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progress
10-18-2011, 04:00 AM
Hi everyone, I am now about 2 1/2 months post-op and back at work full-time (very cushy). However I am deathly exhausted!
I am feeling more and more normal except for the exhaustion. I am surprised at my flexibility, although I'm not pushing it (T9 to L3). If I had a demanding job I could't do it.
Does this surgery kill everyone's stamina? Will I ever have energy again? I need a holiday!
Kelly
49 yrs
Australia

BendyBill
10-18-2011, 05:09 AM
Hi Kelly,

I haven't been through surgery as yet but I'm pretty sure the fatigue you're feeling is normal. On top of this I think returning to any degree of work at 2 1/2 months post-op would exacerbate that fatigue further. From what you're saying it sounds like your recovery is going very well but I'm sure people will tell you to take it easy.

TAKE IT EASY! :)

B

LindaRacine
10-18-2011, 10:02 AM
Totally normal. After my first surgeries, it took me a year to get past that feeling of exhaustion. With the surgeries I had in January, I never had the feeling of exhaustion for some reason.

--Linda

djkinkead
10-18-2011, 11:44 AM
Hi Kelly,

I am right there with you, at two months post surgery, I am still taking 3-4 "rests" a day. I am teleworking now about 4-5 hours a day.

Not sure I could do full time two weeks from now, but I also have a long commute (about 1 hour driving), so that would add to the strain.

It might be worthwhile to ask your manager for a "rest" period mid-day for about four to six weeks. Not sure if there is anywhere in your office you could lay down, though.

Anyway, there's lots of us "tired" post-surgery people out there.

Dollie

titaniumed
10-18-2011, 01:05 PM
Kelly

I donít know how you guys do it. I would not have been able to go to work at 2 1/2 months. I basically slept like a cat for about 2 years, with plenty of naps.....

I miss those days!

Its proof that the body takes a long time to heal.

I wonder if some sort of Oxygen therapy would help??? Sounds like a good idea....

Hang in there
Ed

Lorz
10-18-2011, 05:47 PM
I'm with Ed, how the heck do you guys do it? I am 4 months post-op, and no where near ready to return to work. We are both fused to sacrum, so maybe that is the difference? I feel soooo old!

djkinkead
10-20-2011, 07:18 AM
At two months post surgery, I am teleworking, but decided to drive into my work place (one hour drive in, one hour drive out) to put in four hours (having a performance review and I wanted it face-to-face). Four hours was about all I could handle and am really tired today, the day after.

However, that said, I am going to try to go to work one day a week, maybe for a four to six hour day, just to start getting back into "going" to work. According to my surgeon's note, I should be back at work until around Thanksgiving, but doing the drive and sitting at my desk I am hoping will help me "push" myself into building more stamina.

I am finding that by teleworking alone, I am sitting on my butt too much and not getting up and walking.

My thoughts for today.

leahdragonfly
10-20-2011, 09:59 AM
According to my surgeon's note, I should not be back at work until around Thanksgiving, but doing the drive and sitting at my desk I am hoping will help me "push" myself into building more stamina.



I am one year post-op T-8 to sacrum/pelvis. I have a wonderful job that I love, but it is very active and demanding (I am a nurse in cardiac cath lab). I also had serious financial pressure. I went back to work at 14 weeks post-op, still pretty sore but SO sick of being cooped up at home. Looking back I would say I definitely suffered more for this, and I should have stayed home a few more weeks. I was very sore by the end of the day, and vert tired too. I am sure I was extremely cranky with my family during that time!

I am a little worried about djkinkead's comment above, about "pushing" yourself into building more stamina. Your stamina will return when it is good and ready, and I really think exhaustion is your body's way of saying it needs rest to heal. I would caution you against trying to suck it up so much thinking it will speed your recovery. It will not, I promise. My recovery was definitely set back by at least a month when I returned to work too soon.

Maybe you can find some other way to motivate yourself into doing more walking while at home. Be kind to your body during recovery, and don't push it.

mabeckoff
10-20-2011, 10:51 AM
I'm with Ed, how the heck do you guys do it? I am 4 months post-op, and no where near ready to return to work. We are both fused to sacrum, so maybe that is the difference? I feel soooo old!

I am with Lori and Ed.

Susie*Bee
10-20-2011, 04:20 PM
Kelly

I don’t know how you guys do it. I would not have been able to go to work at 2 1/2 months. I basically slept like a cat for about 2 years, with plenty of naps.....

I miss those days!

Its proof that the body takes a long time to heal.

I wonder if some sort of Oxygen therapy would help??? Sounds like a good idea....

