When I started writing this blog a few months back, I figured it would serve as an outlet for me as well as a way to keep people in the loop on how I was doing. Now I’m starting to realize that there are a bunch of my fellow SIJD and chronic pain sufferers using this as a resource for their own decision making as well as an example of someone who’s “been there, done that.” Not only am I extremely flattered, but now I’m more determined than ever to paint an accurate picture of MY surgical recovery.
Before I had my new screws installed 💁🏼, I searched the internet high and low looking for stories of other men and women who had gone through SI/pelvic fusion. Luckily there are some amazing people out there who let me pick their brains. Still though, because this dysfunction is so crazily underdiagnosed and treated, the community is small. Through stories, articles, YouTube videos, etc, I was able to paint a pretty good picture of what would happen.
My expectation was that while the Rialto procedure is considered minimally invasive, it is still major trauma to the body. I figured walking, sitting, sleeping and moving would be difficult for at least a month. I imagined being prescribed heavy pain killers that would give me major anxiety about further dependency. I figured I’d be grumpy and unable to do the things I normally can for awhile. I expected to never leaver the house for days on days. I hoped it was the right choice, but I overall expected it to be really hard.
My reality was that while the Rialto procedure is considered minimally invasive, it is still major trauma to the body. However, not in the way I expected. I can’t begin to explain the amount of exhaustion I’ve had. It’s literally insane the amount of the day I can sleep some days! My blood pressure has also given me so issues being too low and causing dizziness. But the pain, the pain so far is drastically different than it once was. I’m walking unassisted around the house, and also 30-45 minutes daily with a cute little walker. I probably don’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! As far as pain meds go, I was luckily able to keep taking the same stuff I was taking prior to surgery. I’ve been able to use more plant based natural remedies as well, limiting the pain pills even more. My mood has been pretty good! I’m feeling happy and hopeful for the first time in a long while. I don’t think I’ve been to grumpy either. Bending and standing up are the two things that are still difficult, though definitely not impossible. I’ve been able to leave the house, sit (not drive) in the car, and be out an about since the day after surgery. My surgeon gave a detailed protocol for “exercise” for the next 6 weeks. This will likely be different with each surgeon, but for mine it seems like movement and rest are key. It’s only been 11 days since surgery.
I’m doing my best to follow his instructions, and listening to the advice of those who’ve done this before me. Major bones have been drilled into and true healing can take 6mo-a year. I’ve seen several people over do it too quickly because they feel good, only to have a setback. I’m really scared about that and for now, from my exhaustion, my body is telling me I’m not ready to be doing much more than I am right now. There are times when my ego is telling me “you feel GOOD, just do it!” and it’s so hard to ignore, but I have to remember how important this recovery is. We’ve sacrificed so much to get this pelvis of mine fixed, no way am I going to screw it up!