It is with great sadness that I find myself posting this to the forum. For the past two years I've struggled with an L5-S1 disc herniation. It has never been debilitating, however, it has kept me from doing things that I used to enjoy doing and has made me much, well, sadder.
I can no longer work without taking 100 mg of tramadol at the beginning of my shift. Hell, I can't even sit down at a coffee shop to read or do some typing for long without some sort of pain medicine. Additionally, one of my greatest loves (photography) has been compromised due to my inability to travel on my feet for very long. I haven't quit doing any of things but I can't do them without pain and it is sucking the enjoyment out of it all.
I tried everything. Physical therapy, epidurals, nervle blocks. The pain never went away. I wake up with it and go to bed with it. I'm at my wits' end so to speak.
I had a discogram which was very positive. It was one of the most painful things I've ever endured. Thus, I've scheduled surgery for a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) in May. The surgeon is very talented - he's done this procedure hundreds of times and is selective about his patients. He's very confident that the surgery will restore me to normal functioning. I'm a healthy 24 year-old male, don't smoke, eat healthy food, have a normal BMI, still excerise as best as I can, and the injury is only one level. In other words I'm the perfect surgical candidate.
Yet, I'm still worried.
I guess I'm just looking for some support from fellow nurses who might have been through this (or know anyone who has). I don't need any horror stories (trust me I've heard more than enough). Has anyone out there had a similar procedure with a good outcome? How was your recovery? I won't be able to work on my floor for 3 months time. I'll also be in a brace for that duration.
Any advice, support, positive thoughts, or prayers (if that's your thing) would be greatly appreciated. I know this is the right decision - I just need some reassurance.