Kate discusses the recovery process following her spinal fusion.
My surgery was the 20th of May and from what I remember, I went in for the surgery at 11:00 in the morning and I was out by 6:30 out of the… I was in the recovery room by 6:30 in the evening and stayed overnight for two nights. The first night was I was sleeping a lot. I was in a lot of pain, but the nurses and everybody were incredibly great with making sure that I had enough medication and everything was right.
One of my main concerns was to be able to watch American Idol that night, and then for whatever reason this season I was a big fan, and so I asked the nurses to make sure that I was awake so I’d be able to see at least just the results part. I wanted to know who won, and so they made sure I was awake. I was able to watch it. I don’t remember how much of it I retained. I think I remember the next day that Adam Lambert didn’t win, and I was a little upset about that.
So the point is that they were very sweet and just trying to make me comfortable and feel more at home. The very next day, the day after my surgery, they got me up in the morning and had me walk down the hall. So they got me right out of bed and had me doing some walking, which was great. It was a little scary. I thought I was going to break myself, but they were pretty confident and went slowly enough with me. So that was good.
And my family took me home. I remember I slept a lot the first couple of days. It was like Sunday, so I had the surgery on a Wednesday. By Sunday, I was walking around a little bit more, and my parents were great, getting me out and walking me around at least the neighborhood. I remember they took me to like a Target and like one of the outside malls, and we walked around just to get me up – it was great!
Three weeks after I had been home and recovering, I was starting to get more antsy, wanting to go back to work, and I decided on my own to go back to work about part-time, which has been I acknowledge as probably a mistake. I did actually regress a little bit in recovery because I was exerting myself a lot more, and so I went from kind of going back to work part-time.
I tried to go back up to full-time and then for the past couple of weeks I went back down to part-time. The doctors have really reinforced needing to take care of myself, and I think that’s been the big message is take care of yourself because your body is not going to heal.
I have been focusing on that a lot more in terms of I have been walking a lot more, just avoiding bending, twisting, lifting, I still can’t, I shouldn’t would be lifting anything more than five pounds, which is tough to do when you go home and you have all these things that you need to do like vacuum and clean. And so a lot of adjustments have been needed to make because of that, but they were all doable. People help out, and you just got to ask for people to help.
Overall, my recovery has been amazing. I no longer have the nerve pain. I think the only pain I am experiencing now is just the pain from the muscle pain. My muscles have not been used in three months. So I think in the next several months I will be back to doing a lot of the things I used to do, and I am really excited about that, getting into the physical therapy and being able to strengthen all these muscles, and I am very optimistic I don’t have any further problems with it. So I have been very happy with the procedure and everybody involved.
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