Friday, December 04, 2015

Back Surgery

Last week, on the 25th, I had surgery on my lower back—specifically between L-5 and S-1. I had been diagnosed with two herniated discs and a severely pinched nerve. During the surgery, bone was cut away and a broken piece of disc was removed to give more room for the nerve. This nerve controls the left leg and foot. My symptoms have been a strong ache and tingling on the outside edge of my leg and top of my left foot (picture along the outside seam of your jeans). I have been bothered by this since around the middle of August, and it hasn't been fun.

After being diagnosed, I had an epidural shot of cortisone in the nerve area, but it didn't take. I also did six weeks of physical therapy, and that brought no relief.

The surgery was billed as outpatient, with a possible stay overnight for observation. I think it was the word "outpatient" that made me think this was going to be a "piece of cake." Wow! Was I wrong. It has now been 9 days and I am still having some struggles. The nerve pain returned about 5 or 6 days ago and it has been very uncomfortable. You've seen the pain charts of 10 faces—10 being the worst. I have had a couple of those. Since the Dr. wants me to wean myself from the narcotics, I have tried to suffer through it, but have given in twice. This morning a second prescription was called into the pharmacy that is for a medication that is supposed to address the nerve problem. I'm praying it helps.

In the meantime, Nels is loving having me home and I have been enjoying visits from friends—those who have stopped by with meals, flowers, offers to vacuum, take out my garbage, pick up my mail—all of those things that I have not been able to do. Two individuals from work even donated 7 precious days of PTO to me (anonymously) because I had run out as of Monday this week.

That's about it right now. I have been playing Christmas carols on my stereo, but am not really in the Christmas spirit yet. Just hoping to feel better soon.

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