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Old 01-31-2007, 07:51 PM   #1
SKZ SKZ is offline
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I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

HI all,
Today I am 3 weeks post op. So I decided to drive to the bank, (first time driving) which was fine. The grocery store is right next door, so I gave that one a try, too. Backing out of the grocery parking lot was a killer!!!! As I would back out, people would be sneaking past me real fast, so I really had to be on the ball. Unreal how rude people can be. I mean when I see a person backing out of a spot, I sit there and wait. I dont speed past like a moron. I learned a good lesson. When I got home, I immediately started to spasm pretty bad. I ended up taking a Vicodin AND a Valium. I guess I shouldnt be driving if there is ANY possibility of having to back out. DOH! I wanted to warn you recent post op people that something as seemingly harmless, can really make you hurt later. Isnt learning the hard way, fun? NOT! I just have to accept that this is a long deal and to be patient. I think I am also going to have to really take my time going back to work, too...since I sub. teach in elem. schools and I am on my feet all day. SPASM CITY!

 
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKZ View Post
HI all,
Today I am 3 weeks post op. So I decided to drive to the bank, (first time driving) which was fine. The grocery store is right next door, so I gave that one a try, too. Backing out of the grocery parking lot was a killer!!!! As I would back out, people would be sneaking past me real fast, so I really had to be on the ball. Unreal how rude people can be. I mean when I see a person backing out of a spot, I sit there and wait. I dont speed past like a moron. I learned a good lesson. When I got home, I immediately started to spasm pretty bad. I ended up taking a Vicodin AND a Valium. I guess I shouldnt be driving if there is ANY possibility of having to back out. DOH! I wanted to warn you recent post op people that something as seemingly harmless, can really make you hurt later. Isnt learning the hard way, fun? NOT! I just have to accept that this is a long deal and to be patient. I think I am also going to have to really take my time going back to work, too...since I sub. teach in elem. schools and I am on my feet all day. SPASM CITY!

 
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:36 PM   #3
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

Oh boy you are about to learn a few lessons! But do not let it get you down.
I still have painful spasms and my surgery was in mid oct. I am partially fused but I am findind this to be a long recovery....Especially since I have the post surgery complication of vocal coed paralysis. Physical therapy and speech therapy are helping.

Oy is not an expression I usually say but yes Major OY!

 
Old 01-31-2007, 10:46 PM   #4
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

I am in for a waking when I return back to work too. I teach preschool. So I am taking at least 5 weeks. It is hard to be in a neck collar when everyone you deal with is just above you knees.

 
Old 01-31-2007, 11:59 PM   #5
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

Take it from a veteran of do too much too fast. It is good to do a little test to see how far you can push yourself, but generally if you rest up in the beginning you will heal faster and get better long term results. Isn't it worth it to get well!!!!! Go slow the first month and it will pay you back in health.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 05:14 AM   #6
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

I am careful about when I drive and where I park. I've had two ACDFs to fuse C4/5/6/7 and it is almost two years since the last surgery. I have some chronic pain which is not too bad (most days), and don't have the range of motion that I used to have. I have learned to park where I can either pull through, or where there is plenty of space and no traffic so I can back out slowly. Sometimes this makes me park a little further away than I used to, but I figure the extra walking is good for me.

The other driving things that I've found are more difficult are freeway lane changes where you need to do a quick over-the-shoulder look, or crossing a street where you need to look both directions quickly.

Don't be discouraged - if you find you have some new limits, learn to live within them and don't worry about things where you can figure out a work-around.
Bob

 
Old 02-01-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

SKZ,

Did you have clearance from your surgeon to drive? I wasn't allowed to drive for 6 weeks, and even then it was hard. Rotating your neck puts stress on the plate and the fusion site. At 3 weeks there isn't much bonding taking place, so it is a dangerous situation. Remember, that the only thing holding this together is that little plate.

It can't be stressed enough to be very careful, and to take it slow, slow, slow and even slower. You can't do all the things you did before the surgery right away. Please be careful.

Dennis

 
Old 02-01-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

Please be careful driving. I went back to work after 4 weeks. Hubby drove and picked me up the first day. Was brave enough to try on my own the next day. Could not believe how hard it is to look to back up or to change lanes. I am not a mirror person, I want to see for myself. Also be careful at the grocery. The pulling and tugging and lifting is very hard on the old body. I am 9 weeks out today and hubby still is helping with the grocery shopping. I tried department store shopping last week by myself. After toting around a pair of pants and a blouse to purchase, I was whipped. You feel strong and think you can do something and then whoops.... back in spasm land again.

Another thing to watch is what your wear. I wore a long sleeve shirt with a vest to work yesterday. The vest was lined with satin type material. I wore my bone stimulator for 4 hours on top of that. The sliding of the vest on the top of my shoulder had me in major spasm by yesterday afternoon. Who would have thought that would cause spasms??? Yipes, and a big ouch! Each day is a new experience.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

Dennis: I did get clearance to drive. I knew I should wait despite of what they said I could do. Sometimes the docs are so liberal it is ridiculous. Seems I have one of those docs, so I just need to listen to my own body. I feel fine today, luckily. It was just one of those after effects for the day. But I hear ya.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

My doc was very conservative, and I'm actually glad for that. It made me even more cautious.

I think the docs are partly trying to satisfy the patients who want fast results, and also trying to keep the costs down (insurance pressure).

I know, that even a year or more later, it was difficult and painful for me to turn my head when backing the car or my truck.

Remember, it takes up to a year for full fusion. You are really not completely out of the dark for six months or more. As early as you are, there is very little fusion. While the mechanical fastening is pretty strong, it really only gives good sound support when your head is facing forward and your neck is straight. I know there are people who will argue this, because their doc said they didn't need a neck brace and all that, but just think about it for a minute. The plate is screwed to the "outside". The weight of the head is being supported from a position off center to the front, not directly underneath as the spine did originally. The only thing holding this are small screws. From a mechanical standpoint that is not much.

If the neck is twisted, turned or moved up and down the amount of force applied can exceed the strength of the screws. I don't want to scare you or anyone else, but the fact is, you need to be careful. Erring on the side of caution is much smarter than the alternative.

Dennis

 
Old 02-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #11
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Re: I learned a good lesson today. (oy)

I have been post-op almost 5 years and I still have problems backing out of parking spots and changing lanes on the highway. The best thing to do is practice and learn how to adjust the mirrors so you can see better and delete some of that blind space when driving. I am very cautious when changing lanes.

Again - practice is what is needed - get out there when the traffic is low and change lanes and try some backing up.


Good luck and remember you are just on the beginning road of recovery don't overdue it. Like one of the other writers put - I was not able to drive for 6 weeks and even then was told limited driving when necessary.

 
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