I’m sure by now you all know that I’ve had spinal fusion surgery. I was on the fence about this newer surgery called minimally invasive. But now that I’ve had it all I can say is it was the best decision of my life.
My family and friends were the ones who assured me I had nothing to lose. And I just had the best feeling once I met the surgeon face to face at the Orthopedic Laser Spine center in Jersey.
It’s hard to believe that the pressure I’ve lived with for 26 yrs is all but gone. And half of the meds I have had to take to take just to get the edge off are gone too.
I can’t believe I’ve gone from seven Fentanyl pops a day to zero. Now I know my pain is never going to be totally gone. Besides the stenosis that was crushing my nerves I also live with something called Arachnoiditis, it’s a clumping of the nerves.
This was one thing that worried other surgeons I spoke too. In fact they told me not to have this surgery. They couldn’t understand how any surgeon could do a fusion and not touch my Arachnoiditis.
Minimally invasive is the way to go with something like this. The surgeon and his team of experts took all the precautions they could so that they didn’t disturb the Arachnoiditis. This is something that surgeons who do open back surgery need to understand before they try and discourage patients.
If my surgeon asked me too I would be a spokes person for minimally invasive surgery. And that’s because he has given me part of my life back.
With Minimally invasive surgery there is no cutting through muscles or nerves. There’s no five to seven days in the hospital. No physical therapy. And all the work is done through the two small incisions.
The day after surgery my surgeon told us that it wasn’t an easy surgery. And that I was a strong and brave woman to have lived with that kind of pain for so long. Then he said something that blew my mind.
If I hadn’t had this surgery I would have lost the use of my legs within two years. The stenosis in my spine caused by the bone spurs was closing. It would have completely closed without the surgery and that’s when I would have lost my legs.
I made the right choice. And having it done in Florida surely made a huge difference too. I was able to walk outside every day. I believe the warmth was just what I needed. My husband watched me like a hawk. He was afraid I would do too much. On the fifth day after surgery I started walking up and down the street.
Everyone who see’s me tells me I’m walking taller. I’m not hunched over or limping anymore. And that’s because that pain that caused so much pressure is gone. When the stenosis closes in on your spine canal you bend forward to ease it. I didn’t realize I did that.
I was promised fifty percent less pain and I’ve got that. Sure I still have to take pain meds. But I’m weaning off of them slowly.
Minimally invasive surgery is the way of the future. Why would anyone put themselves through open back surgery?
The one on one care you get at a surgical center is the way to go. Yes there is always the chance that something could go wrong. But that can happen in the hospital too.
In fact I got an infection when I had my first surgery (three level lumbar Laminectomy) in a hospital in 1989. That infection almost killed me. In fact I wanted to die. When you are having those kinds of spasms for five weeks straight you just want it to stop.
It took another five days in the hospital to stop those horrific spasms. And another five months to walk on my own. Along with two years of Physical therapy.
These are the kinds of things you don’t forget when told you need to have another spinal surgery.
Then when you are told that a surgeon can actually do a two level spinal fusion in about three and a half hours you don’t believe it. Or that you will be leaving the surgical center that same day. But you can’t help think about the possibilities.
Was I scared? You bet I was. But I had so much faith in my surgeon that I just had to give it a try. We met him here in New Jersey two months before the surgery.
Of course I did get sick from anesthesia. Then again I always get sick after any surgery. And it was my poor husband who had to watch me all night.
I don’t remember much of the next day. And that’s because I slept the entire ride home and into the night.
When I got up the next morning I could feel that the pressure was gone.
Life is good. I got to hug my Mom when I got back to Jersey. I was so worried I would lose her while I was having surgery and recovering. We just had a nice Easter with my entire family. So all’s good on that front for now.
I’m six weeks in and I can’t wait to see how I’m going to be in five months. My hope is that I am off most of the medications I take. But then again I don’t really have a choice in this matter.
In Florida it doesn’t matter if you have a prescription from a legitimate doctor. The pharmacies are in charge of your pain. They decide who gets what pain meds. It’s horrible to think about the people in Florida who live with chronic pain. They are treated like drug addicts.
It’s one of the reasons I took the chance with this surgery.
But since I will never be out of pain completely I will have to do what other Floridians do. Yea you guessed it, Marijuana and wine, lol. When in Rome Right?
Just another reason why Marijuana needs to be made legal in every state. But that’s for another blog.
If you’re living with chronic back pain pick up the phone and call a surgeons who does minimally invasive surgery. You won’t be sorry you did. Thanks for listening.