So....I'm having spinal surgery on Monday
NBD. Just had to get that out there.


Remember this embarrassing display?

Well, that sort of thing has been happening since my senior year of high school.

I have this weird neck thing...sort of like a spasm? I guess that's what you would call it. I don't know how to describe it except that it's the most excrutiating pain ever. Chronic, hard to figure out what causes it, lasts for a week or more and basically disables me. I never had any kind of major injury happen to me, but starting in high school, my neck would randomly spasm and seize up to the point that I couldn't even move for fear of hurting it more. That pain is intense. So this randomness would maybe happen once or twice a year. I would go to normal doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors to try and figure out what was causing my pain, and no one could figure it out. So, the older I got, the more it started happening. When we moved to California, my neck would spaz out every 3 months, then every two...then once a month... Sometimes more than once in a week. After I had Vivian, I knew that I actually had to do something about this, because taking care of a baby is near impossible when my neck problem flares up, so I swallowed my frustration and pride and went to the ER one day.  And then they took some X-Rays, gave me some powerful meds, and sent me home with a list of orthopedic specialists to call.

A phone call, a few appointments and an MRI later, I was told I have a herniated disc, and that it was so severe it was pinching off the spinal fluid around my spine. They didn't know if this was what was causing my neck problem, but they told me it needed to be fixed. And even though this type of thing doesn't typically happen to people my age, it did to me, and if I got in an accident, I could easily damage my spinal cord and be paralyzed.

No rush! they said. But it does need to be fixed, and sooner rather than later.


Thanks doc. Thanks for that reassurance.

Anyway, after researching, praying, 2nd opinioning and pro/conning... We decided that we would go ahead with the surgery that my doctor had prescribed: A discectomy and fusion. Which basically means they will remove the whole damaged disc from between my vertebra, take a piece of bone from my hip and that will then take the place of my disc. And then they will screw a plate on with 2 little screws on top and bottom. And wallah! I will forever have trouble going through security at the airport.

And then there's the news about recovery time.
And without getting all dramatic and stuff (did I do that already?), I am condemned to a hard neck collar for 6-8 weeks, that I can never take off with an extra special waterproof one for when I shower. Also, I can't drive for 6 weeks. Or pick up my baby, etc, etc, blah blah blah.

hold the phone.

Do they freaking realize I have a freaking 10 Freaking month old baby?!?!

Impossible, says I.

Needless to say, I am nervous. I am scared. I am really stressed. And I have absolutely NO idea how in the HELL I am going to survive the next 2 months of my life. With a tax accountant for a husband, and tax season starting like....NOW....and a ten month old incredibly busy little girl who has suddenly become quite attached to me...I don't know how I am supposed to only sit and hold my baby only when someone hands her to me. Luckily, my mom is coming for a few weeks, Dale's work is being really cooperative, and I have some amazing friends out here willing to help...BUT STILL!

For the sake of complaining and being dramatic, you can imagine the daily implications of this stupid surgery, just in terms of momhood. Though it will probably be painful, I bet I'll start feeling better after 2 weeks or so...but the 4 weeks after THAT I will probably have to have someone with me all day long, doing the heavy baby lifting and practically babysitting me.

Also, on those days when I'm feeling extra fat and spendy, I'll actually have to admit to somebody that yes, I DO want to go to In N Out for lunch 2 times this week, and also wander the mall and Target every day. That is my life...but PS. Can you please drive me, lift my baby in the car seat, and then put her in her stroller for me?
And then please leave me alone. I want to consume my cellulite and spend frivolously in peace. I'll call you when I need a ride....? Thank you...?

You know? I mean, that's what I'm staring in the face right now.

Not to mention that I have to wear the most hideous neck collar known to man. FOR TWO MONTHS! That is also the most uncomfortable thing known to man. FOR TWO MONTHS!
I'm looking forward to welcoming the stares. (I had to make cupcakes the other day to get over it.)

Anyway, with that out in the open, I think it's also a good time to mention that:

1. Yes, I'm freaking out about nothing. Other people are going through harder, more painful and more serious things. I KNOW.

