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debbei
11-30-2008, 06:15 PM
It's 6.5 weeks since surgery, and I go see Dr. Neuwirth on Thursday for the first time since surgery. (we saw the NP at about day 10 for a wound-check.) I am feeling so much better, and think maybe I could drive; however, I'm still on 5 pain pills per day. 1 long acting pill every 12 hours, and 1 short acting pill every 8 hours. This sounds like a stupid question, even to me, but do you have to be totally off pain meds to drive? I never feel doped up or woozey from the meds like I did in the beginning (but at that time I was on 14 pills per day.) I think AFTER my appt on Thursday I'll cut down to 2 short acting pills, but don't want to do that with a train and subway ride on Thursday.

I'll see what the Dr. says but I'm just curious. I'm also anxious to get permission to walk on my treadmill. Today I couldn't get out to walk because it rained all day and I was stir-crazy and bored.

I must be getting much better since I'm starting to get bored. :) After our appt. on Thursday we'll have lunch somewhere nice and then go see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. It should be fun, I hope I don't over do it and get too pooped. :)

doodie
11-30-2008, 07:31 PM
Wait, I'm a little confused....I understand that after surgery you're supposed to walk, walk, walk - but you can't walk on a treadmill? uh oh, I think I'm gonna to be in trouble. I've actually been advised for several years now by both chiropractors and physical therapists to either take it really easy walking on pavement or don't do it at all (and definitely no running, due to lumbar DDD) so we got a treadmill 3 years ago and I love it. It still hurts but I use it anyway. Is it the safety issue, like you might easily lose your balance and fall or something??

debbei
11-30-2008, 07:34 PM
Wait, I'm a little confused....I understand that after surgery you're supposed to walk, walk, walk - but you can't walk on a treadmill? uh oh, I think I'm gonna to be in trouble. I've actually been advised for several years now by both chiropractors and physical therapists to either take it really easy walking on pavement or don't do it at all (and definitely no running, due to lumbar DDD) so we got a treadmill 3 years ago and I love it. It still hurts but I use it anyway. Is it the safety issue, like you might easily lose your balance and fall or something??

Julie,

I think it's a safety issue because it is an electric machine, and there is potential for falling. When I used my treadmill prior to surgery, I never ran anyway, just walked at a brisk pace. That's what I want to do now, but maybe a little slower. At my last appt. the NP said NO TREADMILL PERIOD just walk every day either outside or at a mall. I assume it's because it was right after surgery when I was a little dopey from the meds. I'm not like that any more. I just want to be able to get on my treadmill to walk as fast as I do right now outside if the weather is bad.

rainbow2010
11-30-2008, 08:37 PM
As long as you are on pain pills, you should NOT drive. If you get stopped, it is Driving Under the Influence. My doctor made me sign a paper saying I would not drive when taking pain medicine and that if I did, I could get arrested. It is a safety issue also. Pain medicine slows your reactions and affects your judgement. Look at the warning labels on your medicine. A car is heavy machinery!

sccrm08
11-30-2008, 09:00 PM
I was also told NO TREDMILLS walking out side and at the mall was fine. I did talk the Dr. into letting me use the eliptical (sp) machines at the gym about 4 1/2 months post op. I was going to the gym at 3 months using the tredmill and the bike and when he found out he stopped me. Also driving I had no need to drive until 3 months post op and even then if I had to drive I went without pain meds that day until I was home.

LisaMS
11-30-2008, 09:21 PM
I have always been unclear about the restrictions on driving while on pain meds. I've worked for a home hospice program for years, and have seen patients on loads of narcotics able to function perfectly well and to drive seemingly safely. For them, it's been a case-by-case basis, decided by the doctor in consultation with family. Most drugs that warn about "heavy machinery" say that you should avoid it until you know "how this medication affects you." If you've been taking it a long time, I think you know how it affects you. I have been on narcotics for back pain in the past (low doses for a long time) and I did drive after I knew that I was reacting well.

Right now I KNOW I shouldn't be driving while on these meds, and I always err on the side of caution--having others drive until I really feel well enough to go without the pain meds while driving. I don't want to be responsible for hurting someone else in an accident.

I'll give you all an update on how I'm doing later!

Love to all,
Lisa

amae28
11-30-2008, 09:45 PM
I didn't drive until i was about 4 or 5 weeks post op after i was off everything except for lots of tylenol. I was nervous even then and I am still nervous driving at 5 months because i can't twist and look over my shoulder for other cars, etc. I've even backed into someone (UGH!) because I couln't see their car. I have since acquired this bumper beeper device that tells me when i am getting too close to something, lol.

txmarinemom
12-01-2008, 12:01 AM
I have always been unclear about the restrictions on driving while on pain meds. I've worked for a home hospice program for years, and have seen patients on loads of narcotics able to function perfectly well and to drive seemingly safely. For them, it's been a case-by-case basis, decided by the doctor in consultation with family. Most drugs that warn about "heavy machinery" say that you should avoid it until you know "how this medication affects you." If you've been taking it a long time, I think you know how it affects you. I have been on narcotics for back pain in the past (low doses for a long time) and I did drive after I knew that I was reacting well.



Lisa, THANK YOU ... some of us have NO effect from narcotics. After 4 years of pain mgmt, I learned I was unaffected (even for relief) by most.

