View Full Version : Activity level after surgery

10-05-2008, 08:52 AM
Hi Everyone,

I may have mentiioned that my parents will be with my family (husband and 3 kids) after my surgery for 2 months. I want to set realistic expectation levels with my husband for after my parents leave on what I will and will not be able to do. I do know I won't be able to do all that I do now, and I don't want him getting annoyed or frustrated with me. I told him this last night and he said that he would join this forum to ask you. So I'm asking for him.

I won't be going back to work for at least 6 months, when I would have to find a new position.


10-05-2008, 10:55 AM
Hi Debbe,

Based on my own experience, here is my list of things you will probably not be able to do for a month or two:

-- cook a full meal (although you can fix yourself something to eat, like a sandwhich)
-- shower alone (you will at least need someone in the bathroom with you just in case you feel fainty)
-- laundry
-- change bed sheets
-- take care of a pet
-- lift more than 5 lbs or so
-- read more than 3 pages of a book without falling asleep...lol

...in other words, if you're like the rest of us ordinary mortals, you'll most likely be resting, going for walks, and enjoying being waited on.

Very best of luck to you.

10-05-2008, 11:01 AM

I think I understand that those things are out of the quetion for 2 months. But after that? It's after my parents leave at 2 months that I'm wondering how much of those things I will be able to do.


10-05-2008, 12:02 PM
Hi Debbe,
My mom stayed with me for 4 months but my surgery was much more extensive than yours will be, and really she did not even need to stay that long. I imagine though after 2 months you may still want someone around when you are in the shower-and you may not have the energy to cook, etc. But I think you will be fine with your husband around. You will still want to rest most of the day, but I believe you will be able to do enough to manage after 2 months. I still did not have much of an appetite at that point so your husband may want to fend for himself in the kitchen for awhile. I'll be thinking of you Debbe!

10-05-2008, 12:27 PM
I am almost 10 months post op and here are my findings:

It is easier to wash dishes by hand than to load/unload the dishwasher. I don't have to try to reach the low racks. I still have my girls do the dishes with the dishwasher most of the time.

I have a front load washer and dryer and they are not on risers. It is very difficult for me to put in or remove a load of clothes. Again, my girls do most of the laundry. It is easier to get clothes out of the dryer, but I think that is because they are lighter when they are dry.

I still find vacuuming, sweeping, mopping causes a bit of pain. Those motions cause some twisting. I am fused T4 to the sacrum so twisting is out. Wiping down mirrors in the bathroom is rough for me too. I think it has to do with how high the fusion is.

I cook most of the family meals. I still get help when something heavy needs to go in or out of the oven or on/off the stove.

Grocery shopping is very tiring. Who knew a cart could weigh so much when you buy for a family? I try to take someone with me when I go. I have the clerk pack the bags light so I can lift them. I usually put away the perishables then leave the rest for the girls to put away.

I wasn't cleared to do most of this by myself until close to 5 months. I officially haven't been cleared to do laundry or vacuuming, but it needs to get done. You will find that you will start doing what needs to get done, and then you will over do it and need to take naps! There is a fine, fine line between doing the right amount and going over the limit and you don't realize you crossed it until it is too late.

I think you will be able to do simple household things at 2 months, but be prepared to nap when needed. And don't let your family guilt or bully you into doing more than you should. You are the one who pays for it, not them. You will look like you are back to normal and completely healed, but you will still have a very long way to go. I'm not sure how old your kids are but I had a 15 year old and a 19 year old at home and no husband. They really picked up the slack and took on a lot of responsibility. Your kids and husband should do the same. It teaches them life lessons and self reliance, both very good things.

Okay, I will step down from my soapbox now. Good luck with your surgery. You will do great! Just let others do the care giving for a change.
xo Alicia

10-05-2008, 01:39 PM
I laughed at Chris' "Don't plan on lifting > 5 lbs." ... it brought back a funny memory of my well-meaning neighbor bringing me a gallon of milk a week after surgery and me sitting there in frustration ... staring at it when I realized it was *definitely* over 5 lbs (I honestly *couldn't* pick it up, anyway ... I tried). I actually had to call them back over to split into containers. Your pride kind of falls by the side of the road.

