I think the doctors tend to understate what you should expect. They don't want to scare you off! The picture painted on this board is pretty accurate. Everyone's different, of course, but I think the folks here have given a good description of a typical recovery, the questions we have before and after, the various problems that can come up, etc. For me, reading the post surgery tips on the sticky and the personal tips people gave me before my surgery made it about as easy as I could hope for. I was very well prepared at home, expecting to not be able to do much, if anything, for quite some time. I was mentally prepared by seeing what others had gone through with the same procedure and how it had been for them. I can't say enough times how glad I am that I found this board before my surgery! It was a God-send! I would never have been as prepared in any way if I hadn't had the input of the board. Thanks to the board, my experience has been pretty much what I expected.
Hope this helps. Yes, you're heading into something huge! But if it relieves your pain and gives you back at least some of what you've lost, it will be SO WORTH IT! Recovery is long, but you'll learn to modify what you do and still have lots of things you can enjoy, even with your limitations. You'll get through this! And we'll be here to help you as best we can!
My surgery was in September. In November when I saw the surgeon he told me I would be out of work until April 2007. At the time I was feeling guilty like I was milking it. I was feeling pretty good. I remember thinking how the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be. Then in December the pain started getting worse. Now I have pain all the time. Out of work until July but probably longer. I'm back taking the Percocet. The surgeon says everything looks great and it just takes time to heal. I research everything to death. I really went into the surgery thinking I would be healed and back to work in 3 months. Everyone is different. I always praised myself as having a high tollerence to pain. The way I look at it is that I had no choice but to have the surgery. It was not elective. You just do it and hope for the best. I hope this is not discouraging. I figured you would want the truth. Everyone is different. You will do fine. Just follow directions and time will heal.
With my daughter we asked lots and lots of questions of her dr each time we went to see him. She was pretty comfortable with what to expect. I would read the boards and tell her things that I had read from people's experiences. Later she told me that I scared her more. I just tried to make her prepared so that she knew exactly what to expect. She said her recovery was a lot better than she expected since I had prepared her for the worst. She had lots of nausea for quite some time afterwards and a reaction to the morphine. Those were about the only things her dr hadn't really prepared us for. She was able to go back to school full time about 2 1/2 months later. cas
I was very fortunate that my doctor was pretty up front with me and told me that this is no walk in the park. He told me no driving, cleaning, laundry, bending, twisting, cooking, and lifting for 12 weeks. He told me that yes this may seem extreme but he feels strongly that our job as patients is to let our body heal without any complications. Doing these things before then puts us at a higher risk of injury.
I am only 5 weeks out from surgery and honestly I don't have the strength to do these things. I am still napping, today I took a 2 hour nap today. I do homeschool my chldren and am doing 1/2 days right now - 3 to 4 hours and it drains me.
My doctor even went on to say that recovery could be up to 6 months to a year to 18 months. It all depends on how well in shape our bodies are before surgery and the condition of our nerves and muscles proir to surgery.
It is a tough surgery but each day I am getting stronger and am thankful that that presurgery pain is almost totally gone.