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clumsy anyone?

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Is it just me or is anyone else out there clumsy after surgery????? I mean seriously....almost 2 months post ACDF and I've a walking accident lately.

2 weeks ago, I got hit in the head with my trunk dooor for our Jeep. Not the highlight of recovery. over this weekend, I went to look into a top/bottom washer dryer. The connected type. When I leaned over (which I think I'm not supposed to do) I hit my head on the dryer...duh. You'd think I'd get it by now. But in the past few days, my left leg has been shaky. I have pain in my left knee and leg and walking leaves me limping. My hubby looked at me oddly yesterday but didn't mention. I see him watching, wondering if he's thinkiing what I am. What the heck is going on????? Added to that, we went to see some old friends yesterday at a diner. Someone made a joke and hit me in my left arm hard enough to make my neck snap to the right. No wonder my arm is in spasms and my hand is tingling!!!!

I'm wondering if this is just me? I'm not clumsy by nature. Well, I trip coming up my steps once in a while but this is ridiculous!!!!! Could the recovery be messing with my cooridnation? I guess the vicoden doesn't help either. But I only take then 3 times a day and only when the pain is more than I can manage and have a regular (recovery) day.

And hey...I so love my new spiney family!!!!!!

Any advice or fellow clumsy spineys?????


  • You are not alone!

    Before my recent lumbar fusion I had the foot drop thing going on, spazzing out and tripping lots of times. That has gotten better since the surgery 6 weeks ago.

    However, my neck is starting to bother me big time (severe DDD, disc herniations and kyphosis). Started to make me cry this morning, "can I please get a break" type of boo-hoo.

    Anyway, my neck injuries cause me to be drop things, which is just great because I am not supposed to bend while recovering from the lumbar fusion! Ha!

    I think a big problem that many spiney and neckies have is that it is just second nature to turn your head to see something, or twist to reach something, bend to pick something up, etc. Its hard to re-learn what to do and not do.

    Have you thought about wearing a collar while out in the "real world"? It might be uncomfortable but a definite visual aid to others to be careful around you. It doesn't sound like you are as clumsy as you think, the Jeep and joke jab were not your fault!

    You may want to let your Dr. know about the neck snapping, especially since you are having spasms and tingling. I know our cold weather has really thrown an extra monkey wrench at us, too.

    Take care, thanks for your post, I'm over my pity party. Somehow it just helps to know there are others dealing with the same stuff.
  • I don't know to what extent the actual surgery has to do with this phenomenon, but I think we are all effected to some degree. One thing to remember is that old childhood song that reminds us "the hip bone's connected to the...thigh bone. The thigh bone's connected to the...knee bone...etc." (I don't actually remember the words...but you get the idea....).

    The more I work with various therapists, the more I see how important the alignment of the body is to our healthy functioning. One of the main reasons for the degenerative spinal conditions is wear and tear through the years resulting from poor posture. By "poor posture" I do not necessarily mean the "stand up straight" kind of posture, but rather, proper alignment.

    I'm going to a guy now who was a professional ballet dancer, then ballet master and choreographer. He spent his early career watching how the body moves and how it is injuried. When he retired and made the move out of the dance world, one of the things he did was learn how to make pedorthics.

    Within a minute of watching me walking and stand, he gave me a five minute evaluation of everything that was wrong with my posture, which all started with my "foundation," my feet. I had a slight pronation, but it was enough that it caused a rotation in my leg, which in turn caused the pelvis to tip, which in turn resulted in various changes in my spine...which resulted in wear and tear on the facet joints, etc.

    When one is injured, the body automatically makes adjustments to guard the area that is hurt. This causes muscle cramping and spasms, and changes in the length of ligaments and tendons. Pain makes us compensate which may end in us favoring one side over the other, leaning more to one side, etc. I for example, realized that I almost always cross my left leg over my right, throw my left hip out and turn my left leg out, stand with more weight on my right leg etc. Years of doing this, over and over and over again, result in stretched or shortened ligaments, tendons, etc. which ultimately result in wear and tear on the spine itself.

    You are, no doubt, doing something similar. After surgery, many of these soft tissues have to readjust to new positions and for a period of time, it can cause pain. It can also affect the way you swing through with your leg when walking, can affect your balance, etc. If any nerves are damaged it can affect motor control, even if ever so slightly. Same thing with arms, hands, etc.

    We have a tendency to surgery only affects the area that is involved in the surgery, but it becomes much more complicated than that. Balance is a big issue for many!

    It may take time, but things will return to normal as you get farther out in recovery.

    Just be aware and take more time to do things. I find I just need to allow more time than I used to!!

    Take good care,
  • lisa.....feelin' your pain sister! I have some translating work to do on my cpu but with a tingly left hand....ha! I keep making mistakes. I try to be patient and thanks to coming on s/h today I am not as weepy as I woke up. Reading about others ...some not so good, some doing great makes me feel better. Last night's chat room really did me good. I was hurting from 13 hours in a car over a 4 day period. Doc approved it but I won't do it again for a loooooooong time! ha

    Gwennie...you are a fount of wonderful information. I hadn't really thought of that. Actually...with all these drugs on the brain, its hard for me to really focus on what is essential. LIke today, I used my "mechanical arm" to pick up laundry but it couldn't handle a towel so I bent to pick it up! BAD IDEA! I'm working to relearn what I can and cannot do. I'm also looking for a used recliner but even those are expensive for us right now. to pay $500 for a used recliner, I'll buy a new one thank you! haha.

