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New pain is freaking me out!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So tomorrow will be 6 weeks since my L4-5 PLIF, and today I woke up with right SI joint pain radiating into hip and down leg. It is similar to my pre-op pain, but that was on my left side. I had had right sided issues prior that resolved in Jan 2008 after a LESI and then reappeared on the left in Feb 2008. So anyway I am not sure if I did something that brought this on. I keep wracking my brain and there were a few things, like I did a few new exercises in the pool on Friday, I tripped on the sidewalk while doing my am walk yesterday but felt fine after. Oh and also I got a new recliner yesterday, but I had only sat in it for a couple hours last night. It seems worse as the day has gone on and I am icing, and resting, and have taken more meds today than I had in a couple weeks. Of course now I am imagining the worse, like BMP bone spurs growning on my nerves! :''( Ahhhhh, I hate this feeling like something isn't right. I know I can call my doctor and I might if it is not better soon. He is out of the office (in OR) on Tuesdays so will call Wednesday if not better. He told me not be concerned if some symptoms return, but it is on the wrong side!!!! :O Trying to think positive but have a hard time with that :SS Sue


  • I feel your pain and your fears on this one. I posted almost the same statements at week 5 9I think).... lo and behold, all the contributors and my supporters told me this:

    - You are probably doing too much.
    - You overdid it
    - It's normal (Part of the good day / bad day thing)
    - Wait a couple days, take it easy and let us know hpw you are

    Guess what? They were right.

    You will fee pain and odd feelings in all different places during your recovery. Just bear in mind that you will also have days where you are walking on the clouds and have not a pain or worry in the world.

    It is almost impossible to damage the hardware that was installed, and spur growth this soon is not very likely.

    Change-up your sitting and sleeping routine (different chair, sofa, and side while sleeping).

    Best of Wishes,
  • Sue so sorry hunny your having pain. It's one of those set backs. My SI joint is acting up right now from doing to much. It is painful that is for sure. And of course if it is that last thing you want is to lay on a table on your belly and get that dang shot. (if it does end up being that) could be just muscular. Ya never know till ya see the Dr.

    Just relax , think postive. Ice it as much as you can. (if that works for you)
    As you know your already on the right track in calling the Dr. Wednesday. Iv also called when the doc is in surgery. His secratary always gets the message to him and sometimes I do get a call back that day.
    So mabye if its just as bad in the morning give them a shout.
    Mabye they will do xrays or something to put your mind at ease. Or mabye a PA can check you out.
    I feel your pain love I really do.

    Let us know. I will check the threads when I get back home.

    Lots of love and hugs
    Terri :X >:D< :X >:D<
  • Thank-you Srtayl and Terri for your responses. I know I probably just overdid it, but I have read so many of these stories where everything is hunky-dory and then wham!! Complications!! Unfortunately I am a pessimist at heart and I have ANXIETY!!! Of course it is times like these those little buggers sneak out and stress me out :SS :SS
    I thought of one more thing I did, I vacuumed and mopped my floor before my new chair arrived 8} . I am thinking that is the culprit. I am doing ice (giant gel-packs) and then alternating with my heating pad. Every position hurts, but worse is on my left side, so will avoid that. The 30 minutes in my BGS were very uncomfortable (and the whole time i am thinking, geez I hope I am not growning BMP where it doesn't belong!). I am dosing myself up extra tonight and hoping to feel better tomorrow. Thanks for your caring remarks, I do appreciate them.
    And Terri I am thinking about you and sending good thoughts and prayers your way for a successful surgery tomorrow. Sue
  • Well girl that might be the culpurt. I did it yesterday to. Was doing good while doing it all. Till I sat down and a hour after BAM WHAM SLAM. WHEW. I'm still paying for it dearly this morning.

    Just keep relaxing.
    ANXIETY WHAT IS THAT :jawdrop: @) 8} :T :/
    There is no such thing :sick: :sick: :D :D

    Ya know the drill it contiues or gets annoying CALL MISS!!! [( :D >:D< :* >:D<
  • vaccuuming and mopping? I was told to stay away from heavy housework for a long time..maybe you did too much? Hopefully the ice and heat with rest (and no more heavy work) will take care of it! try to relax!
  • when that pain bug just comes up and bits you in the bum! :''(
    I am so sorry you are going through this Cali-Sue but maybe there is a reason for it.
    You mentioned a few things you have been doing like the new recliner and VACUUMING/MOPPING the floor. I have to say that even at 18 weeks I have not mopped or vacuumed :))( I have had help and not just left it :))( but living on my own does have some advantages.
    I would say that really you just did too much and then relaxed in the new recliner that would have put your body in a new position- not necessarily bad position but something that your muscles are not used to.
    So take whatever you have to give you a pain free night, keep up the ice and heat and BREATHE!
    When you lie down try to visualise and feel someone (preferably someone cute)-or me- giving you a lovely nurturing massage, try to breathe with the strokes as they glide over your back. This is what I do if I am having problems sleeping and it really helps.
    Also I would suggest that you stay away from the recliner for a few days till you are feeling better.

