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Post-Op recovery & expectations
Danielle_T posted:
Hi, just joined this community in the hope someone can help me. I had a lumbar epidural April & Aug 2012 for lower back pain, 2 bulging discs and DDD. I had a third epidural on 19th June this year but was advised then that i needed surgery ASAP. I then had an L4/5 Discectomy/Facetectomy on the 10th July. I walked out of the hospital 5 days later and felt sore but ok but less than a week later I was overcome with shooting leg pain and unbearable pain on the right side of my back (pain has previously always been from the left) I was put onto liquid morphine & diazepam on top of Tramadol & cocodamol then taken back into hospital for tests but they said everything looked fine. I still couldn't walk properly so when I saw my consultant he booked me in for a 4th epidural on 14th Aug.

I am now in less pain and have started hydrotherapy and Physio, they have also given me a new Donjoy lumbar support which I cannot recommend enough but I'm still sore and still really restricted on movement. I feel like I have lost the last two months in a drug induced blur, my son and I are still living at my parents and I want to get home and get my life back. I am also facing constant comments from "friends" who say they know people who had the same op that were fine, went straight back home, were driving after 3 weeks and back at work within 4-6 weeks of surgery!

Where did I go wrong and what can I do to speed up my mobility, flexibility and recovery from here-on? When can I expect to be able to stand from a seated position which i find impossible, walk longer distances, swim & run, climb stairs without clinging to a handrail?

Can anyone recommend anything to speed me along as now I have started to reduce the medication I'm getting so frustrated.

Thanks if you read to the end of me moaning on about this I know so many other people on here have had much worse surgeries than me and it scares me that one day in the future I may have to go through this again.

Danielle_T responded:
The other thing I forgot to add, how can you stop sneezes! This is SO PAINFUL now! So much worse that before the op.
aprilrose9 responded:
Dear Danielle,

Hi! I found this site about 6 months ago, wanting a place where I could communicate with others in a similar situation and maybe pick up information which might help my chronic back pain.

I am explaining so you understand, I am not one of the monitors, nor am I in a position to give any medical advise. Some people already know I am an RN, but I worked in critical care and spine surgery was very far away from my area of professional experience. Thus, when I was injured, I made surgical choices WHICH FOR ME, made me far worse off. So, clearly I am no expert. What I can say, is all surgical patients will recover at a different rate, based on severity of injury, any anatomical differences and genetic characteristics.

I am not sure if the "friends" are insensitive or uneducated. The comments are plain silly. Medical issues are a great big grey area and are not black and white. For example, patients who have had heart attacks, have minor to major areas of heart muscle damage and some can be medicated and will fall asleep, while some are clinically unstable and need to be placed on a vent with central lines and many IV medications.

What I am trying to explain, is do not let anyone try to make you feel as though you have done anything wrong. You have done nothing wrong. Listen to your body and allow yourself to heal and recover from the surgery.

Hang on to a handrail and keep yourself safe. It is much better than taking a tumble down the stairs. The medication for pain will help you sleep, but sounds like the drugs which are central nervous system depressants are making you overly sleepy. Discuss this with the doctors office if you are having this side effect, but taking the minimum prescribed.

Also, you are not moaning, but sound frustrated and the insensitive comments are not helping your situation. People should be offering assistance and support to you. Your spine is THE most painful part of your body to have an injury and to have surgery.

Best of luck and keep us posted. Check back over the next comming days and I am sure several people will come up with ideas and suggestions for you.

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