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LIVING4HIM_INWI's Photo LIVING4HIM_INWI SparkPoints: (0)
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5/8/13 3:24 P

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That skin pain thing doesn't sound good at all, please get that checked into. After a bad car accident, my knees were very banged up, the doctor called them dashboard knees. Nothing could touch those knees, I couldn't wear normal jeans/slacks, I had to wear something above the knee or it had to be very lightweight and loose/baggy. If anything touched the knee it was so painful. Thankfully after time that got better so I could wear normal clothing but for several years I had to be careful not to bump the knees at all. That happened in 2001, I've healed pretty well and now it takes a really hard bump but it still hurts more than it would have without the car accident. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I hope they find out what is causing it and can fix it for you. Take Care!

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
5/5/13 6:48 P

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I don't know if we are talking the same things, but I spent the last thirty years not being able to have sheets touch my legs. That finally stopped after jan 2012 surgery. I also do get weird sensations that require me to get pants off my legs and take a valium. I call it the weebie jeebies.

Also, when on Fentanyl patches, my body would just get very hot and itchy out of nowhere, so perhaps you have a medicine contributing to your issues as well.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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LUNADRAGON's Photo LUNADRAGON Posts: 2,427
5/5/13 5:04 P

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Sorry I haven't hopped back in with answers since my first (last) one. March I lost a pound, then in April had allergy and back pain issues. My cervical spine and my lumbar spine started spazing and it was kind of crazy.

RE: past questions I may have missed. Two surgeries - both in 2011 one for cervical spine c-5-6, c6-7 discectemy and fusion. Other than not turning my head to the left well, I am happy about it, because it did relieve most of my problems. Left arm pain and numbness gone, but not the right - as now I have ulnar neuritis (spelling) cubital tunnel syndrome causing right hand numbness. Lumbar L5 - interbody discectemy and fusion - developed left sided sciatica afterwards, though a good deal of the right sided discomfort was better, though my foot is recently beginning to act up again. I get spasms that keep me from exercise. (also had right knee arthroscopy at the same time due to the accident - the nerve seems to go right through that area too, and so the right knee is extremely weak).

Exercise - when I can - even the PT exercise I was given causes me extreme pain at times, and that totally frustrates me. So walking, but that is limited too. I do retail therapy - pushing a carriage and walking - I seem to be able to last longer, but I spend too much emoticon
I have a recumbent bike, and wii fit - but if I am in pain, they remain silent.

Yes, I learned the log roll. Still do it most of the time, but still have to grab hold of the bed headboard to finish rolling out if I am having spasms (most of the time).

Travel - I so want to do more, I travel 1/2 hour to, and 1/2 hour from work 3 days per week. The hour going to the next state one way is rough on me and I suffer. I haven't tried anything longer yet. It annoys me.

MY QUESTION: Does anyone get nerve pain that seems to affect you all over? Skin, arms, legs. I get to where I have to have something cool, smooth, soft on my skin, and it can't be tight. Sometimes My arms and skin all over feel like I have a headache all over my body. I figure it is the nerve endings, but was wondering.

