As you may have read in earlier posts, I suffered a pretty serious disc herniation in my lumbar spine. Conservative treatments didn’t provide relief. I tried physical therapy, chiropractic, TENS, ultrasound, therapeutic lasers, heat, icing, waiting, massage and finally epidural steroid injections. Nothing could help the debilitating pain going down the leg. Conventional pain killers don’t seem to help nerve pain. When something is pressing on that sciatic nerve, there is nothing that will relieve the pain. There is no way to convey what the pain is like. I could use words to describe the pain, but nothing can translate the non-stop crippling pain. This type of pain affects your whole system–spiritual, emotional and physical. Think of people you know that are in this kind of pain. They can’t concentrate, they are emotional and vulnerable. Think about attending a really loud concert and then it never ending..in fact going on for months and you can’t get relief from the loud sound. Maybe that describes it.
In either case, I opted for the microdiscectomy. Immediate relief from that crazy pain. I wondered what surgery pain was going to be like. It’s nothing compared to crippling sciatic pain. For those who are about to have the procedure and are worried about the surgery pain like I was, you will be given some pain killer to make it through the first few days. Just take the pain killer. You’ll just feel a little sore. But it’s a totally manageable pain with specific boundaries. You’ll be stiff for a couple weeks but everyday..I mean every day brings measurable relief.
There will be some aches and pains here and there that resemble the sciatic pain–mostly in the evening when you’re tired, but it goes away quickly. Any doctor will tell you it could take weeks if not months for the nerve to heal from the trauma of being pressed on for so long and then getting freed up during surgery. Don’t worry about it. It will take weeks to get back to normal. No bending, lifting or twisting for 6 weeks and restrictions on how much you can lift etc. Every doctor will have a different recommendation or approach, but it’s best to take it really slow and just walk for the first few weeks.
Recovery will take time and you will need help. The worse part is having patience because you won’t be able to do things for awhile and battling feelings of loneliness and helplessness. Just keep thinking about when you’ll be up and running better than ever!
Here’s what I’ve been taking to speed up healing based on research and some common sense:
Collagen powder mixed with frozen fruit 1 to 2 times per day
Emergen C (has vitamins and minerals besides vitamin C)
Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate/MSM combo
Theanine (to help with mood)
Grapeseed extract with CoQ10
B complex vitamin
Grass Fed dairy
Cod Liver and Cod Liver Oil
Now obviously I can’t have all of this everyday, but I’m taking as much as possible.