All posts filed under: surgery

The Bold and the Bionic

Everyone’s talking about the newest thing in pop music, the exquisitely beautiful Viktoria Modesta. She is a below-the-knee amputee who dances with appendages like a lantern prosthetic that attracts a swarm of moths and a black ice pick on which seems to balance the entire world. “Forget what you know about disability,” the video says to start. When I watch her, I feel like I can do that. Disability has a huge mental component — not necessarily how it affects your mind (because it certainly does), but the way it changes how you see yourself and how you interact with the world outside your rebellious, traitorous body. Scientists are currently studying how chronic pain and other seemingly eternal conditions change one’s personality. It makes us less adventurous, more cautious, afraid to move for fear we will further injure ourselves. Every movement cracks the snow globes in which we live. Viktoria Modesta exploded out of the snow globe and has become this otherworldly symbol for life beyond disability. She chose to remove her leg at the age of 20 …

You Found Me. Congratulations!

I feel like this is the equivalent of talking to an empty room, but here we go. My name is Jen. This is me: Underneath that snood and gargantuan winter coat is a 27-year-old lawyer/writer/editor from the greater Boston area. She is happily married, owns a home, works for a small firm, and has been in two car accidents that severely damaged her spine — one accident in 2004, one in 2013. The second accident was an echo of the first, a lesser impact that somehow produced a bigger sound. I’ve been in chronic pain for a decade. I’ve been to: physical therapists chiropractors surgeons pain management specialists acupuncturists energy healers I’ve tried: steroid injections cortisone injections Botox injections (in my back) lidocaine injections nerve ablations the full range of narcotics yoga swimming gentle exercise meditation I finally had a cervical discectomy and fusion in my neck this past year. Now my pain fluctuates day by day, radiating from my spine out to my limbs. I know that right now the room is empty, but there are so many people out there …