Deborah

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." -Lance Armstrong
~~~~~~~~~
"One tiny little thing can spark an idea. Inspiration can come from anywhere." from a magazine.


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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/29/13 7:51 P

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I appreciate the effort you put into this, Kimberly, and I think it gave us a chance to interact and share our experiences. Thank you! emoticon

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/29/13 7:40 P

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I have run out of questions, so if others have general questions related to the surgeries, results before or after, feel free to post.

DAISY, can I make a suggestion that you keep it sticky for a few weeks and if nobody chooses to create anymore topics then you unsticky it. Sorry but it has quickly lost it's initial reaction which was still just the tried and true of the group.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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4/25/13 4:22 P

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Funny you should say that about the piano. When my doctor gave me the dos and don'ts after my first back surgery 40 years ago, he told me I should never water ski. I never had and, since I am not a good swimmer and don't like getting my eyes wet, never intended to water ski the thing about the piano was immediately what I thought of. He also told me never to wear high heels (which I did anyway), never to vacuum (same) and a few other things.

I think now the main thing is that I feel like I have to constantly be aware of the things that may bother my back and decide if it is worth taking the chance that it might have bad after effects. Right now, I would like to hunt morel mushrooms, but probably would slow down whoever I go with and have to stop before they are ready, so I won't! Also, hiking through rough terrain probably not a good idea!

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/23/13 12:15 A

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For me it would be to run. I had become a fitness enthusiast starting in 2006 and I enjoy sweating. But time wise what takes 20 minutes running takes 2 1/2 hours walking. So had I never needed surgery, I could see me running 5k's ,the beach and who knows even a marathon.

I was athletic in gymnastics as a kid 5-12, but I was already to tall at five standing five feet tall. I just wasn't born with a gymnasts body.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/23/13 12:11 A

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Question for week of April 22, 2013


Is there something that you really wish you could do if it weren't for your injury. And hey the old joke, "Doc, can I play the piano after surgery? The doc replies sure. And the patient says Woohoo, I could never play before!" Doesn't count. It has to be something you really felt to. Be attainable if you had never needed surgery.


Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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4/17/13 10:54 P

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I think we have all struggled with those feelings at one point or maybe at many points in our lives. And it can happen without anything major happening such as a surgery. Although a major event such as a surgery or car accident can add to it because there are so many people that just don't know how relate, they cannot show or share compassion or listen to a person talk about what they are going through. It is frustrating. But somehow we all have to find our inner determination that tells us that we are worthy of living life, going out into public places and doing normal things. I realize that this is harder for you because you can't do everything that a normal person can do. I feel for you and wish that there could be a way to help you. We are definitely able to listen, any time that you want to share here or by private message, I'm sure that all of us here can be compassionate. Just don't ever back down from people and feel like you don't belong because we do all feel that way from time to time. You have to reach out to someone somewhere. The more that you do this, the easier it gets. We are one support group for you but I'm sure that there are many others too. I am sure that there are facebook groups too for spinal fusions or back pain. There are people that can understand because they have gone through it or are going through it. I also find that my belief in Jesus Christ and the ability to pray has helped me immensely. I wish you the best and will keep praying for you! *Hugs*

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4/17/13 2:29 P

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I am fortunate that my family is very accepting of my limitations since surgery. My children were young when I had my first back surgery, so that is just a part of me to them! As far as people other than friends and family, it doesn't bother me what they think! I consider myself to be extremely lucky to remain as active as I have after 3 back surgeries.

Beach, I'm hoping that you will be able to gradually get back to doing the things you enjoy! Look how far you've come!

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/16/13 12:17 A

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My prior surgeries, I didn't know anybody but my folks. I missed half a year of high school recovering from surgery every year. In fact, a guy I sat next to in class and would talk in the back of the class, I thought was a good friend and when I returned he had no idea who I was. In college, I lived in the upperclassmen's dorm. There people really knew nothing of my surgery.

In fact until this last surgery, neighbors were always amazed at what I could do. Now most people avoid me. Even my cousin and her partner said when they moved here we would see each other all the time. We never see each other. I have two neighbors who are going out of their way to be nice. I truly appreciate their caring but in my own mind I am not anybody worth being around and seeing all they can do does depress me.

My family does everything now and I just do therapy. Dad is even contemplating what we are going to do when they get too old to drive. I do not drive now do to both meds and the fear of being able to control my legs. So my folks now treat me as a fine doll in a China shop. I learned the hard way a few weeks ago that I can't pretend to be able, it can really do me harm.

So this last surgery has permenantly changed my relationships with friends, family and myself!

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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4/15/13 10:33 P

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People are hard to figure out. A few people were very caring and even years later are still asking how my back is. These were the ones that brought meals to my house, that always asked if they could help, reminding me to be careful, and are amazed at how much I can do. Most people though didn't realize that I had problems before the surgery, really had no clue what I went through with the surgery and recovery, and pretty much treat me like nothing ever happened.

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/15/13 8:07 P

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This weeks question:

Since your surgery do friends and/or family treat you any differently? When you have a day in pain, does that cause any other changes?

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
4/8/13 4:59 P

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You sound like my Dad, daisy. He is one tough guy. He has rheumatoid arthritis and still walks at least 7 miles a day.
Lately, most of my pain is actually from the hernia I had agitated. Nothing seems to help it, so maybe I will try your technique.

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/8/13 3:48 P

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That actually sounds interesting. I wouldn't have thought ofit for the grander pains we experience but I know it has helped like with the beginning of an ingrown nail. If you clear the skin away and put a bandaid on really tight so it acentuates the hurt, it does help. I don't know if I could or would try it for the low back but I see some potential.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/8/13 3:33 P

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OH, well, then! When the pain is at it's very worst and the pain meds don't control, I have found that if I lean into the pain and fully experience it for as long as I can stand it-sounds odd, but put my entire mind to it and let it take over completely, that can provide some short term relief afterwards.
I live alone, so I can whine all I want with only my dog and cat to have to put up with it. That helps!
Otherwise, Just take my mind off any way I can-reading, computer game, sleeping!.

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/8/13 3:27 P

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Daisy and anyone else, the pain needn't be surgery related. You could be having knee pains, arthritis,etc. I am just looking for what you do when you have pain that is bad enough to take you down and out for a few hours to longer.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/8/13 3:23 P

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I play between ice packs,refrig packs and moist heating pads. I never got a direct answer on which to use other than what makes you feel better is what to use Funny, I don't know myself which helps more.
Most of the time it is my center spine low back that I am fighting with the meds to work. Since I already barely sit, I am always reclining. So the worse the pain, the lower my upper back is to the sofa and the higher the pillows under my knees and lowerlegs.I do my best to occupy my mind with games on the iPad. I just spent a lot on stamps hoping to make cards but I just can't handle it. It is hard to do things laying down. Now I just joined Annies knit/chrochet club. You get a project a month with two sets of instructions, one for knitting and one for crochet. It comes with the yarn but you supply needles. I am hoping that maybe I will be able to do this laying down.
For thoracic pain, I can't move my arms much and tv and a TENS unit are the big distractors and they do work.
Neck issues is supporting the neck fully. It doesn't cause extended pain but if I didn't support the neck, it would give me issues.

