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debbei
01-18-2009, 11:25 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been off my pain meds for one week now. YEAH! I was so happy to be able to stop. However, now that I am off, I am feeling all sorts of wierdness in my back that I guess was covered up by the meds.

Some of it I wouldn't call exactly pain, but tightness. Then there are other little sharp needle stick pains that I think are nerves. My PT thinks that some of the soreness of the muscles on the left side of my back are because of how the muscles were overly stretched prior to surgery, and now I'm working them differently and they have to get used to it and adjust.

I'm trying not to worry, and thought I'd check with the most knowledgeable people in the world. My hubby said I should call the Dr. but I don't even know what to ask. My next appointment is March 5th. I guess I'll have to get used to it and like Susie said to Discombobulated today, just take one day at a time.

Thanks for any input,

Louisse
01-19-2009, 03:22 AM
HI Debbei
Great to hear you are feeling well enough to come off the pain meds. I do know what you mean by the (weirdness) tightness and needle stick pains I get them still too and yes, I think its the muscles getting used to their different positions (thats what my surgeon and PT said).
I still take some tablets to help this uncomfortable feeling and my surgeon said its better to take some and feel happy to keep moving about lots. So if you do end up taking a few now and then as and when needed don't feel bad about it.

Please try not to worry, in the whole scheme of things having had major spine surgery you really are very early on in your recovery and doing really, really well too. I seem to have plateaued out a bit recovery wise but I guess thats me just being impatient...!

Good luck for your 5th March appointment.
Its great to hear from Lynn isn't it? ....and only posterior too which is a bonus.
all the best Debbei
btw hows the walking going and are you driving yet? If so, how does that feel? Also, do you work at all and if so, plan to return soon?
Louisse

Susie*Bee
01-19-2009, 05:29 AM
Debbe-- those just sounds like normal sensations to me. When in doubt, contact your doctor's office. I used to check with my doctor's nurse, via email or phone, for things I thought she could answer-- she was also highly trained in the whole scoli scenario. Regarding meds/pain-- she explained to me way back in the hospital that there's a balance they want-- to control the pain enough (note the "control" rather than "get rid of") so that you can be doing the walking and getting around that you need to do. Once/if your sensations/pain/needle pricks/tightness start to interfere with what you are able to do, then you might reconsider about taking a pain pill every now and then. Discomfort that doesn't get in the way is ok. My pain meds never got rid of the discomfort or they would have really knocked me out. They don't want that to happen either. Then your thinking would be too impaired! :rolleyes: Anyway, it's hard at first for people to find that balance between feeling ok enough to do things and not over-medicating so they feel really good but are out of it.

It sounds like you are doing really well and you're just beginning to get some feeling in those muscles and nerve reaction. Call your doctor to make sure all is well if you're concerned, but to me it sounds ok. (ha! like I could really tell from your post!) Hugs, Susie

debbei
01-19-2009, 07:57 AM
HI Debbei
Great to hear you are feeling well enough to come off the pain meds. I do know what you mean by the (weirdness) tightness and needle stick pains I get them still too and yes, I think its the muscles getting used to their different positions (thats what my surgeon and PT said).
I still take some tablets to help this uncomfortable feeling and my surgeon said its better to take some and feel happy to keep moving about lots. So if you do end up taking a few now and then as and when needed don't feel bad about it.

Please try not to worry, in the whole scheme of things having had major spine surgery you really are very early on in your recovery and doing really, really well too. I seem to have plateaued out a bit recovery wise but I guess thats me just being impatient...!

Good luck for your 5th March appointment.
Its great to hear from Lynn isn't it? ....and only posterior too which is a bonus.
all the best Debbei
btw hows the walking going and are you driving yet? If so, how does that feel? Also, do you work at all and if so, plan to return soon?
Louisse

Hi Louise,

How nice to hear from you. Thanks for the reassurance. I was thinking that I might call the NP today and see what she says. I have been driving since my last appointment in early December. I had a contractor position prior to surgery, so unfortunately, I can't go back to work because I don't have a job! ACK. I'm still on disability till March 5, and when employers hear that I'm not avail until after that, they don't want to talk to me yet--too early. There was a perfect position that a friend told me about, but the manager didn't want to talk to me yet because of that reason.

