"I have to say that realistically, I am shocked at how fast things are progressing to the positive." sounds like my story, too.
If your pain isn't responding to the meds they start you with, my sister RAVED about Delauded (sp?) when she had otherwise unresponsive pain. It seems to be both super-effective and very pleasant.
Personally, I've been shocked at how LITTLE pain I've had (and how few pain-killers I took). I'm sure all the surgeries and the nerve placements, etc., are different, and I also seem to have inherited part of my late Dad's absurdly high pain threshold.
He once came home from his shop after a day at work, with a rag stuffed inside his shirt. When my Mom investigated, she discovered that he'd been held up and stabbed during the day! She insisted he go see a Doctor, being a way more "normal person" than Dad ever was!
My own crazy pain stories have both been dental. After I lost a capped front tooth to a squash racket, my dentist started preparing me for a 3-tooth bridge. Grind down the adjacent teeth to cones, then glue a 3-tooth "appliance" onto the two cones. I asked him to start the grinding without freezing my mouth first, and he agreed. He was using one of those high-speed grinding drills, with a water spray. We made it all the way through, but several times, I noticed that the pain had gone up a couple of notches, and I got him to stop and spray the tooth some more, because it was overheating. (Neither of us likely would have known if I'd been frozen.)
Years later, I talked that dentist's successor into pulling one of my wisdom teeth without freezing! Wait, I can explain! I had a w. tooth that was week and wobbly and painful, and ready to go. I went to the dentist so he could pull it. My other w. teeth weren't great, either, but the wobbly and painful one was the only urgent problem.
For some reason, the dentist started by pulling the w. tooth OPPOSITE the wobbly and painful one. I didn't care much what his plan was, as long as he got the wobbly and painful pulled. He froze my jaw to extract the solid, sound w. tooth, and I certainly didn't object. Then he finished and told me to make another appointment for the others. WHAT?!? Aren't you going to pull the one that REALLY needs to be pulled???
It turned out, he would never agree to freeze both sides of a patient's mouth, because that presents a high risk of maybe swallowing a tongue, or at least biting one hard. So I asked him if he'd pull the other one WITHOUT freezing. He said something like "If you're crazy enough to ask me, I'm crazy enough to do it!" So that's what we did! I'm not saying that I was silent throughout, or that he did NOT suffer hearing loss in one ear, or EVEN that we did NOT clear out his waiting room -- but the tooth got pulled, and the pain stopped almost immediately, and I've never regretted doing it.
I had one pushy (and humorless) CVICU nurse who thought I should get Morphene injections at every turn. I turned down the first one, under protest from her, and there was no pain at all. When they were going to pull the chest tubes, she seemed way more insistent, so I let her give me the (2ml?) of Morphine. It made my vision go wonky for several hours. Hard to tell how much the pain would have bothered me without. I bet it would have been somewhere in-between those two dental jobs.
Later, the nurses wanted to give me E.S. Tylenol AND two Codeine pills for pain, but I didn't have much, so I asked if I could at least skip the Codeine. It wasn't their first choice, but they weren't too pushy about it. We all agreed that I could get more later if I seemed to need it.
Then the VERY pushy post-op Cardiologist came around, mostly to talk me into taking the Codeine pills. Her story was that I would never push my lung exercises hard enough if I was in touch with the pain, and the exercises were vital to my recovery. I still said no. Given my nature, I was honestly nervous that I'd push TOO hard if I was doped up.
Then, when the 2nd-banana surgeon (surgical aide?) from my surgery came by on rounds, he asked about pain and meds, we all told him where I stood, and he said "Oh, that sounds great! In fact, if you just shift the E.S. Tylenols to an "as needed" basis, that's also fine!" (YAY!!)
Then the VERY pushy post-op Cardiologist came around again, cranked up my I.S. to a higher level and tested me. For some reason (Maybe because I'd gone for a walk, or maybe just God's sense of humor!), I experienced a breakthrough, and did much better than I ever had post-op! She had to agree that it was fine, coming along nicely. She never conceded the point, or allowed as how patients with different pain thresholds might want to have different levels of pain-killers.
BTW, it's NOT that I don't feel pain easily, or that I don't mind it. If you dropped a golf-ball on 100 people's feet, out of the blue, I might scream the loudest! My shins -- and now my sternum -- are so sensitive to the touch, that I start protecting them when somebody's within 2 or 3 feet away! (That I may have inherited from my Mom!) But if it's a specific, known pain, and I know the cause, and I know that it's part of my healing or cure, and if it's tolerable to me, I'd rather ignore it than block it with drugs.
Right now, day 4, without even Tylenol, I thank God that I haven't had the urge to sneeze, and coughing is a "wait, hold everything" activity that is NOT pleasant! Blowing my nose is a major challenge, and I've just started getting that "buzzing" sound again, esp. when my nostrils are moist. Sitting up in bed (without using the motor) is much easier than a couple of days ago, even rolling over on an elbow or pushing gently with a hand. I just carried a bag of food from the floor fridge and back, maybe 5 pounds total, and it felt like I was close. I held it right against my body, with my other hand helping a little.
Weird things -- like washing my hands! -- are surprisingly painful now, and have to be done slowly and gently. I'm glad I don't have to applaud for anybody, because I bet clapping would hurt.