"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses."
Then, right before the surgery, an MRI revealed a huge sub-sternal goiter, one that could cause respiratory arrest ,and it had to be removed before he could even think about the problem with his neck (he'd never had any pain, thank goodness, but a spur was pressing on his cord, causing numbness). The neurosurgeon didn't seem to care, but his endocrinologist was adamant: my husband couldn't have spinal surgery until the thyroid growth was removed. The risk was suffocation, as the huge growth was pushing into his trachea. If he'd undergone the laminectomy first, the metal hardware could have been dislodged by the growth, which would have continued to enlarge. As it was, the orange-sized lump had twisted my husband's trachea into an "S-shape."
After he recovered from thyroid surgery, my husband decided to get a second opinion. He made an appointment with one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashville. After the doctor studied the new MRI, he recommended an anterior approach--through the front of his neck. And he thought the complex procedure was totally unnecessary. My husband just needed "one level" repaired, a 45 minute procedure, with less risks.
I must tell you, I was very scared for my husband. Even though the procedure was less complicated, it was still very, very intricate and carried risks. It was a difficult time for him, too.
This past Thursday, on a chilly, rainy night, the surgery was finally performed. Today, my husband is doing great. He's just finished watching the Georgia-Alabama football game, eating comfort food (pork roast with pan potatoes and carrots). Bandwidth and I are making sure he walks down the hall every 4 hours, to help prevent a DVT. Now, if I can make sure he wears his neck brace...if I can keep him away from his office (and keep office problems away from him), I'm sure he'll have a smooth recovery.
Good health is such a blessing--but it is also a privilege, one we will never take lightly. Without health, nothing really matters.
At his request, I snapped a few pictures of the view from his hospital room.
A rainy night in Nashville.
We're floating on gratitude right now.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."