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Old 10-15-2014, 06:32 AM   #41
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Surgery has been scheduled for November 3rd. Three weeks is an eternity when you are in pain.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:39 PM   #42
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Wish you the best of luck. I keep coming back in here to see if you've gotten better yet.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:59 PM   #43
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Best of luck next week Roger, I am sure all will go well.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #44
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Thanks. I will post results as soon as I can.

This week has been bad, pain wise. Not sure if it's actually getting worse, or I'm becoming more sensitized and/or more of a wuss. At any rate, I am now on Norco, which is the replacement for Vicodin (less Tylenol per tablet) just to sleep at night.

Looking forward to this like it's a Disney vacation.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:05 PM   #45
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Looking forward to this like it's a Disney vacation.


At least you still have your sense of humor. You'll be feeling better soon.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:50 AM   #46
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Today is the day. No food since midnight. No liquids since 7:30. Have to be there by 11:30, surgery is scheduled for 2:00PM. I'm going to be pretty hungry in another 7 hours. I hope they give me some sort of pain meds, or I'll be clawing the paint off the bed rails by then. I have been on a pretty steady diet of Norco for the past week or so.

Hopefully, this topic can be closed after one more update.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:00 AM   #47
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Good luck brother, I hope it works out for you. Back problems really are the worst. I may have permanent damage to my sciatic nerve now due to the delays at the VA.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:35 PM   #48
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Everything went according to schedule. Until surgery. What was supposed to take less than half an hour took over an hour. There was a lot more to cut away than the Doc expected.

Pain afterwards was really bad, and walking from the gurney to the bed was agony, even still partially under. I couldn't get comfortable at all, and the nurses finally gave me a second jolt of narcotics and put me out. Except for that, I didn't sleep much. ******* in the next bed insisted on watching the damn football game, and every whistle woke me up. Hospitals are noisy places, and most sleep was actually drugged exhaustion. There was even a fire drill in another wing, which they insisted on announcing over the PA. Turns out some dimwit went out a fire door for a smoke.

Left today at 11 AM, and went over to vote. I am mobile, but only as much as before. More places it hurts, although the actual sciatica is lessened. The incision area aches, because they have to push the muscles out of the way, stretching them. They are sewn back into place, and I can feel it. The surgeons expressed concern over the amount of swelling in the nerve, and said it was a matter of time before it goes down. I was told to be out at least 2 weeks, maybe more. No lifting, bending twisting.

So far, all told I think I am doing pretty well for 24 hours. I only take 1 Percocet at a time, about every 3.5-4 hours. Also on muscle relaxers, stool softeners and most of the rest of the stuff I was on. I am off one of my BP meds, and blood pressure is well down into the good numbers range (100 over 65, resting).

Once again you all lose, because bastards like me are way to hard to kill.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:43 PM   #49
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Walks are helping, and I'm up to just about a mile a day. So far, so good.

This morning, I was debating going back to work next week. But, I can't drive while taking narcotics, so I decided to not take my 7:00AM dose. Stupidly, I didn't take anything else instead. Fell back asleep.

And, woke up in horrible pain at 9:00. It was all I could do to get out of bed to get to the pain medications (Percocet) in the bathroom. Spent an hour hobbling around and moaning like a zombie. Now, 2.5 hours later, the pain is mostly gone, but I can feel that residual ache where it was the worst. I don't think I am going in next week, but I also don't know how I am going to operate at all without taking these meds.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #50
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I went through that after the surgery on my hand, when I had six metal rods sticking out through my skin. Went home the first night, chose not to take the narcotics before bed since my whole arm was still numb from the nerve block and I had no idea how bad it was going to be.

Woke up the next morning in quite literally the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was in so much agony that my girlfriend got out of bed to get me drugs and promptly fainted and collapsed on the floor just from hearing me and thinking about what I was going through.

