Turns out it can actually get worse….

If you had asked me on Monday I would have told you that things were bleak and they could not get worse.

Then today happened.


I had my pre-operative appointment.

I didn’t get my film reports because well, I didn’t think there was anything in there beyond what the scheduler told me.

The PA was in a bit of a humorous mood today.  I was not.

So he was asking me “What’s up?”  I’m like, well, I’m having surgery with you on Monday… He sort of pretended he didn’t know this, which you know for some people might be funny, buy for me…My anxiety went through the Roof.

He then asked if I had gotten my MRI report and very concerned asked if I had done the plain films.

I have a Pars Defect.  This is essentially a stress fracture of one of the areas of the spine.  It’s a bit hard to know exactly how long I’ve had it, if I have had it since I was a kid or when I may have obtained it.  Typically it comes when one is a teen and is involved in certain sports that have a lot of loading and unloading like gymnastics or diving.

I didn’t do anything like that as a teen.  We just have no idea.

The PA seemed a bit casual about this, and again anxiety way up there…because I want him to take it seriously.  He does indeed, and I can see that he tries for a light manner because I am so tense.

He looked at the plain films that I had just done and said he didn’t see a great degree of “slippage” and so he didn’t think we were going to address it on Monday. Addressing it would mean 4 screws placed in my spine, a much longer recovery time, and a very questionable athletic future.   Since I would not have known about this otherwise it’s kind of a funny thing….which came first chicken/egg questions.  I wonder if the defect is what caused all this to occur, or if I fractured the vertebrae during that race and then extruded.  Of course, it is a moot point, it’s done now.

After that I asked a bunch of questions and he sort of answered them.  Most of it is a “wait and see” situation.  I know that the actual Neurosurgeon saw the Pars on the the MRI which is extremely rare, and so I do feel glad it was caught.  Because of that he will do some spinal manipulation under anesthesia to see how stable or unstable it is, and then make some recommendations.  The chances of me coming out of surgery with 4 new screws are slim to none, but if it looks terrible, I think he would do it.  I was certainly not a good patient and was very very distressed and wanted a lot of reassurance which of course is not usually given before surgery.

So Wow.  Things can and do get worse. Again not the end of the world, but not exactly what I was expecting or hoping to hear.  So surprising that it was difficult to process.

I went and swam some. Saw my gym pals and my old coach.  He acted as if nothing at all had happened between us, and appeared super happy to see me as he left the pool and I entered.  I forgive easily, but I don’t usually just give a person who has really pissed me off free access to my life again.  So…while he was cheerful, I was tightlipped and just kept going.


I dunno.  I think he failed to actually see how his attitude really upset me, which is just well…men and women sometimes fail to understand each other, but wow… Breaking up is hard to do, even when it’s just with your coach! It feels a bit like a break up, I see things, do things and think…oh I need to tell Skeletor about that…or take a pic for him to see…and then bam, I remember…. ah well, this too shall pass. Of course today I realized he doesn’t think we’ve “broken up” I guess I should tell him.  Or not.

I’m terrified and also kind of excited to hopefully get some relief.

This is a song that’s been playing a lot on the radio lately.  Initially I did not like it, then one day, I really heard it…



7 thoughts on “Turns out it can actually get worse….

  1. Anne says:

    I say tell him. He can’t read your mind, and unless you are absolutely clear with him, he won’t really know what’s going on. It sent easy by any means, but will be better for the long run. And I’m sending you healthy healing vibes. I hope,this all turns out in the best way possible for you!

  2. I suspect, given his behavior, your coach has no idea how much he hurt you. I suppose you could talk to him about it when you’re feeling better, but for now, you probably should focus on getting emotionally ready for surgery. I hope you have help nearby, friends that can bring food and can lend an arm to steady you. Or does the surgeon want you to spend time in a rehab/PT center?

    (A friend went to a rehab center following her knee surgery. Her doctor insisted on it, since she lived alone and her family all lived out of town. She was not happy about it, though she said later it made her want to work harder at recovery so she could get out of there.)

    Thinking about you. Hope everything goes well.

    • No need for rehab, even physical therapy actually. I should be up walking around on Monday after the surgery. I will stay in the hospital because of other things, but I think I’ll be fine. I do have this enormous amount of support…and that is fantastic, I mostly am really tired, and admit, i am looking forward to some time off work so I can actually sit and think….whichi s a bit strange, but I feel like I’ve been rushing and rushing….

  3. I have a very pronounced Pars fracture. It is a very scary thing to have. If it slips too far …. Well, we certainly wouldn’t be walking around. Mine is a “let’s follow it closely”. I’m sorry for the additional shock of bad news, ugh

  4. You didn’t need more bad news, but, actually it’s good they found it now so as not to complicate during surgery. The waiting is so stressful before surgery. I think we all get extremely tense. And back surgery sounds very scary, but these guys are experts and will do the best part possible.

    • True! I am feeling a lot better, now that I understand everything. My surgeon called me today and helped me to fully understand everything I am excited to have this behind me now. And a little terrified….

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