View Full Version : 10 months and all's well...

03-08-2008, 01:20 PM
I had my 10 month post-op appointment on Thursday... Good news! I'm doing fine! That was a big relief (WHEW!) as I think many of us wonder about "pops" and aches and all--and if that means something's not right. By the end of the day, depending on what I've done, my neck and lower back ache some. The x-rays showed everything is in order. The shoulder ache is arthritis based. Wouldn't you know... knees, hips, fingers,-- and now shoulders. But all in all I'm feeling pretty good. :) I don't need any meds for pain or anything. Just voltaren for my arthritis.

As far as restrictions go, I can do a lot more now. I really will tackle that bath tub one of these days! :rolleyes: I asked about bending and twisting-- the "healthy" way for anyone to move is by squatting and by moving your whole body, so I will keep with the no B or T regimen. He'll write me a prescription in another month to do core strengthening PT. He wanted a little more time to pass before I start that. Otherwise I'm pretty good to go, using common sense. No contact sports, etc., but I gave those up years ago. ;) (After I about "died" from overdoing...)

I've been spending 1-2 hours a day with pt exercises and treadmill. I can tell my squatting is getting better. I think by the time school starts next August I will be ok with doing my job. So I'm pretty excited with how I'm doing. Just wanted to share with you all. :)

03-08-2008, 02:02 PM
Hi Susie,
So glad to hear that everything went well at your appointment. Is your fusion solid yet? I was wondering at what point they can begin to see the fusion taking place. At Chris' 6 week checkup, his surgeon told me that you wouldn't be able to see anything yet. I neglected to ask him at what point you would be.

03-08-2008, 03:33 PM
Lori--wish I could help you with that. My understanding is that this is another one of those times where our doctors have different views-- some doctors say they can tell by such and such a time, but others say you can't tell with x-rays, that time will tell and exhibit itself by broken rods, etc. I'm sure you'll get a lot of ideas/responses though. :)

03-08-2008, 03:44 PM
Way to go, Susie! I know what you mean about being a tad nervous before the appointment -- I'm really happy all is well for you.

Lori, when I was x-rayed at my 6-month checkup, Dr. Boachie told me I was about 70 percent fused. You could actually see some shadowy stuff growing in the fusion area on the film. Of course I wouldn't have known it was bone until Dr. B pointed it out.

03-08-2008, 03:54 PM

Glad to hear your good news! It's amazing how much time I'm spending during the day doing back-focused stuff (bone growth stimulator, PT strengthening and stretches, elliptical or recumbent bike). While on one had it's really nice to finally be able to DO something to help this process, it's hard to make time. I also find that when I'm sore, doing my PT is really difficult. Do you have any suggestions? What I would do to be 7months ahead and in your shoes!

Well done :)

03-08-2008, 04:24 PM
vndy, you are so sweet, but believe me, you'd rather stay in your own shoes, even with the months ahead that I am. You'll catch me soon if you haven't already! :o I have a hard time making myself do my exercises too, but I'm determined to try hard most of the time. I want to be able to enjoy my life! And my family! I have 3 daughters, 22,27,29. One of these days I'll have grandchildren (I'm assuming!) and I want to be able to DO things with them. Anyway, I am working at the exercises, although some days I skip a few that are harder on me--but always get back to them. I especially hate the one where I'm lying on my side and have to do leg lifts with 5 lb. ankle weights. My hips just aren't very good anymore, with my arthritis. Some of the ladies who posted on the treadmill thread impressed me enough that I tried going at a much faster pace (3.5) for a few days than I had been, but decided to slow it back down a little when my knee started hurting and continued to cause problems the rest of that day. I thought "Great Scott! You sure don't need to blow your knee out at a time like this!" :eek: I do half an hour, between 2.8-3.2. I'll lay off the 3.5 for awhile. Oh well! My only suggestion is to try to get them done early in the day, before the normal daily fatigue sets in. That's what is causing my neck and lower back aches-- just plain fatigue. That's why I'm trying to build up my strength or I'll never get through day after long day of work! :eek: Anyway, just try to do what you can... and know that I get awfully frustrated at times and wonder when/if this PT stuff will get any easier. And yes, I've even shed a few tears over it... but I also know I am WAY stronger than I was when I started PT in November. Hang in there!

Thanks, Chris. Yes, it's a relief to know all is well. :)

03-09-2008, 09:39 AM
Yay Susie! That is great. Wow, I'm impressed with your determination to do your PT. Keep up the good work. I laughed at your comment about the bath tub. I'm 9 months post-op and am still weary about trying to take a bath - glad I'm not the only one. :)

03-09-2008, 11:02 AM
Well done Susie! I'm glad everything is fine and you are getting there!

