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View Full Version : Post-surgery question about too much activity



sed78
10-14-2009, 12:19 AM
I am now 3 weeks post-op. I am having a hard time with judging how active I should be at this stage of things.

This past weekend I felt like I "turned the corner" that so many people speak of at the two week mark. I felt better and had the urge to be up and moving a lot more. My doctor was not very informative about how much I should be walking and doing things, and I don't go back for my post-op appointment for another week.

Since I was feeling so much better, I decided I should try and get off the pain meds since they are causing major GI issues (painful gas/bloating, some constipation). Maybe not the best move.... I was in agony by early evening. I couldn't believe how much it hurt again, it just felt like a major setback. So I caved, and took 2 Percocet and now am feeling some relief. (My current schedule for pain meds had been Oxycontin 20mg 2x daily and then 1 Percocet every 4 hrs)

Were you up and about at the three-week mark or still mostly in bed? Was it totally unrealistic to think I could get off my pain medications this early? I just am so tired of the abdominal/intestinal issues that I think the sooner I am off the pain meds the better for me.

--Steph

09/23/09
Anterior surgery
T10 - L3

JenniferG
10-14-2009, 01:19 AM
Hi Steph, I don't know how old you are but it seems young people can reduce their meds fairly soon after surgery.

For me, I didn't begin reducing for 6 weeks. At 3 weeks I was still mostly in bed, in fact, I didn't go home until day 19. Even once at home, I spent the day alternating between the couch and bed! I started walking down the street at about week 4, if I remember correctly.

Be patient and take it easy. Sleep as much as you can. Short, gentle walks would be the only exercise you need. It's very early days for you yet. Good luck!

sed78
10-14-2009, 02:32 AM
Jennifer,

Thanks for the reply. I didn't think to include my age - but I am 31 years old if that makes any difference!

--Steph

JenniferG
10-14-2009, 04:24 AM
Well you are still a spring chicken which might explain your desire to be up and at 'em! It sounds like you're doing great Steph. Just try not to overdo it. You've been through a huge surgery and there's a lot of healing to be done. I hope your recovery continues to go so well.

debbei
10-14-2009, 08:03 AM
At 3 weeks I didn't even consider coming off pain meds. Of course I had no GI issues to deal with. At that point, I was walking at least 30 minutes a day, helping with some of the cooking, and taking lots of naps and/or rests in bed. If I was up too long, I'd take a horizontal rest in bed. I'd say I probably took 2 naps per day at that point, although lots of it was probably due tot he pain meds. I think my body needed it to heal as well.

If you were in agony when you cut back, in my opinion, that means you tried too early. Or maybe you cut out too much--up the meds a little. Call your Dr.'s office if you are unsure.

Good luck,

LindaRacine
10-14-2009, 11:52 PM
Hi Steph...

I think it's pretty much trial and error for all of us. I would suggest that if you plan to up your activity, that you not cut back on pain meds at the same time. Try something, and see how you feel the next day. If you try too much, you'll most likely pay for it in terms of pain. The one universal thing I hear from surgeons is to walk as much as possible.

How great that you're feeling as good as you are just 3 weeks post op.

Regards,
Linda

Vali
10-15-2009, 08:20 AM
Hi Steph,
Speaking from my own personal experience, i quit my pain meds on day 15 post-op. At 3 weeks post-op, i had to go an teach 5 guys, who didn't know how to dance, how to be the 'Spice Girls' to the song 'Wannabe'. (long story)
Started walking up the street at four weeks - feeling good. At five weeks, it was my daughters 20th Birthday and my brother-in-laws 40th. This took me three days to get over - no pain, but very, very, very lethargic. At six weeks, my twin nieces had their 21st - again no pain, but extremely tired. My advice is, see what you can do easily, but don't overdo it - it sets you back!
As for the meds, listen to your body. I know the issues surrounding meds can be a nightmare, but don't let them dictate your recovery!

kt2009
10-15-2009, 10:31 AM
Steph,

Sounds like we had similar surgeries. I felt like you at 3 weeks and tried to do the same thing...and had the same experience. At 3 weeks I tried to cut back from 1 1/2 percocet to 1 every 4 hours and I even felt that! So I went back to 1 1/2 (that's all I was taking). The stool softener/laxative helped a lot.The doc gave me a perscription, but the same med is available over the counter...docusate sodium 100 mg. Twice a day and lots of fruit (apples) and water.
Like Linda said, walking is highly recommended. I started with a very short walk (about five houses) 3 times a day (this helps the bowels, too).

My big corner turn has been at 7 weeks. By now, I take 1 percocet 2 or 3 times a day and I drive a little. I still take a lovely morning nap after I get my kids off to school.

Take your time...the meds do help you get around and that's important.

lapieper
10-15-2009, 02:42 PM
don't forget. The pain meds mask the pain, so if you overdo you may not even be aware of it at the time, or shortly thereafter. I quite meds fairly quickly, and boy did my body tell me who, what,where, when and how long! Just take it easy, one day at a time. We have the rest of our lives to get whatever done!

sed78
10-15-2009, 03:02 PM
I am so grateful to those of you who have responded so far. It really helps to know you are not alone with these issues.

Anyways, I am back on my pain meds, although it has taken me almost two full days to feel decent again. I have changed things up a bit, so I am now only taking the Percocet (1 1/2 tablets every 4-5 hours) and am no longer taking the Oxycontin (was previously taking 20 mg 2x daily). This seems to be pretty good for now. I know part of my Oxycontin displeasure was mental, as I was really afraid of becoming addicted to it and having to face painful withdrawls.

I hope everyone is having a great day -- the weather here in the Midwest is pretty crappy today, hopefully yours is much better -- and take care of yourselves!

--Steph

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:36 PM
Steph,

Sounds like we had similar surgeries. I felt like you at 3 weeks and tried to do the same thing...and had the same experience. At 3 weeks I tried to cut back from 1 1/2 percocet to 1 every 4 hours and I even felt that! So I went back to 1 1/2 (that's all I was taking). The stool softener/laxative helped a lot.The doc gave me a perscription, but the same med is available over the counter...docusate sodium 100 mg. Twice a day and lots of fruit (apples) and water.
Like Linda said, walking is highly recommended. I started with a very short walk (about five houses) 3 times a day (this helps the bowels, too).

My big corner turn has been at 7 weeks. By now, I take 1 percocet 2 or 3 times a day and I drive a little. I still take a lovely morning nap after I get my kids off to school.




Take your time...the meds do help you get around and that's important.

Steph,

Kathy's advice is right on, but let me add one item: PRUNES. They worked wonders for me. Also prune juice. After a while I looked forward to my first morning shot of prune juice. LOL