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View Full Version : 8 weeks post-op visit today ...



txmarinemom
04-01-2008, 06:39 PM
I saw Hanson today for my 7 weeks post-op visit (which just happened to be at 8 weeks ... to the day. My surgery was 2/5/08.)

I can:

- Run in 2 weeks

- Bend, lift and twist without many limitations. If it hurts, don't do it. We both said "duh!" simultaneously. He told me lifting weights is fine, just don't do something silly like right now like pick up 100 lbs.

- Swim

- Do gentle yoga

- Use my balance ball for crunches (both front and obliques), leg work, etc., (pretty much everything but do a backbend on it)

- Return to softball in early June

- Return to golf in early June

- Saltwater fish (heavier and deeper water fish) in a month. Shallow flats - and game like speckled trout are okay now.

- Shoot my shotgun (trap, skeet, and rifled slugs at the range)

Life's shaping up and acting more like "life"!

Regards,
Pam

flowerpower
04-01-2008, 07:13 PM
Congrats! sounds like an excellent post-op visit. Great that your released to do so much! Hope all continues to go well -

Renee

amae28
04-01-2008, 07:42 PM
WOW! he's letting you do a lot! Please let me know how running goes when (or if) you get to it. I love to run now, and it really bums me out not being able to do it for so long! He's really letting you lift weights? I was told no more than 10 pounds for a year!? That's really exciting if he thinks that you are healing well enough to get back to your old self or begin to.

mariaf
04-01-2008, 07:49 PM
Hey Pam,

Glad you've been given the "go ahead" to return to so many activites. He must think you are healing really well.

Great news!

Mobee211
04-01-2008, 08:08 PM
yay!!!! fantastic news!!

txmarinemom
04-01-2008, 08:09 PM
WOW! he's letting you do a lot! Please let me know how running goes when (or if) you get to it. I love to run now, and it really bums me out not being able to do it for so long! He's really letting you lift weights? I was told no more than 10 pounds for a year!? That's really exciting if he thinks that you are healing well enough to get back to your old self or begin to.

Abbie, it just goes to show you how different surgeons are. Mine did his SRS fellowship under your surgeon - lol :).

Linda W
04-01-2008, 10:06 PM
Pam,

Congratulations on such a terrific 8 week post op visit! You are an inspiration to all of us.

In your wildest dreams did you ever imagine that your recovery would be so fast? Please tell me that you have moments when a hot shower and putting your toes up for a few minutes sounds more attractive than one of the sports you enjoy so much. I am more than grateful for the correction I have had, the relief from pain and a future to look forward to. I also wish my speed of recovery could match yours and that I was 20 years younger with even more time to enjoy the many benefits of my surgery!

Linda W.

nate03
04-01-2008, 10:38 PM
WooHoo Pam!!
I am SO happy to hear of your great report - although I guess at this point my expectations for you are so high that I am not shocked.
You have amazed me throughout!!
-Cara

skoshi314
04-01-2008, 11:33 PM
Fantastic! I'm so excited that you'll be able to move ahead!

I had no idea you were involved in such a wide variety of activities. And I'm just excited about getting a little taller! We all give up certain activities due to our challenge, and being able to return to them is wonderful. I just really hope my doc says I can return to everything except weedeating, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and dusting. Oh, yea, and laundry. All seem way to dangerous to do post-surgery!

CONGRATULATIONS! Your hard work and positive attitude paid off!

Snoopy
04-02-2008, 06:46 AM
WOW! I'm shocked that you've been given the go ahead to do so much so soon! It just goes to show that every patient and every doctor are different. My daughter wasn't allowed to shoot her gun for a full year. I'm just curious, did you ask him if you are allowed to dive into the pool? Again, that was something (diving and jumping into the pool) my daughter wasn't allowed to do for a full year.

I'm so happy for you and your great recovery. Remember to take it easy at times and ease into your normal activities.

Mary Lou

Singer
04-02-2008, 07:01 AM
Congratulations, Pam!

I am also surprised that so many restrictions are being lifted so quickly .... but I do think that the higher the fusion, the better, in terms of post-op pain, mobility, and healing.

txmarinemom
04-02-2008, 08:15 AM
It just goes to show that every patient and every doctor are different. My daughter wasn't allowed to shoot her gun for a full year. I'm just curious, did you ask him if you are allowed to dive into the pool? Again, that was something (diving and jumping into the pool) my daughter wasn't allowed to do for a full year.

I'm so happy for you and your great recovery. Remember to take it easy at times and ease into your normal activities.

Mary Lou,

LMAO! Since you're the only one who asked about the shotgun, here's the deal ...

(I'm not even sure Hanson thinks *anything* I ask him anymore is odd ... ;-))

I have several shotguns. In particular, I have a pair of 1100's I prefer. The 20 ga. was my 9th birthday present from my Dad, the 12 ga. was his, bought the same day, and was given to me (to match the pair) when he died in 2003.

