Hello all! Several of you have been asking about
my recovery status, so I thought I would post something on it.
This week is going on my 7th week of recovery since my fusion surgery. Since I have never had prior surgery for this kind of back problem, I'm not sure where I'm at on the road to recovery. In fact this was my first major surgery of any kind!
I will see my surgeon this Thursday for my second check-up. I'm still walking around 3 to 4 miles a day, and I'm guessing that is pretty good. Some of the useful items for my getting around the house better and making my life easier, are the grabber tool, which has come in handy several times, and really on a daily basis.
Another tool that I would advise everyone to get for your recovery is the toilet seat extender. I don't know what I would have done with out it. It is simply a chair like devise that sits over the top of your toilet, and has a seat much the same as your toilet. Mine has arm rest at the sides of it, and has come in very handy to not only sit down and get up off of it, but also helps when you need to bare down for a bowel movement. I grab a hold of the arm rest and gently push my body up, and this seems to release some of the pressure on the bowels.
Also, I wanted to mention that I personally believe it is important to watch what you eat, and make sure your food intake has plenty of fiber in it. I cannot imagine being constipated during ones recovery time. I eat plenty of whole grain breads, and avoid cheese like it is the plague. One other item I eat is Prunes, that was recommended by one of our knowledgeable veteran members. I also drink prune juice as well, once in the morning when I wake up, and right before I go to bed.
I know not everyone can afford the wonderful Tempur-Pedic beds but we like ours, and we happen to order ours with the lifts, and it has helped greatly when I need to exit the bed.
Another item that seems to have some value is the shower head that we had installed with a long hose attached to it. It makes for easier rinsing off all the soap in hard to reach areas as well.
Now for my take on my own personal recovery. Well...there are days that I seem to do very well, and my pain is on the lower end of the scale, and then there are days that I'm very disappointed, and feel like I have taken 5 steps back. I have noticed that the more I walk, the better I feel, and if I have a lazy day, and put off the walking, my pain seems to climb. Right now, I'm taking between 2 to 3 Percocet's a day, depending on how I feel, and every once in a while I sneak in a Oxycontin just for that extra needed relief.
I'm thinking the Dr is going to release me for restricted work by the 1st of May, and that has me a little worried, as I tend to wear out pretty easily.
The back brace is a must, but I have been getting out of bed lately to use the potty, and have not put it on. You must be very careful though if you do this, as one false step could be tragic.
I do have a question for the members here, and that is rehabilitation? Is there such a thing with recovery for this. My Surgeon only told me to walk as much as possible and nothing else was mentioned about
So is my surgery a success? That is the million dollar question, isn't it? I don't know, and from what I have read it may take up to 3 to 5 months for the fusion to start, and will take up to 12 months to fully fuse. And even then, I may still feel some back pain.
Right now, I feel that I'm getting better, but it is a very slow process, and it may be several months before I know how it will all turn out, but as long as I feel progress, I will keep my hopes up. I was bent over prior to the surgery, like a 100yr old man, and today my back is straight as an arrow.
I hope some of the members will comment on this as I'm still pretty much in the dark on this subject. Suggestions are always welcome, and many of the members here are trying to decide if this surgery is right for them. I don't want to discourage any member from getting it, and it seemed the right thing to do for me. Would I do it again? The answer for me is Yes, with the progress I have gotten from it, but the unknown long term outcome remains to be seen.
I will post again in a few weeks, as maybe I will have more answers then. Thanks for listening, and letting me ramble here.
For those of you who don't know, I had a double lumbar fusion surgery L4-L5, L5-S1
I knew I missed a couple of items! If you are a smoker, and need this surgery, and for that fact need any surgery, please consider stop smoking! I smoked up to my surgery date, but did slack way off of them. I quite completely since the surgery, and according to several studies on the subject, it may in fact help with the healing process greatly.
Also after the surgery I sneezed a couple of times and coughed as well, and it drilled me to the ground! Since that time, in the last 3 weeks, that horrible symptom has gone away, and I can sneeze or cough without that sharp pain. I think that is a good sign for me. Lets hope so! :) One last item! I Promise! :) I still have problems in my neck, and for now the last Epidural is keeping it in check, but my Dr said Surgery (Fusion) is on the horizon :( Wouldn't you know! Hopefully I can put that off closer to my retirement in a few years! Wishful thinking, I know! :)
If you have any questions, just ask away, and I will share as best as I can.
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.
Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 4/20/2010 12:08:36 AM (GMT-6)