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Thread: 4 weeks post op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaska, Minnesota

    Thumbs up 4 weeks post op

    Good morning!

    I feel like 4 weeks is a big hurdle for me. I am off of my pain meds all day long and surviving on Tylenol and at night I have been taking one hydrocodone and one muscle relaxer w/ valium to help me sleep and be comfortable lying down for a longer period of time. I'm not sure I need the pain meds, so may stop taking that and maybe try a Tylenol PM like Kathy suggested. It will be good to be off all pain meds and just learn to live with the aches and pains associated with this new body.

    The last two weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Some days I feel great and am so grateful that I am recovering well. Other days, I feel like a walking Frankenstein and cry and wonder if I made the right decision. Since my back was actually fractured, I'm not sure I had much choice anyway... or so my husband reminds me. Walking has been extremely good for me and I'm diligent about walking 45-60 minutes every day. I have even gotten on my treadmill at a very slow 1.6 mph, slow but it felt good. It's hard not to feel sorry for myself at times knowing that only 4 months ago I was running 8-10 miles and in race training mode. The recovery makes me feel much older than I am and I often wonder how long it will take until I feel moderately 'normal' or whatever normal will be for me. In the process, I am learning a lot about myself and teaching myself to be patient and take it one day at a time. My life pre-surgery was crazy and chaotic and I'm learning to take it slow now. I read A LOT of books and nap and try to eat well and just take good care of myself. I don't think I have ever in my life been so focused on taking care of myself... it's a good thing

    Last Thursday and Friday, I drove the 20 minute commute to my office and made it a half day both days. They were tough for me and I had to lie down a few times while here in our Wellness Room and took a long nap when I got home. I am lucky to have a place to lay down as well as a sit stand desk. But... I got through it and it honestly felt really good to focus my mind on something besides how my back feels. Today was the first day of school for my kids so I got them off on their busses and have been in the office ever since. I am feeling good, but know that I need to call it quits for the day when I am done. The funny part is, I will feel fine one minute and then when I am tired it comes on so quickly. When I'm done, I'm absolutely done and can't prolong it.

    As for now at the 4 week mark, I am grateful that I can be in the car for short jaunts. I have gone out to eat for quick casual dining twice now and even managed to get to my salon last week for a haircut. There's just something about the salon that makes you feel instantly better. I've learned to just take my pillow with me wherever I go and not be embarrassed about it or worry what people will think. My goal now is to feel good enough to join my family in Mexico in another 4 weeks. My doctor has told me all along that he feels I will be just fine for the flight and lounging by the pool, so that goal is what keeps me going Anyone have any tips for surviving a long flight? I am stockpiling some pain meds and muscle relaxers in case I need them and have requested to move to first class for a little more room to stretch out. Any other tips would be much appreciated.

    Hope everyone else is recovering well. I love to hear about your individual journeys Ed, your adventures give me hope that one day I can do some fun things again, so please keep sharing.

    Much love,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Misty, Real quick because I’m down at work. Just 2 songs today....Learn the lyrics to the first song, and dream about Mexico

    Congrats and hang in there....

    49 yr old male, now 63, the new 64...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaska, Minnesota

    Your video links put a huge smile on my face! Thank you for your support and humor, it is so appreciated. I will be whistling along to Fleetwood Mac on my walk tonight!

    Take care, Misty

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Sioux City, Iowa

    Congrats on a good start to recovery!

    I had a lot of the same feelings you do - the roller coaster ride and all of that. Especially since you are just 4 weeks out! I think you are doing great at 4 weeks! I was not walking as much as you and no way would I have been working even part-time then. I am older than you and my fusion was lumbar - I don't know if the location of the fusion makes a difference, but I know the age does!

    I, like you, had to learn to slow down and take care of myself. But, I had so much pain the 2 years prior to my surgery, that I was forced to get the "slow down" part down pat by the time I had surgery. I, too, was a runner and did triathlons. I'm over all that - but I am looking forward to more travel and fun things that I wasn't able to do from the back & leg pain I had.

    I still struggle with sleeping. I think it's because I can't get comfortable. I try to sleep on my back, but I prefer to sleep on my side. For some reason, a few years ago, it became very uncomfortable to sleep on my right side. I think it had to do with the way my spine was curved. Last March, I developed a bad hip bursitis on my left side and as a result I couldn't sleep on my left side! Ugh! I HAD to sleep on my back. It just isn't natural for me so I always struggle getting comfortable.

    I have been working part-time (well, I only ever worked part time. We own our company so I can work whenever I want). Sometimes I log in from home and then it's nice because I can take breaks and lay down. Sometimes I go to our office and I usually come home with an aching back. But, laying down for an hour or so usually helps. On days where I over did things, I sometimes take a Flexeril at night along with Tylenol to help me relax & sleep. I've been taking (1) Tylenol and (1) Tylenol PM (both 500 mg). If I take (2) PMs i'm groggy in the morning and I don't like that feeling.

    My pain prior to surgery was all in my left side of my back (that's where my rib hump was) and my left hip & left leg. I still struggle with pain in those 3 areas. Sitting really irritates my left hip. So, I don't know if I'm sitting funny or if my body just hasn't totally recovered from the surgery.

    At any rate, I'm doing well for being my age and 9-weeks out. I also read ALOT and I've been watching various things on YouTube. 2 years ago we sold the big house we raised our 4 kids in and we are currently living in a small 2-bedroom 1-bathroom house until we decide what we want for a permanent home. So, the amount of housework I have to do is NOT MUCH! That has been one positive thing about the timing of all of this. We downsized at the perfect time for my surgery.

    Congrats again on taking care of yourself. I hope you continue to have a successful recovery.

    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

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