My 20 ga. isn't ported, but it does have the stock cut down - and a 1" waffle pad.

I've also been shooting long enough (I started hunting dove with my Dad when I was big enough to hold a shotgun) and I've been shooting THIS gun in particular, long enough I barely feel a kick.

Would I shoot clays all day with it at this point? Nah. Would I hunt using the 12 ga. at this point? Nah (it kicks a LOT more, and the stock length makes it tough to get a proper hold to prevent kick).

Hanson is counting on the fact I do have some common sense on this - AND some of the other things on my list.

My son comes home on leave 4/25, and one of the things he loves to do (always has since I started taking him deer hunting in Allegheny Cty, PA) is take the shotguns, a ton of rifled slugs, and shoot 100 yd targets. He finds that far more challenging than blowing out the center with an M4 rifle every single time ... just because you can. I specifically asked about the shotgun because this is something Jett and I will want to do in the next few weeks

And, no - LOL ... I did not ask about diving into a pool. I may do some (apparently) odd things for a 39 year old woman, but I DO have my limits ...

Pool time consists of swimming (if I feel motivated), but my preferred activity is lounging on a float with a tasty beverage. ;-)

Regards,
Pam

Susie*Bee
04-02-2008, 08:17 AM
Yes Pam, congratulations on receiving the go-ahead for so much. That must be very exciting for you! Have fun returning to some of your outdoorsy pursuits!

Singer-- you are right in thinking the lower lumbars require heightened restrictions... I ran across an interesting presentation by Dr. Boachie on the internet that mentions that, along with lumbar stenosis and ddd, if I remember right. Let me know if you want the link and I'll pm it to you.

Singer
04-02-2008, 08:25 AM
Thanks Susie -- I have already watched (and obsessively rewatched, lol) every dang thing that Boachie has on the internet!!

Susie*Bee
04-02-2008, 08:31 AM
Singer-- of course! :o But this isn't a video presentation, it's a written one. It's probably also somewhere as a video... ;)

txmarinemom
04-02-2008, 09:05 AM
Congratulations on such a terrific 8 week post op visit! You are an inspiration to all of us.

In your wildest dreams did you ever imagine that your recovery would be so fast? Please tell me that you have moments when a hot shower and putting your toes up for a few minutes sounds more attractive than one of the sports you enjoy so much. I am more than grateful for the correction I have had, the relief from pain and a future to look forward to. I also wish my speed of recovery could match yours and that I was 20 years younger with even more time to enjoy the many benefits of my surgery!

Thanks, Linda. I'm so glad you also experienced pain relief with your surgery.

Honestly, I don't recall any imagination of recovery time (you have no point of reference on what you're walking into, you know?). I can tell you my primary dream/hope before surgery was one of no pain (tough to visualize when your back's hurt since age 10!).

Of course a bubble bath and a book are high on my list of enjoyed activities - and always have been! I just got a huge laugh thinking it sounded like I had some schedule from dusk 'til dawn of go-go-go(!).

As I mentioned to Mary Lou on the shotgun question, just because I have been released to do some things other doctors aren't comfortable with (and we all know they're different), Hanson is counting on the fact I'm not going to go from 0-60 geting back INTO things I haven't done in a few months.

The biggest concern when I DO return to ball in June isn't going to be my back. Just like anyone who jumps into a sport without training their body, the bigger concern will be things like a quad/calf muscle pull, a rotator cuff injury, etc (i.e., NORMAL stuff). My primary focus between now and June will be stretching and strengthening: I just happen to have a little more lattitude in ways I can stretch and strengthen after yesterday.

Regards,
Pam

csc
04-02-2008, 09:10 AM
Hello all!
I've been going to report on my 8 week post-op appointment. Pam's post gave me the incentive. Such good news for you, Pam!
We were just thrilled to see the xrays. It looks so straight!! Forgot to ask the correction- so thrilled. The good news was that I am starting to fuse in the lumbar region. You can see the white fuzzy stuff around the screws. Not so much in the upper levels. The restrictions are still in place except for driving. So I have some freedom! Yay!
Everything seems to be moving slowly. This surgery does indeed teach you the meaning of patience. I'm still on pain medication- although I'm gradually being weaned off it. I read someone describing this healing sensation as " having a stack of books on your book." The p.a. that saw me said that since I'm fairly thin that I feel it more than some.
She was glad that I'm walking a half a mile a day and holding myself straight.
Very positive news for my husband and me!

txmarinemom
04-02-2008, 09:25 AM
That's fantastic on the fusion, CSC ... I'm so happy for you :)!

