The Vocal Chords, the Tear Ducts and the Hope

I had my appointment with the neuro specialist this morning to get a second opinion about whether I need surgery on my spine. 

I had expected this to be an in depth discussion with me maybe pushing for surgery, because the initial letter following my MRI had dismissed surgery as an option. 

In fact, my consultant seemed to think that surgery was the obvious option (without pushing that decision onto me). 

So now I have 2 different options of what to do next and it all feels a little bit overwhelming. 

At one point he asked me what I felt. Have you noticed there’s a nerve that connects your vocal chords and your tear ducts? So often I think I am ok until I try to speak and suddenly my voice breaks or disappears and tears appear instead. 

So now I have the choice of opting into surgery, with an 85% chance of it sorting out the worst of my pain and having a relatively normal life afterwards. Albeit still with 3 discs that seem to be degenerating. 

With it comes the first glimmer of hope. Also there is the anxiety of choice and the worry of making the right one. There is a moment in the film Doubt (it was on late-ish one night, don’t judge me), where the woman says that she is frightened of every decision – if someone offers her children a lift to school she worries that accepting means the car will crash, but then not accepting and letting them walk could bring its own disaster, and she doesn’t know how to switch that off. It sounds a little extreme, but I know what she means. 

I have had many many lovely messages of support this morning, and many asking how I feel. 

I think I need to just not speak for a little while. The nerve connecting my voicebox to my tear ducts might kick in. 


One response to “The Vocal Chords, the Tear Ducts and the Hope

  1. There is something very comforting *about reading this, straight after the last one where you were talking about losing yourself, with your actions being defined by pain. I know the risks are huge and it’s overwhelming, but I am with you on feeling that glimmer of hope.
    *comforting not quite the right word, but can’t think of appropriate substitution, with the possible exception of hopeful. X

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