Recently I had the good fortune to have lower back surgery after almost three years of worsening pain. By the end of last month I was in such bad shape I could not stand in place for longer than 90 seconds without sitting down, and could not walk more than 100 feet without gasping and wincing and grunting as lightning bolts of pain shot down my right leg.
What I had was a compromised sciatic nerve that was being pinched and prodded by a double whammy of a bulging disc and bone spurs. Technically speaking, my surgery was a laminectomy and discectomy of the L5S1 area of the spine. In layperson’s terms, Dr. Daniel Park of Michigan Orthopedic Surgeons opened me up, carved the disc and removed the bone spurs, creating a wider opening through which the nerve can pass.
The photo attached to this blog is me sitting upright at the CarrBar in my home a mere three hours after they put me under. And although the photo might not seem astonishing, I had been told I might be in bed for days in considerable pain. I was prescribed powerful pills in the Vicodin/Oxycodone realm. As it turned out I came out of the procedure as one of those patients some would call an outlier and others might call a miracle. Almost all my pain meds are still in their little orange bottles. I would later learn another gentleman who had the same surgery as me on the same day was bedridden and in considerable pain. I personally know at least two friends who went through recuperation hell and missed weeks of work. I myself had been cleared by my doctor and WDIV to be on medical leave until almost Thanksgiving.
But, as it turned out, I’m relieved to say I took it easy for one week and returned to Local 4 this past Monday, mostly pain free. I say mostly because I do have some residual leg pain from that sciatic nerve which, although free of its constrictions, is still, well, angry. It hasn’t simmered down yet. Only time will heal it to the point it is once again normal.
It has been a journey, I’ll tell you. I tried everything short of surgery; a lot of money, time and pain. Looking back (pun) I should have gone under the knife three years ago. That’s the difference it has made in my day-to-day quality of life. Not to mention I would have spared my co-workers all my audible moans and tics I had developed to cope with the pain.
Anyway, good to be back (pun again) and thanks for watching!
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