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 4/8/2013 (15:24)
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4/8/13 1:59 P

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Although I no longer have a lot of pain from the back surgeries, I have found that for the neck pain, wearing a cervical collar at night for a few nights helps a lot!
I do still have numbness and tingling down both legs when I am on my feet for any period of time. The cure for that is to lie down for a while. I, too, use my heating pad and a clever little bag my granddaughter made me for Christmas filled with corn that I heat in the microwave. It works well because it is large enough and flexible enough to fit to the affected area.
I read a lot which helps take my mind off any pain.

When I read back over this, it sounds as though I have NO pain from the surgeries which is not entirely true, but the pain now is manageable with an occasional hydrocodone and the measure I mentioned above.

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
4/8/13 12:41 P

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Good question, I am eager to see some suggestions. Most of my pain lately is muscular, around the surgery site. I either over-do it, or sleep/sit wrong. As simple as it may seem, the old heating pad is my new life-saver. I had been using ice packs since surgery to keep the swelling down. At my last appointment with my pain manager, she recommended that I use heat. (Sitting on the heating pad as I type this)

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4/8/13 12:09 A

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Next question.


When you are having a bad day,pain meds either not available or not helping, what do you do to help?

Please tell what pain you are trying to help and if it is solely positional or are you trying to help by doing something like crosswords, knitting, etc.

I personally am looking for ideas to help me and hopefully each other. emoticon

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/3/13 8:58 P

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For me, I have two sets of answers:

1-After my fiirst six surgeries,I basically had no pt. I was just told tolisten to my body. I did what I wanted after the go ahead of the fusion being complete.I loved kayaking, burned tons of calories and I usually paid for about a week afterwards. But it was totally worth it. That also has to do with gardening. I did Wii EA Sports Active every other day and I did Wii Just Dance. I did those exercises responsibly and I just got in great shape with them.Wii Just dance, I would put on just for fun.

2- Surgery in Jan 2012. Life isso different now. I spent ten days in hospital and two weeks at rehab hospital doing 3 hours PT/OT daily. I then did 3xweek therapy June-September. I went to once a week from Oct to January. My exercise is my life. I take two walks that range from 20-40 min depending on the way I feel. I also do one PT workout session each day. One day is general PT and the other is using the pilates reformer. I see it all as exercise since that is all I can do. I have a few gen PT exercises I don't like so I skip them on occasion because they bother my thoracic vertabrae. I am even seeing about getting an MRI for the thoracic region now. Exercises bringing shoulder blades together bother me as does cooking with arms up. I have chopped food two times and ended up n bad pain each time.

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 4/3/2013 (21:02)
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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
4/3/13 11:51 A

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I am just starting to be able to do a little more around the house. I count those calories burned, even if it is just taking a shower. Now that the snow is gone here (better not say that too loud) I have really been enjoying walking outside. Especially seeing the new plants coming up and birds singing. I begin a new regimen of exercise on Friday when I begin aqua therapy. I don't really hate any of them yet, but have to avoid certain ones due to a hernia.

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4/2/13 9:23 P

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Wow, that is a lot of questions! All related though and very good ones. At first, I followed dr. orders, he was a big one on walking, he didn't send me to pt, he just wanted me to rest and walk. When I was doing better, I did try to do some simple housework a little too soon but my body let me know and I was more careful again then. Everyone is different on what type of exercises they like, what works well for them. I have learned that I like doing things in a group, I like to have it scheduled, that works best for me. If I had to do things at home or go to a gym, I wouldn't stick to it as well. Is it exercise if it is fun? If the heart rate is raised, if you are sweating, if you are getting stronger, then yes, it is exercise. And I am fortunate to have Zumba that I love and that I'm able to do it without regretting it later because of pain. I wish that each one of you could have the same.

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4/2/13 4:10 P

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I have always done the exercises prescribed after each of my surgeries religiously! If they caused undue pain, I checked with my therapist for instructions. I have to believe that those exercises were the reason I have done so well. Right now, I am unable to exercise because of an unrelated condition. When I am able to get back to exercise, I will walk, step machine, do yard and garden work, Leslie Sansone dvds, and strength training revolving between upper, lower body and core. Previously, I was doing at least 30" of cardio 6 days a week and 20 minutes of st 6 days a week. This worked well for me and I am anxious to get back to that schedule.

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Just do it!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
4/2/13 4:00 P

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Okay, so it is not Monday but I am back with another question. Thanks for the interesting, informative responses to the last question.

What exercises do you do for fun whether or not they bother your back? Do you pay for it later? Do you even consider it exercise if it is fun? How about exercises prescribedby your therapist doctor, what dou you like or tolerate of the exercises and do they seem to do as the therapist said they would? Do you not do exercises due to pain or because you just hate it/ IF so which hurt and where does it hurt and what do you hate anout the ones you hate?

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 4/2/2013 (16:52)
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MAYKATCOOPER's Photo MAYKATCOOPER Posts: 947
3/28/13 8:31 A

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DAISY you are so gift about the dishwasher... Months of not and then top shelf only. It was only after 5 months that I could begin the bottom shelf. I would never have believed hoe excited washing dishes could make me. LOL...

Today begins my exercise program. I have the list from PT. Gotta tell ya, I was in agony last night after the final PT. My knee is a major contributing factor to the pain issue. I feel so much better this morning and think the deep pain was a reminder to me of how bad it was and could be, so I need to ignore and push through the residual more minor pain. I take nothing for pain except Tylenol Arthritis when really needed at bedtime... so I won't mask pain and reinsure myself. Smile.

Anyone find an exercise you like... Balance exc at PT were a real challenge so I'm thinking of adding Wii Balance. Smile. Wiiiiiii!

A smile can make it all feel a little better. So, I go and smile at myself in the mirror. Shallow or what? But it works... My name is Kathy and I'm Pennsylvania.


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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/27/13 7:44 P

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Mayka, you are progressing wonderfully! I don't play golf, but I see no reason you shouldn't be able to. Again, you may have to make some concessions to your abilities.
I have been able to do anything I wanted to (sometimes, not what I was supposed to, but that's another story!)
Isn't it amazing how happy we are when we can do things again after surgery!
Loading the bottom shelf in the dishwasher was my biggest challenge, so I only used the top shelf for months!


Edited by: DAISY443 at: 3/27/2013 (19:45)
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3/27/13 7:37 P

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What I wonder and am afraid to ask is... Will I ever be able to play golf again? Any stories?

A smile can make it all feel a little better. So, I go and smile at myself in the mirror. Shallow or what? But it works... My name is Kathy and I'm Pennsylvania.


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3/27/13 5:17 P

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Yes there was a few weeks of no intamacy because of dr. orders. My DH was so glad that I came through surgery well, he was a bit anxious about the surgery, not knowing if it would work and how I'd be afterwards. Plus going without for a while, something about being told you can't that makes you want it more. He did wait but it was hard for him. He had a little too much fun helping me in the shower, lol.

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MAYKATCOOPER's Photo MAYKATCOOPER Posts: 947
3/27/13 2:18 P

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WHOO HOO!!! Six months post surgery today and today I graduated from PT!!! ...at least for now. I was given a checklist for measurement of pain and activity. I was right in the middle for all of the questions. What I am so excited about is that I can now do some things to help run my home. I can load and UNLOAD the dishwasher. I can do the laundry but don't carry the baskets up or down the stairs. I can actually cook and occasional somewhat complicated meal! That is my big Whoo Hoo. Yes, with a wonderfully patient and loving husband of 40 years intimacy is back... a little redefined but precious! I can feed the cats though it is a little rough to stoop so low (and clean out the cat box). I do have help coming in once a week to clean because there is just no way I can do that yet!

