I had my six-week post-op appointment last week. It’s all good news, yet still a little like Punxutawney Phil told me that I have six more weeks of winter. Which isn’t fair, because he already lied this year with the promise of an early spring!
So yes, things are looking good, but I have six more weeks of healing. It’s just nice to have answers with timing to get on with my life. My intent is not to whine about how I’m feeling, but rather to update those of you who have been asking. How can I when my husband sent me this article yesterday about a Boston Marathon victim?! My heart goes out to her.
Doc says that my surgery involved one of the two biggest pieces of disks that he’s ever removed. When the surgical team got in there and moved over the nerve, the mass just popped right out. I’d like to try to figure out how to get a pic of my MRI online. When I first saw it, I was floored. I wanted to show my husband to give him an idea, but as I looked around the web for an L5/S1 herniated disk, NONE of them looked like mine! All of the others showed a slightly protuding disk. The best way to describe mine is that the disk cavity looked flattened and the majority of the disk squished out into the spinal canal.
For the next six weeks I still can’t:
- Do any heavy lifting or lots of bending. (I think I’ve been taking some of this too far, as of late. I don’t lift anything heavy, but I’ve been bending more.)
- Golf. Bye-bye summer couples golf league. He said that I can see where I’m at about 3 to 4 months post-op mark.
- Run. I can walk briskly for now. After six weeks of physical therapy, I can slowly get back into running again.
Here’s what I can do:
I can walk, swim and I think he said biking… but from experience, when I have back issues, biking makes it worse. Actually, every time my back has acted up was after I spent a lot of my workouts on the recumbent bike! So I’m just going to stay away from that.
I’ve been prescribed physical therapy for the next six weeks, three times per week. I am looking forward to this as I am anxious to have instructions and homework to increase stabilization, regain my strength and strengthen my core.
Yesterday was my first/evaluation appointment. I am told to being a walking program. It’s going to start out very basic – just tracking steps. This is the single most important exercise proven to strengthen and heal patients after back surgery. I’ve also been given a few simple daily exercises to start.
What does this mean?
It means that there are going to be some changes going on around here! I’m learning how to adapt. This list that I wrote on my birthday of things I wanted to accomplish over the coming year, will need to be revised. I won’t be able to complete the 13 Races in 2013 that I thought. I’ll need to revise that as well.
However, after the six weeks of PT and I get clearance to begin running, I’m going to start the Couch to 5k program again! Doc said that I can slowly get back into running again. So why not start here? My husband has declared that he is going to join me. I hope you will, too! I’ll actually be posting my Couch to 5k progress so those of you who many be new to running can follow along. I’m anticipating that will start at the beginning of June and that I’ll run my first post-op 5k in August. That is, if all goes well with therapy!
It’s great to have a starting point, a timeline and a plan. Not everyone gets second chances. For that, I am grateful.
Name a time in your life when you hard to start over at the beginning.