    sending you big hugs and blessings
    Sara O:)
  • OMG - mopping...need we say more? :O

    You have had a massive operation and clever that our bodies are to adjusting, we need to give it lots of time to heal.

    You are 6 weeks post, and you will start getting aches and pains elsewhere as you adjust to the fusion and your hips and knees get a pounding from being used more.

    Regards complications - Chill. There is nothing much you can do to prevent some of them. Do as you are told but listen to your body and fgs, on a good day, PACE yourself or you will yo yo and not recover too far, fast.
    Enjoy your rest - you've earned it.

    If it gets worse, get some advise, but rest and worry less. >:D<
  • Is a total doozy for me. That's what sets off my bad days. If I prop myself up in bed for a while, then get up and do some laundry (which sucks because my apartment is two apartments put together... First floor is kitchen, living room, bathroom, two bedrooms. Upstairs is a biggggg room we use for the bar & pool table, a bedroom, a gigantic bathroom the size of a bedroom, and a humongous laundry room. My bedroom and the laundry room are as far apart as they can possibly be, with quite a few stairs to go up. I usually have my boyfriend carry all the laundry up for me, because too many trips up and down in one day really messes up my back. If I sweep the kitchen floor I'm alright, but if I try to mop as well...... My back kind of gets stiff and achey and I can't stand up straight after that. But if I didn't do the housework, it wouldn't get done. My son barely cleans up after himself, and my boyfriend does about as much as my son. Lol. I cook, clean, run errands, and take care of the three of us. It's going to be a weird change for my boyfriend to have to take care of me and my son after surgery. After my MicroD he helped me for a day or so, because I was right up the next morning pretty much taking care of myself.... But I made him shave my legs. Hahaha. He hated it. He refused quite a few times, but I have OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. The two together are terrible sometimes. I can't have anything on my right side that isn't also on my left. If I wear one ring, or bracelet it HAS to be on my left hand. if I get shots or blood tests they HAVE to be on the left arm. I got totally yelled at by a nurse at the E.R. once when I had meningitis and they were running lots of tests.... She told me to go get therapy because it's ridiculous. Kind of mean. Hyperventilated pretty bad and cried my eyes out when they put the IV in my right arm for a chest CT, out of nowhere. So anyway, back to my original point, lol... I cannot stand hairy or prickly legs. I shave my legs EVERY DAY sitting on the edge of the tub and using shaving cream, then put lotion on. I get really uncomfortable and get anxiety if they're not done every day. It makes me feel uncomfortable in my own skin, like my insides need to come out. It's weird. I'm weird. I'm just a weirdo.

    I'm sorry you're not feeling well :( Hopefully it's nothing major. I used to be quite the hypochondriac growing up. My pediatrician tested me for Leukemia, brain tumors, HIV about 10 times... Totally irrational stuff Lol. What Ive learned from all of it, though, is that a lot of times our bodies can feel a certain way we're not used to, but not necessarily because something is wrong. Sometimes things are different because of a lot of collected factors that we don't notice individually causing an issue. I hope you feel better soon!
  • Thanks everyone for your replies. I know I went a little crazy, but had to have the floor clean for the new chair, didn't I?!! I have Pergo type floors so the vacuum glides easily, and I wore my brace and was careful no BLT. I have one of those hardwood floor mops with the velcro pad. You just wet the pad, throw it on the floor, then stick the mop plate thingy onto it and push, no wringing or anything like that. I had done it before without probs, so didn't think it was a big deal. I haven't tackled the mop bucket wringer type for my tile yet, and now I won't go there for a long time :T . It was hard to sleep last night, I took a whole Norco 10 and Soma. I had been down to 3.75 mg twice a day, so it is discouraging. This pain is still here this morning, it is definitely nerve pain, radiates low back, SI, hip and down femur. What is so annoying is it hurts all the time, no matter what position I get in. My pre-op pain was mostly with walking. This actually feels a little better to walk. I think I'll go to the warm pool and just float around, skip the exercises.