Standing is the hardest thing for me to do. We stood for the Palm Sunday reading at church... about 15 minutes. I actually felt like I was bending the titanium! I really need to work on my abdominals and am but have to limit my standing still. I can't walk far; an entire grocery store is still a bit of a challenge and I will pay for it by being in pain the next day. I still don't sleep well...

Oh, and I did have surgery 3 months ago because I achieved two tears in my meniscus (knee) while recovering from the decompression and graft. The knee is a contributing factor to my limited activity I'm sure.

All in all I am improving slowly and still don't know what my final result will be. Neuropathy is now in both feet but handleable. I hope to continue my exercise and my improvement.

Would I do it all over again? Oh yes! At least I know I have feet again. They had disappeared from my feeling and therefore made any standing or walking very challenging. Smile.

A smile can make it all feel a little better. So, I go and smile at myself in the mirror. Shallow or what? But it works... My name is Kathy and I'm Pennsylvania.


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3/25/13 7:18 P

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There are definitely changes, particularly soon after surgery. I think the #1 thing is to discuss this with your doctor as to when actual intercourse can occur and any adpatations that will need to be made.

Iambergy makes an excellent point. The love and care from a partner makes a great deal of difference and all the little accomodations are so important.

Physically, it is much like exercising! You many need to use some different moves and positions and let your partner know if something is uncomfortable. Yes, there is sex after surgery and sometimes, it is even better when you no longer have so much pain!

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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
3/25/13 7:04 P

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Since my surgery has been so recent, I havent thought about this yet. I am just getting to the point where sharing a bed is comfortable. I do not feel neglected, though, as far as intimacy goes. I have learned to appreciate the "little" things. Right now, help with showering makes me feel more loved. After so much time no being able to help myself, asking me if I want to share in making dinner, shopping, things I took for granted before, really make me feel good.
I dont know when my body will be ready for more physical things. This also goes into the weight issue. When I dont feel good about myself, I dont want to be touched. I dont feel worthy of it. At least my partner and I talk about it and dont just let things fester.

I dont know if this is what you were looking for, but I feel better talking about it.
Thanks for getting us thinking once again.

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/25/13 5:36 P

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On to our next topic. My guess is there is interest in this and please don't be embarrassed to ask anything of others. I bet if it is an issue for you it may be an issue for others.

Has your back surgery before or after surgery and even years later caused any issues in the intamacy department of your lives.[ A bit of disclosure, since my back issues began at 13, I have never left home and I have never gotten past a kiss with any body.] But just knowing how pain affects your mind and I imaginie fusions could affect the way you participate in intimate issues that this could be a topic that others could benefit from your wisdom if you have found ways to make intimacy easier. For those still trying to figure out how to get back the enjoyment they had before, I would hope other team members could provide some assistance.

This is a sensitive subject but I would assume an important issue and I hope team members will participate. These type questions spark the curiousity of those considering surgery and could help in the decision process to find if or if not being intimate with your loved one becomes an issue after surgery.

Since I know zero, this could be imformative to me

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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/19/13 6:00 P

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Kimberly, totally agree and hope that we hear some of the situations that did not turn out as well as hoped so that those who are considering surgery can see both sides and those who have not had good results can discuss their problems with others who have also been less happy!

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/19/13 5:53 P

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Thanks for the responses as to date. So far no one regrets the surgeries BUT I now there are people out there who do wish they didn't have surgery. Please note we are looking for your situation, so do not feel like your story doesn't belong here if you regret it. Your story is needed for everyone either way so people who are lurking understand that there are different results.

Thanks

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3/19/13 11:59 A

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Great question!

First back surgery was a laminectomy for spondylolisthesis in my 30s (40 some years ago). Tipping point-I was an active mother working full time and doing all the mom things, teaching Sunday School, brownies, etc. etc. When I reached the point at work that tears were running down my face while I was helping patients and I could no longer enjoy all the activities I was involved in it was time for action! I was working for a doctor and we tried all possible cures-exercise, heat, traction. As a side note, since many of our patients used the local small hospital and we did not want me to be put in a room with one of our patients, I was put in a private room in the maternity section. Caused some lifted eyebrows around town! Fortunately, my doctor/employer referred me to a wonderful orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa. I went into surgery not knowing if I would wake up with a laminectomy which back in the day meant staying in bed for 3 months or a fusion which would have meant being in a stryker frame for many weeks and in bed for 6 months. The surgery was successful (only 3 months in bed) and lasted for 40 years. I would absolutely do it again.

Cervical surgery-I was involved in an auto accident where we were backended by a driver using his cell phone. Again, tried all the usual, but when it reached the point that I had to let my hair grow so I could wear it in a pony tail because it was too painful to raise my arms to style it, quit wearing makeup for the same reason, constant pain, constant grouchyness, etc. Did much pt and water therapy with no improvement. Orthopedic surgeon recommended surgery. I got a second opinion who said he did not believe surgery would help and to continue with the same therapies which were not helping. I elected to have a cervical fusion and have never regretted it. Occasionally, I do have neck pain but a night or two of sleeping in my cervical collar usually fixes it. Because of the auto accident, there was constant litigation during this period and I also had carpal tunnel surgery as a result of injury to my hand from bracing it against the seat when I heard the car behind us screeching to an attempted stop before hitting us. I have to be truthful and say that, before this accident, I did not believe in whiplash. Now I do! Even with my seat belt on there was a distinct feel of whiplash. The impact was hard enough that my dad, who was driving, had his seat torn loose from it's mooring.

Lumbar spinal fusion.
This occurred approximately 10 years ago. I began to have numbness and pain down both legs which gradually became more severe to the point where I could hardly walk. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who recommended the epidurals. These had no effect and I did not feel comfortable with that surgeon for several reasons. One was that I was the only adult in his waiting room, the other was that he criticized my previous laminectomy, which many doctors had praised over the years. Soooooo, found another surgeon, who after reviewing mri s, xrays and results of all the other tests immediately recommended surgery as there had been further slippage of the vertebra. Made the appointment as soon as possible, had the surgery and have never looked back. Improvement was impressive, but I do still have numbness in 2 toes and when standing too long have numbness down the legs. I continued to be very active until the last year or so, with bursitis of the hip, which has now improved and some moderately severe vertigo which I am still fighting slowing me down. These are not a result of the back surgeries and I would absolutely have each one again.

Now, I need to wait out the vertigo and then get seriously busy at exercising as soon as my doctor OKs it! Because of my age, I tend to be extra careful about situations that might cause a fall.

Although I would certainly not recommend to anyone what course they should take, I think it bears careful consideration before deciding whether or not to have surgery. I would say that a lot of the results of surgery depend on following doctors and physical therapists recommendations after the surgery.



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3/18/13 9:51 P

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Thanks for you honesty in giving me advice on being a better instructor! I welcome all other tips from everyone! Also I did forget to mention Aqua Zumba is an option too, I am hoping to get my license to teach that this August.

Now for the questions:
1)Tipping point? I didn't have the energy to make it any further than an 8 hr. work day and struggled to do that. I was sick most of the time. I couldn't exercise because I would get so out of breath. My back problem is scoliosis. I wore a back brace in my teen years to avoid surgery. But as the years progressed so did my curve and my health declined. My lungs and organs were squished. I was starting to have numbness in fingers and toes. If I didn't do surgery when I did, the ribs would have joined together on one side. I was 46 when I had it.
2)Turn out as expected? Yes, but I was surprised at how hard and long recovery was.
3)Things you expected to occur that did/or did not? I expected to be able to do more things but very pleased to say that I surpassed my expectations as I can work the 8 hr. day and then teach Zumba classes besides.
4)How many surgeries? 1
5)Would you have had the surgery? Definitely!!! And I recommend to anyone with scoliosis to have it done at a much younger age.

