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View Full Version : How long before you can "sit" normal? Also a question about socks



djkinkead
10-10-2011, 07:43 AM
Hi Everyone,

Well, it's been almost seven weeks post surgery and yesterday my husband drove me to church for the first time (I would have gone last week, but dropping off sister at airport).

ANYWAY, the chairs at church are lightly padded, so I didn't bring my "pillow" in with me (I am still using a pillow for my back for sitting in chairs, cars, etc). I tried to sit back and lean against the cushion but could only do it for a short time before it became uncomfortable...so I spent most of the service just sitting "erect" in my chair which lead to one aching back by the end of the service. Went home, took my scheduled pain dosage and slept for 1.5 hours.

I realize I am not a big person--and my legs aren't long enough to get the bottom of my back up to the back of the chair, but pre-surgery wasn't a problem (I guess I slouched in the chairs).

How long post-op was it before you could just sit and lean back normally in a normal chair? BTW, I am fused both top and bottom....so there isn't much give anywhere.

Also, for others fused like me, can you get your socks on by yourself...well, after you are totally fused, or do you still need the sock tool forever after?

Enquiring minds want to know what others can do!

Jacque's Mom
10-10-2011, 09:33 AM
"I realize I am not a big person--and my legs aren't long enough to get the bottom of my back up to the back of the chair, but pre-surgery wasn't a problem (I guess I slouched in the chairs)".
__________________________________________________

I had my surgery to the sacrum last December, and I have the same issues. While I'm not in pain, I cannot sit in a chair without a pillow behind my lumbar area. I find it very uncomfortable even sitting on a living room sofa or cushioned chair, unless I put a small pillow behind me. Since there is no flexibility, it effects my neck if I'm sitting straight back on a high chair. I always bring my pillow on the bus commuting to work, to restaurants, to friends homes, the car, everywhere. It really gets better, it's a big adjustment. As far as the socks, well, that's a challenge. You're only seven weeks so I'm not sure if you can do this yet but I kneel on one knee and put the sock on the other foot. Now stockings/tights, that's a whole other story! I either sit on a very low chair (similar to a child's chair) or I sit on a toilet seat since that's low and bend forward to put them on. We do get creative! It does get better. Take care, LYNN

golfnut
10-10-2011, 03:29 PM
I think I was about 6 months post op when I no longer needed the sock aide. I was pretty fast with it so didn't really rush into not using it. I still am not very comfortable leaning back in any chair or even in the car without a pillow behind my back. When we go out to eat, I may lean back temporarily, but am actually just as comfortable sitting erect. (now 9 months post op)

LindaRacine
10-10-2011, 05:12 PM
I'm 8 months postop, and still need to use the sock tool. Not sure I'll ever be able to put socks on without it.

I wasn't truly comfortable sitting in most chairs until I was about 6 months postop.

debbei
10-10-2011, 10:04 PM
I probably carried a pillow around for 4-5 months. Maybe even a little longer!! I can't remember exactly when I could sit normally, but it was probably less than a year. I'm almost 3 years post-op,, and there are a few cars where my spine doesn't fit without pillows. My husband's Honda Element and another friend's car (can't remember make/model.) The problem with those cars is the head rest pitches me forward, and then my spine can't fit into the back of the seat.

I fit perfectly in my 2004 honda odysey, and just about everywhere else!!

djkinkead
10-11-2011, 01:53 PM
Stockings and tights, eh? Ha!!!! I think I have one or two pairs probably rotting in a drawer somewhere. At this point I am so glad that all of my business suits have pants and not skirts. Maybe I am a bit of feminist at heart--what I bring to the workplace are my brain cells, not eye candy in the form of skirts...

Sorry, that just struck me as so funny Lynn, when you mentioned stockings and tights...they are just so off my radar and even more so now.

Thank you to everyone on the update on how you are able to sit (or not sit) without wonderful pillows--I am feeling normal now.... :-)

BendyBill
10-11-2011, 02:14 PM
Sock aid?! How does that work??

B

thirdattempt
10-11-2011, 02:58 PM
Hi all

Hope I am replying in the right place.