2. I will totally be making fun of myself for a complete 6 weeks. It's the only coping mechanism I have, and the only way I know how to survive. So I give you permission to make fun of me. I'm cool like that.

3. Be watching for a new installation on my blog, entitled: "How to Look Cool While Wearing a Neck Brace", where I will be exploring some really awesome ways to make myself look more stupid than I already will. But at least it will be fun. I'm serious though. It will be legit, with pictures and DIY's and everything! And maybe even a documentary. I don't know, but be excited.

4. I hate people who talk about their problems on blogs and do it so everyone will express how sorry they are and blah blah blah do it for attention. (you know those people, right?). And so although this post is quite pathetic and annoying and dramatic, this is MY blog after all. And it's kind of about my life, right? And this neck surgery thing is taking over my life and will be for the next few months. But I am trying to be very positive about it...so this is me. Being positive (hahaha).

Deal. with. it.

In real life, though, I'm scared. I'm freaking out. Just had to document it.

Rant over.

The end.

and if anyone knows Jack Shephard in real life, I would really love to have him do my surgery. and then maybe he could kiss me. I trust that man with my life. #lostfanatic

and if I get paralyzed or something...will you guys still want to be friends?


  1. OH MY GOSH!!! Elyse that is intense!! I wish I could be there to help with Viv! Millie would love a girlfriend to chat with all day! You are AMAZING! That's a really hard decision to make but you are young and will bounce right back! :) oh and please post about this so I can see how you are doing! Prayers coming your way! Love ya! :)

  2. A herniated disk in your neck?? OUCH. Believe it or not, I had a herniated disk in my lower back in high school- kind of the same thing where they had no idea what caused it! It was a hard recovery, and I couldn't bend over to tie my shoes for months...but I did it! AND SO CAN YOU!!!!

  3. This is a little bit crazy, but I totally had a similar surgery when I was a kid. I even have a scar on my hip and the occasional doctor's note for airports to prove it.

    You're probably about the only person on earth who could rock a neck-brace and make it fetch. I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers!

  4. You are going to rock that neck brace Elyse! I really, really want to help so I hope you will let me drive you to In-N-Out or take care of Miss Viv or whatever when the time comes!

  5. ok, not to also be all dramatic but your #1 point that says you are "freaking out about nothing."??? Yeah, spinal surgery is not nothing. Just sayin. Thats serious business. But at least you have the best sense of humor and attitude about it all! and you are right, you are surrounded by lots of awesome friends who I know will come to your rescue and not judge you for eating in n out everyday and wandering mindlessly through target. if I was closer, I'd drop you off to do those things. hell, I'd be doing them myself. Good luck with your surgery! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers!

  6. p.s. I'm with ya on the #lostfanatic thing. I wish Fertility Dr. Juliette was doing my fertility treatments because then maybe they would actually work.

  7. You're in my prayers Elyse and I'm praying for the doctors too - You're going to be fine and it will give us a chance to spoil you. Won't it be wonderful to be rid of that terrible pain forever? A couple of months is a small price to pay. Please give your mom my number in case she needs anything, the older generation can pitch in too.

  8. This is a big deal! I don't mean that in the, you should be freaking out way. I mean that in the, you should feel totally justified in ranting, requesting multiple In N Out trips, etc. Fully justified. Good luck Elyse, I'll keep you in my prayers! Um if you need anything...from Indiana...let me know?? Yeah, I don't know how else to help you besides prayers. But, if you think of something, I'd do it.

  9. You're not freaking out about nothing. We're talking about spinal surgery for me to, and it's a scary thing. Chin up, and way to be brave.

  10. dude, you already know that i live for in n out and shopping. and that i have a weird fascination with strollers, so i don't mind getting it in and out of the car for you. also, you already know that i am planning on living at casa beard for the next few months, so this comment is pretty unnecessary but oh well.

    also, i am writing this at 4:54 in the morning, so if this doesn't make sense, consider that to be my excuse.

    peace, love and to hell with neck braces.



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