Here's hoping your 'wierdness' goes away soon too. :)

titaniumed
01-19-2009, 12:10 PM
Hi Debbe

That's good news getting off the meds. Your body is still going through major changes and it takes time. It will probably take at least one month to rid your body of all the meds, and yes its a new set of feelings.

It would be a good idea to get Dr Neuwirths nurse or assistants e-mail address for any questions. That will be the preferred method of communication with them for any answers to your questions.

Unfortunately, the tightness will take some time. I had the pin pricks and stabs subside I think around 6 months. At 3 months I believe I told my Doc that I felt I was about 40% through my healing. It took me 12 months to reach 100%. That's next week. Yaa-hoo!

I had the 'bear traps" which is the really tight squeezing feeling around my mid spine. They would come and go. Sometimes every day, or I would go a few days without the squeezing. It was unpredictable. It was around my 4 month mark that I reached the day where I had absolutely no pain. It was a feeling that I hadn't had for decades, and was in shock!!! I couldn't believe it, that euphoric feeling that actually sent me to the twilight zone. It was like being in heaven.

I thought, is this going to last? well it didn't, and I knew that since I was there, it was this sign that things will come around. The frequency of days with no pain would come again after a few days, and see-saw for a few more months. Eventually, the number of no pain days outnumbered the pain days, and things slowly improved. At 6 months, I felt good enough to pursue getting my broken shoulder fixed. Of course that was delayed to 8 months, due to my hesitation about the anesthesia. My 4th anesthesia bombing in 15 months was the toughest. That was really hard on me.

I will close this with a Mark Twain quote:

Medicine has its office, it does its share and does it well; but without hope back of it, its forces are crippled and only the physician's verdict can create that hope when the facts refuse to create it.
- Letter to Dr. W. W. Baldwin, (between Nov. 1903 and June 1904).

keep up the good work!
Godspeed
Ed

debbei
01-19-2009, 01:22 PM
Ed-

that's IT! The squeezing feeling around the spine, for me more on the left hand side than the right. That's called "bear traps"? I never heard of it.

I will call the Dr.'s office tomorrow. I feel so much better hearing this from you though. It's not exactly PAIN, but definitely not comfortable. Feels more like a giant rubber band that is sewn into my skin.

I'm looking forward to spring so I can start using my hot tub every day. I'm sure that will help it feel better.

Thanks again Ed.

wendyh
02-08-2009, 05:00 PM
Debbie, you and I are exactly in the same boat. I had my surgery 10/06 and have been off my pain meds for about one week. But add to that I totally overdid exercise and I feel like jumping off a cliff. Last night I finally had a real cry about the amount of numbness and lower back pain, pins and needles going on. It's a combo of no opiates and doing too much. I am scared. I had a cortisone injection 10 days ago and felt sooooo much better that I wacked out and did EVERYTHING and then it WORE off and I feel right now as if i just got out of surgery.When am I going to feel like a human being. My Dr doesn't want me to be on pain meds but I am so stiff I can barely get around. It's Sunday so I will call tomorrow. I am now on a 7 day steroid treatment but am getting scared that this never going to improve. At least the pain medication took the raw edge off. Does anyone else remember where they were at 4 months?
help!

wendy
age 49
50 degree lumbar curve
corrected to zero

LynnMarie74
02-08-2009, 05:25 PM
Debbie, you and I are exactly in the same boat. I had my surgery 10/06 and have been off my pain meds for about one week. But add to that I totally overdid exercise and I feel like jumping off a cliff. Last night I finally had a real cry about the amount of numbness and lower back pain, pins and needles going on. It's a combo of no opiates and doing too much. I am scared. I had a cortisone injection 10 days ago and felt sooooo much better that I wacked out and did EVERYTHING and then it WORE off and I feel right now as if i just got out of surgery.When am I going to feel like a human being. My Dr doesn't want me to be on pain meds but I am so stiff I can barely get around. It's Sunday so I will call tomorrow. I am now on a 7 day steroid treatment but am getting scared that this never going to improve. At least the pain medication took the raw edge off. Does anyone else remember where they were at 4 months?
help!

