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View Full Version : "I dropped it"... how long after surgery were you (finally) able to pick it up?



mkatz
07-07-2015, 02:58 PM
If I drop a coin, I leave it. (What can one buy with a coin these days?) If I drop a dollar bill I'm likely to consider leaving it as a donation to whoever follows in my footsteps. A $20 bill will encourage me to drop to both knees so that I can pick it up. I'm curious: at what time in your recovery were you able to pick things up from the floor without "taking a knee"?

(T4-S1 with pelvic fixation)

jackieg412
07-07-2015, 05:11 PM
After 6years, I still go down on my knees to pick up small things from the ground. Including dollar bills and car keys..

mkatz
07-07-2015, 05:29 PM
After 6years, I still go down on my knees to pick up small things from the ground. Including dollar bills and car keys..

I guess that means I should invest in a pair of stylish, fashionable, comfortable knee pads... oh, well.

Rise
07-07-2015, 05:44 PM
I guess that means I should invest in a pair of stylish, fashionable, comfortable knee pads... oh, well.

I'm fused T9-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation and am one year out. I frequently will "take a knee" but am finding that I am doing it a bit less often as I continue to work on stretching my quads. Giving yourself a greater range of motion in your legs is a big plus. I recommend buying a stretching strap (Amazon and sporting goods stores sell them) and using it as part of your workout routine.

Risë

Irina
07-08-2015, 01:20 AM
Don't remember when, may be a year out. I squat, lean forward and pick things off the floor. Strong quads help.

titaniumed
07-08-2015, 04:33 AM
Mark, Why is everyone dropping cash? Wow! I can come up and help with that problem. I know, I can quit my job, go hang out at UCSF and dive for all that cash that the scoli patients drop. If I’m lucky, I wont tackle the statue of Hippocrates that’s out on the front lawn. If I get hurt, I’m there. Double bonus. (smiley face)

I started squatting with vertical spine when I ran out of dishes. It’s the only way to get down to unload a dishwasher. If your single in recovery its squat or starve.
,
If I say 2 weeks, the ladies will cringe...(Cheech and Chong kitchen sink)

I think it was around 10 days post.

Its probably time to start stretching. Do this slowly......soft tissue injuries hurt like hell.... I did it with a stool, one foot up, hanging my arms down reaching for the shoelaces....no pulling down, no resistance, no weights in the beginning. Establish range of motion first......Just a few reps on each in the very beginning.....this is a slow process....8-12 months post.

Arm bike is a good thing. Pedal with no resistance. This helps toughen the soft tissues running over the upper and mid thoracic screw heads. Start slow.....You can emulate without the machine and graduate to soup cans. I did this from 8-12 months post. 3 minutes forward, 3 minutes backward increasing to 10 minutes after 2 months.

Ed

susancook
07-08-2015, 03:18 PM
Mark: Call me when you are going on your walks in NW Portland and I will follow you in my wheelchair/crutches and pick up your unwanted bills or Susan B Anthony dollars.

Susan.....retirement doesn't cover everything! Lost Cash accepted!

Susie*Bee
07-08-2015, 04:44 PM
You guys crack me up... this has been so entertaining! Mark just needs some lessons on how to hold onto his money - ha ha ha. (BIG SMILE). Or he can send it to any number of us instead... I still go for the old "oh look, a lucky penny" ruse when I see one. Some of us are penny pinchers. A dollar, and you leave it? I'm with Susan C-- I would come follow you around if I lived closer.

Alternate ways include the golfer's reach (how they bend over to get the ball out of the cup-- they let one leg go up in the air a bit, but you might need to practice that. I really can't manage unless I have a little something to hang onto, but maybe you wouldn't.) And I do what I call my old lady squat which works fine for me even though I look a bit like an idiot. Heh heh. I just need a kind of wide stance and squat down. Otherwise when I squat it's not as easy to get back up. I do that quite easily. But I'm at the 8 year mark. Best wishes. You'll get there. And I used to carry a reacher in my van... I was afraid I would drop my keys or something (thinking of everything, right?) But then thought what if I'd already locked my van? So many problems to consider. Where I shop is 40 minutes from where I live in the boonies. Yes, of course I would have asked for help. (Smile)

PeggyS
07-10-2015, 07:41 AM
Funny comments!