I have wondered why it wasn't in the cards for me to have the surgery when I was a teen. I can only trust that it was God's plan to have it happen this way. That maybe the technology 30 years earlier wouldn't have been up to where I needed it for me which is probably the case from what I know about this type of surgery. There were plenty of risks as it was. I am thankful each day that God got me through the surgery and recovery and has brought me to where I am today!

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/18/13 5:42 P

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1)Tipping point for first surgery was severe pain and losing the ability to walk and stand. Tipping point for the last surgery was uncontrollable pain, unable to walk and unable to urinate.
2)The first surgeries all turned out as expected. My final surgery was life and death and no promises were made, so I guess living says it turnedout as expected.
3)The first surgeries relieved pain for years, then up to 20 years. I was able to do what I wanted with minor pain medications. This last surgery they hoped I would be able to sit and do crafts. However, I got back the ability to pee (very good), to walk two small walks but I really can't sit.
4)6
5) There is not one surgery I would not have done. This was due to severeity of pain. Had it been a limp but little pain, I might not have done things but pain was the driving issue. Even this last surgery requires very strong narcotics but before surgery on even stronger meds I was in severe pain. Now I can keep activity low and the painmedication works. I can't say I am thrilled with mylifenow but at least I can manage the pain.

I look forward to your answers, particularly would you have done the surgery back when you did after knowing your results now.

Kimberly

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/18/13 5:29 P

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Here is this week's question.

We all are here because we chose surgery or we are debating on having surgery. My curiosity is:
1) What was the tipping point that made you decide to have surgery?
2) Did it turn out the way you expected?
3)Are there things you expected to occur that did/or did not?
4)How many surgeries have you had?
5) Given what you know now, would you have had the surgery?
I see this as being a good way to see how one generally does from surgery. The doctors are more reluctant to do back surgery than they were 30 years ago. These answers may help others decide if surgery or more surgery is right for them and it might help others to see how different they are from others.

Just remember, we are indeed all different so we can not expect the same results.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/18/13 5:16 P

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As I said I don't go much to classes. But I would hope an instructor, if getting to see the clients working out (assuming your back isn't to them all the time,) would go out of the way to let people you see who are not as good as others and tell them how 'good' they are doing. I just think feeling a compliment keepspeople coming back.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/18/13 3:48 P

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The main things I look for in an instructor (and having known you for a while, I can guess that you are an expert at all of these):
1. Enthusiasm
2. Good instructions
3. Occasional glances at each memeber, so they know the instructor acknowledges that they are in the class and could give them extra help if needed
4. Patience with those who are not coordinated (that would be me!)
Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration.



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3/17/13 3:53 P

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I love this conversation! It is so good to hear from people what problems that they are having and what is keeping them from going to a class. I want to know these things to help me be a better instructor.

Do you have to let the instructor know your limitations? In Zumba class you don't have to because it is such a large mix of people, so many different sizes, and ages. If it is a big class, you probably won't get to talk to the instructor unless you email or call ahead of time which I highly recommend to anyone with a concern. In all classes you should feel comfortable doing what you can. Most instructors will mention modifications at the beginning of class and let you know that you do what you can. My classes are small, I live in a rural area. Some tell me right away about their limitations because they are concerned, some tell me later, and others don't say anything. Last spring, my class size in one location was dwindling down, many were starting their outdoor activities, one person kept coming every time. I wondered about her, I didn't think she really enjoyed class that much because I didn't ever see her smile. But when I did get a chance to talk to her a few times, she finally opened up and let me know that she has MS. So class was harder for her but she loved it and it was helping her to reach her weight and health goals. But you are so right, that if an instructor knows of an injury or a surgery, they will definitely help you find modifications and they might know of other helpful classes or exercises.

One person in my class just shared with me that she started going to pt. It wasn't because of my class but because she was having pain when she was running. The pt helped her to learn better form and gave her some exercises to help build up the muscles that she needs to strengthen to help her with her form. There is help out there, you have to keep pushing for answers to your questions until you find someone that can help.

I realize that pain can get in the way for many of you. It can be hard and I don't want anyone to over do it and injure themselves. From talking to many that don't join in on a class, I'm finding many are self conscience. I'm trying to convince them to try it and that we really aren't watching and getting a good laugh on their behalf. I know for me, I had to be in that place mentally that I knew that I needed to do something because I just couldn't keep going downhill. I knew that I was too young to feel as lousy as I did and life didn't have to be that way. This is the main reason that I had the surgery was to get me to a place where I could exercise and do something with my life. Now I am able to help others do the same. I like the fact that I don't teach classes in a fitness facility so that people that are intimidated by all the "jocks" can start somewhere. But still people are not going to try a class until they are really ready to change.

I do try to encourage all the people in class, but are there more specific ways to encourage people that you would like to see, hear? What things do you look for in an instructor? What things help you feel comfortable?

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MAGA99's Photo MAGA99 Posts: 14,317
3/17/13 2:52 P

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Every class I try I let the instructor know that I have limitations due to my surgery and most of them now have some alternative exercised 4 me to do
presently I do Zumba & body combat along with the classes that r just 4 ppl who r part of the program that I m part of

my instructors always thank me 4 letting them know about my issues

My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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3/17/13 2:28 P

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Iambergy, I had the same problem after my last back surgery. I had to learn to pace myself. I learned I could peel potatoes, chop veggies, etc. lying down or sitting, whichever was most comfortable. Tried to alternate standing, sitting and lying down. The main thing to remember is not to do anything that will make your condition worse long term as difficult as that may be for you! PS This is the place to come with your rants/pity parties. We get it and most of us will be right there with our own rants!

Kinberly, I totally agree with you that the leader of an exercise group should absolutely be told that you have limitations. If they cannot accept that, then find another group. My pt told me to be sure and let them know. I was able to march in place when there were lunges, etc. that I could not do. One of the gentlemen in my group had a severe stroke a couple of years ago, and he is unable to stand on his own or use his left arm, but he is right there doing everything he can and adapting the other moves. He has made amazing progress with the exercises.

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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
3/16/13 3:59 P

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It is so great for me to have this interaction. My problem is, as I knew it would be, over doing it. I am stubborn and when I want something done I keep at it until it is finished. (taking apart and cleaning my back brace was the last thing). I feel good, so I do just a little more. Then I see something I can clean, etc etc. The next day I can barely move. Does anyone have a suggestion on finding a way to be smarter about this? I think part of it is being stir crazy, as was mentioned earlier. Oh, and on another note. The exercises from my PT have aggravated a hernia I have had for the past 6 yrs. Now I am to see a surgeon about it.
I guess this turned into a rant/pity party for myself. Thank for being here as a group. It has helped me so much already.

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/16/13 1:58 A

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I do entirely agree with you that most of us can try, knowing our limitations, different programs; ZUMBA, dancing with the Wii or Xbox , yoga, tai chi, etc. some of us will know things we can't or shouldn't do. It sounds as if you must suggest to people to only do it to what feels right for them. I appreciated (took note) of how the chair cardio on Sparkpeople kept saying if you can't move one way, move another.

Do you think that if a team member wanted to try an exercise class, whether it be ZUMBA or another class, shouldn't they tell the teacher that they have issues and may not be moving as fast or may be changing things up when they feel it isn't appropriate for their bodies? My feeling is you can't put your health responsibilities on the teacher. But if they know your problem, they may know enough to suggest a different class and they would be more likely to encourage you even when you aren't doing as perfectly as others. I feel that what keeps people coming back is primarily not creating more pain, but then the next main thing is encouragement. What are your feelings as a teacher? Do you not want to know any issues for fear of liability, or are you happy to know to give suggestions and encouragement?

