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.
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.
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.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women