Yes, there has been no article in the newspaper these past couple of months. No, I didn't quit writing the column. I merely took a brief hiatus from writing to have back surgery in hopes that it would fix one of my many malfunctions.
So, good news! The back surgery was successful ... so far, so good. The surgery was performed on July 6. I had rods, screws, fusion and a partridge and a pear tree put in. Just kidding about the partridge - it was a cage to house the partridge. Oh, I'm kidding about the pear tree, too, considering I ate all of the pears.
After a brief stay on the surgical floor, I was moved to inpatient rehab. I had wonderful care from all of the staff, despite being sick as a dog. I was on a liquid diet due to what was thought to have been a small obstructed bowel. Luckily, I did not need surgery to fix that particular malady. My friend, the barf bucket, and I went to physical therapy everyday. As you can see?I was very determined to get better.
By mid-month July, I was discharged from the hospital. I weighed approximately 291 pounds. "Yippee," I thought. Unfortunately, the weight-loss was short-lived. I developed edema and cellulitis in both legs. Both legs were mega-huge, painful and seeping water (Gross! Sorry, I hope you weren't eating anything). I felt like I had tree trunks for legs. My weight loss had become obsolete. After a while, my legs returned back to their normal size (which is still huge).
Towards the end of July, my sister and brother arrived in town to surprise me for my 40th birthday. We had a nice time. We toured the many restaurants in the area. I ate and ate and ate. Hey! After all, I had family in town and it was my birthday. The only thing was that my birthday celebration lasted a week. Oops.
A couple of weeks afterwards, I tried to ease back into routine. I eventually went back to volunteering at the hospital. I was still under certain restrictions such as no bending, lifting, or twisting. I still had to wear my corset (I mean my back brace). I didn't think that I was doing that well with recovery because I had to lift something and I thought I overdid it. I was very worried that some of the intricate hardware in my back had shifted.
I received some excellent news that put me on cloud nine. I had a post-operative appointment with my neurosurgeon. I had X-rays done before the appointment. I nervously sat in his office expecting the worse. Instead, he came in and said, "You have gone above and beyond my expectations for your recovery." So, I wanted more compliments. I said, "Really? I'm doing OK?" Then, he continued boosting the size of my head tri-fold. "Yes, most people who have had your type of surgery do not bounce back as quickly as you did". I left the room sideways because my head was too big. I was literally giddy with hope and excitement. For the first time, I had no pain in my legs. The only pain that I now have in regards to my back is either standing too long or sitting for an extended period of time. The next thing to be fixed ... is my cat ... just kidding, I don't have a cat. Seriously though, my ankle, which has been giving me grief for 10 years, will be next on my fix-it list. I will wait for that surgery when I am totally healed and recovered from my back surgery.
During Labor Day week, I went to see my sister, brother-in-law and their two adorable golden-doodles. It was a very nice visit, filled with going to restaurants, homemade cooking, wine tasting and even more wine tasting. I thought I may have lost weight because my brother-in-law cooks with mostly healthy foods (whole foods), and nothing with preservatives. He uses a lot of organic foods, too. Also, around 4 a.m. everyday, one of the puppies would always wake me by standing on my chest. What a heifer! I don't call lifting my head of my pillow ... exercise.
I don't know how much I currently weigh but I bet it isn't 291 pounds. Ever notice how easily we can come up with excuses for a diet or healthy eating that goes awry? Hey, I had surgery! Hey, it's my birthday! Hey, I had family in town! Hey, I went on vacation. I do recognize when things come up and routine goes out of whack - it is hard to get back on track. The best thing to do when this happens is to brush yourself off and go back to square one. Until next time ...
Casi Stewart can be reached at email@example.com. A Weighty Issue appears once a month on the Life page.