Just wanted to give a bit of an update and perhaps provide some encouragement to anyone else out there who's having similar difficulty.
The short version: it gets better!
Since my original post, I am now almost 3 months post op. I returned to work part time the 2nd week in April and had a fairly difficult time of it for a couple of weeks. I had severe cramping in the left side of my left calf making it nearly impossible to sit for more a few minutes at a time. After 3 days of that, I contacted the doc & was prescribed a 5 day regimen of methylprednisolone. This helped me turn the corner. The cramping quieted way down and has allowed me to put in an average of 6 hours a day of work. I let my body tell me when it's time to call it a day and I ice down my back when I get home.
I think that is the most important lesson I've learned in all this. I'm not super woman, and I musn't push myself too hard. My body will let me know what I can and can't do and it's critical for the healing process to listen to it and obey!
At the end of April, on my 61st birthday, I walked a 5k memorial walk. This was my goal from the day I entered the hospital. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it right up to start time. At that time, I felt good so I started and told myself if I didn't make it the full 5k, it'd be ok. I made it the full 5k.
I continue to have spasms and cramping (one particularly wicked and extremely painful leg cramp in my right leg one night), but my doctor says it's normal. I've also had some sciatica, but not nearly as bad as before surgery and walking helps quiet it down.
Every day there's improvement. Yesterday I worked a full 8 hours! I listen to my body and don't try to push myself beyond what it's telling me I can do. Before surgey, I couldn't be on my feet for more than 45 minutes, had to sit frequently when trying to cook dinner and had zero energy. Now I can walk at least a mile a day, cooking is a joy again and my energy level is real good. Pain is still present, but it's healing pain and I understand now that this recovery road is a long one.
So if I have a message to ya'll out there who're experiencing what I have, it's to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Don't hesitate to call your doc with any concern you have. And have faiith that it will get better.