Take the drugs. Take it easy.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:38 PM   #51
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Quote:
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Good luck brother, I hope it works out for you. Back problems really are the worst. I may have permanent damage to my sciatic nerve now due to the delays at the VA.
Aaron, luckily the nerves can heal after being compressed, all be it slowly. Looking at the MRI image it is easy to why the pre op pain can be excruciating.
In my case it took around 3 months before the strength returned to the foot and calf on my right leg. During this time there were strange sensations, pins and needles, burning etc.



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Walks are helping, and I'm up to just about a mile a day. So far, so good.
Roger, good to hear you are up and about. I found walking the best way of accelerating the healing process.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:45 PM   #52
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In the words of the surgeon, post op, healing would be "glacial but steady". He saw no permanent damage, but of course they really can't tell for sure. Mine was compressed pretty much like above. So far, no weakness or numbness, which is a good sign.

Felt good enough yesterday to spend some time in my shop. All the moving around I did was too much, and I'm paying for it today. They told me the hardest part would be to continue to take it easy even after I felt better, and now I know why.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #53
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Well, I guess this is the end of the story. Today I had my post-op consult, and they cleared me for "limited duty". Got the signed paper to prove it. The only real restriction I have is 25-30# lifting limit. She (nurse-practitioner) told me that they only expect me to be at 50-60% by this point, and I feel I'm well past that. I am supposed to go for one session of PT to learn the exercises, and then do them on my own. So, unless I do something stupid, I should be good to go.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:17 PM   #54
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Good news!!
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:04 PM   #55
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Oh, one thing I forgot. She did that reflex test where they whack you with the little rubber hammer. Very poor reflex in the right ankle; she said it may come back, maybe not. No big deal, unless it gets worse. I thought she just wasn't hitting me as hard as my doctor does it. At any rate, I'm not going to sweat it.

After 9 hours at the office, I can feel the stress on my back because of trying to maintain perfect posture. I take it as a sign I need to strengthen the core muscles.

A big thanks to everyone who offered support, advice and their own experiences. It's a huge help. Not too surprisingly, my mood has improved immensely since the past weekend. I guess I was stressing out more than I would admit to myself.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:54 PM   #56
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Don't get sappy on us ya big *****, lol.

Truthfully, I was a bit concerned about whether you would make considerable improvements after the surgery. So often they didn't go well back in the day.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:39 AM   #57
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Ugh this thread brought a couple spontaneous twinges in my spine. 2 compression fractures in my neck and 2 in my lower back from gymnastics/mountain biking.

I'm fine most days but occasionally it just says "**** you" and I can't get out of bed for a couple days.

I have to be very careful lifting flour sacks at the bakery.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:09 AM   #58
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Follow-up:

7 months after surgery, and the pain is back. Not as bad (no sharp, stabbing pains), but it's there. Little toe is aching; feels like a cramp, but it's constant. Getting worse in spite of me being ultra careful not to lift too much, do too much twisting, etc. Sleep is broken because it wakes me up.

Second surgical consult has been scheduled (6 weeks out!), and I am hoping for a better resolution this time. Three months ago things were going great. Some indications are that it's scar tissue, and it may be removed arthroscopically.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:43 AM   #59
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A customer of mine decided against traditional surgery for a spinal problem and instead went with the laser treatment and the recovery was quick and virtually painless. Traditional surgery would have involved going through the throat area and the recovery would have been weeks. The laser deal came in from the back and went through a little hole in the bone and zapped the jelly that came out of the disc and cauterized the rupture, etc. and I don't know what else. She was fine the next day.

Check into it as an alternative since the first guys didn't get it quite right. Even if they do get it right, conventional surgery has a much longer recovery time.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:54 AM   #60
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Well, after consulting with three different doctors, the game plan is to inject steroids in my back, hoping that will help the nerve to heal. Procedure is set for Monday. If that doesn't stop it, another MRI will be scheduled, and possible surgery. Doc mentioned lasers as an alternative, but the injection is first (less invasive).

In other news, my abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) is growing, which is not good. Yet another ultrasound (my 4th or 5th one?) is scheduled for the 11th of August. If their fears are confirmed, it will only be a matter of time before surgery to install a stent. Docs all seemed more concerned about a life-threatening situation than my minor pain. Go figure.
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