My inspiring story that might help others.
It’s been a year and a half now since I first received the diagnosis of an intramedullary spinal cord tumor. The risks involved in such a tumor is if the tumor close the spinal cord, you become quadriplegic – so the neurosurgeon had to move fast because my tumor was close to closing my cord. The risks involved in surgery was quadripregia as well but also a complete recovery.
My first operation (last year August) was performed incorrectly. I did not know this until May this year. I had to learn how to walk again and I accomplished my goal of walking and standing long enough but I had difficulty with clonic shocks that went through my whole body and I could not stand for long periods of time – this was problematic for a teaching career.
When I received the information that I had to undergo another surgery, it was shocking and scary to say the least. My right side of my body was messed up and now I had to put my trust in another neurosurgeons hands.
I prayed for some kind of sign to be sure that this was the path to take. This operation was to be done by another neurosurgeon that I, again, had no information on except that he was extremely good – according to doctors . When I phoned the landline Jhb number, a man answered and I told him that I had the wrong number, I was looking for the neurosugeon, dr. W, number – so I apologised for the inconvenience. The man on the other end said then that he was an old patient of my next neurosurgeon. I was amazed to say the least. I asked his opinion of the neurosurgeon and he said that he owed his life to dr. W because he wanted to give up on life because of his problem in his back and now he just finished another cycling race last weekend and he was feeling wonderful. I believe that was my sign. A Johannesburg landline number! What are the odds?
My operation was scheduled for the 23rd of June this year and although I received a sign, I was still scared and uncertain of my future. My neurosurgeon removed the whole tumour and I was (again) not quadriplegic. I had to go to rehab to learn how to walk (again) and although I wished to walk and run like I used to, I knew that learning how to walk three times in your life, had to mean something.
I used to be a teacher at a secondary school, but this caused me to loose my job and my ability to stay up for long hours. The feeling on my right side of my body is numb – but it can move – it almost feels like when you sit on your foot for a very long time. I knew it was there, but I had to train my body on how to move the way my brain wanted it to. My left side of my body (this was with the correct operation) was left completely dead and this is why I had to train it, and I am still training, to move properly and to be stable. My wheelchair changed to a walker and my walker changed to a crutch – thanks to my physio Joey. I couldn’t have done this without my faith, my husband, my children and my family and friends.
It’s been a tough year and a half, but I realized the true beauty of humanity and I discovered a deeper appreciation for every little thing in the human body.
If you want to be inspired, hear the story from my own mouth, do not hesitate to message me, because our life is to short to waste time on the negative, to not forgive, and to dwell in the past and not commit your whole being to live life to the fullest.
I want to work again soon, but the neurosurgeons tell me that I need patience. Well, unfortunately patience doesn’t pay for food – so if you feel that you would like to help out, please do so by paying any amount to this account:
Nedbank cheque account
Acc No 1058096389