Sarah has allowed Spine-health to follow her spine fusion journey from her decision to undergo the procedure to the details of her recovery process. We hope that by telling her story, we can help our readers gain some insight into what it's like for a mother of young children to undergo spine fusion surgery.
Resuming normal activities over a 3 month period
herniated disc, like the one seen above.
Immediately following her surgery, Sarah was 100% dependent upon her husband and other family members to take care of both her and her children.
Over a 2 month period, Sarah slowly began taking on light tasks such as helping dress her children in the mornings. She also started taking a more active role in managing her children's activities, her own appointments, and the drivers who would be helping. By 2 months, she was lifting her 2 year old daughter (which was only semi-approved by her surgeon).
She did not drive at all for close to 2 months.
Sarah went back to work after 8 weeks of recovery time at home. For the first month at work, she took her time getting comfortable in the office. She slowly worked her way back to an 8 hour work day, alternating between the office and home. She will be in the office again, full time, by 12 weeks post-op.
Emotional toll of having limited involvement with her children
Sarah is a very hands-on mom, and it was sad for her when her young children didn't understand why she couldn't be the one to take them to school or why she couldn't go sledding or play tag with them.
She commented, "I wanted very much to take them [her children] sledding, but could only watch from a safe spot at the top of the hill with a camera. It was hard. But we found ways to meet in the middle and my kids eventually understood why there were limitations on my activities."
Sarah recently had her 3-month post-op appointment with her surgeon, and everything is healing as it should. She is still in pain, but it's not the fresh, sharp pain she experienced in the beginning. She describes it as more of a healing pain.
Sarah doesn't regret anything about having her fusion, or deciding to undergo the surgery while her children were still very young. She acknowledges the risks she took, but she says, "I knew deep down that I had already tried the non-invasive route and even some invasive procedures short of a fusion, and that those did not help me. Taking the time to find the right surgeon, the right hospital, educate myself about the operation, prepare my family, prepare my house, and get all of my insurance and disability leave paperwork done ahead of time helped tremendously by allowing me to simply focus on getting better from day 0 to day 90. I made the best decision and I'm looking forward to feeling even better in the next 3 months."
We are so happy to hear that Sarah's recovery is going so well, and we thank her for sharing her journey with us. We'll catch up with her in a year and let you know how she's doing!
In This Article:
- A Young Mother Shares Her Spine Surgery Experience with Spine-health: Part 1
- A Young Mother Shares Her Spine Surgery Experience with Spine-health: Part 2
- Sarah's Essential Checklist for Spine Surgery: Part 3
- Tips for a Young Mother's First Day Home after Spine Surgery: Part 4
- Sarah's Unexpected Iliac Bone Crest Graft Pain: Part 5
- 3 Months after Fusion Surgery and No Regrets: Part 6