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Hello, it's been a long time since I've been on the forum but glad to be back. I used a lot of advice, opinions etc...from people here and want to say to the creators of this tool - thank you.
3 1/2 weeks ago I underwent a two level (L4/L5 and L5/S1) fusion. Im not going to be dramatic but man, it was awful the first few days. I was on the table over 7 hours which had it's own complications. Plus my doc - who is awesome- said he had to cut through 6-8 inches of back muscle. Going through the front was not an option for reasons too long to explain. So he went through the back, the incision is 10 or so inches long and they made 3 layers of stitching coming up on their way out to sew all of that muscle back together. I'm 40 yrs young, 6'4, 275 lbs - former athlete, not overweight. Well, yes, I'm overweight but that depends who you talk to and that's a whole other weight/height chart. Let's just say people don't think I'm chubby.
So now you have the background on the surgery, I am walking fine, doing stairs, wearing the brace non stop, doing the spine bone growth stimulator, basically everything I am supposed to. I'm fine during the day. I'm cutting back on my meds. But why can't I get a decent night sleep. Everyone (my docs) are encouraging to take my meds to be in less pain but I was on Norco 10 for 18 months in between my last surgery and this. The point is, i did this fusion so I could get off meds - period. I know, it takes a while to ween off the strong stuff but I'm taking 1/2-1/3 of what I was taking in the hospital during the day, but at night I wake in wicked pain so I have to take the strong stuff - which I hate.
My doc is saying 8-12 week recovery but he also said a 4 hour surgery. I know, there were complications in the OR etc... But Im doing so good during the day, why is it so hard at night. Plus I still can only stay in the bed for 4-5 hours at night then have to move to the couch. I just need a different sensation on my back etc...
I guess I'm looking for encouragement or someone to tell me to toughen up and don't give into the pills. But the docs say that for a long recovery like this people recover better when they are in less pain. Some days I do too much and I pay for it I guess.
Well, sorry for taking your time if you took the time to read this ramble but if anyone has been through this I'd appreciate some comments. Thanks in advance.