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    Old 12-03-2003, 05:33 PM   #16
    successtory
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hi tennisnut,

    Congratulations on your (hopefully) successful IDET. You are right about the ice. It is your friend. It is mine too. I still ice to this day and I am working on 2 years post-IDET. If you ever feel you have over done it...ice. It will literally take away the burn (you just might even hear your skin/back go "ssssss" when you apply the ice pack...hehe).

    The dull ache you feel may very well be some of the burned tissue rubbing on the sciatic nerve. I take it you don't feel this pain after icing? Pelvic tilts may help to keep the scar tissue from forming around the sciatic nerve. But you must do them correctly. Walking 45 min. a day....WOW. I couldn't do that until I was after my 2nd week. And even then....it was too much. Had to cut down to 10 min. at a time and work my way back up. Make sure you take a nap after your walks and ice your back (even if it doesn't feel like it needs it). The activity aggravates the IDET and walking up stairs or up hills will make the aggravation even worse. So be careful. Did your DR say to walk that long so quickly? I think it's fabulous you are able to do this. Good for you.

    The reason you are sleeping so long? Your body has only ONE time each day when it repairs itself. ALL other times it is busy trying to deal with the barrage of life coming at it every second of your waking moment. The air you breath must be filtered, the air that hits your skin must be cleansed, the things you touch, the things you eat and on and on and on. When you sleep, you are doing nothing...you are static. This allows your body to concentrate on broken issues. Whether it be a cold or healing from an operation...sleep is when this is done. This is one of the reasons why us spineys cannot get better "faster". We are in so much pain that we cannot sleep, thus....we also cannot heal. It really is a whizzer....but it is the truth. Be glad you are sleeping a lot. Your body IS telling you it needs it. It has gone through a traumatic thing...being burned. Think of your skin when it is burned and apply that memory/knowledge to your disk. Treat it carefully....if this doesn't work, fusion is the only other option. Unless you want to fly to Europe for an ADR.

    It sounds like you are doing all good things. Just remember to be patient. Eat lots of fruits and vegies and always always think of your back first. Good luck to you.

     
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    Old 12-03-2003, 06:38 PM   #17
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    As is so often true, Successtory said the wise things!!! So I'll just say, I've been thinking of you and will continue to. Thanks for the report. We're pulling for you (but only in a gentle, helpful way!!) Enjoy that healing sleep!

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 02:54 AM   #18
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Tennisnut...

    Sounds like you're doing what you're supposed to....and are healing as you should be. I'd have to agree w/ your thinking on the 9 hrs of sleep. Your body is surely telling you what it needs and, more importantly, you're listening. This will be the reason you succeed above all others, IMO.

    I'm glad the leg thing has calmed a bit for you, but if it comes back, I would consider mentioning it if, for no other reason, than to calm your fears about it. It could very well be just from surgery or your disc readjusting or something else that will eventually just disappear.

    Good luck and keep up the good work! It's good to hear the corset isn't bothering you so much now. It looks as if I may be getting fitted for one for post-nucleoplasty.

    Take care.

    Karen

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 07:29 AM   #19
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    Re: Post-IDET Report - Week 3

    [QUOTE=tennisnut]These are some of the longest days and weeks I have ever experienced. Time is crawling by...--tennisnut[/QUOTE]

    Mr. T - adding my voice to the chorus of well wishers for you at the 'back board'. I think of you often and even keep you in my little prayers...

    Go easy. It's great that you are sleeping so much; as an athlete I am capable of discounting a fair share of pain and discomfort - it's only when I stopped sleeping I realized I had careened into a bad place. Sleep is rich, delicious and oh so nutritive. Drink deep!

    Had my neuro app'y; confirmed DDD at L5-S1 and, as part of presentation but to a lesser degree, T12-L1. But no complications (radiologically, end plate changes - etc.). Sounds a little like your case; doc says I'm on my way to an 'autofuse' at L5-S1 and, for me (thank you genetics) it's normal. I'm to meet a PT who is a myofascial sacro-cranial specialist, back off tennis but otherwise keep up my workouts to tolerance, and keep doing the milieu of things I've got going to keep DDD symptoms/complications at bay.

    And Mr. Man - right you are; meant etiology and it's prolly a story you've laid out in one of your threads. Confounds me how so many people have DDD, how so many go on to back surgery yet so little is out there in the way of support groups and stories. You'd think 400,000 Americans a year having fusion would rank up there with all the copy of heart disease or cancer.

    If the body is an ocean, the spine is it's Mariana Trench and we - disinclined explorers...


