can increase the chances with research, counting cards or playing the odds, but at the end of the day you let it roll and hope for the best.

I am waiting for major back surgery. It’s a new surgery, Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), and it’s been approved by the FDA for only 4 years. Many would say that by having such a new surgery I am decreasing my odds, but I don’t agree.

I injured a disc in my back on a trampoline when I was 9 at L5-S1 and as hard as I’ve tried, I’ve never been “normal.” Each birthday marked a new symptom; now I’m 25 and I walk with a cane. Everywhere I go people stare and ask questions. Pain is the soundtrack of my life and my days of dancing on bars and skydiving have been traded for online grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments. My college self would be so disappointed in what I’ve become. I can’t work anymore, I can’t go out, I can barely get dressed; I am trapped in my body.

I made research my second job and found what I thought was my best hope for recovery and whom I think is the best doctor in the US to do it, Dr. Fabien Bitan. Now, I’m waiting outside the OR and all I can think about is this; do I feel lucky?


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