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jsully
07-07-2010, 07:51 PM
Hi everyone. I have been doing really well. Will be 4 weeks out Friday. I am doing all of my families laundry (other than hauling the basket), all the dishes, getting the kids ready for day camp, and walking 1/2 twice a day, AM and PM. Feel like I am in boot camp, pushing myself in a way to get back to work in 8 weeks, (12 hour days). Not sure if that will happen but I sure hope I will feel a lot better soon. Still not driving. Think I will wait for my 6 week post op appt. I only took 3 pills today, will take one more before bed tonight. Hope everyone else is doing well. :p
Janet

golfnut
07-07-2010, 08:18 PM
Janet,
Thanks for letting us know how you are doing. It sounds like you are doing really well for so soon after surgery. Fantastic!

Back-out
07-07-2010, 08:55 PM
Hi everyone. I have been doing really well. Will be 4 weeks out Friday. I am doing all of my families laundry (other than hauling the basket), all the dishes, getting the kids ready for day camp, and walking 1/2 twice a day, AM and PM. Feel like I am in boot camp, pushing myself in a way to get back to work in 8 weeks, (12 hour days). Not sure if that will happen but I sure hope I will feel a lot better soon. Still not driving. Think I will wait for my 6 week post op appt. I only took 3 pills today, will take one more before bed tonight. Hope everyone else is doing well. :p
Janet

Sounds fabulous, Janet. I appreciate your specifying that you don't carry the full laundry basket. That's the kind of detail that helps me picture things. Otherwise, I'd assume that wasn't a problem (and that you and I live in different universes, spinally). Now, I can imagine doing what you're doing (with effort, of course). It's that basket that does me in. OTOH breaking tasks into smaller pieces I CAN identify with, and it gives me the resolve to attempt it. (Hoping this makes sense!:p)

Back-out
07-07-2010, 08:58 PM
I only took 3 pills today, will take one more before bed tonight. Hope everyone else is doing well. :p
Janet
Please bear with me as I ask you and others (not for the first time on this forum) to let us know WHAT pills are being referenced. And not just the name but the dosage!

Those of us struggling with opiate use benefit from comparing our use with that of others' (successful and not), to wean. Those who have been using narcotic pain medication for a long time, think in terms of the active ingredients which differ radically according to the dosage (it can be very different, even with the same brand name).

E.g., hydrocodone can come in many different formulations (different brand names) and even - as in my long-time use - be specially compounded for us by pharmacists in dosages different from those commercially available!

To be specific here, what pills are you taking now - and if, say, oxycontin, what is the dose (10, 20, 40 mg. etc.) and what is the time release formula? Short acting (four hrs) is very different from long acting (12 hours)! I think of myself as taking almost nothing now - 10 mg Norco 10/325 APAP) and a smidgen of long-acting oxycodone (a formulation not even made anymore, after a patent dispute). Others may thinks that's a LOT :D (That's not including NSAIDs).

I congratulate people according to what they are achieving in their own terms, but most of the time with meds, I don't really know what they're taking because so many, like you, speak of being "down to X # pills".

It would really help give me a reference point, if I knew what active ingredients and dosages others are taking. Then when I have surgery (looking increasingly unavoidable), I'll know what others were doing at various points in their recovery - also what their surgeon uses (even though I know all is extremely variable).

I'm almost as concerned as the opiates as about the surgery itself - that is, about going on and off opiates again in the doses surgical rehab seems to require. That's because of my history and ease of becoming dependent. I fell a lot going off last time (a year ago) - an absolute no-no the next time around. This is one reason I like to know the specifics of what others are managing in meds. For me, anxiety reduction is critical in preparing, and for that, nothing substitutes for knowledge. Again, that said - I realize there is great variability

Thanks!

JenM
07-07-2010, 10:11 PM
Hi Janet-

I had my surgery June 8 which was the same week you had yours. I was just wondering when you say you are doing your family's laundry, are you using the grabber to do it? I have the new front end loaders without the "stands" that they sit on so you'd need to bend really low to get the laundry out of the washer and put it into the dryer. Right now I haven't been doing it on my own because I was told no bending. Just wondering how you are doing it? Also, how do you do dishes and put them into the dishwasher? That entails alot of bending so again I'm just wondering how you are able to do that? You sound like you are doing great! You also say you are only taking 3 pills...just wondering what you are taking.

