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Old 01-18-2004, 08:50 PM   #1
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irish34 HB User
Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Hello all---again!

Just have a quick question....I am having problems with work/w-c. I was injured on duty by an intoxicated arrestee brought into our jail for booking. Their Dr cleared me for light duty, full time light duty. I am a Deputy Sheriff and light duty for me is sitting in the POD at a computer monitoring inmates in the cell blocks. In the midst of walking into the jail, to my locker and back to the POD, I would usually be in contact with one or a number of inmates. They seems to think that there is no reason that I can't perform that duty. My issue....I can't sit longer than 10 minutes without standing, laying down or walking. So how they expect me to sit at a computer for 8 hours is beyond me. Not to mention the POD is about 10'x4'...if that. And I wouldn't lay on that floor if I was paid a million bucks. And walking to the POD is a hallway that leads directly from the POD to the booking counter...we send inmates(unescorted) up this hallway all day long. And, I have a 65 minuted drive to work, which they have argued is my fault...I could move closer. I didn't have an issue with it until my injury.
Please give me your thoughts on this....I am really interested if I'm being out of line.

Much Thanks!!!

 
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:20 AM   #2
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Deb F HB User
Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Hi Irish -
As you know, a large part of the problem is that we "look" fine! And, a HUGE lack of understanding. How could sitting, answering phone, and working at the computer be soooo tough!(It was very painful for me too!) So, I lost my job. All things considered, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought initially. (Opportunities come in alot of unexpected ways?) I feel your best resource is the advice received here, and your attorney.
I have thought of you and your situation alot. Trust your inner feelings, and know that whatever decisions you make, they were the best given your choices. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as your big day approaches.
Best wishes,
Deb
P.S. Don't know if you're a reader, if so look up "Who Moved My Cheese" or "What Should I Do With My Life?" Questions and inspirations.

Last edited by Deb F; 01-19-2004 at 07:22 AM.

 
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear that you have to go to work like that. It's hard enough not to go to work. Don't they know that you would *rather* be at work instead of being at home in pain?! And to be afraid on top of all that.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Donna

 
Old 01-21-2004, 01:00 PM   #4
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irish34 HB User
Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Deb and Donna--

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. It must be those that keep me going every day.
I haven't worked since August per Doctors orders. I have thought many times about going in so they didn't think I was faking my pain or think I'm a wuss. I'm really not! Far from that. But the pain is so horrible, everyday, that the last thing I want to think of doing is sitting at a computer. I do wish I was working--I busted my you know what to get to where I am and they think I'd just throw that away. But I couldn't begin to imagine working in these conditions.

Any one else with similar stories? Just need to hear from people who may be on the same page as me. Or an I way out there? I don't think so, but with all this pain, perhaps my senses hane turned to mush

Take Care!

 
Old 01-21-2004, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

I can understand your frustration at showing your co-workers that you aren't a wuss. I had my 4 week post op Monday and thought that My NS might release me to return to work. He said at least another 4 weeks for the fusion to fully fuse. When I told my boss and he wasn't thrilled but said the doctor knows best. He told me that some of my co-workers were starting to whine a little bit because of all the "free time" I was having. I sent the following email to all of them yesterday:

For those of you who are jealous or angry of all the "free time off" I am having I would gladly trade places with you but consider this:

Less than a week before Christmas you have to be willing to lay on your back for 4 hours with your head held inside a metal horseshoe with screws holding it in place so it doesn't move. During this time the doctor will slice open your throat and clamp your esophagus, voice box and trachea to the side while he cuts out ruptured disks in your neck trying not to knick your spinal cord in the process. He replaces them with bone chips he carves out of your hip. He will then screw a plate in your spine to hold it together. This is my 3rd such surgery in 9 years. Out of 7 vertebrae in my neck all but 1 is fused together.
You then will have to spend the next 8 weeks wearing a hard collar on your neck until the bones fuse together. You can't decide what hurts worse your neck or your hip. You are not allowed in a car for 2 weeks and are not allowed to drive for 4 weeks. The next 4 weeks you are afraid to drive because you can't turn your head with the collar on. You will have to sleep upright in a recliner every night because it is uncomfortable trying to sleep laying down with the collar on. If you sleep more than 2 hours at a time without waking up with neck pains, that is an accomplishment. The 1st two weeks you have to consume a liquid diet because you can't swallow anything solid. You have to grind up your pain pills because you can't swallow a pill. A few weeks later you will have to chew your food very well and drink a lot to wash it down because it gets stuck. You aren't allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Imagine how much patience your spouse needs to have in order to wait on you hand and foot and take you everywhere you need or want to go. The only activity you are allowed to do in 8 weeks is walking. There are only so many things to watch on television in 8 weeks.

