as you can see my New Year’s resolutions didn’t quite work out but when do they ever. But today’s a big day for me: it’s been A YEAR since my discectomy. Already! Whoop whoop! By now I am much better at talking about it, naturally, because I am not that affected anymore.
I am not going to lie: it’s been tough. Having your back cut open, pieces of your spine sawed out and the glibbery part of your L5/S1 disc removed is a bit of a bummer. It is hard not letting time gone by whitewash the memory. But when I try to give an honest account I must admit I am better off with having decided to have surgery. And just that fact is a huge psychological improvement.
So how am I healing? I am doing okay. Not great, but okay. I feel like I could be much better by now if it weren’t for the huge setback of having hurt my knee. After surgery everyone told me to take it easy on my back and to move and lift from my knees. We even trained the ergonomics of post-surgery lifting beforehand in physcial therapy (I had a bright idea there, tbh). But my left meniscus didn’t feel like it and politely showed me the middle finger in October. In the long run it surely doesn’t matter, but it was really depressing to have hurt myself again so soon after surgery. I still sometimes feel queasy in the left knee, but most things I can handle myself with a black roll.
The funny thing about slipped discs is that it’s not the disc hurting. With me it was searing neuralgic pain down the back of my right leg whenever I moved as well as a certain numbness. At some point I couldn’t even rise to my toes on the right leg anymore, I would try and try and stare at my leg, but nothing – or not much – happened. The final decision was made by me due to mental health though. Every day I got up I had to make sure to have my MRT scans with me in case the disc slipped a tiny bit further and I’d become incontinent and had to have emergency surgery. The first thought of the day being whether I’d pee myself and so on is… less than thrilling. I had better times. Anyway. Now the inflamed nerve in my leg is healed from the spine down to half of my thigh, so I expect to be able to take full impact maybe in a year or one and a half. For now I still have numb skin on parts of the leg and while doing sports I feel the leg giving in. That means I have to make sure not to overwork my left body half by balancing out the right. It is quite the dance.
Due to the current situation (yes, the C-word) I am a bit stuck in my progress. But I can do a bit of home sports as well as running all errands via foot or bike. I even managed my first hike of about 19.5 km / 12.1 miles! So yay! Slowly but steady. I am still very aware of my back and I sometimes have bad days. Of course I do. But it is a bumpy road upwards.