How much help will I need?

I’m looking to schedule decompression surgery, but wondering what kind of help I will need at home and for how long. I know everyone is different, just looking for rough estimates. I’m a 51 year old woman who is otherwise quite healthy and outgoing! Thank you for any advice!

Hey Julie,
That’s a bit of a ‘How long is a piece of string?’ sort of question, there are just too many variables. Reading through some of the experiences here you’ll find some people bounce back relatively unaffected and yet you’ll also find others that have no end of issues.

My best advice is to plan for a worst case scenario, this way you are prepared for anything. If you make plans, for example, to be ‘back to normal’ in 4weeks and it stretches past that time, the shock to our confidence can be HUGE and trying to make support plans whilst you’re still trying to recover can be a stressor your body just doesn’t need.

In my personal opinion, I’d make a plan for a month, minimum. When you get close to your month, reassess ie “Am I OK?” “Can I cope?” “Can I cutback on my supports?”
DO NOT be setting yourself limits. ie “by (this date) I’ll be back at work” because it can be soul destroying when those dates come and go and your own limits have not been met.
Be honest with yourself, cutting your recovery time short is only disadvantaging yourself.
Take the time your body needs to recover, not just the time your mind thinks is enough.

Now, I say all of this because I didn’t.
I set limits. Then kicked myself for not reaching those goals.
I returned to work when I really knew I shouldn’t, doing myself more harm than good.
My mind was telling me to return to normal. My body was screaming at me to stop and I didn’t listen.
And now, I pay for it every day.
My advice: Don’t do that

How long will your recovery take?: As long as it takes. The more time you give yourself, the better your recovery will be. Let’s face it, you’re looking at having MAJOR surgery. TAKE THE TIME YOU NEED.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

My thoughts exactly take your own time and go at your own pace. Good luck with your surgery.

Thank you! I’m definitely not planning on rushing back into anything and everything for sure! I was looking more for advice on approximately how long I could need someone as soon as I get home. My mother lives out of state and wants to come help and needs to plan her time. Again, thank you for any input!

I didn’t need any help. It’s a goid thing because nobody offered. I had to take care of myself with debilitating symptoms prior to surgery and I was no worse after surgery. I went back to work in less than 3 weeks. Best wishes.

At a very minimum, I’d suggest 2weeks, but with the option of extending that if needed.
Like I say ‘…some people bounce back relatively unaffected…’ and after 2 weeks you could be OK, but by the same accord at 2 weeks you could still need some assistance and the very last thing you want to do is cut yourself short.

Personally my mother would drive me crazy after 2 weeks :crazy_face::smile:, if you can cope, then I’d suggest discussing a 2-4 week window. This could give you some coverage for the variables.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

Thank you so much! That was very helpful. I do have my SO and 23 year old daughter here to help, plus a wonderful community, but like you, not sure if I could take Mom for an extended period, but know that she needs to be helpful.

Thank you everyone for the input! Next step is scheduling!

Ohh mine would be helpful, just overly so. She only tries to help, but ohhhh…
Luckily for me she lives in another country to me now, but she always ‘threatens’ to come over when I’ve ended up in hospital. I’m also married now, so I’ve got a live-in carer (Don’t tell her I said that :smile: ) and I’ve said to my mother “What are you going to do?, we can’t do anything, I’ll be in bed 90% of the time you’re here, recovering. You might as well stay home…”

I have a ‘She who must be obeyed’ now, I don’t need another, not whilst in recovery :smile:.

Now in me saying all of this I have found it is good to have a range of people around. Yes, you have your SO and daughter, but it can be beneficial both emotionally and psychologically to maintain relationships. It can be so, so easy to fall into a hole of isolation with all of this because not many people go through anything like this and very few understand it all.

Merl from the Modsupport Team