Neurosurgeons and Cab Drivers

I encountered kindness from two wonderful men today. One was Dr. Koski, the neurosurgeon I saw 5 years ago and was checking in with today. Reviewing tests and symptoms, he explained in his gentle manner, that I probably have contracted hip flexors causing pelvic tilt, or responding to pain in lower back and therefore leaning forward. Or both. Leaning forward is from tilted pelvis, not from back. Which is good in a weird way. Because fusing down to S1, while still likely for me in the future, is still a brutal surgery. An anterior and posterior approach, loss of mobility including harder to get in cars and take care of personals. But if the surgery allows you to walk, the trade-off could be ok. But I’m  so young he wants to wait as long as possible.

He offered some possible hope in seeing a physiatrist who will work with physical therapy, trigger shots, facet joint shots, and non-surgical wholistic approaches. I called and made an appointment – got in tomorrow. Great! Let’s get started on this pain management so I can stop wanting to cut body parts out!

As I travelled today, my thoughts raced and I felt so overwhelmed with the stress of staying aware of my surroundings so I would know how to react appropriately in public AND limit my pain. It was a lot. Plus stress from yesterday’s nervousness in the job interview. Plus the huge pain blow of going to the concert on Sunday. I’m exhausted, AND at the end of my rope. I used many coping skills to make it through the day and be as present as possible to get the most information I could from the appointment. But by the time I got on the train home, I felt significantly destabilized. My center is off. My mood is off. I’m having suicidal thoughts and desires. I can’t handle this and I can’t handle heading down this path again – whether the excruciating physical pain or the excruciating mental pain. I’m repulsed. But feeling the spiral pulling me down.

Then the driver of the cab I took from the train station home had comforting words for me. A kiss from Spirit, especially in my destabilized mood. As he asked me questions, I revealed I was disabled, had worked as a pastor and in libraries and offices. He asked about the disability, I said brain disorder, and when he pushed I said bipolar disorder. He eventually told me his daughter was depressed and cut during high school, a situation that led to a marital split from his wife. The daughter is doing better now but still has to be careful. He encouraged me to stay with the meds and to know that God wasn’t done with me yet. That it’s important to keep going on and push forward. And even when he was contemplating suicide, he was able to remember that his son would never forgive him and he was needed here to be a light and kind to people in his life, what he thought was his Christian job. Amen to someone who gets what it means to be a Christian! Amen that he was able to minister to me when I’d been thinking terrible thoughts all day.

Now if that feeling would last longer than 5 minutes, that would make my day. Still destabilized. Nicht gut.

8 responses to “Neurosurgeons and Cab Drivers

  1. Deb, I hear so much hope in this post. Even in the pain, even in the destabilizing last 3 days, there is hope here. And that, dear one, is beautiful. I echo your cab driver’s thoughts… You are a light to others. Hang in there!

    • After a nap, doing a little better. I can’t even see the hope in this post, sadly. The spiral is thick and I’ve got to try to make it through. Really hard to do right now.

  2. Dear one, re-read your post when the feeling dissipates. What a wonderful, life-giving encounter you had with both the doc and the driver. And rest. You’ve documented all that you’ve been through. Who wouldn’t need a gentle rest right about now? Love to you.

    • Yeah, I know they were life-giving encounters. And I know I can’t appreciate them really right now. I hate being on this tipping point. And knowing I kinda put myself there, scheduling so much on top of each other so I couldn’t right myself before facing the next one. But you’re right. Rest is the best medicine right now.

  3. Praying that you et help with pain from physical therapy! May tonight and tomorrow allow you to stabilize yourself with rest and good self care.

  4. What grace from strangers! You continue to be in my prayers. (BTW, I was looking for exercises to strengthen my hip flexors when I discovered that a lot of back pain is caused by to tight hip flexors. I’ve been doing hip flexor stretches and I’m amazed how much it helped me. Blessings on you this morning.)

    • Thanks, Maggie! I’ve been given hip flexor stretches throughout my life too. Somehow not able to keep my pelvis from tilting. I’ve been saying for a few years I need a pelvis transplant. I guess that’s true! 🙂

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