It has been ten days since surgery and 8 days since the outer bandage came off the incision. I have several strips of a smaller bandage on there that looks like medical tape. This second bandage will begin to fall off on its own, but I have been diligent about not getting it wet or wearing clothing that will pull or tear it.

The pain levels I am having are certainly substantial but still nothing like the nerve pain. I have aches in my lower back and outer hips that have made it a little difficult to find comfort at night but I am still sleeping about eight hours each night. I am still determined to not take the pain killers, so I am officially eleven days free of any medications – just my gummy vitamins. Woohoo!

Since I had previously been on my hands and knees to get around the house so often, my right knee had developed some tenderness and it finally is starting to work cooperatively with me and not provide additional pain when I am lunging/squatting to get things off the floor. I cannot bend or twist anything or lift more than 10 pounds for 6 weeks after surgery I have two new favorite toys as well:

Gopher Grabber

 A Gopher (see another version on Amazon here) is a grabber tool that I am using to pick up the things I drop on the floor (which is a lot!). I have dropped my toothbrush cap, pens, utensils, mail, and just about everything else I come in contact with during the day so this is a life saver. It has an elbow that locks and suction cups on the end so I have even used it to pick up things like a lotion bottle or my shoes since it has a bit of grip on it.

Pick A Poo

Pick-A-Poo Pooper Scooper (see it on Amazon here) is another grabber tool, but this one is just for the pup! I got this one because it has an extra long handle so I REALLY don’t have to bend down or lean at all when using this one. You thread the bag through the opening and then secure it around the claw portion so when you pick up the package, it falls deeper into the bag so you can remove it and toss it without having to play with it. This is seriously my favorite thing right now and I will likely use it long after I need to for my back, since it is just a useful tool. It also has made me quite popular with the other dog owners in my neighborhood who see me out with it and want one of their own.

I see the neurosurgeon April 26 (next Wednesday) for a checkup, and should be back to work in the office May 1st. There is still some very strong anxiety and paranoia about re-injury. I got a cramp in my outer right calf (not the leg that had been in pain previously) and immediately thought that it was the nerve being pinched on the other side! I kept checking and pressing on the muscle to be sure it was muscle tissue and not nerve pain that i was feeling, but my brain keeps telling me that this will happen all over again. My movements are still somewhat robotic while I steer clear of any jolts. There is still numbness in my left big toe since the nerve has not fully decompressed but I would love myself no less if that little toe stayed numb forever. I wake up each day grateful for movement, independence, and a chance to life my life again.