Spines and Setbacks

The visit to the neurosurgeon went as expected. My back is jacked. Here’s a pic of the MRI. The circled areas are what is making me hurt so bad from the waist down. It’s twisting, bulging, pinching. The space between those circles on my spine is where I had my first spinal fusion surgery 6 years ago. Strong af.



I need surgery again, but I have to jump through insurance hoops first, one of which is to quit smoking. I honestly don’t think that’s gonna happen. I also have to go to PT, and I honestly don’t think that’s gonna happen. I’ve been so many times, it doesn’t help, it wastes everyone’s time, and I’m too indifferent to care. I’m just being realistic right now. This is NOT the time to try to quit smoking. I have no desire to quit, so I won’t succeed. I kinda feel like I’m entitled to my damn cigarettes. I don’t ask for much. So I smoke.

The neuro put me on Lyrica for nerve pain, and it’s kicking my ass. Hopefully I’ll adjust to it. I’m not having a negative “reaction” to it, it’s just a very strong drug, for me anyway.  I’m very foggy, slow, dulled. I’m sure I’ll build up a tolerance. The nerve pain is still here, and I’m told Lyrica can take up to a week to kick in. So I live in a fog and I wait.

STILL no word on my bloodwork/autoimmune testing. It’s been almost 2 weeks. I’ll call the doctor AGAIN today.

Emotionally, I’ve suffered a serious setback and feel like I’m at square one. I’m not beating myself up about it. As an observer of all this, it’s fascinating to “watch” my process when I’m not steering it. I’ve done a really, really good job (maybe too good sometimes) becoming a passenger in my life, letting my heart and my instincts take over. It’s been really freeing and terrifying all at once. But if I step out of the observer role and into the widow role, I’m stunned. I am extremely surprised at how hard this is. Again, I’m not beating myself up. This is what it is. But I cannot believe how hard this is. I KNEW I’d miss him. I KNEW it would hurt. But I cannot believe how much I miss him. It’s a torturous ache I cannot describe. And the REAL torture lies in this: It’ll be worse tomorrow. I don’t think the emptiness and the pain can get any worse, but every day proves me wrong. I miss him more with each passing moment. And it’s the hardest, most painful, most gut-wrenching, most defeating, most hopeless, deepest depth of private hell that you can ever, ever begin to TRY to imagine. It’s a pain that is impossible to describe. It feels like it is never-ending. It’s deep into my soul. I think it has finally happened. I am broken. 

It’s okay. It’s just surprising. I thought I was “stronger” than this. Michael and I would even talk about this, that if something were to happen, I’d be okay. I’d make my way. We both thought I was pretty independent and that as sad as it would be, I’d be okay. I still believe I will. The process is just horrifically worse than I could have ever even begun to imagine. I needed and relied on him more than I ever realized. I never once took him for granted. I have no regrets about anything I didn’t say or do. He knew I adored him, and vice-versa. But nobody ever talked about the emptiness, and I just didn’t realize how much I NEEDED his love and support. Without it, I’m just absolutely lost. Broken.

I’m getting lots of invites and offers for company, Thanksgiving, etc. I appreciate all of them. I still feel I need a sabbatical from all of it. I’m fragile and in a drug-induced fog. I’m unpredictably emotional and break down for seemingly no reason. I don’t trust my own instincts and decisions right now. So I am a hermit.

Today this blog is my therapy. If I don’t share stuff with SOMEONE, I will retreat into isolation. I don’t want to do that because if I do, I may not be able to come back from it. Yes, I’m isolating now, but the isolation is only physical. I still need/ want to talk about things and feel connected.

QUICK NOTE: My floors are going to be finished today 🙂 Then, the steps will be done this weekend. YAY!

So to summarize and not sugar-coat: things are bad. But please don’t worry. I’m not executing my “plan” and I’m not thinking about dying. I’m broken but I’m still in here, and I’m safe.

Until next time.


~ Lisa



13 thoughts on “Spines and Setbacks

  1. 💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️thinking about you💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️


  2. So much pain. I/we all wish there was something we could do. Please know we are here. ❤️ Also don’t give up on PT. It changes and evolves and there are some super good ones out there. I know a few names. And I have helped many a person scheduled for back surgery with Fascial Stretch. Why not try it? I’ll come to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandra, the issue right now is that I have nerve pain and it hurts to even touch me. My pant legs feel like razor blades against my skin, my feet feel like they’re being tortured just with the pressure of a shoe on them. Is Fascial Stretch touch-free?


  3. PS: Thank you for continuing to reach out in your isolation. I can’t entirely imagine your pain, but I’ve been ‘broken’ emotionally, isolating, and a physical and psycholgical mess several times over (and inpatient, day treatment several times over) – so from that aspect I do understand where you are. All my empathy and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to read the rest of this – but I take Lyrica – and I have for 10+ years – I can’t take my daytime dose, because it makes me super sleepy. I am not a Dr but… gabapentin might work just as well, be cheaper and nt knock you on your ass. I have fibro, and had back surgery, so I’ve been where you are (and am still – my trigger points have trigger points). Have you tried a TENS unit for your back – I had to wait 3 months before they figured out I needed surgery – chiro and TENS were the only things that helped me.

    I also wonder if you could do a nicotine patch – though I get that the actual act of smoking is part of why it’s helpful. And no, you don’t need to add quitting to what you’re going through.


    1. Hi Gayle ❤ I can't take gabapentin, I have a reaction to it and I can't stand up straight! It makes the floors feel like they're moving and turn me into a person that can't walk.

      TENS: Yep I have one. Use it regularly. :/


  5. What to say. What to say. I’m searching for words to say but they aren’t coming. Lisa, I am so very sorry for all of the pain you are experiencing. What to say. People will tell you “give it time” and “time will heal” blah, blah, blah. But what about the now. What about the intense pain you are feeling both emotionally and physically right this second. What is there to say about that? Aside from “you are not alone ” and “I/we are here for you”, what is there to say? You, the woman who has given of herself selflessly to free the smallest amongst us from their own pain and suffering is now in need of the same, and what can we do? I would give/do anything to make this pain go away. How can I/we do it? Lisa, please know that you are not alone. There is a Lisa Army out there waiting to be there at your doorstep, on the other end of the phone or email at a moments notice. Your honest and uncensored posts serve to show what a wonderful, caring person you are and many people care about you. Please know that and never forget. Quit smoking…..yeah right. If the time comes when you want or need to quit, you can deal with it then. Right now, if smoking brings you comfort, then carry on girl! I so wish I could help to ease your pain. What can I do? You are not alone Lisa. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Feel my hug.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure what to say to you as nothing is going to make you feel better. You have opened your heart to share your honest gut reactions to what’s happening in your life and I admire you very much for that. I get the smoking thing. Now is NOT the time to quit. I too struggle with the same habit and it’s one of the hardest things to quit. Please keep sharing and know that we are all here to support you and not judge, shame, or try and tell you how to feel. I care about you very much and think you are an amazing woman who has dealt with far too much tragedy in your life. Please know I think you are one of the strongest people I know!

    Liked by 1 person

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