Re: new here, microdiscectomy next week
Welcome to the board. I'm sorry I didn't notice your post before now. Basically you can make your life a bit easier by arranging your living area so the things you use often are available to you without having to bend over or reach high overhead. For the first six weeks or so, it is important that you do not bend or twist at the waist, reach up overhead or to the side, lift anything heavier than the weight restriction your doctor should give you (often a gallon of milk or 8 pounds) and limit the amount of time you spend sitting to about 15-20 minutes at a time. Sitting puts 30% more stress on the discs than standing/walking or lying down, so it is important that you don't settle into a chair and sit there all morning.
You will want to take several small walks every day. Walking is the most important activity for you during your recovery. It is what stretches out the spinal nerves and keeps scar tissue from attaching to the nerve as it grows in. From this point of view, it is better to take frequent short walks, even if it is just around the house, rather than one or two longer walks. Try to walk on a level, flat surface.
At the top of the page (under Post a Question) there is a "stickie" note entitled "Post-surgical tips." People have listed everything under the sun they have found helpful during recovery. I suggest you read through at least some of it. Most things you will not need, especially for a microdiscectomy, but it does give you an idea of what challenges you may face post surgery.
I personally don't see the need for a special pillow. It is convenient to have a number of regular bed pillows that you can use for various support. It is often recommended that the back patient sleep on her side, and it is helpful to have a small, flat pillow to put between the knees. This helps to maintain the proper curve in the spine. If you sleep on your back, you will need something under your knees...like the wedge that they use in medical settings like MRI, etc., but you can use a regular pillow for this purpose.
You are lucky to have help for two weeks post surgery. That should get you over the worst of it. Even with a fusion people are usually able to get along after a week or two.
Please feel free to post with any questions or concerns as you move forward with this process.