The last installment of the story! I thought it would be perfect to share while I’m busy busy in Charlotte, NC. I’ve gotten to see a few awesome bloggers for dinner the past few nights to keep me entertained on this work trip, and promise to update you guys on everything next week! But for now, check out:
I was equally shocked and scared at the news. How could I, at age 22, be needing back surgery.. today? I held back tears and tried to put a brave face on, but deep down I was terrified. Luckily my father was there by my side, and everything happened so quickly from that point on that it’s all a blur.
I was prepped for surgery and believe the whole procedure took about 4 hours. They went in through a small incision on my lower back, removed the inflamed part of the sciatic nerve and also part of the bone cutting into the nerve, and then sealed me back up with dissolving stitches. I was obviously completely knocked out during the surgery so don’t remember anything until I started to come out of the anesthesia.
What I do remember is screaming obscenities while I was coming back to the real world and my dad embarrassingly telling me to quit swearing while in recovery. I obviously didn’t have control of it, but I think it’s slightly amusing that my first words post surgery were profanity.
I was completely loopy on pain meds and drifted off for several hours, but then when I woke up, the pain was no longer debilitating. The site of the incision was quite sore, but it was no longer radiating down my leg and making me unable to move. It was a miracle.
Once I was awake and a bit more aware from the anesthesia wearing off, a nurse came in and led me to walk down the hall of the hospital, up and down a small flight of stairs, and then back to my room. It was the first time I was able to walk without excruciating pain in almost 2 weeks.
I was put on some physical restraints for six weeks including no twisting, no bending at the waist, and no lifting anything over 15 lbs. I also had a bandage over the site of the surgery for several days, and was on pain killers to help with the pain, but less than pre-surgery, and I quickly weaned myself off of them because at that point I was just sick of taking them!
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Within a few days, I was feeling a million times better than I was just a few short weeks before. The surgery worked wonders, and I’ve only had two flair ups of the pain since the surgery five years ago, and both were during times of extreme stress. The first was a few months later when my grandfather passed away, and I went back to a chiropractor to have the electric stimulation on my lower back and that helped a lot. The second flair up, ironically, was last week as soon as I was done moving. I think it was a combination of the heavy lifting during the move and the stress concerning my changing living situation. I just took it easy for several days after the movie and the pain subsided on its own.
Today, the only traces of that time in my life, besides the memories, are a faint scar about 1 inch tall and only a few millimeters thick on my lower back, plus the occasional flair up of back pain, but its been no where near what it was in September 2006. I try to avoid heavy lifting and also shy away from wearing heels, because both put a lot of strain on my back. For those very few limitations, I consider myself extremely lucky and am grateful that the surgery was such a success.