So before cussing me out and calling me names, put yourself in my shoes. Besides, nobody has had to work 12 hours to cover me because there hasn't been anyone on vacation.

I don't want sympathy from them but just wanted to give them a little perspective. I over exagerated a little but wanted to make a point. So far half of them replied assuring my that they weren't complainng.

Frank

Last edited by Ramsfan; 01-21-2004 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 01-21-2004, 02:23 PM   #6
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irish34 HB User
Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Frank--

What I've found to be the real issue is not your co-workers but the supervisors. This could happen to anyone and before they open their mouth, let them live a day in the pain we live with daily. I guarantee noone will be complaining then.
The thing that really irks me is that I was injured on duty, in from of at least 12 other Deputies, at least 2 being sergeants.
May I ask what your pains were before surgery? What bothered you that we take for granted in our lives?

Good Luck with work--and stay strong! Sounds like you are...
Irish

 
Old 01-21-2004, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Hey Irish,

I made a reply to this under the wrong thread on the 18th ( Double spinal fusion and lamenectomy ? )...sorry. I've been thinking about you today...I know your surgery is getting closer. How are you feeling today ? I'm still a little nervous too. I hope to address my further concerns with my pre-op office visit on the 27th. I'm so glad that I have everbody on this site and the encouraging information. Plus, it helps with the questions to ask my OS.

Lexie

 
Old 01-21-2004, 08:49 PM   #8
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Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Lexie,

I think I also replied to you under that thread as well.
Thank you for the thoughts! I am getting or rather have been so nervous about this surgery. I find myself running to the store or odds and ends appts (eye dr today) just to occupy my thoughts with something other than the surgery.
Is your pre-op visit with your primary? Or the surgeon?
I apologize if you have posted this already, but what surgery are you having done? ACDF? Where? Are you using a donor or your own bone? May I ask what state you live in Lexie? I wish that there were someone nearby that I could just get together with and do lunch. Someone who understands me.
I am beyond thankful for this board. And friends like you.
Stay strong...we'll get thru this together!
Thoughts and Prayers,
CJ

 
Old 01-21-2004, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Thanks CJ....

I live in Kingsport, Tennessee. I'm about an hour from Knoxville. I didn't have an accident or anything..I just woke up like this one morning. I thought I had slept wrong. It started on my right side in Sept. and that went away and the came back 3 fold on the left side in Oct.

My pre-op vist is with the surgeon. My primary left me in the hands of him. At first my primary didn't think I should have the surgery but after the myleogram he then also agreed.

My rupture is at C6-7. It is a very large rupture causing severe spinal cord compression and my nerve root 7 is compressed on one side and completely flattened on the other. They thought with just the MRI that I also had a rupture at C5-6..but according to the myleogram it is just bulging. The myleogram showed my rupture, spinal cord and nerve root to be much more severe than the MRI showed 2 months prior. So I am very glad I had that done.

I am having ACDF on C6-7 with donor bone, & plate. I believe he told me last visit I would only be wearing a soft collar..will confirm on the 27th.

I was really torn up at first about the surgery because my pain is not as bad as it was back in October. Right now I seem to "tolerate" the pain with my pain medicine. Back in October I wanted to cut my left arm off...seriously!! I also get this bad pain on the back of my head on the right side (right behind my ear).

When I go down the stairs quickly both my arms go numb...this concerns me since according to the myleogram I don't have a rupture at C5-6 what would be causing the symptoms on my right side ?? Plus, tonight I'm having pain in my right shoulder (which is also indicative of a rupture at C5-6). I also want to clarify that with my OS. I'm thinking it could be my nerve root 7 being compressed and flattened.

**** Does anybody have any ideas ??? *****






Keep me informed CJ..

 
Old 01-21-2004, 11:05 PM   #10
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Ramsfan HB User
Re: Sitting with Herniated Disc advice

Irish and Lexie,

about 6 months before my surgery I initially was getting a shooting pain down my right arm whenever I reached out for something or looked up to fast and I lost strength in my left hand. I also would go numb in my right arm if I went downstairs quickly. (C5,C6 and C7) Therapy cured my weakness problem in the left hand but not the problem with the right arm. About a month before surgery the pain was also shooting down my back to the right hip. My NS finally ordered an MRI which showed the rupture at C6-C7 and C5-C6 was degenerated. Since the surgery my symptoms have gone.
I guess what bothered me that we take for granted in our lives was believing that I would always maintain great overall health and live a carefree life style. I grew up being actively involved in sports for 38 years before having to give it all up after my 1st surgery. My life style has changed but I still maintain a good attitude because I had other less destructive options. Whenever I get down I always look at those much worse off than myself and feel fortunate to be where I am.

 
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