View Full Version : Extreme Fatigue at 14 weeks post op?

08-29-2008, 05:25 PM
I feel like I'm in a slump, and now I'm looking to see if anyone else hit such a wall. Wednesday was my 3 month follow up in Plano, and due to circumstances out of my control I had to fly in and then fly right back after the appointment. Thursday came and well it went (bye bye!) I literally could NOT get out of bed, woke around 2pm starving stumbled to the kitchen manage a bowl of cereal, and honestly don't really remember going back to bed. But I did and found myself waking up at 5, got back to the couch, where I ended up laying till almost 8. By then I was able to get up and make dinner, and then by 11pm I was zonked for the night. Getting up today was horrid! I could barely wake myself, and even took a 3 hour nap this afternoon! I am groggy as I sit here, I really have felt great other than my neck issues from a month ago, and not had any real fatigue. I didn't do any driving, I just sat in a plane, then my friends car, then back in a plane. So I mean I just honestly cannot see why I am so wiped out.
Yes yes I know it was a lot to go at alone, so maybe thats the problem, BUT should I be this tired?

Other than that so far so good, the neck issues have seemingly subsided, I am working on getting stronger, I have to start PT next week. Also I am finally released from the brace!

loves to skate
08-29-2008, 05:53 PM
Wow, I don't know about everyone else, but a trip to the airport, a flight, a car ride, a visit with a Dr. and then back to the airport, another flight,then back home makes me exhausted just thinking about it. A trip to the Dr. can be a very stressful thing and stress can be exhausting. If you are still exhausted in a couple of days, then maybe you might have something to worry about. Of course, I'm no spring chicken. Just remember, at 3 months post-op your body is still trying to repair itself and what you just experienced traveling to and from the Dr.s office is not an every day thing for you. Just take good care of yourself. Sally

08-29-2008, 06:11 PM
Hi, I had surgery one week after you and I think the tiredness you are experiencing was from your trip. I started back to college this week and feel like I've taken 2 huge steps backwards. I'm in more pain and I'm more tired. This is most likely just a result from being much more active. I hope you are feeling better soon. As my friend told me the other day, 3 months is not long for a surgery like this.

08-29-2008, 08:29 PM
I had surgery in December and I still get very tired just making a trip to the grocery store by myself. It usually means I will have to nap ( usually for about and hour or so) after I get home and get the groceries put away. I nap at least 3 days a week and often times it is more like 5-7 days a week. I just don't have the stamina I had 6 months prior to surgery. I think as we get further along in recovery we try to do more to make up for not being able to do anything after the surgery, then we wear ourselves out. I feel like I am on a backwards slide since about May. My surgeon has ordered PT for me starting in about a week and I am really hoping it helps me build the endurance and some strength back. I am tired of being tired all of the time.

08-29-2008, 09:05 PM
Geish-- my PT was great for me. It was a lot of work, but made me feel so much stronger. Thing is, it was gradual and I really had to work hard. I started my first 8 weeks of PT (other than the initial stuff just after surgery) at about 6 months post-op-- for arm and leg strengthening. I continued with a home program for that until I was released to do 8 more weeks of PT, to include core strengthening, at 11 months post-op. I continued with a home program after that and just recently pooped out when I headed back to work. I have high hopes of getting back into once I am a little more adjusted to work. It made me feel good.

PT was a real life-saver for me. It made me so much stronger than I was, increased my endurance, etc. It made me feel more energetic. It just still wasn't up to what I wanted though. Heading back to work (which is forcing me to be really busy) has helped with that, but I don't know if I'll ever get to the point I'd like to. I am doing so much better now just 3 weeks after I started back to work, so maybe there's hope. I KNOW I wouldn't have been able to do this sooner though, or without the PT. It may be that I will always need to rest after a day's work, but who knows until they try.

Yesterday when I had my scoli appointment, I told my doctor how much the PT had helped. He said that was really good to know because he gets very little feedback about things like that. I also am sure that I wouldn't have had PT if I hadn't brought up the subject with him in the first place. Our surgeons see us for just a short appointment and don't really know how weak we are...

I think for some of us it just takes a LONG time for building up strength-- and that PT and keeping up with a home regimen is vital. Best wishes to all of you for building up your strength and energy and endurance.

Ginger W.
08-29-2008, 10:07 PM
Dear Meg (MMW),

You and I had surgery just one day apart! I also PAY BIG TIME when I do too much. It freaks me out when I find myself wasted and I can't pull it together.

Fortunately, I'm getting better at pacing things. For example, I am headed back to NYC to see Dr. Boachie and I am figuring that I'll be just like you when I return. Consequently, I'm not planning ANY activity for the two days after I return. (Now, my kids are grown and I'm retired so I can do that.)