About 3 months after surgery, I used a vending machine. The change tray was way too low to reach and I didn't have anyone with me. I saw a little boy nearby & showed him where he could 'find' some treasure!

I leave coins on the ground, but I've dropped coupons & scooted them with my foot until I found someone to pick them up.
I carry grabbers & also worry about dropping my keys with the grabbers locked inside my car!

I hope to tie my shoes - someday (or year)!

mkatz
07-11-2015, 12:15 AM
What a nice array of suggestions; I appreciate them all. I will try each one. Thank you!

At the moment I'm a bit discouraged because of an increase in pain severity and somewhat diminished endurance evident over the course of the last couple of weeks; I'd been doing so well in terms of pain reduction and endurance increase that I was taken by surprise. I'm forced to wonder if the pain is "simply" soft tissue strain from "overdoing it" or if it is indicative of something worse.

My "one year" followup with my surgeon is scheduled to occur next month. My hope is that my recent "steps backward" are temporary and that my surgeon will find reason to be encouraging about the status and maturation of my fusion. Yes, this last year has been a bit more "interesting" than I had anticipated.

Susie*Bee
07-11-2015, 08:29 AM
Mark- let us know how your appointment goes. I was always anxious about mine, but they were always fine. (So far!) Ha ha! I have discovered in my 8 years post-op that this recovery thing is a bit of a roller coaster ride, with its ups and downs. Hence, that is why I have worried at times when I went in for my check-ups. You are probably correct in assuming you overdid and are paying the consequences. Just read the signals your body is sending you and back off, which I'm sure you have. Best wishes.

Peggy- I just this year got my first pair of tie shoes. How exciting! I have to set my foot up on a chair. Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way to make sure it was a sturdy chair, as one time it wasn't and the chair and I both toppled over. Not good. I am still suffering from that one. (That's one of those times when I wonder if my next appointment will show something went wrong... plus I really banged my head.) But I am excited to have lace up tennies. (big smile) I fell two times on our big 7700 mile trip also. Got a terrible bruise on my chin getting out of a footed tub, thinking I could use this chair (never trust a chair) as a support since there wasn't anything else to hold on to and a big change in height distance. Before that I fell trying to get into a 12 passenger van while we were working at a mission in Arizona. My legs just weren't strong enough to pull me up. My CMT kicking in. Battered and bruised. Plus it was with a big group of people so I felt foolish. I got to ride shotgun the rest of the time there... My shin is still bruised six weeks later. Oh well. I just have balance and weakness issues. That's life.

golfnut
07-11-2015, 09:23 AM
I remember going through an express lane at the grocery store and unknowingly had the zipper of the coin section unzipped and coins rolled everywhere. At that early time in my recovery, I had not even attempted to go down on one knee. I explained my predicament to the cashier who kindly walked around and picked up the coins. Meanwhile, a line was forming behind me. I should have just said, "Help yourself" and walked out as quickly as possible. I am sure the people in line couldn't believe that I wasn't at least helping the cashier.

cathydrew
07-11-2015, 10:49 AM
Doesn't anybody make grabbers with a telescopic stick? I'm still early (three months) but the grabbers I have stationed all over the house can pick up everything including a dime. Including a half of a teeny little Oxy. I thought for sure I'd be carrying grabbers in my purse. Also, I'm wondering how to get socks on come winter...I don't care about tie shoes I wear clogs and slip ons but it gets cold up in these parts (blech) and my classroom heat is negligible. I've planned ahead for months before surgery and I'm already planning for fall. Any thoughts? Also, my pelvis still gives me grief...it's the only thing bothering me. Sitting is still annoying, how much longer???

titaniumed
07-11-2015, 11:32 AM
What a nice array of suggestions; I appreciate them all. I will try each one. Thank you!

