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    Old 12-08-2005, 08:21 AM   #31
    okie46
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Mary are you still out there? How have your muscle spasms been lately, you helped me so much when I got scared of that knot, so wonder about you. I go to surgeon tomorrow, hope he lets me out of this brace for some anyway. Let us hear from you.


    Okie46

     
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    Old 12-09-2005, 05:46 AM   #32
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good Morning,
    Well I cut my neurontin in half yesterday, which made it 400mg and it still put me to bed, so will ask Surgeon today to refill the 300mg. Hope he clears me to get brace off for awhile anyway. Looks cold back your way Susiebird. Hope for a good Dr appt today, talk to you tomorrow.......Have a good day all.

    Okie46

     
    Old 12-09-2005, 07:19 AM   #33
    Susiebird
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good morning...6 inches of snow here. i walked to the mailbox after hubby plowed - the fresh air felt wonderful. Went to the grocery store yesterday and a lady who had the same surgery 2 years ago was amazed at how well I am getting around already. I go for a follow-up visit on Monday - these stitches are driving me crazy so hopefully they're ready to come out. I've been trying to back off on my pain meds (Lortab) but not making out that well with it. Got a 3 hour stretch of sleep in last night (took tylenol PM) which felt great, but the longer I lay the achier I get. Good luck with your appt. today...

     
    Old 12-09-2005, 09:59 PM   #34
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    Exclamation Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    [QUOTE=Katinthebag81]Hi everyone,

    Is it OK if I join the thread? I'm kinda new on board and am having L4-S1 fusion on 12/22. I'm starting to get nervous about the whole thing. Have to go get brace fitting on 12/8. I still waver between having surgery & cancelling it.

    How long were some of you in hospital? I worry about getting sent home too soon, but would like to be home by Christmas. You all have answered a bunch of my questions so far. One thing i'm puzzled by though, my surgeon has stressed to me that this is "major" surgery and take about 4-6 months recovery. Is it really THAT bad? I see posts where people are going back to work at 4 & 6 weeks. I had a microdiskectomy in 1988 and was out 5 weeks.

    Thanks everyone, You are all in my prayers for speedy recoveries.

    Kat [/QUOTE]

     
    Old 12-09-2005, 10:17 PM   #35
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    katinthebag...yes it will be 4-6 months recovery ..if you want to be extra safe dont work till after 6 months at least ...if bending and moving around and lifting then 1 full year if you want fused area to not effect other discs...im 4 weeks post fusion L4/5 cages in from the front and he put clamps in my backside for stability ...was on ortho and wanted a neuro but this ortho was a spine specialist ,and did spine fellowship...always wear brace everywhere when outta bed , or when showering ..thats a must !! it can be hard to get dressed so get tools like a armbar that has a claw at end to grab ..for pulling up pants,shorts,etc..even for picking up stuff off floor,,,cleaning etc,......never ,and naver bend to floor to get anything no matter what ...i can feel metal clamps in back very easily and its gross but had to have it ...always listen to a spine specialist he knows whats good and bad... my pain after 4 weeks on fusion is getting better finaly .at first i thought it was a failure..i had lots of shifting pains ,i never had before surgery ... like extreme sciatica pain in left leg that made me cry like a baby...and groin pain too...bit my main back pain and hip pain was instantly gone in 3 days after surgery ...in hosp 4-5 days ...on 2nd day they make you wqalk already ...that was brutally painful ... been slowly decreasing narcotics ,but had to add nerve pain meds try lyrica ..if sciatica occurs ..it worked wonders and got me off my oxycontin ...good luck and take all advise and do what dr says ...dont bend or lift more than a gallon of milk for 2 months ....i have not started pt yet ..dr says after fusion begins in 3 months then will add pt ..again good luck

     
    Old 12-10-2005, 04:13 AM   #36
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good Morning All,.
    Got to get rid of brace yesterday...Yea! I felt like a baby taking new steps , I was so afraid something would mess all up, I'm better at it today. I feel like I'm on my way, although, he thinks it was a good idea not to work at least another 4 months, that will be a total of 11 months off work for me, I haven't been off work that long since I was 15, that's 45 years, very hard for me, I love my job. I know I couldn't work though, it takes a lot of bending in my job, so I will heal first. Susiebird, I'm still on pain meds, but less now with the neurotin, I do need that for awhile. Keep your snow girl, I'll keep my 70 degree's although was a little cooler yesterday. Kat, we're thinking of you. Talk to you tomorrow. Keep on healing Susiebird.

