Yesterday, I was discharged from the hospital. Even though I have a long recovery ahead of me, I already feel better at home. Before I share more about being home, I want to tell you about my last few days of recovery.
My last couple of days at the hospital were better. I was able to manage my back pain pretty well during the day but the nights were really hard for me. I spent the majority of the my nights in the hospital awake and crying in pain and discomfort. This involved a lot of repositioning and pillows around my body. While I was on several different drugs, I never seemed to get full relief.
Many people have asked about my hand tingling. After surgery, all four of my fingers on my left hand were very tingly. I originally thought this would pass but after awhile, I realized it wasn’t going away. It was a mix of tingling, numbness and dull pain. My left hand is also much weaker than my right hand following the surgery. This was super annoying because I couldn’t even hold my phone. After a few days and getting some nerve medication, some of the tingling has gone away. I still have the same sensations in my pinky and a bit in my ring finger. The doctor decided to order a CT scan and Xrays to look more closely at my spine. He wanted to see if any damage was done during surgery that could be causing this tingling and numbness. Thankfully, the scans looked good so we assume that the tingling in my fingers is being caused by a nerve issue. With my NM condition, my muscles and joints are pretty loose. Therefore, we think that when I was in my surgery my shoulder might have been out a bit and hitting on a nerve. The doctors say that while the tingling and numbness should go away, it could take weeks to months. For now, I will stay on the pain medication and have a followup appointment with a neurologist in a few weeks.
One hard but very important part of my recovery is sitting up. I sat up for the first time the day after surgery but could only tolerate a few minutes. On day five after surgery, I sat in and drove my wheelchair for the first time. It was very hard and uncomfortable but I know that in order to get back to my old self, I have to push myself more and more each day. You can see how happy I am in this video 😉 After the video, I have posted before and after pictures of me in my chair. These pictures show the great results of my surgery and how much straighter I am. In the after picture, you can see much less of the back of the my wheelchair behind my shoulders and my head is more centered in front of my headrest.
Yesterday, I was discharged from the hospital at 4:30pm. Before getting discharged, there were a number of things that we had to do in order for me to go home. These included getting bloodwork, getting my IV out, changing the bandages on my back, removing one of my drains and ordering all of my prescriptions. As you can see in one of the pictures, the plastic surgeon was pulling off a very large bandage and then replaced in with a new one. You can also see one of my two drains which are in the lower part of my back. These drains suction out the blood and other fluids from my surgery site. I started with three drains and unfortunately, have to go home with two of them. The last two will be removed at my plastics followup next week. In the picture, you can also see how amazing the wound site looks.
Since I can’t tolerate sitting up in my wheelchair for a very long time, I got an ambulance to transport me home so I could lay down on the stretcher. When I got home, my assistance dog, Midas, was SO excited to see me! I missed him so much!
Last night was the first night since my surgery that I got a good night’s sleep. Being home is already making a difference in my recovery. This morning, I sat on the edge of my bed for 30 minutes! When I sit up, my shoulders tend to feel really heavy so it helps to have pillows under my arms to take some of the weight off. This isn’t a problem in my wheelchair as I can rest my arms on my armrests. While sitting up, I was able to brush my hair, brush my teeth, and change out of my hospital gown. I am starting to eat more by mouth as well. Tonight we are ordering from my favorite Mexican restaurant. Mexico Lindo. I can’t wait to take a bite of my chicken enchilada!