Pam

loves to skate
12-01-2008, 11:18 AM
Hi Debbei,
I was allowed to drive after I was off all narcotics at three months post op. I wasn't supposed to walk on a treadmill, but it was extremely icy here in January (we couldn't even get out our front door), so it was the treadmill or nothing. I walked very slowly then. I wonder if it is because of the narcotics that they don't want you walking on a treadmill. Treadmills seem safer to me that icy walkways and roadways. Please ask your Dr. what the reason is and get back to us.
Sally

debbei
12-01-2008, 11:25 AM
Hi Debbei,
I was allowed to drive after I was off all narcotics at three months post op. I wasn't supposed to walk on a treadmill, but it was extremely icy here in January (we couldn't even get out our front door), so it was the treadmill or nothing. I walked very slowly then. I wonder if it is because of the narcotics that they don't want you walking on a treadmill. Treadmills seem safer to me that icy walkways and roadways. Please ask your Dr. what the reason is and get back to us.
Sally

Hi Sally,
I agree with you about the safety of treadmills vs. ice, and will definitely let you guys know what Dr. N says. Today I'm cutting back to 4 pills daily, so hopefully I will be off them completely and then I can start to drive. I'm getting stir-crazy :)

trishthedish
12-01-2008, 09:54 PM
Amen, Pam and Lisa. Tolerance to narcotics develops to varying degrees in all patients taking them, and the sedation aspect, depending on the dose and the patient, can disappear completely. Wish I could say the same about the constipation factor, but that's dose-related.

I was permitted to drive at 3 months-that's 3 months out from my first surgery and 2 months from the second. I wasn't taking narcotic pain meds at all before the surgeries, because I *could* function without them and wanted to go into the surgery completely opioid-naive, as they say in the biz. =)

Now I am down to 4 Norco daily, drive to and from work, and never feel sedated. So, Debbei, I know you'll do what your doctor tells you, but depending on your level of tolerance, I wouldn't think you'd need to be off all narcs to drive.

Let us know how you do-I am looking forward to hearing about your appt. AND your time in New York. Those of us living in the sticks are into vicarious traveling, lol.

debbei
12-03-2008, 04:03 PM
Thanks Trish & Pam,

What you're saying makes sense to me; however I want to make sure I do whatever is legal. Like I said, I never feel sedated any more. In the beginning, I was on so much, I know even my eye muscles were sedated because I was seeing kind of cross-eyed. For example, I'd see 3 things when there were only 2. I'm not like that at all any more. I think the short-acting pills (3 per day) I'm taking are like your norco but without the tylenol. Then I'm also taking one long acting pill every 12 hrs. I totally still need these for pain. Earlier this week I tried cutting the 3 down to 2 and OMG did I know it, I was in such pain.

Trish,
Even though we probably live about 25 miles from the city as the crow flies, it's such a hastle for us to get to the city, (and expensive to do things) so we hardly ever go. It will be a big treat for me tomorrow. Heck, without driving I'm getting so stir crazy. On colder days my parents take me to the mall to walk and that's my big excitement for the day. WHOOHOO walking with the senior citizens. :) I'm sure I'll be totally exhausted tomorrow. I'll fill you guys in on Friday.

Singer
12-04-2008, 06:37 AM
Hi Debbe,

I got impatient and drove at 4 months post-op even though I was still on 12-hour Oxycontins. I had been struggling with a very weak and painful leg post-op and was desperate to regain some independence. I didn't drive on highways, only short distances, and thought I was fine. HOWEVER, once I got completely off the drugs, at over 7 months post-op, I noticed a big difference behind the wheel. I thought I was perfectly clear, but I wasn't. I consider myself lucky that nothing happened.

I think one of the biggest challenges of this recovery is that it requires huge reserves of patience. At 18 months (almost) post-op, I'm STILL recovering!

titaniumed
12-04-2008, 05:10 PM
Debbe

This is what happens when you do drugs on a treadmill.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2nlj8l5eXA

I dont need to explain about driving on drugs.

both are bad.

Your doing good, hang in there, it only gets better.
Ed

Qikdraw
12-04-2008, 05:30 PM
When did I start driving? When I was 16, lo those many years ago. But considering I was 4 years post-op at that point I think I was safe. :D

Brad

titaniumed
12-04-2008, 05:36 PM
Brad
Ever do the treadmill?
Ed

Qikdraw
12-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Brad
Ever do the treadmill?
Ed

Ed,

Treadmills hurt my back, so I haven't used one in years. We have an eplyptical machine that is no impact and much much better on my back.

What I really want to do is find a lap pool I can go to to walk back and forth in. It'll get my weight off my spine and still get me walking.

txmarinemom
12-07-2008, 12:40 AM
I dont need to explain about driving on drugs.

both are bad.

Ed, I know you are anti-drug (anti ANYTHING natural), PERIOD. Don't expect you know how everything affects everyone.

Your beliefs - and your science - vary from what I've lived.

Pam

titaniumed
12-07-2008, 01:51 AM
Yup
I take it you didnt like that video?

debbei
12-07-2008, 10:41 AM
Ed,

I loved the video, it gave me a good chuckle! :)

LynnMarie74
12-07-2008, 04:10 PM
When did I start driving? When I was 16, lo those many years ago. But considering I was 4 years post-op at that point I think I was safe. :D

Brad


Brad, love the sense of humor!!! lol And, that you tube clip made me laugh...what a bunch of dumbarss's! lol

trishthedish
12-07-2008, 06:40 PM
It's a treadmill...no, it's a slip n' slide! The thing with the towel hamper was funny. =)

I don't know that drugs had much to do with that video, though. That looked like pure unadulterated goofiness to me. Gives my drugs a bad name, lol.