Hello to all my Spine Buddies!! Well I am over the mountain. I'm going to try and put all my experiences here and see what you think. I caution you: this may be lengthy.
Friday April 6, 7:30 a.m. Surgery began. Docs were doing a posterior decompression & transforaminal interbody fusion at L3-4 and L4-5. This is what was approved by my insurance. (Kinda sounds like something aliens would do to you on a space ship) Insurance did not approve docs to use Bone Morphogenetic Protein for bone growth. Ended up I didn't need it. They had enough bone material after cleaning out my bone spurs that I didn't even need a bone graf on my hip.
) Surgery took 6.5 hrs. I think that's pretty much a normal amount of time. Had to get two blood tranfusions. Slept all night. Had some pain in my right shoulder and neck. Felt like a severe stiff neck. However, no pain in my back. Had a pain pump and it worked.
Saturday-Day 1-Getting me up that morning first time to eat my jello and broth. I started hyperventilating. Couln't breath. Scared me to death. Thought I was dying. Had eight docs aroung my bed. No chest pain, 100% oxygen. Conclusion: too much Dalaudid (pain pump) and just anxious. But they still did an EKG and a CT scan (laying on that hard flat narrow table to go through the tube was not fun) to rule out heart and blood clot. After this, the day calmed down but sill wasn't feeling great.
Sunday Easter! Day 2- All tests came back clear. Yea!! This day however brought a new problem- GAS. I was so bloated. I am not a large person, and I looked like I was about 6 months pregnant. Some nausea and pain so they did an xray. Said I might have a possible bowel obsruction. This shook me up because wasn't happy about the thought of another surgery two days after this one. Anyway, took me off what little food they were giving me, called in a general surgeon, and waited until day 3.
Monday Day 3-Things started looking better. Gas pain and nausea was better, started using bathroom, however, tummy still huge. Second xray revealed a little "kink" in my ellium and some trapped gas, but no blockage.Starting talking about discharging me next day.
Tuesday Day 4- I had to show them I could eat and tolerate a soft diet before I could go home. Even thought I had no appetite, I picked at soup and oatmeal enough that they released me at 6:00 that night.
Throught all this I haven't mentioned my back pain. That's because I don't have any pain. Now let me clarifiy that statement, I don't have back pain like I did before the surgery. This is more surgery soreness and from the incision. Also, miracles of miracles, I don't have ANY leg pain at all!!!!!! I noticed this from the first step I took after surgery This is truly a blessing from God. To be able to walk now without that pain is wonderful.
Since I've been home, I can see my self getting better and stronger each day and it's only been 9 days! PT comes by twice a week and shows me exercises that I do religously. My doctor ordered a Bone Stimulator to wear 4 hours a day, everyday until???.
I am down to taking 5 mg. hydrocordone about three times a day. My goal in the weeks ahead is to be able to come off this and just take Tylenol.
A question have have for you guys, I had been taking calcium for my bones for years. My doctor has told me to not take the calcium. Does this have something to do with this stimulator thing???
Before I close, (told you it would be long)I want to tell everyone that I am so glad I had this surgery. I know I still have a lot more recovery time ahead, but I can feel and see that one day in the future, I may not be as good as I used to be, but alot better than what I was!!!
Please respond friends with any thoughts you might have. Thanks so much for your prayers and concern and just for being out there for me.God bless you all.