I went in for surgery (ALIF L5-S1) at noon last Wednesday the 21st, the procedure was scheduled to begin at 2:30. They called my name from the lobby and I went up to the surgery waiting area, put on the gown, hooked me up to a heart rate monitor (my initial heart rate was around 148!!!!). So then others started coming in, and their anesthesiologists and doctors came to see them, and I was still alone, so I had a nurse check and turns out my vascular surgeon was still in another OR and running 1 hour late. Fine...
...then my spine surgeon calls me (on the land line in the pre-op) and says it will be at least 5pm before we can start the procedure, and why don't we wait and do it next week? So I told him, I have family coming to take care of me, I am mentally ready, my body is physically ready (bowels and bladder being completely empty)... but he's the doctor so ultimately its up to him, not me. His assistant was going to look at schedules and call me back.
Finally around 4pm one of the OR nurses shows up and tells me she will be with me for the procedure, so I asked ARE we still on?? and apparently so. I think they may have found a different vascular surgeon. So they knocked me out and I woke up around 9pm with ALOT of abdominal pain, some post anesthesia nausea, but they controlled the pain well, I don't think my darling significant other (SO) even made it home until 1am (and if they had a cot or rolly bed, I would have had him stay, crazy as it seems it was so comforting).
The first two days were tough, I drifted in and out of slumber, food tasted gross, I threw up / dry heaved a bit. Gas pains were exacerbated by the abdominal incision. By day three, much better, and they let me go home! I still have some gas pains and I think the abdominal pain will just need to run its course.
The good news - my surgeon did tell my SO that he believed he got all of the disc matter in the back behind the spine, and he was able to restore the height of original disc space.
Although I am still on Topamax and Neurontin, I no longer have nerve pain in my leg. I suppose there is a chance they are masking it but I had alot of BT nerve pain, so I remain quite optimistic. I'm looking forward to tapering off both (I'm o a full dose of Topamax, only 300mg Neurontin, so the former will be the challenge and slow taper.) Low back pain, not a clue, I suspect its gone but really, I don't know. I'll have a better idea in 6 weeks.
Anyhow, sorry for the long post, maybe this will help another ALIF candidate (just watch out for any surgery requiring TWO surgeons!!!)