Hello, my name is Susan. I have had degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis for years. The past few years the back pain got worse and I was having frequent episodes that was keeping me out of work, not to mention the numbness and pain in my left foot, that was constant.
After a couple of years of weighing the pros and cons of ALIF surgery, I finally decided to walk into the Hospital in which I was employed on May 21, 2012, and have the surgery. I was in fear of losing my job, if I continued to miss work.
My spinal surgeon told me 12 weeks recovery. He never spoke or even hinted that the recovery time could take longer.
I am heading toward the 4 month mark, and am still experiencing extreme pain. I am taking hydros and muscle relaxers around the clock to make the pain bearable, and am still unable to return to work, which really doesn't matter, since I have lost my job, insurance and benefits, since I only had 12 weeks FMLA. I go to my DR every six weeks, and tell him the same thing, That my left foot is still numb, my back still hurts, with addition to abdominal pain to the equation.
I am so frustrated, because, I was never told by my Dr that the recovery time for some is months, and from what I have been reading, and people I have talked to in person, sometimes it takes months, years, to get over the pain.
Each time I go to my Dr, he just looks at the xray and says the fusion is taking place, and I am doing fine.
I am NOT doing fine. I am just now being weaned off the turtle shell brace, I have not driven in almost 4 months, due to the brace and the meds. Have lost my job, and am in constant pain.
I have tried everything to get rid of the pain. I've tried resting and exercise. I've tried not resting so much, and doing housework and grocery shopping......it's the same. The pain returns in full force, an hour or so before my next dose of medicine.
i just do not know what to do, or what to expect for my future.