2-Month Recovery Update

It’s been two months since the fusion surgery on my lower back. Two weeks ago, I went back to work on reduced hours, and Monday I progressed back to my normal 8-hours. The issues with short term disability worked out in my favor only because I dogged them. I have such a tremendous boss, which meant I was able to work two hours, clock out, and then back in for the last two. Even with that, the first week back really kicked my butt! The second week I was able to do the full 4-hours. This week, about mid-way into an 8-hour workday, I find I need to lay down on ice/heat for an hour. Still, even with that break, by the end of the day, I am exhausted. What I notice is that the surgical pain has all but gone on the upper half of the area with just some slight tenderness along the incision. The lower half? Well, there are still days when I’m pushing a 5 out of 10 on the pain level—especially after progressing to an 8-hour workday. I think it’s going to be several weeks before I can do more than 8-hours. I’m hopeful by the time the weather is warmer, I’ll be back to my typical four 9-hour days, which leaves a 4-hour day on Friday and that makes me feel like a 3-day weekend every week.

I’m out of the hard-shell brace except for travel or if leaving the house and the ground is slippery (it’s still March here). I’m working on some light physical therapy that is geared towards strengthening my core, increasing flexibility in my legs, and squats—since bending over at the waist is to be no more. I just know I will have rock hard thighs and buns of steel with all the squats I’ll be doing. Most days I need a nap and days where I have very little appetite. I was given the OK to start taking a weekly sauna again and although it will take some time before my tolerance is built back up to where it was before, it’s been heavenly.

After being in the house for nearly 2-months, I have cabin fever. BADLY! The only times I was allowed to leave the house was for appointments. I can go outside, however, I can only go on the deck until the snow is gone due to a fall hazard. Happily, the weekend before I progressed back to full-time, I had an out-of-town conference. I must be honest; the 4-hour drive wasn’t the most comfortable. I stopped four times on the way due to leg pain. The drive back was much better as I only had to stop once. I think having a lovely quiet room to myself and the ability to do lots of walking, not only brightened my mood considerable but also helped with the physical stiffness from the drive. It helped that I was able to walk outside since the snow was completely gone in the city where the conference was. Of course, the little gelato shop I found within a block of the hotel helped too. Happily, when I got home, more snow had melted and the paths to the chicken coop, shed, and burn barrel were clear. Once my truck was off-loaded (thanks to Shawn), I popped on my Sorrels and went outside to visit the chickens and burn the junk mail and paper that had been accumulating since January. Two days of being outside and now we have freezing rain for the next 2-days, so I’m sequestered to the house again. UGH! I can’t wait until I can start walking outside every day, though I’m certain I won’t be doing any speed walking anytime soon.

Avie Layne 2012