Take a load off, Fannie.

I’ve gone back and forth whether or not to post about this at length, considering it’s a personal issue. But at this point I figure there’s no harm being candid, and I don’t want people thinking there’s something terminal going on with me. Plus, I figured if you’ve me me or seen most pictures of me, you’d probably figure this out sooner or later.

In short, I was really looking forward to 2010 since 2009 really sucked. I mean, my sister had cancer and we lost our house that year. I figured there was nowhere to go but up.

But things didn’t go so well. I mentioned being diagnosed with carpal tunnel and thoracic outlet syndrome a few times here, and talked about using dictation software a bit. These fun little syndromes have meant that writing, which is at the heart of my vocation (and my creative and coping mechanisms), caused me a great deal of pain. And by great deal, I mean the kind of pain for which percocet just barely puts a dent. I’ve had days where the pain is so bad I just curl up in bed and wait for it to be over. I lost over 30 pounds just trying and manage the issues, got steroid injections, got special keyboards and did special exercises, took various pills and whatnot, only to find out that, really, pain mitigation wasn’t happening for a very obvious reason.

Which brings me to the next point. If you’ve met me, as many of you have, you might notice I’m rather a buxom lass. While Heidi Montag and folks of her ilk may pay millions of dollars get similar proportions to my build, they don’t realize the long-term issues. Sure, boobs are great. I love being a curvy woman. But when curviness means excruciating pain, it just ain’t worth it. Basically, the nerves in my back and neck have been under a great deal of stress for the last fifteen-odd years. I have compression both in my median nerve and others at the shoulder and neck, which explains why the steroid injections didn’t work. Being a writer doesn’t help this matter in the least. So, the only route at this point is to go the way Soleil Moon-Frye did and, well, you get the idea.

I realize it’s not polite, perhaps, to talk about such things in the company of well, the entire internet. I’m not a terribly personal person when it comes to posts here. I talk mostly about writing, as evidenced by my categories–I couldn’t even find an appropriate one for this post!

But rather than people speculating on just what it is (no, not a prehensile tail! not cancer! not implants!) I thought I’d let folks know. I’m going to be out like a light, and I will wake up with, literally, quite a load off. The hope is that the surgery alleviates the stress on my nerves, and I can go back to life as normal: writing at my usual speed, playing with my son, working out, enjoying life again. Not that I’ve been the most miserable person on the planet, or that I’ve stopped writing altogether (if anything, this experience has taught me much about the value of what I do, and the importance of writing in my life) but I could seriously use a break from the pain. And hopefully after one more bout of pain, life should improve.

At any rate, thank you for the well-wishes. I will most likely be out of it the next few days, but I will try to keep folks updated as best as I can. Surgery starts at 8am EST, and should be done around 11am. Then, onto a new chapter!

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  1. It’s crap… I don’t want to start with the I am so sorry and hope you get well’s cause I go into tried and tested melodramatic grounds, which don’t seem sincere. Writing [which should cause you joy] to actually cause you pain to me is mortifying and I can imagine what that must be like. Good luck on your surgery.

  2. …wait a tic, you were having surgery to alleviate the effects of carpal tunnel and thoracic outlet syndromes?

    Well, here’s one more thing we have in common – I have both of those (the TOS was freshly diagnosed just a couple months ago).

    I’m still doing PT to try to alleviate my symptoms; I don’t have quite enough, er, forward mass to have a reduction be helpful for me. I really hope it works for you, though, knowing EXACTLY how much pain you must be in while typing…!

    1. @Kate We live strangely parallel lives, indeed. So far it seems to have helped me in quite a few ways, not the least which is just general back pain. Still having shoulder issues and some hand issues, but I suppose much of that will pass with time, stretching, yoga, whatnot. Ah, the joy of when your body is your worst enemy!

      1. PT, yoga, stretching, tai chi…all of that is supposed to be GREAT for helping to loosen things up and lessen the pain and compression. I really need to get back into tai chi and see if that helps!

        Man, just the lessening of your back pain alone must be WONDERFUL.

  3. […] thing I’m coming to realize, however, is that though I’ve managed to kick carpal tunnel’s ass when it comes to writing (due to a combination of surgery, vitamin B6, and never EVER using a […]

  4. […] was a yearly horror. I’m not really built for running. Aside from the physical limitations (mitigated through surgery) I’ve never managed to do more than sputter and gasp my way for a few minutes and give up. […]

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