Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Recovery continues...

I'm 6 weeks post op and here is an update.

Short story:

I am doing pretty good. My brace is off and I hope to have many of my restrictions lifted in 6 weeks.


Long story:

I turned a corner about a week ago – I no longer have the excruciating pain in my left leg; now I just have pain that I can tolerate. I saw the surgeon’s PA Monday – I still can’t have any anti-inflammatory drugs. I had the option of another pain med but what I’m using seems to be working so I chose to stay with that. I am still taking one nerve pain med and one very strong pain med. I hope to begin weaning off the strong med soon. The best news of my doctor visit was that my brace is off! I still have many restrictions but the brace is optional for a few weeks. I haven’t put it back on since I was in the doctor’s office. I don’t like it but I will use it if needed. 


We got to see my new x-rays – the screws, the rods, the donor bone, and the cage. It’s quite interesting if you can forget it’s you. 


The only exercise I can do is walk. My goal this week is 2000 steps a day. We were in Madison both Sunday and Monday and those days I had over 4000 steps each. Tuesday I was well over 2000. I’m ready to get my strength back but I’d also like to get off the meds and I don’t want to irritate the nerves anymore. So I’ll stick to 2000 steps the rest of this week. In 6 weeks, I’ll know about Physical Therapy – that will be 3 months post – op. There is a chance I won’t need it. The doctor thought I was doing very well!


My restrictions include no Bending, only light Lifting, and no Twisting. (BLT is the way it is referenced.) I’d like to begin doing squats but not yet so it’s hard to do some normal things.  I just use my grabber/reacher or call my dear husband.


I still rest a lot. I’ve put together jigsaw puzzles, read many books, played many computer games, and spend way too much time watching videos and TV. Somewhere in the middle of all of this while I was a little high on lots of drugs, I decided that I had room for a long-arm quilting setup and I ordered one! Well, technically, the machine is a mid-arm. The frame is 10’ long and I actually can find room without building onto the house! All I need to do is clean out 2 large dormer closets and one of my sewing rooms. Then rearrange things and I’ll be set. The problem is that I ordered everything during a big sale and although it was supposed to arrive in January; everything arrived November 29 and is in our living room.

Ray and I spent some time today moving things around in the closets and my studio. (Ray moved; I supervised.) Hopefully we'll finish that part tomorrow. There won’t be any cleaning out right now; we are just trying to clear space for the long-arm frame. Then we need to get things upstairs. After Christmas, I think DS2 and his 3 boys will come help us put the frame and machine together and in place. Sometime in the future, I’ll get things cleaned and the way I want them. 


I am very optimistic that this leg pain is going away (it is so much better) -  my medical team is great and I do believe them. In case you didn’t know, extensive back surgery has a long recovery time. My projected time is 3 – 6 months and I’m on track. Ten years ago my timeline was 1 – 5 years. This surgery wasn't nearly as invasive at the earlier one and I like the timeline much better! 


I can’t wait until I can squat and lift things … patience. I’ve been learning patience and practicing patience for well over a year. One would think I’d be better at it by now.


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