I was doing well up until 2 weeks ago when something happened to my neck. My chin is now basically sitting on my chest and I can barely move it. My neck is so painful. Never thought i would have issues with anything else besides my back after surgery! I am seeing my surgeron tomorrow moring about this. I'm thinking he may give me a neck brace or start signing me up for out-patient physical therapy. Have you started that yet?

So glad you are doing so great! Please keep us posted on your status!!!

JenM

jsully
07-07-2010, 10:43 PM
I have a top load washer and a front load dryer so when they are done drying I scoot them into the basket. I also load and unload the dishwasher by bending. I don't know I thought bending was limited not forbidden (never use my graber, don't know why). I walk the long walks outside with my walker. I take 1 Oxycontin 10mg in the AM and 1 in PM Long acting. Then 1 Percocet 5/325mg every 4-6 for breakthrough pain. I take no NSAIDS. Hope that helps. Today is the 1st day doing 2 walks but I must increase my endurance so I can work. It was painful after. I should have taken a pain pill before going instead of after I suppose. Also stopped using raised toilet seat and took a shower for the 1st time today w/o a chair. I actually think it was easier, but I didn't shave. Oh, also no PT, just done some exercises shone at hospital, walking and went swimming twice this week, (Need the rain to go away more) I hope this helps you all! P.S. I have not driven yet, but really want to.
Janet

mbeckoff
07-08-2010, 12:18 AM
I am 8 weeks out. My Surgery was May 8th and you are doing much better than I am. I was most definitely told no BLT-no bending-no lifting-no twisting.
My surgeon only wants me to walk . He does not want me to do any PT.I was doing great at my 1 month check up on June 9th.Then about 2 2 1/2 weeks ago I started being in a lot of pain on my left side. Today, when I went in to see him , he said that he feels that it is a disc in my neck and gave me steroids.If they do not help, he wants me to have a MRI to see what is going on in my neck . I can do wash because I have front loaders . I love them.I cannot do the D/W however because I get the bottom loaded without dropping the dishes into the D/W

Melissa

jsully
07-08-2010, 01:29 AM
Wow, maybe I am doing more bending then I should.
My DR just never stressed it and I have no problem doing it.
Janet

jrnyc
07-08-2010, 02:17 AM
hi Melissa
wasnt your fusion LOWER than Janet's...? hers was to L5 if i recall, and yours is to S1 if i recall...don't you think that makes a difference..?!!!

if i do have surgery...to pelvis...i dont expect to compare myself to anyone unless they have the same levels fused...all the way down!
otherwise, i think i'd be setting myself up for disappointment...i do know that surgeons say not to compare oneself to anyone else's healing..cause we all heal differently...

hope you heal more each day!
jess

TexEx
07-08-2010, 05:08 AM
I am only fused to L5 and was told that there is a big difference in mobility between that all the way to scacrum. That is why my surgeon wanted to preserve my lower disc, even with the risk of later having to go back an do them. He felt that I did not have enough degeneration at this time to warrent going all the way down.

Jen, don't worry that you are still using your grabber, I am 4 months post op and just stopped using it. Actually, still use it some times to get stuff out of the dry as I am very short and it is hard to reach all the way into it. Another laundry hint is when I don't have anyone to lift the basket for me, is that is push it with my foot to a table or my bedroom and use the grabber to get the clothes out until it is light enough to lift.

Sometimes it is hard to compare to each other do to other issues. Not everyones fusions is the same and everyone has a different build and stature that makes things different for them too.

Melissa
March 31, 2012 Surgery
T9-L5 Fusion

jsully
07-08-2010, 06:52 AM
Tex Ex
I also wanted to preserve that lowest disc as long as possible. That is why I can bend without difficulty, although maybe I shouldn't be.
Janet

mbeckoff
07-08-2010, 07:19 AM
Sorry you are so right about my fusion being so long.I have an 18 inch scar.In addition, you are more than 15 years younger than me which makes such a difference. When I look back at what I could do in my 30's and what I cannot do now in my 50's there is a world of difference. You are so blessed to have had the surgery when you did.

