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-   -   9 weeks postop from posterior lumbar fusion and still feels like screws are digging (

shg 09-22-2003 06:28 AM

Hi Christi,

Hope you had a nice weekend. How are you feeling today? As for me, yes I am working from home and have been for a week...I'm still trying to keep up with my goals. I do however, need to step-up with my walking. I really did a good job over the weekend, now I need to do it this week.


magnetlady45 09-22-2003 06:36 AM

Hi Shg,

I need to walk more too. It seems like I sat too much yesterday. This morning I have tingling in my left leg and some discomfort in my lower back. The humidity is higher today. We are supposed to have rain. Boy I noticed that that has a lot to do with how I feel. Too bad for that. I thought of going back to work again but I think I will wait a few more weeks. Speaking of rain it just started. I live in a small mobile home. Can't do a lot of walking in it. Oh well I can always use an umbrella. Are you still experiencing any numbness and tingling? I decided to lower the dosage of my pain medication. I am taking Vicodin but would only take three fourths of a pill every 6 hours. I am reducing it to half a pill. I want to eventually get off these things but I don't want to be suffering too much either. What kind of work do you do?


shg 09-23-2003 06:32 AM


Congrats on lowering your meds. As of now, I rarely take anything unless I have "break-through pain." In fact I really haven't taken anything in 2 weeks. I was just saying that 3 weeks ago right now I was in the O.R. undergoing my 2 level 360 degree fusion and from than until now it's been great. I'm so licky...knock on wood. Lets just hope it stays that way.

Now today I need to step up the walking, once the rain you sent our way leaves us. In your situation, do what yo ucan when you can. Even if that means walking from one room to another 20 what you can.

Keep up the great work,


magnetlady45 09-23-2003 07:07 AM


So you have the rain today. It is sunny here. I am thankful for that. That means more walking. I talked to my physical therapist yesterday over the phone and he says that he agrees with me about not doing pt for awhile. He wants me to wear my corset till the weekend and then start weaning off of it. I asked him why the numbness and tingling and he thinks it may be due to swelling inside my back. He told me that even if it seems like quite a long time since surgery, almost 11 weeks, it really isn't that long and our bodies take a while to heal on the inside. Patience is the key here and also a positive attitude. I also mentioned that it seemed like I hurt more yesterday due to the rain and he said that he had so many people complain about that.

I feel better emotionally today. I wish I could do everything that I want to do. But here again patience is the key. As they say, this too shall pass.

I am so glad for you that you are doing so well. I really believe it that first therapist wouldn't have goofed like she did that I would have been in the same situation as you. Hope you have a great day.


shg 09-23-2003 07:23 AM


I think your therapist is right, just listen to your body and heal at your own pace. 3 weeks, 11 weeks, 6 months, we all knew going into this that it could take a year to fully heal. Therefore, we need to take it one day at a time and do what we can. Walking should be the majority part of our initial healing. Other than that, we just need to relax and take it easy. Listen to your body,


magnetlady45 09-23-2003 07:49 PM

Hi Shg:

Are you experiencing any numbness and tingling in any of your legs? I still am. What about inflammation in back?

Hi Tomorrow:

How are you doing today? Haven't heard from you in a couple of days? Hope you are doing better. What about you any numbness and tingling or pain in lower back?


shg 09-24-2003 06:11 AM

Good morning Chrisi,

I hope your doing well today. In response to your questions, I am not experiencing any numbness, tingling or swelling thank God. I do however, have at times a weird "temperature" feeling of my skin in places. My skin gets hot or cold to the touch if I do too much or if I get very tired. Other than that, I feel great.

I'm sure what you feel is normal and will get better...just keep your chin up.


MarianJ 09-24-2003 10:30 AM

Hello :wave: Christi,

I am still here just been having a few problems with my PC. It is good that you are giving yourself a break from the physical therapy. Some of us just need more time to heal as we all heal differently. I hope that you are able to get some of the swelling down in your back. And these damp days don't help matters. Last night it got really chilly here about 55. I woke up stiff as a board but once I started moving around I felt a little bit better. You are so correct in saying that patience is the key, although I haven't had much of it

I don't have any numbness or tingling in my lower back, but sometimes spasms. My back WAS feeling a little bit better and I had hope again. Here's hoping my appointment today doesn't irritate my back. I only pray... I can't believe I am saying this but I have to go take a nap. Talk to you later...

