Thursday, January 11, 2007

Should I have this operation?

I have to decide whether to have an operation.

The purpose is to help me walk properly again and prevent possible future trauma, like whiplash, paralysing me.

A vertebrae in the neck is pressing on the spinal cord, interfering with the signal to the right leg, causing it not to work properly.

The operation involves removing this vertebrae and replacing it with a titanium mesh filled with bits of the crushed bone, and securing it with a titanium plate and screws to the vertebrae either side.

I would be off work for two months.

My book Hybrids is out in May. There will be interviews & signings and of course I don't want the operation to interfere with this.

The book is partly about (in my mind) disability and responses to it.

I was born with mild cerebral palsy which has led to this condition.

For the first ten years of my life
I tried very hard with my body,

For the next eight years I hated it, hated it.

For the next twenty years I was in denial, denial, denial.

But ever since then I can't avoid it, avoid it, avoid it.

My body bites back
It reminds me who I am
I'm fragile, so fragile
But I want to be strong

I am familiar with the surgeon's scalpel
With the physio machines
With the assistive aids

It's always been true
That if I tried that much harder
I'd make a difference.

But now things have changed, changed
I don't have that power, no power

I have to make friends with the men in masks
i have to place trust in their interventions, inventions, intentions.

What do I care if there's a risk?
I've always been impulsive, daredevil, crazy
If you cross the road it's usually less safe
Than an afternoon spent in theatre number two.

Perhaps after four years the chance to walk, walk, walk
Like you and you and you
Is worth more than a legful of stuck fear.

But the wall of pain
is not easy to approach.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck in deciding. Best regards, Matt