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Back-out
04-28-2010, 03:45 AM
(in order of association not importance)


a) turning head to drive?
b) dressing - bras? any other problem articles of clothing? (I hear socks are a biggie and I assume one can't fasten dresses in back Tying shoes? Lord, I got SO tired of wearing rubber soled slippers everywhere after hand surgery!)
c) reaching things on kitchen or other shelves?
d) routine things like hanging clothes in closets
e) scrubbing burnt pots (don't ask! :p)
f) how far does one have to squat to compensate with knees (thinking of having knee joint replacement first, to salvage a little more of my independence!
g) opening and closing sticky garage doors
h) sitting at computer (my lifeblood)
i) will I be allowed to climb on stools to reach higher things?
j) (most of all) sleeping! How is one to lie after a back incision or a front AND back incision? Can I ever lie on my back again (like for MRIs or - more - social - activities?)

Guess that's enough for now. ;) As I live alone, I need to anticipate as much as possible. Even planning for the hand surgery ("front loading" bras etc) I found there was a GREAT deal I hadn't thought of. Each one made my life that much harder, especially as I had a surgical complication.

I apologize for this very demanding query! Perhaps some kind souls will take a stab at it, if only in part.

Back-out
04-28-2010, 03:52 AM
Forgot to give my specs

My projected fusion (so far, consults ongoing), looks to be from T4 to pelvis, probably with anterior fixation at lumbar area. Also lumbar kyphosis, marked rotation and a lumbar Cobb of 60 deg!

I'm sure it's highly variable by person, age and fusion length, but I need to know/guess how much I can tough it out on my own and how much I will have to rely on other(s)

Remember : NO one else at home is very different from even a few minutes help in the AM and PM! I should have help for a month (or two?) but then....:confused:

Thanks and blessings on you all again!

jrnyc
04-28-2010, 06:10 AM
Hey Back Out Amanda
i started a thread..."all the pelvic people"...there may be some answers on there...a few other threads have addressed the same questions...most of which i've asked in various ways many times :rolleyes:
everyone has told me that oner really bends from the hips...so, using hips and knees is about it...

but i guess i wont be doing too much hip dancing after surgery :rolleyes:

i am sure some pelvic people who have had the surgery will answer you...see also Titaniumed's threads! :)

jess

CHRIS WBS
04-28-2010, 11:46 AM
(a) I bought myself an extra wide rearview mirror which gives me more visibility since turning my head around to back out of a parking space is no longer doable.
(b) I still use a sock aid to get socks on. Itís just easier and quicker. Gave up on pantyhose. I like opaque hose with skirts during winter, but itís a struggle to get them on. I bought walking shoes with Velcro strapsÖso much easier than trying to tie my shoes. I can do it, but the tie is off to the side. I have no other problems with other pieces of clothing.
(c) No problem there.
(d) It helps to use a grabber to retrieve laundry from washer and dryer especially during early recovery. Grabbers come in handy for lots of routine things.
(e) I donít burn my pots. Loading a dishwasher can be difficult during early recovery. I have no problem now.
(f) I donít squat. I get down on one knee.
(g) Can you get yourself an electric garage door opener? I would never attempt to manually open a heavy garage door.
(h) I can sit all day with no problem.
(i) I keep a little step stool in my kitchen to reach things on high shelves. But I will not get on a ladder. I call a friend if I need assistance with anything that requires climbing a ladder.
(j) I have no problem lying on my back. I was a stomach sleeper so it took some getting used to. But now I alternate between my side and back. A good comfy bed is in order.

I live alone too and I was able to be independent at two months. Since my surgery almost two years ago, Iíve never fallen or encountered any problems that I could not handle. And if I did, friends were just a phone call away.

naptown78
04-28-2010, 12:20 PM
(in order of association not importance)


a) turning head to drive?
b) dressing - bras? any other problem articles of clothing? (I hear socks are a biggie and I assume one can't fasten dresses in back Tying shoes? Lord, I got SO tired of wearing rubber soled slippers everywhere after hand surgery!)
c) reaching things on kitchen or other shelves?
d) routine things like hanging clothes in closets
e) scrubbing burnt pots (don't ask! :p)
f) how far does one have to squat to compensate with knees (thinking of having knee joint replacement first, to salvage a little more of my independence!
g) opening and closing sticky garage doors
h) sitting at computer (my lifeblood)
i) will I be allowed to climb on stools to reach higher things?
j) (most of all) sleeping! How is one to lie after a back incision or a front AND back incision? Can I ever lie on my back again (like for MRIs or - more - social - activities?)