Have a good day

Melissa

ADMoul
07-08-2010, 09:56 AM
Janet, it sounds like you are doing really well in a short time. Everyone is different in how his or her body handles recovery and being younger is definitely an advantage!! I am at 5 months post-op and just put away the elevated toilet seats this week. :) Just let your body tell you what you can do. Overall, I have had a great recovery, but every so often, I over-do it and am reminded that things are still not normal. As many here have said, it's not always a linear progression. There are still bumps in the road even when you think you're over the big hurdles. Best wishes for a continued rapid recovery!

golfnut
07-08-2010, 12:55 PM
Janet,
I haven't had my surgery yet, but was a little concerned when you mentioned that you are bending so soon. I looked in a "Spinal Fusion" handout that I was given at Dr. Lenke's office and it said, "During the first four months, avoid bending or lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds." I would sure check with your surgeon to make sure that it's okay for you to bend so soon.

jsully
07-08-2010, 02:17 PM
I should check with him. However, he also told me I can go back to my nursing profession in 12 weeks, knowing what my job entails. Which is all of the above.
I don't think he is as conservative as most. I will try to be more careful and do more knee bending.

JenniferG
07-08-2010, 02:58 PM
My doctor was the same. There was no mention of bending, lifting and twisting being a no-no. I only knew that from this forum. But I did pick things up from the floor by bending my knees rather than my back. My doctor actually didn't place any restrictions on me at all. Not sure if this is his plan or he's a bit lax. I wasn't given any handouts and the nurses didn't give me any advice either, and they deal with his spinal fusion patients all the time. I was only requested to logroll the first day. After that a lever was placed on the right side of my bed and I used that. It was easy and painless. I never logrolled again.

I was given only one instruction: walk.

Back-out
07-08-2010, 03:15 PM
After that a lever was placed on the right side of my bed and I used that. It was easy and painless. I never logrolled again.

I was given only one instruction: walk.

Sounds good. I am only echoing Evelyn's (Confusedmom) question elsewhere - about this lever. I assume you and others are referring to a lever placed bedside at home. Was this carpentry-ed onto the wall somehow or was it an optional part of a professional bed of some sort? Having a little trouble picturing it, though it really sounds handy. I could even use one now (pre-operative)!

About the no BLT - I'm remembering another patient here who only learned to avoid NSAID's from this site rather than from his doctor's office. Another case of missed communication and more proof of how invaluable this site IS! "Better safe than sorry", etc.

jsully
07-08-2010, 06:32 PM
I was told to walk and swim.

TexEx
07-09-2010, 06:51 AM
Jennifer

My doctor sounds like yours. At my 3 month he basically said that I can do whatever my body tells me I can do. I will feel pain before I can injure my fusion, with the exception of "jarring" type activiities (horseback riding, etc.) and twisting. He did still say that walking was the most important thing that I can do and I try my best to walk 45 minutes a day. Starting arm and leg strengthening, getting my flexabilitly back.

Any activity I ask about, his standard answer is, "let your body be your guide". It is almost irritating when you want some guidance. But I guess my own fear is the only thing that holds me back from my progression. But, better safe than sorry is what I say. I do plan on starting to try to do more. I need to get my sense of balance back too.

Melissa
Surgery March 31, 2010
T9-L5

JenniferG
07-09-2010, 04:58 PM
Amanda - I only had this lever in hospital. I was told Dr. Askin doesn't let his patients use the overhead trapeze gadget to lift up. I was in hospital 19 days so by the time I came home, I didn't need help to get in and out of bed.

Melissa - At my 6 week checkup I told him I was walking every day. His reply was, "Now, do it twice a day." At 12 months he discharged me as a patient simply saying that to preserve the unfused upper portion of my spine, he wouldn't recommend running or jarring activities. But to continue walking.

Back-out
07-09-2010, 05:11 PM
I was only requested to logroll the first day. After that a lever was placed on the right side of my bed and I used that. It was easy and painless. I never logrolled again.


Some people seem to be "log-rolling" for a long time. It it unusual to only have to do it for a few weeks (if there's no lever/trapeze)? I thought it was to become virtually a way of life!

