I have been reading the posts in this forum since July but have never posted - so I hope I am doing it correctly. (I have never posted to any site before). But now, at 10 weeks post-op, I decided to post and thank those of you who have shared so much recovery information. It has been very, very helpful to see that others are experiencing similar things. This has been especially true when I was sure that there must be something horribly wrong that I am not recovering more quickly. For example, despite what my surgeon told me prior to surgery, I was not ready to make a trip by plane - 2 flights with 3 hour layover - 6 weeks after surgery. Sitting for 30 minutes was still uncomfortable - I could not even imagine sitting for 6 hours! Nor did I anticipate the overwhelming fatigue that still comes and goes. But reading the posts in this forum have helped me to relax, listen to my body and realize that recovery from this kind of surgery really is a long process with ups and downs, strange pains and periods of discouragement. Thank you.
In case it might be of help to anyone else, I will share a bit about my recovery. I had surgery on July 21 (anterior) and 23 (posterior) and went home on July 25. Other than incision and nerve pain (left leg) the first couple of weeks, my pain has not been bad at all. Because I am extremely sensitive to medication I had to totally stop taking even minimal once a day pain meds and muscle relaxers (Hydrocodone and Valium) after the first 3 weeks because they were making me so sick. But walking and using ice/heat have helped the minor discomfort I have had. I can still feel the hardware and my back muscles certainly tighten up if I do too much or sit too long. A 3 day hospitalization for another issue 3 weeks ago - pelvic/abdominal pain - and the course of antibiotics that went along with that and made me very ill - set my back surgery recovery back over a month in terms of my walking and PT. Where I was walking over an hour a day and going to water PT for 1 hour sessions at 4 weeks, I am now only back up to walking ,about 25 minutes a day. Stamina/fatigue is an issue. But at my appt. last week the surgeon pointed out where bone is starting to grow - I was thrilled! I can sit for much longer without discomfort (easily over an hour if I have my pillow for my back) and usually don't have to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon to keep from being totally wiped out by 7:00 in the evening! And a plus is that I have lost at least 2 clothing sizes! Unfortunately, I am not yet up to shopping for new clothes that fit - all that trying on is just too tiring. Not the diet plan I would recommend to anyone but...
I wear my brace - though not as much as I should. But I do wear it for walking, in the car, or doing stuff around the house that might lead to my bending or twisting by mistake (laundry, etc). My grabber - that I never really thought I would use - has been wonderful and kept me from making lots of movements I shouldn't. Also, my husband has been truly wonderful about doing whatever needs to be done and keeping me from reaching or lifting. If I could just get a bit more stamina and energy that would help the most!
For those who have not yet had surgery, believe it (I didn't really) when you are told that you will need lots of help the first few weeks. My husband (and also a good friend who was here for the first week after I came home) waited on me hand and foot. I have never really had any illnesses and only one other surgery - a total hysterectomy after which I returned to work in just over 2 weeks (however, that was 14 years ago so I was much younger) - so I was totally unprepared for the reality of this recovery. As a normally very optimistic, upbeat person I was stunned to find myself with tears of discouragement running down my face at the end of my second week after surgery - and it seemed like almost every night after that for weeks. It is such a long, slow process and that has been hard to accept.
Well, enough rambling - if this post actually goes through, I will be happy to try to add my meager knowledge and experience with this process to the wealth of info on this site because I have so appreciated what I have learned here. And I would love to hear from others who have had anterior/posterior surgery about their recovery - especially if they had any abdominal or digestive issues!