Post-op Update

Well, this is day three post-op, and things are looking pretty good. Pain is really mild, and very manageable. I have some referred pain in my traps which seems to be worsening slightly, along with some occasional pain in my left arm, but my throat pain is nearly gone and I can swallow without difficulty. On the pain front, I’m not sure if the pain increasing is a good or a bad sign, since some literature talks about pain increasing as nerves regenerate. For now I am going to think optimistically, but I’ll bring it to my doctor’s attention if it gets significantly worse.
On the recovery front, I spoke to Dr. Mindea yesterday, and he gave me some slightly different guidelines from the doc I spoke to at the hospital. He said the guidelines given by the other doc (no lifting anything over 5 lbs for 6 weeks) were general population guidelines, but for me, he advises the same guidelines he does for professional athletes. Basically, he said to take two weeks and just rest, but after that I could start lifting again. He advised me to start light, only do braced movements (where my body is supported by something), and no overhead work. This basically means I’m going to have to find a gym to lift in, as I have no machine equipment at home, but that’s acceptable. Whatever gets me back in action fastest without risking instrumentation failure, I’m good with.
He also said I could drive as soon as I want to stop taking vicodin, so that means I can potentially go back into work earlier than expected.
As far as my personal observations, I’m skeptically positive so far. My left arm feels like it’s got more strength, but I can’t lift yet so that’s really hard to solidify. I played drums briefly this morning to get an idea of how things feel, and that felt great. Everything just flowed a lot better than the last time I played, I felt more coordinated and things felt more natural. I had to stop because I started getting really dizzy (which I assume has something to do with the vicodin), but up until then it was great.
And finally, the bandage came off this morning, and I get to see the incision in all of its glory. I’m not inserting the pic on purpose, as I don’t want to gross out folk who don’t want to see it, but here’s a link if you want to take a look.

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