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getting strong for surgery

gethealthyggethealthy Posts: 303
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have received so much help from all of you. Thank you so much!

What to have for pre and post surgery helped tremendously. I've been shopping and preparing my home for the "battle!" I want to do my best at healing from the 3 level ACDF I'm having July 27th.

I had a sport injury about 17 years ago which herniated my C7 and left my left arm weak. I chose not to have surgery. My family needed me and I was confident I could gain my strength back without the surgery. I'm a fitness expert and a martial art instructor. I used that knowledge and a good PT and got my strength back.

I would have pain off and on but I was able to rest and then recuperated in a few weeks. About 8 weeks ago my normal pain behind my shoulder came to visit but would NOT leave. It got worse! It finally settle into my neck and felt like a big toothache. I had to go for another MRI. I had not had one since the original injury.

It was not good. I now have 3 areas that are in trouble and must have surgery or risk permanent nerve damage.

I had to close my martial art school, quit my fitness classes and post pone my fitness DVD shoots. My doctor is like "House" very good but an alarmist ( I hope) with no bedside manner ). He said it could take up to 2 years to heal! He told me I would need to change my career and no longer do the type of martial arts I do.

I changed my workouts. I can no longer run or do any high impact the pain is too great and I know I'm hurting myself. I walk and ride my stationary bike. I can no longer lift weights so I use elastic bands for strength training and do no moves over head. I'm trying to stay strong so I can heal fast!

I'm going to listen to my doctor and only walk and ride my stationary bike until he tells me I can start strength training. I already created an isometric routine that will not involve lifting issues. I hope I can be cleared to do it early in the game so my body can get strong again.

I'm much older than when I got the injury. I'll be 59 in January. My goal is to be strong again by my birthday. Then I want to be doing my fitness DVDs again before I hit 60! I do Kick boxing DVDs so I know I'll be doing low impact instead of the crazy stuff I use to do but that would be okay. I'm sure there are plenty of woman like me who want to be strong but can't jump up and down.

This was a real hit to my career but life is like that. It's a journey and I hope I learn what I'm suppose to learn from this.

I pray all of you that had your surgeries will heal fast and be able to go back to living. And those of you that are waiting eat well and do what you can to be strong for your surgery.

This forum is full of wonderful people that are willing to share about their experiences. God Bless them! I'm not as scared as I was. Keep reading and hopefully you will gain the answers you are looking for.



  • I wish you all the best for your surgery and recovery. Check out the post up must haves in the surgery section. Do you have someone to help you at home? I do hope you will be able to do your excercise DVD's and post a link for us to see them? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • :H Love your postive attitude about your surgery and changes in your life. I certainly think the fact that you are so physically fit will help you in your recovery from surgery both physically and emotionally. Since you are obviously a very social person, considering your career choices, I'm confident you have a great network of friends and family to support you also.

    I feel your pain regarding closing your business. I didn't lose my own business but lost my job in May of this year due to my battle with sciatic pain. I have had two MRI's and am not a surgery candidate (L4/L5 Bulging disk)so I too am researching and doing everything I can to get the pain under control. I can't see my way to working again until I know I can make it to work every day. Walking was my exercise of choice and had just got into a real routine when my issues started almost a year ago.

    Best of luck on your surgery and keep us "posted" and lean on the community here any time for support.

    Take care,

  • Well, I am scheduled for surgery 2 days after you for ACDF + Corpectomy.

    I am signed up for a 1/2 marathon in March 2010, and my dr. said I will be fine. I may not be able to run the whole thing, but walk/run is more realistic -- but he said I have youth on my side and always being active.

    I am 34, will be 35 in Nov - and I swore I would either do a 1/2 before 35 or when I was - so that being said even if I have to walk it - I AM DOING IT!!!

    I am not going to let any of this hold me down, I just earned my Masters degree and I had to put off full time employment due to the recovery of this surgery - I wont let it take away anything.

    It would be great to stay in touch :) The thought of being only 2 weeks before surgery is crazy ----- I did buy a wedge pillow (my dr said it would help out a great deal). Maybe you should consider it too?

    I will be in a hard collar, due to the corpectomy - then again things can change when he is in there too.

    Here is to a speedy recovery for the both of us :)

  • Lynn, I, too, love your attitude. That will take you a long way in your healing process. I guess it's time for you to be a role model for women with a few physical restrictions, huh? Sounds like there's no better-qualified candidate for that job! =D>

    Judy, do you mind my asking why your doc said you aren't a surgery candidate? (If it's too personal, pretend I never asked!)

  • Lynn, I, too, love your attitude. That will take you a long way in your healing process. I guess it's time for you to be a role model for women with a few physical restrictions, huh? Sounds like there's no better-qualified candidate for that job! =D>

    I wish you all the best with your upcoming surgery.

    Judy, do you mind my asking why your doc said you aren't a surgery candidate? (If it's too personal, pretend I never asked!)

  • Thanks sooo much for all of your support. I promise to keep all updated on my surgery. I hope to be able to have great news to share.

    I have bulging discs in L5 and L4 too, Judy. I hope to not need surgery there. I did well with physical therapy and life changes. Have you tried physical therapy? Icing helped a ton too. I was taught to put a hand towel in the freezer so it froze flat. Then I would lie with the frozen towel under my lumbar with my feet up on a chair. I would often use heat then ice through out the day to help increase healing. I stopped lifting heavy stuff and was taught the proper way to do daily tasks by the physical therapist.

    Swim-mom. Fantastic! From what I hear you should be able to at least walk the marathon. Please keep me posted on that. I do have a wedge as well as a cervical pillow. I went down the POST OP NEEDS post and got almost everything on that list. I actually practice rolling in and out of bed LOL I'm already sleeping on the wedge to get use to it. I am seriously training for this.

    I do have home care Charry. I hired a neighbor boy to come in daily to feed and play with my 3 yorkies. My husband will be with me the first week and then I have a lady dropping in mid day to check on me the second week and I broke the piggy bank and hired a house keeper to come once a week for 6 weeks. Is it legal to post links?

    Thanks Rose! I'll remember your kind words when I try to find my new calling :)

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