Thank you for responding, Moldova. I did go to the back board before my surgery (after reading your post) and searched for info to help me out. It did help. I'm 8 days out now from my lumbar surgery (almost 7 weeks out from my acdf) and things are finally getting good. We propped our keyboard and mouse/mouse pad on boxes and tilted the computer screen up so I can check email while standing -and that's how I'm typing this now.
I was doing incredibly well when I first came out of anesthesia and for the first night and morning after (not counting the nausea and vomiting). I was in some serious pain, but it was what I expected (at the surgical site) and I was able to be somewhat mobile fairly quickly. Then, I tanked and hit an afternoon and evening of great difficulty and setbacks that were absolutely awful, sent my pain sky high and brought back the sciatic pain down both legs that I hadn't felt right after waking. I 'roller coastered' with recovery going up, down, up, down for a bit more and and now pretty certain I'm on a more even keel with it. I was discharged before I was ready to go home (w/, imo, inadequate meds) and my first 3 days at home were awful. I've done much better the past 3 days and was able to get adequate meds soon after coming home, which are a large part, I think, of why I am doing better now. Family, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors all pitching in to provide round-the-clock care and help are another large part of why I'm doing well now (and survived the hardest days at home). I'm not using my walker anymore!
) I'm slow (of course) when walking and I tire easily (rest a LOT), but I'm so excited that I'm not using my walker or cane and can stand and walk for much longer periods than I could before surgery. I still have some sciatic pain, but it hasn't 'spiked' like it did earlier in my recovery (or before surgery). My surgical site is still very sore and painful, but I think that's to be expected after only 8 days. I didn't realize my incisision would be so long and I was very upset when I first saw it (it looked 'spread open' even though it wasn't, and red, raw, ugly to me). Now, it just itches like crazy. We did rent a hospital bed at the last minute (the day I came home) after realizing our wonderful new bed was not going to work out after all (not for my immediate recovery anyway). That has been one of the best things we've done and I'm so glad we did it (even though it was costly for us). It makes things much easier for me. I use my reacher-grabber whenever I can and it feels good to be able to do some things myself b/c of having it --although, I'm taking it very easy and not 'doing' a lot. My adbdomen was quite distended still since my first surgery, when I had my 2nd, and it is now even more so, which is now painful as well as uncomfortable, but we're trying to get it under control. I'm not sure how long I will take pain meds, but I hope to move 'down' in strength in another few days or by 2 weeks. Right now I'm taking percocet, motrin, and flexerill for the pain. I'd like to bump down to vicodin or norco soon and then cut my 800mg motrin down to 400mg. I like to 'wean' myself down and do it gradually rather than cold turkey (went cold turkey last time and it was really hard on me).
Thank you, Molodova and eveyone else who has ever posted advice, tips, and encouragement as I moved toward and then through both of my spinal surgeries. I am so glad to be done with them and hope to find out that I have optimal outcomes for my situation (with each).
Take care everyone,