That's one thing for your prep work ... get smaller containers of things (even shampoo and conditioner), or break what you've bought in bulk into more manageable sizes.

Your grabber will become your best friend - LOL. My Gopher finally lost a screw and a suction cup and I replaced it because I still find it so handy for so many things.

It's tough to tell your husband what you will and won't be able to do after 2 months. I was walking 5K's and Ginger was putting her foot over her head (or whatever that video was - LOL ... you know I love you Ginger ;-), but we're all different.

My surgery was a posterior approach thoracic fusion, and typically they're less taxing. I always refer to my "baby fusion" compared to some others, but reality is, healing can vary for all of us. Whether it's a (relatively) short segment surgery like mine, or an extensive A/P approach lumbar correction (or looooong posterior fusion, like Geish's), there's just not a reason why some bounce back more quickly. Sure ... age, physical condition and attitude are contributors, but you can be at your best for all 3 and it's no guarantee ... merely a check in the positive column.

If I had to say - in general - at two months ...

- You'll probably tire very easily - and it will probably frustrate you.

- You may or may not be able to drive

- You may find cooking a whole meal/doing your hair/or a trip to the store will knock you on your ass for a day or so - and again, it will probably frustrate you.

- You will probably have days where the frustration of your limitations (and pain meds don't help this) will make you appear to be a blubbering maniac. Warn those around you this is temporary. I swear, I told Hanson this surgery should come with instructions "May cause insanity for 4 months pre and post-op.".

- As Chris said, don't plan on making the bed, lifting much, doing laundry, pet duty, etc. And there's no reason someone else can't handle all of that for 2 months, 6 months ... or a year. Plan on using your 6 months off to HEAL ... not be a housewife.

- Geish is dead on about the grocery store ... smaller bags are a BIG deal. Get a collapsible rolling cart and use it for this and anything else you need to move (I still do).

- She's also right that other adults can care for themselves - and even kids as young as Jenna can be very self sufficient, given the opportunity.

- Ditto for nap whenever you feel like it ... and guilt-free, I might add. Yes, you may appear "healed", but there will be periods where you heal more quickly, more slowly, and times when simply *healing* takes all your energy.

- You will probably have days where you overdo it and hurt. These days usually happen because you have a good day (when you start feeling like yourself again) and you feel guilty for being a slacker. Just let the good days be good days and don't decide to clean the house, wash your car or mow the yard (especially when you have others at home who can).

Basically the answer to your question is "Who knows?", Debbe. You'll heal in the time it takes you to heal, and unfortunately, there's no rushing it. Annoyance or frustration with you afterwards because you may not be 100% (or even 50%) has NO place in recovery.

There's not a thing that will need to be done after your Mom leaves that can't be handled by your husband, two teen boys or Jenna ... and if they think something needs to done badly enough they can do it. And that's exactly what I'd tell them all ;-).

Hugs, babe ... you're in the homestretch. Don't let worries of a starving family, wearing dirty/wrinkled clothes (because Mommy doesn't feel like cooking, washing or ironing) weigh on you right now. Or EVER, for that matter!


10-05-2008, 02:11 PM
Amen, Pam! :D

10-05-2008, 03:01 PM
Pam, Alaicia, Cathie,

That's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to know. I will send my husband the link to this thread.

I'm a little frustrated at some of the advice I'm getting from the NP at Dr. N's. office. For instance, he told me I couldn't lift over 10 lbs; you guys are all saying 5lbs. He told me I didn't need to take iron after donating blood, but the blood center did. He also told me that I should walk 30 minutes per day starting the day I get home...and not to turn into a couch potato. I definitely will take lots of walks and not turn into a couch potato, but he's just making me doubt some of his advice. I wish I had seen the other NP when I was there on Monday. I trust her advice more.

