Sure enough, I was right, so was my GP. The scans showed a major bulge again in the same disc. Id just about managed 3 years without having to be in the hospital again, but my luck had run out. I was scheduled in for another back operation in May 2014. Same procedure, same hospital, same gown, same nurses, lets hope for a better outcome. The day arrived, and although I was about to have major surgery, I was ok. I guess knowing what was about to come was a little better, I knew what would happen before, and I knew what would happen and what i’d need to do after. This time I had a different surgeon, and for some reason, I had every faith he would fix me, I trusted him to do it right and not let it fail this time.
Surgery done, back in the room, and same process as before, remember to keep your feet moving, wiggle the toes, do your exercises. But this time I was able to go to sleep at night with no blood pressure cuff on – BLISS!!! I was also told that I could sleep on my side! You’ve no idea what a difference those 2 things made to me this time. I could also get up and go to the toilet un-aided (apart from the first time). I felt so different, I almost felt human, and dare I say it normal. On the Sunday the physio lady came round to see me – this was my test again, walk and go up the stairs before I could be discharged. I did it! And just to prove how much better I felt I walked up and down the steps 3 times, although that was pushing my luck somewhat – but I didn’t care, I did it! I felt great, obviously I knew and felt like i’d just had back surgery for the second time, but this time I felt amazing!
The Dr came round to see me and see how things were and he wanted me to stay in another night – determined I was going home, I said no thanks. 3 days after surgery sitting with my GP, I now understand why he wanted me to stay. I didn’t just have 1 major surgery, I had 2 major operations at once. While he was in there he removed my facet joint, which was badly trapping nerves – ah ha – so that would explain why this pain is different this time round!!!
I was off work till the end of the year, as this time round I was going to have a longer road to recover – so I had 6 months to get myself fit and get back to work. Those 6 months were not easy at all, this time round I felt worse with the pain, the pain was constant and harder to deal with, always there but nagging away at me, like a little devil on my shoulder, but I had to remember that i’d had 2 operations, he’d opened the original scar and it was going to take time – but seriously, this amount of time – it was driving me insane!
Having my review was a good chance to ask what was going on. I was reassured that the operation was a success, he was happy with every thing and that it was going to just take time to recover, and not to worry. He was however concerned by the amount of pain I was still having, but put that down to my back trying to heal itself. In the same consultation, I was told that he had never seen such a degenerated spine in such a young person, he got a shock at the state of my spine. Now he had seen the scans, but actually seeing it is a different story, and I guess I took comfort in knowing that he was on my side, that none of this was “in my head”, it was real, and it was there, make no mistake.
We arranged another appointment for January 2015 and see how well I was getting on and what the next steps would be. If I still had the pain, there was a possibility of other treatments, but he wanted me to recover first before he did anything else.
“Great. Lets go home and recover and do everything right, and by the time I see him in January ill be so much better”……
How wrong could I have been…….