The Risk of Paralysis

So Thursday’s overwhelmy day ended  with me coming home to find a letter from the hospital. 

“We are reviewing our processes around how we send letters…It has been drawn to our attention that the enclosed letter may not have been sent to you…please accept our sincere apologies.”

The enclosed letter had not been sent to me. It was from my surgeon summarising our meeting. 

“I have indicated to her that there are risks, which I have quantified at about 1.5% to include infection, haemorrhage, bladder and bowel dysfunction as well as paralysis. She understands that there is no guarantee that surgery will work and in particular there is no guarantee at all that it will help her back pain.”

Not the letter I wanted to receive that evening (or ever). 

I know that every surgery carries risks. I know that they are small. I also know they are severe. I also know that there are unspoken risks, such as my emotional reaction if it doesn’t work or goes wrong. 

As the surgery date gets closer, I find I am having to consciously not think about it too much so that I don’t cry. I am glad that I have organised so many of the practicalities further in advance so that I don’t have to think about them now. I find myself wondering if I am doing the right thing, and yet when I think about not doing it I feel almost more panicky, because although the pregabalin is keeping the pain under control, it is still always there and there is too much I can’t do. 

So I’ll take the risk, but try not to think about it too much. 


2 responses to “The Risk of Paralysis

  1. Oh love, what a prospect to be facing. I hope the knowledge that everyone is rooting for you goes even a tiny way to alleviating your anxieties. 1.5% is a very small risk, but I totally understand that that means nothing when you’re the one facing the op. I’ve got everything crossed that this will be the end of your pain. XX

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