I’ve been set free!

Today I had a follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon who performed my microdiscectomy just over seven weeks ago.  (If you want to go through that process again, feel free to click here for the sordid details.)  For a frightening procedure that I was very hesitant to even accept, now that I’m on the other side, I have a totally different view.   Not that I would ever consider approaching a complete stranger who I noticed walking hunched over in the grocery store to share the wonders and benefits of the minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy, but I must say I felt slightly tempted to tell someone in the waiting room this morning.   As I scanned the group sitting in the chairs around me, waiting to see one of the neurosurgeons in the practice, I wondered what each of them was going through, and where they were in their journey through injury, chronic pain, or recovery.

I thought that if nothing else, this group would be a captive audience.   Of course, realizing that every situation is different, and surgery isn’t the best choice for everyone (not to mention humans have a lot of vertebrae that can incur issues), I resisted my urge to strike up a conversation with the guy next to me obviously filling out new patient paperwork, and tell him that maybe, just maybe this surgery was exactly what he needed.

Four short months ago, I was that newbie filling out sheet after sheet, warily peering around, wondering how I had gotten to this place (and also wondering how I was going to stand up without shrieking out in pain when they called my name).  No one likes the thought of having something wrong with them, and I am no exception.   I was despairing that I had a herniated disc, but on the other hand, the pain was at times so unbearable that I no longer cared what came next as long as it brought relief.  Thankfully,  I was not in that place of debilitating pain when we made the decision to go ahead with the surgery, though it was still fresh in my memory.

But today, as I sat there, I once again (as I have had repeatedly over the past several weeks since the recovery period of surgery passed) had the realization that I FEEL GOOD.  I FEEL GREAT!! I cannot overemphasize how much better my back feels.  It feels different in the morning, and at night after a long day.  I just do not hurt all the time anymore.  What a delightful, liberating feeling!  Every so often I am still just struck by the difference pre- and post-op in my overall well-being.   I am so incredibly thankful for such a stark transformation.   I do realize that I have been quite conservative in the weeks since the surgery, only lifting a gallon of milk or less and trying to lay off any activity that once used to set off my pain.  Todd and the kids have been so gracious to take over those chores, such as laundry, vacuuming, and floor cleaning.   I think it’s been good for those youngsters to know what goes into running a house.

I had a meeting with the surgeon and he checked my incision and asked how I was feeling.  Based on my responses and his impression of how straightforward the surgery had gone, he felt confident releasing me from his care.   Over the next six weeks, he instructed, as I feel able, I’m allowed to increase activity until I am back to all activities I had been doing before surgery (and even before that, pre-herniation).   Good news all around.

As I left the office this morning, I couldn’t help but be grateful for how everything had worked out.  But just to be safe, I am thinking I may just hold off on resuming my vacuuming and laundry duties for a wee bit longer….

Just to be safe.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Traci
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 18:28:43

    I had a similar surgery this past year, and I had to wonder: what did people do before doctors developed the ability and technology to perform this surgery? Did they live the rest of their lives shaped like a comma?!


  2. Joan Tighe
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 23:47:25

    So glad you are feeling so good! I must say you endured the pain of the past without much complaining. (At least around me)You must have gone through a lot more than I realized. Bless you for continuing to care for your family even though you were in so much pain. I’m sure Pat knows now how you must have felt.


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