I'm not sure just what it is, but I'm sure when the time comes it will be made abundantly clear. Meanwhile, I'm trying to make sure my upper body (arms) are strong as everyone seems to agree that helps. Heh, I'm even doing my first ever real push-ups - though not quite the Marine nose-touching kind! Seems to be contraindicated for recovery from my Jan. hand surgery but crum, you can't do everything just so. :o

jsully
07-09-2010, 10:13 PM
I put a child's rail on my bed to help me get up and roll side to side. Very helpful!;)
Janet

LynetteG
07-11-2010, 07:12 AM
Janet - you and I have the same doctor and he never mentioned about not bending either etc., and I'm fused to the sacrum. I was also at four weeks loading and unloading the dishwasher, changing the bed sheets etc., but I wasn't bending as such as I can't really bend, I would do kind of a lunge squat. You're doing good with putting away the raised toilet seat, I only just put mine away. :)

jsully
07-11-2010, 09:15 AM
Thanks Lynette,
Started to worry I was doing something very wrong. I feel OK doing it though so, why not?
Janet

naptown78
07-12-2010, 12:11 PM
Some people seem to be "log-rolling" for a long time. It it unusual to only have to do it for a few weeks (if there's no lever/trapeze)? I thought it was to become virtually a way of life!

I'm not sure just what it is, but I'm sure when the time comes it will be made abundantly clear. Meanwhile, I'm trying to make sure my upper body (arms) are strong as everyone seems to agree that helps. Heh, I'm even doing my first ever real push-ups - though not quite the Marine nose-touching kind! Seems to be contraindicated for recovery from my Jan. hand surgery but crum, you can't do everything just so. :o

I still logroll when I get out of bed as it put less stress on my lower back and I am conscious of putting less twisting action on my back. As far as the "bending" conversation, I CAN bend even though I am fused to the sacrum but was given BLT restrictions while recovering. I have to use the "golfer's bend" in order to load the DW and the washing machine. The dryer still gives me problems and I typically have to get down on my knees and pull the clothes out onto the door and go from there. Awww...baby steps!

Doodles
07-12-2010, 05:40 PM
After reading these I tried last night to get into bed w/o logrolling. I don't remember how! Granted my logrolling is modified but I don't remember how I used to get in bed. I usually do the dryer on my knees too. That's the hardest. Janet

jsully
07-12-2010, 10:00 PM
I swear by my child bed rail!;)

gmw
07-13-2010, 06:03 AM
I'm still log rolling at 8 weeks. If I don't, I get a catch in my lower back that hurts like crazy.

Pooka1
07-13-2010, 06:15 AM
At your age, your surgeon may have observed that folks just need pain as a self-imposed restriction as is the case with 95% of kids who need no physical restrictions and still get a good fusion. The kids at least feel normal very early out and mine tended to ignore the restrictions as a result. Who knows.

gmw
07-13-2010, 06:21 AM
It is definitely a self-imposed restriction that gets my attention! I am so thankful I didn't wait any longer to have the surgery. I don't believe my body could have taken it at a much later age. Looking forward to my 8-week follow-up visit with my surgeon today to make sure I haven't pulled anything out of socket.

JenM
07-13-2010, 06:30 AM
Naptown-

I was just wondering what the "golfer's bend" is because I have yet to do the dishwasher or washing machine or dryer. I hired help since I have a 3 and 5 year old and the help is doing my dishes and laundry. She leaves the end of August and I am trying to think about how I am going to bend so low to put clothes into the washer, then take them out and put them in the dryer. We can't bend like we used to I'm assuming??? I forgot to ask my doctor that. I am fused T3-L3. I was thinking we just have to lunge or squat. I am confused though. Just wondering how you all bend.

THanks.

TexEx
07-13-2010, 06:40 AM
I still pretty much logroll out of bed too. Just the way I move now I guess.

Another issue I am having, wondering if others are too, is that I keep "pulling mucsles" in my side. I had pneumonia and originally thought is was from all the coughing. That has subsided but just yesterday, I started having pain in my left side again.

My sister (she is a Physical Therapist) thinks that it has to do with the fact that I am doing more movement and the muscles are not used to it and just get stretched differntly and irritated.

Anyone else having pulled muscles or muscle spasms in the ribcage area?

Otherwise things are great. Back on my walking pace, had to lengthen my walk to get in my 45 minutes the other day.

Melissa
T9-L5 Fusion
Surgery March 31
Pre op 60 Lumbar Curve
Post op 20 Lumbar Curve

gmw
07-13-2010, 07:34 AM
Melissa - I experienced the feeling of pulled muscles in my rib cage. My dr had me alternating heat/cold and I took Flexiril. It actually went away pretty quickly. Sorry you had to go through having peunomia while recuperating. That must have been tough.

