Friday, 8 April 2016

Almost back to the Land of the Living

Phew! Glad that's over (see previous post for a catch up). According to the doc, the surgery was successful and the herniation sitting on my sciatic nerve was "large". I kept telling everyone the pain was getting worse by the day, and it looks like it had indeed grown since the MRI 6 weeks before.

They put me out completely, which I thought was a bit excessive for a one hour surgery. I mean I've had two C-sections where they cut you wide open and don't feel the need to knock you out. My mother had an entire hip replacement done under a "twilight" drug, where she could hear "banging" (argh) but didn't really care what was going on. However, there was reason for their excess as I found out after the surgery.

Woke up with very blurry vision and a feeling of not being able to swallow. The vision thing occurs because they put a vaseline like goop on your eyes. Apparently when under a general anesthesia your protective responses (blinking) stop and therefore your corneas can dry out. They also tape your eyes shut, to keep the goop in and presumably protect the eyes from any infection. I can't imagine many "awake" patients being happy with that no matter how much of a relaxing medical cocktail they'd had. They didn't tell me about it until I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and saw my two black eyes. Four days later, I still look a bit like Uncle Fester!

The sore throat was because they'd stuck a tube down there; another good reason to knock me out completely.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a bad reaction to the pain meds (containing far too much codeine for me) and for the first 24 hours, threw up every time I moved. Since I'd had to fast from Sunday, this wasn't so much throwing up as dry heaving over a bucket (not allowed to bend over the loo) and wishing I could just lie on a cold tile floor and die. Since they had pumped at least two bags of re-hydrating stuff through me post op, I had to get up to pee on a two hourly basis through the night, which also meant taking said bucket with me. The Ball & Chain could be heard shuffling around outside the bathroom such is his aversion to all things vomit-y.

Fortunately after 24 hours I decided I'd had enough of feeling so bad, and called the doc who agreed that I could stop taking the codeine and just try regular over-the-counter pain meds. I can't say they're great but at least I can walk around without the bucket.

It's now my fourth day at home and I can see the proverbial light. The incision site pain is lessening, as long as I remember not to sit too far back on a chair; and it's temporary! I changed my own dressing this morning, which was a bit of a challenge and involved two mirrors as I'm not allowed to twist. All looks good and un-infected.

And - and - and - the sciatic pain is gone! 

Now all I need is a great big bowel movement and I'll be good to go! 


  1. So glad to hear the worst is past. Sending love and healing thoughts.

  2. Yay!!!!!!!! So glad that you are home again and that all things considered it went well! xx

  3. So pleased for you. Now that its all over, you can concentrate on getting stronger & pain will be a thing of the past.
    Maggie x

  4. YAY!!!! Pain free and on the road to mending - what wonderful news!

  5. Bad news, good news, bad news, good news... :-) I'm glad you stopped there! Sounds like you're going to heal up beautifully and feel just grand.

    For the last concern, think back to childbirth and get yourself a stool softener. Straining could be quite uncomfortable. I know, icky topic.

  6. Hurrah! As a fellow sciatic pain and disc sufferer, I am thrilled to hear your good news! As far as putting you out goes - I had a procedure a few years ago that (to my mind) was fairly minor and certainly didn't require my being put out so completely. My surgeon explained that, when you are under 'twilight sleep' or even some of the stronger similar drugs, the patient is still capable of moving about on their own. "You see," she explained, 'There are some surgeries where it's OK if the patient wiggles a little bit. But there are some surgeries - no matter how minor - where you *really* don't want them to wiggle at all. Your surgery is one of the no-wiggle sorts." I would imagine the fiddling about with your spine fell into the 'no-wiggle' category. as well ; ) Glad to hear you're on the mend and hope all the machinery will be running smoothly very soon! x

  7. Glad to hear it went as hoped, apart from the vomiting. I wish you a good poo. ;-)

  8. So glad it went well - and I hope last night's pain in youf leg was a temporary thing!

  9. I really hope you're on the mend now! What a thing to go through. You deserve a really good holiday sometime soon....

  10. Glad you're on the road to recovery.


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