When Lion made his appointment with the neurologist, I said I hoped all his ailments could be explained by one thing and solved quickly. Things didn’t quite work out the way I hoped. I thought maybe an added medication would take care of it. Perhaps a medication change. Something simple. I never thought Lion would need spinal surgery. That’s pretty scary.

Despite what Lion thinks, my main concern isn’t that he’ll die on the operating table, although I do realize it’s a possibility. My main concern is that he’ll be in a lot of pain for a long time afterward. He’s not a patient patient. He wants the pain gone now. Right now! As someone who lives with near constant pain, I know it doesn’t usually work that way. Counting the seconds until pain medication takes effect is a good way to drive yourself crazy. It always reminds me of my nieces and their asthma. During an attack, it’s important to keep calm because getting upset will make it harder to breathe. But it’s hard to keep calm because it’s hard to breathe. The more upset you get the harder it is to breathe and the harder it is to breathe the more upset you get. Round and round until the medication kicks in. Focusing on the pain almost guarantees it will be more painful.

Lion will meet with a pain specialist to see what can be done about pain management. In addition to medication, I hope they’ll teach him some sort of coping mechanism. I know it’s different types of pain, but Lamaze for childbirth is great. Of course, contractions last only a short time, but the point is to focus on a spot on the wall, for example, instead of the pain. I’ve used the breathing technique when my pain gets more acute. I’ve heard meditation also works although I’ve never really tried it myself.

From the sound of it, the surgery is not as bad as we’d read about. Rather than being laid up for over a month, it’s possible Lion will be back to somewhat-normal in a few weeks. He should be able to get himself to the bathroom with minimal help by the time he gets home. He’ll still be restricted, of course. No lifting over fifteen pounds. I assume he won’t be able to drive for a few weeks. Obviously, if he’s on narcotics, he won’t be driving anyway. I don’t anticipate him being as bedridden as he was with his shoulder surgery. He’s encouraged to walk around. As long as he’s coherent, he could even work from home relatively soon.

I know things don’t always go as planned during surgery. There may be complications. Lion may just take longer to heal. He may not feel like being up and around very much. Whatever happens, I’ll be right here for him.


  1. Hang in there Mrs. Lion. The cloud will lift soon enough and this will be only a memory of yet another challenge you met together.


  2. I know you will take good care of him. But I hope you are able to get some respite during his recovery too.

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