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Old 03-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #1
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Roy47 HB User
Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

I will give you all the readers digest version:

In 2000 I hurt my back while in the Army and went to the doc he sent me for an MRI and then to a chiropractor. He did his majic and things went well tll about spring of 2004 .

I think after 24 years in the "ARMY" that is where my back was hurt and now I have been diaganosed with Degenerative Disc Diease or DDD the doc said that my back is shot and he fixed the worst for now. As time goes on I will need more surgeries in the future.

Upon the retirement physical I was found to be pre - diabietic. About 2 years ago my legs went numb then my thigs and then it started going up into my lower back. When this first happened I thought that perhaps it was a diabetic thing I went to the doctors on Base and he did not fool around and referrred me out to a Doctor of my choice.

The first doctor said surgery, but lets try injections first or get another opinioin. The next nuero- surgeon said to refer you to a pain specalist / anestologist. I said okay and went to her she said let me refer you to physical thepary and things were going well for a while. She then told me that she wanted to do injections and to see if this would help in relief. This made things a million times worse and told the therapist that I was done....

Back to the pain doctor and told her that the pain was almost unbarable.
She sent me back to the nuero surgeon and he said lets do a myelogram.
I said okay and that was an "Attempted" He told me later that day that for some reason he thought that I had no spinal fluid as they could not draw any. He told me that perhaps I needed someone else that he would try to figure this out in the mean time. At that point I found a Spine Specalsit and it was all solved at that appt. They radiologist missed the "STICK - TWICE" and the spine specalist showed me the whole deal. He also showed me the MRI'S and said that he could not believe it. HE offered surgery and I said great. This process took over 2 years for the most part.

The surgery was on the 12th of Feb. 07. The surgery went so well that I walked a short distance the day of the surgery. Then that night I got very, very, very sick and started throwing up blood. I am sure that the nurses were very worried. I got sick 3 times that night. They took me off celeberex and that was the end of being sick. I was out on the morning of day 4 and things have just been getting better since then.

My legs do not hurt much at all, the left is alot weaker than the right leg it seems. IT was the sore side of the body throughout the whole ordeal.

I am sore in the front where the incision is and things are ALL a little sore for the most part in the front. From the posts that I have read this is very common for men. I suppose it is no walk in the park for females either.

His nurse called me the first week and wanted to know how I was doing.

His nurse called me the second week as well.


The surgery has caused me to be diabetic and I poke my finger 4 times a day. My blood sugur ranges from 75 to 150 for the highs and extreme lows. It is usually around 120 or so.

One question that I need to ask him when One of my meds run out or the 27th of this month which ever comes first is why my leg is so weak and sore on the left side.


HE gave me no refills. HE said as you run out call me and I can find out what you need and how well you are doing...

When I called the nurse for more meds she said to just do a little more each day...


So that is pretty much my story from start to the point where it is now...


I have slowly built myself up to where I am each day in walking. I try to add

10% of what I was doing each week. I am as well slowly getting away from the hydrocodine that he has me on. I am down to 4 a day and am trying this week to three times a day. I do not want to become dependant on the codine and become a crack head so to speak if that makes sensce.

I have heard and read of to many people becoming addicted to pain killers and I do not want to be part of that group of people. Not that they are wrong or bad people by any means.


So that is pretty much my story from start to the point where it is now...

I hope that this helps people that are about to under go this surgery. My worst day in recovery is a million times better than before the surgery.

My goal is to return to work and try to resume a nornal as life as I can.

As usual, the people here are the greatest of the great and I thank Yvette for asking me to tell my story. I would have never thought to do this probaly.

As usual,
Roy 47






Roy 47

 
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:33 PM   #2
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crookedback HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Good Deal Roy... sounds like ur coming along nicely for being 3 weeks post op... n I wouldn't be too concerned about gettin hooked on the drugs at only 3 weeks out as you can actually hurt urself worse by tryin to do too much early on...

Take care & welcome aboard.. Dave!

 
Old 03-06-2007, 01:26 PM   #3
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yvette777 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Roy, I want to thank you for sharing your story. I think alot of times our imaginations can cause even worse scenarios, and ofcourse when hearing the horror storys we hear about fusion. I always thought it sad that those that have been helped didn't spread the word more. There is obviously some reason they still do fusions right, even with all the new techonolgy.

I find your story inpirational, and optimisitic...and I will only think of my future as being bright. I to do want to rid my body of the drugs...and that is on my list, and was also one of my reasons for going through with surgery. I've been living on vicodin/lorcet for atleast a year and a half straight and many in between times before that, among other meds mixed in.-Although I believe there is a huge difference in dependence and addiction either way I look forward to getting them out of my system.