I do know for me that I am a homebody, so I don't do classes. I did do classes with VHS, DVD and Wii or Xbox. I do believe that once one gets to class, it is likely more fun but I am so much closer to being a hermit.

Hopefully, most people on our team recognize there is something they can do for 20-40 minutes, whether it be continuing physical therapy or organized exercising. For most of us, obviously not all, exercise will improve things rather than damage things and it is likely fear of getting hurt more or laziness that keeps us from being our healthiest. Each person, you just need to know pain is a signal. It may mean take note of what you just did, stop, go back again and do something different when that exercise is going on.

Thanks for popping back in since you see, I guess I had some other thoughts as well.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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3/16/13 12:50 A

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Kimberly, Thanks for spurring on some activity on this team! You had asked about exercise and heart rate. Most people know that I'm a Zumba Instructor now, so that of course is my exercise and it works great for me. Obviously, though I am blessed to not have to deal with pain. But I do want to add that I do have a student that does suffer from daily pain, back is fused and is on disability. She is able to come to class, get a good sweaty workout and enjoys it. She is pretty careful about avoiding some moves, mostly jumping, she modifies moves and does what she can. She also is in my Zumba Sentao class. I know that this isn't possible for everyone on this team but it might be for some. I love Zumba because it does include people on so many levels and they can all mix in one class. But they do also have Zumba Gold which is a low impact version. Just throwing that out there for anyone that loves music and dance.

Also, I remember someone saying something about not being able to turn. I definitely have this problem. I have 9 vertebrae fused. I deal with this obstacle daily in my full-time job working with little kids. But also I am very aware of it whenever I need to park in a busy and packed parking lot. I would rather park way out there and walk a lot further than to have to try to back out in a tight situation. I also avoid puffy winter coats, I bumped into our neighbor's garage while trying to get turned around in the winter. The combination of the snow and the puffy coat and not being able to turn and get a good look. It was just a tap and bent a bit of siding but very cautious of anything like that happening again. Exercising and getting as limber as I can in the rest of my body is helping me to compensate for the part that doesn't move.

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/15/13 9:05 P

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I guess this question has been asked in too many forms that it didn't peak interests. I'll shoot for a better one next Monday. Happy St. Patricks Day on Sunday. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/11/13 6:08 P

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You really are still fresh out of surgery. Have you gottenassurance that your fusion is solid. Normally my doctor didn't start PT until the four month point. I was different because I hadn't walked for a year, so I started PT in the hospital and two weeks in a rehab hospital. Walking at my own rate is my main exercise as I said. Just do not try too much until you know that the fusion is solid. I'llsee if my book has the log rolling instructions and if it does, I will sparkmail it to you. Also, FYI, I have a rail that connects around the boxspring. It can reach about 28" to 48". I leave it up all the time and I use it to get out of bed. For me it was essential when log rolling to get out. I bought it at Amazon.

I think you are right not to be trying anything new even if you are stir crazy. Those basic core they gave you and walking is fine. I just don't want you jepordizing your fusion by doing too much before it is solidlyfused.

I also just went back down to your earlier posts where you asked does it get better when you need less pain meds? The answer from my point of view is likely yes. My first six surgeries, I only took 1-2 pain meds most days and that was to enable me to do all sorts of activities, kayaking,gardening- serious,pulling out major trees. Things my doc wouldhave had a fit about. I do think that if you are in fairly good health, when you stop needing pain meds, your life should improve. I hope that answers your question.

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 3/11/2013 (18:23)
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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
3/11/13 5:18 P

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My main reason for not exercising as much as I should is the pain that comes the next day or later. My PT told me to only do what my body allows and listen to it. I am still at the basic core exercises, and am afraid to try anything more aggressive. I am only 3 months out from L4-5 fusion. I was never good at log rolling either. While in the hospital, I had 2 PT's. One was like a drill sgt, the other just wanted to get in and get out. The drill sgt would take away all the rails, bars and wouldnt even offer her hand until i was ready to stand. I appreciated this, because, like she said, I wouldn't have any of this when I got home. Sadly, I got to see her twice, so my log rolling was never perfected.
Now that the snow is gone (crossing fingers) I can get outside and walk. I am eager to do it. The only drawback to this is the flight of stairs to and from my apartment. Some days they look endless.
I wish for everyone to reach their goals.


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/11/13 4:08 P

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Allright, as a result of Deborah's post, how about this question for the week?

First, this is directed at Deborah specifically, Were you taught to log roll? DAISY (Carol) can offer the proper explanation on how to log roll since I don't log roll anymore and I wasn't great at it anyhow.

Now for everybody, what do you do for exercise? Can you get your heart rate up since having a fusion? If you don't exercise, is it due to immediate pain while trying to exercise, delayed pain (you hurt more than usual later in the day) ,laziness, too tired because sleep is a problem, or finding time (not a good excuse :) )? How many of us push to exercise but require more pain medication after exercising?

Do others get spasms anywhere in the body and what do you do about it?

For me, I have been doing two 25 minute walks which can take me 20-35min depending on the day and how I feel. I also usually do my general PT program once a day every other day and I do the Pilates reformer for 30-40 minutes the other day. I have not been able to get my heartrate up since I was 13 and had my first surgery.

I get delayed pain. Exercises will feel okay but boy can I pay for them. Iam just about done paying for sitting tall on my knees and moving cones around in PT but it has taken 6 weeks to recover from thatone three minute activity.
I do have to make myself out of what I wantto do because if I try to much, I need way too. many breakthrough pain meds.

I tried today the Sparkpeople chair cardio exercises. She said to do things only to your extent. My legs felt funny and weak but I did the whole 11 minutes. I have hopes that maybe I will get through this eventually to were I can raise my heartrate. I will not do anything but the two walks extra today so I can see how much and if it causes any problems. I must say I thought that I couldn't and maybe shouldn't do the chair exercises from Sparkpeople. But after viewing one, I felt it was worth a try.

I use ice or heat for a half hour when myback acts up. A TENS unit can handle the upper back pain but Percocet and Valium I use forthe pain caused by exercising and living.

I am enjoying learning different approaches.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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LUNADRAGON's Photo LUNADRAGON Posts: 2,427
3/11/13 11:08 A

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I am two years past cervical fusion - two discs. That still causes me problems turning my head to see when driving. I have to lift and turn my whole body to look back and left. Rather delicate situation. My lumbar fusion has given me a lot more issues (it will be two years in August for that fusion)
Showering has been ok. I only just started trying to get into and sit down in the tub a few months ago. I have a jacuzzi jetted tub, and really wanted to be able to get back in it for that reason. Takes me longer to get up, but sometimes the relaxation it provides is worth it.
I got some of the gadgets too, but the only ones I still use are the grabbers, and the long handled shoehorn.
Prior to surgery, with Spark People, and other monitoring, I lost over 30 lbs, but then with the surgery, and the difficulty I have had in maintaining an exercise program due to pain, depression, etc. I gained it all back and then some.
I have recently (last couple months) been trying to get back into the exercise, with most progress in that vein the last couple weeks. See, when I get up, or try to, I often have back spasms and pain that require me to literally grab a hold of my head board to try to roll over to get up and out of bed. If I can't move, how can I exercise.
I am fighting it, and have been back to my regular little daily physical therapy routine four days out of the last 9, with either getting on my recumbent bike, walking, or something else every day. I have got to lose this weight for my health sake, and I am fighting my back pain tooth and nail.
Though a lot of my pain left with the surgery, some of it did not, and a lot of it changed in its nature. I still have a load of sciatic, though it is less than it was.
Thank you for encouraging me, by letting me realize I am not alone in battling this. Wish I had someone physically closer to walk with on a regular basis.
Deborah

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." -Lance Armstrong
~~~~~~~~~
"One tiny little thing can spark an idea. Inspiration can come from anywhere." from a magazine.