Wait on diving for $20 bills, that comes later....(smiley face)

I have always thought of my second year of my recovery as my “fine tuning” year, and that was all about soft tissues. (stretching and re-building) Getting back on skis was not an easy thing. I just couldn’t keep up with all my skiing buddies and couldn’t handle the G forces.....It was bothering the heck out of me. My skiing friends ALSO wouldn’t take no for an answer and would show up on my doorstep early in the morning. They are much younger and energetic. Eager young minds, eager young bodies......(smiley face) Hang out with the teenagers and you will think younger......It works.....This mentality is beneficial. Our mental states play a HUGE part.

Pains and bear traps in the thoracic continued.....and I kept on. Even had a painful L4 soft tissue pain “event” at 22 months that sent me to my surgeon.....Adult recovery is a slow process.....

We are just like sharks that cant stop. We have to keep moving. My surgeon warned me about a sedentary lifestyle.....it was a stern warning.

Try not to think about non-unions.....Your beyond this.....

See-saw recoveries are the norm.

Keep smiling, its important!

Ed

golfnut
07-11-2015, 11:33 AM
Cathy,
My surgery was in January and it was bitter cold so I needed socks. I had a sock aide that was included in a spine kit that I bought at my Dr.'s office. I probably used it for 6 months. It was a "piece of cake." You fit the sock over the curved plastic and hold on to two ropes on the sides and pull it on. It was fast and simple to use.

titaniumed
07-11-2015, 01:28 PM
Sock installer’s are the norm. I’m surprised you don’t have one yet....
http://www.amazon.com/SOCK-FOAM-GRIP-Health-Beauty/dp/B000SOJM84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436635300&sr=8-1&keywords=sock-aid

Long shoe horns are nice....
https://www.activeforever.com/stainless-steel-long-handle-shoe-horn?gclid=CM-2p4DL08YCFZKBfgodkMAHlQ

Picking up a halved oxy with grabbers is a milestone! He he

It can take a long time on the sitting.......pillows help.

Hang in there

Ed

mkatz
07-11-2015, 04:42 PM
"SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE?" Nooo!! Hell, no! I am not ready for that.

mabeckoff
07-11-2015, 06:54 PM
This is my 4th year anniversary of my C2-pelvis fusion. I am able to pick up most items off the floor. So you should have no problems. It just takes time.

I do not think that I will be able to either get down on the floor to play with my grandchildren or tie my shoes. Those are small prices to pay for what Dr Bederman did for me.

PeggyS
07-12-2015, 07:45 AM
I'm beginning to learn that set-backs or slowdowns are a part of recovery. My pre-surgery goal was to walk a 5K on the 4th of July. Even though I had been successfully building up to walking 3 miles, the week before the walk, I had tailbone pain that caused me to limp. Each day, the pain decreased to where it was gone the day before the event & I was able to complete my 5K goal - it took an hour, but I did it! The tailbone setback took me by surprise, as did the scapula issues. The 'oh, no, what's wrong' worries take over!

Susie: I hope you're healing from your falls.

Cathy: the sock slide works amazingly well!

I have folding grabbers to carry into stores with me. They're not very sturdy, but can be helpful. I always need them when I forget them in the car! Target carries them with the 'as seen on TV' products.

susancook
07-12-2015, 07:46 PM
I'm beginning to learn that set-backs or slowdowns are a part of recovery. My pre-surgery goal was to walk a 5K on the 4th of July. Even though I had been successfully building up to walking 3 miles, the week before the walk, I had tailbone pain that caused me to limp. Each day, the pain decreased to where it was gone the day before the event & I was able to complete my 5K goal - it took an hour, but I did it! The tailbone setback took me by surprise, as did the scapula issues. The 'oh, no, what's wrong' worries take over!

Susie: I hope you're healing from your falls.

Cathy: the sock slide works amazingly well!

I have folding grabbers to carry into stores with me. They're not very sturdy, but can be helpful. I always need them when I forget them in the car! Target carries them with the 'as seen on TV' products.

Peggy: Why did we think that recovery would be progressively easier? I think that we were just hoping that it would be!

Congratulations on your walk! I am impressed!

