View Full Version : Checking in

12-30-2011, 08:52 AM
Hey guys,

Hope you are doing well. Sorry I've been MIA for so long. 2011 was an interesting year in many ways. I returned to work in August, working for a really nasty piece of work. Worked my rear off regardless, and was laid off. Not surprised. My last day is the end of January, and my package is good, so I am glad to leave the 2+ hr each way commute behind. I've been interviewing so far and think I will be able to pick up work that is closer to home fairly fast. That's the hope anyway!

As for post-op, things are going well. I am frustrated that I am still not 100% but guess I have to accept that it will take 2 more years or so before I'm really at whatever my new baseline will be. I still get late day fatigue in my upper back/neck, which is less than it used to be.

Ed, I dismissed your foam topper recommendation, until my inability to sleep comfortably left it as a last resort. Putting a 4" topper on a select comfort bed was just the ticket! I can sleep on my side again! Granted it's a pillow fortress with my body pillow (sorry, husband) but hey, I'm sleeping really well! Thank you for that rec!

I think about my surgery every day. I worry often about breaking a rod or having to go back under the knife, or being in a car wreck. There are things I miss that will never do again. My PT says I'm about 80% of where I will be. Even now, I can tell you for sure that 80% of post-op is about 110% better than I was pre-op. For months it seems like nothing changes, then I feel something substantially improves. So far no setbacks. I am happy that I can walk as much as I can. You know, I would read on the boards pre-op about everyone walking and how you loved walking. Walking was so painful to me that I dreaded it. I thought, "Who the hell wants to walk that much? I am not a walker." Well, I still don't think, "I'd like to go hiking (I hate hiking)", but I do think, "I'd like to park far out at the mall and walk around until I buy everything that I came for without having to prioritize where I go, in case I have too much pain and can't stay as long as I'd like." It was a surprise to me when, one Sunday, I was driving my car to my 3rd or 4th errand and realized I hadn't prioritized the order. I used to go to the grocery first, in case I was in too much pain to do that and other things, so that at least I'd have the groceries purchased. Now, I can do what I want in the order I want, and pick up dinner on the way home without pain, most days. Apparently, other people live most their lives this way. Who knew?!

There are a lot of adjustments. Body mechanics are very hard for me. I am forever forgetting to squat and instead bend oddly at the waist, causing myself pain and/or hip spasms. If only I would remember to squat!!!

For those of you who did anterior as well, my hat is off to you. I don't know how you have made it through. That surgery looks so terrifying to me.

Anyhow, I just wanted to check in and let you know that there is another fusion success story out there.

Be well.

12-30-2011, 12:24 PM
What a great post! Thanks. I know I lived for these types of post while I was waiting for surgery.

I am so glad to hear that you are doing well. Isn't it nice to go about our daily errands without pain?!?! I agree 100% about life not being perfect, but SO much better than before surgery. We humans are a resilient bunch. We adjust to changes and eventually move on with our lives, albeit a little differently. I was lucky enough to be in the habit of squatting to protect my back while lifting heavy weights at work. I stoop by habit, so it is second nature to me.

I hope you find a better place to work. I know I was really hurt when I was asked to voluntarily resign after 23 years at my work place because I couldn't lift 100 lbs. But as they say, sometimes one door closes so another door can open. For me, it was a blessing in disguise. I found a GREAT job where I am appreciated. What a concept! And to actually LIKE going to work is awesome. I truly hope you find the same!

12-30-2011, 03:15 PM
Had often wondered how you fared. I know you were terrified of surgery and not convinced it was the right thing for you. It's good to hear you so positive and that things are going so well, including losing the 2 hour commute job - life's too damn short for that! A better job is waiting for you and your life is going to continue to improve, I feel it in my bones! Hehe.

12-30-2011, 09:10 PM

I’m glad that the foam worked well for you. It took me about 3 weeks to figure out that one really needs to be comfortable to sleep well.

Even though we think often about what happened, I don’t think its really worth it to worry too much about a non-union and breaking your rods. I have had a few ski crashes and other falls and nothing has broken so far. If it happens, then worry about it. Worry about crashing the car, that’s more important.

I think about the time the PT girl came out to my house right after running out of the hospital and she commented, “your pretty beat, how did you get out of the hospital?” LOL Instead of walking right off, she suggested heel lifts to get the blood flowing down to the feet. I did sense some compassion. Weaning from strong injectable’s to orals at home is a bitch. I don’t recommend this for anyone.

Women were meant to shop. All the surgeons have to say is “go to the mall”. That takes care of all physical therapy requirements for the first few months...provided you don’t go broke! (smiley face)

We have a thread here for those that are happy with their surgery. You might throw a post there, its appreciated by those pondering their decision. There is also a thread for those that are NOT satisfied, which is equally as important.

10 months and doing well is great, you made it. Congratulations!


12-31-2011, 09:46 AM
It is good to hear you are doing well. I understand what you mean about prioritizing your shopping and errands. I did that for many many years. It is great to just go anywhere now and not have to worry about the pain. Also, I'll bet you don't need a shopping cart to lean on either. I would only go to stores with shopping carts, otherwise, I could only stay about 10 minutes. Other people have had this luxury of going and coming at will but we are enjoying it now.

As far as jobs, in my career, I lived through 5 layoffs and found that I landed better each time. Also, it forces you to think about what you really want to do or the possibilities that are out there. It is a disturbance in your life. I can't deny that and going through it was stressful to me because I wasn't sure I would find a position. Use all your resources because you don't know what will turn out for you. Good luck with your job search and your continued recovery. You WILL find a job.