Microdiscectomy 3 Month Recovery Progress

>>  Thursday, May 31, 2012

This week I'm doing a full 3 month progress review of my post operative microdisectomy recovery.

I think it's time to share something positive to balance out some of the scary forums that come up top of the searches full of people with frightening pain, no healing and incredibly sad stories. But my guess is that for every one of those there is 3 'it went ok for me'  but people don't tend not to hang around forums shouting alleluia. 

9 months ago I thought that my initial root block under x-ray would be the answer to my woes, then I thought the epidural would be the end of it, so by the time I'd had surgery I really thought it would be like a magic pill.  Yes, I expected to be sore post-op. Yes, I knew the stitches needed to heal but I thought that after that things would be back to normal, that my life would once again become mine to take back.

No one actually sat me down and said "hey girl, this is a long road you're on, even after the operation expect to still have sciatica, expect to have a bad back, expect to be dog tired, expect to feel even more depressed and weepy".

The steroids that get pushed into you for the root blocks, epidurals and I guess, the discectomy, played havoc with my hormones.  My periods stopped and then once they re-started it was like they had a lot of making up to do.  But hormone imbalance goes beyond periods, it plays with your emotions too. Even knowing that much of the depression and tears was coming from the outside source and not my fault it was still hard.  It laid me so low.  After my week 8 mishap, I sobbed and sobbed for days, to the point of utter exhaustion.  No one said it would be like that.  And the 'outsiders' just hear 'my back and leg hurts', they don't know how stinky this really is.

No one sat me down and said "hey your sciatic nerve has had one hell of a rough ride through all this pain and during the operation we pulled it around some more, it's going to take months to settle down so expect to feel the same pain after the operation, it doesn't mean it hasn't worked, it'll just take a long time to see the benefit"

No one sat me down (maybe it was because I couldn't sit) and said "you've still got a bad back, honey, your disk still needs to heal, forgive yourself, let it heal in it's own time".

Some one said to me recently  "I suppose you are getting used to all that pain now, and you can put up with it easier".  I've thought about this a lot and actually I think I'm less tolerant because I want it gone now more than I ever did, I tolerate for less time before the icepack goes on. What I would have limped through 2 months ago I am now lying down and icing if I can.  Why?  I think it's because it makes a bigger difference, before nothing seemed to touch it, but now the pain has become controllable.

This is a huge step and surely must be worth sharing. Now I'm nearly 4 months down the line I think it's time to look at the long term changes rather than just day to day pain.

I've always walked through the pain come hell or high water, nothing was going to stop me there (until the time I thought I'd reherniated when I physically couldn't walk).

But before the operation and during the early part of my recovery I couldn't  do these things:

Watch a film on the sofa - recently I have started to watch films with my daughter, I have to lay down on my side a lot, I can't actually hold the sitting position for longer than 30 mins without feeling sore and my leg knows about it the following day but it's not a life stopping pain, I can actually watch a film.  I'm guessing the cinema or theatre are still a long way off but this is still a major break through for me.

Go out for a meal - we went to our favourite local restaurant recently. The last time we went out was Christmas day, 5 months ago.  I was ok to drive there and sit during the meal.  I chose to stand at a bar area  for predinner drinks, to order and they only seated us once the food was ready but that was ok.  Yes, I was a little sore at the end of it but not dreadfully.  It was refreshing to get out, it was good for us,  major break through number 2.

I can drive for about 30 minutes now.  I can drive to work (and back!).  My pre-op final appointment was about 5 miles away I had to literally lie down in the car seat and pack up with ice. When I got there I could hardly walk because the journey had left me racked with pain.  I had to stop at a hotel close to the hospital the night before the operation so we could do a slow journey in stages.  Now I can drive.  Yes, it makes me a little sore but once I'm out of the car and have walked about for a while it eases off and what a brief walk doesn't fix the ice pack tends to clear up.  Break through number 3.

Ok, here comes some of the TMI's but I know if you are here and still reading then it's because you want to know more detail:

I can epilate/shave my legs - woot woot.  Previously I was in a contorted position just trying to reach a leg now I just do it!

I can sit down for long enough to dry my hair and put make-up on.  Bliss.

I can cut my toe nails.

I can put pants on standing up.  Actually, I'll qualify that - I can put pants on.  Sounds mad but sometimes I had to ask HWMBO to do it for me, I could only step into them and he had to pull them up.  Now I'm a big girl and can do it all by myself.

I can put socks on - yey. go me, although I confess anything but slip on shoes are still a bit of a challenge.

I can lie on my right hand side in bed and I can turn over without doing the hotch a little bit at a time gently thing.

Sometimes I really push the boat out and lie in bed with 2 pillows for a while, not for long and never sitting up, just lying a little less flat. Lovely.

I can feed the cats. It was one of those jobs that was a real challenge, probably because I really have to go right down to the floor.  The cats are happy about this too.

There are still lots of things On my list of would like to feel fit enough to do:

Empty the dishwasher with ease - it's the bending into the bottom shelf thing. Change the beds, garden, run...oh how I want to start running again.  Maybe one day.  But in the meantime, whilst I moan on about being sore still and having horrid leg pain, you can see that the actual real change it has made is leaps and bounds ahead of where I was before the operation.

I think this is a good thing.

I have created a page of links for my Microdiscectomy posts and other links I have found helpful. You can find it here. PLEASE FOLLOW THE MEDICAL ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR. WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP