Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pre-Surgery Stuff

My back surgery (lumbar laminectomy) isn't until the 29th but I had to go do all the pre-surgery stuff today. Mostly signing papers, but they also did lab work, x-rays and ekg on me. I still have to go to my family doctor to get his release for the surgery but that's next week.

I also learned a little more of what to expect after the surgery. Of course this is all based on the fact that it will be an uneventful, successful surgery.

The surgery will take about 2 1/2 hours. Then I will remain in a recovery room for at least one night, maybe two. They want me up and walking ASAP and certainly by the time I'm discharged the following day. Then I'm to progress my walking to as much as 3 miles a day within six weeks. I am "strongly discouraged from riding in a car for 4 weeks, except when absolutely necessary." I cannot "lounge on an over-stuffed couch" nor "do any lifting, bending, or stooping activities for 6 weeks." I should "specifically avoid bed-making, doing the laundry, vacuuming, or loading the bottom shelf of the dishwasher."

I'm also supposed to remain upright as much as possible, take deep breaths, eat a lot of fruit and fresh vegetables, use multivitamens and avoid alcoholic beverages.

It may "take 3 to 4 months" before I can "resume heavy physical activity."

They say I will have "good days and bad days" and about all I can do is rest, take the medication they provide and place ice packs on the painful area.

This is definitely not going to be a picnic.

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