    ~waves

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 04:30 PM   #20
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    Re: Post-IDET Report - Week 3

    Hi Gang

    Waves - I should tell you that it's Ms. Tennisnut or, professionally, Dr. Tennisnut (Ph.d. not M.D.). I think I may have thrown you off track with all my talk about aggressive tennis play . There's nothin' sweeter than a 5'6" woman blowing an ace by a big fella. Gotta luv it. We are still kindred spirits, I think, though different genders. I so appreciate the healing thoughts. I am thrilled to hear about your neuro appt. This is great news. You must be relieved. Did the doctor give you any time frame on how long to the natural fusion? My primary care doc also referred my to a myofascial massage person, but I never went. Others on this board have said good things about this type of technique.

    Success - Thanks so much for the words of wisdom. I was quite shocked by the almost total lack of patient education provided by my doctor re. the IDET. They mailed me this one-page summary that told me nothing I didn't already know about the procedure and failed to give me any practical advice whatsoever. No mention that I should get fitted for a corset beforehand, no instruction about how to best get up from lying on the couch or bed so as not to strain the disc. I am really disgusted with them on many levels by now. Wishing like hell I had stuck with Dr. Saal for my procedure but decided to go with the guy who was on my insurance plan (even though the insurer has denied coverage).

    When I met with Dr. Saal before my IDET, he gave me much better guidance on the dos and don'ts. I asked him if I could do some upper body toning with little tiny hand weights and he said, "No. I find that people who start doing that kind of thing get too revved up." He said that I should walk (on flat ground) as much as I can tolerate. He also stated that the discs experience no greater mechanical load when a person is walking then when they are lying down. It's hard to believe, but I did some research and found out he was right. Because he and my other doctor told me no PT before 2 months, I assumed they meant no ab exercises including pelvic tilts. I was tempted to do some the other day, just to give the transverse abs some action, but held off. Since my annulus tear is right at the midline, I worry that even such a small movement and pressure may be contraindicated. But I have started doing some gentle hamstring stretches using a belt since I can't bend at the waist. I was shocked by how tight these muscles have become in 3 short weeks. Hopefully, this will help with the leg discomfort, which is back again.

    StandingMan - Hoping you are recovered from your flare-up. It seems so rediculous that we can be in so much pain from sitting. For me, the ramping up of symptoms doesn't start until several hours after I have made the critical error of overtaxing my now delicate system. Then it can take up to a week to settle down. What a price to pay. Sometimes I just said, "what the hell. I want to go out to dinner just once," and payed for a week. I just stopped doing these things altogether in the end.

    I am so very grateful that all of you kind people are out there. When I start to lose my sense of humor, I'll just read a few posts and start to smile again. I hear a nap calling me, so I'll sign off for now.

    --Tnut

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 09:35 PM   #21
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Dr. T--Thanks for the update! I am also that kind of "doc" (as my mother used to say, "not a _real_ doctor.") It seems we have a lot of docs and jocks (and doc/jocks) in this group. We could start our own university! (DDD U? College of St. Sciatica? I'll work on it.....

    In any event, keep the faith. We are with you. Like you, my flares are usually most evident hours after the "wrong move," and like you--and probably all of us--I have had to learn not to "rebel" too often. What a drag. We seem like a very spirited bunch in general, not used to being in harness. Well, if "learning patience" was some sort of cosmic lesson for which we were due, I guess we're taking the course big time.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Standing(prof)

     
    Old 12-05-2003, 01:50 PM   #22
    tennisnut
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hey Dr. SM -- You managed to make me laugh on what is unfortunately a bad (painwise) day. I love DDD U. We need a mascot. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues. I too have been struggling with how to deal with all this on a "bigger picture" or spiritual level. Certainly, my compassion for the suffering of humankind has grown in leaps and bounds. As is my amazement for the trials that people can endure. But I know that I am still greatly struggling with how to have a full life in chronic pain. I think part of what is so difficult is that I keep hoping that I will be rescued from my predicament, unable to accept that this may be as good as it gets. Perhaps with acceptance comes peace. Sure seems like a long, rough road to get there. Well, enough with the maudlin sentiments. I am off in search of my sense of humor. See ya

    [QUOTE=standingman]Dr. T--Thanks for the update! I am also that kind of "doc" (as my mother used to say, "not a _real_ doctor.") It seems we have a lot of docs and jocks (and doc/jocks) in this group. We could start our own university! (DDD U? College of St. Sciatica? I'll work on it.....