Hang in there
Ed

Me too, amigo. I had to take a year off from work. I am amazed at some of these people. I suppose some of it depends on the type of work and if you can slowly ease back into it. When I did go back, I would come home totally wiped out, take a nap, my husband would fix dinner and do the dishes and I would just "veg" out. We did it that way for quite awhile... That was for at least 3-4 months. When I started cooking again, he would still do the dishes. And he did the laundry for 3 years, and still helps out some in many ways with house work. (Yep, I've got a winner.) My job is energy-demanding, pretty much non-stop, with classes coming into the library all day and I'm afraid when I do my story-times I have to do theatrics when I read... and I have lunch and recess duties and 4 bulletin boards to keep up with, etc. I am always behind and have too much to do. Plus there are hundreds of books being circulated every week... A busy, demanding job... with books going clear down to the floor, of course. The main perk is that most of the kids love their library class time (45 minutes/week x 20 classes) plus open switching book time the rest of the day and we have fun. Shoot, we just had a contest where one of the classes (2nd graders) got to spike my hair two weeks ago. The class that brought in the most money for this charity fund-raiser part of the book fair got to do it, and the students at our little rural school actually brought in $830 to spike my hair. That's got to be crazy silly. But they had fun!!! Plus I baked them cookies and spent the entire weekend baking double batches of 5 different kinds... so I'm cookied-out for awhile. Again, though, I'm wiped out from the silly book fair and need to rest up, but there isn't a chance to. Good thing I've got 4 years under my belt! Each year gets better, right Ed?

Elisa
10-20-2011, 04:28 PM
You sound like an amazing teacher Susie, wish my kids had gotten you when they were little. They had a few fun teachers but I recall most of them either being boring or crabby. And yes, your husband does sound like a real winner and I looked through your pics in your sig and that laundry setup is beautiful. I have a similar washer/dryer but it's in a hallway which is crowded and has no folding area so all the clean laundry gets tossed onto my bed, bleh.

debbei
10-20-2011, 06:31 PM
I must BOW to you!! 2.5 months and working full time? When I was at that point in my recovery, I was still taking at LEAST one nap per day!!

titaniumed
10-20-2011, 10:14 PM
Susie bee

Yes, it does get better as time passes, sometimes.

I have been eating like a horse and I am predicting that it will eventually kill me. I cant help it sometimes, and Iím getting heavy. The snow has to start falling here real soon or I might explode. Jess needs to hang out with me, and put some weight on. (smiley face)

I had an episode today after lunch and when my digestive tract struggles from overeating, it transfers that pain we all know so well, right into the back. It was a feeling I have not felt in a few years, and had to go home and lay down. Since I lost my gall bladder, digestion takes time and I have to drink quite a bit of water to help keep things going.

As a scoli even after a successful fusion, when something goes wrong internally, the muscles in my back seem to tighten up for some reason. It reminded me of when I passed my kidney stone. It wasnít as bad as that event, but still it happens....Iím ok now. It was just a wake up call I guess.

I am proving that diet and exercise directly affect how one feels on a daily basis. Sometimes I prove it the hard way. Sigh.
Ed

jrnyc
10-21-2011, 02:04 AM
yes, Ed...maybe that would help me put on needed weight!

ANY/ALL surgery exhausts the body...so such a hugely major surgery would exhaust that much more....
surgeons say full healing can take from one to two years for any surgery involving bones....

jess

mabeckoff
10-21-2011, 10:25 AM
yes, Ed...maybe that would help me put on needed weight!

ANY/ALL surgery exhausts the body...so such a hugely major surgery would exhaust that much more....
surgeons say full healing can take from one to two years for any surgery involving bones....

jess


That is good to know 1-2 years healing. I need to keep that in mind when I get so frustrated with myself

Susie*Bee
10-22-2011, 03:16 PM
You sound like an amazing teacher Susie, wish my kids had gotten you when they were little. They had a few fun teachers but I recall most of them either being boring or crabby. And yes, your husband does sound like a real winner and I looked through your pics in your sig and that laundry setup is beautiful. I have a similar washer/dryer but it's in a hallway which is crowded and has no folding area so all the clean laundry gets tossed onto my bed, bleh.

