Week 11

In weeks 10/11, I have experienced a marked decrease in pain when doing certain physio exercises and sitting down.  I feel as though I could sit for an entire morning or afternoon at work right now, if I had to.  I won’t though… gotta keep moving!

I’ve progressed further on the physio chart to where they expect me to be and I’m doing core work far beyond what I was able to engage in pre-op.  I’m taking it with a grain of salt, but I’m happy to be here!  In terms of the exercises themselves, there isn’t much more they can give me to work on.

Week 10 was the first week I forgot a couple of times that I’m a spine patient.  I think this is a pretty significant mental milestone as I’m almost functioning completely normally as a person again.  I’m by no means “cured” and still have my bad days, but I have short periods where my back feels completely normal.  I’m still avoiding any strenuous work/heavy lifting, but I’m quite optimistic.  I can honestly say that I’m feeling better than I have in over a year.  Again, a grain of salt and I’m prepared for more setbacks when they arise.

I’ll post my new PT routine in “Post -Op”.  I had the 11 week PT appointment today and don’t need to go back for another 6 weeks.

My next update should be later next week when I have my 12-week xrays done and submitted to Mr. Boeree.  I’ll ask him then about the Antibiotics for dental work.

I’m sending positive vibes Jstuckey’s way out in Eastleigh – Good luck today!



I had my teeth cleaned today and had a checkup with the dentist.  I didn’t think anything of it, but they were pretty keen on getting me to speak with my Surgeon about getting cleared for any potential dental work and/or taking antibiotics preventatively.  I’ll see what I can find out.


Week 9

I don’t have a lot to report as I’m pretty close to where I was in the 8th week.  Looking after a toddler and newborn is hard work!

I’ve been holding out on the xrays… another 3 weeks isn’t too long.  I really hope everything is healing well in there and staying where it should.

I’m back to almost my full pre-op physio core strengthening program and will post the diagram soon along with my scar at 9 weeks.  I’m also doing some light hamstring stretches now and I can really tell a difference between sides.  I get sciatic pains quite early on the left and both sides seem to cause discomfort deep in my back if I push it at all.  Superman also causes some residual back discomfort after the exercise.  I’m also walking between 3.5 to 4km per day in the evenings with my spaniel.

I seem to be progressing exactly where I should be and I’m really hoping my luck continues!


Kid Duty

I was dreading the initial gong show with our new addition, but it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be. My back is sore and tight after having to reinstall the baby seat base and carrying around all the kidfastructure, but it would have hurt far more pre-op. Heck, I didn’t even really sleep much last night and most of the sleep I did have was on the floor beside the crib or in a rocking chair. I’ve got some achy shins as well to show for it, but I’m in pretty decent shape. Nora, our toddler, is the hard part!

Again, I wish I could have had my disc surgery sooner.


Tank is Here

Tank is his working title as we haven’t decided on a name yet. 8 lbs 7 ounces and mom and baby are doing well! My back worked, but my wife’s labour was only 2 hours and 53 mins!!! Not much of a test!


Week 8

Well, my odd toe feeling and shin aches are tapering off.  They are certainly not as prevalent as the past 2 weeks.

I haven’t heard anything back from Alberta Healthcare yet regarding reimbursement.

The only other symptom of surgery that I might not have reported on previously is in my abdomen.  If I eat and go out for a walk right away, I get a bit of an ache on the left side of my stomach.  It’s totally normal, but is a little more painful than before surgery… and is no doubt a result of the anterior retroperitoneal approach.

My back is still steadily improving and I’m able to work through the Week 6 physio routine I’ve posted at the bottom of the “Post-Op” section.  It is so nice to be able to do push-ups/plank again!  I’m not really supposed to be doing them, but the 1/2 plank was far too easy. 🙂

I’ll take a photo of the scar this weekend and post it.  I’m not sure this bio oil is doing much, but massaging the scar seems to be helping to minimize the hardness underneath.  Mr. Boeree did an excellent job on the incision as far as I can tell.


Silly Nerves

I just heard back from Mr. Boeree and here are his thoughts.

On the toe feeling and sometimes achy shins: This is likely to be a little bruising / stretching of the L5 nerve roots and should gradually respond to walking and neural stretching exercises that you can do with your physical therapist.

On picking up my kid:  It is never really how much you lift, but how you lift it.  10lbs lifted away from your body, especially if off to the side or with a twist, will be far worse than 25lbs lifted close to you and with a fairly straight back.  I think you can lift her if you use your legs and keep her close.  You will naturally tend to arch your back a little, and off to the opposite side to where you’re holding her, to keep your centre of gravity correct but this should be fine.  It may get uncomfortable after a while but just listen to your back.

It is so great that such a busy surgeon takes the time to follow up with his patients’ questions himself.


Walk & Work

Just a quick note for a few of you asking questions about my recovery via email…

Yesterday I was able to put in a full day of work without having to lie down as well as a 4.5k dog walk in the evening, after helping my wife with the kid and dinner. I’m almost back to the functionality I was at pre-op. I’m getting there!

I’ve also noticed my toe isn’t so much numb as much as an off feeling when it touches water or a cold floor – hypersensitivity to temperature perhaps?