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fuzzykitten 10-02-2012 11:22 PM

Post op frustration

I've been silently reading everyones posts since just before my Brostrom Gould repair 5 weeks ago. I haven't really got anything useful to add or any questions so haven't posted before now. I still don't really- but I thought I would given my long-suffering husband a break and moan on here instead!

I really have no reason to complain - I have had minimal to no pain since day 1. I am still in a cast so have no idea if it has worked or not but so far have not had any complications. I have an amazing husband who has been doing a great job of looking after me with only the occasional complaint.

Yet despite this I just feel completely frustrated, fed up and miserable. I have some exams at the end of the month and thought I would have this amazing advantage as everyone else is having to work and study. But I seem to be able to concentrate for a maximum of 5 minutes at a time (and I haven't taken any pain killers since day 2 so I can't blame them!). I miss being outdoors and exercising. I miss feeling useful and appreciated. I even miss cleaning the house - not that I ever did much of that anyway!

I know from reading other peoples threads that I don't have it half as bad as most of you and probably just come across as whiney. Sorry if I do! I was just hoping someone out there might be able to relate.

twohands 10-03-2012 12:32 AM

Re: Post op frustration
**Hugs** to you, fuzzykitten!

Dealing with a long recovery can be very frustrating, and I've found people who haven't experienced it before aren't very understanding or supportive, so I'm really glad you're venting on here.

I've had 9 surgeries in just over 4 years (most have been spine surgeries), and just had an ankle surgery. It's healthy for you to reach out to others who have been there and understand just what you're going through and feeling.

I also struggle with not physically being able to do what I used to. I've ended up on SSDI in the process due to my limitations. We all need to feel useful and needed, and I would encourage you to find something you are able to do that fills that void for you, even if it's less than you were able to previously do. A positive outlook goes a very long way!

Regarding inability to concentrate, that's common after having surgeries. Some things that may help this are caffeine, exercise (arm exercises can still get your heart rate up a bit and get your blood flowing), and eating healthy.

Keep in mind that you will recover and be active again soon enough so that you can enjoy the outdoors and other things you are now missing.

Best wishes to you, and keep in touch with your progress!

fuzzykitten 10-03-2012 03:10 PM

Re: Post op frustration
Thank you for your support and advice. I am feeling much more positive today. I think it just helps sometimes to be able to put your feelings out there to people who understand and won't judge. I agree people who haven't experienced anything like this find it hard to understand. It is hard on loved ones to do all the housework, work and then listen to me complain having to do nothing all day!

As you say it is only temporary and I should be back to doing the things I love some day soon. I should be freed from my cast next week - which is exciting but sounds like the beginning rather than the end of the recovery process. I am scared to think how little movement and muscle strength I will have after 6 weeks of being in a cast with very minimal weight bearing!

So sorry to hear you have had such a rough time. I am amazed you can remain so positive after all that! Is there still hope for improvement or are you left with making do with how things are now?

I hope things do get better for you. Once again thanks for your infectious positivity! I hope all goes well for you.

AdkLizard46 10-03-2012 10:08 PM

Re: Post op frustration
I totally understand your frustrations! I've come to realize, both with my own personal experience, and reading about others, that this is a roller coaster. No matter what type of surgery. It also goes through stages. You get the honeymoon phase, when everyone is nice to you and helps you and gets you things. Then, you start to improve on the outside, so people stop helping. You are just independent enough, but not quite. That for me is when the real frustration set in. I was bedridden, only allowed up for 10 mins a day for about 6 weeks. I watched a lot of bad bad TV. I wanted to read, I wanted to work on my language program (I got Rosetta Stone last Christmas, but never had the chance to practice). I haven't done either. I can't concentrate for very long.


Just know, that without even realizing it, you take a few steps forward (pun only mostly intended). I was allowed to have my foot down, and then I was recently given clearance to drive. Today I went on my first solo adventure with my new knee walker. I got a hair cut! But, now i'm paying for it with a super sore quad from the aforementioned knee walker. But I'll take it, because I was out and about.

I'm still a long way from walking on two feet again, probably another 4-6 weeks, at least. But, i know I'm further along than when this happened. I was blindsided by the injury, and it's changed my life. I can't really say for the better, at least not yet. But am I different? For sure. I just need time to sort everything out.

Sorry for going off on my own tangent there, with a little bit of projection. I think I attempted helpful, and at midnight went a little off target.

Moral of the story: Frustration is normal. It will get better.

twohands 10-03-2012 10:15 PM

Re: Post op frustration
Thanks for your concern, fuzzykitten!

After all my spine surgeries, my latest lumbar MRI shows I have a lot of scar tissue in my spinal column area plus scar tissue encasing nerve roots. The result is I have chronic sciatica down my left leg. I've already had some of the scar tissue cut out and it has just grown back. It's been suggested that I consider a pain pump or spinal cord stimulator, but I'm not ready for that step yet mentally. I guess I have to be thankful that my ankle problems are also located on the left side.

I'm viewing my ankle problem as a very unwelcome nuisance at this point, and really hope I don't have the same problems with complications with my ankle as I have had with my back.

In any case, I've found that being in pain and having physical limitations doesn't mean life has ended by any means. It means that there are wonderful opportunities in life to yet discover!

Hollywood48 10-03-2012 11:09 PM

Re: Post op frustration
Hey! I can totally relate to how you are feeling! I, too, had a great surgery, minimal pain (on pain meds, I did have to take them longer than you did, but not nearly as long as others), had a husband who worked like a dog to take care of me and our pets with no complaints and as a homemaker didn't have to worry about a job. I had the honeymoon phase after the initial home and over anesthesia phase. You know the, this is awesome to lay around, watch TV, sleep late and the medication stupor. Um, that gets old FAST. That wears off and then you realize you have to do this for 6 wks and can't so much as hardly get your own food without a knee scooter, another person, or a grocery bag to put it all in to get it to the couch. I totally get it! And this was my 2nd surgery and 11 years ago after my first one, it did NOT go this well as I wasn't married, had a full time job I had to worry about, had complications, etc.

I'm glad you get your cast off next week! Once that happens it moves fast! Hang in there and vent vent vent to us!!! WE GET IT!!! *hugs*

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