View Full Version : One Year Post-Op.... Questions!!

01-14-2008, 08:28 AM
Hi All!

It's been so long since I've been here, I'm sorry that I haven't replied to any questions and comments...

I'm exactly one year and 11 days post-op! So happy that this is all in the past, however, I'm having pains and I'm wondering if they're normal??

I started working in October (part-time) and I'm in sales so my job is very physical (walking all over the city, carrying bags). I'm working three days a week. Just recently, I started feeling discomfort that is more than normal. I'm achy, but every now and then I have sharp pains on the upper left side of my back. I thought that by a year I would feel pain-free! Is anyone else experiencing this? I'm not sure if it's from working, the weather... I guess could be many things.

Also, I used to sleep like a baby.... at any given moment I could fall asleep. Ever since surgery, I have a major case of insomnia! I wake up ATLEAST 4 times through the night and am so wide awake I just stare at the ceiling. Advil PM works for me, but even with that, I still wake up from time to time (although MUCH less frequently and when I do I'm hardly awake). I don't want to become addicted to sleep aids! (not even sure if advil pm is habit forming?) Anyone out there experiencing sleep problems since surgery? I don't know what to do!! I hate waking up in the morning feeling so un-rested :(

Thanks for any feedback....

Les :)

01-14-2008, 12:59 PM

Did you have your one-year exam with x-rays to make sure everything's okay in that regard?

Speaking strictly for myself, I would be very hesitant to carry anything heavy after this fusion. But it seems natural that your job would cause new aches and pains. I've heard other people say that new activities cause new pain because they disrupt scar tissue and muscles that haven't been used in just that way for a long time.

I had to laugh about your insomnia. I wake up many times a night, all night long (well, that's an exaggeration but you get the idea) since this surgery. I go to bed really late hoping I'll sleep harder -- sometimes that works. The only time I slept through the night was when I was completely wigged out on Dilaudid in the hospital. I'm going to experiment with the memory foam topper since so many people rave about it -- hoping that will help. But I can relate.

01-15-2008, 06:30 AM
Hi Lesly,

I'm not sure if this will be much help but read your story and thought i'd try to help. I'm 9 years post op, i work as a sales rep, this is a very physical job with lots of driving and lifting. A few weeks ago i sat up in bed and got a pain just like you're describing in the upper left of my back. A series of tests, MRI,CT, X Rays and Bone Scan are indicating the metal work is still in place. My doctor reckons i should not return to that kind of work as my body isn't up to it. This was devastating news but i don't want to jepordise my health and have the rods taken out. I'm also looking into getting physical therapy which i never recevied after the operation.

My advice is that if your rods are in place then your job may be the cause of this pain. Especially since you only had your op a year ago. You can still have a perfectly normal life/career but if i were you i would look for something less active for the time being anyhow and hopefully this will help it settle down.

Sorry, can't provide you with any advice on sleeping.

Good Luck

01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
I can't offer any advice, but I wanted to say congratulations on one year post-op!


01-15-2008, 11:53 AM
A good, restful night's sleep would help as much as anything. Talk to your dr. about some of the new, gentle sleep aids that are not addictive. I take one and it made all the difference when i started it.

Also i agree about carrying heavy bags.... Maybe getting a little cart of some kind... something on wheels... to take the load off your back would help. The walking should be great for you though!!

01-16-2008, 01:04 AM
This is only my opinion!!! But in my case I was hoping that after my surgery, I would be free of pain. Having had pain for many years. But I am not free of pain I just have different pains at times.

When I don't get a decent night's sleep, it seems my pain is increased. Sometimes it gets very frustrating even though my pain is not like it used to be.

I take a sleep aid, and I'm not ashamed of it. Because we all have different types of surgeries, whether it is length of fusion, both ant. and/or post., the degrees of correction, age, and even our bone structure.

I tried 7 times to return to my old profession and I found I just couldn't do it, for more than one reason. I finally had to accept the fact that I had a new back, but it forced me to look at my limitations, which was very hard for me to do!!!

I had a long fusion, T-1 to L-5, so I have limitations. But during my recovery, which lasted longer than I ever though it would, I realized just how strong I really was!!! There comes a time when we have to adapt and adjust to our new situation. And it's not healthy to compare ourselves to others.

Don't be ashamed of the things you can't do, take pride in what you just did!!!

Sorry I rambled,