Thanks, Elisa... We do have fun, but as in all schools, there are also challenges. (wink...) It was so nice when my husband made that new laundry room, so the washer and dryer would be at "my level" and made life sooo much easier. Of course, then it made it easier for him, too! It's a nice set up. I can't imagine folding laundry on the bed. I hope you're not bending over... I need to put some new pics on sometime, because I've lost a lot of weight (over 50 lbs.) I had gained some after surgery, but during the last 2 years worked really hard and am about 126ish now. I never thought I'd wear a size 6 pants. It's like crazy exciting to me. :)

Ed-- I discovered the trick after all these years of fighting my low metabolism. Give in. It's never going to change, and even more so now that I've gotten older. I just can't let myself eat much. I'm not a normal person. So I eat like a tiny person. It's apparently enough. I know tiny persons that eat like big persons and are skinny as rails, and I know it's not fair, but that's life. After awhile you get used to it. I eat healthy food, with a little splurge every now and then. All my lab work is fine, blood pressure is great, I'm not starving, my body says it's fine. and I feel healthy. (Well, except for the dumb problems I have like arthritis, etc. that come with my age.) I've held steady at this weight for 7 or 8 months, so I think I've got it down pretty good. (Fingers crossed...)

BTW- my family doctor had said (in the past about my weight) not to worry, some people are just that way, no big deal, people like me would have been the survivors back in cave man days... little food keeps you going a long ways and you store it well... my neurologist, on the other hand, said I needed to lose weight, we set goals, and I went to work at it and met them. It's hard work, no matter how you do it. I've done it many times in my life, usually following Weight Watchers. Now I look so much better and feel it too. :) And all that extra weight is off my back and hips and knees, etc. Yay!

So it just depends on how you view it-- enjoy life and the culinary joys, or pay the price of the extra weight. I think it's a toss up myself. But I am enjoying the new me. Take care.

JenniferG
10-22-2011, 05:35 PM
Congratulations Susie Bee. I have an idea of the effort you've gone to because a friend of mine lost 30 kilos on Weight Watchers over the last 8 months. She too, is loving her new weight, feels the best she's felt in years but knows it's a life-long thing but in fact, is enjoying the new eating plan. She's become very organised, plans ahead etc. and other aspects of her life have also become organised along the way. She's very happy and you sound very happy too. A great effort!

Susie*Bee
10-22-2011, 09:13 PM
Congratulations Susie Bee. I have an idea of the effort you've gone to because a friend of mine lost 30 kilos on Weight Watchers over the last 8 months. She too, is loving her new weight, feels the best she's felt in years but knows it's a life-long thing but in fact, is enjoying the new eating plan. She's become very organised, plans ahead etc. and other aspects of her life have also become organised along the way. She's very happy and you sound very happy too. A great effort!

Thanks, Jennifer. :) And I just posted some new pics if anyone's interested, including when the 2nd graders spiked my hair. Even though it didn't turn out the greatest. :) They had fun.

Doreen1
10-23-2011, 09:25 AM
Thanks, Jennifer. :) And I just posted some new pics if anyone's interested, including when the 2nd graders spiked my hair. Even though it didn't turn out the greatest. :) They had fun.

LOVE the hair pix! Your students will remember that day forever! :-)
You look fabulous, Dahling, with your new physique!

Warmly,
Doreen

leahdragonfly
10-23-2011, 09:53 AM
Fun pix, Susie! Those are some mighty cute grand babies too!

debbei
10-23-2011, 10:16 AM
Susie,

first of all you look great, even in the spiked hair! Those kids must love you to death!

And I can't believe those babies are over one year old already! They are absolutely adorable.

Susie*Bee
10-23-2011, 12:30 PM
Thanks for all the nice comments. They did have a lot of fun doing my hair... and Debbei, would you believe my grandsons will soon be 2 1/2??? Time flies so quickly! I get to see Abraham this weekend, so that will be fun.

I'm afraid I've REALLY hi-jacked this thread, so back to topic-- I can't say enough times how my energy level and strength have improved with each passing year since my surgery... I still tire out after putting in a highly active day, but then again, I'm older and have my ups and downs (literally). I enjoy my life to the fullest and am SO GLAD I had my surgery. I am not going to say I can do everything I once could do-- I have limitations, but I can usually get around them in some way. I can lift my grandboys up, but straight up (close to my body), and not hold them for very long-- they are in the 25+ lb. range now. But they can always climb up on my lap. (big smile) I was not able to do a lot of things before my surgery either-- lifting things made my back hurt too much, so I really didn't lose any ground that way. In fact I know I gained some.

