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Old 12-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
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Feeling Better, but have some questions...

Hello all,
Am 5 weeks out of my microdiscectomy and this week I have seen a lot of improvement! I actually have had a few days with no pain, and it sort of roller coasters back and forth because when I feel better, I increase my activity. I have gotten to where I walk about a mile every other day, and on the off days I rest a bit more. (Still back to work where I climb. 3 flights of stairs, so never sedentary).

Two questions: on the days I have pain, I have a lot and need my pain killer and on the days I don't have pain, I don't need any. The problem is after taking them for 6 months I need to wean off of them which overall I don't think I'm ready for. I take 1/2 the prescribed dose on bad days, but am still taking a small amt even on good days to avoid withdrawl symptoms (norco).
Is this a normal phase? Should I call my Dr and ask? How do I go from achy to shooting electric pains from one day to the next?

When I realized it was the withdrawl effect on the good days making me feel so crappy it freaked me out and I refused to take anyone meds, but that didnt work, because sometimes I do have a lot of pain. I feel I am in this weird in between phase and I do t know what to do.

Is it safe to drive alone 2 hours back and forth to my grandmothers for Christmas or should I take the train. I was thinking just not take any meds and drive myself but after today I doubt I could do it.

The good news is the good days are outnumbering the bad and it gets better every week! hopefully by the new year I will be feeling really good. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it will all be worth it

Stay positive, and thanks for any comments

 
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:18 PM   #2
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Re: Feeling Better, but have some questions...

I would think you would be better off leveling out your activity so you don't keep having these spikes in pain. I would say that if you get that sore after your busy day, you are doing too much. You'd be better off in the long run if you pace yourself...find a level that does not leave you feeling the pain, and do the same thing every day. Then if after a week, you can do it without pain, increase your level of activity by 10%. If not painful, give yourself a good week to get used to that level before you increase another 10%.

When you keep the nerves in a constant state of flare, it can cause problems down the road...and just sensitizes the irritated nerve to think its feeling pain, even though it is now decompressed.

 
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: Feeling Better, but have some questions...

[QUOTE=teteri66;5107831]I would think you would be better off leveling out your activity so you don't keep having these spikes in pain. I would say that if you get that sore after your busy day, you are doing too much. You'd be better off in the long run if you pace yourself...find a level that does not leave you feeling the pain, and do the same thing every day. Then if after a week, you can do it without pain, increase your level of activity by 10%. If not painful, give yourself a good week to get used to that level before you increase another 10%.

When you keep the nerves in a constant state of flare, it can cause problems down the road...and just sensitizes the irritated nerve to think its feeling pain, even though it is now decompressed.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the input, My Doctor had told me as long as it doesn't hurt.... do it. But the problem is that I feel it the next day. It's difficult to figure out what is to much, but unfortunately I definitely exceeded that threshold anyway yesterday.

I vacuumed the living room. Bad idea. My nerve and all associated muscles are now completely swollen and irritated, so much so that my knee actually gave out yesterday climbing our front porch steps and I had to crawl into the house. I have been resting on it alll day today but now I know that this is going to take a few days to heal back up and I feel so stupid. It didn't hurt when I was doing it, but once I sat down I thought "that may have been a bit too much" at least I am on Break for two weeks now. Another thing that may have contributed is that this was my first full week back to work.

Definitely not Driving the two hours to Grandma's, I got a ride and I am also thinking that the "if it doesn't hurt, do it" isn't going to work for me. Any suggestions as to how to "pace myself"? Maybe start out really small and add a bit each day until I reach a threshold and then I will know?

Thanks so much for all your helpful posts!

 
Old 12-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: Feeling Better, but have some questions...

My surgeon had that same advice. He gave me absolutely no rules, instructions or restrictions, and this was for a one level fusion....it takes the doc off the hook but isn't terribly useful to the patient.

Vacuuming is one of the very worst things you can do. I actually don't believe I will ever be able to vacuum without it causing pain. So I've learned that I can only do a bit at a time....you do eventually learn how much you can tolerate before it begins to cause problems...

It is really much better to err on the side of doing too little than too much. For a couple more weeks I would suggest you avoid housework in general -- things like changing sheets, bending over to get stuff out of the dryer, definitely no sweeping the floor, etc.

In terms of walking, you might want to cut back a little bit...and then gradually add a little bit. You don't want to get too tired. You have to just kind of figure out what works best for you. Just avoid anything that requires bending or twisting at the waist, pushing, pulling, and watch the weight of your grocery bags, etc. If you are cooking holiday meals, watch the heavy pots of water, or things going into the oven, etc. Just try to think things through before you make the move to see if you are doing it in a smart way that is ergonomically sound, etc.

 
Old 12-23-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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Re: Feeling Better, but have some questions...

Thanks for the advice, luckily my family is wonderful and I won't have to do much cooking on my own. I don't think I will be vacuuming anytime soon again. I wish the doctors would give some guidelines to help navigate this recovery.

Thanks for the tips, i will rest up and take it easy

 
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