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View Full Version : My one year post-op anniversary!



jesscv
03-25-2010, 10:06 AM
wow... what a bittersweet & nostalgic day. exactly one year ago, on March 25, 2009, I underwent 14 hours of surgery and was fused T2-L1. I will forever now have 12 vertebrae fused together, and two foot-long chrome rods and 23 screws attached to my spine. Still makes me cringe to think about! Kinda cool, too.... =) I remember the morning of my surgery as if it were yesterday, and how much I was FREAKING OUT about going paralyzed, blind, or even never waking up. So, itís weird to think I was experiencing all of those crazy waves of emotions exactly 365 days ago! This surgery was truly life-changing (mostly for the better!) and even though the recovery was by far the hardest thing Iíd ever gone through in my life, I would do it all over againÖ.because I am now a million times stronger than I ever was. Not only do I have an impressive pain tolerance these days, but because I was SO motivated to get my strength back post-surgery, Iíve been working out more than ever before and I am currently in the process of becoming certified to teach pilates so I can show others the benefits - and ease their back pain! Today, I feel happy, grateful, relieved and bionic! =)

Thanks to everyone on this forum for the advice, support, etc. over the past year +.

Cerulean58
03-25-2010, 10:42 AM
Wow....congrats on your one year anniversary. I am looking at surgery. I have daily pain 4-7/10 and several times a week it increases to 9/10. I am pain free when I am flat on my back but no other time.

I work hard and have to lift patients six to 20 times a day. This really aggravates my back. I also push gurneys and do a lot of bending over.

Do you think you back is stronger? Can you lift now? Could you carry a box weighing 20 pounds? Can you still bend? if so can you touch your toes? I have so many questions. Do you mind letting me know?

How long did it take for you to return to work?

Thank you.

ADMoul
03-25-2010, 11:06 AM
Congratulations--that's fabulous! I can't wait until I'm there!

jesscv
03-25-2010, 11:12 AM
Cerulean58,
To answer your questions...

Do you think you back is stronger? not sure, but i certainly feel stronger. i think once i'm fully fused, if not already, my back will technically be stronger than ever... it's like metal armor!

Can you lift now? Could you carry a box weighing 20 pounds? yes, but it took about 4 months to get there. you have to avoid lifting 10-15 lbs for first 3 months.

Can you still bend? if so can you touch your toes? i can bend, but most of the bending (back wise...which we all should avoid anyway) comes from your lumbar (lower) spine. i'm only fused to L1. i can touch my toes, yes, but i do need to bend at the knees to do so. i used to be really flexible and i could touch the floor without bending my legs. but i used my back! so i can't really do that anymore. close, though...


How long did it take for you to return to work? i returned to work at 3 months post-op, but could've returned at 2 months post-op. i had a lung complication, which postponed things...

jsully
03-25-2010, 01:48 PM
What great news!! You are a inspiration! How long was it before you could work out and what are your wieght lifting restrictions now?
Janet

jesscv
03-25-2010, 02:13 PM
if you consider walking "working out", i was walking 1-3 miles at about 10 days post-op. i also started doing some "gentle" pilates at about one month post-op, but did get chastised by my surgeon for doing that, haha. once you surpass your 3 month post-op benchmark (in which during this time there is no bending, twisting or lifting), you just have to do what you body tells you and let pain be your guide. right now, at a year post-op, i feel comfortable lifting up to 30 lbs maybe... but i'm a small person as it is.

debbei
03-25-2010, 05:10 PM
wow... what a bittersweet & nostalgic day. exactly one year ago, on March 25, 2009, I underwent 14 hours of surgery and was fused T2-L1. I will forever now have 12 vertebrae fused together, and two foot-long chrome rods and 23 screws attached to my spine. Still makes me cringe to think about! Kinda cool, too.... =) I remember the morning of my surgery as if it were yesterday, and how much I was FREAKING OUT about going paralyzed, blind, or even never waking up. So, itís weird to think I was experiencing all of those crazy waves of emotions exactly 365 days ago! This surgery was truly life-changing (mostly for the better!) and even though the recovery was by far the hardest thing Iíd ever gone through in my life, I would do it all over againÖ.because I am now a million times stronger than I ever was. Not only do I have an impressive pain tolerance these days, but because I was SO motivated to get my strength back post-surgery, Iíve been working out more than ever before and I am currently in the process of becoming certified to teach pilates so I can show others the benefits - and ease their back pain! Today, I feel happy, grateful, relieved and bionic! =)

Thanks to everyone on this forum for the advice, support, etc. over the past year +.

You know, I think of my surgery anniversary date kind of like the birthdays of my children, in a strange & nostalgic kind of way. I've only had one anniversary so far, so maybe it will change with time.

I'm so happy to hear that you are doing so much better than prior to surgery. Good for you regarding pilates!!

JenniferG
03-25-2010, 05:27 PM
It's great to read about these 12 month anniversaries and read how people are going. I am not a sentimental person by nature but on my 1 year anniversary I allowed myself to sink into sentimentality, thinking back to that day a year ago, feeling how lucky I am now, how frightened I was leading up to the surgery. I even shed a few (very few!) tears after my surgeon's visit that day. Then it was over and back to the present!

But never does a day go by that I'm not grateful.

I'm glad to hear you're doing so well, jesscv.

LynetteG
03-25-2010, 05:41 PM
Wow this is so powerful what you guys share with us awaiting our surgeries - thank you so much for all that you share with us. It's all very encouraging!

ShariMSU
03-25-2010, 05:55 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your anniversary. I am having surgery April 15 and this makes me feel so good. I am T5 - L1 so hope I have similar success to you. Thanks again!

RitaR
03-25-2010, 06:44 PM
This is a true inspiration. I am so happy for you. I hope to be in your shoes at one year postop.

jesscv
03-25-2010, 11:55 PM
thanks, everyone! i hope all of your surgeries go well; i'm sure they will! =)

titaniumed
03-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Time flys when your having fun recovering. Its one test after another. Its nice to finally realize that you CAN do certain things.

Wait another year. The 2nd year is the period where everything gets fined tuned. I'm much better now, than when I was 1 year post...

I'm a true believer in staying active in scoliosis recovery. Its beneficial to keep all the muscles and soft tissues moving. Keep up the good work.

Just remember, every day is a great day!

Congratulations.
Ed

jesscv
03-26-2010, 10:51 AM
i agree with you, ed! it's a "lifetime" recovery...even though i felt great a few months post-op, i need to keep up my strength and active lifestyle in order to continue to feel great. :)

sillycoffeegirl
03-27-2010, 01:39 AM
Thats awesome jessica! :) Congrats! I feel like since i was able to overcome that i can overcome anything, you kno? pretty cool! It was also thanks to everyone on here.

ShortEb
03-27-2010, 03:31 AM
Thank you for your encouraging post! It has calmed my nerves for the mean time to hear how well people can recuperate themselves after surgery.

I hope every day from here on out is a good one for you!

- ShortEb

PS: To anyone who may read this, are those 18 and under able to post replies to posts or submit posts in the adult section? As I am under 18 and hoping I can post my reply here!