    Okie46

     
    Old 12-10-2005, 06:49 AM   #37
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    Wink Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    I am so happy for you. It sounds like you are on the way to a full recovery. (It is very wierd to walk at first, w/o the brace, isn't it?. I felt like everything was going to fall apart )

    I have a question for you. What pain med are you taking? I was taking Ultram, which worked, but when they put me on Neurontin, for the nerve pain...they said that it cant be taken w/ Ultram. It can cause seizures. So, I have been having to pick 1 or the other. I usually just take the Neurontin and suffer through the back pain.

    Keep up the good work.

    Lorie
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    Old 12-10-2005, 07:01 AM   #38
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Hi Lorie,
    I'm still taking percocet,BUT, they did have me on Avinza(time release morphene) and I took myself off that, so now I'm taking 400mg(800mg cut in half)NEUROTIN,Ialso had them give me smaller dose of percocet,was on 7.5, now 325mg. The last few days I've been fine on those meds. Yes, I put my brace on this morning to get dirty clothes out of hamper, so scared of messing something up. When was your surgery Lorie, when I think mine was only 7 weeks ago, I feel I'M doing great.
    Susiebird, forgot to ask, did you go to the store without your walker? If so you really are doing great . I remember those up every 3 to 4 hours at night, but seems like about the 5 week time I suddenly slept without even any help(ambien for me), so soon you should be sleeping good.
    Have a great day everyone, be thinking of you all !!!!!!!!!

    Okie46

     
    Old 12-10-2005, 03:53 PM   #39
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry I went MIA for a couple of days, but having some high pain days & couldn't sit very long to post.

    [B]Joekoe[/B], thanks for your reply. sounds like you are doing well. I hope that I don't develop any sciatic pain after surgery. Since I haven't worked since July 1, the sciatic pain has settled down considerably. My surgeon has me out of work until the first part of April, but says to expect longer. I do factory assembly work and it's pretty much standing all day, so I don't really think I will go back to that. Either gonna go to school & update office skills, or work part time somewhere. You take care, let us know how you're doing.

    [B]Okie & Lorie[/B], thanks for asking about me. I'm still playing the head games about surgery, but today I went for pre admission testing - I was supposed to go last Thurs, but we had snowstorm & bad roads so I didn't feel up to a stressful 30 - 40 mile drive, so rescheduled tests. Got to go back Tues for brace fitting. I'm glad to hear you are both doing so well. I can only hope its the same for me. It's starting to feel real, less than 2 weeks to go. It will stink being in hospital for Christmas, but I'd rather stay a few days and not come home to early... Family can bring Christmas to me, then when I've had enough, I can send them home.

    Ok, I'm off now, looking forward to more of your posts.

    Hugs,
    Kat

     
    Old 12-11-2005, 06:16 AM   #40
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good morning....
    Having a good weekend; the bandages and stitches are driving me nuts more than anything. Go for a followup tomorrow with the ortho. Kat, I have posterior incisions only - one midline about 10 inches, and 2 shorter ones on either side where they took the disc out - sounds like it's less painful than the anterior/posterior that many have gotten...I went in Monday and came home Thursday; I had fusion/decompression/disc removed cages inserted and expected to be in til Friday; however I was doing so well getting around they sprung me a day early - I was able to walk the 6 weeks before surgery (1-2 miles a day most days) and I believe that's why I'm doing so well now...My doc has me out of work for one year - I work as a mechanic/techinician in a factory and the work gets quite physical - and due to my age (48 next week) I'm not sure I'll be going back to that - probably go back to school to upgrade some skills unless my employer offers me a desk job (which I really don't want to do, but may not have a choice). Okie, no I didn't use my walker at the grocery store, that was 10 days post-op. I haven't used it since last Tuesday. Congrats on getting rid of the brace; mine rubs on my stitches and causes all kinds of aggravation. The ortho is a 90 minute ride so I know I'll be sore from that. Still wading through snow to get to the mailbox.. Joekoe did you say you shower with your brace?
    I don't but I had a shower chair to use; hope I didn't misunderstand my doctor's orders about that. Take care all...