My experiences nearly 2 years on. I never got on with the sock aid at all! I used to get my biggest socks, lay them on the carpet, wiggle my toes into the very top and then push my foot into the sock while it was clinging to the carpet - does that make sense? I got really good at that - it was some time until I was able to start lifting my leg up or crouching down to get them on. If i needed to wear "smart" socks, someone would have to help me !

Being thin (and short) I have found it difficult to sit in chairs with hard backs for years anyway and always used a cushion in the car for comfort. Post-op I used cushions/pillows all the time and while it isn't such a problem now, I still use one for my chair at work, in cars, when going out to eat, etc. My favourite cushion has travelled to the US from the UK twice this year and been invaluable. It might look silly to others, but who cares - we have to endure enough, we might as well get comfort where we can! And I certainly needed it bouncing around Monument Valley in a jeep LOL

I agree - it's nice to be in a place where we feel normal !

Vicky

Doreen1
10-11-2011, 03:15 PM
Post-op I used cushions/pillows all the time and while it isn't such a problem now, I still use one for my chair at work, in cars, when going out to eat, etc. My favourite cushion has travelled to the US from the UK twice this year and been invaluable.
Vicky

Hi Vicky,

What size pillow are you talking about: bed pillow, sofa throw pillow, etc.?

Warmly,
Doreen

thirdattempt
10-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Doreen

My 'old faithful' cushion is about 14x14 and quite soft/squidgey. It is a throw cushion from my sofa (or was!) I do wonder if it acts something like a child's "comfort blanket" now - having that bit of home comfort with me LOL Seriously - it's just good to know that when I get on a plane, into a strange car, restaurant chair or whatever, it won't hurt my back. I also have a problem with the screws at the top of my fusion so this particularly applies to any high-backed seat - like on a plane or in a car. I have come close to losing it a time or two (by getting up and walking out without thinking) but thankfully managed to retrieve it each time - including from a taxi cab one time! It has become something of a joke with my friends, as you can imagine :)

Immediately post-op I used pillows and cushions of every description including one of those V shaped ones. My first 3 months weren't good and anything that helped was precious.

I have been following the story of your on/of/on op and am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for you in the run up to your scheduled date.


Vicky

djkinkead
10-11-2011, 03:57 PM
Sock Aid for Bendy Bill:

It works pretty good with like an ankle sock--it's shaped like 1/2 of a tube with a rope attached to both sides of half the tube. You thread your sock up the tube and then you lower it to the floor and you push your foot through the sock on th

Here's a youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us0bcyyoAaE


Pillows...right now I am bought a bunch of regular bed/sleep pillows and have them everywhere in house and the car. My science experiment will be this: I am going to cut up some memory foam (the solid, good quality you order to top your bed) into pillow size and throw them into pillow cases. I am hoping this will make for a bit flatter pillow that isn't so "huge" looking as a regular bed pillow. I could even alter the pillow case to the size of the memory foam so it doesn't look so silly.

Anyway, that's my future experiment (waiting for new memory foam I will use on current bed and will cut up the smaller piece I have on my bed now).

Doreen1
10-11-2011, 04:04 PM
Hi Doreen

My 'old faithful' cushion is about 14x14 and quite soft/squidgey. It is a throw cushion from my sofa (or was!) I do wonder if it acts something like a child's "comfort blanket" now - having that bit of home comfort with me LOL Seriously - it's just good to know that when I get on a plane, into a strange car, restaurant chair or whatever, it won't hurt my back. I also have a problem with the screws at the top of my fusion so this particularly applies to any high-backed seat - like on a plane or in a car. I have come close to losing it a time or two (by getting up and walking out without thinking) but thankfully managed to retrieve it each time - including from a taxi cab one time! It has become something of a joke with my friends, as you can imagine :)

Immediately post-op I used pillows and cushions of every description including one of those V shaped ones. My first 3 months weren't good and anything that helped was precious.

I have been following the story of your on/of/on op and am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for you in the run up to your scheduled date.


Vicky

Even though I'm not yet post-op, sitting is very difficult for me in two areas: ribs pressing in to pelvis and tailbone area. During Sunday's Bible study, I decided to sit on our friends' dining room chair because it was firmer than their cushy couch. While the stiff back of the chair was okay, when I tried standing up 1 hour later, oh my gosh, I could barely do it. Jeremy had to pull me up into a standing position because my tailbone/bum area hurt so badly despite there being a cushioned seat on the chair. Has anyone had a sitting issue pre-op?

Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts, Vicky.

Warmly,
Doreen

Marina63
10-12-2011, 04:15 PM
Omigosh, I have the same issue!! Then I read somewhere recently that most cars have the head rests pitched more forward to help reduce whiplash in the event of an accident. I will be in the market for a new car soon and will have to make sure the headrest is comfortable. I guess my upper back was rounded before my surgery which kept my head slightly forward.

I guess I will have to become a pillow toter as well.

debbei
10-13-2011, 05:45 AM
Omigosh, I have the same issue!! Then I read somewhere recently that most cars have the head rests pitched more forward to help reduce whiplash in the event of an accident. I will be in the market for a new car soon and will have to make sure the headrest is comfortable. I guess my upper back was rounded before my surgery which kept my head slightly forward.

I guess I will have to become a pillow toter as well.

Yep, if I want to sit in one of 'those' cars with the stinky headrest, I need a little pillow behind my back. When I drive with my husband in his 2008 Honda Element, he took the headrest from the passenger side and reversed it. I'm fine that way.

Marina63
10-13-2011, 08:32 AM
Reversing the head rest !!?!?! Brilliant! I need to try that.

djkinkead
10-13-2011, 09:14 PM
Yeah, when we looked at cars, head rests were bothersome. Not sure reversing them is a good idea if you get in an accident.

If you switch cars because of the surgery, you may want to wait until after the surgery to see what feels right...although I, too, have already become a part of the pillow toting crowd....

titaniumed
10-13-2011, 10:44 PM
For those looking at buying a car, I would suggest getting heated seats. They are worth every penny.

I have had many cars with heated seats, the best was in a Jeep Grand Cherokee I owned years ago. I could scramble eggs in 30 seconds on the high setting. I also feel that the seats in that vehicle 1999, are the best car seats I have ever sat in. Iím sorry I sold the car......

Sitting normal?....What happens is a gradual improvement over time. I have a old Toyota truck, with a bench seat that offers no ergonomic qualities at all, and it took me about a year before I moved it. Now, I can sit and drive it with no problem, and with no pillows. The back eventually toughens up after time.

Cars with head rests set too far forward are a problem and I address this immediately upon entry. The head rest should not be pushing your head forward at all.
Ed

Marina63
10-14-2011, 05:38 AM
Yes, yes, yes!!!! I have a 2000 VW Golf and when I purchased it used 10 years ago, didn't think I would ever use the heated seats. Since my surgery, they have been the best! I have turned on the seats in the hot Atlanta weather. I get out of that car feeling like butter : )

My mother has Honda CRV and the seats barely get warm. I would not purchase that car for that reason. Will get another VW Golf eventually and heated seats are a MUST!

Ed, I feel that since the curve in my upper back is gone, I sit much straighter and the headrests slightly pitch my head forward. I've read that new cars have a more forward slanting headrest to help reduce whiplash in accidents. I'm hoping I can find something comfortable when the time comes.

debbei
10-14-2011, 05:41 AM
For those looking at buying a car, I would suggest getting heated seats. They are worth every penny.

I have had many cars with heated seats, the best was in a Jeep Grand Cherokee I owned years ago. I could scramble eggs in 30 seconds on the high setting. I also feel that the seats in that vehicle 1999, are the best car seats I have ever sat in. Iím sorry I sold the car......

Sitting normal?....What happens is a gradual improvement over time. I have a old Toyota truck, with a bench seat that offers no ergonomic qualities at all, and it took me about a year before I moved it. Now, I can sit and drive it with no problem, and with no pillows. The back eventually toughens up after time.

Cars with head rests set too far forward are a problem and I address this immediately upon entry. The head rest should not be pushing your head forward at all.
Ed

Ed,

I LOVE my "Butt Warmer", I've had one for years and will not buy a car (for myself) without them! The headrest thing drives me nuts, it does push the head forward, It's horrible. I'm on the short side (5'3") and it just doesn't work on me even before surgery. My husband is over 6' and it works well for him.