It has been 2 ½ months since I had my ALIF surgery and tomorrow, during my lunch break, I will begin physical therapy. I am willing to give this a try because I would really like to have a reduction in pain and my surgeon wanted me to get some core strengthening done. My abdomen has finally flattened out again. I was actually shocked at how swollen my abdomen was after the surgery and it continued to be for about 6-8 weeks or so. When I look at the pictures from the hospital I can see how large that area appears although I have to take into account that I was also wearing a substantial back brace as well. I couldn’t really tolerate wearing jeans or anything with a waistband until about 2 weeks ago. Even now, the scar gets irritated by some of the clothes I have so I have to tuck my shirts in to protect it.
I think now I am ready to re-strengthen my muscles, that was a pretty major incision that was made, and continues to be something I am coming to terms with. I knew I would have a scar but I guess I did not realize how long it would be. It is vertical and probably about 5-6 inches just to the left of my belly button. I know this is graphic for some readers but I promised to tell the truth about this entire experience from the beginning and the truth is that I am not pleased with having to see this scar in the mirror every day and it does still ache every day. I will admit it does look better all the time and I also know from my 10 years in dermatology that this size scar may take a year to reach what its final appearance will be but it should eventually just be a thin white line. Right now it’s still kind of angry and reddish purple but definitely thinner that it was at the start. The healing process from this surgery is a process that I have to keep reminding myself I am only still beginning to do. *** patience, patience………Dr. Frisch warned me that the first 3 months would be hardest so by the end of this month things should start turning around. I still believe I did the right thing, the pain in my right leg is gone for the most part and that was my worst symptom. I have some pain in my lower back (probably still from healing) and pain in the middle of my left thigh (most likely from L3 that was not repaired). All in all I am much better off than I was before the surgery and am expecting to continue to improve. I am a fighter, and it’s too late to quit! As always, thanks for reading. 🙂