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peachrush7
11-14-2011, 05:48 PM
I am so sorry! I have been MIA on here for a long time, and I have missed all of you!

We have been super busy. We moved last month into a new single story home (yay!) and we have been getting our home study updated so we can adopt. And life is not slowing down anytime soon, which is a wonderful change for someone who felt like she had been in slow motion for 4 years. The days are flying by now that I can work like a normal person, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day without searing leg pain. I am so thankful for that!

I had my check up with my surgeon a few weeks ago, and everything is still looking good! I flew to NY last weekend, my first plane ride in over 6 years. I walked like crazy all weekend, and had no pain at all. It was funny, my friends were complaining about how their backs were achy from slouching while we waited in long lines for the touristy things, and I smiled because #1, don't complain about an achy back to someone who's had their whole spine fused, and #2, mine actually felt fine since I have perfect posture lol.
I did get a little sore by the end of the plane ride home, but that is nothing compared to what I have felt from just sitting in a chair before my surgery. (Oh, and on a side note, I did not set off any alarms at the airport, but I did get selected for that lovely scanner thing. I almost chose not to do it but I didn't feel like getting a pat down either. I guess it's pick your poison! I figured one more x-ray isn't going to kill me lol.)

I am getting stronger and stronger every month, and my energy seems to be returning (ever so slowly). I have found new ways to do things, and don't feel held back by my fusion at all. I am now able to bend all the way to the floor and pick up small items like a bobby-pin or bottle cap. I haven't quite mastered sweeping up a pile of dust, but I can see being able to do that in the next few months or so. I don't bend all the way to the floor very often, I usually choose to squat, but it's nice to be able to do it. It's amazing how long it took for my back muscles to loosen up enough for me to do that, even with PT 3 times a week.

I can't believe that at this exact time last year I was still deciding whether or not to go ahead with the surgery. I am SO thankful I did, and that everything has turned out the way it has. All the pain and frustration have been well worth it to get this new life.

loves to skate
11-14-2011, 09:06 PM
Rebecca,
I am so happy for you that you have had such a good recovery. Everyone deciding on surgery needs to know there is a light at the end of a long and painful journey. Enjoy the rest of your life to it's fullest. God Bless.
Sally

walkingmom
11-14-2011, 11:17 PM
Hi Rebecca,
It's great to hear how well you have been doing! You truly are an inspiration to all of us. May God continue to bless you especially as you move forward in your adoption process. Keep us all posted!
Donna

golfnut
11-15-2011, 08:13 AM
Rebecca,
Congratulations on your recovery! I can sure identify with what you said about your thoughts a year ago. I was consumed with doubts and fears. Isn't it nice to be "on the other side"? Be sure to post after your year check-up.

Doodles
11-15-2011, 02:29 PM
Rebecca--
It's wonderful that you are doing so well at 10 months. I hope things keep going well for you as recovery continues! Janet

SpineTime
11-16-2011, 03:55 PM
I had my check up with my surgeon a few weeks ago, and everything is still looking good!

I am getting stronger and stronger every month, and my energy seems to be returning (ever so slowly). I have found new ways to do things, and don't feel held back by my fusion at all. I am now able to bend all the way to the floor and pick up small items like a bobby-pin or bottle cap.

I can't believe that at this exact time last year I was still deciding whether or not to go ahead with the surgery. I am SO thankful I did, and that everything has turned out the way it has. All the pain and frustration have been well worth it to get this new life.

Rebecca,

It's so nice to read updates like this. I was just thinking I hadn't seen you on here lately. Glad things are going well! Can you (or anyone) talk more about finding new ways to do things and bending to the floor? I'm still deciding about surgery, and one thing I'm having a hard time with is the loss of flexibility. I would be fused to the sacrum, so lower than you, but I just can't quite picture what it's like. As I move and do little things throughout the day, I think "Would I not be able to do this?" The surgeon I saw last week said something like "Well, you'll be stiffer... but it probably won't be as bad as you think."

