A big hello to all my friends here on Spine-Health
Well I'm 12 months out now, and how good it is to be out walking with my dogs over the park most mornings for about an hour.
For 5.1/2 years, I used to be so envious of people able to go about their lives normally, taking it all for granted, and all I could do was watch.
After failed decompression surgery in 08, I eventually found a surgeon who was prepared to operate without blood on standby, but I was connected to cell salvage equipment and all went very well. I was quite surprised that despite the normal post-op pain, I coped well and was walking much better than after the decompression.
Our forum is the BEST because I learned how to prepare for surgery and how to cope with the long recovery period. I was determined to follow the B-L-T restrictions. I have some wonderful friends who helped out with lots of things at home and they cheered me up heaps. However, there were times when I felt blue and the "four walls syndrome" got to me a bit. I also had a cleaning service come in once a week for 4 months. I couldn't exercise the dogs, but they seemed to accept the changed circumstances.
My surgeon aims for 80% - 90% reduction in pain and this is what I've achieved. Levels L3-4 and L5-S1 may need surgery at a future time, but in the meantime, I'm doing my best to keep the muscles strong by walking every day and doing Tai Chi. I started doing Tai Chi at home 7 months out. The scans showed a good solid fusion by 6 months and I felt confident that I could be more active.
I have to limit the time that I sit because it causes pain, as does standing for longer periods. Sleeping through the night is still a problem because I can't get comfortable. I'm still very careful with B-L-T and I pay for it, if I overdo things.
I had foot surgery 4 months ago which restricted my walking, and my back pain increased during the initial 3 months recovery, and I put on weight (yuk) but it's coming off now.
My heart goes out to all those here who have had more extensive surgery/ies than me and haven't recovered as well as they hoped. My wish is that they don't give up and improve in time and not hurt so much.
XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
ALIF L4/5 2009
Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008