Guess that's enough for now. ;) As I live alone, I need to anticipate as much as possible. Even planning for the hand surgery ("front loading" bras etc) I found there was a GREAT deal I hadn't thought of. Each one made my life that much harder, especially as I had a surgical complication.

I apologize for this very demanding query! Perhaps some kind souls will take a stab at it, if only in part.

Hi Amanda,

Just my experience:

1. Driving was not a problem for me, I turn my body...not my head. Driving in a brace is a little weird.

2. Bras...for some reason never felt comfortable in a bra after surgery but camis with a built in bra became my best friend.

3. At first reaching was difficult for me but that got better with time.

4. No problems

5. No problems ;-)

6. Squatting has been difficult for me as it is hard to get back up again ;-) but I try.

7. I tried this once. Never again.

8. Hard at first, better with time.

9. I too keep a step stool in the kitchen for the high shelves. No ladders for me either.

10. I have always slept on my back since having both my surgeries. It seems to be the only comfortable position esp. at first.

Its been just over a month since my second surgery and I feel physically I could manage on my own (I mean just taking care of my personal needs) but this silly brace fastens in the back so I still need hubby to fasten me up after my shower. Good luck in planning...there's always something new to think of!

Back-out
04-28-2010, 07:13 PM
God bless all of you!!! That question was a whopper.

To Chris - great info. VERY encouraged about the sitting (read elsewhere too). Standing will always be hard for me I fear owing to the lumbar compression and hardware to come. That's RIGHT! rub it in about the burned pots!:p

naptown - you too! Many thanks. Can you sit at the computer now and if so for how long? What's the problem if you can describe it?

jess, thanks too = will look up your thread!

Best!

Amanda

jrnyc
04-28-2010, 07:47 PM
Practical question...for "pelvic people"

how does one put on pants or jeans after fusion to sacrum or pelvis...i think about this every day now...i wear jeans most of the time at home and often when going anywhere...i am usually in some kind of pants or other...soooo...i just tried today...to put on jeans bending from "hips"...couldnt do it...needed to bend from waist...???? :confused:
if panty hose are difficult...arent pants difficult too...? :confused:

thanks for any answers....
jess

Back-out
04-28-2010, 08:11 PM
Yesss:eek:

I'm a jeans and slacks person too...

Please tell.

doodie
04-28-2010, 08:18 PM
Practical question...for "pelvic people"

how does one put on pants or jeans after fusion to sacrum or pelvis...
if panty hose are difficult...arent pants difficult too...? :confused:

thanks for any answers....
jess

Jess - We put our pants on one leg at a time! Sorry, I couldn't resist that one!

I had to think about the pants. Right after surgery I wore flannel sleep pants or comfy cotton stretch pants that had elastic waist bands. I usually stood up while getting dressed. I used my reacher to hold on to one side of the pants while I put my foot in - pulled it up so I could hold onto the waistband with my hand as I put my foot into the other leg and pulled them the rest of the way up. Just bending from the hips. :)

And now I just get dressed as I normally did. Socks and shoes I usually sit down and just put my foot on the opposite knee. I don't have trouble with laces now but for the first two months I had to have someone lace my shoes for me when I went out for walks.

I'm working on a reply for the other questions!

mbeckoff
04-28-2010, 10:04 PM
How about Bathing suits?

Not talking tiny little 2 piece nothings/ but bigger one pieces?

Is this going to be possible this summer for me?I am having surgery next Tuesday May 3rd.

Melissa

Back-out
04-28-2010, 10:04 PM
Julie, doesn't Dr. Kabeish use minimally invasive?

