• emilyhawkins28

Not Me, Not Today (How one diagnosis changed everything.)

not me, not today

It was 2013 and I was sitting in my mother's hospital room after her second spinal fusion in a year. My mother was now fully fused from hip to neck, only having the ability to bend at her hips.

(this is what her spine looks like now)

my mother's back in an x-ray

The doctor came in the room and said, "your mother tells me you have scoliosis too. I'd like you to call my office and we will fit you in tomorrow for an x-ray."

I made the appointment to appease my mother but the doctor wouldn't tell me anything earth-shattering I thought.

The next day as I sat on the paper sheet of the exam table staring at a picture of my glowing spine in the x-ray light box I was told "when you are your mother's age you will have the exact same surgery."

All the blood drained from my body. This couldn't be!

Later that evening as I sat by my sleeping mother's bedside I wept. I cried for the unfairness of it all. I cried for robbing my husband of a fully functioning wife in our old age. I cried for my daughter who would inevitably sit in this very chair in 30 years time while I took my mother's place in the bed.

I find in all situations in my life it's best to have a pity party first. Let all the emotions out in raw form because it clears your head. And this pity party was no different.

The next day I woke up and worked out as I'd done for a year now but today was different. I realized something. I'm not a victim! I'm a doer and an outlaster (and apparently someone who invents words).

I'll be damned if someone is going to tell me what will or will not be possible later in my life; and, I have every day until then to prove them wrong.

I now wake up each day and head to my basement for a demanding workout. Somewhere in the midst of that session I thank my body for it's movement and strength and silently say to myself "not me, not today."


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