View Full Version : picking up items from floor

06-06-2010, 05:50 PM
I am fused from T2 -sacrum .Yes I realize that I am only a month out .However, in my lifetime, will I ever be able to pick something up off the floor with my hands instead of a grabber? Just wondering? Not rushing?



dolores a
06-06-2010, 06:34 PM
Hi Melissa, I have almost the same fusion as you, and yes I felt about the same as you do now for at least three to four months as far as not being able to pick up anything without my grabbers. I don't even use them anymore. It will be gradual and different. I would still use those grabbers for a good while though for separating the wash and things like that.

For one month out, you sound like you are doing very well!

06-06-2010, 06:36 PM
Glad you asked that question Melissa, I feel the same way. I use my grabbers for everything, getting dressed, laundry, picking everything up everywhere as I just can't reach the floor with my hands.

06-06-2010, 07:00 PM
I was able to pick things up unaided at the six months stage, however, my fusion begins at T11 and this is probably why it was easier for me. Don't worry you will get there. We eventually find a 'new' way to deal with most things thrown our way.

06-06-2010, 09:17 PM
My fusion's T4-pelvis and I didn't use a grabber except for 2 weeks around the 3 month mark, when my knees were bothering me. I would bend my knees to get down low, or go down on one knee. Now I can simply bend from the pelvis to pick up the tiniest thing from the floor - though it's a stretch - so you do gain a bit of flexibility as time goes by.

06-07-2010, 08:31 AM
I just either go down on one knee (which is hard for me with my arthritis, so I don't do it all that much) or use my grabber, because I was led to believe if I overuse my L5-sacrum I can cause them to wear out. In the case where I need to pick up something and I don't have my grabber and I just want to reach over, I use a "golfer's reach"-- a maneuver my physical therapist taught me. It is much easier on your back than leaning over with both feet on the floor. You'll notice when a golfer goes to pick up his golf ball out of the cup that he/she lifts one of his/her legs up behind. Sort of like a ballet arabesque, but different incline since you're reaching clear to the floor/ground-- and not really like an arabesque. :rolleyes: Anyway, I'd much rather be too careful than really sorry. So even after 3 years I'm still almost always using my grabbers. But that's me.

06-07-2010, 08:43 AM
I really use my feet to pick up thing off the floor because my one of my sisters said my right foot like like a hand

06-07-2010, 09:21 PM
I can bend over to pick something up off the floor - just hurts when I come back up. I asked Dr. Lenke about that and he said I could start to bend over to get things off the floor, but just not to topple over and be sure to steady myself. So, I still have my grabber and its just still more comfortable to use that whenever I can. Dragging things in and out of the drier and then lifting the laundry basket sometimes is still a task but I figure that's a job for my 13 yo son anyways and he loves helping, so that is how I am handlign that for now.

06-07-2010, 10:26 PM
I use my size 10 feet to pick things up or just go down on one knee.It does get easier.

06-07-2010, 10:59 PM
I'm starting to wish again that I lived in the age of "Upstairs. Downstairs" (as an Upstairs person!) and were brought up being used to being waited on - could tune out servants. Read that Winston Churchill walked around stark nekkid in front of the help; they were invisible to him.

How lovely that would be - if I could afford it, that is! HAHAHAHA.

Starting to worry abt yet one more thin (do NOT want to damage my fusion when it comes). I'm sure it's different for flexible teens - certainly about the foot-grab! I USED to be able to do that too, especially with Ehler Danlos hyperflexibility. (Back to pre-toddlerhood. Mommy picks up everything I drop from the crib!)

OTOH there ARE specially trained dogs, if you don't mind getting everything back with dog spit! There we go...

06-08-2010, 09:09 AM
I have no problem now with picking up small items off the floor although I still tend to favor my grabbers only because Iím 61 and want to preserve my knees for as long as possible.

06-10-2010, 07:50 AM
Hi Melissa

Like others here, I thought I would be using my grabbers forever. I'm a little over the 9-month mark and had T10-sacrum surgery. What I'm finding is that I still use my grabbers but less and less over time. I have gravitated from my long grabbers to long kitchen tongs. I expect that I will not even need those down the line.


06-10-2010, 08:17 AM
Well, after seeing my surgeon yesterday for my one month post appt, he said to me at this point we really do not know if you will be able to pick up items from the ground without the grabber.

So we shall wait and see


06-10-2010, 10:46 AM
Melissa -
As time goes by you should be able to pick things up from the floor without using a grabber. For those first six months when there is to be no BLT, grabbers are indispensable. Later on you will begin to gradually test your limits to see what you are capable of doing and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

I have no problems picking things from the floor or doing laundry. I find now, most often I use the grabbers in the kitchen for things on high shelves. I should have had one of those things years ago!

Susie, at times I also use the 'golfer's reach' :cool: or a modified version of it. Just a quick grab and go.

06-10-2010, 12:28 PM
For some things (laundry) I still use my grabber, but most other things I either bend down OR.....(don't laugh) if I'm barefoot, I'll use my toes--the built-in grabber.

06-10-2010, 02:32 PM
For some things (laundry) I still use my grabber, but most other things I either bend down OR.....(don't laugh) if I'm barefoot, I'll use my toes--the built-in grabber.

Damn, I KNEW there was a downside to my double bunionectomy 15 yrs ago! Those big toes don't bend atall anymore. :( Just saw my knee surgeon, who claims I can do anything I want (albeit only light lifting) by pending from the pelvis, hence no knee surgery first.

Do NOT think he's right. I wish, though...

06-10-2010, 06:17 PM
Let me just throw a laundry comment in here. About a month ago, my 30 year old (!) dryer died. Long story but ended up replacing both the washer and the dryer with those front loading models that are up on pedestals. Yes, you pay extra for the pedestals, but does that ever make laundry life easier for those of us with fused spines! Am still using grabbers for most things but not so much anymore for laundry unless it's to get stuff off the floor.

06-10-2010, 08:00 PM
Very good comment. I wonder how much it would cost to have my present washer dryer set put on pedestals. Wonder too, if Lowe's would put them up if I pay for the pedestals. Jeez, and for the last few years I've been economizing by tossing my laundry over basement clotheslines! Not too hard since both sons are at college. Amazing what a savings in electicity it's been, but - now what? :(

06-11-2010, 11:16 AM
Anne-- I agree, those new front loaders on pedestals are wonderful. My husband gutted our laundry room this winter and made me a really nice one, and we got the front loaders on pedestals... Since I've been putting more pics on my "pics of me" in my signature this week, I just added the laundry room... It makes life soooooo much easier. And I put the laundry basket up on a tallish step-stool thing, so it's at a really good level for me.

06-11-2010, 12:14 PM
Oh Susie, your grandkids are sooooooooo cute. Love the laundry room.:)

06-11-2010, 12:47 PM
Thanks Chris. Of course I'm partial. ;) Get to see the Indiana one next week, then heading to NH for the following week. I'm ecstatic, to say the least. About the laundry room. Here's what a wonderful husband I have... we bought this house for when we retire and haven't fixed it up yet. We actually live in a different house... (long story) because of hubby's job, 1/4 mile away. But it has narrow stairs, bedrooms upstairs, etc. and this one is on one level. We've been staying here since my surgery. He did the laundry every Saturday, carrying the laundry basket to the other house, because there was no laundry room here. The other laundry room was impossible for me to maneuver in-- you had to twist to throw the laundry into the dryer, etc. So this is great for both of us. :)