Not that much excitement over the past couple of days. I have been resting quite a bit and doing my best to do laps from one end of the house to the other.
One realization I have come to is that a sensation I had assumed was muscle weakness is actually sciatic nerve pain. When I do certain motions I feel a pain in my left glute/buttock that runs down my whole leg. When this pain kicks in it is a force to be reckoned with and I feel paralyzed. From talking to other SDR warriors and the staff in St. Louis I have learned that this is part of the process and can happen for the first couple of months post rhizotomy. So I am focusing on learning what motions seem to set it off and what exercises I can do to mitigate the pain.
I want to take this opportunity to talk a little bit more about the “magic elixir” that I had for the first 3 days post op. A couple of weeks before my operation Dr. Park announced that he was using a new pain management protocol post SDR that would dramatically reduce the pain patients experience. As part of the new pain treatment I had an epidural catheter placed at some point during the operation and when I woke up post op I was in no pain and fully alert. In fact when I left the recovery area and was moved to a room my nurse commented that I was not behaving like someone who just had surgery because I was laughing and joking around with my family. This continued for the next couple of days and I did not experience an increase in pain when the medicine (bupivacaine) was discontinued 48 hours post op. Dr. Park mentioned to me that under the old protocol the pain could get to be really intense; thus this sounds like an excellent enhancement to the pain management process for SDR patients.
I have my first physical therapy session on Monday and I am greatly looking forward to it. I cannot wait to start phase 2 of the SDR process.
Hey man, I can attest to Dr. Park’s statement….it was indeed intense pain. Still very well worth it, but the fact that you were able to have the epidural is a fantastic new twist to the surgery. Proud of you for being the first adult ever to have SDR and an epidural! I couldn’t believe you were that alert the same day after surgery. I barely knew my name! 🙂