10-05-2008, 03:31 PM

Actually, I couldn't do the things on my list for about 4 months, but I had a slow recovery. In all likelihood your husband and kids will be doing the laundry and major housework for a few more months after your parents leave. (The smartest thing I did pre-op was find a cleaning lady -- still have her!) I drove short distances at about 4 months and I was doing a bit of food shopping at around 5 months. I was on Oxycontin for almost 8 months so I didn't dare drive far.

I forget whether or not you're having a lumbar fusion but if you are, it really restricts your mobility, especially for the first year. Unless you're a champion squatter with super strong legs (and most people have at least some leg weakness right after surgery), you won't want to get down near the floor for anything if you can help it. I still use my grabber all the time, and I've become very adept at wiping up the kitchen floor with my foot!!

Ginger W.
10-06-2008, 02:21 AM
I couldn't put on socks or tie shoes for about three months. I still have to concentrate in order to make that happen! Good thing I got some slip-on sandals before surgery.

Also, I couldn't lift more than 5 lbs. until the third month.

I never really used that grabber thing which most of you just loved! If I needed something down low, I squatted or moved onto my knees. I'm fine with the dishwasher now, but I couldn't use it during the first month or two.

My biggest restriction came from being tired, tired, tired.

I'm four months out now and I can manage to do pretty much everything I did before surgery and then some, because I'm not dealing with as much pain! (I did six miles hiking up the canyon today! Couldn't manage that before surgery.)

It's hard to gauge recovery. The best thing is to prepare for the worst. Then, if it's any better, you can be pleasantly surprised!!!

I put a lot of effort into preparing my children for my disability. I would send them quotes from you amazing post-surgery people and they "geared-up" for Mom being VERY dependent.

My recovery has been easier than I expected, but I know that isn't always the case. I think you've gotten some great responses here.

Also, I'm glad to hear you are getting some family support during the first two months. That's great! I was on my own after three weeks. My kids were planning on moving in, but I told them I wanted to try managing by myself. For me (and Pam), that worked.

10-06-2008, 10:58 AM
Thanks Ginger.

I can only hope to have a recovery as amazing as yours. I would be happy to have a recovery like yours, even without the 'foot over your head' as someone else put it. :)

Thanks for the input, I just sent your response to my husband.

10-06-2008, 04:09 PM
Hi Debbi,

I just wanted to say that my weight lifting limit after surgery was no more than 10 lbs. I'm still under that restriction now at 4 months post-op. I wasn't given an amount to walk everyday. My surgeon just told me to try to increase it a little bit everyday and only do what I could.


10-06-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm a little frustrated at some of the advice I'm getting from the NP at Dr. N's. office. For instance, he told me I couldn't lift over 10 lbs; you guys are all saying 5lbs. He told me I didn't need to take iron after donating blood, but the blood center did. He also told me that I should walk 30 minutes per day starting the day I get home...and not to turn into a couch potato. ...

Is your iron low? I can't recall how much you needed to donate, but you're about at the cut-off anyway (my window was no less than 10 days before, no more than 30 days before). If you're anemic, you might need supplements, but otherwise, just focus on a healthy, iron rich diet until your surgery. And fluids ... lots of fluids.

I seem to recall my lifting restriction immediately post-op was 10 lbs., but it's really kind of irrelevant. Your body will tell you what it can and can't do (LOUDLY! - LOL), and it's always better to err on the side of caution. Although I wasn't barred from lifting over 5 lbs., it ~hurt~ - so I didn't do it. Hanson has always kind of had that take (especially after a few months) ... "If it hurts, don't do it!".

Don't concern yourself with the NP at this point ... sounds like he's just stressing you out. I can't believe he told you not to turn into a couch potato. That's such a silly thing to say to someone before this surgery, and is a pretty good indicator of his lack of knowledge. You'll see Neuwirth at 2-3 weeks post op: Make notes now of things you'll want to ask him then.

