Well, here's the latest...
Seending Dr K on 9/6 did not bring the news I was hoping for or really ever was prepared for..another surgery! Number 3, seriously?!?! He wanted to do an exploratory surgery in the L5-S1 area and clean it out more - as there were bone spurs and such at that level due to severe degenerative disc disease. So, i agreed. If it was going to help, why not? What's another one? I know what to expect. So he went and got the nurse and came back w/ a surgery date of 9/16...what...only ten days to prepare?? Yep, that's what I had. guess it's better to get it over with than have to wait a month...plus I'd love nothing more than get everything fixed this year so I can stop putting the max in my health care spending account every year and use that money for something else...like Colts tickets :)
So I spent the next 9 days preparing work things and such. Nothing much else needed done as I had just had surgery 4 months prior. The house was still where it needed to be. I did pre op testing the day of my appt so i didn't have to come back up since surgery was so close to then...which was nice.
Surgery was to be outpatient or possibly overnight. Surgery went off without a hitch. He cleaned out bone spurs and there was a piece of disc just hanging out where it wasn't supposed to be so he removed that as well. Hopefully, that would fix the pain. The resident was trying to rush me out not even an hour after I got to my room but the nurses said I didn't have to go if I didn't feel comfortable with it...and who wants to ride in a car for 2.5 hours a few hours after surgery? Not me! So I decided it was best to stay. I couldn't extend my left leg very far when I walked (thankfully, I didn't have a spinal fluid leak as I did surgery 2 I found out and could get outta bed when I needed, praise all things holy!!).
It was hard to find meds that would help with the pain in the hospital. They tried about everything. And since I wouldn't eat (I refuse the day of surgery cuz it upsets my stomach and who wants to get sick when your back was just sliced open???), they wanted me to have whatever I could via IV since I had an empty stomach.
The resident said the pain in my left leg was from my positioning in surgery and would go away in a few days...the nerves were just inflammed - which is also typical after surgery. Now after three surgeries, I wonder why they don't administer steroids post op to stay on top of the inflammation but what do I know...
After very little sleep, I got to go home the following afternoon. Still quite a bit of pain in my left leg but otherwise it wasn't too bad. It didn't feel as thought my back muscles had been cut during this surgery so moving was less painful as in the past. Car ride home was uneventful and then began the healing.
I was to take the following week off and then begin working from home but that didn't happen as I was not able to sit in the chair or couch. All I could do was lay down. So I had the return to work moved another two weeks out. I tried those two weeks to sit more often but that didn't work out too well. I ended up working a week then going back on leave. I just couldn't sit for any length of time.
Beginning the third week, I was having numbness in my right thigh and significant pain behind my left knee. The nurse had me try a week of Advil then call back if not better. Called because it wasn't better and he started me on a steroid pack for a week - call a week later if not better. So I called again when it helped for two days but was already back before the meds were done. So the next suggestion was wait another week and see how it goes and then probably injections... lovely. Another week passed - no relief so an injection was scheduled for 10/20 at the Cleveland Clinic's Pain Management group (my dr here couldn't get me in in a reasonable timeframe). I'm used to how the dr's here do the injections, as I've been thru 11, and usually I'm in and out in less than 40 minutes. Not this time. From the time I walked in until I was back to the car was 2.5 hours! It felt like surgery w/ the beds and gowns and the look of the areas these were done in...it was crazy...IV and everything. I decided i didn't want any sedation - I've been through enough to know what to expect and I could handle it. One doctor got my thorough history and physically examined me. I hadn't had meds in over 24 hrs so I was in tears already so that didn't help. He decided that they needed to try a caudal injection, which is placed in the epidural space of the tailbone rather than the space around the above levels that I've had in all other injections.
After he was done, the regular doctor came in, Dr M, and they went over my history and he asked questions and such. He told me he could see the tension and frustration just by looking at me and agreed that something needed to be done to help. 3 surgeries and about to be 12 injections was enough.. He suggested PT but I had told him Dr K said he didn't want me doing PT after these types of surgeries. He mentioned their inpatient rehab program that included PT, psycho therapy, and all other types of therapy that might help down the road if this doesn't. at this point, I'm ready to try anything. I can't live like this forever.
After all questions and exams were done, I was taking to the room and everything else was "normal" except the shot was done lower than I had had in the past. I went to a recovery room after that for about 20 min while being monitored and such. I was in tears within probably ten minutes because my legs hurt from the injectin so bad! I thought...here we go again. Gonna be in the same misery as the other 11. It's just gonna get worse all night and I'm not gonna be able to get comfortable or sleep. Finally, the nurse came back and saw I was crying. Told her my issue and I had meds in the car and she let me get outta there! Thank goodness! The misery started to ease up about halfway home and I rested in bed the rst of the night. I felt surprisingly better than I had ever before and began to find some hope.
the next morning, I felt better than I had in days past but my right leg was more numb than it was before the injection but the back pain was better (didn't realize I had so much until i stopped taking meds for 24 hours and I realized how much pain I was still in). the positive though is the need for less meds and that has continued thru today. Having more pain on the left hip today and just frustrated!
I just don't know how much more I can take. I'm trying to work on sitting for 20 minutes at a time and it's almost more than i can handle.
I'm beyond frustrated. I'm depressed. I'm sick of sitting in the house and not being able to go and do things that everyone else can do. There are still tears often - some for pain, mostly the frustration! and to think I have three weeks before I have to go back to work and sit there 8 hours daily is scary. I have a lot of progress to make before that's going to be able to happen.
Back to Dr K for post op appt on 11/10...we'll see what he has to say. Praying I feel a lot better then than I do now.