Post Surgery Update.
I am officially 9 days post op for the discectomy.
I got admit. Parts of this recovery are a lot easier than I expected and parts are a lot harder.
I woke from the surgery with my foot still feeling kind of funny. My friend came in and told me that the surgeon said I should never run again. I told her I was not going to think about that, swallowed some hydrocodone rather than have anything more IV, and pretty much went right back to sleep. The funny thing is that they put me right into the bed I would be in for the duration of my stay, so when I got taken to my room, I spent the first 20-30 minutes awaiting with dread the bed transfer…that never happened.
I found it very hard to concentrate on anything except the “She should never run again” statement. I would encourage surgeons to avoid discussing that with anyone, even family right after surgery. It seemed so crazy and I couldn’t really absorb it. Add in narcotics, an environment filled with non-athletes, and suddenly everything was gray.
I did work with Physical Therapy and I was really disheartened when as I started to walk in the hallways, my right foot began to feel more numb and have a lot of the sensations I had before surgery.The PT, someone I know vaguely (I swim Open water with her husband sometimes), encouraged me and told me not to worry about that.
The rest of the day was spent pretty much getting up to the bathroom since I had been loaded with fluids. I had a few visits from my co-workers, and a few phone calls from them, as well as some texts from friends. I developed a killer headache and thought it was my CSF leak coming to life. No… No really just a headache. I had had no coffee that day, add in anesthesia, surgery with me being flipped upside down, and seemingly VERY bad news, perfect combination for headache. The PA ordered fioricet, which I took with the hydrocodone, and slept probably better than I have in 20 years.
The next morning, the PA came in. I’m not really fond of him, but he pretty much handles EVERYTHING for the surgeon- as the surgeon is pretty much somewhat of a celebrity and doesn’t have a lot of time. He was very kind and all I could do was flatly complain about everything feeling 100% the same and not running again. He said, well…during the actual surgery the Doc and I discussed 6 months. I could have hugged him. 6 months seems like a long time, but it is SO different from forever. Actually he said we would also sit down a month from now and see what the plan will be like.
I continued to be perplexed by my continued foot numbness. I definitely had signs of having had a back procedure, my piriformis was irritated all to heck, etc…but for me the only thing that mattered was that this persistent irritation be gone!
But no it was not to be. Many people have Disc surgery and wake up with 100% function and sensation. I was not to be one of them. It seems what is not told is that many more actually awaken with some improvement, and over then next 6 months to 18 months, note further improvement as a damaged nerve heals. Since I waited 3 months to have my surgery I guess it should be expected that the poor compressed nerve didn’t just you know, bounce right into proper shape and behave normally. It had been compressed for a long time, and actually by all indications, I should have actually had emergency surgery the day I went to the Emergency Department.
By Sunday (6 days after the surgery) I actually woke with the numbness somewhat decreased in my foot. This has made a huge difference in my attitude. Firstly, I have tangible benefit from the surgery. Secondly, I actually feel much more comfortable with the decreased numb sensation and increased sensation in my toes.
I’m up to walking about 3 miles a day now, divided into a session with the wonder dog….
and 2 miles on the treadmill in the evening. I’ve really been struggling with feeling isolated in the apartment despite having TONS of visitors, so I find that getting myself into the gym daily has been must….even though it’s terribly silly, since ALL I can do is walk.
Tomorrow is a big day. My Stitches are supposed to be removed!!! I’m not sure if that will increase my comfort or not, but it might mean that I can get into to the pool a bit, which would increase my options. I can’t swim, due to the twisting and torque involved with breathing while swimming. but I could get in the pool, maybe.
I admit, I have a fairly good technique…but occasionally I do over-roll and because I do open water, I do have a habit of occasionally lifting my head up to sight….which is quite different….from swimming in a pool.
It is a lot of torque, and I can see how this would be horrible for trying to heal a back situation….even if I were to only do it say 1 times per lap…by then end of a swim I’d be wow…
Best thing….We are having a cold cold front. The pool which is outdoors, is SO so unattractive right now that there is no interest at all on my end. Hopefully by the time I am cleared for swimming, the heat will have come back on in Florida. Cause right now it’s chilly chilly.
I’m feeling ok today….But hoping that in one more month that my back will feel less fragile and that I’ll be moving a lot more….
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