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Irina
09-06-2012, 04:30 PM
I read a lot of comments where people mentioned that they can do most of everything they did before, but differently. Things like squatting to pick things off the floor, tying shoe lases, legs shaving, walking dogs, etc.

I wanted to start a thread where we can talk about things that are done differently post-op and keep it all in one place. If you found a creative way of doing something that you thought youíd never be able to do anymore, can you please share it with me?

Also, itís embarrassing to ask personal questions on a public forumÖ but does it mean that if youíre fused to the sacrum, you canít move in bed at all? Can you move your hips? I am afraid to be like a sack of potatoes in bed (you know what I mean). If anyone feels comfortable talking about this, please PM me. Many thanks!

JenniferG
09-06-2012, 05:56 PM
My answers pertain to me. It may be different for others.

Putting socks on: Sit, hoist foot onto your knee, put sock on, done.
Picking small item off floor: Either squat, or if squatting is a problem for the knees, spread legs apart and swoop down, giraffe-like, and hope nobody's watching.
Shaving legs: Initially, until you regain some flexibility, attach wooden spoon handle to shaver. Good if you have a stool to prop your foot onto, too.
Putting jeans on: With one hand dangle jeans so that you can put one foot in, while leaning against, or holding with your other hand, the door frame. Repeat with other side. I find since fusion, I can't lift my knees up very high like I once could, so I dangle the jeans low.
In bed: Fusion has made no difference. Yes, you can move your hips, no problem.

For me, getting into jeans or shaving my legs is the most difficult, but it's still definitely do-able.

susancook
09-06-2012, 08:48 PM
I read a lot of comments where people mentioned that they can do most of everything they did before, but differently. Things like squatting to pick things off the floor, tying shoe lases, legs shaving, walking dogs, etc.

I wanted to start a thread where we can talk about things that are done differently post-op and keep it all in one place. If you found a creative way of doing something that you thought youíd never be able to do anymore, can you please share it with me?

Also, itís embarrassing to ask personal questions on a public forumÖ but does it mean that if youíre fused to the sacrum, you canít move in bed at all? Can you move your hips? I am afraid to be like a sack of potatoes in bed (you know what I mean). If anyone feels comfortable talking about this, please PM me. Many thanks!

Irina: Thanks so much for asking many of the same questions that I have! Sounds like you will have your surgery before I do [I'm not scheduled, but will see what happens in January with my return visit to Dr. Hart]. I worked in OB GYN for 23 years, so I feel really comfortable just asking the sex question. I asked Dr. H at the last visit, "How do women with a fusion to the pelvis have sex?" He got this startled look on his face and said, "There isn't a problem" or something like that and then changed the subject. It is difficult for me to imagine that there won't be a change in what we are able to do, but I thought that it was humorous that he just brushed it off. I look forward to seeing what other women say.
Susan

titaniumed
09-07-2012, 01:56 PM
On the subject of sex and recovery, what you think might be bad, could be good.....Watch this video and you will understand. (smiley face)

I wouldnít try to anticipate whatís going to be good or bad. Recovery can be tough, but things change and hopefully it all comes out good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP2h1gJcsHU

Ed

tae_tap
09-07-2012, 02:39 PM
Ed,

I loved this! Thanks!

Tamena

susancook
09-07-2012, 11:17 PM
Ed, you are so down to earth! Susan PS: I hit the link that you had provided....but was worried what I might find since we were talking about sex....fooled me!

hasteffen
09-08-2012, 07:18 AM
Ed, you are a hoot! Only you!!! Thanks for being so active on the forum.
Heidi

leahdragonfly
09-08-2012, 10:21 AM
Good one, Ed!

Irina
09-08-2012, 11:49 AM
That's good!

golfnut
09-08-2012, 06:15 PM
Ed, we always appreciate your humor, as well as your good advice.

titaniumed
09-09-2012, 01:41 AM
Thx guys

Words of wisdom, courtesy of Archie Campbell and Hee Haw. Irina, we grew up watching this program years ago....Between that and the Benny Hill show, Iíve realized that humor is essential. Itís a release.

Now that I really think about it, the only challenges that really stand out for me now, are all related to skiing. Putting on ski boots is quite a challenge with a full fusion. I get it done.

This really is the small stuff. Its ending up pain free or with a decent reduction in pain that really matters....An improvement over the deep dull aches, and the high probability of major pain events of living with scoliosis is all we truly need. Those that have experienced major pain will understand this. Karen Ockerís complication here recently kind of rang the bell for me, but I know that if I have to go back in, Iím prepared. I wont let these things wear on me, its not a daily worry in other words. Its kind of like falling out of the airplane....Thatís bad. No, thatís good.

I would like to be more active here, but my eyes have been my biggest problem and Iím struggling with reading after work. Its time for new glasses again. I will buy 2 pairs of readers since they are cheap, wait a few weeks and then pinch for the progressiveís.

Ed

leahdragonfly
09-09-2012, 10:56 AM
Here are things I can't do or have difficulty with after fusion T8-sacrum:

Looking for things under the bed. I have to lay down completely on the floor on my belly to do this. Oh wait, that's what the kids are for!

Getting things out of low cabinets that are in the back. I can't stoop down to look, I have to kneel and reach. Or I just call the kids to do it...

Picking stuff up off the floor. I am still on bending restrictions until I reach 12 months post-revision, so I am constantly annoyed by getting stuff off the floor. The grabbers are never where I need them, and I don't have any at work. So I squat, but some days my knees don't like it. I have a lot of pets (chickens/dogs/etc) and their water dishes are all at ground level. I do a lot of squatting to change these every day. My job as a nurse also requires lots of awkward positions and I am finding new ways to deal with these demands. It would probably be better if I had a less physically-demanding job, but alas, that's not what I do.

Cutting my toenails. I have tried, but at this point while still restricted from bending it is pretty impossible. So pedicures every month it is.

Getting in and out of a tent while camping. I end up crawling on my hands and knees, and it is very awkward.

Picking stuff up off the floor of the car. If I drop my glasses, phone or anything else while driving, I have to pull over, get out and squat down to get them.

Cleaning the tub. Just not possible anymore. Maybe after I am off activity restrictions.

Giving my kids bedtime kisses. I have to lay down on their beds for this. No quick bending down for that last kiss. They know it now and sit up for it.

These are just the things that come to mind that I have to do differently. Most of it is not insurmountable, but it is annoying/frustrating at times. I am happy to have much less back pain, but I have to say I don't love being fused.

susancook
09-09-2012, 11:34 AM
"Cleaning the tub. Just not possible anymore. Maybe after I am off activity restrictions" from Gayle

Just between us and the forum, I think that cleaning the tub and the toilet should be a lifetime restriction for you. That's what kids and husbands should do. ;+] Susan

Confusedmom
09-09-2012, 11:24 PM
Jennifer,
Are you fused to the sacrum? I cannot move my hips in bed without propping myself up on my feet and elbows (think table), and sort of sliding over and plopping down. Maybe this will change, as I'm only 6 months.

Other things: Ditto what everyone else said. Plus, difficult to do laundry and load/unload bottom rack of dishes. Putting soap in is a real bear. Also, I still can't sit all day at a computer, which was necessary for my prior work. I'm 2-3 hours, tops. No sitting in comfy chairs, either. Also, I can't walk fast enough to work up a sweat or keep up with my husband. No more exercise walks with my friends. (I'm planning to grow out of that one, though!!) Driving is funky. I have to lean my seat back awkwardly. Pets. I can't pick up my cats off the floor. I tried to see under my bathroom sink the other day because of a plumbing issue. That was just not going to happen.

Will these things go away and return to "normal" when I am a year or more post-op? I hope so!! But it's hard to say. I'd love to hear from others fused TO SACRUM who are more than a year post-op.

Thanks, Irina, for starting this!

Evelyn

JenniferG
09-09-2012, 11:40 PM
Evelyn, give it time. My fusion is the same as yours, T4-S1 with pelvic fixation. I can do all those things. Some are a little awkward, but all are doable. Moving my hips isn't a problem. You had a huge correction, from 80 to 16. Mine was 68 to 22. So you probably have a bigger change to get used to and probably more healing. Another year it might be entirely different. My flexibility improved over 2-3 years.

leahdragonfly
09-10-2012, 08:33 AM
Hi Jennifer,

not to get too detailed here, but how can you move your hips if you are fused to your sacrum? I am fused to the sacrum, and it is physically not possible to move my hips as in tipping my pelvis forward/back or side to side. Without being too detailed I understand there are other ways to move while in bed, but I guess I'm confused how exactly you move your hips. Care to share?

Irina
09-10-2012, 12:26 PM
When can one have a glass of wine? I understand that you should not have any alcohol until you're on the meds, but when you weaned off, is occasional glass of wine with dinner Ok? Not that it's so important, just curious.

Also, the first weeks at home - did you wear pajamas or night gowns? Would PJ pants irritate the scar around the waist / hip line? Is night gown better? Did you wear sleepwear all the time during the first couple weeks or had stamina and desire to change into something else?

I am impressed by how much some people walk before and after surgery. I wonder when people say that you walk 4-5 miles pre-op and let's say 2 miles post-op, do they mean walking all these miles non-stop, at once? I can only walk 1.5 - 2 miles non-stop before my back and ribs start hurting reallly bad. Do people who were able to walk these 4-5 miles pre-op did it pain-free or they just pushed thru the pain?

JenniferG
09-10-2012, 04:26 PM
Hi Jennifer,

not to get too detailed here, but how can you move your hips if you are fused to your sacrum? I am fused to the sacrum, and it is physically not possible to move my hips as in tipping my pelvis forward/back or side to side. Without being too detailed I understand there are other ways to move while in bed, but I guess I'm confused how exactly you move your hips. Care to share?

Hi Gayle. I'm as confused as you sound! I have no problem moving my hips. If you lie on a bed, can you not lift your hips up off the bed? Move your hips from side to side? After reading your post, I went and lay on the bed, thinking, am I imagining this? No, I can move pretty much as I've always done. I'm testing it sitting in my chair right now, I guess I move from above my fusion. But it does the same thing. I can move side to side in my chair, keeping my shoulders still. If I stand, I can clench my buttocks and move my hips forward. Can you not do these things?

Confusedmom
09-11-2012, 04:04 PM
Jennifer, thanks!! You have given me some inspiration that things will gradually get more normal. They're already more normal than right after surgery, but I'm glad to hear they keep improving!

Irina, I don't think there would be any restrictions on drinking wine after your off pain meds--as long as you're not falling down drunk!! ;)

Confusedmom
09-11-2012, 04:05 PM
That was supposed to be a smiley, but it didn't work. I know you wouldn't let yourself be falling down drunk post-op, of course.

Irina
09-11-2012, 04:28 PM
That was supposed to be a smiley, but it didn't work. I know you wouldn't let yourself be falling down drunk post-op, of course.

Nope, Evelyn. No falling down drunk post-op, just pre-op. Sounds like a thing to do when I have a surgery date. Just kidding :-)

golfnut
09-11-2012, 07:15 PM
Evelyn,
I am fused T4 to sacrum and it WILL get easier to do all of the things you mentioned. Trust us on this!