Saturday, November 26, 2011


Yep, I officially hit the wall this evening. Just got in from a post dinner walk of 7/10 of a mile and am forcing myself to write this post. The every four hour meds dosage seems to be working okay. Of course I woke up naturally at 1:00 a.m. this morning to take my meds...hello, brain, time to reschedule. The four hour interval was set for 2:00 a.m. Oh well, I'll get used to it soon. The sleep was good. Woke up at my normal 'work day' time of 6:00 a.m. and did a little reading, then listened to my relaxation cd and promptly fell back to sleep until 8:30 a.m. when a chorus of kitties let us know it was past feeding time. Yes, they too have an inner natural clock.

Had a light breakfast then headed downtown for a cup of decaf, something I have been depriving myself of for nearly two weeks. It's quite busy downtown as our little village is having their annual 'Light Up' festivities all day and into the night when it all culminates with throwing the switch on well over 2 million lights throughout the city and main public park. There were already gads of folks in town. Don't be surprised if you get nervous around crowds of people when you are out after back surgery. Last year I was literally terrified to go downtown, afraid of being accidently bumped or jostled by others. You also can't move out of the way as fast, so you tend to really guard yourself, making very stiff moves and tensing up all your muscles...hence that brings on more pain. This is a natural survivor reaction, but should not take over your life by any means. It will take months, yes, months, to feel 'normal' again, a time when you will loosen up a bit and be more natural in crowds. And your new 'normal' walking and movement pattern will more than likely be a bit different than that of pre-surgery.

I'm an observant person to the point where I map out the emergency exits whenever I am in a public place. Period. No exceptions. It's just something that I do. Fourteen weeks post surgery last year (February 2, 2011) I had the opportunity to attend a rare Florida concert by one of my favorite singers/pianists, Diana Krall. By this time I was totally off all meds, with only an occasional 1/2 Percocet. The three hour car ride there was fine. The hotel was topnotch. Ruth Ekherd Hall was glorious...if you aren't recovering from back surgery. Oh, the chairs were plush. The access in was well marked. However, as we sat in the middle seats, thirty rows from stage, with well near 50 other seats either side of us and no middle isle...I noticed the emergency exits. Even in the best of circumstances, no panic, no visible flames/smoke, it was sure to be a miracle to get out of there in one piece. I was still moving at a slower than normal pace and was still a bit guarded around others. Yes, I did enjoy the 90-minute concert, even though I was wondering in the back of my head why I hadn't booked a handicap seat. Never occurred to me that I would need to, as I was certainly going to be the one who held someone up during an emergency.

I did do some cross posting on the Spine Health forums, hoping to direct some folks to this blog and answering some general questions from folks who will undergo or have already undergone any type of fusion surgery. The forums are very well moderated with a lot of good information. Of course, I still suggest you take everything you read on them with some caution, as everyone is different and most of us aren't medical professionals who post on the forums.

My pain level this evening is edging up a bit. The alarm just went off for my 6:00 p.m. pain pill and I actually said out loud, "Yeah!! Pain pill time!!" Trust me folks, I need it right I will sign off, brush my teeth, do some reading and a bit of mindless television watching.

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