Hanson didn't give me a set amount of time/distance to walk after I got home ... I was just told that walking was the best thing you could do. He was aware I was planning to walk the 5K at 33 days post-op, so he KNEW I'd be walking for practice. I'm still not entirely sure he thought I'd pull it off, but he also never discouraged me.

I did walk 75' in the hospital the morning after surgery - and 300' the day after (plus did the stairs), and made it a point to get out of bed/walk as many times a day as I could manage. Then again, I was walking with my pal, Mr. PCA Dilaudid. When my veins started blowing (they always do, but the Vanco did NOT help ... that stuff is *caustic*), walking was the LAST thing on my mind (oral meds on the night of Day 2 were NOT cutting it).

Activity in the hospital resumed on Day 3 (after one miserable night) when I met my newest bestie, Mr. Shot Dilaudid. ;-)

I'd decided I didn't want *anyone* around when I got home: Several friends offered to come for as long as I wanted, as did my Mom. At 74 (with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and balance issues), THAT would have been a recipe for disaster. All I could think was me falling/her trying to catch me and going down or vice versa. The idea of someone - even a friend - camped in my house was just unpalatable to me. I treasure my privacy, and tend to burrow in and lick my wounds when I'm sick. Quite frankly, I'm a horrid patient.

On the morning of Day 6, I was finally released. My friend picked me up from the hospital, we picked up my meds, he tucked me in bed, and went back to work. One tip I CAN give you ... MAKE them dose you up before you go home. I hadn't had a dose of oral meds since early that morning, and I was sooooo behind the pain when I got home it was ridiculous.

In the blissful absence of anyone hovering over me I took a 2 day (almost solid ... no kidding) NAP. I had alarms set for meds, and backed that up with "take your meds, Pam!" calls from friends.

There was no walking going on except to the bathroom and the microwave - and just wait until you experience the drunken sailor phenomenon. If you're like everyone else, you'll be "off" by, oh, 12.5 when trying to move from Point A to Point B. I think I literally bumped into everything in my house the first 10 days or so until I got used to my new body.

I promise you, Debbe ... it's no big deal if you don't start walking on Day 1 after you're sprung ... Day 3 (or Day 7) can have just as much benefit. Again, we're all different, and while (in general) the earlier you start walking, the more quickly you'll recover, some people can tolerate it easier than others. The main thing is not to push yourself based on what anyone else says or does, and let YOUR body dictate when you're ready.

No way will I ever say I FELT like walking at Day 3, but I'd already committed to the AIDS Walk 5K and I had a month to get ready. I started with short walks, and I recall being elated when I could do 1.5 miles at about 2 weeks. This was hard won ... I was walking 2-3 times a day - and everything they say about the benefits are true. Again, let your body tell you what's right for you.

A positive attitude will carry you far, but an "I should be doing _____ at _____ days/weeks/months" will land you on your back. It's a fine line (as I believe Geish said).


10-06-2008, 05:49 PM

My hemoglobin level from the finger prick prior to donation was 12.0, which I think is the absolute low end of normal. So I'm eating venison or beef 2x a day, spinach, etc. And washing it down with OJ.

I only gave one unit of blood, my husband and son each gave one as well, so hopefully that 3 will be enough.

Thanks for all the good advice, especially about the dosing up before the ride home. Depending on the day/time that could take over 2 hours or more from NYC to our home.

I couldn't do the 'have noone around' thing because I have a husband and 3 kids. Having my parents here will be great because I will relinquish all control to them and my husband.