I look forward to resuming life as well. I want to once again thank you for sharing..I know that besides me there are a few other active members getting ready for surgery as well. And a lot of people trying to make the decision to have surgery or live with it.

Can i ask you a couple of questions about your experience? I know everyones different..but how long after you came home from the hospital, did it take before you could manage alone during the day..able to go to the bathroom etc.?

Also, any tips you found useful to make life easier?

Thanks again vette

 
Old 03-06-2007, 03:37 PM   #4
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Yvette,

It was probally day 7 before I could go to the bathroom. IT was a struggle. My wife still helps with the shower stuff. I cannot reach and get the socks off so I use the other foot and get them off that way. The wife still helps me get the drying stuff done and gets my socks on; as well as the jammie bottms and the undies so to speak.

So I still need some help in that department. One can be very resourcefull and get things done one way or the other. But for the most part I can make a sandwich and make the morning ceral as long as it is all above the waist.

My doctor has me on no lifting more than 10 pounds period at this point.
You can get devices that help you do alot of things and the therapist at the hospital will go over that with you after the surgery. Anyway that was my experience with the way it worked for me.


AS usaul
Roy 47

 
Old 03-06-2007, 08:12 PM   #5
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Jack24 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

[QUOTE=Roy47;2840382]

10% of what I was doing each week. I am as well slowly getting away from the hydrocodine that he has me on. I am down to 4 a day and am trying this week to three times a day. I do not want to become dependant on the codine and become a crack head so to speak if that makes sensce.

I have heard and read of to many people becoming addicted to pain killers and I do not want to be part of that group of people. Not that they are wrong or bad people by any means.

As usual,
Roy 47[/QUOTE]

That sounds like a good plan. I'm on the other end of the scale and worry constantly about the meds I have been on for a year. I have heard that someone like me, with zero desire to take the stuff has a easier time of it if/when they are able to flush their narcotics. Back when I was on 4 10/325 hydrocodone a day, I said bag it and quite for a couple months just by tapering off and using immodium. The pain is worse now and a bigger dose of meds too but I'm sure I could stop. I'd love to be able to flush the little dickens.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 08:13 AM   #6
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clover60 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Roy
Sounds like you are doing great. Did you come home with a walker? I know what you mean about reaching things as long as they are above the waist.

My biggest problem is in the shower dropping the soap. My hubby stands by to help with all of that. I guess I could take my grabbers into the shower.

Good luck and as long as you are not craving the meds I would not worry about an addicition. I believe there is a big difference between dependency and addiction. I have been on the hydrocone for about a year also and have found now after my surgery I only take when The pain is real bad.

Keep us posted.

 
Old 03-08-2007, 06:40 AM   #7
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yvette777 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Roy can you please keep updating here. you know how it is little things and tips can really help others...and love to hear your words of encouragement and your story of recovery...vette

 
Old 03-08-2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Clove,


I was out and about the evening of the surgery, that was the only time that I used the walker. I did not go very far at all; it was what was on the doctors orders for me to attempt at least trying to walk.

I have been walking on my own ever since. I as well have help in the shower dept so to speak. My wife has been great; the grabbers can pick up almost anything. I have been reading your posts and you are QUITE the LADY it seems. I wish it was nice enough that I could go out and walk; I am jealous of all of you that can go outside and enjoy things.

I have been out twice, I have no wnat to go and drive, the stiches and incision in the front are much to sore from all of the bouncing around.

Yes I agree, the shower is one of the still more challeniging feats. The only other one that is tougher is geting out of bed. Getting to the sitting position is not always the most funnest.


You are doing great it seems,
Roy 47

 
Old 03-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion Update

I have been now 5 weeks post Op from S1-L4-L5 and have had not a problem for the most part since I have returned home. The worst part is getting out of bed. There is a little pain from time to time. But it is minor compared to some of the others that have posted on this.

I find that I am of the "few" and my heart goes out to the rest, I have a thread from the start of my ordeal and have always shared my experiences with all the others.

I always say that on this site the BEST OF THE BEST people are here. We all tell it how we see it. I have weened myself from the hydro codine and things are going well. I was also taking Skelaxtin, and amytripline at night. This stopped at the tail end of last week on the 17th and things are going fine as well. About the only meds that I am currently taking are Gabepetin and 2 others as I have ended up with diabetis as a result of the surgery.

Great to see that you have found this site, best of luck.

Roy 47

 
Old 03-20-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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ms_west HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Roy, it sounds like things are going very well for you. Keep on healing and remember to take it nice and slow!!

