My Spinal Fusion Rehab – Week 1 – Week 5

My spinal fusion rehab from week 1 to week 5.

Oh, what a horrific time this was!

And, when I say that my fusion rehab during the time of Week 1 to Week 5 was horrific. Let me clear about what I mean by “horrific.” I mean…HORRIFIC!

Excruciating logrolling out of bed

I was so very out of it! And, in such horrific pain! Rolling over in bed—logrolling it’s called—was excruciating!

Two week evaluation at spine surgeon

On Day 14, Mother drove me to Dr. Cortez’s office for my two week evaluation. I was so affected by misery and the Oxycodone pain pills that I was in a mental fog of semi-oblivion. The truth is I barely even remember this appointment. To this day, I have the faintest memory of this two week appointment.

I know they did a quick X-Ray and Dr. Cortez told me that I was doing fine.

Lying in bed the first 5 weeks

So, from this point through Week 5 was just horrible. I was lying around in bed watching entire seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix. I watched the entire seasons of a few other things on Netflix. I think I rewatched some Walking Dead seasons maybe.

I was binge-watching TV and taking my Oxycodon pain killers as prescribed.

As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the prospect of addiction really scares me. But, the truth is I legitimately needed those pills. And, I didn’t abuse them. Maybe just a little. But, there’s a fine line sometimes when you’re not sure if maybe taking one would be a good idea even though at the moment the pain’s not killing…but, you know quite well that it will be in a bit, so might as well stay ahead of it!

So, as you can see it can be a slippery slope. And, I’m purposefully adding this information as a cautionary warning that you must be careful not to abuse these powerful medications. But, the pills were needed. The pain was so damn real, and it just wasn’t going away! It was constant, intense pain for weeks on end.

That’s something I think I would have liked to prepare my mind for better. I don’t know. Maybe you can’t prepare for it…

Let me tell you something: just getting out of bed and getting into the bathroom to urinate was simply…an enormous and painful undertaking!

Forced myself to go walking every day

Once a day, every day, I forced myself to go for a walk through the neighborhood. What a painful, visual spectacle that was as I limped through the summer sun with my sunglasses on.

I think my speed of travel was about 1 mile-a-day at that point.

But, the words never stopped echoing through my brain that if you don’t walk and move after the fusion surgery, you’re going to have huge problems. That motivates me to this day! That will always motivate me!

Day 26 – back to the hospital

On Day 26, I had to go back to the hospital again.

Basically, I had been constipated, and I just couldn’t defecate. And, my stomach was in such a painful turmoil. My guts were aching. Truth is, I was pretty worried.

While back at the hospital, they said something about an organ possibly getting nicked during the fusion and were gearing up to do an additional surgery that would have been completely 100% unnecessary. Thank God they were obligated/forced to first call Dr. Cortez and he told them, “Hell no!”

Watch out for this. Watch out for constipation.

You see, what I now know that I didn’t know then is that constipation is extremely common after this type of surgery: particularly when taking an opium-based painkiller like the Oxycodone.

Like an idiot, I was scrounging around trying to find something to eat. This is another idiotic mistake on my part displaying a lack of preparation. And, I ended up eating bunch of carrots. SO STUPID!

So, mother drove me back to the hospital. Every bump the car passed over was an agony!

I stayed in the hospital for two nights. My bowels were working again. I thanked God for that! Literally! Repeatedly! Oh, how humbling the whole thing is!

Continue reading what my rehab was like during weeks 5 – 8