On March first Cheryl is going to have her throat slit open. A surgeon will then move the muscles in her throat that travel down her neck in order to extricate two discs and replace them with a fresh pair from some unfortunate donor. (Be thankful to the organ donors.) The procedure is called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. You can google it if you really want to.
For three months Cheryl will have her neck bound into a torturous contraption to prevent any neck motion. To add insult to injury, the first couple of weeks she will also not be allowed to swallow anything but liquids. There will certainly be pain and discomfort, not to mention the associated dread and anxiety that goes along with being a powerless participant in our corporate healthcare system. She won't be moving her head for three months and thus will not be driving or skydiving.
But wait! There’s more. Cheryl also just learned that the townhouse where she's living may be going on the market in short order. In this hot market the place will likely be sold well before the three-plus months Cheryl needs to fully recover. Needless to say she will literally not be in a position to look for a new place (unless it happens to be directly in front of her face). Cheryl’s burdens don’t end with vertebrae-reassignment surgery and impending homelessness. That’s just Chapter One in her tragic story.
The spinal stenosis was discovered while a cadre of doctors looked for the cause of persistent and debilitating headaches. It’s possible that Cheryl could have yet another serious condition unrelated to her messed up spine. (We’ll get that to later. First things first.) She has not been able to work for the past several weeks and will obviously not be returning any time soon.
If you’ve gotten this far in Cheryl’s sad tale of woe then I am assuming you are one of the many friends she’s made over the course of her crazy life, and I don’t have to tell you what a kind, thoughtful, loving and generous friend she is. She’s selfless and generous to a fault... a fault that makes it difficult for her to ask for help and to accept it.
We’ll be posting updates on Cheryl’s condition and putting out requests for help all in an effort to keep you informed and connected and allow Cheryl some much needed recuperation time. In helping Cheryl get through this difficult time, we’ll also help her understand that, like her, we enjoy helping our friends and that she owes us that pleasure by asking for and accepting our kindness to her.