Susan

mabeckoff
07-12-2015, 10:27 PM
I don't know if this is the place to post or not . Last weekend, I went to Yosemite . I hiked 1 1/2 miles to see the Giant Sequoias Trees. They closed them for 2 years on July 6th and I was determined to see them. I never thought that I would be able to walk that far.

cathydrew
07-12-2015, 11:14 PM
Ed I hate socks only wear in absolute freezing temps.... I'll have to have an "installer" on stand by when the temps drop. I had everything else I needed tho!

At three months I can get on my knees and up only when necessary, my grabbers are great, but I wish I could pick up my cats.... Soon!

I cannot WAIT to sit comfortably without wiggling constantly or taking a painkiller. I try to make it through the day without anything, but sometimes I cave, and take a 5mg Oxy. Doc said I can do Motrin now but it bothers my stomach.

Melissa I'm so happy to hear about your hike, you've been through the wringer, you deserve nothing but healing and consistent improvement.

So, is there such a thing as a telescoping grabber? Or dressing stick? I need to go clothes shopping!

mkatz
07-12-2015, 11:50 PM
With respect to a short "grabber" that is convenient to carry in a shoulder bag, for a while I was using a "9.5 inch Forester Sponge Forceps", available through Amazon, or (later, when I could bend more) a much shorter "6 inch Forester Sponge Tweezers". Both were particularly useful when I dropped my underwear while attempting to get dressed in the gym and wishing to avoid having to ask for help.

By the way, my recent pain episode appears to have been the result of "overdoing it" in an effort to force recovery.
My recent endurance concerns appear to have been the result of a bout of GI difficulty (euphemism!).
Thus, back on the path.

titaniumed
07-13-2015, 12:24 AM
Last weekend, I went to Yosemite . I hiked 1 1/2 miles to see the Giant Sequoias Trees. They closed them for 2 years on July 6th and I was determined to see them. I never thought that I would be able to walk that far.

Funny how these hikes and walks call us.....we can be hurting, but still we go out and do these things.

Melissa, You should have called me, I would have come down for that one again

I see they are doing construction on the Mariposa grove......probably transplanting a few trees. He he

This healing power of nature is priceless.....

Ed

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited
in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated
from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our own personal desires and to affection
for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle
of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
- Albert Einstein

mabeckoff
07-13-2015, 01:25 AM
Ed, I would love to meet you so the next time I head north I will let you know.

Melissa

susancook
07-13-2015, 04:52 AM
With respect to a short "grabber" that is convenient to carry in a shoulder bag, for a while I was using a "9.5 inch Forester Sponge Forceps", available through Amazon, or (later, when I could bend more) a much shorter "6 inch Forester Sponge Tweezers". Both were particularly useful when I dropped my underwear while attempting to get dressed in the gym and wishing to avoid having to ask for help.

By the way, my recent pain episode appears to have been the result of "overdoing it" in an effort to force recovery.
My recent endurance concerns appear to have been the result of a bout of GI difficulty (euphemism!).
Thus, back on the path.

Love the "overdoing it in an effort to force recovery". Love your recovery ethic!

Dropping your undies in the dressing room can certainly poise a challenge! Have you thought about going commando?

Susan

mkatz
07-16-2015, 06:41 PM
Love the "overdoing it in an effort to force recovery". Love your recovery ethic!

Dropping your undies in the dressing room can certainly poise a challenge! Have you thought about going commando?

Susan

men "dangle" when "going commando". Witness the frowns on some male participants faces when participating in Portland's nude bike rides.

titaniumed
07-16-2015, 09:13 PM
They would really be frowning if they competed in a pogo stick competition.....

I just deleted 20 jokes, trying to exercise some control around here....

I wont be ending this post with “Hang in there” LOL

Ed

TwinmomTN
07-20-2015, 08:37 PM
Funny comments!

About 3 months after surgery, I used a vending machine. The change tray was way too low to reach and I didn't have anyone with me. I saw a little boy nearby & showed him where he could 'find' some treasure!

I leave coins on the ground, but I've dropped coupons & scooted them with my foot until I found someone to pick them up.
I carry grabbers & also worry about dropping my keys with the grabbers locked inside my car!

I hope to tie my shoes - someday (or year)!

Been there and done that several times! Dropped keys with nobody around to help and grabber in car! I now carry a bent up wire coat hanger in my purse for that purpose.