790, may be just a number to most, but now, it means a whole lot more to me.
My surgeon is among the few experts on MALS willing to operate on this complex patient population. He has a map in his office and each MALS patient gets to put a pin into the map with their number surgery. Yesterday, I got to put my pin on the map. Number 790, right in Charleston.
And, to make things even better, I used my braces and walker to walk into the appointment. This was so empowering.
The biggest thing I’m feeling right now is gratitude. It took so many people being generous, kind, and helpful to make this surgery a possibility for me. My parents have made so many sacrifices, pulled all-nighters researching symptoms, arranged doctor’s appointments, and spent weeks by my side in hospitals all over the country. If that isn’t a display of unconditional love, I’m not sure what is.
The recovery from this surgery is no cakewalk. I’ve been told that surgery itself is the easy part, the hard part is rehabilitating and building back up strength. I hurt very badly, there never is a pain-free moment, but in a heartbeat, I’d get the surgery again. MALS surgery gave me hope. And as always, now we just take things day by day and roll with the punches.