I stayed in the San Jose Kaiser for 3 days. Some of the same staff was there to take care of me again, and they were my favorite nurses! The day I was to leave, I lost all control of my right leg and fell. Lucky for me, nothing was seriously damaged. A nurse and a passerby helped pick me up and put me back into bed. Even though I fell, my prognosis was so good that I was released off of the Prednisone, which was creating "moon face" and mood swings. My beautiful teenage daughter brought me home, and laid with me in my bed for a little while. I could actually feel the spine stabilizing and I could also move around the home with less pain. The exiting and entering of my bed was much less painful even 1 day after surgery! I was able to sit at the kitchen table the day after I got home! I was told to literally do nothing except walk to my bathroom and back to bed for 3 weeks. For an active human like me, this was difficult. I was distracted by a steady stream of loved ones visiting me.
I had forgotten how many weeks it had been since the fusion surgery, and due to the medications I was on, somehow thought I was further along than I was. I walked too long outside with my husband about a week after surgery and the next morning woke up with a huge pear shaped swell at the incision site. I was told by telephone from a physician's assistant to put heat on it to improve circulation. After a week, the swelling still wasn't deflating. Then I went in to have my stitches removed. The other physician's assistant said cold compresses are for reducing swelling and hot was for stiffness. So, I was given the wrong information initially. Wow. I said that I hoped there was a conversation to be had with the initial advice. The response was a smile and silence. After all, they are in the exact same surgery unit and hold the same position...
Now, I am 4 weeks into my home healing journey. I can walk about 20 minutes around the block without a cane. I am off of all pain medications. When I went off of the heavy medications I had diarrhea for 4 days. I suppose this was the release I needed. I had constipation for days off and on since the initial pain began in May. Narcotics will do that to a person. Also for the first time in my life I had hemorrhoids. I am currently on medication for those, and being tested for a bacterial infection in my colon. When a person takes antibiotics in the IV for lengthy periods of time, usually during hospitalizations, it is easy to wipe out all of the good bacteria when killing the bad bacteria. I feel so much better all around, though. My physician's assistant said that my back and leg will never be completely without pain for the rest of my life. I will have good days and bad days. I will be able to be active again, but there is a chance the disc above the fusion will herniate later on in life. I must be mindful with my movements.
Isn't that part of our wellness goals anyway? Be mindful in words, deeds, actions, and thoughts...
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