L4-L5 Surgery

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.

Surgery Preparations

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.

Post Surgery

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.

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