Hi my name is Marie. This is my first message on this forum.It's a long message so my apologies in advance but really need advice from others in the same/similar situation. I am so glad to find others to help me but also feel very saddened that so many of us are out there.
On 17th September 2010, I had emergency l4/l5 laminectomy and discectomy for a broad based disc bulge (slipped disk) that was causing some of the red flag warning signs for cauda equna. I was rushed to the QE hospital in Birmingham Uk. I also have another slipped disc and degeneration at L5/S1 but only L4/L5 was treated - to my knowledge.
I was allowed home after a day and half as I could just about hobble to the bathroom. I found it difficult passing urine at first but now this is no longer a problem and I know when I need to urinate. But I am having constipation issues, but was warned that this may be a problem as they have given me codeine and paracetamol to control the pain. I am currently only able to 'go' once or twice a week despite having been prescribed laxatives by my GP.
Before I was discharged from hospital I was told that an out patient appointment would be made and sent through to me within 2 weeks of my discharge. It is now nearer 3 weeks and I still don't have an appointment date sent to me. I telephoned the consultants secretary and asked if an appointment was made for me and she said that I may not need one and would look into and get back to me... this was a week ago and I have not had a reply. I don't know whether I should call her back or not. It seems a bit odd to me that I would not have a follow up,she also said that the nursing staff on the ward should have made an appointment for me, yet they told me that the secretary would do it and post it to me. Surely I should have some kind of follow up after a laminectomy especially as I had the early warning signs of cauda equina syndrome? What are your thoughts/experiences? And how long after this procedure did you have a follow up with the consultant?
Anyway, I have now had a physio therapy appointment come through the post for next tuesday the 12th October at my local hospital (Russells Hall) but still no follow up with the consultant in Birmingham.
Normally I wouldn't be worried, but there seems to be little improvement in terms of pain and back spasms since the op. I am getting increasingly concerned as straight after the op and for the first 3 to 4 days the pain seemed to have gone in my legs (which is why I was allowed home). However it is now back, and I cannot walk very far before my hip, thighs, calves and feet hurt. I have difficulty lifting my left leg and for the past 3 days each time I have tried to put on my left sock my back has gone pop and had a painful muscle spasm. I don't know if this is part of my recovery or whether it is something I need to get investigated further. At the moment I feel as if the hospital I had the surgery at have forgotten me.
Help, what would you do next and what should I expect in terms of appointments, pain, physio etc. (My original expected return to work date is just 3 weeks from now.)