Take Care.

MarianJ 09-25-2003 06:31 AM

Good Morning :wave: Shg & Christi & Anyone else that may be viewing,

I hope that everyone is feeling a lil better today. The weather here is beautiful today. My back is not hurting as bad as yesterday after my CT Scan. I really thought that pull that the tech gave me would put me down for a few days, and thank God it didn't. Since I am not in much pain I will be able to take my son to his physical therapy today since I have my husband's van.

I hope everyone has a great day.

shg 09-25-2003 09:23 AM


Good afternoon, I hope you're well, sounds like you are. Where in NY are you? I live in the City. SO why am I here late today? You won't believe it...I DID IT TODAY!!! I woke-up at 5:30 this morning, showered, got a suit on (it fit over my brace, I was in as good shape as I could’ve been prior to my operation, 6’2 and 200lbs and I must’ve lost 10lbs since) and I WENT TO WORK BY 7. People were shocked and welcomed me with the greatest of receptions. In fact, I wanted to leave by about 9:3/10 a.m. and people wouldn’t let me b/c I was standing straight, I had energy, etc. It was so amazing and it gave me more reasons to want to push myself. I have been working from home since last Tuesday, 2 weeks post-op and I went in today, 23 days post-op…this is all mind over body. Before my operation I told people I have goals for 1-day, 1 week, 2, 3, 4, 2 months, 3, 4, etc and I have kept most of them. People thought I was crazy for wanting to go back to work by 3 weeks…not in a bad way, they were always supportive but they said, it may be a bad idea. Anyway, it was a goal and goals are so important…well, I did it, now onto the next one.

For everyone else, Magnet, Tomorrow, etc…when things look tough, take that adversity and make it work for you. Take one day, one pain and one bad thought at a time and make it a positive. If that fails, come here and find me or anyone of us and vent…but if you do that, MAKE ME, YOURSELF AND ALL OF US ONE PROMISE, that after you do so, you’ll give yourself a little kick and put those thoughts aside and try as hard as you can to be positive…it does work…even if for just 5 minutes. We ALL know what the pain is like. We all know about the depression, the fear, the fact that people who care about us don’t understand. We know what you all feel but trust me, we have to be positive.


magnetlady45 09-25-2003 10:56 AM

Hi Tomorrow:

It is such a nice day today. I had some pain this morning but am feeling pretty good right now. I really am a walking barometer. I noticed that I am walking a little faster than before, also when I do extra housework it makes me hurt but if I rest after awhile the pain goes away. I assume it is muscles not used to the extra work. I went to the gynocologist yesterday and he agrees with me about not having surgery right now especially since I just had the spine fusion. He has increased the dosage of the birth control pill I was taking for the tumors. Hopefully that will help settle that area of my life. I will be 48 Nov. 3 and when menopause finally does kick in the tumors should shrink.


magnetlady45 09-25-2003 11:08 AM


Congratulations to you! I wish I was as fortunate as you. You did your research and everything seems to be working out for you. I have a question though. Was this your first back surgery?

This was my third and to treat the same area a third time. The nerve in my left leg and buttock was pinched not just one year but many years and it will take time to heal. My back has been opened up in the same place 3 times now and that means the muscles and all have been worked on 3 times. I wish it was just mind over matter. Believe me when I say that I am a strong willed person too but there is only so much I can do right now. I am going to Hershey, Pa for the world's biggest car show/swap meet. That lasts 3 days and it will be about an 8 hr drive to get there. Lots of walking each and every day. When we come back home I plan on going back to work. I hope all this does happen. I have tried to push myself by doing more in the last few weeks but I paid for it too. Now I am learning to take it one step at a time. Saturday I plan on helping the historical society of which my husband is president , to make popcorn to sell here in town. So as I said one step at a time. Work a little, rest a little.


shg 09-25-2003 11:27 AM


Good things will come, remember that. As for your question, this was not my first operation. I had a laminectomy/discectomy on 2 levels in 1996, 2001 and Feb of this year. Therefore, I have had 4 major surgeries with respect to this one single back issue. That means I had scar tissue, etc to deal with. I have had over 10 MRI's, 1 CT Scan, 6 ESI's and 1 RF neuroablasion. All in all, I've been around the block and while it may seem I'm lucky, and I'm sure I am, I do speak from great experience. That is why I am so passionate and when I say, what I did just before, I speak it from being in your shoes. I know the pain associated with being opened up on the same spot 4 times, I know about the needles, muscle aches and so on. Like you I am stron willed person too and that's what's getting me to where I am. If I didn't think the way I do, I would not be where I am but I'd be wallowing in my misery and I would be acting like a "victim" for lack of a better word.