How was it at JHU?

And is he as hunky as he looks in photos? :)

jrnyc
04-28-2010, 10:55 PM
Thanks, Julie..thanks for the reply....had that joke coming to me :)

i guess i meant do you have the stability to stand while putting on slacks...one leg at a time...and holding yourself up while putting on the other leg...or could you put on the slacks sitting down...? it must look funny, me standing up in the morning trying to put on my jeans without bending too much...trying to get my foot into the pants leg without falling over while trying to stand(while i try to imagine 2 rods and 16 screws holding me straight)....i dont think i will be able to figure it out until i actually HAVE rods and screws in me to the pelvis...all this "imagining" and trying to do it now is just scaring me...and making me crazy with worry....

thanks for the description, though....i kinda figured on grabbers for socks and shoes n' stuff...the pants had me stumped :rolleyes:

jess

Back-out
04-29-2010, 01:50 AM
That's what I was wondering, jess, but I was too embarrassed to ask. It's been a long time since I could put shoes or pants on, standing unsupported. I even need to lean on the sink to brush my teeth. It’s not balance, but the compression on my spine, that I can’t stand - all my body weight bearing down on it.

It was especially hard after hand surgery, but if I'm ramrod straight and unable to bend...I dunno,

It’s hard to imagine not hurting - so that I could stand and dress even without bending at all, It's a lovely thought - all except for the price I 'm afraid of paying for the privilege, in …..discomfort. I try to avoid the word "pain" - started that in my Lamaze class before giving birth to my first son. And it worked FWIW! I didn't need any medications.
But, of course, I had a baby to look forward to in the end.

Not sure what I’ll have here, even after the “Labor” of the first few months of recuperation (and apparently, certain weight loss! So hard to imagine a procedure so devastating to my body that even without activity, I’d lose so much weight, so rapidly.)

I picture this transition kind of like the Little Sea Maid in Hans Christian Andersen's tale. Remember how she "paid" the sea witch for gaining human legs, by agreeing to feel with every step that she was walking on knives?

It seems like a lottery ticket, and even if the odds are in my favor (not sure) I am not by nature a gambler.

That’s why I ask so many questions - trying to understand the way the game is played and making the best bet I can, the most informed decision (and hardest of all, trying to accept that in the end, the outcome is not in my hands) . Yet, as with the stock market, not investing, is also a decision involving loss, and that’s hard to accept too.

At this cross-roads, we are all brothers and sisters - holding hands before we take the leap of faith. At the moment we jump, we call out to each other - God-speed and (I love the French expression) “bon courage”! It means both good luck and good courage!

jrnyc
04-29-2010, 03:09 AM
Hey Amanda
i hate the word "discomfort"...when doctors use it, it always means "pain," and they just dont want to say it! glad if it helped you through labor, though :eek:

jess

Back-out
04-29-2010, 04:08 AM
I agree, it has to be consensual. Euphemisms bug me too, especially when I feel they're being used to spare someone else's sensitivities rather than mine.

OTOH I don't think it's a great idea to say "pain" in a situation which is variable. It can set people up to feel it and tension makes pain worse. Unlike labor, though, which is exciting, I think I would resent anyone's trying to palm this operation and recuperation off as anything but painful!

But I'M allowed to say it! :D Believing? Well, I'd like to know more about what this "discomfort" feels like! Wish someone were really good at describing it (Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch)

All I know, is that generally bone - pain - is serious. To think of someone cutting and screwing in all that bone (I just mean the vertebrae), and so near the spinal cord itself - it's very hard to imagine it! Adding the pelvic fixation? - I just don't know.

I had a part of a rib used as a graft for relatively minor surgery, and even that wasn't very comfy for weeks. More? :eek:

Then again, there are so many kinds of pain. A good friend had serious cancer surgery on his abdomen half a year ago, and he will only say he "wasn't a very happy camper for over a month" . I know he was in and out of the ICU under heavy sedation for a LONG time. Kids with serious burns have the dressings changed daily for months. Folks in terrible car crashes have multiple surgeries, hovering between life and death in semi comatose states. You do what you have to do. I guess.

doodie
04-29-2010, 10:36 AM
Julie, doesn't Dr. Kabeish use minimally invasive?