    In any event, keep the faith. We are with you. Like you, my flares are usually most evident hours after the "wrong move," and like you--and probably all of us--I have had to learn not to "rebel" too often. What a drag. We seem like a very spirited bunch in general, not used to being in harness. Well, if "learning patience" was some sort of cosmic lesson for which we were due, I guess we're taking the course big time.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Standing(prof)[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 12-05-2003, 02:33 PM   #23
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    [QUOTE=tennisnut]I think part of what is so difficult is that I keep hoping that I will be rescued from my predicament, unable to accept that this may be as good as it gets. Perhaps with acceptance comes peace. Sure seems like a long, rough road to get there.[/QUOTE]

    There is a hypothesis that anger and frustration are always the result of a blocked goal or expectation. Hmmm, do you think that describes some of us? Look at all the time and energy and hope we put into the various doctors and procedures. We have faith that our problem can be corrected! And all it will take it a little perseverance, a lot of research, and a talented medical team. Giving up is not an option.

    However, that said, it is downright self-destructive to maintain the same expectations that you had before the spinal thing. We have all been forced to re-invent ourselves, at least temporarily, to adapt to reality. This is healthy. It should not be viewed as defeat.

    Some day, when we're all feeling better, I think a nice, friendly game of tennis is in order. Your place or mine?

     
    Old 12-05-2003, 06:21 PM   #24
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    WARNING: THIS MESSAGE MAY CONTAIN HUMOR. IT IS POSSIBLE YOU WILL GIGGLE.....OR WORSE. PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS.....

    Well, I suppose we could start a whole thread just on the "humor" of back trouble. Short thread? I doubt it!

    As for mascots, wow, the possibilities are thrilling. The "HNPs" is compelling, but too obvious. But think of the "school band" making a large, disk-shaped oval. Suddenly, there is a bulge, as the tuba section slips over to one side. They hum, mournfully. And then, abruptly, the flutes and clarinets leak through the bulge, squealing as they go. The twirlers twirl about furiously, trying to contain the leak. The remaining band members play, well, something "disco"............

    Alternatively, I like the idea of the "Lumbar Jacks" if it weren't sexist. Lumbar Jacks and Jills?


    Still at drawing board......

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-06-2003, 11:54 AM   #25
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    Re: Post-IDET Report - Week 3

    [QUOTE=tennisnut]
    Waves - I should tell you that it's Ms. Tennisnut...[/QUOTE]

    How 'bout that...! Assumptions of the internet; pls forgive me and don't think for a second I've haven't been good and humbled by a ladies play...

    Hope you are well - was concerned...

    [QUOTE] I too have been struggling with how to deal with all this on a "bigger picture" or spiritual level. Certainly, my compassion for the suffering of humankind has grown in leaps and bounds. As is my amazement for the trials that people can endure. But I know that I am still greatly struggling with how to have a full life in chronic pain. [/QUOTE]

    Breathe deep and from your stomach; you've done your best and you go from here...

    I remember after my ACL surgery; was '91 - broke my knee at the top of a mountain (east coast backcountry telemarking) and had to hike back down. I was bummed. And racked up. Was told I'd never run again... Found the right guy and had what is now the gold standard rebuild procedure... Anyhow, down in the dumps, I saw on of my friends who's pretty challenged - MS, wheelchair now and again, - and she came by to see me. I remember it was really tough to get around (on crutches for months) and I complained (the sorrowful silly athlete) and she said to me "... Well, now you see. You think it's we who are handicapped. But it's you who are temporarily abled. Because one day, you, or your loved ones, will have to get around in this world you have built. And then you'll see..." It was an 'ah ha' moment.

    The learning curve is pretty steep with DDD. The great things accomplished by people in debilitating pain are humbling and, frankly, beyond me - at least for the moment. I can't help but think often about Job; only when God struck him physically did the dialogue fully begin...

    [QUOTE=standingman]We are with you. Like you, my flares are usually most evident hours after the "wrong move," and like you--and probably all of us--I have had to learn not to "rebel" too often. What a drag. We seem like a very spirited bunch in general, not used to being in harness. Well, if "learning patience" was some sort of cosmic lesson for which we were due, I guess we're taking the course big time.[/QUOTE]

    I've my new box. I'm not a box guy.. And the advanced patience class? "Present" Prof SM. We know how much is unknown in the DDD realm. Could be you did this, or that... Could be genetics... Could be stress. Great. Managed to stay sane and healthy in the brutal travails of my life and stress decides to obliterate a disk in my back...