 
Old 03-20-2007, 09:58 PM   #11
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ustalaughalot HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Roy,

I am confused about how you can end up with diabetes because of or after a surgery. Did they explain it to you? And as far as your left leg being weaker, since that is the one that you had the most pain in pre-surgery, it took a major hit with nerve things and maybe even a little muscle atropy. My right leg was the painful bugger. Still is, Two days post op the only pain I had was the surgical pain. Then bam, the right leg from the hip to the ankle flaired. It felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat on the right side of the small of my back, just above the bottom, across the outside and inside of my right hip, across the top of my right thigh, sharp pains in the right knee and the skin between the knee and ankle felt as though it was on fire and I couldn't stand for anything, even air to touch it. I'm 3 wks post op yesterday, last week they upped the gabapenten to 900mg 3x a day and added Cymbalta TA 20mg 2x a day. I still take the vallium for muscle relaxer and only take the pain meds if I can't fall asleep. Which is seldom now. I can fall asleep, just can't stay asleep. I think I need a new bed. This one seems to put too much pressure on my lower back and right leg, so I am shopping. My md said that it will take a while to regain the strength in the most affected leg, it is normal. Be sure when you are going down steps to use the weak leg first and then the strong one. When you are going up, use the strong one first. I forgot today and stepped down with my strong one, when the weaker one hit the step it nearly buckled out from under me, so be careful. I am over 40 and md said that a lot of people over 40 develope ddd, I didn't even play football in high school, lol. Really enjoyed your story, glad you can be here to help everyone from your experiences. Wishing you the best! Lynn

 
Old 03-21-2007, 06:07 AM   #12
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yvette777 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Hey roy, have you ventured out yet...yesterday was my second time and it was sprinkling and freezing but I didn't care, I had my daughter walk me anyway...we live on a gravel road no side walks, I wish we had a steady concrete path or anything....Then I would feel more at ease to go by myself. I use my walker when walking a path in my house, to keep my dogs a distance from me, just as inusurance.

 
Old 03-21-2007, 06:25 AM   #13
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shawley HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

[COLOR="DarkGreen"][B]
Roy , Glad thing's are going great for you , keep up the walking , my doc(OSS ) said to walk /walk /walk.

I seen you retired from the Army of 24 years ? That has to be
Nation guard or Reserves right. If that was regular Army you have to be nuts..lol I served 8 years in Army Nation Guard, my MOS was 11B ground pounder and boy the more I think about my ruk-sak my back hurts more..We used to train with the 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION every summer and them boy's are crazzy. We had a guy break his ankle 5 miles out in the forest and one soldier from the 82ND carried him fireman style to a access road about 3 miles. We trained hard every month..You here alot about Guards just party every Drill ? Not our company..Fortunatly my wife would not let me re-up..That was in 1992 when the Gulf war stuff was going on..I Volunteered to go but was never selected..I wanted my War badge.

I hope you feel better each day [/B][/COLOR]

 
Old 03-21-2007, 08:32 AM   #14
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

Usta,

My blood sugar level was 198 at the pre op physical. I was lableled
pre diabeitic in 2004 before uncle sam let me go.

The surgery pushed it over the edge; it is like out of control and I am having trouble keeping in above 70 at times here this last week. It is not a good thing.

The doctor told me that it was a possibilty after looking at the pre physical results of my blood work. But I did not think that much of it. Now it is just something that i have to monitor.

I am trying to see the doctor, but I went to a doc last week that I tried to avoid when on active duty. He is a quack and I have no idea why they keep him there. But after one retires it is like being a second or third class citizen I feel most of the time. I have an appt. on the 5th with the doctor that I normally see and he is the MAN. I will tell him that I need to be refered out to the EXPERTS and he never has hesistated in the past. I see that it should
not be a problem now.

AS usual,
Roy 47 yrs old.

 
Old 03-21-2007, 08:39 AM   #15
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Roy 47s recovery L4 - S1 Fusion

YVETTE,

Walking outside when it was icy??? I think that might want to be re thought in the future, If you were to fall could your daughter catch you?
Or would she just call 911 and have them take you back to the ER and be treated, at the very least.

Walk outside as often as I can. Today it is rain, rain , rain, just as yesterday. But we can always use the rain. I am up to 50 minutes for the most part. My teen age girsl tell me that I am getting faster all the time.

WE call it father, daughter, daughter time and we talk about all the things that are going on in our lives. It is a beautiful 2 o 1 time with just us... . All through the time that they have been little we have always had this time together with out mom. IT is a GREAT THING.


Roy 47

 
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