How was it at JHU?

And is he as hunky as he looks in photos? :)

Amanda - I've sent you a PM

foofer
04-29-2010, 11:00 AM
Backout/A (didn't know if you are using your name at present),

I am enjoying your attention to detail. You are asking lots of questions that I think of as I proceed with the day's events and then forget about as I am doing my "research" at night.

One of the details I am wondering about is everyone's pain BEFORE surgery. Something about your pain vs. discomfort discussion triggered some thoughts. I am always telling people I am not in severe pain but am never comfortable. Don't like the word "discomfort" probably for the euphemism reason, which borders on distruth :rolleyes:. Some days I wonder if I am just so used to being disuncomfortable, really just dragging my carcass around, or if I really do have less ~~pain~~ than most. There is no question that some on this forum are just sidelined.

I thought of starting a thread "Describe Your Pain". Maybe I will (or you can if you want). When I first started going to scoli doctors on a regular basis, 10 years ago, I would rate my pain a 5-6. Then I lost balance once and fell backwards onto my butt and "sprained" my back. That was a 10. [Never really understood what "sprained" means. Maybe some of our nurses here can explain in lay terms for me]. After that, I understood what severe pain was and since then I am prone to describing general daily disuncomfortableness as a 3-4. If I were to be asked: rate your achiness/stiffness, that would be an 8- most of the time.

Today it's a 9, but it is snowing to beat the band here- more than a foot of snow- can't get out of the driveway. Ahhhh, springtime in the Rockies. Yesterday I was raking the yard...so maybe I am only a 3-4 and should not entertain the idea of surgery. Maybe that's why today, achiness is a 9. [I'm tempted to say it's a 12, but I don't agree with that tendency people (we) have to go past the pain scale to emphasize the depth of pain. It ends at 10, and don't use 10 unless it's as bad as it gets]

Anyway, with raking, I was careful though to hold my abdominals in position and switch sides. When I rake from the left side, I probably look like a 4 year old. All my work is now undercover in a world of white, but I will not be shovelling. I'm extremely happy today because work has ended until Memorial Day weekend- I made it through another winter dragging my carcass around the store, have a lunch date with my son who is not worried about driving in the snow in the least, and I can take naps and watch Oprah for the rest of the day.

My happiness today is a 12.

Another A

foofer
04-29-2010, 11:09 AM
[QUOTE=Back-out;97677]

But I'M allowed to say it! :D Believing? Well, I'd like to know more about what this "discomfort" feels like! Wish someone were really good at describing it (Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch)

This ouch sentence reminded me of something funny. I was talking on the phone to my college daughter once, and we were watching a gymnastics national championship on TV simultaneously. My daughter was a college gymnast and as we were watching a young woman running as hard as she could towards the vault, I said, "I wonder what she is thinking as she's running that hard towards a 'horse' that is almost as tall as she is." My daughter's answer was, "She's thinking,' Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch.

jrnyc
04-29-2010, 01:34 PM
Hi Amy
when i worked in NYC...i had 2 stressful jobs...i loved both of them...but the pain got to be too much...by the end of the day of my first job, before i went to my 2nd part time job, i couldnt stand up it hurt so bad...i got so busy at work with the kids that i forgot to take my pain meds on time...by the time i remembered, the pain was too great....

the beginning of this week, it rained in CT for 3 days straight...the pain was relentless...even with strong pain meds, taking extra pills, i couldnt get out from under the pain...til i finally gave up, gave in and took a hot shower til i turned into a prune!

even now, retired, on a good day the pain is a 7, on a bad day it is an 11!

hope you can get some relief from pain management or from something else.....

jess

JenniferG
04-29-2010, 02:57 PM
a) turning head to drive?

Difficult, I tend to move round in my seat. Trying to use mirrors, but can't judge distance in them yet.

b) dressing - bras? any other problem articles of clothing? (I hear socks are a biggie and I assume one can't fasten dresses in back Tying shoes? Lord, I got SO tired of wearing rubber soled slippers everywhere after hand surgery!)