10-06-2008, 07:35 PM
Hi Debbe-- I guess I'll do the "at the other end of the spectrum" type post. First of all, Pam and others have nailed it with their wisdom-- your body will dictate most of your limitations to you. Don't try to keep up with the jones' on this recovery business. We are all very different and it's hard to guess how we'll do. The important thing is to allow your body to heal and not push it tooooo hard, and yet push it enough so you are doing what you need to. I didn't want to do my walking, but did force myself, even though to begin with it was just inside the house some. After a few weeks of being home, I started tracking it on my calendar so I could tell what I was doing-- and because I needed the accountability-- so I wrote down how long I walked each day when I started walking outside. BTW-- when I was dismissed from the hospital (day 11) I was told the best thing for me to do was walk-- the more, the better.

If you have the live-in help, take advantage of it. My hubby has been such a blessing to me. This is the time when the other part of the "in sickness and in health" vows are discovered. My husband felt he was doing his part by taking care of me. I really feel it strengthened our marriage and helped develop his compassion and sense of being needed. It was hard to let him do so much, but I really was so weak and not able, that it worked out just fine.

My initial weight restriction was about 5 lbs., then 7-8, then 10, etc. Now it is up to my common sense, but probably not more than 20 at the most, and that would be lifting using correct body mechanics. I'm still with the no twisting restriction and have been told that includes vacuuming. It's ok with me and with my husband. :D

I have gradually taken back doing many of the things that my husband did for quite awhile. But even though I wanted to do more cooking last winter, I had to plan ahead or figure out different types of meals. I wasn't able to lift casseroles, pot roasts, etc. to put them in the oven... or to do things like put heavy pots on the range or drain pots of pasta. So if I was cooking something like that, I had to plan it around when he'd be home to help out. Or I needed to let him know to get certain pots and pans out that were too heavy for me to get myself (crockpot, etc.) I explored stove top recipes and adjusted what I made. Now I can do most of that lifting, so it does get better with time. It took me at least a year though for that heavier, out in front of your body type lifting. One handy thing I discovered are those OXO measuring cups that have the measurements so that you can read them from the top. Hubby still does the sheet changing and stuff like that. He actually does the laundry still too (isn't he a gem?!) but mostly because our washer and dryer is at our other house (1/4 mile away) so he takes our laundry there every Saturday morning.

It has been slow but steady progress-- and I don't know what other things you can factor in, but age, arthritis, extent of fusion and other spine-related procedures, etc., are all a part of what can cause you not to bounce back as quickly as others. But I have not (very often!) felt like I wasn't making any progress. It just took me longer than I hoped, but it's still happening. It's not like we have to prove ourselves by speed of recovery... it's more like running the marathon and the winners are everyone who runs the race to the end, no matter how long it takes. We have to reach for the stars but also be glad to see the view from where we are. Little victories as measured by our progress are very important as well as the big ones. Whether you are one who recovers on the fast track or the turtle path, you will do great and will feel so strong for having made it through. I try to find contentment in my situations, but only when I know I am doing my best to move forward. I hope you understand what I mean. ;) Big hugs-- you're almost there! :) Susie

10-06-2008, 09:00 PM
But I have not (very often!) felt like I wasn't making any progress.

Little victories as measured by our progress are very important as well as the big ones.

I think most of us (turtle and rabbit recoveries alike ;-) have hit periods where we've thought "OMG ... nothing's changing. Please don't tell me this is as good as it gets!?".

Debbe, and all of you facing surgery, accept now that you will likely have weeks (maybe more) where things just seem to *stall* ... where you see no visible signs of getting better. They are NORMAL, and THEY WILL PASS.

Things will move forward again, and you must will yourself to not give in to frustration/depression during the slack times. I honestly believe those dead spots in recovery are simply times the body is rebuilding its reserves to work on healing.

Geish and I (and probably others, but I mention Alicia, specifically, because we have discussed it) are BIG believers in naps - LOL.

Debbe ... on the topic of rest (even 6+ months post-op) I ask that you remember this:

"When I can't keep my eyes open, I should lie down and close them. I don't have to wonder why doing nothing wore me out, nor do I have to explain/feel guilty about sleeping any time of day my eyelids get heavy. I will sleep soundly in the faith my body is doing all kinds of amazing recharging while I rest!".

