Been lurking for a while and recently joined. Thank you all for a great wealth of information. I enjoy reading the posts and have learned quite a bit.
My somewhat quick history:
Have had 3 spine surgeries since '96 (Lam's and Micro-D's from L4-S1), numerous injections (some lasting 6+ months, some days), and now my surgeon is recommending a TLIF of L5/S1, possibly also L4/5, depending on what he finds. Surgery would be last of Jan/early Feb. Been having bad sciatica/numbness in left leg. Can't stand/walk long, hard to get comfortable, etc. Latest MRI shows slight bulging at L1/2, progressing to moderately severe at L4/5, and severe at L5/S1.
My questions (some sound selfish/petty but this forum has answered the main ones already):
1. I'm aware of how major of surgery this is. I know recovery is long and varies by individuals. I also know that I will most likely be changing/adjusting jobs to something less physical. My concern is how long until I can play golf and get into the boat and go fishing? Now hear me out, yeah, just hobbies/activities, but after all that has been going on and the time of recovery, I will need the boost of spirit to engage in these things that I have doing since I was about 7 (now 46). Golf--if by mid summer, OK. Fishing, have an annual trip(16yrs now) in early May that I set up for 12 guys. On the plus side, I have been a quick healer from previous operations despite being very bullheaded (layed sod 2 days after hernia surgery against my wonderful wife's better advice).
2. Smoking? Cigars. Have been enjoying them for about 25 years. Not many, but 1-2 a week. Sure, none is better than some, but how bad will it affect the fusion?
3. What would you say is the average time until a person is able to ride in a car with some comfort? I have a big fundraiser to attend in mid-March. My wife is making an outdoor-themed quilt to be raffled off and it is a men-only night, so she can't fill in for me. Don't get me wrong gals, this is a church activity for our Mens Ministry. The women have their own one at a different time.
4. Walking is important, as has been said "Motion is the Lotion", but it is winter in Minnesota and will be a while before I can get outside. Suggestions? We do have a treadmill, but come on, boring!!!
5. Stairs?? How hard right after surgery?? We live in a split-level and have to deal with stairs the moment I get home. Once on a chosen level, I can stay there for some time.
Enough for now. Again, thanks to everyone for a great forum.