Keep up the walking (I'm a BIG believer in it now ;-). Aside from working out all the "kinks" (it eliminated the weird sciatic nerve type pain I had after surgery that meds didn't even *touch*), it builds your endurance, and actually helps fusion/build bone mass as a mild form of weight bearing exercise.

I recall things were tough for you in the beginning, and how wonderful they're looking up! YAY!

Best regards,
Pam

mariaf
04-02-2008, 09:37 AM
Pool time consists of swimming (if I feel motivated), but my preferred activity is lounging on a float with a tasty beverage. ;-)



Gee, Pam - after seeing the list of things you were allowed to do (lifting weights, shooting a shotgun, fishing, softball) - I'm glad to FINALLY see something I can relate to - lounging by the pool with a tasty beverage!

Now at least if I ever get to Texas we'll have something to do!

csc
04-02-2008, 09:46 AM
Thanks Pam for the encouragement! I was a very active person before the surgery. Miss all those things. I've found that keeping a positive attitude is so important with this surgery. After getting home from the hospital, I've always gotten up each morning, gotten dressed- ready to face the day!
You're right though Maria- lounging around the pool with a drink does sound wonderful. I've been so good tho- no adult type beverages in over two months!!

trulyaries
04-02-2008, 09:47 AM
Congrats on the good report, Pam. No surprise. However, this city-kid-artist-in-my-studio-gardening-reading-person considers the list of things you're cleared to do as almost a foreign language! I'm part of a large family of dedicated sports nuts, and my ignorance of *most* sports is well-known, and I get teased incessantly about it. (Don't tell them, but I purposely say dumb comments to make them laugh, i.e., What's a 600 series in bowling? Two 300 games, of course!)

For me, walking is fine, esp. when it's somewhere I can commune with nature. So have fun, but rest assured you won't see me out there! :D

And yes, I agree that people with fusions further down the lumbar or to the sacrum will have a few more restrictions. But that doesn't take away from the good shape Pam was in beforehand and the wonderful recovery she's having afterward. Good on ya!

Susie*Bee
04-02-2008, 09:51 AM
Felicia-- I truly had no intention of taking anything away from Pam's recovery. She's worked hard and done well, both before and after-- and that's great.

loves to skate
04-02-2008, 10:11 AM
You are amazing Pam. You have proven that it is so important to be in shape before a big surgery. I think that is why as a 68 year old, I have done as well as I have post op and was considered a good surgical candidate. I am walking up to 2 miles on some days now and feeling great most of the day. Wish I could go back to playing softball, but gave that up at age 40 because of a knee problem. That's when I discovered roller skating, which is still my goal even if it is a year from now. I wish you a wonderful active life doing all of the things you love.
Sally

trulyaries
04-02-2008, 01:13 PM
Felicia-- I truly had no intention of taking anything away from Pam's recovery. She's worked hard and done well, both before and after-- and that's great.
Oh, Susie - absolutely nothing was intended with my post! I'm sorry if it came across that way. :o

Singer
04-02-2008, 01:25 PM
Good thing my vocation is singing -- all I have to do is stand in one spot and breathe !!!!!! lol

However, I do love walking as well and I agree that it's excellent for healing from this surgery.

Congratulations on your good report, csc.

kdawn
04-02-2008, 03:28 PM
Glad you had such a good appt. Hope everything continues to go well and I know you're looking forward to being Normal again. I go to the doctor next week for my 2 month. Hope I get good news too. Good luck to you, you seem to be doing wonderfully :o I meant to find out when I could shoot guns too. I didn't realize it might be this early, you just gave me hope that having a life might be sooner than anticipated :)

PNUTTRO
04-02-2008, 04:36 PM
. . . since I started taking him deer hunting in Allegheny Cty, PA

Pam! Did you know that Western PA is my original home? I always freak out when I hear people talking about deer hunting in TX. I'm sure you understand the difference.

You didn't mention the x-rays. Any taller, comp curves straighter yet?




Good thing my vocation is singing -- all I have to do is stand in one spot and breathe !

Singer--Don't downplay the respiratory benefits of singing. The only thing harder is walking and singing at the same time.

p

txmarinemom
04-02-2008, 04:57 PM
Pam! Did you know that Western PA is my original home? I always freak out when I hear people talking about deer hunting in TX. I'm sure you understand the difference.

You didn't mention the x-rays. Any taller, comp curves straighter yet?

LOL! I did NOT know that, PC, and YES, there is a HUGE difference.

I no longer hunt with rifles, from tree stands in Texas after hunting in Gibsonia. Of course herds need to be culled to prevent disease (basic wildlife maintenance), but it's hardly sporting to shoot an animal where you've trained them to feed.

My $.02 on that :).

I'm putting together side by side A/P films from pre-op, 3 weeks post-op, and yesterday - 8 weeks post op. I'll post those soon.

Compensatory curves are falling out. I forgot to get measured ... AGAIN!

(argh!)

