This is my first post on this site. I'm really excited I found it. I'm a 27 year old nursing student. I just started nursing school, just finished my first semester. I made it through the whole semester with a pinched sciatic nerve and a herniated disc. It was awful. Every day I had to come home and choose to either be in pain and study or take massive pain pills and sleep. Lucky for me, my professors were all nurses so they worked with me and one referred me to a doctor she worked with.
I've worked as a CNA for almost 10 years and never had a back problem until two years ago. I bought these new shoes that a lot of nurses/CNA's were wearing and they KILLED my feet for about three weeks. Everyone assured me that the shoes hurt for about a month for them as well, but after they are broken in, they "feel like clouds". My job was very physical. I worked for five years in a Nursing Home lifting/moving/carrying patients. Then I worked in an ICU unit in a hospital lifting/rolling patients, bending, squatting, and on my feet go, go, go for 12 hours shifts with a 30 min lunch. It wasn't until three weeks of wearing those shoes, I woke up one morning and I could NOT get out of bed. Long story later......I ended up going to see a neurosurgeon once I lost complete filling in my right leg after a month of sciatic pain. I also was losing bladder control.
I had a microdiscectomy on my L5S1 disc because of a herniation on 12/2/2013. The only pain I have felt since the surgery was at the incision site for the first week and then minor aches around it or above it that are typically fixed with ice/naproxen. As instructed, I rested mostly for the first two weeks and made sure to get up and walk around every hour for at least 15 minutes. Weeks 3 and 4, after my follow up appointment, I started working my way back into regular activities like cleaning my house, doing laundry, etc..... I know everyone is different in the way we heal/perceive pain ...but this is where my questions begin.
I am in week 4 post op now. I've seen a lot of improvement in myself over the past month as far as what I can do. I just go and do things (minus bending, twisting, lifting) until I feel that ache and then I sit with ice and am fine to get up and keep going. The only pre op issue I still have is parts of my leg are still numb and the bottom of my foot is numb, but I understand that takes time to come back. Tomorrow I start a home physical therapy routine plus walking as much as I can for as long as I can and then try to improve the time the next week.
I am very scared to start that routine. I'm terrified to try to get on the floor and not be able to get back up. I'm so scared of hurting myself again. Did anyone else have these fears after their surgery? Did anyone find they had less aching and more movement improving after PT and walking? My doctor told me and my husband to resume sexual activity whenever I felt that I was able to. (Sorry if the following is TMI, but it is part of my question). We did this for the first time yesterday and I felt fine during and after. I woke up this morning with some aching around my incision site. I want to chalk it up to just being sore because that was the most work out I've had in the past four weeks. Did anybody else have a similar experience? Or did anyone else feel that ache that I am talking about after doing activities? It's not really a pain, and it's nothing compared to what I felt prior to surgery, but it is an aching at the incision site and above so I always have that FEAR that I've torn something inside. I'm just scared to re injure myself, but I know immobility is worse.
Tomorrow is the day I am suppose to start my PT at home and walk so I plan to walk in the morning and start slow with the exercises, stopping when I feel any discomfort. Hopefully this ache will be gone. I've been using ice off and on all day which makes it go away. I'm trying not to live in fear but if anyone feels that nerve pain, you understand why I do.
Also, I still can't sleep all night in my bed. Anybody else have that problem? We have a tempurpedic that is medium/soft and not hard to roll around in prior to injury. I can lay on it and sleep for a few hours without pain, it's only when I am sleeping and roll over without thinking about how I am rolling that I feel pain at incision site or above. So I am sleeping mostly in a recliner downstairs.
Any advice/experience/relating would help me feel better.