Back Pain with a Twist
4 years ago I eventually decided my back pain had become more than I could handle. So off to the doctors I went. An MRI later revealed 2 herniated discs and nerve compression. After a month of waiting and numerous narcotics I underwent surgery on one of the discs on which the herniated disc was shaved. I was supposed to be up and about within 4 hours and released home for rest and recuperation. Unfortunately during surgery there was a tear in the spinal membrane which rendered me totally horizontal for 4 days. After 4 days I was allowed to sit up and by the end of that day I could go home. Yes I was bored to tears!
A follow up visit with my doctor indicated I was doing well and should have no further problems although a small percentage of people, I think he said 2%, who have had this surgery will re-herniate the disc. 2 years go by and one day I climbed out of bed and nearly collapsed with pain. Yes, I had re-herniated. This time the pain was unbearable. To add to my problems my body now decided it was going to react to narcotics. After the first 2 pills, I lost leg control and sunk to the floor, but I could not deal with the pain so I had to have them. In fact the pain became so bad I ended up waiting for the new surgery in bed. I only ever left to go to the bathroom. I also had a Morphine patch to boost the pain relief. In case you don't know narcotics suppress respiration. I often felt myself not breathing and had to have my husband nudge me. He watched me while I slept, he slept while I was awake. I am sure I would have been OK but I really felt as if I would go to sleep and stop breathing; very scary!
Finally I was admitted for my new surgery. My doctor and I agreed my best coarse of action was spinal fusion. So out comes the disc, I am packed with T cells and bone graft and the 2 vertebrae are screwed together. Post surgery was tougher than before, I was on oxygen for a long time as my breathing was still being 'Random'; my belly was floppier than I care to remember until I got those muscles working again! The incision was in my back but my abs thought they were in for a holiday! After 2 weeks I was cleared to drive short distances and lift a gallon of milk.
Whilst all this was going on I had closings being handled by office staff. I did have a showing after 2 weeks, and was told yes I could drive but not to go over railway crossings. Yeah right I thought, we have train lines everywhere! I managed it. He was a new client and I was very self conscious of how wobbly I appeared. We are now great friends and they now know what I was going through. 2 years on, I am solid as a rock. The second herniated disc has probably resolved itself. The only reminder I have is the occasional twinge in my leg from the nerve damage, which I am told was one of the worst the Doctor had seen.
I thank my husband and children for helping as necessary while 'Mom' was re-couperating.
And now the tables have turned. Same surgery, same surgeon, different patient, my husband. He is scheduled to have the exact same surgery next week but for different reasons. He has a fractured vertebrae and Spondylilosis. He knows what to expect but I know the hardest thing is for him to follow doctors orders. But I am ready!
If anyone out there has had a herniated disc or spinal fusion, I would love to hear your story. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer, but I am not a Doctor. if you are in Illinois, the northern part, and want to know about a phenomenal Orthopedic Surgeon, I might share him!