I am 5 weeks post op for L4 L5 spinal fusion and would say I am doing well at this point on most days. Still have a day now and then that I need a pain med, however that is probably my own doing. I would say that I push the limits to the max.
I have read these forums and many others before and after my surgery and most do not address some of the small things that I found very helpful after surgery.
I bought several pair of lounging pants that had draw strings in them. Those draw strings were so wonderful in the very start. I found that it was very hard to reach to pull your pants up in the restroom. So by simply tying the strings to the walker it saved me from that painful task.
I learned very quickly when I returned home that the paper holder in the bathroom was way to hard to reach. By this time all pride was gone so I just added a roll to my walker with a string. Yes my kids laughed at me, I really didn't care at this point in time.
I actually used my grandkids sippy cups for the first few days. I had no idea how weak I was going to be after this surgery, much less how it was going to feel to sit up for that needed drink of water.
We all know how hard it is to be taking these pain meds. I actually had a clock in the bedroom I would check the time, make myself get up to take the med to check the time on another clock and then write it down. If your like I was these meds really made me out of it so to speak.
I wear nothing but blue jeans and those were the most awful things you could ever put on for the first 4 weeks. So again lower your pride and find some nice soft pants with elastic and your incision will thank you. To be honest many days I skipped the underwear just to avoid the added irritation.
If at all possible find someone to bring you home who has a van. Much easier to get into and rides much better. That 30 mile trip home was awful in my camary.
I know many sites tell you that you can take care of yourself when you get home. I think this is a very bad idea if you can avoid it at all. Mostly because of the pain meds.
Be sure you have several of those long grabbers, you have no idea how much you drop things until you can't bend over.
Before you have surgery move all your bathroom needs to the countertop. I hate having the miss, but hated bender over even more. So this also apples to the kitchen and laundry as well.
You probably have lots of ice bags that were needed before the surgery, but if not buy lots. Ice is almost as good as the pain meds for relief!
This is for the ladies out there, you will totally have to adjust to hairy legs for awhile. I didn't find anyway that I could shave my legs in the shower for some time. The closest thing to shaving was haven my 4 year old grandchild use the electric shaver for me. They think its great fun and it felt some better. FUNNY but so true.
This is a hard surgery, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is not for wimps by any means. However, The very night of the surgery I remember beings so excited that I could finally feel my toes again. I know its a long recovery but think it will so be worth it in 6 months!***************************
There are numerous articles and member's posts covering fusions, preparing for surgery and aftercare...http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/spinal-fusion/spinal-fusion-surgery-recovery-one-three-months-post-operationhttp://www.spine-health.com/blog/37-must-haves-after-your-back-surgeryhttp://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/post-op-must-haves-0