From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your concern, your support, your caring, your encouragement, your humor, your wisdom, your comfort.
I came home from the hospital on Sunday (my stay was slightly longer than expected) and am happy to report that the surgery was a success. My surgeon was quite pleased with how everything went and said that everything he'd expected to need to do from my MRIs, he did in fact need to do, and was able to do. He also said that I'd somehow re-herniated again, and that they were able to remove the stray disc material. Don't even ask me how I managed a third herniation. That wasn't the main source of the problem this time around, but it certainly wasn't helping anything. But anyway, it all went well. And my surgeon estimates that I am now 1/3" to 1/2" taller. Ha!
So now I'm readjusting to being home. The weekend was overwhelming - I've been able to get up and move around quite a bit, but am learning my limits as I seem to wear myself out fairly easily, and too much activity comes at a very high price. It seems that this recovery will be a gradual process, but I will say that it's really nice to be able to move around with more confidence and considerably less pain. I'm walking with a walker now, which the physical therapist said I shouldn't need for more than the next week or so, and I'm able to sit up again.
The best news of all is that the shooting pains I've had in my legs for the past three years is now gone. Yes, gone. GONE. Despite the incredible pain from the surgery (seriously, I have never experienced anything even somewhat close to this post-surgery pain that I've had over the last week), I could tell right away that the shooting pains that used to go all the way down to my toes had gone. I was terrified that they would come back when I got up to walk, but they didn't. The pain I have now is basically surgical pain that I expect to go away somewhere down the road. My incisions bother me (and itch!) and my entire abdominal area is extremely tender from when they went in and pushed everything out of the way, but at the moment we seem to have hit a stride with my painkillers so it appears to be managed for now. Keep your fingers crossed that it keeps going this way. I've had a decent - if tired - 24 hours, and hopefully the streak will continue.
Maybe it's a side effect of dealing with the pain - I think the pain itself is just plain exhausting - but I've been experiencing this odd sensitivity to sound and light over the last couple of days. Talking on the phone is giving me a headache, staring at my computer is giving me a headache, listening to more than one sound source (like if the TV is on and someone starts talking) is giving me a headache. I think my body is just really drained. So hopefully I'll get back to posting with more regularity soon, but know that if I might just sort of lay off the computer for a couple of days, I'll be back.
In the meantime, I hope that everyone is enjoying a very happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you all for making mine so sweet.