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Thread: Does this sound like a normal recovery routine to the experienced folks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112

    Does this sound like a normal recovery routine to the experienced folks?

    At almost four weeks post op ----

    I feel GREAT when I get up in the morning!
    Eat a small breakfast before pain meds, which make me slightly queasy.
    Shower ... after which I'm refreshed but exhausted.
    Recover from taking shower.
    Walk for about 30 -40 minutes ... after which I'm exhausted again.
    Snack (usually yogurt).
    Take a nap for what usually turns out to be a couple of hours. I never really get my energy back after that good ol' walk.
    Lunch and more pain meds. Yum.
    Do some light laundry, wash a few dishes, putter around the house, play the piano (without pain!).
    Tired again.
    Read or internet while wearing the bone stimulator thingy - another couple of hours. Sometimes fall asleep again.
    Go around the house with the grabber, picking up all the stuff I dropped during the morning.
    Everyone comes home from work or school.
    For some reason, they ask me what's for dinner. (Must be a habit.)
    I eat something small because I can't eat big stuff ... never knew Ravioli-O's were so tasty!
    Help with homework, sometimes from the bed because I'm usually lying down by now, just tired of standing up.
    Wash up, find a comfortable spot in the bed, watch TV until the wee hours. Probably because I slept too much during the day.
    Fall asleep watching TV, wake up, turn it off. Go back to sleep.
    Wake up. Roll over. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Roll over. Ad infinitum.
    Wake up in the morning ... feel great again! Woo hoo!
    Repeat.

    I should add that every day I feel a little better than I did the day before!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Juliet,
    I can't comment if it's normal or not since I haven't had surgery yet, but it sounds like at this early stage that you're right on target. I'm thinking maybe more walks throughout the day for shorter periods of time might be less exhausting.
    I just have to tell you that I love your sense of humor. I am sure you are a fun person to be around!
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by BadKitty View Post
    At almost four weeks post op ----

    I feel GREAT when I get up in the morning!
    Eat a small breakfast before pain meds, which make me slightly queasy.
    Shower ... after which I'm refreshed but exhausted.
    Recover from taking shower.
    Walk for about 30 -40 minutes ... after which I'm exhausted again.
    Snack (usually yogurt).
    Take a nap for what usually turns out to be a couple of hours. I never really get my energy back after that good ol' walk.
    Lunch and more pain meds. Yum.
    Do some light laundry, wash a few dishes, putter around the house, play the piano (without pain!).
    Tired again.
    Read or internet while wearing the bone stimulator thingy - another couple of hours. Sometimes fall asleep again.
    Go around the house with the grabber, picking up all the stuff I dropped during the morning.
    Everyone comes home from work or school.
    For some reason, they ask me what's for dinner. (Must be a habit.)
    I eat something small because I can't eat big stuff ... never knew Ravioli-O's were so tasty!
    Help with homework, sometimes from the bed because I'm usually lying down by now, just tired of standing up.
    Wash up, find a comfortable spot in the bed, watch TV until the wee hours. Probably because I slept too much during the day.
    Fall asleep watching TV, wake up, turn it off. Go back to sleep.
    Wake up. Roll over. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Roll over. Ad infinitum.
    Wake up in the morning ... feel great again! Woo hoo!
    Repeat.

    I should add that every day I feel a little better than I did the day before!
    Juliet,

    After your surgery did you experience a lot of numbness or burning sensations? If so, how long did it last? Does it interfere with sleeping or moving? My neighbor just had a couple neck vetebrates fused and she is having burning prickling sensations in her hands and fingers. I am just wondering if this is something I will face too when I get my spine fused (T-3-L-4). If you did have this, is there medication that can help?