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3/10/13 4:43 P

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I would hope that if there is a need for you to have some gadgets to make your life easier then you should be able to ask a doctor about it and it should be covered at least partly by insurance. I did run across this online company that has many great products to help us with our issues http://www.thewright-stuff.com/. If you do have a flex account for medical costs, you should be able to use that money for these products.

Maybe there are other great online sources? Or other handy helpful hints online such as the sock tool?

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3/10/13 3:52 P

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Hi, Maga, I found a link on line that you can make a sock putter oner! http://www.ehow.com/how_6769876_make-sock-
aid.html
Don't know if it will help, but looked much like the one I had after my surgery.

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MAGA99's Photo MAGA99 Posts: 14,317
3/10/13 2:08 P

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no I ddint get all of those interested toys

I think the thing that bothers me the most is when I have to ask my 7 yr old grand 2 help me put on my shoes n socks

My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
3/8/13 11:48 P

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Thanks for your comments. I think a lot of strange things occur with our bodies and I hope this will be a way for women and men to see if others have the same type issues.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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3/8/13 10:18 P

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Well done! You are doing a great job with the questions/topics! You are doing a great service! Thank you for doing this!

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3/8/13 9:16 P

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Thanks for the participation and maybe over time it will grow.

IAMBERGY, the shower had been thankful for me. I can only manage once a week right now. I hate that but it destroys the showering day with severe pain and sometimes the following days. Last summer, I was in Vail,CO where the temps stayed coolas it is in FL now. I don't know what will occur this summer when I expect I will need to shower more like 2-3 times per week. As for the issues or not being regular. That is very common. My gastroenterologist calls it narcotic bowel syndrome. He did insist upon a colonoscopy to make sure I had no obstructions. Once assured of that he said I could take Miralax,as much as I needed. I wasn;t thrilled with putting something in a drink so he prescribed Osmoprep, 5pills twice a day, adjusted by me up or down as needed. My mom,, who has avoided back surgery to date, takes a colace anytime she takes a pain pill and if she hasn't gone in a day, she does take Miralax as directed on the labels. I do find that three Colace a day is helpful for me and I vary the Osmoprep. I take oxycotin twice a day and percocet and valium for breakthrough pain. I also have fiber one oat flakes every morning. It provides 40%+ of the fiber you need in a day and I have fruits and veggies. I hope some of this can help you develop a "regular" system.

Maga, did you get a bunch of tools when you were in the hospital? I received a grabbing bar, sock putting on gizmo, an extra long shoe horn, a butt wiper ( couldn't get that figured out). I believe I had a few other things like replacements for shoe laces so you didn't bend over to put on shoes. There are catalogs that sell these items. I was very lucky that the hospital provided them all immediately aftersurgery. If you need some specific ideas on what you need help with, send me a privatte sparkmail and I will see what I can locate for you.

Carol, I am glad that your main issue left of your back doesn;t cause too much issue for you. I bet though you are thankful when the feeling returns. I would imagine thatyou would be worried if it stayed numb.

As for me, my seventh surgery in Jan 2012 caused the biggest changes to my life. The biggest issue is keeping pain in control. The only way I can do that is to limit my activities to one hour a day. two 20-30 min walks and one 30-40 minute PT session. A couple times a week I will skip one to go grocery shopping or eat out a meal. another isue for me is trying to find self worth with being so limited in what I can do. I sleep a lot. Just what I do wipes me out. I try to remember I am thousands times better than before surgery but I am only 20% of the person I was before being injured in Sept 2010 at PT. I really can't do much and only time will tell how I will adapt. Mom does the roles I used to do in the house and Dad and a man we hired do the stuff I used to do outside the house.

Please anyone else feel free to pop in. If you have a topic that you want answered here,feel free to put it in and we all can address it when we get notified. Otherwise, I will continue to pose a question on Mondays. I am learning from all of you. Be well. emoticon

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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3/7/13 11:51 A

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Thanks for the quick response. I track my food every day. It sure helps me see my weaknesses. I have been avoiding fast food. I think I have only eaten it twice since the surgery. My weakness has always been sweets, but now I crave protein. I think maybe due to the healing? I am not complaining, this is a good change. That's why it has been so frustrating, I am staying within the boundaries set by Sparks, and nothing changes. But, I will keep on keeping on. emoticon


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3/7/13 10:45 A

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Iambergy, as you get stronger and are able to exercise more, I think some of the weight issues will improve. I find that eating salt, not staying regular with my elimination and just no good reason causes weight flucuations. One of the best ways to help with your diet is to track on the Spark People nutrition tracker.

Maga, you are doing all the right things to be able to do for yourself. The fact that you are also taking care of other may be slowing you down some, but you're going to get there!

As for me, I am 8 years out from my last back surgery and the biggest problem I still have is numbness down both legs if I stand too long. My 2nd and 3rd toe on the right foot are always numb. I simply go rest or even walk around a while and the numbness usually goes away. I have been incredibly fortunate!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


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MAGA99's Photo MAGA99 Posts: 14,317
3/6/13 8:56 P

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What has been the hardest change to your life from the surgery(ies) you have had to cope with?
not being able to do 4 myself (I m a caregiver & its hard 2 have 2 b taken care of
Have you found a way to cope with it? I m trying to find ways to cope w it
If so what did you learn to do to get over the issue? I havent really


My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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IAMBERGY's Photo IAMBERGY Posts: 34
3/6/13 4:38 P

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I am 2 1/2 months out from my surgery. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see the comments about showering. I feel like such a lazy, yucky person for not doing it every day. It helps to see that others experience the same thing. One thing that helped is a tub-mounted handle that my mother bought from the hospital supply store. My balance is my biggest fear when showering, now I have something that I can hold when I get in and out.