wendy
age 49
50 degree lumbar curve
corrected to zero


Wow corrected to zero, thats GREAT! COngrats! Reading this posts just reassures me I have a loooonng road ahead of me. Yikes. I dont know if I can handle it all,mentally that is. Maybe once Im back to work(not til April) and doing more things....jjeesss...doing anything that is...it will be better...or at least a small distraction. I have that tightening around my spine as well...and I can feel my muscles move around sometimes when Im laying down. I still have totally over sensitivity over my entire back and butt...so sensitive that I cant stand the sheets krinkled up! And my right side mid-ish area is one big ball of cramped up muscle. Ughhhhh....I dont know how you(everyone here) get on w/out the meds. Im not looking forward to the day I call for my refill & they tell me no-which I think is coming soon. Hope everyone had a good weekend....mine was ok. Had my aunt & my Mom over yesterday & had take out, then played 3 games of Yahtzee....that was all I could handle! :)

txmarinemom
02-08-2009, 06:10 PM
I'll answer your question when I'm completely off, Debbe - LOL.

My morning cocktail still gets me up and limber (and able to live my life like I want to), and I have no intention of stopping what little I take until the morning I just forget to take them.

With all the injuries (most, self inflicted ... right before I muttered "Oh, sh**.") I have a different view on them than some. Most post-surgical patients don't deliberately throw themselves on the ground (sliding), but that's what I choose to do.

Hell ... I needed pain meds pre-op for those ramifications, on occasion ;-).

Regards,
Pam

debbei
02-08-2009, 06:31 PM
Debbie, you and I are exactly in the same boat. I had my surgery 10/06 and have been off my pain meds for about one week. But add to that I totally overdid exercise and I feel like jumping off a cliff. Last night I finally had a real cry about the amount of numbness and lower back pain, pins and needles going on. It's a combo of no opiates and doing too much. I am scared. I had a cortisone injection 10 days ago and felt sooooo much better that I wacked out and did EVERYTHING and then it WORE off and I feel right now as if i just got out of surgery.When am I going to feel like a human being. My Dr doesn't want me to be on pain meds but I am so stiff I can barely get around. It's Sunday so I will call tomorrow. I am now on a 7 day steroid treatment but am getting scared that this never going to improve. At least the pain medication took the raw edge off. Does anyone else remember where they were at 4 months?
help!

wendy
age 49
50 degree lumbar curve
corrected to zero

Wendy,

The first week or two after getting off the pain meds was the worst. I also had a crying fit about a week after I stopped the meds, telling my husband that I missed them. I didn't think I would ever feel better. Now, I'm not sure if I'm getting used to it, or if I'm just being more careful not to over-do it, but I am feeling much better that when I originally started this thread. The tightness is still there, maybe not so much. I had lunch with a bunch of scoli ladies today, and they did tell me that the tightness, pinches and numbness do get better.

Congrats on your zero degree curve! I have to admit I am jealous :o

LynnMarie74
02-08-2009, 06:46 PM
I'll answer your question when I'm completely off, Debbe - LOL.

My morning cocktail still gets me up and limber (and able to live my life like I want to), and I have no intention of stopping what little I take until the morning I just forget to take them.

With all the injuries (most, self inflicted ... right before I muttered "Oh, sh**.") I have a different view on them than some. Most post-surgical patients don't deliberately throw themselves on the ground (sliding), but that's what I choose to do.

Hell ... I needed pain meds pre-op for those ramifications, on occasion ;-).

Regards,
Pam


Pam- How do I get pics up on this site? I have some that Id like to post. And when I go for me post-op apt in March, I would like to add those xrays!!

debbei
02-08-2009, 07:03 PM
Most post-surgical patients don't deliberately throw themselves on the ground (sliding), but that's what I choose to do.

Hell ... I needed pain meds pre-op for those ramifications, on occasion ;-).



oh you crazy girl! I've always been more on the cautious side, and I wouldn't even play ball BEFORE my surgery! Good for you that you can do what you love.

txmarinemom
02-08-2009, 07:24 PM
Pam- How do I get pics up on this site? I have some that Id like to post. And when I go for me post-op apt in March, I would like to add those xrays!!


LynnMarie,

You can either store your picks on a free site like Photobucket, a personal site (your own web server or box.net), or scale them down on your computer and add as an attachment.

Anyone who's having trouble - or just has questions - email me through my sig link and I'll send you directions ;-).

Deb, I'm not cRaZy - laff ... I'm just me. And I LOVE letting people know this surgery is NOT the end of your life. It's merely a break, and maybe a modification ;-). If you had the desire before, you'll FIND a way!

