Doing Nothing is a Skill

Doing nothing is a skill; one that I am really not so good at. I am not a very good patient while recovering from my microdiscectomy. I am not great at the art of staying in bed. I have done too much really and today I am suffering for it. To be honest I have had increased pain for a few days, having spent a lot of time outdoors on Sunday and getting up and down from the ground; I felt fine at the time, but not now! Since then, pain has crept back in and I am now left with nagging aching nerve pain down both legs but in particular my left leg. I also have some localised pain that reminds of how it felt as I came out of surgery, really internal. It also feels like it might ‘go’ again at any time and I have to remind myself that this part of my back pain, the misaligned vertebrae, that is not fixed.

I also need to remind myself that a microdiscectomy sounds like a simple surgical procedure but they did cut right down into my back to my spine, they did cut muscles, remove bone and push ligaments and my sciatic nerve away (maybe others too), and cut away the disc, leaving it ‘open’; it’s going to take time to heal! Yes! I was told this, I was told 4-6 weeks recovery, but, I felt so good in the first 10 days; I felt like the 4-6 weeks were cautionary and that I was recovering significantly faster than that! I even reduced my codeine as I didn’t need so much of it and for some of the day was managing fine with just paracetemol. I have read on some back pain specialist forums that increase in nerve pain around 2 weeks after microdiscectomy is normal as blood flows back to the nerve which has been restricted for a while; it’s also been irritated more by the surgeon, and allow for as long to recover as it was compressed for. So, I am not worried that the pain means something more sinister. I just feel rather daft for running before I could walk so to speak. I was thinking I would be ready to go for a swim on friday, I have been walking a lot and have started bending a little – I mean come on, R is doing a sterling job at looking after me, the children and trying to keep on top of our home, but he is no miracle worker and things on the floor are dangerous, and bloody annoying! – but, feel like I have taken a big step backwards so am slowing right back down again.

My advice for anyone having a microdiscectomy is – you WILL feel fabulous for the first week, you will feel like it has gone brilliantly and that means you are recovering quicker than everyone thought you would. Please slow it down, and remind yourself that your pain is not a guide right now, that reduced pain will make you think you can and therefore should be doing more. You used to be guided by your pain levels but now you have to tell yourself not to do something like picking washing up off the floor, pulling chairs out from the table. Please take it really, really slowly even if you feel ok, as a miscrodiscectomy is NOT a simple non-evasive procedure for you. It’s simple for the surgeon performing it, but it’s still major surgery for your back. You will just have to learn to read more books, watch more films, catch up on some fabulous blogs and Do Nothing!

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Lazy Days Help Back Pain Recovery.

The HallowEden Little Monster’s Ball was amazing. But my back is stiff and sore today. I have some nerve pain and am slightly stooped. R has been out helping a friend decorate their house and is then off to work. So we have watched many films, ending with the final film now on – the wonderful Arietty – to finish off our Lazy Thursday.

The pain is worth it. I stopped the nerve blocking pain for a couple of days to get rid of the foggy head. Then, yesterday afternoon after finishing work, I picked up my two Witch’s Kittens, and a Witch’s Cat, straightened my Very Own Cat Ears and so began our Halloween Road Trip.

In the howling wind and rain we drove into Deepest Darkest Cornwall eating spooky treats while the wipers swished and swashed the torrential rain away. As we drove slowly into the flooded roads of the Cornish Valley we vaguely considered turning back. But, no, it was meant to be like this surely, on Halloween?

30 minutes away from our final destination and the Biggest Witch’s Kitten started the ‘are we there yet?’ chant. And finally we arrived at The HallowEden Little Monster’s Ball. The Eden Project is an amazing sight from the hill any day of the week and our excitement rose seeing it in front of us as we walked the steep descent in the downpour toward the huge domes, following many other little witches, ghosts, cats and ghouls who had come out to wander the bios and spook people.

The youngest Witch’s Kitten had a catnap in the car and woke up grumpy, refused to walk. I left the stroller at home as it usually means pushing that and chasing the super fast kitkit. But not in the rain. He insisted on being carried for a reasonable amount of our trip, although he certainly had a whole lot of running done too.

The place was fantastic, with hanging lanterns and candles, amazing Steam Punk vampires, wizards and witches walking around, owls to stroke, bats to look at. We took a walk through the spooky pitch black rainforest with wolves howling and stumbled upon an old haunted Malaysian House, we made magic wands with Dragon Snot and Unicorn Snot and Fairy Dust. We ate Eyeball Pizza and Toffee Apples, and drank hot chocolate with marshmallow bobbing on the surface, had our faces painted and finished by listening to The Story Teller in the Wishcraft Tent, spinning amazing ghost stories – an old wizardy man with white hair and a tall wooden staff, sitting by in the most amazing grand wooden carved throne, with a couldron that started to produce white wisps of smoke when the children waved their wands. I watched the grim reaper walking through the crowds, towering, dark scary presence stopping people in their tracks, before making the slow ascent back to the car and driving back through the valley with Kittens whose gentle snores filled the car before we got out of Eden.

But, there is no better way to recover from back pain than double dose painkillers, popcorn, blankets and back to back films with my children before early nights for all.