03-10-2008, 02:18 PM
Susie, I'm so glad you got a good report! We all need reassurance along the way that our healing is progressing the way it should. It's too easy sometimes to let ourselves obsess about every pain and ache. I have to watch that myself!! :rolleyes:

03-13-2008, 09:56 AM

I’m delighted to hear that you received a good report, and I’m sure you will be picking up speed with each passing month. You’re almost at the one year mark. This recovery process is so much tougher on us older gals, isn’t it?

Susie, when I read some of your posts, what comes to mind is “blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” You are a peacemaker, and I just want to thank you for all the kindness you show to all of us here.


03-13-2008, 11:10 AM
Thanks for all these responses. Yes, I'm feeling like it's forward progress, even if it's kind of slow-- and is definitely an improvement... I'm getting there! (Ah, but will I ever "arrive"????) It doesn't matter, does it. It's how you run the race and that you keep on going. We're all in this for the long haul and we might as well make the best of what we've got. ;)

Chris WBS-- you have no idea how much your post touched my heart. I've been feeling very concerned for you -- and seeing that you posted today was actually answered prayer for me. And then to read your comments-- such a blessing, and not at all deserved, I'm afraid. But thanks.

On the lighter side-- Anya, I was talking about cleaning the tub, although soaking in it sounds much nicer. I don't know which would actually be harder for me. They both sound very difficult at this point in time. I might never be able to get back up once I actually got in the tub--what with that confined area and me being all slippery! Then what would I do? :eek: That would be so funny and so sad-- and extremely humiliating. I'll let you know if I ever try it! :D

Re: treadmill, etc. Does anyone know if I could actually overdo it with my arthritic hip? The last couple of days I've done 2 half-hour stints on the treadmill--morning (~3.2) and late afternoon (~2.8-3.0), thinking POSSIBLY this could aid my really slow metabolism. All I think I've done is make my right hip ache more and more-- and gotten blisters on the bottom of my feet. As far as my hip goes, I keep telling myself to use it or lose it, but that may be faulty logic. What do you guys think? Yep, Chris, this "old age" stuff isn't for wimps-- plus I don't even consider this as being old... what happens in another 15-20 years or so???? YIKES! But I'm hoping this exercise stuff will pay off in the long run, and help it all to be better than the scenario of it I hadn't done it... it's gotta help me, I'm sure. :confused: Right????

03-13-2008, 05:30 PM
I am 3 months post op. I knew I had slowed a lot in my walking my stride is different. The other day I got on a treadmill for the first time post op and I can only comfortably go 2.5-2.7 mph where before surgery I always did 3.5-3.8 mph. I guess I will get faster in time.

03-13-2008, 07:14 PM
Walking on the treadmill is pretty jarring, I think. Even though I've officially weaned off my brace, I still wear it if I want to go over a speed of 2.5. Also, I've found you need really good, bouncy sneakers on it to avoid aggravating any problem areas (like your bum hip, Susie). I detest walking in cold weather, but the days I make myself walk outside, I feel much better -- it seems like a gentler and more natural workout, and the fresh air helps me sleep better.

03-14-2008, 10:03 AM
Now that the spring is coming and the weather is improving here in the Midwest FINALLY, I plan to get out and walk as much as possible before surgery. Fortunately, there’s a lovely nature preserve just 10 minutes from me where I like to walk. It has a 3-mile trail around a lake that I like to walk on. And I agree with you, Chris, after a brisk walk around that trail, I can sleep like a baby.

03-14-2008, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the advice. My treadmill is supposed to provide a little more cushioning than some, but it doesn't seem like it after awhile. I do wear New Balance tennies with plenty of "spring" to them. We've had relatively beautiful spring weather for the past couple days-- near 60º and sunny. Today's high is supposed to be 57º, but then I see it looks like it's going to mostly be in the low 40ºs or so for awhile after that. I'd better get out today!!! I hope it's not too muddy from the melting and all. My main problem with walking outside here is that I slow down because of the terrain-- I have a nice path, but the animals do their tunneling, etc., -- and even all the deer tracks make for causing a little unsteadiness. Plus it's hard to keep going fast when there's a lot to see. Right now we have a lot of migrating sandhill cranes in our back yard (55 acres) and just across the street from my front window is the fish and wildlife area field (with big observation tower) that is really famous for its view of myriad sandhills during their fall migration. Not as impressive in the spring, but still a sight! Ahhhh... I enjoy it so much. :) I guess it doesn't matter how slow I take it today, as I've already done half an hour on the treadmill. You're right, the fresh air will be wonderful! :D (But I've hardly ever in my entire life had a problem with sleeping... I do it easily and well.) ;)