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Slowing Down is Hard...any advice??

precsmmtspprecsmmts Posts: 52
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone...

I had an ACDF of c5/c6 with hardware last Monday (March 23). Last week was difficult and I had quite a bit of pain. So sitting around was an easy thing to do. This week I am happy to say that I am feeling pretty good. I have pain and tightness in the back of my neck and shoulders, but that's about the worst I'm dealing with. Believe me, I am really thankful for this, as I've heard many accounts on here where this is not the case.

My "problem" is this: I am not a sitting still kind of girl! It is making me crazy sitting on the couch and watching TV. I have been reading some, playing on the computer some (although not really comfortable to do), word searches, talking on the phone, etc. But I am going nuts.

Has anyone else who is usually very active encountered this? If so, how did you overcome it? I am fully aware of the risks of overdoing it, but darn, it's hard!!

Thanks in advance!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    I can't tell you or anyone how they need to or should slow down and take it easy after any spinal surgery.

    Instead, I can tell what can happen if you dont slow down!

    The first of my spinal surgeries was in 1978 (L4/L5) I was 28 at the time and just figured this was a little setback and I would in a short time regain what I had before. During my recovery period, I did many of the things your doctors tell you not to do. Bending, Twisting, Lifting, etc And I was wearing a full back brace at the time. Recovery period were set up much longer back then, not sure if it was the actual procedure or what. I was in a back brace for almost 4 months and it was 6 months before I returned to work. When I started to feel good, I forgot ALL about any limits and restrictions that I had. 40lb limit on lifting, ha, I ignored it, long drives in a car, so whats a little pain, continued to play sports the only way I knew how to, full speed and full force.

    2 years later I started developing another lumbar problem and then 4 years to the date of my first lumbar, I had my second lumbar surgery. You would think I would learn this time? Nope, Stubborn as they can get... 4 years later, Lumbar surgery #3 and then another 4 years Lumbar surgery #4. When I stopped abusing my lower back I went on to my cervical area. 3 cervical surgeries later and its the Y2K year. By that time, I figured things out, the more I did when I shouldnt the more problems I got myself into.

    From time to time, I still ignored my limits and restrictions, and several years later I herniated 4 thoracic discs.

    Finally, I woke up, realized that IF I had taken better care of myself from the first surgery and did everything I was suppose to, there was a good chance I would have never had 7 spinal surgeries and still some possible future ones.

    As difficult as it is to slow down and take it easy. The better you adhere to it now, the faster the recovery period and the stronger you will be.

    I know its impossible to visualize, but just think how you might be 25 years from now, if you ignored the important things in recovery and moved at the pace you were always so accustomed to.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I was super active prior to surgery too. And I know the going nuts feeling.

    I go for walks with my dog, read lots of books, yeh the tv, I've uploaded all my pics to the internet. I tried the Spine Health Chat room. Its good for some laughs, some drama. The chat room is filled with lots of people fresh from surgery, people I could relate too. I've maybe spent too much time in there.

    I think maybe if I was really ambitious, I could have written a novel, but I didn't. lol
  • Ron, thanks for the realistic view of what might happen if I don't find a way to relax. Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through so much. I will try to keep your story in mind when I think about cleaning the house or something. :o)

    cbskibum, thanks for the suggestions. I am getting some good reading done, and am becoming more familiar with daytime tv than I would like!

    Thanks again!
  • It's really hard to be still. Finding this forum has helped me immensely. During recovery, I can't call any one because my friends are working. I don't like to watch day time TV.

    Reading and writing on this forum are my coping strategies.
  • Like you, I have had a hard time finding things to do to pass the time while my spine heals.
    This is my 3rd spine fusion (6 weeks ago) and I have been passing some of the time doing computer "jigsaw puzzles". I found the Tibo software on-line (low cost) purchased it, and created a ton of puzzles to help me pass the time.
    I needed something that was a bit "mindless" to do when I was getting really antsy. There is only so much tv, reading, and movies that a person can do.
    It is hard when I don't feel up to walking a lot, and sure don't want to just lay around, and everything that I am interested in requires a lot of movement.
    I hope you can find a way to pass the days til you feel much better and can be as active as you want to be.
  • Have you ever wanted to learn about any type of crafts? Scrapbooking, crochet, knitting, cross stitch, now is the time to teach yourself if your interested. My brother and his girlfriend are having a baby in a few months and I plan on making a baby blanket for them, as well as do a scrapbook for the honeymoon we took 4 years ago.
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