View Full Version : 5 Months Postop

05-15-2011, 05:25 PM
It is hard to believe but it has been 5 months since my surgery. I have come a long way but still have issues. I had an appointment with Dr. Rand last Thursday, May12, and won’t see him again until September when it will be 9 months post-op.

The good news is that I can walk and stand about as much as I want to pain free. This has made a great difference in my life. This is really why I had the surgery and I am thrilled. My husband and I have been exploring recreation areas that we did not go to before. I am walking up to 2 miles at a time. Dr. Rand doesn’t have any specific amount of time or distance I need to walk, just keep walking.

I am no longer wearing the Jewitt brace, which is a great relief. I wore it for about 4 months.

I got the go-ahead to start to do some gentle yoga postures, those without bending or twisting.

As for fusing, I was told it would take 1-2 years and Dr. Rand won’t order a CT scan until then. I do feel like I have a solid vertical mass that doesn’t hurt but is there. Hopefully, it means that some fusion is going on. I guess he couldn’t tell anything about fusing from the x-rays. I asked.

In addition, I asked about the possibility of the rib hump reappearing. Dr. Rand said it could happen after 1-2 years because it is not fused.

Also, I feel a bit numb below my waist. Above my waist, along the incision, I do have feeling. I was hypersensitive in that area for a while when the acupuncturist put in the needles. That has calmed down.

I still need to use the cane for another month. I use it for the long walks but not in the house. Dr. Rand thinks it helps with keeping the correct posture.

I still use the bone stimulator and will have it for another 3 or 4 months until it “runs out.” I have been wearing it for 4 hours a day but was told that I can reduce to 2 or 2 ˝, if needed, and not to take it on vacation. The directions tell you not to put it in your carry-on luggage. I guess it doesn’t do well going through security.

The referred nerve pain in my upper abdomen, coming from T8 and T9, is less intense and less frequent, but I still have it. I did have three different kinds of steroid shots but don’t think they really helped. I have had 11 acupuncture treatments and think that has been of more help. I will continue with the acupuncture. In the meanwhile, lying down when I have the pain helps. I wrote about this nerve pain in other postings.

I have headaches in the back of my head that spread around to my temples and forehead but mainly are from the muscles in my upper back. I need to do some exercises to help with this. Also, the acupuncturist is working on this as well. I have been trying various pillows to help with this. I think the down pillow has been the best. Being a migraine sufferer, at first, I thought these were migraines, however, they are not. Luckily, the Fioricet for migraines works on these headaches too.

I am halfway through taking a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course ala Jon Kabat-Zinn but is not taught by him. It includes meditation and yoga. I recommend it, especially with dealing with pain.

I’m pleased with the outcome of the surgery. I was headed for a walker and a then a wheelchair because of the pain from walking and standing. That pain is gone!

Thanks to all on this Forum for your continued support. It is wonderful not to be alone in navigating this whole process from before surgery until you are “on the other side” and recuperation.

05-15-2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the update. It sounds like your problems are reduced and the positives continue to grow!

05-15-2011, 05:44 PM
I just want to back you up on how bad referred pain can be.

I had a ruptured ectopic and bled into my belly. The blood so irritated a nerve to my shoulder that all I can remember about the hospital is that I was constantly complaining that I must have broken my shoulder when I passed out and fell from the bleed out. The shoulder pain is pretty much all the pain I remember from that episode despite having my lower abdomen and muscles cut and having a tube removed in an emergency fashion.

That pain was a problem for sure. :-)

I wish you continued success in your recovery.

05-15-2011, 05:47 PM
Glad to hear that you are doing so well. I would love to be able to walk again. I am praying that this new surgery will help


05-28-2011, 03:02 PM
I am so glad you are up and walking, pain free! And exploring places! This surgery can be wonderful, and it is great to hear positive outcomes. We are still fairly early in our recovery, and still have a lot of healing to do. Only onward and upward from here for us! Congrats!

05-28-2011, 04:56 PM
Thanks. It sounds like you are doing great!! I read your report. I haven't tried shaving my legs yet. I'm waiting to be allowed to bend at 6 months (June 7). In the meanwhile, I'm wearing long pants. I know Karen secured a razor onto a long handle.

Bending will make a big different in my life. I'm not sure how you did gardening without bending. How did you do it?

Enjoy your trip!!


05-28-2011, 11:09 PM
It is kinda hard to explain in words. I don't bend. I am still being very careful to protect my back. I treat my body like it is a 2 piece hinge that only pivots at the hips. If you sit in a chair, you can pull up your legs and move them side to side. That movement is not from bending your back, it is all in the hips. You can do the same while gardening, or any other task. Just keep your back nice and straight while "bending" from the hips only. It is easier to imagine doing the task in a back brace that doesn't allow you to bend your back. It only allows you to use your hips. I hope that makes some kind of sense and helps!

05-29-2011, 02:45 PM
jenee, i don't mean to hijack this thread, but you pix are amazing!
hard to imagine that those long pins at hip don't hurt!

Irene, am glad the method is helping you...i've read his books, but not tried it...

wishing everyone a great holiday wkend, without pain!


05-29-2011, 05:49 PM
Thanks, Jess!

I'm kinda amazed that it doesn't hurt, too. I've been very lucky! For me, I think it boils down to a couple major things-

Having a realistic attitude -the main goal is stopping the progression, everything else is icing on the cake! (Surgery is not a "cure".)

Doing lots of research. And then some more...

And having faith in your doc.

Someday when you end up having your surgery, you will do awesome, because you have all of the above!!