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Thread: driving

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237

    driving

    i am 5 weeks out of surgery and i had no intention of driving for quite some time but i will have to drive next week. i am in a doctoral program which is taking longer because of this back surgery and the year before hip replacement surgery. Anyway i have to interview for practicum positions and I have 2 next week. i thought my husband could take me but he can't so i will have to drive. I thought i would try it out over the weekend. anyone else drive at this early stage?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Avis,

    I started driving (just locally) at 6 weeks. At that point, I was on about 5 pain pills per day. I didn't feel at all sedated, which the doctor said was just fine. It wasn't bad, but then again I was just going to & from the grocery store at most.

    I definitely felt more confident in my driving after I was off all pain pills.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    I drove at 5 weeks post op. I was terrified every single second that I was going to be hit by someone that didn't know how to drive on icy, snowy mountain roads. I made it through just fine but discovered that it was really hard to clear intersections I had to cross that weren't controlled by a signal. That whole not being able to twist thing sucks! Good luck!
    Geish
    Geish
    47 years old, dx at 13
    +30* to the right, +60* to the left, +30* to the right
    Surgery 12-13-07 - fusion from T4 to sacrum.


    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=267 Pre surgery
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=268 Post surgery
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/DSC01091.jpg Xray from the side
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...1089-1-1-1.jpg Xray from the back

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    772
    I did not drive for two months. By then I was off Percocet. My doctor would not prescribe this drug if he knew I was driving. At three months I drove myself to my post-op appointment which was a three-hour commute round trip in heavy Chicago traffic. It was a bit too much too soon. I came home exhausted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237
    i drove on pain meds before surgery so i will drive on them after surgery. the turning is the part that will get me as it did the last time i had a fusion. It's just something I must do so I have to do it. It's further than I would like to go, but fortunately it's not turnpike driving or highway driving, more of the local type thing so that's a little better. thanks for everyone's response.
    avis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Avis,

    Believe it or not, I just recently figured out a better way to turn. Instead of just turning my head and neck like I used to, I turn my whole body starting from my butt to look behind me when I need to. It's not a very large turn; it's just enough to get a look behind the car. Turn from the butt, not just from the neck! It works for me!
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    long island, ny
    Posts
    233
    My mother-in-law gave me this devise for the car, it's sort of like a lazy-susan type thing with a cushion that you sit on. She used it to help her get in and out the car as it turns with you. I'll find out what kind of store she purchased it in. I have not tried it yet in the car, I actually use it on my chair by my computer.
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Hi Avis,
    Another suggestion until you can get something better is to put a plastic bag on your seat. You will be able to move you butt easier. If you have leather seats, you won't need anything since they are much easier to slide around on.
    Good luck!
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    Hey Avis! Wow! Its been that long already huh? Time seems to fly! The plastic bag on the car seat worked really well for me. My aunt remember the "trick" as my grandma has hip surgery and her doc. said to use it for her! I DESPISED even riding in a car...mainly becuz of the getting in and out part(sometimes, even w/the bag...just seemed like an un-natural movement to me) but also due to bumpy roads. As I felt better 4-5 weeks-ish, I became more gutsy and started going for car rides more frequently, which was good as getting in and out got easier. At about 7 weeks, one day before my 1st post op check, I decided that if it was so easy to get in & out of my car, then why couldnt I drive? I was not on any of my hydrocodone anymore, just a muscle relaxer at night w/my nerve pill, and I didnt feel loopy or out of it, so I gave it a shot and it was GREAT! Sweet freedom!! It was so nice to regain some indepandance again. After my fabulous post op check I drove more and more, almost on a regular basis...mainly becuz I'm by NO means a home-body & always feel the need to go somewhere/do something! SO, I say if you feel fine & are comfortable, take it easy & drive away!!

    Good Luck!!

    Lynn
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237
    Hi everyone,
    I just found out I am getting a cat scan tomorrow, which means that I have to drive. I am really scared to death. The good thing is that it is not that far from home maybe 10-15 minutes but I didn't expect to get the appointment so quickly. It is really good that the appointment is tomorrow but boy oh boy please think of me tomorrow around noon and send off good driving wishes into the universe for me.
    thanks
    avis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    Wow, I am so impressed with all of you driving! I still can't. I'm on too many meds, plus car rides are AWFUL still. That being said, I have a 4 hour trip to Wisconsin in 2 weeks. Wow, I am just so impressed!
    theizzard- good luck with your driving and your CAT scan
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by theizzard View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I just found out I am getting a cat scan tomorrow, which means that I have to drive. I am really scared to death. The good thing is that it is not that far from home maybe 10-15 minutes but I didn't expect to get the appointment so quickly. It is really good that the appointment is tomorrow but boy oh boy please think of me tomorrow around noon and send off good driving wishes into the universe for me.
    thanks
    avis

    Avis,

    Is there a neighbor or anyone else who could drive you? I hate that you have to drive feeling so unsure of yourself. If I were close, I'd take you myself!
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237
    thanks debbie. this surgery has been really bad in terms of people helping me out. While I have had tons of wonderful well wishers online and the phone, other than my husband, I can't get anyone to help me out. Unfortunately, the problem is made worse because my husband has been out of town on business every other weekend since I have been home. That's why I have to drive tomorrow. I kind of feel like people did for me for my other surgeries but this is just one surgery too many to get help. i used to have a girlfriend come up from the Jersey shore to help me out and then I also would pay her to clean my office for me but now she sends email greetings. Somehow and I am not sure how I did it, I have worn out my welcome I guess.
    avis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Blackstone MA
    Posts
    49
    Avis, That message made me feel so sad! Maybe people don't remember to offer help because they are wrapped up in their own things. Maybe they don't want to pester you while you are trying to regain your independence. Have you talked to your husband about this? I'm wondering if he thinks you should ask others for help if you need it, or maybe he could do it for you.

    I know you don't know me, but I am also a patient of Dr Rand. My surgery is scheduled for April 28. I've been paying close attention on your posts because we have that in common. Good luck with the driving. We will all be thinking of you. Jo

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Red face new to this

    Hello everyone......I am new to this!

    I am a 55 year old woman. I have always known that I had scoliosis.......my parents chose to do nothing....so now at 55 I am I faced with the surgery decision. I recently had an xray and my curve is "S" and the thoracic (?) 57 degrees....and lumbar of 52 degrees. I went to see Dr. Lebwohl at University of Miami, FL. Has anyone heard of him? He said that he could straighten my back. but he is worried about my eyes. (I had a retinal vien blockage...it has completely cleared up and I can see fine except close up! but I think that is normal for someone my age) He also said that there is a risk of 1 out every 700 going blind without any issues.Of course this worries me, nevertheless.

    He also says the progression is 1 degree per year...........Is there anyone out there that can ease my fears?

    Thank you, Pat

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