I wish that title were a clever segue into talking about tweaking a character's back-story or some such, but unfortunately, this post is actually about back surgery. Specifically, Katrina's.
As some of you already know, for a little over a month Katrina has been suffering severe pain, as well as numbness and muscle weakness, radiating down her left side. About ten days ago, an MRI confirmed that she had a massively herniated disk -- one bad enough to warrant a consult with a spinal surgeon on Tuesday, followed by a diskectomy on Friday. As of right now, she's resting (somewhat uncomfortably) on the couch, but the fact that she is home at all right now is a relief. Thanks to the severity of her injury, the next two weeks are going to be a bit rocky, but overall, her prognosis is quite good.
Truthfully, I wasn't sure I'd mention it here, because I like to keep my writing life and personal life separate, and I'm wary of cheapening these sorts of things by treating them as blogfodder. And I rejected outright the idea of posting about it before her surgery took place. Downplaying her condition beforehand would have risked tempting fate; waxing melodramatic about it would would have been tacky and exploitive. But I'm writing about it now because it's been dominating my brain-space for quite a while now, and if I'm scarce in commenting on friends' blogs for the next several days, it's because my time online is limited until I can get her back on her feet.
While I'm posting, I'd like to give a huge shout-out to Dr. Binette of Orthopedic Associates, and the rest of his surgical team as well. They came through in a big way for the both of us, and I'm very grateful for the level of care they provided. Thanks to them, Katrina will be right as rain in a matter of weeks. Without their help, it would have been years, if ever, before she got back to normal functionality.
Oh, and a brief language-nerd PS: I used to hate the word "exploitive". For the longest time, "exploitative" was the more common form of the adjective for "exploit", and only in recent years has the admittedly odd-looking "exploitive" begun to make up ground. So why my conversion? Simple: "exploitive" is shorter, without sacrificing one iota of clarity. It's often said that in writing, clarity is god, and I agree. But I'd put brevity at a close second (demigod, maybe?). So "exploitive" it is.
Then again, I just used up a hundred or so words explaining why a couple fewer letters was the way to go, so what do I know?