That's funny about your friends complaining about aching backs. I have to bite my tongue sometimes when people say things like that. They have no idea do they? lol

Oh, and I hope at some point I can write something similar to your last paragraph!

Lisa

golfnut
11-16-2011, 04:38 PM
Lisa,
I couldn't imagine what it was going to be like fused to the sacrum, but can honestly say that it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had grabbers all over the house for the first 6 months after my surgery. Now, it is easier to bend on one knee or squat to pick something up off of the floor. I haven't tried to put a tee in the ground for golf yet, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it one way or another. So that I'm not squatting 25 times a day to toe shoes when I substitute in kindergarten, I sit first and have them put their foot up. It seems like there are ways to do about anything.

titaniumed
11-16-2011, 07:21 PM
Rebecca
Congratulations! You have done well. Always nice to have that “glowing” report.

Lisa
Check out my mobility thread in my sig. Being fused all the way down isn’t bad at all. You can also see how I rotate with a fused spine.

Karen
Are you tying your shoes with one knee down on the floor yet? I think it was about 10 months or so where I started that method. That’s how you will insert your tee.

Remember, with new stretches, go slow. Real slow.
Ed

golfnut
11-16-2011, 07:48 PM
Ed,
I usually prop each foot up (one at a time) to tie, but I think I could do it the way you described. I thought I was superwoman a couple of weeks ago and went crazy increasing all of my exercises. Boy, did I pay for it! I have learned from that experience!

debbei
11-16-2011, 08:19 PM
great news! The best part is that you will continue to improve! You probably don't believe it but you will!

SpineTime
11-17-2011, 03:48 AM
Lisa,
I couldn't imagine what it was going to be like fused to the sacrum, but can honestly say that it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had grabbers all over the house for the first 6 months after my surgery. Now, it is easier to bend on one knee or squat to pick something up off of the floor. I haven't tried to put a tee in the ground for golf yet, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it one way or another. So that I'm not squatting 25 times a day to toe shoes when I substitute in kindergarten, I sit first and have them put their foot up. It seems like there are ways to do about anything.

Karen,

Thank you for sharing that. That is a lot of shoes to tie! I think it's an emotional thing with me, and it's probably going to sound silly, but it has to do with my dogs. We have 3, and I work at home, so I'm with them constantly. I'm always squatting down to scratch their belly or behind their ears as I walk from my office to the kitchen, etc. And I have a ritual at night where I go over to each one to say goodnight and spend a few minutes with each one, individually, petting them. I squat down to do this, or even sit on the floor. Do you think I could still do that, once fully healed, with fusion to the sacrum? I guess it would work to bend down on one knee. They'll probably adjust to any changes easier than I will. And I'm sure they'd love to be able to go on regular walks and outings again, which I can't do much the way my back is now.

Lisa

mabeckoff
11-17-2011, 09:06 AM
Karen,

Thank you for sharing that. That is a lot of shoes to tie! I think it's an emotional thing with me, and it's probably going to sound silly, but it has to do with my dogs. We have 3, and I work at home, so I'm with them constantly. I'm always squatting down to scratch their belly or behind their ears as I walk from my office to the kitchen, etc. And I have a ritual at night where I go over to each one to say goodnight and spend a few minutes with each one, individually, petting them. I squat down to do this, or even sit on the floor. Do you think I could still do that, once fully healed, with fusion to the sacrum? I guess it would work to bend down on one knee. They'll probably adjust to any changes easier than I will. And I'm sure they'd love to be able to go on regular walks and outings again, which I can't do much the way my back is now.