    Angelback, I like your visualization idea. I'll have to think up some hunky guy to imagine is giving me a massage :X . Funny thing, I actually got a massage on Friday. Hmmm, don't think that is related to this new pain, she was very gentle, tooo gentle I think, and pretty much avoided the low back. I am suppose to go again this Friday.

    Lo, I too have GAD. I am not on meds anymore except for Xanax prn. I know when I was a kid I constantly thought I was dying of cancer or some rare disease. Difference is I wouldn't tell anyone, just suffered in silence. Sometimes I think I should get back on some drugs. My legs have been shaved a total of two times since surgery :sick: Luckily I am not a very hairy person. Your boyfriend better get prepared for leg duty, you'll need more help this time for sure!

    So, yep I overdid it. I am going to be a good girl now. The recliner is actually very comfy, but one problem could be reaching the handle to pop the legs up is probably not a good idea. I was just sooo tired of being banished to my bedroom to rest, as I had no where good to sit/relax in my living room. Thanks again for your awesome support, always lifts my spirits and helps me feel better, >:D< >:D< >:D< Sue
  • I won't be too hard on ya but VACUUMING?? :O I haven't vacuumed yet even at almost 10 weeks post-op and I have a self-propelled vacuum. Me thinks it was too much on ya girl....

    Keep doing your home care and call your Dr. tomorrow if you are still concerned.

    I have this weird throbbing this afternoon... had PT this morning. I did feel a bit stronger doing the exercises but I always feel so tired and sore after.....

    I hope you feel better quick!

    soft hugs,


    PS~ I will keep you in my prayers
  • Glad to know I am not the only creep-o who thought I had any and every disease or disorder in younger years. Lol. So you were a closet creep-o, huh? I was a flaming creep-o. My doctor totally humored me. Lol. If I came in thinking I had HIV, she'd give me a blood test. She'd do whichever tests made me feel better. Haha! Only bad thing is that some people took it as me making thing up and not really have any real problems. I never imagined any pain.... Just thought I had things I didn't. Lol. No psychosomatic issues over here. I actually had some guy try to convince me I did....................... What the heck? Hah.
  • No vacuuming? I don't know if I would be able to do that. I have OCD on top of all my other crazy lady disorders, lol. I am only have one level fused, though... SO maybe I can still vacuum? I don't know. Me having restrictions should be an interesting sight for those around me.

    This could be a dumb question, but he fused a level AND used Dynesys? I thought the purpose of Dynesys was to prevent such a drastic reduction in range of motion. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Probably. Lol.
  • I know different right? He used my bone where the fractures were L4/5 but didn't use bone at the L5/S1 level. Seems to be doing well in there. I've had 2 x-rays and go again on the first.. we shall see.

    I don't load the dishwasher either my teen kids help a lot.

    Best see what your doc says about the vacuuming....
  • Well, he must have felt that for your specific situation it was the best choice. If you're doing well that is what is most important :)

    Can your kids come vacuum my house? I'll send my son to your house so he can eat everything in sight that has over 5 grams of sugar, use toilet papers as streamers, play with matchbox cars in the litter box, and maybe backwash into the glass of whatever you are drinking. Sound like a good deal? :)

    You are right, I should definitely ask her about that. I probably should. Thinking about it, I could see how the movement would affect the back muscles.

    Is there any housework or chore that you haven't found an issue doing? Just wondering what I should put on my "honey-do list" for the boyfriend :)
  • Thanks everyone for all your support. It does help and is appreciated. Still having pain right low back, hip, down leg. Very much feels like sciatic/nervy pain. I went to the pool and walked then floated, and I swear it made it feel worse. I went ahead and called the NS this afternoon, and like I knew, he wasn't in the office. His secretary is suppose to leave him a note and call me back tomorrow. I have already discovered he doesn't make his own calls, just tells the girl what to say and she calls back. I find it kinda annoying since I am human and he is not God, seems he could call me himself. (Also I am an RN in the same facility and how about professional courtesy!) In the hospy he has PA's doing his work and in the office he has these secretaries/MA's doing it. (Annoying, but I guess if I went to school for 13+ years I'd feel privileged too). I think maybe I jumped the gun with the call, but I just wanna see if there is anything else I should do or take. I remember many Spineys being given Medrol dose packs and such. I definitely feel inflammed, so an anti-inflammatory sounds good to me ;) . Doubt I'll get anything though. Geez, I miss Motrin sooooo much!!!! So tomorrow I'll be waiting all day for my phone call. I am back on Norco 5 mg every 3-4 hours which sucks, cause now I need to avoid driving again. It only seems to last about 2 hours, but I don't want to take more if I can help it. My son has taken over my recliner while I lay in my bed in my boring bedroom. At least I have my laptop :) Take care everyone, this is a long and rocky journey and I am glad to have Spiney friends to help me along the way, >:D< >:D< >:D< Sue
  • Oh boy, I was hoping to hear that you were feeling better by now. If it is sciatica - possibly from extra exercise- than if your Dr agreed as you know an anti-inflam would be useful.
    I do think when the Drs sec rings, you should say that you want to speak with HIM.
    I cant believe that you have shaved your legs twice. I did mine the other day for the first time in 18 weeks :jawdrop: - not a pretty sight. Oh and I did pay for it.
    I reckon they need to make a 'spray on wash off' stuff. I know I have used the cream but you still have to be able to reach all areas.
    Lo- Every day? Boy you are keen. :))(