Every tiny bit of fusion that occurs, every muscle that grows back together and becomes stronger, every nerve that constantly tries to regenerate, and even the skin that morphs from incision to scar takes ENERGY.

I assure you while it may seem no progress is being made at time, your body is ALWAYS working. Sometimes it can handle the background healing stuff AND visible progress, but sometimes not.

The programmer geek in me thinks of background processes and CPU/memory resources. Some days a virus scan running can slow down *everything*. That's when you close all other open programs (of life tasks) and take a nap while the virus scan completes without competition - LOL!

Certainly some days in recovery are more dramatic than others. It's also important to remember that it's perfectly normal to be able to do something today, and not tomorrow. If this happens, don't despair ... whatever you accomplished WILL come back - just imagine your body going through another healing period getting ready for the next burst of progress.

It's fits and spurts at times, babe ... and journaling can help a LOT to look back and see how far you've come during the static periods.

Susie talks about victories ...

For me, it was when I could actually dry AND curl my hair without sleeping the rest of the day. Oddly enough, this happened about the same time (Day 33) I walked the 5K. I knew there'd be pics taken that day, and I know I was determined to not look like the bedraggled ragdoll I'd been for 4-1/2 weeks. I even did *make-up* for the first time - laff.

But man-oh-man ... lunch afterwards, everyone who walked with me back at my house after that, sitting on the front porch stiffening up ...

As soon as everyone left, I hit the sack and slept for about 12 hours straight. Okay ... not straight because for a while I was on a 3 hour on, 1 off sleep schedule, but you get the idea ;-). It wore me out!

I wish I could describe all this to you - and all you pre-ops - better. Soon enough, you'll be past the worst and trying to prepare others!

Regards to all,

10-06-2008, 10:09 PM
Yep, I guess I should have worded that a little differently... the progress does seem to plateau or stall-- but it's times like that when it's good to remember where you started from right after the surgery. In fact, one of my posts was something like "how long does this take?" But looking backward (as in hindsight) you can definitely see the progress better. So it's important to keep the focus on the fact that with time there is healing, and with healing, we are making forward progress, even if at times it seems like we're at a standstill. The main thing with my own situation is that I wouldn't change a thing about having the surgery or my recovery. Our recoveries are as individual as we are, and I think almost all of us are pretty happy with where we are. :)

Ginger W.
10-07-2008, 12:33 AM
I would like to request that Susie Bee and Pam get together and write a book about recovery from scoliosis surgery! (Geish, Chris and others could be the support team!)

In this thread alone, you have shared a remarkable amount of wisdom that will serve others going through this surgery.

I kept saying "Yep! Yep!! Yep!!!" Because you so ably described aspects of MY recovery.

After reading all of this, Debbei (and others) will be well-prepared for all the inevitabilities and curve-balls that come during the recovery process.


10-07-2008, 01:09 AM
I actually got a good belly laugh from that, Ginger, because some here think I'm just an ass. Run a search on "tx" or "marine" - LOL (the names I'm most often referred to by a certain Schroth prophet ;-) .

I've often been accused by said person of being an advocate for surgery. Um ... riiiiight. I guess that's why I tried to avoid it my entire adult life (actually, don't tell anyone ... I just did it because I was fresh out of ideas for entertainment for the next year or so - and it sounded like so much fun!).

BTW, I just realized my 8 month surgery anniversary was Sunday ;-). Ginger, it does my heart good you think I have something to offer; if no one (including me) thought I did, I'd certainly take my leave here.


10-07-2008, 04:48 AM
Have printed out Pam's post to show to my partner and daughters. I think one of the things that probably worries all us "pre-ops" is our speed of recovery, how much we will actually be able to do and how much will need to be done by others. After running the household, it will be hard to relinquish the reins and ask others. I just realised tonight, I won't be able to feed the cat, and he always comes to me to be fed. Mentioned this to my partner and he said, "That won't be your worry. Your worry is to get well in your own time, nothing more." I feel so lucky.

