10 Weeks Post Op

So. I’ve slacked off with my posting, eh? I had every intention when I started this blog of posting regularly during my recovery. That hasn’t exactly worked out that way, has it? I will attempt to give an accurate account of how I felt at various times during the past 10 weeks by sorting through my Facebook updates, text messages to friends and notes from doctor appointments. I’ll just start here and work my way backwards.

Ten weeks. I can’t believe it’s been that long since I was sliced up. I still feel pretty damn terrible. I’m still using my cane to get around, but I try to make myself not use it around the house as much as possible. I’m still in pain daily, severe pain. In all honesty, it’s worse than it was before surgery. I’m on Fentanyl, Percocet, Lyrica, Cymbalta and a whole bunch of other crap daily. My incision has healed well, though it still itches and burns occasionally, and it’s still lumpy from scar tissue. Once the 28 staples were removed, I started massaging it with vitamin E oil daily, in an attempt to break up the scar tissue. The pain remains in my back, hips and legs, and my physical activity is still very limited. I am tired all the time and feel like I have no energy. I can’t sit longer than 30 minutes without feeling like my back is going to snap in half.

Emotionally, I am broken. I feel like this whole thing was pointless. I am on the verge of just giving up and giving in. I knew going into this that it would be a long recovery, but I am becoming impatient. It feels like I take one step forward and 5 steps back. There are days when I just don’t care anymore, days when I question my decision to undergo such a serious surgery. I also have good days when I can see and feel small improvements. I am definitely stronger than I was 10 weeks ago, yet there are so many things I am unable to do, things that I could do a year ago, even though it hurt. This whole thing has been an emotional roller coaster, so many ups and downs. I know I need to give my body time to heal, but some days it’s just so hard. I want my life back. I question why this happened to me, and cry about the unfairness of it all. I do know that it could always be worse. But right now, it feels like things will never be normal again, yet I refuse to accept this as my new life.

So there it is, and here I am. My next post will talk about the surgery itself, as well as the first few days following surgery. I will talk about the immediate impact surgery had on my day to day life, physical therapy, how I coped with having to ask for help and the toll this has all taken on my family and friends.

Here’s a photo of my incision as it looks today. You can see that they tried to line up my tattoo, but it didn’t exactly work out. I suppose, given the circumstances, they did the best they could. The “hole” above and to the right of the scar is from the drain that I had to have for about a week post op.


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8 thoughts on “10 Weeks Post Op

  1. dave says:


    Hope you are on the road to recovery( may be it crawling rather than running on it). Frustration is a bitch. You have my every sypathy with your situation. i am yet to have surgery for my problem but cant say im looking forward to it. I just hope it brings abit of normality back to my life. Yeah it seems unfair when you have a problem that controls your life but i guess we just have to take the pain for someone else who might not be able to handle it ;-). chin up and i hope you feel better with time. keep strong. Your not alone

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you SO MUCH for your words of encouragement! You know, that’s really a brilliant way of putting it – that we take on the pain for others who can’t handle it. I never thought about it like that. It makes sense though – I would rather live the rest of my life like this than see my friends and family suffer. Thanks for the fresh perspective!

      I hope that when you do have surgery, it is a huge success and restores some balance and a sense of normalcy to your life. I truly wish you the best of luck!

      Hey, stick around. Now that I know somebody is reading this, I might just write more! 😉

      • dave says:

        Looks like your blog is a bit more popular than you thought. Good to see it taking off. I think its good therapy for people being able to talk to others in similar situations. Its hard to believe that people understand how you feel when you suffer with pain on a daily basis(although most seem genuinly sypathetic) so to know others are going through the same helps in a weird way. By the way stubbed my toe yesterday and had a chuckle to myself didn’t even get on the scale 🙂 . Keep us up to date if you get the time. Look after yourself. See you around 😉

  2. Kevin says:

    Hi Michelle….. 🙂

    I find it funny that everyone with a new scar wants to show someone ( iwas the same)……but…..most people don’t even want to look at it! lol
    As you know, I’ve had basically the same surgery as you and I find your scar looks very bruised and sore. Hope it feels better!
    I would love to get on chat with your guys some time ….. i’ll watch for it…..
    By the way……your “stamp” , looks fine to me ! Wink! 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      I will seriously show my scar to everybody. I wear it like a badge of honor. A few weeks after I had surgery, there was a VW show in town, and a friend of mine went. Afterward, he told me that they had a VW tattoo contest, and if I had been there and entered, I would have been a shoo in. I protested, saying that my tat is all messed up and uneven now, so how could it possibly win? He said that mine had a killer story about WHY it’s all jacked up to go with it and I would have won based on that alone.

  3. Dave Young says:

    Hi Michelle

    Davey from spine health just checked out your blog, Your incision looks just like mine, I am putting on that Vitamine E skin oil also,Have not drove yet as I somtimes get spasms in back and right leg so will leave it until I have see the surgeon, Like you i was active albeit in a lot of pain pre op, But i was working regular shifts without accomodation, Got my injury @ work went through the physio/Pain management (epidural/steroid injection, burnt nerves away) before they would do the surgery 3 yrs later

    I lost 12 lbs in 4 days in hospital, seems funny now but it was not @ the time, morning after surgery they brought in the breakfast (jello) fluids, and just left it @ the bottom of bed, I could not reach it or move as I was hooked up to I/v’s catherters etc, they came back 30 mins later, not hungry took my tray and left, no wonder I lost the weight.

    Your blog is a good idea, I will check it out and add my observations, Should have gone to Cuba today, but can not sit for 4.5 hrs on a plane , My wife /daughter etc have gone so it just me and the dog. they were also going to cancel but we had family from the uk also @ the resort so I insisted they went & I will be alright

    regards Davey

    • Michelle says:

      Wow. That’s a significant amount to lose in such a short time. Of course, I would have been thrilled. I actually cried the day I was discharged because I didn’t take swelling into account, and I was upset that my jeans were so damn tight. I thought I had gained like 10 pounds in 3 days. Yeah, then I realized that my back was so puffed up it looked like a damn turtle shell, so no wonder my jeans were tight!

      Sucks that you had to miss your trip, but it’s nice that you insisted that your family go anyway. It’s ok, I’ll keep you company this weekend while they’re gone!

      • Dave Young says:

        Just me and the dog, Can get around pretty good now, and the neighbours are cutting the grass also offered to drive me to any appoinments, may have to go to dentist one of my fillings dropped out Wed (not sure if I could manage to lie down on that chair for 40 mins just yet though) We sure have spiced up spine health, lot of questions people have, but afraid to ask.

        regards Davey16

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