I didn't wear a bra for months. Luckily I am not big so I could get away with it. Even now, I still occasionally find myself stuffing my tshirt under my bra where it touches my scar. But it's no biggie.

c) reaching things on kitchen or other shelves?

No problem.

d) routine things like hanging clothes in closets

No problem.

e) scrubbing burnt pots (don't ask! )

No problem.

f) how far does one have to squat to compensate with knees (thinking of having knee joint replacement first, to salvage a little more of my independence!

The knees were a problem, they didn't like all this squatting, getting up again was also a problem at first. At 3 months I caved and bought a grabber. Two weeks later, my knees adjusted and I never used it again. Getting up is easy now, it just takes time to get used to these new exercises.

g) opening and closing sticky garage doors

Not for a couple of months.

h) sitting at computer (my lifeblood)

Sitting is hard for the first few weeks, but it gets easier all the time.

i) will I be allowed to climb on stools to reach higher things?

Not while on drugs!

j) (most of all) sleeping! How is one to lie after a back incision or a front AND back incision? Can I ever lie on my back again (like for MRIs or - more - social - activities?)

I was a stomach-sleeper but quickly got used to sleeping on my back. The drugs helped. Now I sleep on either side or my back. I can lie on my stomach now but not sleep on it - there's still a little pressure in my back when I'm on my tummy. It took a few months for me to be interested in anything more than sleeping, in bed. ;)

Regarding pain, I think using the scale of 1-10 is a good one. Pre-op, my pain actually decreased in the last few months because, I think, I got very fit. I only had intermittent aching, around 2 or 3. Prior to getting fit, I would ache most afternoons or when I had to stand or lift, up to about a 6 or 7. Now, it's a zero, every day.:D

JenniferG
04-29-2010, 03:01 PM
Forgot the getting dressed bit. It gets easier. It would make great footage for Candid Camera. Hold the wall, dangle the pants in front of you with the other hand, raise foot and put it in the hanging pant-leg. Swap sides. Lycra swimmers - expect to spend a little more time than ususal getting into them!

Everything is doable, but don't expect to look elegant.:p

We scolis need to keep a sense of humour.;)

jrnyc
04-29-2010, 03:30 PM
Hey Jen
thanks for all that info...

i look pretty inelegant now when i get dressed! :) but i do alot of it sitting down, like the pants, which i assume i couldnt do after fusion to pelvis...

jess

Nitram
04-29-2010, 05:46 PM
I guess we all learn different ways to cope...I'm fused to my pelvis and dress fine standing up...my only difficulty it still gt my socks on. I can do it, I just look like a fool doing it!

Rich

foofer
04-29-2010, 06:39 PM
Hi Amy
when i worked in NYC...i had 2 stressful jobs...i loved both of them...but the pain got to be too much...by the end of the day of my first job, before i went to my 2nd part time job, i couldnt stand up it hurt so bad...i got so busy at work with the kids that i forgot to take my pain meds on time...by the time i remembered, the pain was too great....

the beginning of this week, it rained in CT for 3 days straight...the pain was relentless...even with strong pain meds, taking extra pills, i couldnt get out from under the pain...til i finally gave up, gave in and took a hot shower til i turned into a prune!

even now, retired, on a good day the pain is a 7, on a bad day it is an 11!

hope you can get some relief from pain management or from something else.....

jess

Jess,

Well hello, I think this is the first time we have "talked". Nice to meet you!

My thinking these days is that I will go on as I have been doing all these years, and if I get to the point of pain such that I want to see a pain management doc, I will make the call to schedule surgery.

My goal is to be able to continue the life I am leading now. I know I may have to interrupt this if I end up in big pain, or if my curves progress. Probably one or both will happen, or are happening.....In a perfect world, I would stay exactly the same, or improve, but if I were a betting girl, I would bet on pain and/or progression. I'm kind of an optimistic realist. I'm preparing for the worst and hoping for the best- spending considerable time working on working out..in hopes of avoiding surgery, but knowing I am probably just getting in shape for a better surgical outcome. Make any sense at all?

