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Achieved my goal after 1 1/2 years ACDF

PatriciaPPatricia Posts: 154
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Good News
For those of you that know me well, you know that I love boating. Not just any boating, high performance, speed boating. After my surgery in April 2007 I couldn't ride in the boat the entire summer of 2007. Not only because of the pain I was still experiencing, but also because my neck muscles were in no shape to handle this type of boating.

This past weekend we met with friends at a charity boating event and I decided it was time to get "back on the horse" or should I say get back in the boat! Woohoo!! It was great! Sometime during the day we hit 109mph (yes, that's right!). It was a huge accomplishment as well as a tremendous achievement that I had been working towards for months.

I say working, because this didn't happen without a lot of work. I've dedicated myself to exercising and core strengthening. First let me say that prior to surgery I never stepped foot in a gym or worked out in any way, other than riding my bike or the time that I took Karate lessons. I did everything the doc and PT said in terms of PT and exercise. When he said I was ready for exercise and recommended pilates,that's what I did. I've accepted exercise as a part of my everyday life and something that I will have to do for the rest of my life.

I'm not here to lecture or tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do. I know when I was stuggling to recover (my recovery was NOT easy) I was irritated (jealous)by stories of quick recoveries and how we could all do better if we did this or that before our surgery. I'm just here to celebrate my success because it wasn't easy for me.

We need to enjoy life!!!

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Comments

  • Ahh.......I miss boating-but not the fast stuff.Did that many times and always scares the crap outta me.. :))(

    ....but really glad that you enjoy it & were able to do it again!

    I seriously need to start exercising...or doing something.I'm in a rut and I've decided that it's time I do something about it.

    Tonight I cooked dinner and I'm going to do dishes now and do a little housework.My b/f works night shift (7pm-7am) so I have to get this stuff done at night....,but tomorrow while he's sleeping I'm going to start with a walk.We have to start somewhere.
  • Glad to hear there are others out there who love boats too. It's so relaxing as soon as you start drifting on the water...its the smell, the floating/rocking, the breeze on your face. It's so invigorating and you just forget everything else around you!

    Walking is where I started. Then I got an eliptical, much better for the neck and other joints than a treadmill. I started with just 10-15 minutes. Then I started pilates with a personal trainer one day a week. I still used the eliptical at home and added some stretches. Then I added a stationary bike at Christmas time. We moved from pilates to yoga to ab exercises and modified each exercise to ensure I wasn't using my neck. Certainly I had crying spells and I had pain along the way and felt I wasn't getting anywhere. But I look back at 10 months ago and I am doing soooo much better. It's slow, but it's working. And to add to the benefit of getting my spine in better shape I've lost 3 1/2 inches just below my bustline, 1 inch off my waist, and 1 1/2 inches at the top of my hips. Two weeks ago I also started a strength training class. Yoga is the best of all of it.

    The only way I've stayed committed to this is because I know that this may be the only way to prevent another disk from herniating. I don't want to go through that ever again. It's no guarantee, but I have to try something. The other mainstay is that I exercise as soon as I get home from work. If I eat first, I won't exercise because I can't do it with food in my stomach.

    Sorry...I've rambled on too much.

    Take care and if you need an exercise buddy to keep you going, let me know!
  • wow patrica u certainly are an inspiration u really are,hope everything goes well for u i really do
  • I hope that my story helps to inspire & encourage others. I know there are some people who are dealing with permanent nerve damage and their progression is truly limited and their pain is chronic. I truly feel for everyone that is in this situation. It's not pretty and none of us asked for it.

    I didn't know what my outcome would be (can still be), but I couldn't (can't)stop trying. I suppose that's the stubborn side of me. Sometimes motivation is hard to find and it is so much easier to give in. I wanted to give-in many times. I suppose I had multiple sources of motivation. I was also encouraged (guilted) by having a Friday morning appt with a personal trainer (every Friday). It wasn't her that kept me motivated, it was guilt and pride, wanting to show her improvements to prove that I was also exercising at home. LOL! Well..whatever works for you. We've all got something deep down inside that motivates us. You just need to figure it out and use it.
  • Patricia!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled for you!!!!!!!!!!! =D>
  • Hiya, I have to agree about the exercise, we all have to include it in everyday life, i do . Even when im in pain i still exercise, be cause if i dont the pain is worse. The secret is to pace yourself. Well done Patricia you are truly an inspiration to us all =D>


    Angie x
  • Patricia,

    Most excellent!!!

    "C"
  • Good to hear it Angie. Some days I don't want to exercise either...my upper back is sore or my neck or my shoulders, like today,...but I do it anyway. You are right...pacing yourself is key. Don't do more than your muscles are capable of because we need to depend on the muscles, not the bones or ligaments (or disks /:) ).

    I read your signature and it looks like you have had lots to deal with over the last few years. Stay strong and I wish you the best in finding some relief from pain. This is truly such an awful pain to live with.

    Take care!
  • Thanks Priestess and "C"!!

    There were times I wondered if I'd ever get here.... and there are times I wonder if I'll be back in the OR with another disk surgery, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy what I can! <:P (I just won't tell my NS what I'm doing. :$ )
  • That is just a great story and i am so happy for you. I grew up on the water and really get the feeling. Congrats!!!!
  • Hiya
    Thankyou for your kind message. I woke-up at 7am this morning, my back was in complete spasm, the pain is about a 9 i just want to scream. It took me nearly 2 hours to get out of bed, because it hurt so much to move. I can not do much until i go back to the hospital. I was just doing this post to say thankyou, sorry i am in a moaning mood because of my pain level. :( :''(

    Angie x
  • You have every right to moan. I remember all too well that upper back pain...it's a pain that you don't forget. The first time my back and neck completely seized up, before I knew I had a herniated disk, I went to the chiro ( :O yikes!) to try to relieve the pain. I thought it was just a pulled muscle or something...you know...getting old and out of shape. Then I went boating that weekend and when I strapped on the life jacket it actually felt better. I guess because it was tight and supportive. Strange huh? I never should have gone boating that day...but who knew?!

    My brother has had the same....ACDF at C5-6 then ACDF at C4-5. I remember him telling me his last straw in dealing with the pain was the morning he couldn't lift his head off the pillow. He couldn't get out of bed and had to call for help.

    This is miserable for sure. That's why many of us are here...we need to know that there are other's going through the same and we're not alone. .....and we need to be able to complain unconditionally so our families don't have to hear it all.

    Take care!
  • Hiya Patricia,
    Thankyou for your kind words, as the day went on today i got more mobile, as i do. The pain is still about a 7 but i can cope with it. We just have to get on with it, and do what we are able to do . >:D<



    Angie x
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