Well I got home last Wednesday afternoon, but haven't really had a chance to get to the pc. Mum and Dad are here from Scotland, really helping out but I feel that the time I have upright and alert I should be spending with them - not tapping on laptop! (Even at 42 I feel like a child again)
Anyway - hubby brought it upstairs today, so I can lie flat and log on.
The ops went ok. The first was posterior 3 level fusion with rods and screws (3.5 hrs), quite a large incision on my back with loads of staples - the nurse did offer to show me when removed and count them - I declined. But I was also meant to have a titanium cage fitted in the middle disc space at the same time, but the degeneration was worse than the MRI had shown, so doc decided to leave at that time, resize and do both discs anteriorly (?) 6 days later. Because of this I had no epidural or catheter, and was mobilised onto a commode within first 24 hours.
Recovery from this was quick and not too painful. I had a morphine PCA but wasn't using at all really - just before getting out of bed. Being tied to one place with 'leg inflators', pca, saline drip, 2 x intravenous antibact botttles and a drain took quite some detangling to enable any movement to toilet etc But I was unhooked by day 2. Walking around hospital and stairs/outside on day 4.
Then day 6 (Friday 17th) I went for the anterior surgery(2hrs) - 2 discs removed and cages inserted with no bone graft but stem cell/bone marrow. I have disolvable stitches and steri strips - so nothing to remove this time. Scar from belly button down about 5 inches.
This op went ok from surgeon side, but the build up of gas has been awful. Trapped under shoulder blades and around stomach - if this is colic that babies get, no wonder they cry - I did. The aneathatist visited the night after and prescribed an injection to help dissapate it - this affects different people in different ways, but my bowels and insides obviously did NOT like being moved around!!
Anyway another PCA, saline drip and 1 x intravenous antibact bottle, but no drain this time - and the good old inflatable legs were back for another 48 hours. I didn't feel so well after this op, and on the Monday I really was a poor soul - friends were quite worried - but a good nights sleep and 24 hours made a huge difference, walked outside Tuesday and was allowed out with good behaviour Wednesday.
Now I'm home things aren't too bad. I'm taking 2 x 50mg tramadol twice a day, and 2 x paracetamol 500mg 4 times, plus 10mg amitriptyline at bed time for the first 7 days - apart from the ami, this is less than before the ops!!
I walk 2 x 400m a day (not far) and will increase to 2 x 800m on Wednesday. I still have trouble sitting for any length of time, but it isn't pain it is more like a bad ache, and my body needs to relearn how to do certain things. No back brace or anything, just instruction not to bend/lift/twist from the waist - everything with a straight back - so I can bend down but need to lower myself by the legs, and at 6 foot its a long way back up!!!! I still need help with socks as I've to were the surgical stockings for a few more days - but when the've gone I should be ok.
And there it is - I would't recommend 2 ops in 6 days to anyone, but at least now it is over. I can lie flat on my back for this 1st time in years. I don't limp and all the old pains have gone. They've been replaced with new aches, and the evenings are painful - but I'm still only on week one! As long as the old pain doesn't return - new aches and pains are to be expected I'm told, but these will ease with time.
Thank you all for the kind words of support - I will keep updating my progress