Again, I was exhausted for quite awhile after my surgery... it just takes some of us a long time to recover. In fact, it was either Karen or Linda that once said 1-3 years, and I would agree with that. I think it took me 3 years, and I think I am still getting better and better. I was a turtle, some are hares. It doesn't matter as long as we run the race and recover. Take care, everyone.

scooter950
10-23-2011, 02:52 PM
Hi al! I was reading these posts out loud, to my husband - and when I read Susie's description of her day - come home from work, take a nap, maybe make dinner but hubby does dishes-- my husband said "that sounds like you now!" :-) Yes, chronic pain is exhausting too. I'm trying to prepare for the neck surgery, next month, I still get jitters but I must move forward, my spine is not getting better. so... I don't know how soon I will return to work, but I do want to get back in 4 - 6 weeks ( being fused C3- C7 w/laminectomies). I'm actually looking into disability, but just for the knowledge right now, I need to work, I need the paycheck, but I fear how mobile I will be after the scoli surgery. (T2-L4) . I'm just looking into partial disability - during my recovery period.

Susie, I do admire that washer & Dryer set up! I've told my husband we need to buy those storage stands, to raise the machines higher.

Now Kelly- Congrats on returning to work at 2 1/2 month post op! I also plan (hope) to return to 4 hrs a day, I'm planning that for January, after my neck surgery. I agree, you have to force yourself to get back to work, but my hardest "job" is my ADLs (activities of daily living) I hate washing my hair, I hate drying my hair, I hate ironing, I hate getting dressed.... it all causes pain. Now I could stand in the HOT hot hot shower for hours, it's trying to make myself look presentable that I hate. not makeup or hair do-- just looking clean and professional, I'm at my most comfortable in loose sweatpants and a T shirt or nightgown.... not too good for work tho' Go Figure!

ciao for now, Jamie in Texas

Elisa
10-23-2011, 05:47 PM
Thanks, Elisa... We do have fun, but as in all schools, there are also challenges. (wink...) It was so nice when my husband made that new laundry room, so the washer and dryer would be at "my level" and made life sooo much easier. Of course, then it made it easier for him, too! It's a nice set up. I can't imagine folding laundry on the bed. I hope you're not bending over... I need to put some new pics on sometime, because I've lost a lot of weight (over 50 lbs.) I had gained some after surgery, but during the last 2 years worked really hard and am about 126ish now. I never thought I'd wear a size 6 pants. It's like crazy exciting to me. :)


My bed is quite high up so I'm not bending when folding the clothes. That said, the clean clothes often get tossed from the dryer onto the bedroom if I haven't made the bed and then they get tossed onto the bed and put back into baskets on the floor. It's not the best setup for sure and I wish it were better but I don't know what else to do b/c the washer/dryer is in the hallway and there's absolutely nowhere to have a folding table. :/

Today's laundry...

Doodles
10-24-2011, 01:06 PM
Kelly--
I can't even begin to imagine returning to work at 2 1/2 months! That makes me cringe just thinking of where I was at that time. I think I'm a lot more like Sally the Turtle. Sally, very slow, slow steps forward. I can relate to how you have to pick up the grandbaby. Just back from a 2 week vacation with family and 2 little ones and I can lift the almost one year old, but mostly depend on the 2 1/2 year old climbing on my lap for stories, etc. I found though I could lie on my stomach at the pool (on lounge chair) a bit more easily than last March. Little improvements still come. From a turtle--but this turtle hasn't lost weight like Sally. That is awesome!! Janet

djkinkead
10-24-2011, 03:10 PM
Elisa,

The deer on top of the laundry is very endearing :-).

I have been researching fold down tables that look like a cabinet on the wall and you open the cabinet, push down the table to use for folding. Will be needing one myself when we get the new washer/dryer that are front loading and sitting on pedistals (sp?). We have to wait a month for them as the sale made them very popular and I just KNOW my old set will plan on making a very dramatic demise one week before the new set arrives. Murphy's law lives on.

Have my two month post surgery exam on Friday. I may mention some of the tiredness I feel.

Elisa
10-24-2011, 06:48 PM
Elisa,

The deer on top of the laundry is very endearing :-).


Bambi would have been even more "endearing" if my daughter hadn't ripped off his eyelashes when she was two. :-(

Susie*Bee
10-24-2011, 08:54 PM
I thought your folded laundry looked really sweet too, with the stuffed animals on top. :)

paula
10-27-2011, 10:51 PM
I came here today to ask about exhaustion. I'm working 2 mornings a week teaching ESL at a local university. I'm 4.5 months postoperative. I've been really tired the last two weeks again, after a relatively perky period. I'm sure that is partly because I'm exercising more and have had lots of family visitorss,but my PT suggested that I should get checked for anemia just so I don't overlook it on the off chance that I might have it. So I'm getting checked next week.