Glenda

TexEx
07-13-2010, 08:27 AM
Glenda:

Thanks, it sounds like we had similar fusion. I will take my Robaxin and try the heat/cold. The pnuemonia was kind of a bumber, but did take my mind of my back.

Melissa

jsully
07-13-2010, 09:15 AM
Jen M,
I am not sure what a golfers bend is. I am fused T2-L5 and somehow just bend @ the hips a little.

LisaB
07-13-2010, 09:34 AM
When I had spondylolisthesis surgery 1 1/2 yrs ago and couldn't bend for 3 months, I had a little stool(one of those Rubbermaid little step stools) in front of the washer and dryer (front loaders) and sat on the stool to load and unload. It worked really well. Being short, I have stools all over the house anyway.

jsully
07-13-2010, 04:01 PM
Good idea Lisa!

JenniferG
07-13-2010, 06:22 PM
I think what is meant by the "golfers' bend" is bending at the hip on one leg, with the other straight out the back. Apparently it's easier on your body than squatting.

Jen, by the end of August, you're going to be much more mobile than you are now and it may not seem like such an impossibility. If, by mid August, you are still unable to load and unload the washer and dryer, perhaps your husband or one of the kids can do it for a little while, until you are able. I know some on here used grabbers, so that's an idea as well.

Susie*Bee
07-13-2010, 06:48 PM
Jen M,
I am not sure what a golfers bend is. I am fused T2-L5 and somehow just bend @ the hips a little.

Jennifer described it, but I'll try too. When a golfer is retrieving the ball from the hole, he reaches to get it by keeping one leg in a (sort of) straight plane with his back, while his other leg is standing on the ground. It is much better for one's back. It is also something they teach you in physical therapy if they are going over "dos and don'ts" for backs. If you need to get something off a shelf near the floor-- or pick something off the floor, and you're not going to squat, then you should do that. Of course, you may look a little different sometimes. ;)

naptown78
07-13-2010, 08:24 PM
Naptown-

I was just wondering what the "golfer's bend" is because I have yet to do the dishwasher or washing machine or dryer. I hired help since I have a 3 and 5 year old and the help is doing my dishes and laundry. She leaves the end of August and I am trying to think about how I am going to bend so low to put clothes into the washer, then take them out and put them in the dryer. We can't bend like we used to I'm assuming??? I forgot to ask my doctor that. I am fused T3-L3. I was thinking we just have to lunge or squat. I am confused though. Just wondering how you all bend.

THanks.

I learned this from my physical therapist a couple of years ago. It is a way of bending over while holding one leg straight behind you like a golfer does. It keeps your back "balanced" in a straight line. I have also seen Susie Bee describe it in her posts so maybe it is a Hoosier thing!

Confusedmom
07-14-2010, 03:35 AM
Hoosier thing -- yes. I know/do it too!

Evelyn

Susie*Bee
07-14-2010, 07:09 AM
Aw, c'mon.... other people must do it too! I'm sure it's in the physical therapy books! And I'm sure it's something golfers all know saves their backs from undue stress. If you keep both legs planted on the ground and bend over, you are putting a lot of strain on the vertebrae that are bending. It lessens (or negates?) that strain if you keep your back straight by raising one leg in a straight plane with your back.

TexEx
07-14-2010, 07:23 AM
I have heard of the golfers bend too, but then again, my father is a golfer. Therapist also have a move that is similar that they refer to as the stork or flamingo (I can't remember which, but picture the bird) bend, where you keep one leg straight and and bend at the hip, raising the other leg straight out.

Melissa

Debra JGL
07-14-2010, 06:36 PM
Janet, I'm so glad to hear you're doing so well. It must be such a relief. You seem like you have a good plan with your medications. Have you had much help from your doctor on the best way to manage your meds. or have you been able to do this on your own (I'm thinking being a nurse is a plus)?? My doctors office just told me I would need to order any refills though my primary doc.. after the first month. I'm a little concerned I'm going to need to figure out the pain med. management on my own. I'm not one to take much medicine and will go without whenever possible (not always a good thing). It seems, though, that it really helps in recovery to take the meds. to find a good balance of pain relief to let the body heal, but feel enough pain to not do too much.

jsully
07-14-2010, 08:24 PM
Debra,
I just have done this on my own. I let my body decide what it needs. I always take a pill in AM and PM. Then afternoon, if needed, like today!
Janet