Please read all the way through. I am doing fine.
It has now been 5 weeks since my surgery. I have experienced almost 0 back pain and I believe that the numbness in my foot and leg has been reduced from a 3 (on a 10 point scale) to about 1.5.
Over the weeks the reality of what I had done has come with a great weight. I have attached two images that were taken yesterday and these show the amount of reconstruction. By the Numbers: 9 inch incision in my back, 6 vertebrae affected, 4 spacers between the vertebrae (the lowest one to straighten out the spine), 2 10 inch rods and 14 screws! Two of the screws are in excess of 8 inches long and attach the entire unit to my pelvis.
I call the entire metal construction “The Cage” or “The Basket.” Not in a bad way of thinking but to help understand what I am feeling in my body.
- As I said, the nerve issues that I was having are reducing.
- As the healing comes along, I feel different sensations in both my left and right leg.
- I have no back pain and stopped all narcotics in about the 2nd week.
- I have a strong ache in my hips where they screwed the 8 inch screws into to anchor The Cage.
- I am experiencing significant nerve pain in the skin and muscles that were cut in order to get to the spine and are now trying to knit themselves back together. It is almost like shingles. It makes putting on a shirt difficult and sleeping can be quite difficult. The feel is like prickly fire … definitely not good.
- This week, I started taking Neurontin for this nerve pain. This has been fantastic but there are some side effects … like dizziness. But at least I can put on a shirt and sleep okay.
- Important milestones.
- I can now put on a sock on my right foot without assistance from a sock device. I am still using the device for my left foot.
- I can also wipe my bottom without having to use the special wiping device (this was a very good step).
- I am back to work about 1/2 time in Denver.
- Unfortunately, the skin/muscle nerve pain caused me to lose some work time. The good news is that my client is very very understanding.
- Instead of a cane, I am using a walking stick. I look kind of distinctive if I do say so myself.
- I still get very tired. This will come on quickly.
- My mood, for the most part, has been good. I haven’t gotten too overwhelmed by the recovery and the new limitations to my activities.
But then I was hit by a car on this Wednesday.
Now the net net of this part of my update is that I am incredibly sore but that there is no damage to my spine or to any of The Cage. Phew.