Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm back

I won't be making every day posts for awhile since I am unable to sit here for very long. While recovering from my ankle surgery, and because I was struggling to take that damn boot cast on and off, I blew my back out. I had surgery to remove part of L-5 in my lower spine in 2004 and this time it completely blew out. Also, L4 was also herniated. S1 was degenerated and nothing but bone rubbing on bone there.

So, had spinal fusion surgery on November 3rd and have been doing my best to get moving again. This has been one of the most painful recoveries I have experienced, but the post op pain from this is nothing like the sciatica and horrible back pain I had before the operation. The pain was hot and searing and going right down the leg into the foot I just hand ankle surgery on. So, had to interrupt the ankle therapy and have this done. Before they did surgery they tried an epidural. The first attempt was a failure when the damn anesthesiologist put the needle in the wrong place and I felt nothing but pain and he wanted me to come back and do it again in a week. NO way was I going back to someone who says "oops, wrong place, have to try it again!" I found another spinal specialist who urged me to try the epidural again. I did and this one did not take even though the spinal surgeon who did it injected the steroid into the right spot.

The only option was spinal fusion. So I agreed, wanting to get the problem solved sooner rather than later. It was unavoidable so why prolong the wait. So, after five hours of surgery, I now have six screws, metal rods and some mesh cylinders, etc. in my lower back. There are also plastic discs between the vertabrae which are not shown on these images.I sort of feel like I have a rod up my back and a bunch of hard stuff in there. I am told that I will get used to the feeling once the pain goes away.

Here is a couple of photos I found online similar to what I had done.

Things are starting to get easier, like getting in and out of bed which has to be done without bending my back at all. Tricky. Then sitting down and getting up. I can't twist at all and have to make sure my hips and shoulders are aligned at all times. I can't sit too long or else it hurts really bad. I have ten pages of therapy exercises to do twice a day. And I had to walk farther and farther each day and have to try to get up to a mile at one time. Right now I am about a half a block.

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