    When I had my worst pain, as much as I didn't want to the best thing for me was to walk it out. It made it worse to start with but after a few minutes it improved and I walked the pain out. Now I know that wont be the case for everyone but you did say you felt better after walking so maybe numerous shorter walks at the moment.

    I hope things improve and enjoy your massages! :))(

    Blessings Sara
  • My surgeon told me I have to avoid taking any anti-inflammatories for at least one year after surgery. Apparently bone growth occurs best in an environment where some inflammation exists and if you take an anti-inflammatory, you remove that environment.
  • Mark, I was told no NSAIDS for 3-6 months depending on how fusion is looking. So of course I won't take any, but I don't know what he thinks of steroids, as I have seen several SH members given Medrol dose packs for acute inflammation, return of symptoms, etc. It seems most spine surgeons go with the no NSAIDS theory, although there are some who don't agree with it and let their patients take them, or who say the benefits outweight the risk. There have been several past threads devoted to this topic.

    I am still waiting for my call, and "knock on wood" I think I feel a little better today. Or could just be the increased narcotics have finally built up a therapeutic level in my system so I am not feeling it as much. I hate waiting for doctor calls! Its like you have to give up your whole day to wait around, and then watch, he probably won't call until tomorrow. (I know I have a cell phone, but still!). I did go for a walk, but I can't go to the pool with my cell phone, so guess I am skipping it today.

    Lo, NO VACUUMING ALLOWED! 8} Make that honey-do list and it needs to include EVERYTHING! Your job will be to rest/heal/walk, so make sure your boyfriend knows that you can't do a thing except that. (at least for a few weeks) I vacuumed at 4 weeks and tolerated it, now I vacuumed at 6 weeks and I am paying for it. You've got one shot to make this surgery successful, so don't jeopardize your recovery (I know, look who's talking ;) ) My kitchen floors are calling me, but I am ignoring them!

    Angelback, my daughter shaved my legs once, she was grossed out by it, not that they were that gross, she is just a germiphobe and thought it much too personal, and then I tried shaving them by taping my razor to a handle of a long handled bath sponge, sorta worked but not too good. I was gonna buy some hair remover, but read the label about all the allergy warnings, plus didn't think I would be able to get it where it needs to go, so gave up on that. I went and got a pedicure a couple weeks ago for my toenails, so think I'll keep that up for a while until I can reach my toes. I can bend my knee and put my foot on the other knee enough to put on a sock, but not to keep it there long enough for legs or toes. Thanks, I will enjoy my massages, both real and imaginary (just best not to combine the two!) 8> :))(

    Take care everyone, Sue
  • You are right. I do only have one shot to get it right. My boyfriend says the same thing. So that's 2 - 1. No vacuuming wins! :)

  • My surgeon said it's the motion - it doesn't matter if there is a feather on the floor--the motion is what we can't do until we are completely fused/healed. A question I always ask myself - do you remember what you friend's house looked like 5 months ago on March 17th, 2008? No, then your friends aren't going to remember what yours looks like either. Just some thoughts for when you are trying to decide whether or not to mop.....
  • Thanks Delaware Girl, I am trying to be good and I haven't cleaned anymore floors. I will have to insist my teenagers do it, although they do a lousy job unfortunately. It will have to do. I actually think it might be my new recliner, cause once I sit in it and get the feet up, I find myself stretching to reach things, like the compu, remote, etc. Bad idea too, so I will ipnay that one in the udbay!(I used to have a sweet nurse friend and she moved to Delaware for a MAN! :( I miss her.)

