Recovery from anything is always going to be different for each person. Even recovery from back surgery.
Prior to my surgery, I did a lot of research online and in Facebook groups to learn about all the recovery tips, tricks, and timelines that I could. The problem I was finding was that most information that is published about recovery is about the slow recoveries. Those who don’t follow the slow recovery, also don’t see to share much of it.
It was actually very depressing. I primarily found information similar to: it will be a minimum of six to eight weeks before a person can consider returning to work; sex will be impossible for weeks to months; don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t; you’ll be on pain meds for weeks; don’t think about driving, you won’t want to anyways; walk, but don’t walk much; don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t; you’ll never workout again; don’t think about working out in the first year after surgery; you won’t be able to do anything fun for a long time; your surgery has a higher chance of failing than working; and so much more.
It was depressing.
But I didn’t let that stop me. What was more depressing was all of the limitations I was starting to hit because the nerve pain was just getting unbearable.
Yesterday I hit five weeks post-op. I’ve been working for the past three and a half weeks and back in the office for the past two (this is my third week back). I walk and I walk. I push myself to make sure I’m not sitting on my ass too much. I am slowly picking up more and more weight. I started doing ten squats and five modified push-ups on Monday. I was outside weeding the garden on Sunday. I will be outside tending my flower gardens this weekend. I am going camping next weekend.
I am not letting all of the depressing stats or recovery feedback determine the path of my recovery. I’m not over doing it, but I’m not sitting by and waiting for a specific number of weeks/months/years to start getting back to life.
The biggest thing I talked with my doctor about was listening to my body. He acknowledged that everyone is different. He acknowledged that I was stronger and took care of my body before surgery. I made it absolutely known to him that I will NOT be taking pain medication for very long. I didn’t.
If you are in a situation where you are recovering, take into consideration the research posted and other people’s experiences, but realize you are on your own journey. Talk with your doctor. Get yourself into the right mindset. I swear, mindset is more than half the battle in any recovery, whether it be a from a cold or surgery. Mindset won’t heal the muscles, etc., but it will help you to get back to life and do what YOUR body can do.
Don’t let recovery mean you are incapable of life. Go into your recovery knowing it may be slow and that your definition of slow is different than everybody else’s. Your recovery is different than everybody else’s.
You’ve got this.