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    Old 02-10-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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    Talking 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Hello All my Spiney Friends,
    Well today was the visit I have been waiting for since November 08 post op of my 2 level plif. Xrays taken and Dr came in and you know I was ready for him if you have read any of my previous posts. He looked at the Xrays in front of me and smiled and said your fusion looks BEAUTIFUL...your back is as straight as an arrow and I could not be more pleased. If I could tell you how those words sounded to me it would rather be a feeling like warm honey running down my back so WONDERFUL. I asked him if it was normal since I do feel So So much better since the surgery but NOT pain free that I was still taking meds. A question I struggle with since the beginning of this pain adventure nearly 3 years going now. His answer was as straight as can be and said "of course its normal" You might have pain better and worse for the next 3 months dont worry about that...He wrote me a prescription for 90 norco and 2 refills and told me to call the office if I needed anything else. Folks that have true pain should not worry about addiction as long as they are following a doctors instructions...I asked about restrictions and he said...NONE...qualifying that with.." Please go dont have to wear the brace anymore unless it feels more comfortable when you are can do anything but Lena Please be intelligent about this GO SLOW. that means listening carefully to what your back is telling you and dont push it". I asked him if I have "arrived"...meaning that what ever pain I am feeling is just what is for me...he said oh hell no! You will be strengthening that fusion for a full six months to a year. And you have a ways to go to feel better and better but how it looks right now you will be able to do most anything in the future within reason. I asked him what reason meant...he smiled knowing Im a gardener and said...probably turning over Michigan clay in a 60 foot garden is no longer for you...hire someone ....everyone here is out of work get a young person, they would be happy to help you and have the job. He also asked if I wanted PT. I had gone to 12 weeks of PT following my first surgery...laminectomy and tumor removal L4 and L5 and just felt worse and worse following...he told me it was up to me. I asked him if it would help the fusion and surprisingly he said no..indirectly it will strengthen your core muscles and massage and heat always feel great for anyone..but having any direct positive effect on the fusion not really. He said then..I will leave it to you Lena..if in a while you want the office and I will write the script...for me I have insurance but have to satisfy a 1500 deductible and at 128 a visit I will do my abdominal squeezes here at home for the present. Then the question that I have been burning to ask him since the start on why I did not get to see him at 6 weeks instead of the surgical nurse and he 6 weeks most, certainly not all but most fusion patients are still in significant pain and other than pain meds there is ABSOLUTELY nothing anyone can do for that accept take the time to heal. I smiled and said I thought that might be your answer because at 6 weeks post op I have to tell you folks I was questioning why on earth I had this done..I was certainly in a heck of a lot of pain...not able to do much at all and if anyone told me I would be feeling THIS much better in 6 more weeks I swear my depression at that time would not let me believe it.
    Where am I now as far as recovery? I still have pain but it is NO WHERE NEAR post op..I feel better..and I can say actually I feel better now than I did pre op but only the last week or so. I still take pain meds..but much lower strength and less frequently...and..still there are days that are up and down..the DR said this is 100% normal..not a straight upward line but ups and downs but steady but slow better...I could not have said it better myself.
    would I do the fusion again knowing what I know now at this point? Absolutely positively Yes...however...I wish someone had warned me that post fusion recovery would be hell for a long time.. but the end result is a definate positive, no one really tells you how hard it is following I wish they had with me..I would not have felt so utterly nutz as I certainly this is a positive fusion surgery story all in all with honesty...I would recommend that anyone do EVERYTHING ELSE first..but when and if that fails...for me..this was and is the fix..I am happy I did it and even more happy for the folks here who have hugged me and held my hand albeit cyber ly as I went thru this trying time...Thank you is not a big enough word...I appreciate you all and hope you all post your recovery stories as I read every day
    thank you All for your kind support

    Last edited by NLena; 02-10-2009 at 12:32 AM.

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    Old 02-10-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    I am so excited for you!!!!!!! I bet you are going to be okay!! KEEP MOVING!!! Go Slow but keep it going and you will chase that nasty scar tissue away! I slowed down after a year and a half and guess what? Beautifully fused (the doc did his part!) but full of scar tissue. I should have kept up the walking!
    Keep us posted!!!
    Thanks for giving the newbies some hope!!
    P.S...I am jealous too! They don't do refills on Norco where I live-(I have to go in every month!)