Right now, my biggest issue is the lack of weight loss with my efforts here at Spark. I eat much better than I ever have, I exercise to the limit of my pain, yet my weight goes up and down constantly. I know alot is due to the pain meds. They keep me from being regular, and this keeps alot of actual weight on/in me. Does anyone else feel this way? Does it get better when the pain meds are not needed daily?

This group has really helped me. I feel like I can get answers and encouragement.

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3/4/13 9:05 P

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The question for this week. I'll come back with my answer after a few others are posted.

What has been the hardest change to your life from the surgery(ies) you have had to cope with? Have you found a way to cope with it? If so what did you learn to do to get over the issue? If you have multiple issues, please share and if you are still trying to find a way to cope, please ask.

I really hopewe can learn and help each other.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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2/26/13 1:59 P

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Great idea! I hope we can get some really good feedback to your questions!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


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2/26/13 1:55 P

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Thanks Maga and Carol for the replies. Maga you gave some great ideas in each situation. I am glad you are able to keep pushing. WTG! Looking forward to more answers from others if possible. I think I will ask a question each week and see what information we can share.

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 2/26/2013 (14:11)
Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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2/26/13 11:22 A

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I think I just got lazy! My goal was 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week and 10-20 minutes of strength training 5 days a week, but I have allowed copd and vertigo to side track me! At this point, simply doing the minimum amount of house work is all I can manage. Shame on me!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


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MAGA99's Photo MAGA99 Posts: 14,317
2/26/13 10:53 A

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I prefer to soak in the tub; problem is that I have issues getting in n out of the tub - so I only use it once or twice a wk - we have a walk in shower - so it helps alot

I have changed the last 2 mths - I use to allow anything to stop me from exercsing but now I try not to let anythign stop me

too much pain - yoga stretches & extra meds
depression - I really push myself to go to the gym cause I know that I will feel a little better while working out
since I m not able to work - I schedule the gym like its my job & when the weather is bad so I cant ride my bike I now reach out 4 a ride

I use my balance ball as a seat 2 watch tv & will sometimes do exercises that I found here on sp

My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
2/26/13 1:32 A

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Okay, a NEW question, what causes you to NOT exercise? Pain, depression, scheduled break day, lack of time,etc? Do you have a set of "go to" exercises for those bad, bad days? If so, would you like to share? If you have something that keeps you doing your exercises all the time, maybe you could share that with us as well. Knowledge is power.

For me somedays it is downright pain. On those days I still do try to do my "go to" exercises which really amount to a hamstring stretch, a quad stretch, a runners stretch. I also can do tightening of the quads lying down with abs controlled. I hold and release ten times for 5 sec. And lastly a bolster placed under the knee, transverse abdominus tight, and I straighten one knee and lower. Do five to each side. That is it . Somedays, it will help enough to let me get my walk in afterwards.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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2/24/13 12:03 P

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Strange thing is that I may be the few remaining people in the world who does not shower unless there is no other choice. I love a good soak in the tub, although, lately I no longer try to do that every day as the time it takes seems counterproductive.

Great tools after surgery for me (I stayed alone after the first 2 days home), a lift for the toilet seat, a sock putter-oner, a tool for reaching items on high shelf or the floor, Slip on shoes with velcro closers, remotes for everything (electric heater, tv, etc), a table in front of the couch with all my necessities (phone, tissues, computer, radio, My personal address book) and a supply of frozen foods I had made up ahead of time in one helping containers, soups, casseroles, etc. I also had a co-worker bring me work from my office that I could do at home. And, will any of us ever forget how to log roll! Eight years after my latest surgery, I sill log roll to get out of bed!

Great topic, Kimberly!

Carol (Daisy443)

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


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2/24/13 1:24 A

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Thanks for the replies.

I do think it would be cool to have a sticky topic of "after having surgeries,does this seem normal- nothing off limits."

I don't know how to get more participation but I am sure I am not the only one that wonders IF I AM THE ONLY ONE.

I have dealt with the back issues since 13, so that makes 35 years, yet after this latest surgeries, either I have forgotten or there truly are things that should be normal but aren't - yet SHOULD they. I so wish for our great leader DAISY443 and for us we should do our best to talk.

Peace and joy to all.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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2/23/13 12:51 P

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I still occasionally have issues with showering but I think its more of an issue of the dressing and undressing n the shaving emoticon
hubby helps me with most of it

the amazing thing is that I can go and workout at a gym yet I still have issues dressing myself
it is so frustrating
'but I m so thankful 4 how far I've come

My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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2/23/13 10:19 A

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Good question. I'm glad that you brought this up and am hoping that people share. I know this group isn't super active but hope that they do get on Spark and see this. I went through some of these things right after surgery. Thankfully things are much better now and I sympathize with all of you that have to continue living in such pain.

I remember the pain being so bad that car rides were renamed riding in the torture chamber. I was so touchy that if I was lying in bed and someone else walked through the house that I could feel every step. A few weeks later, I was outside standing holding on to the walker, someone else a few feet away was tapping something on the ground and I had to ask him to stop.

I also remember being so helpless and relying on others to do everything for me. I expressed my concern in the hospital that I didn't want to go home and have to have my family wipe for me in the bathroom, so thankfully they did give me a tool to hold the paper so that I could at least do that myself. I had to find bigger purses so that I could carry that thing along with me when we did go somewhere.

And yes, I remember showering, shaving, and all being a chore. I feel for you and wish that there was something that could be done so that you would see some relief and improvement. Nobody should have to live like that long term, but I realize that people do. I give you a lot of credit, you are a very strong person to keep going through all of that. I think that it is a great thing that you are connecting with others that are in a similar situation.
Many hugs and prayers,
Michele

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2/23/13 1:22 A

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I recently read a blog of a new Sparkfriend. She commented on how hard showering was for her, in her case how much it took out of her.

For myself, I had thought I was the only one since I had never heard anyone complain about this issue. I certainly don't shower daily because of the problems. For me, from undressing, to showering to dressing, to drying my bangs and lightly drying the rest of my hair takes 40 minutes. If I have to shave add another 10-12 minutes. Recently my folks have taken over squeegee ing the walls, doors and floors because it added another 12-15 minutes.

So even down to the 40 minutes, my pain level skyrockets for the day. I am miserable and if I get the pain in control I also fall asleep even more than normal.

Other than my new Sparkfriend, do any of you experience problems showering? If yes, how does it affect you and your day or even the next day? And the last part of ,y question, do you have what you assume is an activity that you think you are the only one being bothered by? It just helps to let each other know we are not alone.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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