Well, just 5 more days until surgery!! Pre-op appt is done and cleared for surgery. Brace fitting is done and the two-colored blue brace is just waiting (and I didn't pick the color, despite what everyone thinks LOL, it just worked out perfectly). Meet n greet w/ Dr. D (surgeon and hardware expert who will be assisting Dr. B this time around) is done. I am more at ease with the upcoming surgery, now that I know the details of what's to come.
Here's what Dr. D shared w/ me. . . .
Dr. B will be removing 3 bones in my spine that will allow for decompression and relieve the pain in my legs (which was tremendous news as that gets to be the worst by the end of the day). The side bones that stick out (don't know their names) will be shaved a bit in order to signal to my body to generate new bones. Dr. D will put rods in that will line my spine, attached to the bones with 8 BLUE titanium screws in order to stabalize the 3 level area, so that it no longer has the ability to move. Because there will be tremendous pressure in the area(just by normal living), they have to fuse the area w/ bone in order to prevent the rods/screws from breaking over time. This is done by grinding up the 3 bones that were removed and adding it to the good parts (minerals, etc) of cadaver bones until a 'putty' is formed. This will be placed in between the bones and allow for the fusion to take place.
The surgery has 3 purposes...decompression, fixation, and fusion in 3 levels (L3/L4, L4/L5, and L5/S1). Because of the invasiveness of this surgery, I will be in the hospital for 2-3 days to manage the pain and such. I will be walking before leaving the hospital. My brace is for times where I'm up and moving about. I don't have to wear it when I'm sleeping or even necessarily when I'm sitting and watching tv, per se. I need to wear it a bit more this week to get used to it...don't need to be healing from this surgery and getting used to the brace at the same time. I'm a pro at getting it on and off so that helps. I could be wearing it for 8wks, 12 wks...it all really depends on how quickly I heal. After I do heal, then i will start PT again, to recondition my body for movement. It's not used for pain management post-op this time, as it was after my first surgery. So I won't be starting that for a couple months.
I have been ok'd (by the nurse LOL) to work from home beginning 11/1 so I don't have to go too long on disability income. However, I won't be returning to the office for approximately 6 months it sounds like. I'm not gonna know anyone when I get back! That's such a long time but they want to be sure that I'm healed and ready to return to sitting for long periods of time.
After this week of appointments, I feel I'm ready for surgery (as well as I can be). Just ready for the relief that I'm praying this brings to me!
let the countdown begin.... 5....4....3....2....1......