Thursday, November 15, 2012

First post-op checkup/Holidays are coming!

Hello all! :) How are you doing this evening? I hope you all are well. I, myself, am doing pretty good. I had my first post-op checkup today. It was just to check the incision in my back, but I walked away with good news. It only took a few minutes for the nurse to ask me a few questions and check out the incision site, which was nice, because I hate long doctor visits. LOL! My incision is still healing, but looks good. There's still some scabbing, so it's not quite 100% yet, but the nurse said that's okay. I just still can't swim or take baths (only showers), because if water were to get into the wound, it could reek havoc...which I couldn't quite understand, as wouldn't taking a shower get water into the wound too? I guess she meant soaking in water. I don't know. I don't really care, just as long as everything is looking good and healing properly, which the nurse said it was. Here's hoping it continues that way! :) I also still can't lift, push, or pull more than 5 lbs, and I can't bend or twist my back, and if I'm going to pick something up, I need to bend at the knee and keep my back straight as I reach down to pick the item up. I also still can't do any exercise except for walking, but that's fine with me, as I like going for walks. It gets me out of the apartment and into fresh air! I can't go long distances, as my left leg still gets tired pretty quickly & my back will start to ache, but short distances is just fine, so I usually just walk around the outside of my apartment building. Sometimes I'll walk over to the mailboxes, but that can even wear me out if I'm not careful (it's probably about 50 yards away). I'm just glad that I'm slowly getting better and every day I try to do a little bit more to help strengthen my leg, but not so much that I hurt myself. I know my limits! :) My next post-op checkup is scheduled for December 13th, and that will be a full workup to see how I'm coming along. Hopefully I'll be much closer to 100% then! Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

Well, here we are, only 1 week from Thanksgiving. Can you believe it!? I can't! Where did the time go!? :) I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, even though I don't really have any plans. My husband will be working, so we aren't going anywhere to celebrate it. We'll still cook a turkey and all the fixings, but I'm probably just going to spend the day at home. I'm really looking forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade too! Seeing that parade REALLY gets me into the holiday spirit (if I'm not already 100% there). I just love seeing all the different floats and balloons and all the musical acts. Hopefully they will have some good ones this year! :) Of course, that'll just be mine & my husbands' Thanksgiving. I don't know what his friends ("aka-brothers") have planned, but I do know that on Sunday, the 18th, my in-laws are having a dinner at their house that we are going to be attending. Then when we get home from that, my husband and I will set up our Christmas tree!! Yay!! I can't wait! I absolutely LOVE setting up for Christmas, as it's my favorite holiday! I even have the Christmas Cd's ready to go in my stereo, although, I've been good, and have not listened to them yet...though I'm itching to every day! ;) Hehe! My husband and I are even going to go across the street to Bradley Fair to watch them light the Christmas tree this Saturday night. There's going to be carols sung, and even free horse-drawn carriage rides, which I'm hoping to be able to take, but I don't know if it'll be possible! I guess we'll find out soon! :)

Ah yes, I love the holidays! I love the sights, sounds, and feelings of the holidays! I also seriously can not wait for our first snowfall! I keep seeing all these pictures that other people have taken of the snow around where they live, and I am so jealous! I really hope we have a good winter this year with plenty of snow! I missed that last year (we had the COLD weather, but not much snow). There's just something about looking out your window at a blanket of freshly fallen snow, making everything glisten & smell fresh & clean! :) Oh yes, please Mother Nature, bring us snow this year!!! :)

Well, I guess that's about it for now. I hope you all are having a great week so far, and have a wonderful weekend, and I will post again soon! Until next time, take care & stay safe!