Pam

wendyh
02-09-2009, 08:41 AM
debbei and everyone thanks for your replies about my lower back pins and needles and stabbing. Debbei, you said that you had a good cry about one week after you stopped the pain meds and then it too about 2 weeks to start feeling better. That really helped me because maybe that is part of what is going on with me not to mention the real pain I am feeling. The pain meds definitly make it bearable to cope with the raw aspects of my pain. They take the edge off and remove me enough to get on with my day.
I had such a tough weekend trying to get my 5 year old to her various activities, trying to navigate around icy patches without slipping. And I am sure that this hip issue was aggravated by the 20 minutes on the treadmill I did on Friday. I just want to be better NOW and I think I have set myself back . I am so frustrated right now. I cried on the phone to my DRs asst. and they have never/seen heard me like that. I have been the model patient so far. I have to reset my thinking to long term. Ahhhhhhhhh. Thanks for listening/reading.
wendy
age 49
Lumbar scoliosis surgery Oct 6,2008
50 degree curve
corrected to zero

wendyh
02-09-2009, 08:56 AM
Wow corrected to zero, thats GREAT! COngrats! Reading this posts just reassures me I have a loooonng road ahead of me. Yikes. I dont know if I can handle it all,mentally that is. Maybe once Im back to work(not til April) and doing more things....jjeesss...doing anything that is...it will be better...or at least a small distraction. I have that tightening around my spine as well...and I can feel my muscles move around sometimes when Im laying down. I still have totally over sensitivity over my entire back and butt...so sensitive that I cant stand the sheets krinkled up! And my right side mid-ish area is one big ball of cramped up muscle. Ughhhhh....I dont know how you(everyone here) get on w/out the meds. Im not looking forward to the day I call for my fill & they tell me no-which I think is coming soon. Hope everyone had a good weekend....mine was ok. Had my aunt & my Mom over yesterday & had take out, then played 3 games of Yahtzee....that was all I could handle! :)
Wow Lynn,
You just barely had your surgery so you are right where you are supposed to be. Everything is sensitive but what usually happens is the pain begins to gradually shrink down to one general area which is where I am right now. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Letting people visit and resting. I took alot of naps and still do. And I have good days and bad days. Even though I have some pain I know I am getting stronger and have more balance on what used to be my weak side which I find to be very cool, I also love that I walk more evenly. That it a feeling that normal people take for granted. I always used to try and pull myself sideways to try and look straight and I'm sure it looked ridiculous!
The other benefit is that this fat blob that used to hang over my pants got pulled up with the surgery so now I have a pretty flat tummy. It was sorta like a mini lipo. I always wondered with all my exercise why I couldn't get rid of the fat roll but now I realized that the damn scoli was mushing it all together!
wendy
age 49
surgery Oct 6, 2008
50 degree lumbar curve
corrected to zero

debbei
02-09-2009, 09:20 AM
debbei and everyone thanks for your replies about my lower back pins and needles and stabbing. Debbei, you said that you had a good cry about one week after you stopped the pain meds and then it too about 2 weeks to start feeling better. That really helped me because maybe that is part of what is going on with me not to mention the real pain I am feeling. The pain meds definitly make it bearable to cope with the raw aspects of my pain. They take the edge off and remove me enough to get on with my day.
I had such a tough weekend trying to get my 5 year old to her various activities, trying to navigate around icy patches without slipping. And I am sure that this hip issue was aggravated by the 20 minutes on the treadmill I did on Friday. I just want to be better NOW and I think I have set myself back . I am so frustrated right now. I cried on the phone to my DRs asst. and they have never/seen heard me like that. I have been the model patient so far. I have to reset my thinking to long term. Ahhhhhhhhh. Thanks for listening/reading.
wendy
age 49
Lumbar scoliosis surgery Oct 6,2008
50 degree curve
corrected to zero


Awh Wendy (((Hugs)))

No wonder you're so sore, doing kid activity duty! That really wears one out. What's going on with your hip? My left hip bothers me. It seems like it doesn't fit in the socket properly since the surgery. I've been told by others that it eventually gets better, but I guess it takes time. Even this morning, I bumped into a doorway, not too hard, but to my insides, it felt like I twisted. I don't think I really did, but I'm a little sore now. I guess it's nothing a hot shower won't help a little.

