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Thread: 6 weeks post

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaska, Minnesota

    Unhappy 6 weeks post

    Good morning,

    Yesterday was 6 weeks post op and I was feeling pretty great up until Monday morning. I think I overdid it this weekend by attending a charity event that had me out of the house for most of the evening. Now I have this horrible sciatica pain running down my lower back and butt that I can barely walk. I have a call into the doctor, but I'm not sure there will be much I can do. From reading on this forum from other people with the same issue, it looks like I just need to be patient (which is definitely not my forte). Has anyone here had luck with ice packs or any stretching exercises that I could try? I've read that soaking helps, but I only have a regular sized tub and I'm scared to try and even get in there for I will likely not be able to get out again.

    I have been so diligent about walking everyday, even after a long day at work. Do I keep pushing through this sciatica pain and continue with the walks, or is it better to rest??

    I just have to vent that some days I really, really hate this. I feel 20 years older than I am and I am near tears every time I drive past a runner on the road. My brother just completed his first Ironman on Sunday and though I am so very proud of him, it's just another reminder of things I will never ever do again. I try to be optimistic, but it can be hard not to think about how different my life is now and what the future looks like. I absolutely realize that there are many people much worse off than me, but it's still hard not to grieve. I think grief is an accurate word for what I am feeling right now. I feel a loss for the person I used to be physically, and such sadness sometimes. I try to focus on my work on family, but it's impossible to ignore this slow body that I am dragging around with me everywhere.

    I apologize for being such a downer today... but I think these thoughts are a good representation of the ups and downs that we feel all the time. Do you ever just wake up and wish you could feel 'normal' again and think about anything but your back?

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Dear Misty,

    Rest, please! Try ice. Drink plenty of water and eat very nutritiously. Take it very easy until the sciatica passes. It will. More rest. Let your family baby you a little.

    Your emotions are so normal too, but rarely talked about here unfortunately. Not sure why...there is something called post-surgical distress or post-surgical depression which I think must be more common after these huge spine surgeries than people acknowledge. We are here to listen, and you will improve so much with time. You are really, really early days and doing an incredible amount already. Right now your body is telling you it's too much, too soon.

    Please keep posting and let us know how you are. We've been there. You can look forward to a huge amount of improvement in the coming months...4 months, 6, 12 months and beyond are big milestones. You will continue to improve in year 2. Hang in there! I know, I'm not patient either.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1

    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaska, Minnesota

    Thank you very much for your kind words and response. I'm not normally an emotional person, but this recovery is really testing me. I am trying hard to slow down a bit, but that is so very hard to do when you have obligations to meet. It seems that my health is the first thing that starts to take a back seat when my life gets busy and that's not a good thing. I need to make myself a priority

    I did meet with the doc yesterday for my official 6 week check up and all looks good. He does not think it is sciatic pain, but pain related to the graft location near the iliac crest. I'm still not sure why it flared up for me all of a sudden but suspect that I am moving too fast and need to slow down. It has made walking difficult and I have had a hard time getting in a full 45 minutes of walking this week but I am trying to break it up into shorter segments. He did say that this graft location pain is always the lasting issue for many people. I'm curious how many members here had this type of pain and how you worked through pain management and when you started to see it ease up.

    I'm attaching my new pictures This is the first x-ray with a profile view. I can't believe how long the screws are! Wowza!

    Onward and upward.

    MistySide Profile Xray 9.14.16.JPG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    I wrote a post the other day but didn’t post it....I do this quite a bit. It’s a sports related post, but thought it would be much easier for me to explain it over the phone.....I guess its mainly about accepting the fact that we cant keep “truckin” like we used to. I’m fortunate that I realized and accepted this fact many years before my scoliosis surgeries. Sometimes pain is beneficial and necessary in changing our thoughts and actions.

    6 weeks is way too early for much more than gentle short walks, and yes, we need to remember that our bodies will bark LOUD when we test the limits.

    If it takes a year to fuse, 6 weeks might as well be 6 days. If he inserted any spacers and they move, this can be a problem. This happened to my neighbor. He needed a revision because his spacer moved due to feeling well enough to pull start a lawn mower a few weeks out. This was a single level fusion. Sounds easy doesn’t it?

    Your inflamed and need to slow down. I would pretty much come to a standstill if any nerve related pain arose....nerve or spinal cord impingement pain can be intense, and unforgiving. I have noticed that its either on or off pain with no middle setting....which after a few of these events will establish needed respect for spine surgery.

    If you drive a go-cart and crash, its no big deal.
    If you drive a car and crash, it can be a problem
    If you drive a $900 million dollar cruise ship and flip it over on an Italian reef, well, that’s my analogy for today. (I believe that was due to a drive by, tooting the horn, during cocktail hour.)

    They did refloat and right that ship, but not without a major effort..... Scoliosis surgery is similar.

    Try to take it easy. You might find a spa that has hot tub rooms with deep tubs so you can float. Don’t get hooked, this habit is hard to quit.

    Please use my e-mail address. Its my username on hotmail.

    Of course I have a photo!

    Attached Images Attached Images
    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

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