Four years ago—January 19, 2017—I had surgery to remove a slow-growing, benign tumor inside my spinal column. It had been pushing against my spinal cord creating all sorts of havoc. (I wrote about it here and here, if you want the full hilarious story.)
But my neurosurgeon sliced me open, plucked it out, and sewed me back up again. Almost as good as new. In the process of slicing, plucking, and sewing, he had to maneuver some overzealous nerves out of the way, so I still have weirdnesses about me.
Some I’ve lived with long enough that I barely notice anymore, like the continuing numbness across my upper back and over the entirety of my left leg.
Some are as annoying as they ever were, like my iffy balance that makes me look like a day drinker. Don’t get me wrong … I don’t mind looking like a day drinker, but I’d prefer that it happened when I actually was day drinking!
And some of these weirdnesses still fascinate me. Like how I get these random bolts of electricity in my numb foot and leg. (If you had a wayward youth like I did, and have been known to put your tongue to a 9-volt battery for fun, that’s exactly what my leg feels like. Kinda cool, actually.)
But I tell you all this because these memories come up every year on Facebook and I’m in the midst of them once again. They dredge up all kinds of things I’ve forgotten. Most of the posts were funny because my mom, my kids, my extended family, and all my friends were reading them and I didn’t want to alarm anyone. I was honest, of course. They heard about the hard days, saw video of me relearning how to walk, and counted with me the bouts of frustrated tears.
But mostly what they saw was me finding the humor in the most bizarre circumstances I could ever imagine myself in.
Four years later, the whole ordeal still fascinates and horrifies me and I’m so glad to have a record of these memories.
But what it also reminds me is how fast time is whizzing onward and how quickly a life can veer from common to catastrophe. I’m especially feeling that this year in the midst of a pandemic that has taken too much from too many people.
Plus, I’ll be 60 in February, which makes absolutely no sense at all. My life is mundane once again (despite the occasional jolts of electricity), but I have so much to do before it veers again.
And it will surely veer again.