I hope you start feeling better soon. What did the Dr.'s office suggest? Tylenol does nothing for me, so I don't even bother. It will be nice once we are able to take motrin again.....

wendyh
02-11-2009, 07:22 AM
Awh Wendy (((Hugs)))

No wonder you're so sore, doing kid activity duty! That really wears one out. What's going on with your hip? My left hip bothers me. It seems like it doesn't fit in the socket properly since the surgery. I've been told by others that it eventually gets better, but I guess it takes time. Even this morning, I bumped into a doorway, not too hard, but to my insides, it felt like I twisted. I don't think I really did, but I'm a little sore now. I guess it's nothing a hot shower won't help a little.

I hope you start feeling better soon. What did the Dr.'s office suggest? Tylenol does nothing for me, so I don't even bother. It will be nice once we are able to take motrin again.....

My Dr says that what can happen after surgery is sacroilliac pain which I guess is the joint that we use to move the leg around and up and down. It gets overstressed by taking the weight of the adjustment to the fusion and for some people it becomes a problem. It has become a big problem for me. I had to go back on pain meds after being off for 10 days because I became so stiff again that I backtracked. I have been so upset. After the first cortisone injection I honestly felt as if I were 80% recovered from the entire surgery but then it wore off and set me back to a really bad place because I did too much. It is so hard to know what is too much and my DR and physical therapist keep telling me that I have to be the one to decide. I hate this sometimes but patience is not my stong point. I used to be so active and I long to exercise again.

So starting this Friday I get another shot and I guess begin a 'series' of injections until this calms down but now I'm scared it won't and I will be one of those people that have to get my hardware removed after 2 years because I never adjusted. I know I am projecting. I am praying alot to stop doing that and stay positive. Thanks for listening.

wendy h....surgery oct 6th, 2008
age 49
lumbar curve 50 degrees
repaired to zero

wendyh
02-11-2009, 07:24 AM
Awh Wendy (((Hugs)))

No wonder you're so sore, doing kid activity duty! That really wears one out. What's going on with your hip? My left hip bothers me. It seems like it doesn't fit in the socket properly since the surgery. I've been told by others that it eventually gets better, but I guess it takes time. Even this morning, I bumped into a doorway, not too hard, but to my insides, it felt like I twisted. I don't think I really did, but I'm a little sore now. I guess it's nothing a hot shower won't help a little.

I hope you start feeling better soon. What did the Dr.'s office suggest? Tylenol does nothing for me, so I don't even bother. It will be nice once we are able to take motrin again.....
Oh and I am back on Vicoden again which makes me very moody.And you are right. Tylenol does nothing and after taking it a few times I stopped because it just pissed me off.

Nancy Joy
02-11-2009, 07:17 PM
Wendy- I totally can relate to the stomach roll. Man- no matter how much weight I lost or exercise, etc. I just couldn't get rid of it. I asked my Dr. if he did lipo or tummy tucks but he said no. Even though I have quite a scar from my anterior surgery- my roll is gone!!!!!! With clothes on no one sees the scar and now I don't have to try and hide a roll! I never even put the thought of the roll being because of scoli before until after the surgery.

wendyh
02-12-2009, 08:58 AM
Wendy- I totally can relate to the stomach roll. Man- no matter how much weight I lost or exercise, etc. I just couldn't get rid of it. I asked my Dr. if he did lipo or tummy tucks but he said no. Even though I have quite a scar from my anterior surgery- my roll is gone!!!!!! With clothes on no one sees the scar and now I don't have to try and hide a roll! I never even put the thought of the roll being because of scoli before until after the surgery.

I know-isn't it weird how we get a new figure?

Doodles
02-12-2009, 02:36 PM
I've got to say the "new figure" idea sounds marvelous. The stomach roll has really become a problem the last year as my torso squished more and more. And as others have said, no amount of exercise helped it. I do worry though after surgery with not being able to do any major exercise for so long--I need it since I have the metabolism of a slug, seriously!--that the pounds will just keep adding up. I worry my only exercise will be eating! Did anyone else find that it was hard to keep off the pounds? Just another on my long list of worries.

Nancy Joy
02-12-2009, 07:32 PM
I lost weight and am keeping it off. I just couldn't eat a lot of food at a time and slept a lot! Now I eat the right foods on purpose because I love being the right weight with a new nice shape and the walking helps. I am pretty anxious to get released from my 5 lb. weight restriction so I can get back to doing weight work but that might even be awhile because so far lifting can really pull things.