What I question is this, what is your real pain and issues? You are doing all of these things, going on an insanely long car ride, etc. If you were as bad as you sometimes say and you are no better than before, how could you ever do what you are? The way I see it is, A) the mind over body aspect I speak of or B) you are better but you're afraid to think that way because you're waiting for something else to go wrong. You seem to be moving forward and I'm proud of you for saying, "one day at a time" so what's going on? You seem to be on the road, remember this. If you were in really bad shape, myself and the rest of us would say you're nuts for doing all of this.


magnetlady45 09-25-2003 02:22 PM

Hi Shg:

The last couple of weeks including this one I have gotten a lot better. I have to be or I wouldn't be able to go from a combination of Vicoden Es and 800mg of Ibuprofen 4 times a day prior to surgery to now 2.5 mg of Vicodin a few times a day. I probably could go back to work now even if I am not totally pain free but my husband and work want me to relax and get stronger before I go back. The drive to Hershey won't be that bad. I can lay down during the trip or stop several times along the way. I can afford to be off work a little while longer because I am the ultimate squirrel who puts her acorns away in case something happens.

Yes I have suffered tremendously after this surgery. Yes the physical therapist did goof with me after 6 weeks postop which did set me back with more pain like I had at 2 weeks postop. Yes now I am finally seeing improvement and yes maybe I am nuts for setting a goal to go to Hershey. But you said quite a while ago to set goals so that is what I am doing. When we return I am planning on going back to work and sell lots and lots of vehicles. My attitude is so much better now than it was before. Do I still have tingling and pain in my left leg and buttock? yes but I may have that for the rest of my life to some degree and then again maybe not. As you said life has to go on. Believe me I don't do any bending or twisting or lift too much but I can walk and my husband does the laundry and vacuuming but I have been doing the cooking since week 2 and driving. It seems like my life has been so limited in the last few months. I am trying to be hopeful and happy too.


shg 09-25-2003 02:49 PM


Look at your 1st paragraph. You “could go back but work and your hubby want you to get stronger.” Not only do you have a great support network but when you precede that with you’ve decreased your pain meds, just think about that. What you seem to be experiencing is, “break-through” pains and that’s normal. All in all, are you better than before? To me it sounds like that’s a yes. I’ve said this before, I could say I still have pain but that’s not true, I no longer have a “pain score on a scale of 1-10.” What I have now is, a discomfort score. While discomfort may be annoying, it’s better than PAIN. I still have this discomfort from the graft site and I can take Percocet’s or Vicodin’s if I want to and there are times that I do but all in all, I have taken probably 9 in the past 7 or 8 days. That is far better than the days before or even after the surgery, which was 23 days ago.

To be able to do what your doing and go where your going is huge therefore, don’t worry about the little bumps b/c that’s all they are, BUMPS! Push them aside and move on. You were hurt after a screw-up by a therapist but guess what, your on your way now. Your normal and getting better; leave it at that.

Now, about those goals. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, I’m glad your going and I’m glad you have this goal…my point is simply this, if you were in a bad situation, as bad as you sometimes let us believe, would you really be able to go forth with this goal? I’m proud of you and so is everyone else here. Keep the goals coming.

Finally, you said, “It seems like my life has been so limited in the last few months.” Well, 1. Did you not have huge surgery and know going into it that it will take a while to heal completely? 2. How is your life now vs. before the operation? If no better YET (YET, YET, YET, YET, YET), what have you lost? But again, it will get better. 3. Are you not thinking more positively now and at a point where things are looking up? Start thinking this way and put the other things aside. Again, your on your way, remember that.


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