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Man plans, God laughs -- going on a Hermitage.

Claudia is going on a hermitage

My dear friend, Toni Binstock, used to say -- "Man plans, God laughs."
That's probably the best description of what's going on with me.

I planned to be well! I went to nearly a thousand acupuncture appointments and many months of PT. I swam in the mornings at the new rec center. I worked on my walking and went to a coach to help me with my posture and ergonomics.

The advice I received over and over again -- "You'll get better. Try harder/come in more. The thing you don't want to do is see your surgeon again."

My trust in alternative medicine was complete and absolute. I set my will against getting more surgery.

I went to more and more acupuncture appointments. I did my PT exercises and went to more and more treatments. I got a much recommended "fix everything" massage.

The everything came to a halt. After sending In Deep to the editor I went to bed, where I've mostly been since then. I was in bed for more than a month before the husband dragged me back to the spine center.

I had a cyst in a small opening of my spine. No amount of acupuncture or PT or massage or anti-inflammatory diet would work. (I can show an image of it, but I've been informed that it's pretty gross.)

So I went to the surgeon and said: "Let's do the most conservative thing."

The most conservative time was bursting the cyst in a mind blowingly painful event of which you cannot get any pain meds or sedation for because of risk of becoming paralyzed. Now, I have a high pain tolerance -- and they had to stop the procedure because I was sobbing. When I caught my breath, they continued.

The doctor who walked me out told the husband and I that the treatment wouldn't work. I needed surgery.

"Nah," I said to the doctor and the husband. They both just gawked at me.

So, surgery. I set my will against you and... Man plans, God laughs.

I'll be having another fusion at the beginning of March. This is not as big of a surgery as I've had before. I will still be in the hospital for at least 3 days.The hope is that this will be the final surgery to repair the catastrophic injury I received from catching a kid coming off a trampoline in 1994.

I am retreating from social media and the world from March through June. We are calling it a hermitage.

I feel like I simply need the time to stare at the ceiling. To listen to the things I haven't heard in years. Watch the world shift around.

If all goes well, I'll be back on social media and in the public in July.

I am hoping to devote some time to writing on this blog. I will be available via email - but my response time will be slow.

The Everyday Kindness project and Women and Fiction will be on hold until July 2020.