New-Spinal Fusion Surgery
I posted only a few times but after talking (to in person friends/family/medical professionals) I went ahead with a L5-S1 PLIF on June 15th. I have to say I'm am totally surprised at the lack of pain I have in my back. About 10 days out and I'm on just tylenol during the day! I mostly struggle with "strength" issues; it's damn tiring. I'm surprised how much it takes just to sit in a chair with the brace on. Maybe 2 hours at tops. So far, I've conquered showering by myself, up/down stairs a few times a day (I have about 15 from one level to the next) and I even made it over to a friend's house (husband had to take oldest to t-ball game) so she (and some of her family) could babysit my youngest son (and me.) Boy, did it feel good to be out!
I had a small setback where I was put back in the hospital for 4 days just 5 days out of surgery. Bowel issues related to sluggish bowels from anesthesia but that has resolved. Staying in the hospital a few days gave me a chance to get my whits about, learn to do stuff (like shower, get dressed, etc.) and get totally bored. The little setback was still worth getting my back "fixed."
My wonderful friends set up a care calendar and have people dropping off meals (or catering pans full of food) each evening. I've learned to put everything at waist level so I don't bend. Most importantly, when someone asks "do you need anything?", I've learned to say "Yes!"--especially when it's just a short visit.
I'm so proud of myself for braving this surgery but I really feel I shouldn't have been that afraid. I'm limited (which is the biggest bummer in the middle of summer!) but I've accepted that (good days and bad days of that attitude). I've learned to celebrate the small stuff, like getting up this morning, walking down stairs myself, fixing a wonderful cup of coffee (hospital coffee is the worst), fixing breakfast for my kids (okay, maybe just cereal) and folding a load of laundry (in bed-it can be done without much backstrain.)
I'm hoping I'm a success story and can publish the terrific success of this experience. (I mostly read horror stories but then again, who is the first to post online but those that are disappointed.)
PS_ I would love some advice about hip pain, mostly due to laying on my side in bed at night and while resting. Any tips?