|One of the more expensive images of the expedition|
How does it keep happening? How come there is always the perfect host at the perfect time? I knew that Chris and Keri were the right folks in Awendaw, because they have a kayaking education business. In fact, Marcia called her cousin in McClellanville to find out who could give me good info about kayaking conditions down the coast. The cousins called Keri and Chris! But what I didn't know was that Chris had recently had a disc problem in his back, which was my preliminary diagnosis. Chris even showed me the mutilated disc that was removed! He had done a lot of research into the surgeons in the area, which made me very comfortable with the facility that Marcia and others had highly recommended.
The visit was a too short, but wonderful! I was ready to take Olivia along with us!
|Olivia is ready to kayak!|
|Deb, Chris, Keri and Chris|
|Wayland, Deb and James at Epic|
|Drugged Deb with Steve, Susan and Chris (who didn't get the black memo)|
On Tuesday I spent the entire day with the medical profession, getting a diagnosis and then planning the treatment. As was suspected by the ER doctor in Georgetown, I have a disc problem. When the Charleston folks saw the MRI they were amazed that I was not more debilitated by pain, as the herniated disc is a massive problem. I guess being stoic is not an asset. I should have paid more attention to my body much sooner! But this diagnosis seems right, as it captures all of my issues into one explanation. Because of the severeness of the problem they have fit me into the surgery schedule for next Tuesday. They will remove the damaged disc, put in a spacer, and then screw two of my vertebrae together. I'll be in a neck brace for a little while. In the best case, I could be pain free immediately after the surgery, or if there has been nerve damage it could take up to a year to regain my lost strength on the right side. I hadn't even realized how much strength I had lost. I must pay more attention to my body!
They say the earliest I will be able to kayak is in three months after the surgery, but even that is unlikely, as I will not be recovered enough to start the physical therapy until 6 weeks post-op. We have arranged to stay in this area for the next seven weeks, staying with some of the hosts who had already agreed to help me out as I kayaked along.
I am in a drug induced haze as I await surgery. The pain is decreased, but not eliminated.
The expedition continues! The goal has always been to share the stories of the children and their parents at Safe Passage, and to raise awareness and funds. That will continue in a couple of weeks. The only thing that will be different is that I will be sitting under the kayak, instead of sitting inside the kayak, as we travel along the coast towards Guatemala. Bernie Horn will take me to Guatemala in early April, and we will celebrate the expedition with the children and families. Once I regain my strength, I'll start kayaking up the coast to complete the sections of the trip I missed.