Monday, November 15, 2010

12 Days Post-Op: The flight back home

General Comments:The last few days have been wonderful. I've seen tremendous improvement every single day. Muscle spasms are virtually non-existent, incision pain has never been present, and back pain is barely there. The only times when I experience any sort of pain are after sitting down for a short while. Car rides are absolutely terrible, but have been getting better every day.

The Incision:My staples were removed 9 days post-op. The incision looks wonderful! I think I understand why I barely experience any pain.. they stapled the incision in such a way that it was 'bunched up' so as to not create any pressure against the healing.. By the time I had my staples removed, the staple holes were separated by at least a centimeter more than when the staples were in place.

The Flight Back Home:I just made it back to Houston. It hasn't been an easy day, but it hasn't been terrible either. The main reason why it wasn't terrible was the wonderful seats in my Continental flight, the help my mother gave me, and the wonderful staff that allowed me to lay flat for the landing. The way to the airport was painless, despite the crazy cab driver. I walked around the airplane a couple of times and experienced virtually no pain during the whole flight. The car ride home, however, was dreadful.. I don't blame my back for being a little pissed off.. it was a very long flight! Now I am lying in bed and the pain instantly disappeared. Now I am back to where I was yesterday: in bliss. I can't imagine peolple that fly a week or less post-op AND without these flat-bed seats. You have to fly when you feel comfortable with your back. Not only was my flight non-stop to houston (10 hours) with flat-bed seats in first class, but I was a good 12 days post-op AND with help from a family member. I'm very happy with my decision to stay in London until I felt comfortable flying. Here are a few pics from the trip:

Strip Sirloin.


Did I mention that I saw the Queen & Prince Charles? 


  1. Good stuff Mike. I hope you'll recover quickly.

  2. When you say car rides are terrible, what is causing the pain? Is it the M6 being pulled around between your L4 and L5? Or is it your muscles being jostled? How long did the doctors say it would take until you could sit for extended periods, or drive for extended periods without pain?

    Thanks for the updates!



  3. Hi Chris.

    My sitting tolerance has been getting better and better. I am now able to tolerate up to an hour, and it's only been 13 days since the operation. Regarding driving, they told me listen to my body.. If the pain from sitting is too distracting to drive, then don't drive. They also said I should judge for myself if I can make an emergency stop.. The way i'm feeling right now, I should be good to drive in a week or two.

    The pain isn't really muscular.. it seems to be internal. They told me sitting down puts a lot of pressure on the area, and since it is still inflammated from the surgery, putting pressure on it makes the pain spark a little. As the inflammation goes down, pain decreases.

    Today I went to the supermarket and walked around for about an hour. I'm still not carrying anything, but I did want to lie down when I got back home. 5 minutes later I was good to walk around again.

    I'm taking it very easy, but at the same time i'm working hard on getting my muscles strong. I will be doing a good 2-3 mile walk tomorrow.

    Let me know if you have any further questions, i'd be glad to answer them!

  4. By the way, the car ride yesterday was very painful.. but that's only because it had been a very very stressful day for my back with the flight an all. Once I got back home and rested for a few minutes, I was ready to walk around again!

  5. Also, can you bend at all? have you noticed anything regarding the characteristics of the disc yet (feeling rigid or different than your regular disc)? Is it wierd having a foriegn body or device inside of you? Do you notice it while sitting or does the pain you mentioned just feel like localized dull aching? Have any particular motions you have naturally or subconciously done while walking or sitting caused you to experience any pain?

  6. I'm told to avoid bending as much as I can for the first 6 weeks, especially backwards. Forward bending will be fine after a few weeks as long as I can tolerate it.. the thing is that I want the disc to attach to the bone before I do any bending. The disc is still being held in place by pressure and friction right now, so I have to be careful.

    The slightest bend was painful in the first 8 days mainly due to muscle spasms in the lower back. Now that they are gone I am able to do slight bends forward, but, as I said, I am avoiding them as much as I can.

    The pain is localized the the L4/L5 area.. it's hard to describe because I can't really remember what it feels like anymore.. one thing is for sure, it's not as bad as I expected.

    My back is starting to feel more normal every day. It's too early to say how natural it'll feel.. but according to Mr. Boeree it mimics a natural disc beautifully.