Well… I did it!! I made it through the discectomy procedure, and thankfully with no complications.
When I arrived, in Pre-Op, everyone was quite welcoming and friendly. However, I was told that I must remove my contacts for the surgery. :-/ This made me a bit nervous because I couldn’t identify any of the myriad doctors and nurses that were questioning me or sticking me with needles. I am quite blind without my glasses or contacts. Anything that is more that a foot from my face is a complete blur! The anxiety I had before I arrived was heightened by my temporary “blindness”.
Thankfully, when Dr. Levin arrived, he really made my experience a great one. His familiar voice was quite comforting and I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for me. With his soothing tone, he was extremely good at communicating with both me and my wife (best friend, caretaker, and so much more…) about what would be done and what to expect going forward. He was also very attentive about any concerns or questions. It was all in all a wonderful experience, as far as surgeries go. As I mentioned, I was quite nervous when I arrived, and he made me feel at ease, as did the Valium I was administered. He even signed my back (as you will see in the photo below) where the incision was to be made, just to be sure that there would be no confusion.
As I explained in my previous post on Sunday, I asked Dr. Levin if I could keep the piece of extruded disc that he will be removing, and to my dismay, he said that he will be taking it out in chunks and usually gets “sucked out” in the suction tank. :( But he actually looked disappointed for me, so I let it slide. :P
The incision was made vertically as shown below. and all of the micro surgery was done through this small opening.
After I shower today, at least 24 hours after surgery (Doctors orders), I will be taking the dressing off to reveal no stitches. Apparently they are all inside and will disolve.
The doc said that the extruded piece of disc was a lot bigger than he expected, but was able to get all of it. He was even able to reach across to the right side to remove the central bulge that I mentioned in my last post.
Immediately after surgery, Dr. Levin went out to reassure my wife that everything was OK and went smoothly. Within an hour, I was WALKING (more like shuffling) down the hall, ready to go home.
On the way home, we stopped at CVS to pickup my Meds, Vicodin and Valium, and when we finally arrived, I shuffled to the front door and couldn’t be happier to to be home!
The Doctor said that he wants me walking at least 30 minutes a day, and not to sit for longer that 30 minutes. so I keep shuffling around the house, taking very short sitting breaks when I need to. Last night was definitely a rough night of sleep for me and my poor wife. I am guessing that because of the IV drip that kept me hydrated during surgery, I was up every hour on the hour having to go pee. The transitions from lying down to standing are the hardest and most painful so far, and my unconditionally loving wife was there to help me every time. Even if I told her that I want to try myself, she stood there steadfastly, waiting to offer a helping hand.
Words cannot express the love and admiration I feel for my family, friends, co-workers, training partners, and folks who I have never met (you all know who you are, and if you’re guessing whether or not I mean you… I probably don’t) who have all been there to support me and send their positive energy and well wishes my way, so THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart.
And MOST of all, my Wife and Daughters! Without them there every step of the way, I don’t know if I could have done it. I surely wouldn’t have wanted to anyway. And the love and support that they are sure to give me in the weeks ahead, I will be sure to love them even more each day, more that i already do!
Thanks for reading! I will continue shufflin’ and hopefully soon, running, and wrestling, and Training BJJ again. not too soon though, It has felt like an eternity, but this is a new beginning and…
“You can’t rush perfection” - Unknown
See you all next post! Peace!