Later gators,


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Post operative report

Hey everyone! :) How are y'all doing on this election day? I am doing alright. It has now been 6 days since my lumbar microdiscectomy surgery and so far, so good. I went to the hospital around 11:30am on October 31st, and after getting checked in & giving a UA, I relaxed (as much as I could) with my family (my mom, brother, and husband) in the waiting room until it was time for someone to take me back to the pre-op room. Once back there, I stripped & wore one of those oh so lovely hospital gowns & laid down on the bed while the nurse went about and got my I.V. ready. We talked about stuff while she was getting me prepared, so it kept me really relaxed and calm. After my I.V. was in and everything was done, my family came back & waited with me until my Dr came and said it was time. I said goodbye & I love you to everyone and they wheeled me into the OR. I honestly don't remember anything from seeing the operating table & the anesthesiologist saying he was gonna give me some good meds that would put me under in less than a minute, until I woke up in the recovery room. I remember waking up from a good dream and the nurse saying my name, and I vaguely remember crying a little and saying "Where's my husband?" Of course, I didn't realize I was till in the recovery room, so she had to explain that once I woke up a little bit more they would move me to my hospital room and then I'd be able to see everyone (according to my husband, I was in the recovery room for about 1 1/2 hours). Once I was more coherent they moved me to my hospital room, where with the help of the nurses I moved from the gurney onto my hospital bed. I do remember that my back ached like crazy, but my leg felt so much better, even though it & my foot still felt numb in places. Once I was hooked up to the I.V. machine and resting, my family came in & I found out how the surgery went. According to my husband (from what the Dr told him) the surgery went well, even though he took out a larger chunk of my herniated disc than he expected to (I guess it was worse than the MRI showed). I have all internal stitches and my incision was glued shut with Dermabond, so I'm lucky that there are no stitches or staples that I have to go back to get taken out! :) The rest of that day I was kinda in and out of it, but I do remember that my back hurt like hell around the incision site (to be expected) and couldn't understand why they had me laying directly on my back, but I guess because the head of the bed was able to go up and down with a touch of the button I could sit myself up and take the pressure off. I also remember every time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to call the nurse/CNA to come in and unhook me from the I.V. pump and help me up. Oh man, that first time I got up, it HURT. I had to completely turn on my side, keeping my back straight, scoot as close to the edge of the bed as I could, move my legs over the side of the bed, and push up off the bed using my arm and hands. It was definitely difficult that first time, but I eventually got the hang of it, even though it still hurt a bit every time I got up. That was also the time that I noticed that my left leg & foot still had some numbness to it, but I guess that's normal because of the fact that my nerve was compressed for such a long time.

Anyway, my hubby stayed the night at the hospital with me, and if it hadn't been for the nurse and the CNA coming in every 2-3 hours to check my vitals or give me pain meds, we both could've gotten a good nights sleep. LOL! Oh well! The next morning, around 9am the physical therapist and the occupational therapist came to visit with me, and got me up and walking around. It was definitely different walking in the hall and going a long distance (about 160 feet), but the good news was I didn't have the pain in my buttocks and leg that I did the day before! :) The physical therapist had me walk up a few steps to make sure I could do that, and after giving me some instructions for exercises to continue at home, said that I was good to go! :) As I made my way back to my room for breakfast, the nurse came in and said that I could go home any time I wanted, but I knew I had to wait for my mom and brother to show up as they were going to be my ride home (I can't climb up into the truck yet). So after eating breakfast Travis & I went for another walk around the halls and met my mom & brother, and soon after I got to go back to the room, and was able to change back into my own clothes, which I was never so happy to do so! LOL! I was discharged from the hospital on November 1st around 10:45-11:00am and I was pretty happy to go home! It was interesting walking up our flight of stairs (there's about 15) but I did it slow and steadily and got up alright! :) After saying hi to my kitties I carefully sat down on the couch next to my mom and we ended up spending the day lounging around, except for when I'd get up and walk around the apartment a little bit. Later that evening, my mom & Travis accompanied me on a walk outside, which felt wonderful! After having mainly been cooped up in my apt for a couple of months without being able to go outside for more than 2 minutes, I was so happy to get some much needed fresh air. I did get tired kind of quickly, but it was to be expected. My mom & brother went back home Friday morning, and I spent the weekend slowly working on getting stronger and going on a few more walks with the hubby. As of the time that I write this, I'm doing pretty good. I'm getting around a little bit better, my pain isn't that bad (but I do still get bad periods of hurt/achiness every now & then), and I'm moving around in the bed better. I still have quite a bit of numbness in my left foot (not so much in the leg), but I'm hoping that it'll go away soon. If it's not gone by my first checkup on the 15th, I'm definitely going to mention it to the Dr and see what he has to say about it. My incision has been itching a LOT today, so I know that means it's healing, but it's also driving me NUTS! I want to scratch it so bad! Haha! I'm still unable to lift my left leg up and do the stretch exercise that the PT was talking about, but I slowly try every day to do a little more, so I'm hoping things will keep progressing for the better! Keep your fingers crossed for me! :) I'm not able to twist, bend, push, or pull more than 5 lbs for the next 6-8 weeks so I have to be really careful in what I'm doing. I'm just looking forward to ALL my swelling going down and getting back to being able to sit in certain positions without worrying "did I do that wrong?" I'll keep y'all updated on how I'm doing and how my first checkup goes (it's just to check the incision). I hope this entry finds you all doing well, and I'll post again soon. Until next time, take care & stay safe!

Later gators!!