So yesterday was a 10 hour day doing two doctor’s appts. We got hooked in with some amazing doctors at the University of Michigan and it was a day for post surgical follow up. It’s been 6 months since they went in and surgically cleaned out the infection in my throat.
For those of you who don’t remember or never read some of my past stuff (and that’s probably a good use of your time LOL) in January of 2018, I had an embolization in my left neck and into my head. They accomplished the main thing - reduced the risk of a brain bleed to “barely more” than the normal person walking down the street. However left behind a dump truck full of very ugly side effects. One of those side effects is that my left vocal cord, along with basically the left half of the whole upper airway - is in some way paralyzed, numb, or something similar. Yeah, fun. One of the side effects to the side effect is that paralysis causes things that would normally go right down to get “stuck” and not only is it a choking risk, it’s also an infection risk.
So, two appointments and they both went well. So I should be feeling good, right? Right. But a couple of things that are dragging me down… Good means that the infection isn’t back right now but we’ll have to keep an eye out for it. Good means not that I’ll get my old voice back, but other than periods of over use - think Thanksgiving with a bunch of loud family members - other than times like that, what I’ve got is what I’m probably going to get. The likelihood of it changing significantly, of it getting much better, unless you are looking at a 5 to 10 year time frame, are very slim. (cue the music, we’ve definitely heard that song before.)
So this is good, TJ, what’s up? Well, it just kind of got me to wrestling with the “new me” syndrome. As in, this is the new me. This is what I have to live with. And then I start feeling lousy because my “new me” is way better than so many people have it. So what right do I have to not be “okay” with the path God has me walking down? It could be a lot worse.
And there is my dilemma, how do I feel good about the “good news” even when the “good news” is “only” that the news didn’t get worse? How do I do that when that’s not what I want. If I could, occupationally (aka not personally life, just work life say in one sentence, what do you want to be able to do that you can’t right now because of just this one part of your multitude of symptoms, it’s very simple for me, I want to be able to spend all day working with, teaching, directing, guiding teenagers in the high school setting.
And realistically that’s probably a 5 to 10 year goal AT BEST. And age wise, that would put me within a stone’s throw of retirement age. Yeah, don’t think that’s going to happen. So a “status quo” appointment with no additional problems is good news because it hasn’t gotten worse (and that is a realistic possibility) and yet it’s bad news because it pushes one of my “old” pre-January 30, 2018 dreams way further down the creek and almost out of site.
No wonder my head hurts today…
P.S. It goes without saying, but I’m going to anyway. Personally, one of the things that I so enjoy about this group is that it’s not just a dumping ground for our personally issues but it’s a chance for all of us to reach out and share and help and encourage each other. I’m not begging for any love at this point, I’m really doing all right. I’m saying it more for others - especially if you see something that kind of resonates with you, drop in, say Hi and share a few thoughts. We’d all be better off if all of us (including myself) did more often.
Public Service Announcement is complete, TJ steps down from the podium and hands the mic back to our faithful and rock solid good people who run this “place.” Rumor has it that they all secretly wear shirts with a certain “S” logo on them.