Julie had a laminectomy. She remembers she did not let her husband drive her to the hospital on the day of her surgery, because she would be too emotional. Ready for surgery and on the operating table, the atmosphere was light. All she remembers is counting backwards from 10 and then waking up. She felt blurry, but the pain was gone instantly. The surgery lasted an hour and she was home 8 hours later that day. Once at home, the numbing medication wore off and she felt pain creeping in. But she did as the nurses advised and took a pain pill every four hours. Julie says this was great advice because she stayed “on top of her pain.”
So once he'd seen that, he said this is a pretty obvious thing to do. I mean, you can do the shots to your back, but really, for this, you just need to go in and clip off the area that's sitting on the nerve and take it out. I could see what he was talking about, and it's-it was pretty clear to me.
The MRI is so thorough, you can see all of the nerves, and I could see there was nothing on anywhere else, and that's why exactly where i-it was, and it's-and he showed me exactly where that nerve goes to, and that's exactly where I had my throbbing pain, so it all made sense. And we went ahead to go file for the insurance to do the surgery. So usually you have to wait, and it took two months for them to come back, and in that time, I tried going to physical therapy, actually, and worked on my core and did some balance exercises, because my balance was really off from my leg being so sore.
You know, it's so mental, because you go through this and you just want it to end so badly, but then once they actually call you and say, okay, the insurance is clear, then you're like, I'm fine, I don't need to do this. I don't need to have surgery. [LAUGH] I don't want to open my back.
And then for the surgery, when the surgery actually happened, I had to be there really early. There was, like, one security guard roaming around, and upstairs, the surgery center is all bustling, they're all in there, waiting and ready to go. And I got in my scrubs, and they got me all ready for the surgery. I was strapped down to the cold table. And everyone was really nice. The anesthesiologist came in with some jokes, and I remember I asked him how he stops the medicine going, and he said I stop putting quarters in the meter.
It's just like a blur. You wake up and it's so strange, 'cause you can't really move, and you want to try and talk, but you really can't, and you're really stiff and your body is so numb, and it took awhile for everything to kind of-the feeling to come back. The biggest surprise was how I felt instantly better. It was so quick. The pain was gone. The only thing that I still have a little bit of is a little bit of numbness in my knee. I mean, the pain was just instantly gone. I had a laminectomy. I woke up, I was there probably a total of eight hours.
My husband came and picked me up. He was there for a few hours. They brought me down in the wheelchair to the car, and I got in. I remember being so uncomfortable in this car, and I was fussing with the back and the front, and, you know, the seat belt. [LAUGH] It was just-and then getting from the car to my house was one foot in front of the other and straight to the bed, and then if I needed to go to the bathroom, I could do that, but that was about it for about two or three days.