Today was my follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon. It went very well. He still says I had the largest herniated disc he’s ever seen, but the progress I am making is remarkable. Between the location of the disc and the Cauda Equina, it is sometimes difficult to make much of a recovery, he noted. But I am making an exception for this rule.
I still cannot lift beyond 5 pounds, bend, twist, etc. The numbness might take up to a year to leave and the nerves to fully heal. However, I have so much hope that I can get back on track in the future — hopefully very near future, but I do not want to push it.
Also, the doctor recommended I start walking with a cane if I am comfortable. This will help with my balance, getting used to walking unassisted at some point, and rid me the bulk of carting around a walker.
So how do I feel? Overall, pretty good. I am able to do a little more for myself every day, and finding ways to modify without feeling embarrassed by it. I noticed massages help the numbness and assist me in balancing as I walk, so that’s a nice perk — who doesn’t love a good massage? With work, I am hoping to return to the office for a few days a week after the New Year. I am cleared for that, as long as I don’t overexert. And honestly, doing things now that I did before make me feel so much more normal and capable of managing my CES.
In light of Christmas being a couple of days away, I couldn’t ask for a better gift than the doctor’s positive words that I will make it through this, and how well I am already doing. It will take time and patience, but I will get there one step at a time.