Here I am again, after collapsing into a heap last night after that first trip out in the car. Maybe that's what you need to help you sleep? :cool:
Well, it looks like you're not running a fever, which is good. I'm guessing it's a withdrawal symptom. As I mentioned, I'm constantly changing the temperature on the air conditioner from warmer to colder to fan only to off. Come to think of it, there are times when I'm suddenly very cold and there's no clear reason why. My AC displays the current room temperature and yeah...suddenly I'm freezing and bundling under quilts. Wonder if it's just a reaction from the surgery and anesthesia? Not a Vicodin withdrawal symptom for me, since I'm still taking it. Hmmm... Since I still have a nurse coming twice/week because of the incision thing, and she takes my vitals every time she comes, I know there's no problem lurking. She's coming today, I think I'll ask her about this being cold stuff. My nurse specifically works on my doctor's patients so she's pretty much an expert on fusion recovery.
I both envy your being able to remove your brace, and the type of brace you have. Mine is a clamshell brace. I look like a turtle rather then a clam. It's an absolute joy to sleep in.
I will see my doctor on Friday for my first post-op and I will perhaps get permission to remove it to shower. This should have been last Friday but my doctor managed to break both his leg and ankle and has thus far required 4 surgeries. True to his nature, he was seeing patients at the office yesterday. It's gonna be real hard to complain about my back when I see him with his foot raised, on IV antibiotics, seeing patients. "Here sir, please fill out these Short Term Disability papers to keep me out to the end of the month." Oh yeah...
Anyway...get thyself a grabber! They can be found at some decent drug stores in the area of the store that sells walkers and stuff. They work beautifully and will relieve your knees from overuse and ultimately will be better for your back since you won't be tempted to bend a bit to give your knees a break. They're also really nifty for putting on pants without bending or asking for help. I have 2 grabbers and keep them at opposite ends of the house. Just about the only time I deep knee bend is when I'm in the middle of the house and just don't want to walk to an end for a grabber, or it's the sort of thing a grabber doesn't work well for - like pushing a button on the DVD player.
Yes, I understand what you mean about Ambien. As you can see, it didn't keep me asleep all night either. You're probably right, lack of activity is most likely a part of why you can't sleep all night and Vicodin withdrawal is possibly adding to it. You may have no choice but to put up with the grogginess from Tylenol PM and plan your morning accordingly (since you have no place to go yet.)
But Kraigster, for the most part it sounds like you're recovering very very well!
I am too, except for this continuing problem with the last 2 inches of my incision. I am now on my second course of antibiotics to make sure it doesn't infect while it's trying to heal. This is all so sad, because the other 10 inches of my incision healed beautifully (or so I'm told, hard to see.)