I’m More Than Just a Pretty Brace!

It’s December. Mid-December. I think this qualifies as Christmastime. At my last appointment with neurosurgery, Dr. Ramsey said I could start transitioning into my Miami J around Christmastime. The amount of time I can spend in the cervical collar vs my CTO would be up to me and my level of fatigue. I am thinking that Wednesday will be a good day for me to give it a try. My neck for the most part feels pretty good, but my back still does hurt quite a bit. I am anxious to see how I will feel in just a neck brace. At this point the brace is more for fatigue, and being in a smaller one I suppose will help with the transition to no brace at all.

I am impatient. I feel like if my cervical fractures are healed I shouldn’t need a neck brace. But that’s just my opinion and I am most definitely not a neurosurgeon. I also feel like I should be more excited about downsizing from the CTO to the Miami J. However, it is still another whole month to go with me in some kind of neck brace at all times. I am positive about the progress most days, but other days I just want it to be completely done with. I am so incredibly tired of this brace. The comments from strangers have ranged from kind, and heartfelt to weird and absurd. I know people mean well, and I am still very polite, but I am honestly so tired of talking to complete strangers about my accident. Either the comments and questions are increasing in occurrence, or my tolerance is waning. I think it is a little bit of both, and it does seem to matter where I am. It does, however, make for excellent conversation pieces with my friends. Our latest idea about how to handle the unwanted attention was to come up with completely absurd scenarios to explain how I broke my back. Here are a few we have come up with:

  • Bull fighting in Spain
  • Circus accident
  • I had a bad blowout (this one came after 4 tomboys tried to figure out what exactly a “blowout” is…)
  • Slipped on a banana peel

Or maybe it’s not really even a back brace:

  • It’s a new weight loss device that limits how much you can open your mouth and externally restricts stomach expansion so you can’t eat very much. I’ve lost 125lbs in a week!
  • It’s the newest fashion accessory. It’s all the rage in Paris and Milan.
  • I’m trying to elongate my neck to be in direct competition with this nut ball: Giraffe Woman

I think my favorite tactic yet to avoid unwanted attention is the signage approach. I could affix different sayings to the front of my brace:

  • “Yes I broke my back and my neck. No, I am not accepting any further questions at this time.”
  • “I’m more than just a pretty brace!”
  • “My eyes are up here ^^” (credits to Bill C. This one might be my favorite)

God I’m lucky to have friends with such great senses of humor. I am also glad to be in the position where we can laugh about this. Isn’t there some saying about laughter and medicine? 😉

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