Hello all, first time visitor here looking for a little help (and hope). I suppose it'd be best to give a little bit of history on myself for you guys. If you don't wanna read a wall of text, feel free to skip the first section.
I in am 25 years old (as of last week), before herniation was for the most part fairly healthy, I am 6'2, 170lbs and formerly ran cross country and played basketball. In October 2007 I had an ACL reconstruction and some cardilage removed from my right knee as the result of a basketball injury. I recovered fully from this injury within around 13 months (to be able to play at 100% capacity without reservations). I did not however resume running cross country. April 2012 I began conditioning myself to resume a running. I began with some cycling and swimming and conditioning exercises for my knees. By June I was running around 10-15 miles weekly. Shortly after, around the beginning of the following month I began having severe pains in my left abdominal, because I had no real back or leg pain, my GP pursued the issue as a possible kidney stone as a result of the excessively warm weather we were having. After the standard tests and such, he deduced no stone and sent me on my way suggesting a pulled muscle or something similar and to stretch properly. I assumed myself to be fine and resumed my regular routines. In a few weeks, the pain seemed to have disappeared only to return with a vengeance. By mid August I could no longer go through any physical activity without a significant amount of pain. My GP referred me to a physiatrist, who immediately suggested a problem with my L4/L5 area after doing some strength checks. MRI reveals a moderate disc rupture, which he believes to be surgical. I opted for conservative therapy in extreme fear of spinal surgery. After several months of diligent effort to rehabilitate myself, the pain continued to be severe. So, I scheduled surgery in March, 6 months after my diagnosis and had my discectomy on April 15th, 2013 (two friggen days after my birthday). At this point, fearing permanent nerve damage was my biggest problem.
My surgery took about 1.5 hours (I think), and was performed by a guy who is supposed to be pretty good. Immediately after surgery I was in excrutiating pain, about 5 hrs after surgery I had a moment of breakthrough pain that was the worst thing I have ever experienced, screaming and crying like a baby. Before surgery I was taking 7.5/325mg Norco every 4 hrs as needednfor pain (anywhere from 2-5 pills in 24 hrs depending on my pain or if I had to do stuff), yet while in postop, they were giving me a shot (dilodin) every 2 hrs in conjunction with one 5/500mg Vicodin every 6 hrs until late in the evening, when the Dr switched me to 1-2 percocet 5mg every 4-6 hrs. Eventually, around 8pm I was so frustrated with my discomfort in a cheap hospital bed (the thing dipped around my pelvis maybe 3 inches), and lack of pain management I asked to be discharged to my own comfy bed.
So here are my first questions: Did I make a mistake by asking to be discharged and going home (I was very courteous in asking)? Was it irregular for me to be having severe breakthrough pain? And, was the pain regimen they had me on normal or what, (do they think I'm some kind of med seeker or something?)
Now, I'm 9 days removed from surgery and have been in more pain and discomfort than ever. I have had very very little sleep, continue to have nerve pain, as well as musclar pain in my left side, spasms and tightness. Also, I am having pain and tenderness in my hip joints, which I have never had before. The hospital sent me home with a rx for 5/325mg percocet, 1-2 every 4 hours, and told me no NSAID for two weeks. During the first week, I was taking 2 pills every 4 hrs and was still in significant discomfort, and as a result ran out of meds by the weekend, and they refilled the same meds for me on Saturday. Since Saturday I have been trying to limit my medication to a maximum of 6-7 pills in 24 hours. Needless to say I am still in a ton of pain, and I am starting to think I made a big mistake getting this surgery after waiting so long.
So, my next set of questions. How out of the ordinary is this level of pain? Is it normal to have more and new pain at this point after surgery? Am I taking too many meds, or enough (at my age) for my Dr to think I am abusing them or something? And finally, will I ever get better?