The Spinal Surgery Recovery Road

I’m a week post L4/L5 laminectomy and decompression surgery. I’ve been home from hospital for 5 days and the road to recovery has begun. Well sort of. I really feel like I’m still in survival mode.

My Surgeon tells me we did the right thing proceeding with this surgery. My spinal cord was severely compressed and my legs are already feeling stronger and more stable than they were when standing and walking with aids.

A good early sign. The pain in my lumbar surgical site is quite another story. The pain is excruciating and I’m in for a long 3 months of healing, hopefully with no complications.

It’s still a little too early to say if the surgery has been a complete success. My Surgeon is being cautious and so am I. My body has a habit of behaving badly or surprising us with the most unexpected reactions, so we are right to be cautious.

Recovery Is A Process

One thing I have learned over the years is that recoveries can’t be hurried.  They need to respected. Time needs to be given and all precautions and post surgical instructions must be adhered to.

So from a medical theory perspective, a recovery sounds straight forward and very practical.

There is another side to the medical recovery process. It’s the personal effect major surgery has on your life, especially when you’ve had multiple surgeries over a short space of time.

The fatigue of constant pain from recoveries and often complications, seems never ending. I’m again struggling through the effects of waning General Anaesthetic and strong pain killers. Stomach pain, colostomy complications, lack of sleep plus sitting, standing, walking, bending and daily task restrictions, can really make the recovery process ahead a cumbersome time.

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Reflecting Through Recovery

Surgical recovery restrictions can give us the gift of time. We can choose to be frustrated and bitter about facing yet another recovery period, or we can choose to use the time wisely.

I’m choosing to take time to reflect, in the hope of discovering what my path for the best future possible will look like.

Reflection allows me to grieve the loss of my ability to run, to even walk normally, to shop, to go to church, to participate in life with the energy and passion I have always enjoyed.

I don’t ask why me, I don’t feel sorry for myself.

I’m tired of being in pain but I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I know others face similar or worse battles. Others journey with me.

Strength In Sharing

The strength of my online support forum members, coming together and openly sharing their stories, clinging to the fact that they are not alone, is heart warming.

I also administer an online forum for parents who have children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. The courage of these parents struggling with the decision to either medicate their young children with toxic chemotherapy drugs, or take the risk of them having such severe damage to their joints they will be crippled for life, is both inspiring and excruciating to read.

Underlying all the individual stories shared in these forums, is a determination and strength never to give up but to make the most of every day. To accept the pain for what it is while choosing to find joy in the simple things of life. To look at life as a new adventure. To fight for some kind of quality in each day.

All grieving what is lost while also looking forward to finding new ways to live, new activities to enjoy and embracing new friendships formed out of adversity.

The Next Three Months

My recovery road is going to feel long. I’m no doubt going to have moments of wondering was the surgery worth it. I had one of those today and I haven’t even left hospital yet! It’s normal to have those feelings and I know to deny them will hinder my recovery.

With Gods grace, I’m going to ensure I focus on respecting this recovery period so I have the best opportunity of living a full and precious life.

Taking time to reflect is so important and I believe it’s the most important part of the healing process. It renews strength, resolve, courage and new dreams and hopes never thought possible, can be forged.

Who knows what new adventures I may be inspired to pursue on my road to recovery.

Take care

Sam xx

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

 

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

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15 thoughts on “The Spinal Surgery Recovery Road

  1. I’m preparing for thoracic fusion next week. I had cervical fusion earlier this year and major brain surgery this year. I know it has to be done but not looking forward to it. I would like to start a blog but don’t know how. I wish you the best in your recovery time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Susan, that’s an awful lot for you to deal with. My heart goes out to you.
      There are a number of ways to start a blog. I started using a free WordPress platform. I upgraded to a personal plan last year as it removed the ads but free or personal, I was able to design the look and layout I currently use.

      This blogger has done a great job describing how to set up a free WordPress blog;
      https://startbloggingonline.com/how-to-start-a-blog-on-wordpress-com/

      Aside from setting up your writing platform the best way to start is just to write from the heart.

      If you want any help or have any specific questions please feel free to emai me at: medicalmusings@bigpond.com
      Take care, Sam xx

      Like

  2. Hi Sam, I am actually surprised to find you writing from the hospital! When I had my surgery I was not capable of coherent thoughts for a week or two 😩. Although I did find I had shopped on Amazon without recollection 😂. I was really amazed at the amount of pain medication needed to survive the day and I don’t have nearly the struggles you do. It was hard but ultimately worth it. I pray for a good outcome for you! 🙏🏻 Gentle hugs my friend! Sincerely, Marla

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Marla, I’m so glad you explained the pain you felt post surgery. I’m home as of late yesterday and my pain is the worse I’ve ever experienced. I wrote this blog at the peak of my pain meds kicking in but I’m finding the amount of meds I’m needing to take is making me really sick.
      Did you still have your original leg pain for a while during the healing process? I do, not as bad but it’s still there. We are so hoping this hasn’t all been a waste of time.
      Lots of love, Sam xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At first I had severe pain in my back and legs. I often felt faint from the pain meds or pain, not sure which. I got tired easy. I still have some residual pain but not like it was prior to surgery when I could hardly walk or sit. I am having mid back pain now (almost 3 years later) and figure I should go in to check out. I think it’s just further degeneration. As I said, it was at least a year before I felt like it was worth it. Hang in there!! Message me any time. Sincerely, Marla

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your perspective is great, Sam. Glad the surgery went well and praying the road to recovery coupled with God’s healing go well too. I like your thought about how recovery can’t be hurried. In our hurry-up culture, we apply that mindset to EVERYthing. But if we remember that hurried never equals better, I think we come out with a good end result.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To have written this after what you’ve just been through.. well, hats off to you, Sam. As always, my very, very best wishes and I do hope things are good and looking positive after the surgery, even if it’s very early days yet  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Caz. Definitely one of my toughest surgeries in terms of recovery. One week today post surgery and I have to admit…I’m struggling. Just taking one day at a time. Lots of love xx

      Liked by 1 person

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