Lisa
Pets will learn to change. Both of my cats now know that they cannot get petted on the floor any longer . They have to jump onto a furniture or get into my lap or lie on the bed. Pets love us and they will learn to change. Everyone in a while Bailey will forget and lie on the floor waiting for a belly rub. I just stand there
and pat my bed and then she remembers what she needs to do. They love us .

golfnut
11-17-2011, 02:52 PM
Lisa,
It doesn't sound silly at all to be thinking about your dogs. We have two miniature schnauzers that we both love, however, I did everything for them prior to surgery-walked them, fed them, bathed them, combed them, etc. We hired a neighbor to give them a long walk each day and my husband bathed them under my supervision! Finally, at 5 months post-op I started walking them myself. One of the dogs can jump on the bed or couch to be with me, but the other one always has to be lifted. That is somewhat frustrating for me, but my husband picks her up when I want him to if he is around. Your dogs will adjust & be happy just being with you. Eventually, you'll be able to squat down by them.

SpineTime
11-18-2011, 12:45 AM
Lisa
Check out my mobility thread in my sig. Being fused all the way down isn’t bad at all. You can also see how I rotate with a fused spine.
Ed

Ed, your pictures are the best. If you ever decide to do a video too, let us know. You'd be great! Post it on YouTube! :)

Lisa

SpineTime
11-18-2011, 01:00 AM
Pets will learn to change. Both of my cats now know that they cannot get petted on the floor any longer . They have to jump onto a furniture or get into my lap or lie on the bed. Pets love us and they will learn to change. Everyone in a while Bailey will forget and lie on the floor waiting for a belly rub. I just stand there
and pat my bed and then she remembers what she needs to do. They love us .

Oh, how cute! We have a cat too. He's very sweet, but he's more attached to my husband. I'm the one who cleans his litter box, but I'd be happy to hand off that chore, even temporarily!

SpineTime
11-18-2011, 01:38 AM
Lisa,
It doesn't sound silly at all to be thinking about your dogs. We have two miniature schnauzers that we both love, however, I did everything for them prior to surgery-walked them, fed them, bathed them, combed them, etc. We hired a neighbor to give them a long walk each day and my husband bathed them under my supervision! Finally, at 5 months post-op I started walking them myself. One of the dogs can jump on the bed or couch to be with me, but the other one always has to be lifted. That is somewhat frustrating for me, but my husband picks her up when I want him to if he is around. Your dogs will adjust & be happy just being with you. Eventually, you'll be able to squat down by them.

Five months doesn't sound so bad. I think as long as I know I'll eventually be able to get back to bending or squatting down next to them, I'll be okay. And they really love to just "hang out" a lot of the time.

Schnauzers are great! We have a small-ish Rottweiler (my husband's favorite breed), a husky mix (my favorite breed), and a medium-size mixed breed we adopted last Dec. She was a stray puppy at a local golf course. My husband saw her there and really liked her. No one could catch her. Even animal control had a hard time, but they finally caught her and we adopted her from there. We taught her to swim in the pool this past summer. She's so much fun. I wish I had her energy!

I always liked grooming our dogs, but it's hard for me to bathe them now. It's also hard to vacuum as much as I'd like, with all the fur. We have a good friend who will come and stay with them if/when I have surgery, so my husband won't have to try to drive back and forth. I'm sure it will all be harder on us than on them!

Lisa

mabeckoff
11-18-2011, 09:02 AM
Oh, how cute! We have a cat too. He's very sweet, but he's more attached to my husband. I'm the one who cleans his litter box, but I'd be happy to hand off that chore, even temporarily!


I gave that chore to my son. He was doing one litter box and I was doing the other. Now he has to do both. Getting rid of that chore made me happy

Mojo's Mom
11-18-2011, 12:33 PM
One of the dogs can jump on the bed or couch to be with me, but the other one always has to be lifted. That is somewhat frustrating for me, but my husband picks her up when I want him to if he is around.

Karen, can you get some steps for the second dog to get up to the bed, or is the dog not allowed to climb steps?

Titanium Ed, I can't tell you what a help it would be if you would make a video of yourself demonstrating your mobility, both what the photos show and also what you can do to get down to low things, or anything else you could think of. I know seeing something like that would be a real boost to those of us still awaiting surgery that will be to the sacrum. Please? Or anyone else fused that far who would be willing?