    [QUOTE=Pippin]There is a hypothesis that anger and frustration are always the result of a blocked goal or expectation. Hmmm, do you think that describes some of us? ... Giving up is not an option... We have all been forced to re-invent ourselves, at least temporarily, to adapt to reality. This is healthy. It should not be viewed as defeat [/QUOTE]

    A week a ago, or so, I mentioned to another back sufferer that one has to be prepared to think differently; my paradigm shift has been rugged and I don't know if it's sustainable or even sufficient. The DDD 'ah ha' moments are frequent. Sorting out myth from fact in the realm of this maladay is quite an adventure - really, the stuff for another thread.

    ;-)


    ~waves

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 04:06 AM   #26
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hi all.

    Still following original thread...enjoy reading the reparte.

    As for thinking differently? True, sadly, true.

    Karen

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 05:17 PM   #27
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hello fellow Lumbar Jacks

    I'm digesting all the important thoughts and observations you all have made. Keep it comin'! Working on my own personal paradigm shift, for sure. The last few days have been tough ones. I must have overdone it (in spite of being warned my you wise people). The only misstep I can think of is that I went to the gym to walk on the treadmill on Friday as the weather was foul. A friend drove me and it's less than 10 minutes from the house. Felt fine while I was walking but several hours later noted that the pain meds weren't touching the pain. Had a rough few nights-couldnt' get to sleep even by doubling my pain meds before bed.

    Yesterday I went to a guy who specializes in orthopedic massage and got a lot of the muscular kinks worked out. Even though I felt better the rest of the day, the pain started to go through the roof again after 6pm and I couldn't get to sleep. Obviously, I'm really taking it easy now. In the month before my IDET I noticed that my pain meds (vicodin, neurontin) were significantly less effective in keeping the pain at bay. Because the pain is unremittant (lying down provides no relief) I feel mentally worn down, even more so being sleep deprived. Seems to me that it's time to talk with my doctors about managing the pain more effectively. I haven't wanted to consider stronger pain meds, but at this point I'm open to anything. One of my doctors previously mentioned that methadone can effectively address difference pain receptors. Anybody heard anything about taking methadone for pain control?

    I decided to do something nice fior myself during this isolating convalesence. I took all the money I was no longer spending on tennis club memberships, tennis balls, etc. and bought a super-automatic Italian-made espesso machine. 'Tis a marvelous thing. You just press a button and the machine grinds the beans, tampers the coffee, and brews a perfect cup of rich espresso with plenty of crema. Of course, there's a milk steamer to produce thick foam for a capuccino. Boy have I really needed a major espresso jolt the last few mornings.

    Enjoying the wisdom and the wit proffered . My massage therapist recommended that I try chamomille instead of narcotic analgesics. Now [I]that[/I], I found very funny.

    --tnut

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 09:06 PM   #28
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Dr. Tnut--In retrospect, maybe "Lumbar J_o_cks" would cover both the sexism problem and be a yet more accurate descriptor. Let's consider it for the Marching Band and Mascot of DDDU. Now all we need is sweatshirts and logo.

    My condolences to you over these last few painful days. I hope, at the least, the java provides distraction
    --kind of like menthol--if not downright relief. I assume you've tried TENS and the like. It may be trivial stuff against the pain with which you're dealing, but, personally, I have found it more useful than I would have guessed. Like java, it's a "buzz."

    On the spiritual level, as I posted on another thread here, I'm a bit theologically-challenged. But I have, at least, learned to appreciate a few things I would have overlooked before. Unable to travel, for the past year and a half I've walked around parts my neighborhood almost every day. I know _everyone_ better than the letter carrier, and how they're all doing. Also, I'm lucky to live near a river, old fields, and some woods, so there's plenty of nature to see. And it's always different; each season brings a new perspective. There is much I would have never noticed if I hadn't been slowed in this way. In lieu of going "wide," I've ended up going "deep." Either way, I've seen what I would not have seen otherwise, which, I guess, is what "travel" really means.

    All the best,

    Standingman, Fellow Lumbar Jock

    Last edited by standingman; 12-08-2003 at 07:20 AM.

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 09:27 PM   #29
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Waves--I meant to respond to you as well. What you say about learning, and not learning, strikes a deep chord. There's a book here--but that's what academics always think. Still, keep notes; they may be useful to others who end up in this long, strange trip. We are in an unusual category. Not "well," clearly. Nor "sick, but almost certainly on the mend." Nor, at least for many of us, chronically ill, like your friend with MS.

    In other words, even in purgatory, we are in the waiting room!! Like I say, keep notes!

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 09:36 PM   #30
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Sorry for inconvenience; this reply no longer necessary. Sm

    Last edited by standingman; 12-08-2003 at 07:22 AM.

     
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