What it feels like to need a diskectomy

I want to tell this story in chronological order, but let's back up a bit, shall we? Every time I visit my neurosurgeon's office, they ask me to fill out a "pain scale" document, rating how hard it is to do a list of normal things (like bathing, doing household chores, having a social life, etc) and they always ask if I've had any issues with my bowel or bladder function.

The last post I wrote was Thursday night. I actually worked from home that day after going home from work in so much pain Wednesday that I couldn't even walk across the street to the pharmacy to get more pain meds that my neurosurg called in. The hubs drove to my office Thursday, picked up my laptop so I could work and the pain meds. I probably took 10-12 pills that day. I was averaging about 3-5 for many weeks prior.

Friday morning, I could barely move the pain was so intense. If I tried to stand up, the pain shot down my legs and crumpled me to the ground. Even crawling, my go-to if the pain was bad, was pretty awful. I remember that I did go to the bathroom and made it to the couch somehow. I was attempting to work from my phone, but not doing much. About 10:30, I felt the need to pee, so I crawled to the toilet but could not get anything to come. It was unbelievable pain to sit there, so I thought maybe it was just too painful to pee. I laid down and petted the dog for a bit before trying again. Nothing.

Call the neurosurgeon's office, bawling. Attempt to tell the story.

Not 10 seconds later, the guy calls me back himself. Usually it's his nurse. He says I know this isn't our plan, but I need you to get to the hospital right away. We are going to operate today.

(I found out later that he was actually supposed to leave town, and stayed for me. He even came to see me the next morning to see how I was doing. Talk about patient care. I also found out that if surgery is performed within 24 hours, the bowel/bladder function can usually return to normal.)

The hubs carried me to the car after taking our child to the neighbor. Thank the lord she was home and able to take him! We get there around noon and I have surgery at 2pm. I don't really remember much of that day, but I'm so glad it's over.

The next morning when they took out my catheter, I peed on my own! I was so nervous that I'd have to use a bag, even if temporarily.

I had pain-free legs the night after surgery. The hardest part was learning to stand on them again. It was the strangest sensation to stand up and NOT feel pain. Walking needs improvement too. I'm still leaning a little crooked from doing it for so long. 

I'm happy to say that today (four days later), I only took half of a pain pill, and that was to ride in the car. I will be so glad to never see those things again. 

My scar is a little bigger than it was last time, maybe three inches instead of just one, but I'd do it all again. I'm still really sore back there, and stiff when I first stand up. I can't bend forward or do anything that involves using back muscles. Imagine when you brush your teeth and you lean forward to spit - yeah, I can't do that just yet. I know this will get better as time passes so it doesn't bother me. My biggest issue now is the constipation, but I can save that for a post all it's own. ;)

On the bright side, I'm getting a nice long Christmas break with my boys out of the deal.

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