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Yesterday I had my three-week check-up after my TLIF surgery on my L3-L4 vertebrae. I’m glad to say that recovery has been pretty uneventful with the exception that I’ve developed an allergy to dermabond — that great super glue that doctors now use instead of sutures or staples. I was having a lot of incision pain until the dermabond finally wore off and it suddenly stopped. I still had a rash around the back surgery croppedincision, but a bit of cortisone cream quickly cleared that up.

This is a pretty bad photograph of the Xray of my spine taken yesterday. It shows the previous TLIF surgery on L2-L3 and the more recent procedure. There is the obvious hardware stabilizing the spine along with the sort-of visible interbody spacers (those up and down specs between the vertebrae). What’s not really clear here is the mass of bone packed in to build the fusion to further stabilize the spine.

As with anything else, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the surgery fixed the problem. The further good news is that I got a good bill of health from my surgeon and was cleared to start driving. Bad news? I have to wear the friggin’ back brace for three months. I also can’t start working out in the pool for another three weeks as a precautionary measure to help guard against incision infection. The really bad news is that each time you do a fusion it put more stress on the vertebrae below it, so I’ll probably have to go through this again in another few years. It’s only been two years since the last time I had this done. RA seems to accelerate these schedules.

In other news, today is full of doctors. I need to get my labs done for my rheumatologist appointment next week, I have Xrays and a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon who replaced my hip and knee, and an appointment with my PCP to discuss the effects of a new blood pressure medication and talk about losing some of the weight I’ve put on (thank you, prednisone!). I’m sure I’ll have more to report after all that settles down.

Again, thanks to everyone on their support and good wishes during my recovery. It has meant a lot.

Thanks for checking in.

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