I’ve lost track of days (drugs will do that to you), but I believe it’s now Thursday and surgery was last Monday. We had to show up at the surgical center at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am for 7:30 surgery. It was tough getting up, but I like being the first case so you don’t sit around hungry and thirsty waiting for things to happen.
The surgery took just over three hours and went well. Afterward the surgeon said the disc was just complete disintegrated and the vertebrae were in pretty bad shape. But he was able to clean everything up, get the screws and posts in position and apply the spinal fusion material. He was still amazed at the amount of degeneration that occurred in just two years since my earlier surgery. A night in the hospital (filled with nausea, multiple failed attempts to draw blood, pain medication, etc.) and I was sent home on Tuesday.
I know it sounds awful — and it is a serious operation — but I’m doing quite well (considering everything). I’m gaining strength daily and can move around with little to no discomfort at this point. Getting up and down is challenging but I’m learning how to manage that without much effort.
My first foray out of the house will be Saturday afternoon when my husband is going to take me to get my nails done and (hopefully) an early dinner. I can’t drive for three weeks so I’m housebound unless someone takes me out for sun or I take advantage of the Uber app I just loaded onto my phone. I am doing emails and text so I don’t feel totally isolated.
I still get fatigued/tired pretty easily. Just getting a shower is enough to wipe me out for a while. But even that is getting better.
I won’t be considered completely well for at least three months, during which time I have to wear my back brace. Yuk! I don’t have to wear it 24/7. I have a trigger point of the bedroom door. As long as I am in the bedroom or bath I don’t have to wear it, but once I pass that threshold, I’d better have it on. At least I don’t have to sleep in it.
The really good news is that I can tell they worked on the right area of my back, so once I get healed up, my problems should be addressed.
The bad news? Each time you do spinal fusion, it puts greater stress on the vertebrae below it. I have now fused two levels in my lumbar spine (L2-3 and L3-4) which means more stress on the rest of the vertebrae and probably more surgery in my future.
More than anything I appreciate the great support and wonderful wishes that I’ve received from so many of you. That has helped more than you can imagine.
Thanks for checking in.