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JuliaAnn
01-24-2013, 03:04 PM
I did a search today for "how to heal bones faster" and found this site.
http://osteodiet.com/2008/06/25/top-10-ways-to-heal-a-broken-bone-faster/
It has some useful info and I highly recommend it. I was pretty clueless leading up to surgery and wish I had that list. But just following my intuition, immediately after surgery I made some pretty big changes, and some are on that list.

I don't smoke so that wasn't an issue.

I enjoyed an occasional glass of wine about every other week before surgery but I gave that up, just in case.
I drank only decaf coffee occasionally.
I drank a LOT more water. Instead of my usual 8 oz/day (awful awful, I know, especially since my back was injured) I drank at least 50 oz of water a day. I've never liked soda and I don't drink milk so I got my liquid from juice or food before surgery. Such dreadful habits I had. Eeek. But after surgery, it just made sense that there was a lot that needed flushing out of the tissues. I've noticed less pain when I drink more water too, because muscles need a lot of water to stay healthy.

One thing that was greatly changed was my diet. After surgery I ate much healthier, making sure I got plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and fiber. Before surgery, I often ate poorly balanced meals, just because I was in a hurry, grabbing a quick cheese sandwich for lunch and supper, with no veggies or fruit all day, so that was a big change.

Not on that list is sugar. Knowing that sugar suppresses the immune system, I cut out all sugar for at least six weeks. That must have made a difference because when the kids got the flu, I didn't get it. By the way, when my sister had her kidney transplant, she was allowed to eat all the sugar she wanted for that same reason, because it shuts down the immune system, so she needed her immune system suppressed to help her body accept the kidney. Any time my kids start to get sick, they voluntarily quit eating all items that contain corn syrups, sugars etc, to enable them to get better faster. Since the spine is a major contributor to a healthy immune system, I figured it needed all the help it could get after being riddled with screws so that's why I gave up sugar for the first couple months.

I also did a lot more laughing, knowing that laughter has healing qualities. A friend loaned me some humorous books and I watched funny videos such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP4zgb9H3Cg The laughing was crazy painful but it helped me get more oxygen and helped my rib cage stretch. I doubt I would have inhaled so deeply (which was good) with that much pain if it weren't for a good laugh with a friend.

One thing specific to scoliosis surgery recovery is walking. I walked with my walker around the house a lot for the first 7 weeks. Sooooo sloooooow. I toddled more than walked for the first 4 weeks. A doctor at the hospital had told me that my spine had to heal from my injury in addition to my scoliosis surgery, so I should expect pain. But I kept at the walking, despite discomfort, often getting up in the middle of the night to walk when I couldn't stand just laying in bed any more. Walking was always helpful.

I did a lot of praying. Family, friends and my church prayed for my continual healing. I'm not sure how I would have managed if I didn't have God to talk to in the middle of the night. I remember one long night, around the second or third week, when I could not get comfortable. It felt like I was laying on railroad tracks or sharp rocks, even though I was laying on two layers of feather pillows. I finally cried and prayed "God, can you please just slip your hand between me and the bed? Can I please just sleep on your palm tonight?" I fell asleep immediately. That happened more than once. God cares about us and what we go through. Prayer does make a difference.

I'm at 16 weeks now, almost 4 months and feel really terrific. Pain has greatly decreased the past couple weeks and I have a lot more energy. I still have to take Tylenol when I over do it but there are hours when I'm almost pain free now. (You said that would happen, Ed! Hooray, it has!) In the beginning I thought the pain would last forever since I've been in dreadful pain for years anyway. But our bodies fight to overcome even great trauma. Bone knits to bone and the cells continue the amazing work of healing. It just takes time. I feel better now, at four months recovery, than I have felt for many years.

I'd love to hear what you all have done to feel good while recovering.

golfnut
01-24-2013, 07:41 PM
It sounds like you are doing really well. The x-ray of your back looks perfectly straight. I am sure many will appreciate your suggestions.

JenniferG
01-24-2013, 11:29 PM
Dr. Hey would be very proud of that x-ray!

Just knowing the surgery was over and my spine was stabilised, was all I needed to feel good while recovering. I was on a high for at least the first year.

My diet didn't need to change much, just reduce sugar intake, which has always been my downfall. 4-6 veg per day, 1-2 pieces of fruit, wholegrains, low fat, no smoking or drinking, getting plenty of exercise, is pretty much the norm in our house. I like your laughter treatment. We all need more of that.