I am also silently cheering you on in your quest to manage your pain, increase you weight, and head into surgical territory with all your ducks in a row. I am really praying for that for you. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all meet up 5-10 years from now and all we could talk about is what we are doing and what we are excited about doing next!?

Thanks for your concern.

jrnyc
04-29-2010, 07:57 PM
Hey Amy
nice to meet you too! and thank you so very much for the prayers and good wishes! i need them and am grateful for them! :)

i am amazed that you are not in greater pain with the size of your thoracic and lumbar curves...they are larger than mine are! but maybe you dont have the additional disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis and listhesis...???

my surgeon says that my discs are much worse than a year ago, even though my curves are essentially unchanged...so the increase in my pain is coming from my discs....


it was news to me that i will need 2 osteotomies and 2 lamenectomies in addition to the fusion....another surgeon i consulted with a year ago told me that i would not need any "otomies," which is how i asked him...his answer kind of puzzles me...but i have decided to go with my original surgeon choice...so no problem there...

i hope you can find some relief without surgery...i know how hard that is!

take care..feel better...
jess

Back-out
04-29-2010, 08:29 PM
Amy
I thought of starting a thread "Describe Your Pain".

This is a GREAT idea! Not just describe but maybe also comment on how they deal with pain. How do they feel about the rating system (I have a problem - late explanation) How about you start it? I have so many questions I'm about to ask, it will make my name into an allergen otherwise.

So many people are writing in on my weight loss thread, it's almost turned into a poll - and for me, a very helpful one. (I see weight loss is not a given, for anyone. Whew! Never thought I'd be relieved at such a thing) Knowing more about the pain, would be a help to me too, as variable as it is.

I'd especially like to know how people would describe and compare their pre and post surgical pain. Sounds like that's what you want too. I think many of us fence sitters or even those who’re just waiting for their “date with destiny” , waffle a bit depending on their present level of pain.

Depending on the day and position, we wonder if it's really THAT bad (and whether their relief will be worth the risks). I guess we’re all doing a constant cost: benefit analysis. Relative pain is the chief variable on both sides of the equation - what we feel now and what we may be exchanging it for. (“Out of the frying pain into the fire”?) . Sometimes, I even doubt what I feel.

Anyhow, learning what others feel , before and after, could be very valuable, especially if they’re good “describers”. There’s also that human need to know what something feels like, whether it’s giving birth or undergoing serious surgery. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “IT HURTS”? :)

titaniumed
04-29-2010, 08:42 PM
Hi Backout,

Mobility? Check out this picture. Yes, that is me. Its just in case you want to start skiing. LOL Im getting a little too heavy for tip stands lately, I haven't done that in years!
Ed

titaniumed
04-29-2010, 08:43 PM
Look at this thead.
http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10303
Ed

Back-out
04-29-2010, 08:48 PM
I can't find it.

Where did you post it?

Hope you're OK. You seem to be almost as much of a night owl as me lately. (This MUST change for me, as I have so much to do to get ready - if not for surgery, just for a non-chaotic physical environment. I must hire someone, however broke I am. I can't have everything hanging on a possible event, however immense!)

Something tells me your sleeplessness reflects your anxiety about the whole process. I know that's the main thing going on with me. Maybe not having the structure of a job, for both us, makes us obsess a bit more too - as if it weren't a thoroughly obsess-worthy issue! :o

Instead of counting sheep, I feel like counting vertebrae jumping through a surgical theater. :p

jrnyc
04-29-2010, 09:25 PM
Amanda...the thread "pelvic people" is in surgical first time section....just go thru the pages...it is not on first page of those threads anymore...it is probably on page 2 3 or 4 by now...

