2-Weeks Post Surgical Check-In

Surgery was 2-weeks ago. In some ways, I think, “2-weeks already?” yet—the days have drug by. An endless succession of position changes, small meals (to counter the lack of appetite), medication for pain, broken sleep both day and night, and wishing the healing would occur faster. Watching movies that I’ve seen before because of the inability to concentrate. Even reading a book at this stage is pointless. Part of the scrambled brain issue is due to broken sleep. This is night seven of the ‘middle of the night, severe nerve pain (left leg), that is waking me up and keeping me awake. Earlier in the week, I reached out to my surgeon. We discussed that this can be a normal occurrence, due to nerves regenerating and inflammation from the surgery still compressing some of the nerves. My provider and I decided to try tripling the medication (Gabapentin) for nerve pain. It takes a few days to a week for it to kick in, which is why I’m sitting at my MAC again at 1:00 am. Position changes, walking, and a middle of the night shower seem to work the best. I’ve been assured this sudden appearance of increase nerve pain is completely normal. Some of the pain can be attributed to regeneration of the nerves affected by the spinal stenosis, while others are simply due to the swelling and inflammation from the surgery itself. After all, there was a lot of work done in that 9” incision along my spine. How long it lasts? Will is gradually disappear or BAM be gone in a flash? Nobody knows.

However, I am noting small improvements as the days go by. Though I am still using the “Cadillac” style walker (thanks Mom), I am now able to help with dishes, keep the counters clean, and fold light pieces of laundry. I have also figured out just what one can do with a good long handled grabber. For example, feeding Kitzi his wet cat food twice a day. I’ve also been able to assist with making dinner. When I’m having an emotional moment (I’ve cried more in the last 2-weeks than I have in 2-years), Shawn reminds me that I’m doing great and that I’m on the road to recovery. He tells me that he sees improvement every day. Getting out of bed and moving around is easier than it was 1-week ago. He also reminds me of the activities I have to look forward to this summer. Hiking, gardening, and perhaps even out on my bike.

Finally, after 2-weeks my appetite has returned. However, how I eat resembles more like a toddler than a grown woman. The combination of the brace (aka corset) and lack of eating means I get full very quickly-- ˝ slice of pizza or ˝ burger with ˝ cup of salad fills me up. To counter this, I’ve adopted a small, frequent meals and snacks plan. Losing weight while healing from a major surgery, is NOT the way to go. I still start each day with a protein shake or Ensure. My typical breakfast has been 1-2 small pieces of sourdough toast with almond butter (need that protein for healing) and fruit. The other odd thing that happened after surgery, was that I lost my taste for coffee. I had one cup the day after surgery to stave off the dreaded caffeine headache. It worked but I didn’t enjoy it like I normally would, so I switched to tea. I attributed the off taste due to the thrush infection I had in my mouth arising from several factors. This week, since the thrush is gone, I tried a cup of my own coffee, NOT hospital coffee, thinking perhaps a better quality would taste better. I couldn’t finish the cup. Perhaps what I was missing was frothed milk—mmm maybe tomorrow.

My trusy walker and grabbing handle.

My typical healthy breakfast

My excitement for this week? I get the 32 staples along my incision line removed on Wednesday!

© Avie Layne 2012