ADR Recovery

This blog chronicles my recovery from a new type of major back surgery, Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR). I injured my back at L5/S1 when I was 9 and have always struggled with back pain, but was unable to walk after a minor car accident in ‘05. Research became my second job and with the support of my family and friends, I decided go under the knife. My intention is to keep my friends updated while I recover and help others who are suffering with back pain understand the recovery process.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Elephant Shower

May 21, 2006

Five days post op and I finally took a real shower. It’s disgusting, I know, but what’s a girl to do when she can’t bend to reach her toes or twist her spine. I recruited my sister, Bridezlla, for help. We made a shower cap for my incision and taped it to my body with surgical tape. (My incision is about 2 inches from my groin. Bridezilla doesn’t like the sight of blood, scars, or anything not pink, so she had a hard time with this, but managed to keep her lunch. I don’t understand how one sister can nearly put in her own IV while the other passes out getting a booster shot.

I stood in the shower and she sprayed me with the detachable shower head from a distance like I was some large zoo animal. I couldn’t help but make elephant noises which cracked us both up. When I shuffled from side to side we were able to read the markings on my body made by the surgeons. We could hardly read the doctor’s hand writing, which makes me wonder, "why write it in the first place if you can’t read it?"

Adding to this bizarre spectacle was the sponge that we had to use. Before my surgery I knew I would need a large sponge with which to bathe. It’s hard to find a sponge like that these days, and since I was tired I settled for a large car wash sponge found in the auto parts aisle of my local Target. When Bridezilla took the sponge out of the package and read the label, she nearly wet her pants.

I may not have my dignity, but today I am finally, totally, completely clean from the hospital.


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