Titaniumed...great photo..as a non ski-er (and cold weather hater) i never heard of "tip stands" before! very cool! :cool:

question to Titaniumed about the gym...back before the pain was too much, i used to love the lower body machines...the ones where you push the weight...there is one where you are semi laying down...could you please tell me, with fusion to pelvis, can one do any of those semi laying down machines anymore...how bout the sitting up doing weight machine for thighs......where you straighten out your legs with the weight just above your ankles.........is any of that stuff possible after a long fusion...figured i'd ask you since you have the longest fusion! :D

thanks for any info you can give me!


jess

Back-out
04-29-2010, 09:55 PM
Hi Backout,

Mobility? Check out this picture. Yes, that is me. Its just in case you want to start skiing. LOL Im getting a little too heavy for tip stands lately, I haven't done that in years!
Ed

good-god-a'mighty, Ed. I've read about your athletic prowess here and in your profile but that really shows it in action! And WHAT a straight back! I've always put you in the superman "Other" category since reading your profile, but that ties it.

Like that joke:

Pt: Doctor, I'm concerned about this upcoming surgery. Will I be able to...play tennis afterward?
Doc: (after moments reflection) Why, I don't think that should be a problem considering what we're planning. You should be able to play tennis just fine!
Pt: Wow, that's great! I could never even hit the ball!

That's how I feel about your athletics.

Mind you, I used to be so active, I was invited to join a triathlon team (a scant twelve years ago - but a lifetime the way I feel now). Biking, swimming, running and weight lifting machines. Also my floor exercises.

Seems like another me. See PM or email for TBC.

Your photo IS inspiring, as different as we are. In that position, the skis almost look like an amputee-marathon runner in a recent NYTimes photo. Her running prosthesis is one of those loopy looking things - kind of like a scythe. :)

Back-out
05-02-2010, 08:46 PM
This is crucial. I go through my day now trying to imagine what I could and couldn't do "afterward" and it's HARD.

What about carrying things - laundry, groceries. shopping....anything?

Right now, I end up really hunching over to carry anything large in front with both hands, and it hurts just on the side. Even shopping bags.

And what about low step-stools? Not right away I know, but without them (having shrunk, especially) I can't reach anything but the lowest shelves above my kitchen counters and likewise, throughout my house whose storage is heavily dependent on shelving.

Last (for today)

What about bed making?
Mopping up spills? Cleaning broken glass? (Trying to think of things so routine I couldn't wait for a weekly or biweekly housekeeper even if I splurge on one).

Nitram
05-02-2010, 09:49 PM
Back-out, I am just over 6 weeks post op and can do just about any standard household task now within reason, except carry anything per the docs orders. You will be surprised at how quickly you find ways to get back to "normal".

Rich

sheri66
05-02-2010, 11:28 PM
For me its getting in and out of my car (camaro)and I have to rely on my mirrors.Putting shoes and socks on if I have jeans on its easier because I can pull my foot up to my knee with my jeans.The only thing I cant do is clip my toes nails,and shaving my legs is hard, I duck tape my razor to a plastic stick.When I pick things up off the ground I go down on one knee.But Its all good my pre op pain is gone. I do have pain here and there but nothing like I had before surgery.

JenniferG
05-03-2010, 01:23 AM
Sheri, when I was at your stage, I couldn't clip my toenails either, nor shave my legs without the razor taped to a long handled wooden spoon. But in the last few months, I've regained some extra flexibility I wasn't expecting and I can do those things now.

I didn't mind having the vacuuming done, the bath and shower scrubbed, etc. but now I do everything. ;)

There are still some things that are awkward, getting in and out of my car - though I do it much faster now. I am trying to learn to use the mirrors rather than swivelling in my seat. Judging distance in the mirrors I've always found difficult.

Amanda, making beds is no problem, mopping floors ditto. Cleaning up broken glass, well, using the broom first, then kneeling and using the hearth brush and shovel is how I would do it.

leahdragonfly
05-03-2010, 08:36 AM
Hi,

My doctor mentioned it would be difficult getting into and out of the car. What part exactly is difficult, and could it be helped by say a taller car (wagon or SUV)?

Pondering all these things too...

mbeckoff
05-03-2010, 08:48 AM
Hi,

My doctor mentioned it would be difficult getting into and out of the car. What part exactly is difficult, and could it be helped by say a taller car (wagon or SUV)?

