Monday, November 28, 2011


It's late afternoon and very grey outside. The first rain we've had in quite awhile. I was ablel to get in about one mile walking today before my right hip began to hurt. It truly seems to be a tendon related thing, as the pain is only there when I plant the foot while walking, then take the step. The pain is when the leg is in motion. As with last year, I have a different stride because of the different mechanics now in my back. People I work with actually told me last year that I was walking differently. Now I guess I'm going to have to learn a new stride all over again. That is fine with me as long as there in no pain involved.

I feel I am finally in a normal sleep pattern for right now. I do NOT nap during the day like I was doing for the first few days. My husband went back to work this morning for the first time since my surgery. I was actually a little apprehensive about that last night. Although I would like to think I am okay on my own and fully mobile...well, the first thing I did this morning was lock myself out of the house when I left for my walk. Like any good exacting person with anally retentive tendencies, we have a hidden key outside the house. Now, I won't tell you where it is, but I did have to McGyver my way to getting it up to my level, as bending is a no-no not only for now, but for the rest of my life. It took me a couple of minutes, but I did it!!! After a VERY careful shower out in our garage...yes, we live in an old home that actually has a full bath in the garage and even is air conditioned and heated...I proceeded to be 'helpful' to air out the bathroom by trying to move a low floor fan in to dry the shower enclosure. I now have a nice bruise on my right big toe where I dropped the fan that I was trying to carry with my 'fingers on a stick'. There is a reason it says they are rated for five pounds. But I persisted like a bad Monty Python sketch...and that fan got nudged and bumped all the way into the bathroom...I put 'repaint scratch on door jam in garage bath' on the honey-do list. Don't ask.
Here are the pre and post operative x-rays of my back. The first shows the L4-5 fusion from last year. The great thing is that you can see some fusion taking place in the implant disc area. The other two are the posterior and lateral view after the L5-S1 fusion hardware is in place. You can barely see the rods in the first picture, as they were PEEK (Poly Ether Ether Ketone) plastic, a medical plastic that is now a norm in fusion surgery. The latter two photos show that the PEEK rods were removed, with one solid titanium rod now running continuously through the two levels of the fusion. There's just something in my head that keeps telling me I am more solid right now with the titanium. Yeah, it's probably just me, but I do feel better about the changeover. There are folks that have had the rods/screws/hardware removed for various reasons. Of course, there is no way that can be done until a FULL fusion is achieved. I truly believe that the fusion bone will continue to grow and become stronger for the rest of your life. Do I have evidence to back that up? No, that's just me. I never plan to have this hardware caveat to that statement is this: if it is evidenced that they are causing some type of unbearable pain, then we'd have to talk. Otherwise I love being the "Bionic Woman". This will make my trip through the airport security scanners much more interesting next time.

I switched over to Vicodin (hydrocodone) 24 hours ago. No, the doctor did not suggest it, but, yes, they are prescribed to me for the back pain I was having before surgery. There seems to be a bit of a difference in consistent pain relief with the Vicodin, which I am taking every four hours, as I did the Percocet. I am still on the Robaxin (muscle relaxers) every eight hours. I do plan to slowly wean myself off the meds by early next week.

As soon as this rain lets off I'm going to hit the roads for another one mile walk with my husband. I haven't gotten on the scale yet, though I do feel I may have gained a pound or two. I do hope the doctor releases me this Friday to start the stationary bike along with the walking. I'm not so sure he'll release me for swimming yet, as the incisions are still 'angry' looking and one of the blisters we popped now has some blood in it. There is no funky smell at all and the general redness is less today. With everything going so well, I certainly don't want to risk an infection from a public pool right now.

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