Saw the surgeon today (my second follow-up, the first from getting over the flu) to assess my progress after the bilateral discectomy I had on January 18 (L5-S1). Got some unexpected news. Based on the inflammation caused by the three weeks of coughing, the numbness and more recent shooting pains down my left leg indicate a setback, but it's too soon to do an MRI. He wants to wait another month, to let it heal more.
The inflammation now explains the daily fevers I've been experiencing (between 99.5 and 101). The area around my incision is sore now that I am moving about. It is thankfully not swollen (externally anyway). As I expected, he said that I've essentially lost 3 weeks of recovery. Sitting, standing, walking or my few test drives really do me in.
Also a sign of slow, compromised recovery -- numbness in my left leg that was gone immediately after surgery has returned and is slow to recede (he expects it will over the next month). He said that the muscles he moved around during surgery were greatly impacted by the unexpected chiseling he had to do in there; they are taking a longer time to recover. Fortunately there has been no infection.
He also said he's not going to entertain another surgery at this time; too soon. He hopes that I'll show more healing and to call in two weeks. I have another appointment in a month.
He also put the nail in the coffin for a return to work on March 4. Looks like I will probably be out of work another month if all goes well.