View Full Version : More Questions

01-10-2010, 04:42 PM
Some of these things have probably been answered lots of times already but here we go. Hope all you post-ops can help.
Short-term--how in the world do you sleep? Do you actually sleep on your back?? I'm one of those side/fetal position sleepers and I tend to move around a lot at night. Once you're in bed, do you have to stay in one position all night unless someone helps you?? I'm talking about the first few weeks home. I know in the hospital I'll be so doped I won't even care.
The Wolpert book recommends button-front clothing for a while--nothing that requires you to raise your arms to put it on. Is that pretty much the case? If so, how long until you can (or have someone) pull a top over your head without pain? If I'm doing a rehab week, should I bring along some easy sweats or something other than bed wear? Dr. Lonner is recommending that extra week so that I would still be near his office in case something goes wrong in that early recovery pd.:( However, he said if I do "too well" insurance will boot me home anyway.
Now this is a long-term way-down-the-road question. I am a lap swimmer. I average 4-5 miles a week in the summer and try to get in at least a mile or 2 weekly during the school year. (Don't be too impressed--it's the only thing I can do athletically.) Anyway, a friend of mine with a long fusion said she can't even kick anymore. Dr. Lonner was kind of vague when I asked if I will still be able to swim. He said yes but with modified strokes, doubtful that I would be able to swim that far, etc. etc. Kind of depressing because I think the swimming has helped my back and my breathing. (passed that test with flying colors :) Are there any post-op swimmers and how do you manage it?
I think that's it for now. Yes, I'm a little type A, pathologically organized, anal/retentive, whatever...It'll be quite a new experience for me not to be in control for a while! I still can't believe how fast this is happening!!!

01-10-2010, 07:26 PM
The only difference that you will probably notice when it comes to sleeping is getting up. You have to learn to log-roll. It is easy. I sleep on both sides and my back. I am no longer able to sleep on my stomach!
Swimming is great therapy. I swim at a pool that is kept at 90 degrees. Colder water might cause some pain around your rod. I swim breast stroke as free style is harder with the twisting. Also water walking is great and leg lifts to the front, side, and back.
My daughter wore tshirts after her surgery. Baggy shirts are easier to get in and out of. I cannot lift my arms up over my head and I wear tshirts and sweatshirts. Take your arms out first, then slide it over your head. Start practicing now and it will be easier when you come home from the hospital. My daughter's "rehab" at the hospital was to sit in a chair and then walk up and down a flight of steps one time.

01-10-2010, 07:58 PM
When my surgery was first done, I slept on my back for months. I'd try to sleep on my side from time to time, but it just didn't feel 'right'. Then since several months--maybe 3 or 4 months post-surgery, sleeping on my side is the most comfortable position for me. You'll probably wake up sleeping on your back. That amazed me too.

I have always liked to swim. However, this past summer (my first post-surgery), I hardly swam at all. I could do it, no problem, but the cool water caused my back to spasm up giving me pain. I much more preferred my hot tub (with a nice cool drink) instead. I'll see how much better I do at swimming next summer. Maybe it would be different in a heated pool. It didn't really get so warm this past summer here in NJ. My pool was NO WHERE NEAR 90 degrees! It was luck to be 80!!

I had no problem getting my arms over my head within a week or so after my surgery. Not sure what your levels will be but mine were T3 to L3.

01-10-2010, 09:54 PM
Yes, you will wake up on your back even though that seems strange. I'm still sleeping only on my back; it just feels to weird to try and sleep on my stomach which is the way I had always slept. It's something almost more with my neck. I've had a massage on stomach but with the face rest which is down more and that was OK.
I think I wore just sweats and a front typing robe at rehab. I think it was a couple months or more before I could bring things over my head.
I did water pt in a 92 degree pool--mostly walking, etc. That was nice. Now I have recently returned to regular pool at the gym for water aerobics. I was surprised that the colder water didn't really bother me. I've always been a pretty awful swimmer but have tried it on my own after the class. At first I sunk like a rock. I finally could do side stroke and am still a whiz at floating on my back. I was never good with face in or out of water regular swimming and I can't do it now. It just hurts my neck too much. It's kind of like sleeping on your stomach. If you were a good swimmer, I imagine you will eventually be fine! Janet

01-10-2010, 10:18 PM
I am definitely a side/fetal sleeper and move around a lot. For the first two months I could only sleep on my back and it was hard. I had tons of pillows to hug, which made me feel more "snug." I would take a pain pill to relax me and then "will" myself to sleep. Once asleep, though, I was fine.

I also had a side incision, so sleeping on my side took a while. I would start there, but then go on my back. Now at 4 months, I can sleep easily on either side.

I wore yoga pants when I had to go out. Because of my side incision, I folded them down and wore them low on my hips...kinda like the teenagers do!

01-10-2010, 10:19 PM
Where you able to wear a regular swim suit to do the water exercises?


01-11-2010, 01:11 AM
Yes, no problems with a regular swim suit.

Swimming on my front is now awkward, swimming on my back is no different to pre-op.

No longer very comfortable sleeping on my stomach. Slept on my back for about 6 weeks before I started sleeping on my side again. Propped with pillows front and back, I keep in the one position until I wake up. Same sleeping on my back, I still have a pillow either side. That way I don't wriggle round and I sleep more deeply.

01-11-2010, 01:20 AM
I woke up on my back after surgery. I could log roll to the right but not to the left, don't not why? Both at hospital and home, i slept mainly on my back with two flattish pillows under my shoulders, 1 under my knees and one either side. For some reason, if the pillows were not there (even on pain meds) i could not get to sleep. To change positions (during the day only), my husband would help me roll to either side, but i did not remain there long as it didn't seem comfortable. We have been having a heatwave of 39-43C degrees these last few days, we live 5 minutes to the beach, however i only go in if there aren't any waves. I feel awkward trying to swim, but i'm hoping it improves by next summer. I was hoping to go back to Aquarobics, but don't know how this would impact on me. The walking in the water i do at the beach in the shallows. As it's been said before me, if you are a good swimmer now, you should possibly be able to return to it again later. Good Luck with everything.