Wow @Mr.Toast thanks for sharing your experience and thanks to all for the well-wishes, everyone. It occurred to me today reading Mr.Toast's epic post that I haven't told everyone how things are going. So here goes!
The operation on my spine was very successful. In fact, I'm tentatively going to say that my back feels better now than it has in about 20 years. It kind of kills me a little bit to think about how long I've been suffering, and how this one procedure - albeit non-trivial - may have just fixed things in a single stroke. I would like to hope so!
You may recall that what sent me to the doc in the first place was my left leg being in total agony. And that was because (I learned) the hemorrhaged disc was pressing solidly into my nerves that run down my back and into my left leg all the way down to my big left toe.
We're going on 1.5 weeks since my operation and honestly my only issue right now isn't with my back (I mean, sure - it's still a little sore back there but nothing I can't manage). I honestly forget about it most of the time. I get the stitches out on Friday of this week.
But I am reminded about my left leg every dang day at about 4 AM when chemicals in my bloodstream dissipate. It's really hard to describe how it feels, but it's sort of like if you were sitting crosslegged on a hardwood floor for, let's say, an hour. Then suddenly you decided to uncross your legs and stand up. Your legs will sort of ache and your foot might even be numb and/or be totally asleep.
That's what it is.
Mainly behind my knee area at the back of my leg, and down my left calf (back between the bone and muscle where you can't reach with massage or anything) it'll just ache. No matter how you move around repositioning doesn't make a difference.
When I left the doctor 1.5 weeks ago I was given a pile of pills to pick up from the Rx. There was one for nerve pain, one for muscle relaxers, Tylenol (aka placebos!) and a narcotic, which is addictive.
In the past few days I've tried to mix and match everything - minus the narcotic - to see if I could make that pain go away. None of them work.
Only the "scary" pill makes it go away. And while it says you can take up to 3 a day, I can get by with only taking one in the morning and not needing to take anymore all day long. I tried taking one right before bed, but at 4AM or thereabouts, it would wear off anyway and that pain would come back. It's nothing like what I was dealing with pre-operation, but it's there. There seems to be something about not moving around for a while that exacerbates the issue. I dunno.
So, I need to try and hope that ultimately it will ebb and fade away. If it does? Shoot - I think I'll feel like a 30 year old again! If the doc later this week suggests physical therapy, they'll get a massive eye-roll from me.
I run out on Thursday. I see them on Friday.
Fingers crossed I get that last bit figured out and can stop thinking about this stupid stuff for many years to come! I'm kinda tired of it all.