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ADMoul
02-26-2010, 10:27 AM
Just want to say good luck to all of you with surgery scheduled in the next few weeks. I can tell you as a little over 3 weeks post-op, that it's going to be OK. Even with the blood loss complication that I had, I am doing great recovery-wise and you will too. In fact, my husband is going back to work next week, a week early. One suggestion--I had a lot of pain and muscle spasms at night that the percocet did not help. Just this week, I started Flexoril--a muscle relaxing drug and it has helped tremendously. If you have those nighttime issues, don't wait. Get a scrip for a muscle relaxant drug. I am actually weaning down on the perc. I think most of my pain is muscular now, anyway. Just to encourage you: at this point I can shower by myself (get a long-handled brush for hard to reach places!) I can take my brace on and off by myself, pretty much dress myself except for the sneaker-tying, putter around in the kitchen enough to put some meals together, have been out for lunch and dinner and groceries and have no digestive and/or bowel issues. I still have some abdominal and ankle swelling, so if that happens, make sure you have comfy clothes like sweats and elastic waist pants. Debbe suggested the camisoles instead of bras for a while--they're wonderful. May give up on bras forever. I know I really stressed about the first few weeks. Every day gets easier. You will soon be on the other side and on your way to a healthy, straight back!!

joyfull
02-26-2010, 11:18 AM
Anne, Your words are so encouraging to me, especially since we have the same surgeon. It's amazing that you are doing so well after only 3 weeks! When will you be able to drive? I was thinking of taking off the last week of work so that I will be more ready to go back to work after 3 months, but perhaps I won't have to. Do you have a ton of snow? I feel as if I'm on the North Pole here in northern New Jersey, so if you're not going out, you have a lot of company! Best wishes, Joy

debbei
02-26-2010, 01:27 PM
I'm so glad hear how well you're coming along Anne. Yes, I love my camisoles and when I'm not going out, that's all I wear. (and sometimes even when I am going out--but not to work :) )

Keep up the good work. I know you're feeling really good, but don't push yourself TOO much. You still need lots of rest.

mbeckoff
02-26-2010, 09:20 PM
Anne,

I am so glad that all went so well for you and that recuperation is continuing to go well . Do you have limitations lifting your arms to put clothing on over your head? My Doctor told me yesterday during my pre-op appointment that I should not lift my arms over my head until I see him at my six week post -op appointment at the earliest.

Thanks

Melissa

LynetteG
02-26-2010, 10:27 PM
Anne - that's great news, so wonderful to hear how well you're doing after just three weeks, very very encouraging!!! Thank you for sharing that with us :)

ADMoul
02-27-2010, 02:10 PM
Melissa, I was not given any restrictions on raising my arms over my head. My fusion starts at T4. The arm thing might be an issue if the fusion starts higher. I had kind of planned on button-front clothing for a while but have had no trouble with getting tops on over my head.

debbei
02-27-2010, 03:10 PM
Anne,

I am so glad that all went so well for you and that recuperation is continuing to go well . Do you have limitations lifting your arms to put clothing on over your head? My Doctor told me yesterday during my pre-op appointment that I should not lift my arms over my head until I see him at my six week post -op appointment at the earliest.

Thanks

Melissa

I wasn't given any restrictions regarding arms over my head, but it wasn't somthing I was anxious to do. Most of my clothes were button down at first, but within a week or so of being home, I was able to get shirts over my head without a problem. (and without any help). My fusion starts at T3.

RitaR
02-27-2010, 10:42 PM
Hey Debbie,
I see your fusion started at T3, me too. Did yours go to sacrum? Geesh, that's a long ways. Mine will be I guess.

debbei
02-28-2010, 07:40 AM
Hey Debbie,
I see your fusion started at T3, me too. Did yours go to sacrum? Geesh, that's a long ways. Mine will be I guess.

Rita,

My fusion is T3 to L3. It's long, but it doesn't get in the way of my life.

mbeckoff
02-28-2010, 09:42 AM
My fusion will be from T1 to sacrum. It is going to be long. How will that affect my life? My doctor already said that lifting my arms is going to take quite a while until it does not hurt.

Melissa

RitaR
02-28-2010, 11:38 AM
Debbie,
Did you lose a lot flexibility with your surgery? Dr. Lenke says I will lose a lot of side-to-side twisting, but he also said I'm not doing much of that now anyways. And, I'm bending mostly from my hips now, also, and that will continue after surgery. So, all in all, not much different I think.

joyfull
02-28-2010, 03:10 PM
I was also told by several doctors that I would not notice the difference since my spine is quite inflexible now! I hope they're right! Joy

JenniferG
02-28-2010, 04:24 PM
Melissa #10

Your fusion will be higher than mine, but I had no problems at all raising my arms, so you might be lucky.

To all the imminent surgery patients, I hope you all have great success and a smooth ride through to recovery. I have a feeling we are going to hear some good success stories in the very near future!

Vali
02-28-2010, 05:10 PM
Good Morning All. I have a shorter fusion, but i was never told by my surgeon to not lift my arms above my head when dressing etc, however, you know when you first wake in the morning and you want to do that huge stretch...... well i was not allowed to do that. Anyone else told this? Hope everyone is doing well this morning, take care.

debbei
02-28-2010, 08:27 PM
My fusion will be from T1 to sacrum. It is going to be long. How will that affect my life? My doctor already said that lifting my arms is going to take quite a while until it does not hurt.

Melissa

Melissa,

Don't take this the wrong way, but pain when lifting your arms will be the least of your concerns in the immediate period post op because the back pain will be worse. For me, within a few weeks I was able to get an over-the-head shirt on/off by myself.

debbei
02-28-2010, 08:30 PM
Debbie,
Did you lose a lot flexibility with your surgery? Dr. Lenke says I will lose a lot of side-to-side twisting, but he also said I'm not doing much of that now anyways. And, I'm bending mostly from my hips now, also, and that will continue after surgery. So, all in all, not much different I think.

Of course I lost the side to side twisting. But it did take me until I started PT to realize that I could turn and twist when I pivot on my feet. At first I was afraid to do that, but it's just fine.

Everyone is so afraid (rightly so) of the loss of flexibility. I don't notice it any more. I even bend over to pick things I dropped off the floor. I dropped my whole makeup case on the bathroom floor this morning (with a big kaboom) and everything went flying because the zipper was open. By the time my husband got up there to see if I was ok, I was bent over picking everything up. Even after all this time, he commented, 'look at you bending over.' I can do whatever I need to do.

RitaR
02-28-2010, 08:53 PM
Wow!!!!! I just love to hear that! You are so encouragging. I really needed to hear that. I just truly think there isn't anything we can't do if we set our mind to it!!!

mbeckoff
02-28-2010, 10:29 PM
That is great news!! It gives me something to focus on .

Melissa