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  • Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

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    Old 11-21-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
    Susiebird
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    Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    I'm coming up on my anniversary from a PLIF with extensive laminectomy, rods, screws and cages to replace the disc at L5-S1. I'm doing fairly well but still disappointed that I'm not 100%; I knew going into it that it was going to take time. My job was on a manufacturing production line working 12 hour swing shifts...constant tugging, pushing, bending, climbing, twisting and lifting; often 65-70 (or more) pounds. I used to be a tomboy and preferred this type of work to sitting behind a desk, but at 48 years old I'm ready to slow down.

    My daily drug regimen is 2-25 mg. amitriptylene and 3 x 300 mg gabapentin (neurontin), plus feldene (an a/i) that doesn't seem to help at all. The amitriptylene (elavil) is my wonder drug as it helps with the numbness in my feet - it's an anti-depressant, a sleep aid and most importantly, for nerve pain control (it ups your pain threshold level). And taking the edge off stressful situations is a definite bonus!

    My DB plan allowed me to stay home until after 6 months post-op - I got to work at a temporary light duty job 4 hour days for 3 months, but since I'm not returning to my physical labor job, I need to find another job in-plant or will be terminated in June. Sitting at a desk is terrible for my toes (15 minutes and they feel like they're immersed in a bucket of cold water). Walking REALLY helps that; as soon as I get moving, the sensation turns nice and toasty. I got to walk a lot the last month of my job there, but ran into another problem....a stabbing pain in my left hip, which I suspect is SI joint related, from walking in a huge plant on concrete. Then there is the infamous "tailbone inflammation" that seems all too common in fusion patients. Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair seems to help. I see the surgeon in a few weeks and will ask for a different a/i.

    I walk at least 5 miles each day; my surgeon doesn't believe in PT just "walk walk walk" therapy. I started a couch-to-5k running plan at the 7 month mark, took it slower than I needed and built up some mileage (ok, 2 miles may not seem like much to some, but to me it was HUGE). Now I'm dealing with a dislocated/broken shoulder but that's finally on the mend after 3 months. Hope by next spring I'm healed up and ready to train for the triathlon. Again.

    I've been taking classes in medical records coding for the last 4 years, and next week start an unpaid internship at a local hospital. Hopefully it will turn into a paid position that I can do from the comfort of my living room. Yup, my dream job is working in my jammies and slippers, everyday a shower-optional day, sipping my coffee and taking a spin around the block on my bike during my break. (plus a big stick to take out wayward dogs who get in my way!!)

    Last year at this time, I couldn't wait for surgery to fix my spondy and get me back to my previously active lifestyle. Chances are slim that I'll ever win a triathlon or a 5 K; heck I'll just be glad to FINISH. I've had to adjust my attitude a ton in the last year; but I'm NOT letting anyone tell me I [I]can't[/I] do this or that..I'll let pain be my guide and will be a whole lot smarter about the intensity.

     
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    Old 11-22-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
    mamakitkat
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    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    Hi,
    WOW sounds like your in the right direction, I can't imagine walking that far everyday. I can walk like maybe a mile in like 50 minutes, far cry from your triathalon. Good for you, having the determintation is half the battle. Don't ever give up your dreams, they can come true if you try hard enough. I know I woudl not be where I'm at if I gave in to what many others have said. I know I"m not back to normal but do way more than my doc had expected me to be able to do at this point.

    You keep up the great job! I'm rooting for ya!

    God Bless

    Carol
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    Old 11-22-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
    babs17
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    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    You should be proud of your accomplishments!
    be well
    babs

     
    Old 02-02-2007, 07:24 AM   #4
    confusedpatient
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    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    Hey Susie! Wanted to bump this back to the top just to say hi & let you know what's going on. Glad to hear your recovery is going well. I finally got fed up with the tailbone pain & went to a doc associated with the Cleveland Clinic. He's a sports med doc & seemed confident that my problem is piriformis syndrome. The leftover nerve pain after surgery is nothing compared to this. He also suggested sitting on an excercise ball instead of a chair. Anyhow he injected the piriformis which seemed to help a little. He suggested excercising with the yoga ball & absolutely no stretching at this point. This is killing me because everything on my back side feels tight. I go back next week. He also sees some fibromyalgia, not what I wanted to hear. My cocktail these days consists of 3-4 percocet, 3-4 75 mg lyrica, and an occsional Ibuprofen. I messed up my system really bad with the indocin. Had to have a colonoscopy because of it. That seems to have cleared up though. Do you know how Oakie is doing? It's good to see your attitude is so positive. I had an attitude adjustment for the new year!

    Carol

     
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