     
    Old 12-11-2005, 06:52 AM   #41
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good Morning to All,
    It's much better today without brace, they said it would take muscle awhile to build up so take it easy. I to probably won't go back to work too soon, we'll see how I feel in April. KAT, I too played the mind games but glad I went ahead with surgery, I had anterior and posterior incisions, posterior never bothered me at all, only anterior but that was because of brace, what a difference it makes now with it off. SUSIEBIRD, You are REALLY bouncing back, I thought I was doing great but you are surpassing me and just so you know, I asked my Dr. and no brace in bed or shower as long as you had a chair or equal, mine has a place to sit, but didn't even use it too much after 14th day, just was very careful and learned how to shower standing very still with very little movement.
    I can't walk as far without my brace I found out yesterday, so will have to build up muscle to walk farther, hope today is nice so I can try. I'm sleeping so much better now, I feel like I can do anything, but have to rein myself in alot.
    Have a super day everyone, hope it is a good one for all of you, talk to you tomorrow.

    Okie46

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 12:48 AM   #42
    Susiebird
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    I got my stitches out (what a relief but the spots where the tape was itch like crazy) and the ortho told me to GET WALKING. He says no PT, just walk a lot (3-4 miles a day). It's in the teens so did 3/4 mile on the treadmill Monday PM; iced it down immediately after. I'm getting twinges on the toes of my left foot (worse while on the treadmill) so sounds like the nerves are starting to wake up. A lot of my pain before surgery was muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder/arm; it's been constant since June and has been causing me more misery than the lower back pain - I couldn't sit up for 5 minutes without severe pain and forget about doing anything that required upper arm strength - everything went into spasm within 24 hours - that pain was attributed to DDD in my neck; however I haven't had so much as a twinge since waking up from surgery. The ortho said most likely the paraspinus muscle that runs the full length of the back had been trying to keep everything in balance and was in constant spasm. I think my GP (and work) thought I was milking it so I am glad to have an explanation. Take care all and have a good day!

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 03:17 AM   #43
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Good Morning,
    Glad you are OK Susiebird I had a pretty good day yesterday, it was beautiful here in the desert, about 70, so nice for walking, I did get further without brace, but not as far as with brace, still starts to cramp and have to come home, not bad though. Yesterday was first day I never went to lay down all day, stayed up and busy, not heavy anything, errands(still with Hubby driving), just little things and before I knew it I was POOPED so went to bed about 8pm, and woke up at 3:30am with horrible cramp in rt calf so have been up walking it off. Maybe I better rest more today, but still walk. I'm not sure I can walk 2 mile yet ,SUSIEBIRD, but will work up to it, if my weather holds out. I think maybe after a few weeks all these muscles start to relocate in right places and let us know it. Have a good day all. Tomorrow ;

    Okie46

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 08:56 AM   #44
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Hi all, thought it might be fun to jump in on your thread as I'm almost 9 weeks post-op from L4/L5 posterior fusion. Just got the call that I'm fusing & doc is pleased. I wanted to share some good news. It is well-earned as I ended back in the hospital after 1 week with a spinal fluid leak. I looked like I had an Idaho potato stuck to my back and the migraines were much worse than any surgery pain! I can tell you this is a huge relief! I've been doing PT since about 6 weeks. Some days are tough, nerves get irritated & then I have to take it easy. But overall, I'm happy with my progress. Will keep checking in.

    Carol W.

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 11:12 AM   #45
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    Re: 4 weeks;fusion..very happy..ALMOST SCARE

    Hi all,

    Glad to hear everyone is doing so well. Nice to meet you, Carol.

    Okie - did you have to sleep in your brace? My doc says I have to have it on when I'm up, don't need to wear it in bed. I got it today - I did not realize they are so tight!!! Better than a "push-up bra" Gonna get used to it before surgery. Only 9 days to go...still planning on going thru with it.

    We found out today that my daughter (I live with her) will be laid off from work for about the next 1 1/2 months. That couldn't have worked out any better, now I don't have to worry about being on my own for most of the day. Plus she will be here to take care of the dogs - which was a big stress point for me. (long story)

    Everyone have a great day, unless that was not your plan!!!

    Hugs,
    Kat

     
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