Re: newbie surgery in a week help!!
Welcome back! I'm sorry you have a reason to return to the board.
First, please do not use the inversion table. It might be OK but if you have any instability in your spine it could make things much more complicated for the surgeon.
I would suggest you give up most of your exercise and stick to walking until after you have the surgery. You can walk in the water or on a flat, level surface. Now is not the time to walk steps or hills or anything, even a treadmill, with an incline.
The foot drop is a sign of severe nerve compression. I imagine the PM doctor is performing an EMG to check on the amount of damage. He will probably also do the nerve conduction study to evaluate nerve damage.
Do you live alone? If so you will want to arrange for someone to look in on you or stay with you for the first days following surgery. You will be instructed to avoid any activity that involves bending or twisting at the waist, reaching up overhead or to the side, anything jarring or shaking (no amusement park for you!) and you will be advised to limit your weight lifting to a gallon of milk or equivalent.
You may want to arrange things you use all the time so that they are convenient to get to without having to bend or reach up...counter-height is good.
Hospital beds are nice if you have the room. They are not absolutely essential. They will have you up and walking the day of the surgery and if your core is relatively strong, you should be able to reposition yourself without too many problems.
You should get some laxatives and stool softeners to have on hand after surgery. The general anesthesia and pain meds are very constipating. Stock up on juices you like and plenty of fruits and fibers. It is easier to prevent this problem as you will not want to have to strain after lumbar surgery.
If you should suddenly develop bladder or bowel problems (like incontinence) you should call the doctor immediately. This is a sign of the one lumbar problem that is considered a true medical emergency: cauda equina syndrome. It is a sign that the nerve is badly compressed and surgery is sometimes required immediately to prevent permanent nerve damage.
There is a "stickie" note near the top of the Back board first page that describes everything under the sun people have found useful post surgery. You won't need 99% of it, but I suggest you read through it anyway as it gives you some idea of what recovery will be like right after surgery.
Good luck to you, and remember to call the doctor's office ASAP if you have bladder or bowel involvement that develops suddenly between now and next Tuesday.