Elisa
11-18-2011, 07:53 PM
Karen, my kids up here in Canada were not allowed to wear laced shoes if they couldn't tie them on their own. Velcro only!

golfnut
11-18-2011, 10:06 PM
We actually tried doggy steps. The dog that wouldn't try it is 14 years old. She is capable, but we rescued her at age 4 from a puppy mill and I have babied her beyond belief. Now that I am 10 months post-op, I squat, hold her close to my body, and lift her to a cedar chest at the end of the bed. She hops to the bed from there. I know people who aren't as nuts about their dogs as we are can't imagine why you would want to teach your dog to jump on a couch or a bed. At least our schnauzers don't shed!

golfnut
11-18-2011, 10:10 PM
Rebecca,
I just realized that we are off of the subject with this thread. Congratulations, again, on your 10 month anniversary. Every month is an accomplishment. I feel that we are brave to make the decision to have surgery. It's so nice to be on the road to recovery.

jrnyc
11-18-2011, 10:19 PM
what!? my puppy sleeps on the bed with us, even though he has 3 beds of his own...
yes, he is spoiled beyond belief as well....
i waited all my life for a dog..i worked 2 jobs in Manhattan and knew it would be cruel to
leave a dog alone that much...so i got him when i retired...
i laughed when i found out he was born the day i retired...Ground Hog Day!
he is not a therapy dog, but he is MY therapy!
all 10 pounds of him...

Lisa..how great to have 4 dogs...wow!
what a lot of love must come your way!
Karen...your dogs sound adorable...
my Maltese doesn't shed either...it's nice...

jess

titaniumed
11-18-2011, 10:43 PM
This is the only video I have.... Been trying to recruit the NSF downhill full fusion ski team, but not having any luck. LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tEypv3Vz8o&feature=email

Yes, someday I will have to do some scoli surgery recovery vids.......
Ed

backissues
11-21-2011, 04:15 PM
Rebecca,
I am so happy to hear about the success of your recovery. Like Karen, and others, it is so good to be "on the other side" in November. Last year this time, I had made up my mind to go for the surgery but was still very nervous.

I can hear how upbeat you are through your posting.

This Thursday, I will be flying for my first time since the surgery. I was going to bring a printout of my x-ray just in case. I'm glad you had no problems at the airport. For the first time in years, I won't need a wheelchair in the airport because I can walk to the gates.

For those of you who are still contemplating the surgery, the recovery isn't easy but it can be a life changer for the better once you have spent so many years catering to pain.

Wishing you continued success in your recovery.

peachrush7
11-21-2011, 07:41 PM
thanks for all the well-wishes everyone, you all are the best!

I can add to the dog lover question, as I am totally obsessed with my tiny 7 lb malte-poo rescue. Because I have had ongoing problems with bending for the years leading up to my surgery, I had already trained him to jump up onto the couch whenever I needed to put the leash on him for walks. I also used a watering can with a long narrow spout to fill his water bowl. We used to "free feed" him so he had one of those dog food holders that fills up the bowl as they eat. (We recently switched him to soft food though cause he's getting up there in age) but I just squat down and grab the bowl, fill it up and then put it back on the ground.

Everyone is so different, we all find creative ways to do the things we need to get done. I loved a lot of Ed's tips, especially for tying shoes, putting on socks and trimming toenails, which was handy to have before I had the surgery. I always sit on the couch or bed with one foot on the floor and pull the other leg onto my knee so I can reach my feet easily. It's so easy on your back, and I don't know how I would've figured that out on my own...or how long it would've taken me lol.

I still use my grabbers for things that fall behind the couch or under the desk etc, because it saves on wear and tear. I can bend from the waist and reach about to the floor, but I almost never do that. It's hard on my remaining disk, and it's really not good for anyone to pick things up that way. I bend at the knees to get most things.

Anyway, thanks again for all the kind words, I am very happy to be doing so well so "soon"! =)