    Thanks!!
    Laurie Anne
    Age 30
    Pre-Op Curves T68, L80, Kyphosis 48 degrees
    Post-Op Curves both around 10 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke & Dr. Kelly 12/13/10
    Gained 2.5 inches now 5'9
    PRE-OP Photos: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...urieScoliosis/
    5 Mos Post Op: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...s%20Post%20Op/
    1-Year Post Op: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...r%20Post%20Op/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Karen -- Thanks! Things do get pretty silly around here sometimes ... especially me. You may be right about me walking too far or for too long. I'll try breaking it up into two walks & see if that works better. I'm just getting tired of lying around, and end up standing up too much!

    Laurie Anne - Yes, I do have numbness of my incision, and burning feelings in my skin all up and down the back of my rib cage and my sides at the hips and lower. It feels (as Ed mentioned) like a bad sunburn, and only hurts to touch, like with clothing rubbing on it. Strange! My pain management doctor said it was neurogenic pain from nerve endings regenerating. He prescribed Lyrica for it, but I'm leery of any more meds and the Percoset helps calm it down, so that's what I'm sticking with. It's not nearly as annoying as it was at first, so either I'm getting used to it or it's going away. The numbness is definitely going away slowly at this point.
    Last edited by BadKitty; 11-20-2010 at 03:42 PM.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Juliet,
    Your recovery sounds just like mine was. I'm guessing it is pretty normal. It took me a full two years to get my normal stamina back, but i stopped napping at about three months.
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    That's a relief to know it's pretty normal, Sally. I'm usually either standing up trying to find something to do to, or giving up and lying down. I'll be so glad when I can do more stuff!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Juliet, for so early post-op, you sound perfectly normal in fact I think you're going great! Keep doing what you're doing, it sounds fine to me, but as time goes by, you will realise you are better now than last week, etc. There are little improvements all the time for example you'll sleep slightly longer without waking, you'll be less tired after your walk, your appetite will improve (giving you more energy) etc. etc. You sound right on track to me. <thumbs up>
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks for the T.U, Jennifer! I have nothing to compare it to, so always wondering if I'm "on track" -- good to know I'm where I should be at this point!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    I agree with Jennifer--sounds like you are at least right on track if not doing very, very well! Be aware that things don't always just go forward that there can be little set backs. Here's wishing you escape all of those! Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, Janet ... it feels like there is some little set back every day, too, but I always come out ahead somehow ... which is what's important.

    I almost forgot to ask ... sometimes I can feel stuff shifting around back there in my lower back and waist area, particularly when turning over in bed. Is THAT normal? It feels weird!
    Last edited by BadKitty; 11-21-2010 at 08:31 AM.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Sounds EXACTLY right to me! You mentioned helping with homework--I remember one time I was teting my 4th grade daughter with her multiplication/division facts with flash cards, not too long after I took pain meds. After a while I had to stop helping because I FORGOT the answers! LOL

    Keep up the good work! When do you go for a postop check?
    __________________________________________
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Sounds VERY familiar, Debbe! ... except Jon is asking me about accelerated 8th grade algebra and his science fair project on the Bernoulli Effect, and I'm saying "hey, sounds great to me!" I hope I'm not scarring him for life!

    First post-op is Wednesday this week. I hope I can find out about my correction and get some xray images! Guess I should ask him about this weird feeling of the rods shifting around in my back too ... like, how are things supposed to fuse if they're moving? Or maybe it's just my imagination.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Juliet- I think you sound pretty normal at 4 weeks. I was still taking a nap the first 4 weeks. Once you get off the pain meds you won't be so tired. Plus my kids are grown and out of college so I only have my husband and dog at home. The first month he usually brought something home on the way from work so I didn't have t cook. I also had a girl come over to help with laundry, unloading and loading the bottom rack of the dishwasher, take me grocery shopping, etc. She started at 4 hours a day 4 days a week then worked down to 3 days, then 2 days as I could do more and had more energy. She's going to come back and help me put up Christmas decorations. Keep up the good work. Glad you're feeling better each week!
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    My thought is that it's not your rods/screws/spine moving around, it's probably muscular. I am sure your surgeon can put your mind at rest. We all have little niggling worries about fusing - it's so important, it's only natural to worry about every odd little feeling - there are plenty of them!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

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