I think the emotional stress of these setbacks can be just as hard as the physical element. Please know that MOST of us post-surgery folks would have ended up flat on our backs after such an intense day.

I'm hoping things improve for you, as you rest up a bit.

08-30-2008, 09:23 PM

I think your fatigue is from the very long travel day you just had. At 3 months, that is quite a lot to do, and it seems quite normal (among us post-ops) to feel that exhausted.

I had spine surgery on 12/26/08, with subsequent complications, so basically I only was able to walk from my bed to the bathroom, at first only with the walker and then later, the cane. I think it was the end of April before I could actually walk into other rooms in my house, using the cane, and I had to sit down immediately. I had help with my shower, and had to lie down afterwards for about an hour.

At 4 months out, I had PT visits at home, and they taught me how to climb down the front stairs and into a car - I was scared to death but had to do it because I had a follow-up medical appointment.

AT 4 1/2 months out I actually drove my car a very short distance in a parking lot, with my assistant guiding me as I made a few attempts at parallel parking. By 5 months, I drove alone, locally; finally being able to get out on my own was such a huge high so of course I overdid shopping etc. initially. I almost always took a nap after; now, at 8 months out, I still take naps about 3 times / week.

I have been doing pool PT 3 times per week since end of May and non-pool PT once every two weeks - it has helped beyond my expectations. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of having to make my body do any extra work, but I feel a lot stronger, my balance is far better than pre-surgery, range of motion has increased - although I am exhausted afterwards. PT IS GOOD!

As others on this forum have said, it does take a long time - a year or two, possibly - to feel truly recovered, and maybe "being recovered" looks different than we each had anticipated.

I am flying by myself to NYC on Sept. 10 for my first post-op exam (at 8 1/2 months) with Dr. Boachie. I know I'll want to enjoy NYC and run around as much as I have in the past but I know the consequences and will try to pace myself. I'm wondering if I should take my cane with me, just as a reminder / crowd-control tool (fortunately the upper East Side is far less crowded than other parts of Manhattan). I get home the night of Sept. 16, and hope to rest as much as possible the remainder of that week.
GINGER - you are amazing that you are flying to NYC at only 3 months out!

08-31-2008, 07:52 AM
Just to chime in -- it took me a full year to feel anything near to normal levels of endurance and stamina, and I'm still continuing to improve each month. Recovery from this surgery requires massive amounts of patience!

08-31-2008, 04:02 PM
Yeah, I would say a whirlwind round trip at 14 wks post-op could be blamed for extreme fatigue! Hang in there ... it does get better. If you get tired, take a nap ... guilt-free. The world won't stop.

BTW, all ... I just had my 6 mos post-op with Hanson (okay ... 6-1/2 months) on 8/21, and all looks good.

I start "easing" back into softball with Sunday double headers a week from today. All my restrictions are lifted, but to start, I think I'll limit sliding to pop-ups ...

I am DYING to get back on the field!! I've been waiting for this for what seems like forever :). That said, I fully expect a whiney Mon/Tues - LOL. There's no workout that can fully prep you return to play after a gap in game time. But that applies to surgery or no surgery ...


08-31-2008, 04:49 PM
Thank you all for your sage wisdom! I just could NOT believe that two short 45 minute flights would knock me over, I was so naive that I thought it would be easier than two 6 hour car trips there and back. I guess not!

GOOD LUCK to you girl! and congrats on your 6 month check up!

Oh and I forgot to mention that we're in the middle of a complete kitchen remodel, and this weekend was dedicated to stripping wallpaper, painting, and installing the new dishwasher. It doesn't help that I feel that I HAVE to help my dh, I just don't get the vibe that it's ok for me to just go to sleep. Heck I NEVER get that vibe from him in the past couple of weeks...and right now I am DYING for a nap. But I have two kiddos to look after, and well spray texturing that has to be done. I'm about to go clean up my arms and legs, try and find grandma to come over and get the boys, and then try to hide from dh and get my nap on!

Thanks again for all your advice!

09-01-2008, 10:54 AM
I remember at around 3 months posting a message here titled "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired"... So it seems that's a common lull point. Not long after, though, things started to improve quickly. I hope they do for you too. Just tie a knot in the end of that rope and hang on a little longer. (((hugs))) JoAnn

09-16-2008, 07:50 PM
MMW- I read this thread and remembered all to well how exhausted I was after this surgery. It had to have taken a year or so until I really felt like my stamina was fully back. I was tired & took many naps up until then!
Hang in there & know your body is recooperating and needs the rest to rebuild. In time, you will get more energy!

fused T11-L5 Boachie/HSS in NYC Aug 2006...at 46yrsold
curve was 95 & now 60