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My spine surgery journey: from preparation to recovery

I got my neck fused 8 months ago.(4 vertebra)My brother had the same surgery 9 years ago. I haven't had meds in 8 months. But the constant aching should go away in 4 to 5 months, he said. Can't wait!
So last night, 2 years ago, I had my last night in the hospital.

I remember coming home the next day and being completely exhausted. At the time, I had to counter my own stubbornness with a dose of reason because as much as I wanted to be the one to go to the pharmacy and pick up my medication after coming home, I didn't even have the energy to sit or stand for that amount of time.
I was had to wear a brace whenever I got up out of bed. I wasn't allowed to lift, bend or twist. Only sitting, standing and walking was possible at that stage. I was also still in a decent amount of discomfort and pain from the surgery. I think I was taking 3 different medications for pain, plus sevredol prn, and 2 laxatives to help with my analgesic-induced faecal impaction. And I was pretty weak and underweight from the weight I had lost in hospital when being treated by gastroenterology/general surgery for the faecal impaction.

Well last night, my boyfriend and I went for a run together. I think we did about 2.5km.
At one point in the middle of the run, we were going over a bridge and we raced each other in a sprint.
What an incredible moment. I felt so free; free from pain, free from constraints, free from worries.
I thought afterwards where I had been 2 years ago, and it really hit me how far I have come.

When we got home, my boyfriend said to me out of the blue that we should train to do a half marathon in the spring (so, half a year from now).
He thinks I have it in me; it's just a matter of getting me to see that I have it in me.

Pondering. Pondering. Pondering.
I didn't immediately disregard the idea. Even though the thought made me a little overwhelmed.
The longest I've ever run was 10km, 3 days before my surgery.
I think he's right though. About having it in me, but just needing to see it for myself.
And it would be really great to achieve such a milestone, particularly with him, and particularly with what I went through with my back.

Update: Yep, I want to do this. So, I just rang my orthopaedic clinic to get the all clear from my surgeon. Spoke to a nurse who has made a note for my surgeon to review when he is next in clinic, likely to be next Friday, and he will get back to me then.
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Update: Yep, I want to do this. So, I just rang my orthopaedic clinic to get the all clear from my surgeon.
Got the green light from my surgeon on Friday.

Also passed the idea by my GP this morning who said that not only does she give me her approval, but she would write a prescription for me to do it if she could.

All systems go.

So we're starting with training for a 10km about mid-year, and then the half marathon is planned for November.

I see I haven't updated here in a while...
All systems go.
Unfortunately due to covid related issues, I wasn't able to complete the half marathon.

I did manage to run 15 km in the preparation I did do, which I'm pretty damn pleased with.

In other news, today marks exactly three years since I became bionic. In fact I guess at this time of day, I was out on the operating table as my team tried to get my peskiest screw into the right spot.

The memory of waking in ICU and being able to wiggle my toes remains one of my favourite, ever. Still manages to bring me goosebumps and teary eyes.

I also don't know why I didn't write this out earlier (I guess it was a weird year), but in 2021, prior to our delta outbreak, I saw my surgeon and finally got to hear the words I had dreamt of for YEARS.

My fusion has completely healed.
The surgery was a success.
I do not need to have any further followup appointments or x-rays.

I'm officially free from the system.

That appointment remains another of my happiest memories, ever.

So, a couple of the most joyful memories, to celebrate this fusioniversary.

Thanks for this space to remember them, and for all of the support through the years - I think of it often, and it really did make such a difference in getting through my surgery and recovery.
Yay!!! You did it! You gave me the inspiration to have my fusion and it has healed well and I have no more horrible pain! Good on both of us!
That's incredible, @DharmaGirl , I'm thrilled your fusion has healed well and your pain has reduced.
It makes such a difference, doesn't it? I only really noticed how much pain I had been in all those years, when it was no longer there.
Good on both of us, indeed. 🤗🤗