Good news from St. Louis!
Yesterday was a dream realized. I met with Dr. Park at long last. He is as wonderful in person as everyone has said. The time, care, compassion and expertise he shared with me surpassed every expectation I could've imagined. In short, I found answers to questions I've had about CP for 37 years. He believes without reservation that SDR surgery is an "excellent option...the ONLY option left, and that without SDR I would lose my ability to walk in the immediate future" Simply, I am at the end of the mobility I've fought so hard to maintain. Hearing that sobering reality directly from him was the validation of what I've known in my heart for so long. It didn't make me sad though - it only reaffirmed that I am exactly where I need to be in this moment. I trust in myself and in this process so fully, that I have only peace and relief on my mind. Surgery will be tomorrow morning, with a 7am (central time) start.
I also had many pre-op appointments today and while I could write novels, what I will say is that the staff at Barnes Jewish Hospital is world class. What could easily be a scary, awkward and stressful series of appointments, became instead a time to laugh til my face hurt - with nurses who have found their calling for what they do each day. From Gwen - a fiery, funny soul who took my bloodwork while singing and cracking jokes, to Jacee who busted out dance moves while helping me get through an awkward physical, to Ron who asked for a crash course in Canadian cuisine and hockey while my imagining appointments took far longer than normal for initially unsettling reasons (that eventually got sorted out)....we've been met with nothing but kindness and professionalism at every turn. Again, I feel only at ease.
The day concluded with my physical therapy pre-op evaluation. Rebecca at St. Louis Children's Hospital was gentle, encouraging and so kind. It went better than I imagined it would - my months of work in PT have paid off, and given the tightness and contractures I have, she was surprised and pleased with my abilities, which was a welcome relief.
In all....I'm ready, the work is done, the preparations are complete, and tomorrow, spasticity will get its final send off! With this team around me, and your love lifting me up, I need not ask for more.
Tomorrow is going to be amazing, and I can't wait.