    Old 02-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    I am so sorry to hear about the scar tissue. May I ask when you realized in your recovery that it was happening?...Is there something that has been suggested that you can do for it now? and how does it manifest for you? Also how far post op from your fusion...sorry I am full of questions here and thank you for your support! It helps so much from someone who has "been there"

    Old 02-10-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Hi Lena,
    So glad to hear that you are doing well and had such a good visit with your doctor. You have answered some questions for me in my recovery process. I had my posterior laminectomy with a bone onlay fusion at L4-L5 on November 12th and just took my brace off this past weekend. I had looked forward to that so much as that brace was driving me crazy!! Then when time came to take it off I was terrified I would forget and bend over. Funny, though, I bought a Lottery ticket at the grocery store today and the machine spit it out and it floated to the floor. I guess the brace has me trained correctly as I didn't dive for it!! (Ha!). Just stood there patiently and waited on my husband to come over and retrieve it for me. I still wear the brace when I'm driving as I am afraid of being rear ended (California drivers!!).

    I, too, still have quite a bit of discomfort with activity and find that by 2 pm my muscles are exhausted and I need to lay on a heat pad for a bit. Also still taking pain meds in the evening although much less on the dosage. I was concerned about that but glad to hear that your guy thinks that is par for the course. I see my NS in mid- March when I have a flexion/extension xray so will see how my fusion is going. The first xray he did at 6 weeks looked "normal". I haven't done much in the flexion/extension department so will need to work on that slowly between now and then. My doc wasn't real pushy about the PT thing either. He seemed to feel that walking was the absolute best thing I could be doing right now and said he would leave it up to me about PT at 4 months. I've had some bad experiences with PT in the past so think I'll just do the gentle stuff at home.

    Again, glad to hear you feeling so well and upbeat. Keep up the good work!!

    Old 02-10-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Lena, I am soooo thrilled for you!!! What fantastic news! I know that feeling so well. I was only 6 weeks along when I had x-rays and my doctor came in with the hugest grin, ear to ear, just absolutely beaming as he showed me where we could already see bone growth. I was on cloud nine that day!!!

    Like Michelle said, keep up the walking. I know you will. You still need to be careful, but you'll gradually get back into life now, as your body lets you. Remember you're only 3 months out from surgery, though. You really do still have a lot of healing to do. But how wonderful that you're feeling so much better!

    If you start to have pain along/under your incisions, that's probably scar tissue and can be broken up by a good therapist. If it's not deep, you can even break it up yourself.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. Are you folks who are waiting for surgery reading? Yet another positive fusion story!

    Keep in touch!

    Old 02-11-2009, 05:48 AM   #6
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Aw {{{{{NLena}}}}} another cyber hug! It is great to read your post as I am very happy for you. I am so glad you are feeling much better. My doc didnot push PT after surgery neither which was ok with me. It did nothing for me. I can go to the gym and exercise the same as what PT was doing for me.And of course walk. It was also good to read about the pain med question. I am very scared of becoming dependent on drugs. That is the main reason I chose to have my fusion. It was either stay somewhat out of pain on medication or surgery. I am 2 months out from my fusion and just take pain meds in the morning and sometimes at night. If I am having a bad day, I occasionally have to take B/T med. But I am finding that to not be often. I, like you, am so glad I made the decision to bite the bullet You hear so much about failed back fusion surgeries that it makes a person leery. Actually, I have heard more negative input than positive on back surgery. I feel lucky to not be in the negative group And I am happy for you too Hopefully this will help people that are trying to decide about the surgery You continue to take care and keep in touch....


    Old 02-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Dear Lena,

    What wonderful news! Your words are truly inspiring. I've just had my six week post-op visit and the news was great - the x-rays show signs of fusion! Like you were at six weeks, I am still in a lot of pain every day. Bed rest and frequent small walks define my days. This is alright, though, because I'm healing all the while AND the pain I had pre-op is gone. Thank you so much for your most recent update - it really is great news that you are feeling so much better and that your surgery was clearly a success!

    Yours in fusion,


    Old 02-12-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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    Re: 12 weeks post op dr visit 2 level fusion plif

    Thats great news!....Im waiting to hear the same some day soon! Im glad your doing so good!


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