It is almost a year since I had Thoracic Surgery to remove a T8 T9 disc that was severeing the spinal cord.
I had degenerated to such a stage that I was unable to walk without crutches.
Following TWO surgeries in which they moved the heart, collapsend the lungs, removed a rib and drilled the disc out that was central to the cord (only 80% removed on the first surgery so they went in again ten days later).
23 plus hours of surgery, 4 weeks in hospital with no movement of the left leg whatsoever, loss of muscles from both legs and sent to rehab on a stretcher with a wheel chair I progressed from bed baths, catheterisation, commode and wheel chair to walking with a frame; walking on crutches; a walking stick and the guarantee of a lifetime limp:
I have been back at work since January 2012 - I walk up three flights of stairs to my office, I can walk at least three miles without feeling tired and with no aids. I am unable to run, or indeed run up stairs which is pretty wierd! I walk with no limp unless I am really tired.
My rib cage still hurts and is tender on some occasions; I have no sensation in the stomach due to nerve damage, possibly from the two chest drains; I have severe nerve damage due to the damaging disc, this affects the sensation in my right leg - I cannot feel hot or cold which I learnt very early on when bathing! It feels like it is constantly on fire and the "restless legs" are improving with medication. I have been taking Pregabalin which was a life saver in one way but increased the weight gain in another so I am weaning myself off that and trying to cope as best I can.
I have fallen over a couple of times too becuase the mind and legs dont communicate I cant "fall" properly if there is such a thing! I land flat, the legs dont want to bend so I may need to work on that one!
In a year my life has changed completely. I cant take for granted a body which I thought was invincible; I live every day fully (and am exhausted most of the time!) Housework can wait if there is a better offer of a day out!
Just to reassure you all, and any of those facing what I thought was the worst nightmare of my life, you CAN get better, get through major surgery and have a normal life - you just have to change the "normality" of it all and live life as positive as you can. I believe positive attitude got me through something that would be a challenge to anyone.
Hope this helps?
Best wishes to all