Feeling Terrified

Yesterday, after weeks of procrastinating, I booked Surgery #10.

I am terrified.

And, trust me, I don’t use the word “terrified” lightly.

(Thank you to my forever-friend, Joanne, for explaining to me I’m experiencing something similar to a PTSD reaction and it’s normal based on what I’ve gone through – car accident plus NINE surgeries.  Joanne was my college roommate, is a lifelong friend, and is also a nurse.  HI JOANNE!)

I swore I’d never let anyone perform surgery on my arm again.

What could possibly change my mind?

Basically, I have no choice.

My elbow (and, most likely, my wrist) now have damage from trying to compensate for the rest of my arm and shoulder.

The working parts of my damaged arm are no longer working well, and they won’t work at all if something doesn’t change soon.

Factor in the news, my “good” shoulder now shows signs of damage due to overuse and ….

Well, the rest of my body clearly can’t keep compensating in the way it has these past nine and a half years.

And oh yeah, my pain level has been off the charts since mid-November.

What happens when I’m in a lot of pain?

I can’t “do” anything, so I hibernate and hope the pain will eventually go away.

It hasn’t.

I honestly feel I have no choice at this point.

I can either resign myself to living my life from my family room couch for the next few decades,

Or, suck up all the fears I’m experiencing, and have surgery.


But, regardless, surgery is scheduled for mid-March.

I have time to take my (non-refundable) trip to New Zealand.

I also need to visit my parents who live out of state,

And take care of a few other business projects.

(The surgeon is booked until mid-March so it isn’t like I could have the surgery sooner anyway.)

An orthopedic surgeon with Kerlan-Jobe will be performing the surgery.

(You may have heard of them … they do tons and tons of athletes/famous people.)

The KJ doc who will be taking care of me is the orthopedic surgeon I’ve mentioned before.

(Dr. John Itamura – he specializes in injuries to arms/shoulders/elbows/upper extremities caused by trauma.)

He won’t know, until he’s operating, exactly what he will need to do.

But, based on my MRIs there’s already a lot he does know …

It will not be outpatient surgery.

(Yes, I really DO have to be hospitalized!)

And, it isn’t going to be fun.


There are no words.

I’m grateful I’ll have New Zealand to distract me from my fear, and dread, for much of this interim period.

Also, I want to extend a special thank you to Paul Newman (real name:  David Bradley) for not only being a wonderful physical therapist, but also a great friend.

I don’t think I could do this if I didn’t know he’d be helping me (maybe even forcing me?) through the recovery period.

Rumor has it, I might not be the easiest “case” in the medical world.

(I make up for it with my winning personality??)

Ahem …..

6 Responses to “Feeling Terrified”

  1. Missy Stalcup

    Good for you! Courageous decision and prayers for a positive outcome. Now on to New Zealand.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you!
      I’m not going to lie … the worst part is probably the dread of knowing it’s looming up ahead.
      But … DISTRACTION!

  2. Judi

    I had 4 major surgeries in 5 years, so understand a bit of what you’re going through. It looks like you’re in the best hands, and have a great support system (especially Fred!). I’m sure you’ll push through and come out stronger. We’ll all be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!

    I might be in need of PT soon, too, so appreciate the recommendation. That location is so close to my office.

    • Suzanne

      David is awesome … I highly recommend him.
      He can be hard to get in with, but his entire team is really excellent.
      Plus …?
      You get the added benefit of running into all sorts of celebrities and athletes while you’re there.
      : )

  3. Michelle

    Will be thinking of you, and praying you can enjoy New Zealand (I hear it’s lovely, my brother-in-law is from there, and the family go back regularly).

    And also praying for the surgery and, correct me if I’m wrong, that there won’t be any issues with meds you can’t have.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you!
      And yes, good memory.
      I am allergic to some medications.
      I plan to write in marker all over my body to remind everyone in the operating room!
      : )


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