Pondering all these things too...

I was wondering that as well

Melissa

ADMoul
05-03-2010, 11:28 AM
Getting into and out of a low car is harder than SUV. For me, it's just the scrunching down you have to do and then swinging your legs in that's hard. I have no issues riding in a car for any distance. But getting up and down from sitting or in and out of bed is still a little rough and am still using my elevated toilet seat. I am at 13 weeks tomorrow. My pain issues right now are in my knees and esp. my one hip. I wore shoes that weren't flat for the first time in the last few days (by no means, heels--those days are long gone) and I think that made the hip stiffness worse. I can shave my legs by sitting in the shower and/or propping my leg up. Am hoping if I "pass" my next check-up and things are fusing, that I will get some PT. Lower back muscles and abs are really weak. I understand they don't start PT until they know there's some stability in the spine but I feel so good otherwise, it's frustrating. I have no trouble with shoes and socks--prop my leg up to put them on or prop my foot on the frame of the bed and kind of tie my shoes on the side. I put on pants at first by sitting on the bed and sliding my legs into them. Started with sweats and things with elastic waistbands. Can't put the sheets on the bed or clean up floor messes too easily. My husband helps with anything heavy going into the oven. My grabbers are my lifesavers. I have them upstairs, downstairs and in the car. I occasionally take some tylenol or a muscle relaxant at bedtime esp. if I did a lot that day. In the scheme of things, though, this post-op stuff is mimimal compared to where I was with pain before. Am so much better off and my energy level is great. You just find ways to adapt or ask someone for help if you need it!

sheri66
05-03-2010, 03:37 PM
JenniferG,thank you you give me hope.I watched all my Grandkids full time before surgery.My goal is to be able to watch them again full time:)

susanp
05-03-2010, 05:16 PM
(a) I bought myself an extra wide rearview mirror which gives me more visibility since turning my head around to back out of a parking space is no longer doable.
(b) I still use a sock aid to get socks on. Itís just easier and quicker. Gave up on pantyhose. I like opaque hose with skirts during winter, but itís a struggle to get them on. I bought walking shoes with Velcro strapsÖso much easier than trying to tie my shoes. I can do it, but the tie is off to the side. I have no other problems with other pieces of clothing.
(c) No problem there.
(d) It helps to use a grabber to retrieve laundry from washer and dryer especially during early recovery. Grabbers come in handy for lots of routine things.
(e) I donít burn my pots. Loading a dishwasher can be difficult during early recovery. I have no problem now.
(f) I donít squat. I get down on one knee.
(g) Can you get yourself an electric garage door opener? I would never attempt to manually open a heavy garage door.
(h) I can sit all day with no problem.
(i) I keep a little step stool in my kitchen to reach things on high shelves. But I will not get on a ladder. I call a friend if I need assistance with anything that requires climbing a ladder.
(j) I have no problem lying on my back. I was a stomach sleeper so it took some getting used to. But now I alternate between my side and back. A good comfy bed is in order.

I live alone too and I was able to be independent at two months. Since my surgery almost two years ago, Iíve never fallen or encountered any problems that I could not handle. And if I did, friends were just a phone call away.

wow is that reasuring - how about sexual activity after a year - I am 62 but I'm not dead yet - my degree is 75

Back-out
05-03-2010, 05:38 PM
Re: cars.

It sounds like one has to park with GREAT care.
For instance I guess parallel parking is out for the nonce. When I've had to, I always check physically on both sides, lately especially. I just got my car back from three weeks in the body shop having had a collection of claims filled at once. My Camry looks new! For now...

(God Bless State Farm - at least, my saintly agent! Two went back to '06 - reported but I hadn't gotten around to taking care of them. Twas a rough period...)

Checking like that, I can't do after this surgery.

OTOH, with nose in parking, one has to be super careful not to park too close to a neighboring car. Not needing all this fancy maneuvering in and out of the seat, anyhow!

*Big sigh*

PS I'll bet legally we might not be allowed to drive while we can't see cars on our sides. "Don't ask; don't tell" ! :cool: