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Marianne
05-09-2015, 04:27 PM
3 1/2 weeks post-op and glad to be on the other side.
Surgery went well, I gained 2 1/2 inches.
I was in the hospital for 15 days, the last 7 days in re-hab which helped me with my walking and also climb stairs.
I am certainly glad to be home but have had some rough days.
Lots of pain and bowel problems which are now under control. But don't know for how long.
My husband and children have been a great support and help with everything.
Thank goodness my arms are long enough for the bathroom routine and I do not need any help there, don't know if my husband could have handled that. Lol.
I am walking with the help of a walker and would not be able to without.
Wonder how long before I can walk without a walker?
I feel I am not walking enough, but find it very tiring and painful.
Sitting as well, I can only do 10 min. at a time sometimes not even that long.
These are the meds I am taking since coming home from the hospital.
Gabapentin 100mg every 6 hrs
Oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325mg every 3hr
Oxycodone CR 10mg every 8 hrs
And a sleeping pill at 10 pm
It does not seem enough for the pain, does any one have any thoughts on that?
The pain was less in the hospital but had stronger meds.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Wishing all the Moms out there a Happy Mothers Day tomorrow.

PeggyS
05-09-2015, 07:28 PM
Hi Marianne!
Congrats for being on 'the other side'! It takes quite awhile to increase sitting tolerance. 10 minutes is about right, at this time in your recovery. Use lots of pillows!

titaniumed
05-10-2015, 01:33 AM
Marianne

The walker is used as a safety device. If you are sure you wont fall, you donít need it. Just make sure you donít fall. I would have a 10 foot walk to the bathroom from my bed, think about the task, and make it happen. Rest when you get there....All our movements are thought about carefully in our early days of recovery, but this will pass in time......Take things one day at a time for now.

I used ski poles for my outdoor walking, one in each hand.

Walkers have a tendency to lean you forward.....and you want to be upright while you walk and heal. Walk like a model, with your head up or in its natural position.

Just do short walks a few times per day.....I was doing 2 houses and back for months, 10 minutes.

You are seeing how oral meds work....and we build up immunity and it feels like they donít work well anymore.....Terminating meds should be a goal, and reduction can be done at 20% per week, or 5 weeks total. Some need longer, but I was having constipation issues that were not worth it so I quit at 6 weeks. Pain shot up, but reduced quickly after termination....it was 3 days of pain, and did many hot water soaks in a deep tub. Hot water 106 Degrees F works well for pain. Turn the hot water heater up.

Sitting is hard....no doubt. So, if you are not sitting or laying down, that means your are standing or walking, which is good. Standing is actually exercise. The main thing is to keep moving. We are just like sharks that have to keep moving.....this distributes nutrition through our bloodstream, and regulates or promotes movement in our intestines. Sipping water all day long is a good idea.....this helps with constipation.

Having a bottle or 2 of Magnesium Citrate right now would be a good idea.....This liquid laxative is sold over the counter.

Hang in there....things will get better. Breathe DEEP, and think about how well you will be doing soon.....

Where in Ontario? I spent a lot of time in the Kingston Area Thousand Islands through the years.....50 years to be exact.

Ed

Marianne
05-10-2015, 01:04 PM
Thanks for all the good information.
I have a pair of walking poles they should work the same as ski poles and will give them a try.
I tried the magnesium and that certainly worked, thanks Ed.
I don't have a soaker tub so will have to make do with hot showers, they do make me feel good and ready for a nap.
Did you not take anything after 6 weeks Ed? That seems hard to imagine right now.
Hopefully I can do this.
We live in Muskoka, Kingston is about 4 hrs South-East from us. I love the Thousand Islands boat cruises.
My granddaughter has been accepted to Queens University in Kingston so will have to make a trip down there in the fall.

LindaRacine
05-10-2015, 01:13 PM
I think most surgeons restrict patients fused to the sacrum from bath tubs and sitting on the floor for at least the first 3-6 months.

titaniumed
05-10-2015, 09:10 PM
I looked on the map and you are way up there! How do you deal with any medical issues being so far from Toronto? Wow!

I had a friend that owned Lindsay Island, and would go there and try to recuperate after all the travel.....(before my surgeries) I found a Chiro in Brockville, On and took the boat trip, and car ride up for an adjustment. He was a afraid to slam on me, but the adjustments did help...

Elon Musk went to Queens.... Kingston is a nice place.....

6 weeks.....cold turkey. 03/14/08 What an experience. Freezing, sweating, re-freezing, re-sweating, hugging the toilet, that sort of thing. The constipation was one of the most painful things I have ever felt, it acted as a motivator to quit. I also needed my mind back.

The bath tub should be a deep tub since bending isnít a great idea after surgery. If its deep, you can straighten out and float....A standard bath tub will not work for this.

The old style standard bath tub shape should be deleted. It has little ergonomic value and is almost impossible to get comfortable.....mine has a sloping back which is very comfortable and its very deep.

An easy way to cut back on meds is to stretch the time out between doses......If you go 6 hours, try 7 hours. Keep notes on everything.....Slow moves are easier....

Hang in there

Ed

Marianne
05-11-2015, 09:40 AM
Ed, we have a hospital in Huntsville and one in Bracebridge, both towns are about 15 minutes away from us. They certainly would not be able to deal with this kind of surgery but otherwise are ok.
You were very brave going cold turkey, I think I will go for the extra hour between pills.
Made up a new Med. schedule for this week.
Brockville is a nice spot, my son and my husband are going fishing there for a few days next month.
You sure get to travel around don't you.
It is a great way to spend your time.

JenniferG
05-11-2015, 05:39 PM
For three weeks, you seem to be doing well. Sitting was a problem for me too. I found a firm seat (no softness) with an upright back, with maybe a slim cushion at the small of my back, was most comfortable. A dining chair for example. It improved gradually. Walking is easier if your pain is under control. I realise how lucky I was with my surgeon and later, my GP, who gave me what I needed to control the pain and when I was cutting back, didn't mind faxing scripts for smaller and smaller doses to our local pharmacy for pick up. I wasted a lot of medication, coming down off my "horse dose!" The high dose of medication meant I slept a lot, another good thing in those early weeks.

You are doing extremely well for having the constipation under control. Most of us battle with it for weeks. You will be amazed at how everything just gradually improves over the next few weeks. Good luck for a nice, smooth recovery!

golfnut
05-11-2015, 08:10 PM
Marianne,
The first few months are such a rough road for all of us. Keep in mind that there is a "light at the end of the tunnel". Getting the bowels under control was really difficult for me. We need the strong pain medication, but the effects are awful. Sitting was difficult for me for a long time. I always sat many pillows beneath me and behind me for a long time. This surgery takes a ton of patience! Best of luck with a smooth recovery.

Marianne
05-12-2015, 07:24 AM
Thanks everone for your tips and encouragement, no one knows better then those who have been through this themselves. I appreciate you taking the time.

jackieg412
05-12-2015, 10:41 AM
Hi I just want to tell you it will get better. Rest is key. Of course early on the body doesn't give you a choice. Small walks at first many times a day. You will build up strength. Even after 6 years , I still can't sit well. At home I am better but it is hard when I am away from home. I did get a temprapeadic bed and that helps . I also think there is a bit of PTSD with this much surgery. Take care of you. Jackie

mabeckoff
05-13-2015, 12:07 PM
You will get thru this surgery. It will take time but you will get thru it. You will not be the same person when you get thru it. You will be proud of your self for having the surgery and getting thru it.

Melissa

lduran
06-02-2015, 06:08 PM
Well Marianne, my surgery was a week after yours and boy... what an experience that was...I spent a week at the hospital. Didn't rush the discharge until I felt that I would be ok at the house. The first two weeks were tough but looking back now I feel that it could always be worse. I didn't dealt with constipation; got a colon cleanse two days prior to the surgery and I think that was my saving grace. I was able to spend 8 days without going since I wasn't eating much. The walker I used it for around 15 days and then I dropped it. The toilet chair I am still using it, not for the height but because of a manner to stand up easier. Without the brace I can take care of my bathroom issues for the most part, but with the brace is another story... Thank god for my husband!

I don't take any super heavy meds, or so I thought. I decided to stop cold turkey and it hasn't been fun. For sleeping I only take an over the counter sleeping aid and that takes me through the night. My major complaints relate to a lot of sensitivity around my lower back and hips, but other than that no other back pains... I can't even believe it!

Hang in there; always think you are not alone. Today is actually the first day that I've decided to sit after the surgery and spend some time in the computer...I am hopeful that it gets better for all of us!

Loretta

ksmom0611
06-03-2015, 06:10 PM
It will get better! Sounds like you are doing well for right now and that you are recovering totally normally. Be careful about the walker. I know of many doctors who won't let their patients use one because it makes you lean forward and look down. It's very scary to walk on your own, but you can absolutely do it!

I understand why people are scared of taking pain meds for a long time, but pain control is crucial right now. You can't be in agony and trying to heal at the same time. There is such a push in the general medical community to get off the meds, but you and your dr know what you can handle. I felt a lot of pressure and guilt to get off meds and know others have felt the same. Pain control is part of taking care of yourself right now.

The sitting improves with time. There are lots of plateaus and then big leaps of improvement. You have to wait out those times in between. That was the best thing I was told that got me through the first couple of months.

You're doing it! You're healing! Congratulations!

Marianne
07-20-2015, 11:25 AM
Hi everyone, I had my three month check up and all is well. My surgeon told me I am fusing nicely and cleared me for Physio therapy. I am starting next week. He ordered leg strengthening and core exercises. Hopefully it will strengthen my left leg, I seem to be putting all my weight on my right side. My left thigh is still numb and has that bad sunburn feeling at times.
I am still using a walker which I would like to get rid of but can not go to far with a cane.
I know some of you swim, at what time were you able to start ? I used to do aquasize and would love to go back to the pool.
I have been cutting down on the oxycodone and feel better about that.
Loretta I don't know how you stopped cold turkey!
I have been very dizzy when getting up and laying down lately, hope that will pass.
My family has been wonderful and a lot of help throughout this whole time. I don't know how Ed and some of you could have gone through this on your own.
Marianne

cathydrew
07-20-2015, 04:30 PM
Hi congrats on being three months out, I had mine a week before you. I've been in the pool since the end of May it's amazing. I still get head rushes when I stand up from laying down or reclining, and I've been off meds since Memorial Day (take an occasional Oxy 5mg) I'm not sure the light-headedness is painkiller related, but yeah I wish it would stop. Not sure why you feel you still need the walker tho, unless your legs are real weak, what did doc say about it? I've been to physical therapy for a few weeks now, it's hard but it's necessary. Don't push too hard! The best is the massage :-)

JenniferG
07-21-2015, 04:40 AM
"I have been very dizzy when getting up and laying down lately, hope that will pass."

I had severe dizziness for weeks and couldn't get any answers from my GP or the surgeon (who doesn't answer emails and you can't speak to him on the phone!) That was the worst part of it of my recovery. I was very scared about what it might indicate. But, quite suddenly, it stopped and has never come back. Just wanted to let you know this, to give you hope that it will pass.

Marianne
07-21-2015, 06:15 AM
Cathy I am still using the walker because my left leg is very weak And can't seem to move it without some support. The Doctor says it should improve with the physio.
Cathy and Jennifer thanks for replying, I feel better there are others that went through this dizzy time. My Doctors also don't have an answer for it.
So hopefully it will clear it self up.
Marianne

PeggyS
07-21-2015, 08:37 PM
I experienced dizziness for the first 3 months - upon standing up & laying down. It only lasted a few seconds, but I had to brace myself & wait for the short spells to pass. The best explanation I received was that the dizziness was related to changes in my blood pressure when I changed positions. The dizziness just went away on it's own - probably because my body was getting over the shock of such a major surgery.

titaniumed
07-21-2015, 09:48 PM
I don't know how Ed and some of you could have gone through this on your own.
Marianne

I donít know either. Willpower and fight for survival, thatís why I always call immediate recovery ďsurvival modeĒ.

Long pause.........

But the good news is that you made it through the hardest part......

Go easy on the PT......There are zillions of posts here about over doing things and paying the price.....

The dizzies take a while......For me about 6 months, and dizzy gets complicated when there are no inner ear problems......(Complicated means no answers, or proven answers.)

If I was dizzy, I would lay down. Donít take that chance on a fall.

Hang in there

Ed

Marianne
09-15-2015, 01:31 PM
It has been 5 months since my surgery and I do feel I have improved a lot since coming home from the hospital.
But thought I would have a lot less pain then I do, I am still taking 2 oxycodone pms 10mg a day one in the morning and one at night and that is only taking the edge off most days. Tried cutting out one and taking the brakethrough 5mg ones but that did not work for me somy doctor said to go back to the10mg.
My walking has not improved much with the Physio although my core strength is a lot better.
My left thigh is still numb. Is there any one else that remembers being numb for this long?
I still need to use a cane.
I really don't mean to complain as there are so many of you that are much worse off then me.
I guess like others in my age group I will also be in the 2 year recovery plan!

susancook
09-15-2015, 06:12 PM
It has been 5 months since my surgery and I do feel I have improved a lot since coming home from the hospital.
But thought I would have a lot less pain then I do, I am still taking 2 oxycodone pms 10mg a day one in the morning and one at night and that is only taking the edge off most days. Tried cutting out one and taking the brakethrough 5mg ones but that did not work for me somy doctor said to go back to the10mg.
My walking has not improved much with the Physio although my core strength is a lot better.
My left thigh is still numb. Is there any one else that remembers being numb for this long?
I still need to use a cane.
I really don't mean to complain as there are so many of you that are much worse off then me.
.I guess like others in my age group I will also be in the 2 year recovery plan!

Marianne, Welcome to the 2 year plan!!!! Everything that you have said sounds normal.....whatever that is for us older folks. There is no one way to do recovery from such a huge surgery, especially for us older folks who are amazingly spry, but still have some degeneration problems. Your walking will improve, just keep getting out and walking. Two-three times a day is better than one big walk. Just keep walking. Cain? Great! Use whatever you need to keep walking. If you find that a cane works forever to keep you more steady and SAFE when walking, so be it.

Worried about "complaining"? No worries....this forum is the perfect place to do so. Reframe it as "sharing your concerns".

Congratulations on a successful surgery! You have joined an elite group of survivors!

Susan....now using crutches and wheelchair which is better than just wheelchair!

Marianne
09-16-2015, 05:58 PM
Thanks Susan, happy to hear everything sounds normal for someone our age. Even though we feel younger then we are....lol. I guess our body needs longer to heal and strengthen after this surgery then the young ones.
Hope you are getting stronger each week as well.