6 months ago, I underwent Laminectomy Discectomy L2-L3, Pedicle Screw Fixation L2-L4, Interbody Fusion L2-L3, L3-L4, Fenestration Laminotomy L4-L5, L5-S1 after I was diagnosed to have spinal stenosis secondary to multiple slip discs. Yep, all those procedures in one single operation and now I am trying to share where I'm at and how my journey to recovery was.
The surgery took 8 hours and I was discharged after 2 weeks. I was just on bed for the first month because I cant tolerate sitting. I dont know why but whenever I tried to sit, there was this painful spasm on my back.. i dont know how to put it in words but I imagine my back muscles trying to get used to their new neighbors: 6 pedicle screws, 2 rods and 1 peek cage.
It was a verrrrry slow progress. From sitting to standing to walking. From parallel bars to walking frame, to quad-cane to walking stick to none, I had them all. I understand that nerves will really take time to heal.
Now, 6 months after that major surgery, I am able to walk around the house and out on the streets without any assistive devices. I dont feel any pain on my left leg at all which was my major problem before. Left leg feels numbed. Both knees feel thick as if there's knee pads on them but again no pain. In contrast to my right, left leg is a lot weaker and I take the stairs one leg at a time. Muscle on my left thigh mildly sagged compared to right. But I still wake up early to walk. Just to make sure that I exercise all leg muscles there is. My task is to be able to take the stairs normally again. I practice daily being careful not to fall. Its a big No No.
It wasn't an easy journey. Looking back, recovery phase is a lot harder than the operation itself - well because I was asleep then but nothing prepared me for the ordeal of the recovery phase. There were ups and downs. You will get mad, sad, terrified. A lot of frustrations, a lot of disappointments, there were even a time when I regretted having the surgery at all. I feared that i wont be able to walk again. But then again, things will get better. Do your doctor's and therapist's advices. Exercise daily. Walk walk and walk!! It really helps a lot. Focus on every improvement no matter how small, no matter how miniscule. They are signs that you will recover. You are a lot better and stronger than you give yourself credit for. Hold on to that faith. God gives His toughest battle to His strongest soldiers! Carry on private!