Sunday, November 15, 2009


Ok, I figured I should blog about my surgery. So, now when anyone asks I can just direct them here.

Rewind to January, 09. I'm fine, all good, going about my life, playing with CF a bit. Still not totally convinced I could leave my body building ways I decide to do the 'Filthy 50' with my friend. Oh god, it was ugly. And I used 45#, wtf? Apparently I didn't do my research. My time was somewhere in the 50 minute range....after I picked myself off of the ground I was limping. Well, I was dead ass tired, I figured.

I limped the rest of the day. By the next day I noticed my right hand was also really weak AND I was still limping. I actually said to someone, "wow, I am so tired from that workout even my hand is weak." So, the days passed and I wasn't getting better. Of course, I kept working out. Angie, Fran, etc...I was starting to get a little worried by now. I tried to do a handstand at the gym. (now, I had been working up to HSPU for months and was getting really close)I could not even hold myself in a handstand position, I crumpled to the floor?! So, I tried a pull up. Normally, I could do 3-4 dead hangs. Nope, I couldn't even hold myself up. What the fuck was going on? I was also dropping stuff out of my hand, having a hard time holding a pen.

So, I am at work and literally dragging my right leg behind me. No pain whatsoever. Just couldn't fucking lift my leg. My boss told me to get my ass to the ER. After attempting to argue that I would stay until the end of my shift I gave up. Even I could see something was really wrong and getting worse by the minute. I insisted on driving myself to the hospital. I had to use my arm to lift my leg to operate the gas/brake pedals.

They were mighty impressed with my condition in the ER, I'll tell ya. This began a series of zillions of tests that spanned days. Nobody could figure it out. After my MRI the doctor came in to tell me that they wanted to send me to Chicago where they had a stronger MRI. But, that he was almost positive I had MS. Whaaaat??? Omg, I was not cool with this at all. My dad came to visit bringing library books about MS. I flipped through them, seeing chapters on how to adapt your home to a wheelchair. Oh fuck, I just could not believe this was happening to me.

They decided to do one more test before I went to Chicago. A neck MRI. Good thing. The surgeon came in to tell me he had good news and bad news. The good news was that I did NOT have MS. The bad news was that I totally blew out 3 of the discs in my neck. Woooohooo, I was stoked!! I told that doc that it was great fucking news. Who cares about some blown discs, you can fix that. I DIDN'T have a fucking incurable disease?! Sheesh!

Hmmm, he didn't see it that way. He was all serious, telling me that the damage was so bad, the nerves were being compressed to the point of nerve damage. I needed a cervical fusion of C4-C7 ASAP. I was itching to get the hell outta there, I thought I could come back in a few days for the surgery. According to the Neurosurgeon I was centimeters from being a C-4 quadriplegic. Oh. Fuck. Now, that does sound kinda bad.

He also informed me that I would probably never walk any better than I currently was. (leg totally dragging behind me) I definitely broke down at this point. I had been working out for years, I was just getting into CrossFit. And now he says I'm going to have a dead fucking leg??!!! NOOOOO. Of course he said there was no way to know for sure. But when I told him I was planning on becoming a personal trainer, he told me to find a new career. And deadlifting??!!! Never again, not more than 10 lbs, anyway. Oh god, I was a total wreck.

But, no time to be miserable. They had to start prepping me for surgery. So, hours out of surgery I was already walking better. Boy, that morphine is the shit, isn't it? I got to go home the next day. I was walking so much better the surgeon was honestly amazed, he said.

The next month or so was downright miserable. I could not lift ANY weight. All I could do was walk. Ugggg...but there I was, at the gym in a neck brace, walking on the treadmill. I went to my level 1 cert 3 weeks after surgery. I didn't do Fran but I did do a scaled FGB. That was a lot of fun.

Fast forward 10 months. My max DL is currently 210#, BS 160#. I am a little weaker on the right side. I can't do box jumps for shit, or run more than a short sprint. That may never get better, I don't know. But, I'm not going to complain.

And I should make it clear, this all probably started when I was rear-ended by a semi in a car accident several years ago. It had NOTHING to do with working out. Ah shit, too bad. I had a great T-shirt planned. 'I did the filthy 50 and was almost paralyzed'.....


  1. you overcame all of that :) That's a testament to the power of physical training and determination. Great job!