    My doctors office never called me back and I stayed home all day waiting cause they usually call the home phone. They are so annoying. I am sure it will just be the secretary anyways. The surgeon is just too important to dial a phone! The last time I called it took 48 hours for a response and that was just to okay getting a massage. Oh well when they call I hope to be able to tell them nevermind, I am feeling better. It definitely is settling down, now I just need to back off the pain pills and see if it really is better.

    Thanks for all the support Spiney friends, Sue
  • So, today, woops yesterday, (it has passed midnight), my surgeon still hadn't called. I got a terrific massage, but noticed lying on my abd. made both my legs ache. Then I decided to go to the hospy and get my own operative report so I could read exactly what they did to me, especially curious about the right side, since this new right sciatic pain. I had barely gotten there and was walking down the hall when straight ahead of me my NS is walking toward me. What luck! So I said, Hey You, I called you on Tuesday and no one ever returned my call. So he asked what was up and I told him. He says it is normal, not to worry, will probably come and go, even though it is on the opposite side. It is feeling a little better, though not gone yet. So at least I finally got some input, and still the secretary never called, thought maybe I'd have a message when I got home, but no, they dropped the ball on that one. I guess if i really need to talk to him, I'll just go track him down at the hospy :D Well i got my report and of course sounds like they did way more than I realized, I have heard other members say this, so must be part of the process, they just don't describe all the gorry details to us. I am going to have to research some of it to understand it all. I had a visit with my co-workers and my boss. She said not to worry about my job, it'll be there when i am ready to come back. Take care, >:D< :* Sue

    P.S. He said it is okay to vaccuum??!!!
  • :))( Cali-Sue.
    I am quite sure he has never vaccuumed in his life and has no idea of what it entails.
    My O/S also said it was OK to do housework until I went through the details and then he said- well if you do all that then maybe we need to leave it till you are fused.

    Sara :))(
  • :( That's got to suck, waiting around all day for a phone call and then never receiving it. It's terrible they take so long to get back to you. Thankfully my NSs office gets back to me same day. There are three NS in the office, though. That may have something to do with it. My NS's P.A. called me back yesterday a few hours after I called to tell him about my new pain and numbness and he called me in some steroids and pepcid right away, and set me up an MRI for 930 that night, and an appt with him on Monday to view the results. They are very, very efficient. My neurosurgeon calls me herself sometimes instead of having the physician's assistant do it. I like that a lot.
  • Dang here i was thinking I had most all ready to go for this week and Bam... I forgot about the legs! I so cannot see anyone in this house shaving them for me, even if I paid them! Oh well, Its going to be getting cold soon, so long comfy pants, and no one will be the wiser bout the hairy legs eh? :)
  • Glad to hear you are doing a bit better! I missed all the drama though, sorry. I was off being a busy girl this last week.

    I'm jealous that you can go get your report - that would be kind of cool to look at, just a bit gross though.

    Hey, and NO more sweeping and mopping friend!!
  • My surgery was 6/26 and I have shaved my legs only twice and very, very carefully.

    How about those toenails? If mine get any longer, I'll be able to bend my leg back from the knee and scratch my back! REALLY have to go for a pedicure!

    Vaccuum???? Haven't touched the thing since about a week before surgery...wouldn't even THINK of doing it.

    Cali-Sue---hope you are feeling better now and try to remember to TAKE IT EASY, ok?
  • Oh Angelback, you always make me laugh! :))( =)) You are so right, I am sure he has never vacuumed a day in his life! I am sure his wife doesn't vacuum either, it would take her all day in their 5000++ square foot house. Yep he is prestigious and privileged. Was a millionaire even before he finished med school from what I hear, something about designing a software program that hit it big. He is a brainiac in more ways than one. Probably, no for certain it is better to take my Spiney friend's advice on the vacuuming. Take care my Aussie friend, Sue
  • Hey Saltzy, good to see you on the boards! Yep I overdid it but am getting better now. Still so tempting to get to deep cleaning, but trying to resist. Hey, why can't you get your records? They are yours you know. Usually you just go to the hospital medical records department, sign a release, and they either hand them over, or send them in the mail. There may be a copy fee. I just had to sign a release, then told her exactly what I wanted, H&P, Op report, and Discharge summary. She printed them off and gave them to me for free, helps to be an employee :) Boy they are an interesting read. Funny how many errors of info there are esp. in the H&P. He said I weigh 280 pounds :^o I am hoping that was just a typo and he doesn't actually think that. I am overweight, but no where near that :O Take care,gonna go get in a walk before the sun goes down, Sue
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