I know it will still be difficult though!

10-07-2008, 06:13 AM
Have printed out Pam's post to show to my partner and daughters. I think one of the things that probably worries all us "pre-ops" is our speed of recovery, how much we will actually be able to do and how much will need to be done by others. After running the household, it will be hard to relinquish the reins and ask others. I just realised tonight, I won't be able to feed the cat, and he always comes to me to be fed. Mentioned this to my partner and he said, "That won't be your worry. Your worry is to get well in your own time, nothing more." I feel so lucky.

I know it will still be difficult though!


I think you really hit the nail on the head for me. It WILL be hard to relinquish control to everyone else. I had the same thought about feeding the dog last night. That's ok, he won't starve, there are lots of others around that can bend over into his food container and feed him.

Everyone else--

Thanks so much for all the great responses. My husband read them yesterday but he needs to come back and see all the new ones.

10-07-2008, 11:33 AM
... Mentioned this to my partner and he said, "That won't be your worry. Your worry is to get well in your own time, nothing more." I feel so lucky ...

Jennifer, you are a lucky girl! That is truly a touching statement.

Debbe and Jennifer, while my mental struggle before surgery was absolute and total terror of losing my independence (vs. caring for anyone else), I can relate to your fears.

I had no anxiety before my ankle reconstruction in 2006. My kids were still at home then, and I neither worried about independence or caring for the household.

The ironic part is I was bedridden for 5 weeks in a non-walking plaster cast, cocked at 30, elevated at about 45. The time of total incapacitation, the pain, and certainly the recovery time FAR exceeded this surgery. Although my ankle is functional enough to play ball, the hardware caused more loss of mobility than my spine - LOL!

I've thought on this, and why this surgery was so much more scary to approach. The ONLY reason I can figure is there was a much better defined "norm" of the recovery process with my ankle. Most people follow a set pattern, and you mostly know what to expect as you heal and rehab.

As I've said before, you can read 1000 (or a million) stories of recovery from scoliosis surgery, and because they vary so much, NONE of it really reassures you how YOUR recovery will go.

For me, that unknown factor was the most frightening part. There *is* no real "norm" ... and boy, did I want one!

While I'll never say it was a walk in the park, I now know I gave it far too much space in my mind - and my fears - before surgery. My hindsight is probably of little reassurance to either of you, but I honestly believe you'll both feel something similar. The unknown, and the fact you have to plan this so far out (and thus dwell on it for what seems like centuries) only serves to give the fear a life of its own.

You've already faced the truly scary part ... the decision to HAVE surgery. Ginger's sentiment (and this is one of my favorite sayings) of "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!" is really the attitude that will best serve you.

Jennifer, I don't know when your surgery is scheduled, but you sound like you have your head on straight to face this. Debbe, I KNOW you're prepared, and again (I'll probably tell you 10 more times - LOL!), I'm especially proud of you for how far you've come from when you arrived here.

I can't wait to read great post-op reports from you both!

Best regards,

10-20-2008, 04:01 AM
I just wanted to add to this post to say thank you so much- I have re-read this many times and the advice from Pam, Ginger and Susie really puts my mind at rest and answers all my little questions I have racing around in my head.
I really could not have gotten through this so easily without reading all your experiences (sorry getting emotional now!).
Thank you everyone -

10-20-2008, 05:16 AM
I don't know how I missed your post Pam, but thanks for that, you summed up exactly how I feel about the unknown (due to everyone being different.) Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst (if that's possible) is what I'm trying to do.

My surgery date is March 10, a long way off because I had to choose a time outside of holiday periods when my partner is extra busy at work and that was the soonest after the Summer holiday period in Australia, as I could get. At first, it wasn't long enough, but now, I feel more ready and wish it was sooner. However, my head still has a little way to go yet, to get this thing straight in it. If that makes sense.