Snoopy
04-02-2008, 06:36 PM
Pam,

Someone had to ask about the shotgun. ;) My daughter is 3 years post-op and killed her first deer this past year! She was so proud of herself! Jamie and her dad both shot deer that day, but Jamie shot her's first and her deer was bigger than her dad's, and trust me, she hasn't let him live it down!

And who says just because you are over a certain age, you have to stop diving into the pool? Sure, it'll mess up your hair, you'll have to make sure the top to your bikini is in place before resurfacing but.....okay, I like your idea of floating while enjoying a beverage.

Mary Lou

txmarinemom
04-04-2008, 01:57 AM
... The good news was that I am starting to fuse in the lumbar region. You can see the white fuzzy stuff around the screws.

CSC,

I saw exactly what you meant by "white fuzzy stuff" when I compared my 3 weeks to 8 weeks x-rays (now in my sig as the " ... timeline ..." , but I also started a thread on how correction can continue for several months after surgery).

I know I wouldn't have said this (or even known what the hell it WAS ... probably, I think I'd have begged for medicine to cure it - LOL!) a year ago, but "white fuzzy stuff ROCKS!" :).

Since they can see your fusion building in the lumbar region, it must bode well for the T-spine, eh? Still can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear things are healing for you!

Regards,
Pam

txmarinemom
04-04-2008, 02:20 AM
You are amazing Pam. You have proven that it is so important to be in shape before a big surgery. I think that is why as a 68 year old, I have done as well as I have post op and was considered a good surgical candidate. I am walking up to 2 miles on some days now and feeling great most of the day. Wish I could go back to playing softball, but gave that up at age 40 because of a knee problem. That's when I discovered roller skating, which is still my goal even if it is a year from now. I wish you a wonderful active life doing all of the things you love.
Sally

Sally, I hope I have your joie de vivre at 68 years young :). Between you and FeliciaFeliciaFelicia, I've picked my role models for a couples of decades, at least!

Life is for living ... doing what you enjoy ... without a care of judgement on your activities or attitude for what fits YOU (you only have to face yourself in the mirror each day).

I NEVER intended to take an unused, unscarred body out of this world.

Hopefully you get back to your "normal" activity levels soon. No doubt you're on your way with your attitude and "can-do" positivity :).

Regards,
Pam

csc
04-04-2008, 08:08 AM
Thanks Pam for your words of encouragement! I also made my first solo trip into town- 15 miles very cautiously the other day. It was rough for me going into surgery with my father passing and having to have an angiogram beforehand.
A positive thing is I am an inch and a quarter taller and fifteen pounds lighter.
Everyone notices it. I've yet to go back into my classroom though. Middle-school students can be brutal!
I need to take my camera to my next appointment. So amazed at how straight my spine is!

txmarinemom
04-04-2008, 08:55 AM
CSC, I missed my Daddy a LOT as they wheeled me down the hall to O.R. - and it's been 5 years since he passed :(. I don't know that *ever* goes away.

You're a lucky girl with the height increase! Last I checked (at about 5 wks post op), I was 1/4" taller -LOL.

Then again, when you're 5'2" to start, does an inch or two *really* matter? I'm not sure :). I'm just glad I don't hurt ... and would choose that over NO increase in my case!

Hang in there ... things will keep getting better!!

loves to skate
04-04-2008, 12:54 PM
Hi Pam,
If you have joie de vivre now, and you certainly seem to, then you will have it at 68 and beyond. It's all part of your personality. I wish I had your sense of humor and your way with words. If I ever end up in a nursing home in my old age, I just hope there will be some Pams around to keep me laughing.
Sally

txmarinemom
04-04-2008, 12:59 PM
Hah. I'll just show you the tattoo behind my knee that used to be on my hip!

skoshi314
04-04-2008, 02:16 PM
CSC,

I saw exactly what you meant by "white fuzzy stuff" when I compared my 3 weeks to 8 weeks x-rays (now in my sig as the " ... timeline ..." , but I also started a thread on how correction can continue for several months after surgery).

I know I wouldn't have said this (or even known what the hell it WAS ... probably, I think I'd have begged for medicine to cure it - LOL!) a year ago, but "white fuzzy stuff ROCKS!" :).

Since they can see your fusion building in the lumbar region, it must bode well for the T-spine, eh? Still can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear things are healing for you!

Regards,
Pam

I want some "white fuzzy stuff"! Maybe my August I'll some I can show everybody!

Pam, I'm so happy for you. I'm really glad to hear how your pain has been relieved. That is by far my biggest motivator to have this surgery. I can feel myself being worn down by it, and I know I snap at my family more than usual (they have NO problem pointing that out). You give me hope!

By the way, the tattoo comment made me laugh so loud the guy next door came to my office to find out what was so funny! I just told him that he wouldn't understand!