I really thought I was in the clear from another back surgery. But today I had my second. It has been a totally different experience. I can’t say it has been good, but it has been much better than the last one.
The Need For Lumbar Back Surgery
Somehow my degenerative, bulging L4-L5 ruptured. The pain and minor foot weakness didn’t respond to conservative treatment over a four month period. After my last back episode, this was the last thing that I wanted.
But I was in a different position. I had some functionality left in my life. No, I couldn’t do anything that I enjoyed physically, but I could still get to work and do day to day chores.
Here is something I wrote on the path that got me here.
We knew that if the second injection didn’t work, surgery was a possibility. That was about a month ago. When it was time to schedule, we scheduled 2 weeks out. I was still on the third epidural, so the pain was manageable, but I had plenty of pain.
Having the time was nice so that I could prepare. I was able to get a few things I knew I wanted and there was no rush.
Morning of Surgery
My check-in was 5am for a 6:30 surgery. With a busy family, I opted to take Uber there and get picked up. This was much easier than disrupting everyone at 0430.
I was plenty nervous, but ironically the Uber driver that picked me up has picked me up two other times. It was like having a friend take me, but it didn’t matter what it was for. On top of being scared, I’m also embarrassed. It is hard to admit there is something wrong. Well, needing a back surgery is something wrong with me. Needing a second is even worse.
Check in an prep were simple. They have these neat new gowns now that hook up to heated air so I was very comfortable.
Someone also snuck in the Sponge Bob pillow case that has been passed around to who ever is in need of recovery. That was funny and I think the nurses got a kick out of it. The doctor was in on it too.
After that, they wheeled me in to the room and sedated me. I woke a few hours later.
I woke around 9:30 or so and they asked me if I needed pain medicine. I felt fine, so I said no. I slept a little more and then at 10:30 got in the car to go home. Still no pain meds and I was feeling ok. The general anesthesia was still in me, so I was partly numb and wobbly.
I felt generally good. Relief in my leg and foot was apparent too.
From the last time, we know pain could come up fast, so I started the icing and percoet routine.
Dr. Bawa called to see how I was doing and to let me know it was a very large disc fragment. I need to take it easy for a while. If there is a “bad” part of this it is that I’m in full idle mode for 6 weeks. At least the problem is fixed.