View Full Version : 5 Months Post Op!

06-02-2011, 09:41 PM
It has been 5 months since my surgery! Every month as I pass that anniversary I am amazed afresh that I am doing so well, that I survived the biggest orthopedic surgery you can have, and I am feeling better than I did the month before. I am very blessed. I don't take for granted that I am having such a smooth recovery.

At 5 Months Post-Op, I am feeling better than I have felt in years. I am able to sit for hours without pain. I have been frequently catching myself sitting reading or working for hours on end. I'll look at a clock after sitting 4 hours working away, and am shocked that my leg isn't burning in pain! I am able to sit a desk, something I haven't been able to do without pain for 4 years. I just generally feel BETTER. This is such a welcome surprise. At most I hoped the surgery would prevent my 52 degree double major curves from progressing any further. I also hoped that it would keep my pain from getting worse, but I had no rosy notions that I would feel better, or be in less pain. It seems so counterintuitive that drilling 26 titanium screws into your vertebrae and attaching 2 metal rods to the length of your spine would in any way make you feel BETTER. But I do. And I am excited about it.

The first 2 months of this recovery was hell for me. And that was with no complications at all. Those two months were the most depressing, painful, dreary months of my entire life. Whenever I see something (like applesauce, or bendy straws) that reminds me of that time, I immediately feel my body become tense and anxious. It's as if even my body is saying "don't ever put us through that again. That was the worst thing we've ever gone through!" I can't even think about it for more than a minute or two before I have to throw those memories back into the dark corners of my mind reserved for unpleasant thoughts. I may be feeling better now than I have in years, but it took a lot of pain and suffering to get here. For me, thankfully, the pain was worth it.

I am only taking a muscle relaxer 2-3 times a day and gabapentin for the nerve pain. But the pain is continuing to diminish, even as I am more and more active.

I still have trouble sleeping well, I think I wake up every time my body wants to roll over, but can't without my help =) So I usually have 2-3 bad nights of sleep and then 2-3 good nights (because I'm so exhausted from the previous 3 lol). My one shoulder is still very tight, but massage and exercise is helping it. I still get worn out really easily, but other than that I can't really complain.

Oh, and just a side note. I went to get my teeth cleaned yesterday and the tech said I should call my surgeon about taking an antibiotic afterwards. It kinda freaked me out, so I called him but he said that since I am 5 months post op, he doesn't feel like it is anything to worry about. He said during the first 3 months post op he requires it, but after that no worries. He also said that sometimes the dentist will require it anyway, but it's from back when they used to use stainless steal instead of titanium. Not sure why it was bad to have stainless and get your teeth cleaned, but all I need to know is that at 5 months post op, the dentist does not require antibiotics.

Anyway, I'm pulling for all of you who have had rough road, and I'm thankful for everyone who has encouraged me and shared your stories with me.


06-02-2011, 10:52 PM
Lovely to get your encouraging, positive news Rebecca. Especially good for those who're really struggling in those first couple of months. Keep up the good work!

06-02-2011, 11:54 PM
Thanks for this post. It is very descriptive--which helps those of us who have yet to take the plunge! I'm really glad you're doing so well.


06-04-2011, 01:36 PM
Congratulations! I am glad you are feeling so well. When you mentioned certain things or foods that reminded you of the first month or two when the recovery was tough, I had to agree. I have pajamas from that period that I might just burn! I am so thankful to be 5 months post op and doing well. Keep up the good work with your recovery.

06-04-2011, 04:46 PM

Everything sounds good. Congratulations! You made it!


06-04-2011, 04:51 PM
When you mentioned certain things or foods that reminded you of the first month or two when the recovery was tough, I had to agree. I have pajamas from that period that I might just burn!

Me too! With me, it's xfinity commercials. Because I had major sleeping issues, I often watched TV al night long. Apparently they can't sell those hours very well, as I'd see xfinity commercials at least once every half hour. When I hear their jingle now, I want to murder someone.


06-04-2011, 10:31 PM
thanks everyone for the kind words! I sometimes hesitate to post, just because I know there are so many who have such a hard time. I do have my share of bad days and frustrations, but like I said, overall I'm doing so well I can't complain. I think that how well I'm feeling now at only 5 months post-op shows how HORRIBLE I was feeling pre-op. It's amazing how when you live with pain for so long you don't realize how it not only affects your body, but your energy and attitude as well. I feel now like life is full of things to do and try again, whereas before the surgery I didn't ever feel like doing much because of the pain I was in. But I do feel blessed, I didn't ever dream I could feel this good again. I do bring up the first few months just to let any pre-oper's out there it is a VERY hard recovery. But I was so blessed to have this forum to prepare myself for that difficulty, and I think my expectations were pretty accurate. I think if you go into this knowing it's going to be a battle, it's not as shocking, and maybe a little easier to handle. In the very least it's encouraging to know you're not alone. I can't imagine the poor people who have this surgery without the benefit of talking with all of you first!

oh, and Karen I laughed when I read about your pj's, I actually DID donate all my pj's that I wore during recovery!! someone was very sweet and bought me a bunch of comfy pj's to wear, and I wore them pretty much 24-7 the first month and a half. but like you said, I couldn't stand the sight of them after I started feeling better so I bagged them all up, along with all the other clothes I "grew" out of with my new height and donated them. it's so funny how your brain associates things so strongly!

06-05-2011, 10:45 AM
I know what you mean about being hesitant to post when you know there are others with complications or more recovery pain. I definitely feel for those having problems and a slightly longer time before seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel." On the other hand, if all of those waiting for surgery (for me it was 13 months) never read a positive recovery story, it would be extremely tough to make the decision for surgery. There was a thread last year "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and it mentioned that some didn't want to post anything negative. It is good that this forum has it all. We're also lucky to have the expertise of Linda, our moderator, and of course, Ti-Ed.
Keep up the good work with your recovery.

06-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Karen, I think you're so right about letting people know there CAN be positive results. And like you said, when we were both preparing for this surgery, reading about others who had gone before us and were doing well helped us tremendously.

I think it's been so wonderful too having the surgery around the same time we've been able to cheer each other on and compare notes lol. When I read about you walking on your golf course, I started doing that too, since I live on one too. =)