I'm sure this is asked all the time. I did read through here, but I guess I just need some personal "it's going to be okay" words. I'll try to keep this short... but, yeah.
2 years ago, I had weight loss surgery. I've lost 225 pounds (that's not a typo) and now weigh 150 pounds. Yeah, it's been wonderful. Truly.
In April 2012, I came home from a conference with this worst pain running down my left arm and shoulder. I thought it was a pulled muscle, but my primary sent me for an MRI telling me she thought I did something to my neck. 2 days later, she called me back after a frantic 3am email to her saying that the meds weren't helping and I was in bad shape. She sent me directly to the ER because, after talking to me, she realized I was in shock from the pain. At the time, I thought she was overreacting, but I now realize that she was very wise. I was NOT in good shape at all.
I've had back issues for many years. MANY years. My weight was a huge contributor, obviously. As I've lost weight, it's gotten steadily worse. Chiro work has helped, but it got to the point that I would be okay for a week and then be on my way back there for another adjustment to at least get me through the pain. It wasn't pretty.
Late Spring, I ended up with severe pain in my sit bones. I thought maybe I'd bruised something (are you seeing a trend here?), but my primary said... um, no. Go for an MRI. I have bulging discs and degeneration in my two lowest levels. My other levels look REALLY good, according to my spinal surgeon.
I'm scheduled for a double fusion this coming Wednesday. I've never been all that good at accepting how things are going to be. Denial is my middle name. LOL! I own my own business. I've done everything I can to prepare my employees. I work at home (as do all of my team) and spend most of my day in front of a computer screen (it's a bookkeeping business). After my neck, I had it in my head that I'd be fine after a week. Ha! It took a good month before I was able to really communicate well enough to work again. I said all kinds of weird crazy stuff during that time because I was out of my mind. It took another two months to get off of all medications and drive and get back to real life again.
My surgery is going to be posterior. L4-L5-S1. My surgeon uses minimally invasive techniques EDIT - I feel very lucky he was on call when I had my neck fusion, he was wonderful!). Although I could be sent home the same day, I'm opting to spend one night in the hospital. I guess because my neck was a week in the hospital (it was over the Easter holiday and the insurance company insisted we try injections, but I couldn't come off of the pain meds because I was in BAD shape, etc etc). So, I guess I have it in my head now that this recovery is going to be a breeze.
I keep seeing differing things online about recovery. My surgeon said it will be like my neck. 4-16 weeks. At this time, my plan is to take most of a month off and then get back to part time for a month after that. I have a few things I'm hoping to be able to do in front of the computer after two weeks. Takes just a few hours.
Am I totally being unrealistic? Do I need to plan to basically fall off the face of the Earth for four months?
My husband is a teacher and goes back to work 2.5 weeks after my surgery and my kids go back to school 4 weeks after my surgery and I have to be able to drive. Do I need to fly my sister in to be with us for a month so she can deal with the kids, driving and mail runs and things that have to be done from this location? Do I wait and see?
I will talk to my surgeon more, but I'm really just kind of freaking out now. I'm not sure if I'm being completely unrealistic and stubborn or what. A friend of mine had a similar surgery and said she was using a walker for a few weeks (!). I don't think I'll be jumping up from the hospital bed and doing the mashed potato or anything, but...
Post edited to remove specific doctor's name. Please read the Forum rules
Candy in Austin, TX
Single cervical fusion April 2012 through ER
L4-L5-S1 lumbar fusion 7/31/2013