From people thanking me for sharing some hope to people just wanting to talk about their own worries, it’s been so lovely to be able to help in some way, as I know that preparing for surgery or suffering with chronic back pain can be very scary and feel very lonely.
I was scrolling through Facebook a couple of days ago when I noticed that it was exactly one year since my operation! How time flies when you can actually leave the house, eh.
I decided that it might be useful to post a little update about how things are one year on.
Firstly, I can walk.
This might sound an obvious thing to say but at one point I honestly didn’t think I’d ever be able to walk again.
I spent 5 agonising months unable to stand up straight, let alone walk, and after physiotherapy and various medication failed to make a difference, I started to consider this possible worst case scenario at age 23.
Within a few hours of waking up from surgery though, a miracle happened and I was able to stand up (without any sciatic pain) and walk to the toilet by myself! I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was probably the happiest moment of my life.
Over the following weeks and months, I increased my level of exercise slowly and at a pace that felt right for my own body.
Recovery was a little frustrating at times because I felt as though I wanted to run before I could walk, quite literally! But it was much easier and quicker than I had ever anticipated.
One year later and things are great.
I’m not quite the same as I was before my accident, but I’m a million miles from where I was just before my surgery.
I can lead a pretty normal life now.
I don’t take any medication for back pain because I very rarely experience any and I’ve had no sciatic pain at all; that burning radiation down my leg that troubled me for so long, now feels like nothing more than a horrible, distant nightmare.
The only time I do experience difficulty is if I have a particularly active day, but even then the pain is minimal and I just listen to my body telling me to stop.
Just following the information and guidance of your doctor will enable you to strengthen your core and protect your spine. Even now I am cautious with lifting and bending, for instance.
The fact is that the horror stories aren’t all true. I couldn’t find one success story about Lumbar Discectomy or Microdiscectomy when I needed it the most, but now I am a success story.
I can’t honestly believe how much surgery has changed my life for the better and I still stand by the fact that it was the best thing I could have ever done.