10-20-2008, 09:22 AM
I don't think you need to take six months off of work.
I went back after less than four months...and I now I was ready to go back even before then!
I just made it very clear to the managers at my work that I cannot lift heavy boxes.

10-20-2008, 09:26 PM
I missed out on this due to my shoulder operation on Oct 6th. Wow is all I can say, all of you have posted some incredibally valuable information here on these posts in this thread. We should have a "Gold Star" award or section, or maybe a "must read" area here on this forum.

Just a few tidbits

Making that decision to have surgery is a tough one. I remember after 33 years of dealing with scoliosis when I made the decision which was Oct 30th 2007, I was in total shock! I think my surgeon was in total shock! Yes it is a demanding decision! Its the most critical decision of your life. This, I think is why a good surgeon will always say no to an operation at first.At least on a serious operation. It did take me a bunch of visits to get this done. This of course was after 33 years of consulting with multiple surgeons, various Doctors, Chiros, etc and after all that I went through with all the alternatives I learned quite a bit and I was ready to commit. My surgeries were very serious and 100% problematic. Those of you that are in your 20s that are starting to have pain might experiance this. Surgery, dangerous surgery, is not something you jump into haphazardly.It is a irreversable process. The pain I was in was just mindblowing.

Of course this depends on what procedure you are going to have,scoli or non scoli and also age plays a critical part. The older you are, the tougher it is, and the longer it takes to heal. Tillgurl, I wish I was 17 years old. Being young makes surgeries so much easier! I give a lot of credit to the seniors that have had their surgeries. You know who you are. You are the big winners here and deserve the most respect.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, is valuable advice.

I almost think that if you can heal at your own pace without setting any expectations, thats the way to do it. You dont want to worry about the trivial things. So what if you cannot do something. You will get there in time, in the mean time, ask someone else to help out.

Debbe, as far as setting a back to work date, I think it would be best to not even think about it. When it happens it happens. You will know when the time is right. Just when you think the time is right, you will go test yourself and end up in bed for a few days exhausted.

By the way, how is your log roll?


loves to skate
10-21-2008, 05:36 PM
Did you know that you can rate a thread? There is a little box to click on near the top that says rate this thread.

10-21-2008, 06:22 PM
I didnt notice. You learn something new every day.
Hope 5 stars isnt too much? lol


10-23-2008, 02:45 PM
I didnt notice. You learn something new every day.
Hope 5 stars isnt too much? lol



10-23-2008, 05:23 PM

You were quiet for a few days and I knew the 5 star thing would at least trigger a BWHAAAA out of you.

You are about 8 days in, you should be leaving soon. Any news? You going back home? or rehab?

Remember, no falling!


10-23-2008, 05:39 PM
Oh shoot Ed,

I am just a delinquent poster. :o I came home on Tuesday, which was 6 days out! I promise that I will do a full post tomorrow. I've just been so exhausted between all the napping, trying to eat, and walking that it's hard to fit much else in. Thank GOD for my parents being here, it's a god-send.

So, like I said, a full report tomorrow, ok?

10-23-2008, 06:01 PM
OMG only 6 days in hospital. You must be doing tremendously well Debbe.

Can I ask you some questions? Are you using any aids e.g. toilet seat riser, grabber, shower chair? And for others who've already been there done this, how long did you use these aids?

Debbe, I will understand if you're too tired to answer questions, I'm sure someone will answer them for me. Just keep getting well, ok?

10-23-2008, 06:05 PM

You delinquent you! Its nice to be back home isnt it? Take your time, no worries, I remember I couldnt sit anywhere for more than 4 minutes at a time when I got out.

Hang in there. The first days are the roughest, it only gets better as time goes by.

Dont worry, Let everyone else worry for you.

Just an occasional, "Im hanging wit de homies" is ok with us


10-23-2008, 07:55 PM

Glad to hear your home and doing well I can't beleave you got out of the hospital so quickly, that is amazing.

Best of luck with the rest of your recovery.