Wow, talk about naive. I had no idea I would be in this much pain after my back surgery. You all are probably thinking, "Duh. Why wouldn't you be?" Well, my "lucky" past has included a bone marrow donation, a D&C, a C-section, laparoscopy, and 2 spinal injections. I've been through a lot, and the recovery was only bad on my C-section. That was a large incision and major trauma to numerous organs, so I was expecting this procedure to be more like the laparoscopy. Wrong. It's just been a bummer of a scenario, for multiple reasons.
My surgery probably lasted from about 1:30pm to 3:30pm yesterday. I was in recovery for a little while, and then they moved me into a private room. They started me on pain meds and a liquid diet. The medication was making me very nauseated, probably because I hadn't eaten all day, so I tried to eat as much as I could when they let me transition to solid food. After that, I made the trek to the bathroom, and that was quite an ordeal. It was hard to even push myself up and get into a standing position. Then, I got pretty dizzy and nauseated walking, so I had to come right back after using the restroom. I ate a little more and let more time pass, and then decided I would try to walk again. (To be discharged, you had to be able to eat, use the restroom, and walk). I requested the nurse's help at 7:20 and she didn't come in until closer to 7:45. I guess it was a shift change or something, but that's pretty crappy response time. I was able to walk further by then, but it was very slow-going and I still felt nauseated. Even though I wasn't feeling well, I really wanted to go home because I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and Meezy needed to relieve my sister, Jo, who was watching Dutch for us. I asked if I could go ahead and be discharged. Sweet jeez. That process took forever. I don't think we got to leave until close to 10pm. When you're ready to go home, that delay feels like an eternity.
We got home and I went straight to my bed. I was beyond exhausted. I took some more pain medication and put an ice pack on my back and expected to fall asleep quickly. Wrong. I don't know if it was the medicine or what, but I could not go to sleep. I literally slept for maybe 2 hours overnight. Are you kidding me??
Today, I've been in quite a bit of pain and have no appetite. That means the medicine makes me weak and dizzy because I don't have any food in my system. I tried to walk to the bathroom, and I ended up having to stop halfway there and lay on the floor for a few minutes because I felt too dizzy to continue. Meezy brought me some food and I forced myself to eat it, just in hopes it would make the medicine not affect me so much. (Nothing like being curled up in the fetal position on your kitchen floor, force-feeding yourself a banana). So, today has been spent almost entirely on the couch, laying on my side. If I sit up straight, I get dizzy. Meezy changed the dressing on my incision site today, and I cringed the entire time. I was terrified it would be excruciating, but it ended up not hurting as badly as I thought it would. Small victories?
From here, I have to get past the surgery pain and recovery, and then see if it actually worked. Cross every digit on your body that it does, because I need my normal life back! For the next two weeks, I'm not supposed to lift anything over 5 pounds and avoid bending and twisting. (You don't realize how much you bend and twist until you're told not to). I'm also not supposed to drive until I'm off the pain meds and able to use my legs fully. For the next 6 weeks, I'm not supposed to do house work like vacuuming or mopping, and the only exercise I should do is walking. Sheisse. Here's hoping the time goes by quickly and this surgery was worth it.