    I meet with my doc on Wednesday. I have a ton more questions for him. He's either gonna love me or hate me when this is over. I like details!
  • Hi Dehoyos (Yvonne?),

    My husband finally took pity on me and bought me a laptop. This way I can keep it on my lap (duh...) and the mouse on the couch next to me. This way I am not raising my arm at the desk computer. It got so uncomfortable that after 5 minutes I couldn't do anymore.

    I wasn't thrilled with spending the money, but it has been a lifesaver, especially before and after this last surgery. I'm glad you are using chat and that it is helping. I wish I wasn't such a slow typer, I tend to get "lost" in the chat room!

    Oh, you are right about Gwennie, she is so knowledgeable and helpful, thank you Gwennie!

    Guess that's it for now, take care
  • shoot...I've got my brother's borrowed laptop. He's moved out but is letting me us it until the doc gives me the ok to do "stuff".

    enjoy the laptop....I'm hoping to find a good recliner soon. I'm bored in this room!
  • Funny .... I was talking to my hubby just yesterday about this!

    I have noticed that I seem to drop more stuff since my PLIF. I am not sure if I really am dropping more or if I notice it more because all the lunges and squats to retrieve things are such a pain in the bum! Also if I do drop something I can't move fast enough to catch it before it hits the ground.

  • <:P

    Join the party of those of us who are learning that we drop things more often than we thought! ha ha. You never really notice until you can't pick it up! One of the fabulous people on s/h told me that at least I can't bend my head to see it. I'm a neckie. ha ha.

    that jerk reaction to catch it is as bad as bending to get it. Thank God I'm losing that instinct!!!!!! Pain is a rush! ha ha.

    Bending, squats....soaking it a tub....I've forgotten all those things!!!!! so sad. Another 6 weeks and then we'll see what dr. says.
  • You are def not alone, my bf tells me to lay off the drugs. But really I am now taking minimal amounts of pain meds (percocet) (valium), due to risk of addiction. But I am one clumsy chickie now. I run into stuff, drop stuff, forget stuff and remember hours later. I was not like this prior to surgery. I am hoping after full healing time, this will have passed or my family and friends will never leave me alone LOL.
  • :) :) :)

    I wear my bruises like a fashion statement. I usually discover them when I take my shower and I think, funny, I have no memory of how I got that.

    I working my way into getting a new set of dishes and glassware due to the many I drop on the tile floor when I'm trying to load the dishwasher or wipe off the counter.

    I'm blaming the meds! Sometimes I feel like I've lost the spatial connection between my body and the things around me.

    My poor foot that been hosting some sort of "ALIEN" infection since June of last year seems to have its own homing device for running into things. The week before Christmas I ran into the bed frame at my sister's house and woke up with a black and blue toe -- so pretty! (not!)

    My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee decides that the lift gate arms should go kapoot as I was loading up for my road trip -- nice beaner on the head before I left just so I had a reason to take advil.

    Son, no, dehoyo, you're definitely not alone in the clumsy department -- I think the spineys have really brought clumsiness to new heights!

    At least we can laugh about it!

    Take care,

  • I think its a Jeep Cherokee conspiracy. My hatch hit me too! Stupid thing. Hasn't fall once since that day!!!!!

    I too find bruises when I shower. Then I think, man....where'd I get that????? Crazy. I don't even bother with the dishes since the surgery almost 2 days ago. I wash what I use and leave my son to handle the rest.

    Ouch guys/gals.......we gotta get rid of this clumsy gene...be it through drugs (of which I ready to place the blame on) or because we're just plain ole clumsy.

    Its 8:22am and I already had an "almost fell backwards" moment.

  • You're far from alone. The drugs most certainly are a culprit, especially the stronger pain killers. They just make you slow and clumsy.

    You have nerves and muscles that are now waking up that were on vacation. You also have some that are pretty upset right now cause someone went and cut and/or shoved them around.

    I've found that PT is helping to coordinate those muscles together again. So beyond building strength back up it also helps with coordination. You should have seen my first pool session. Trying to walk a few laps in a 5ft deep pool. You'd swear i was doped up or drunk. The PT actually laughed at me. LOL.

    As for laptops. Oh yeah. Avoid a desktop like the plague if you can. That means sitting and hunching. So lumbar and cervical all pay for that one. If you can afford it. Don't even get a laptop. Get a netbook. For surfing the web, reading mail, and other simple chores they work great. You can find them for about $300. I got a Toshiba that has a fat battery and lasts many hours on it. Even with the bigger battery it weighs less than 3lbs. Compare that to my Dell laptop and now the laptop feels like a boat anchor on my lap.

    I don't have any vehicles with hatchbacks but I'll keep that in mind. My neighbor has a Cherokee. I'll stay clear of it ;-) You gals crack me up...

  • for me it is the "mind is ahead of my action" thing--and I am not paying attention to what I am doing-then I drop,run into walls,open the closet door before I actually move out of the way----sometimes I get banged and bruised the worse when I am thinking about not getting banged and bruised.You are not alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • My ortho's office assistant called to say that he'd be late coming in tomorrow. He'll be in at 10, my appt is 9:40. We chatted for a while. I told her about hitting my head this weekend. She said she was gonna wrap my head with bubble wrap and tape it up! Ha ha...the great joy is that I now have to get another xray because I've had neck pain and a headache since then.

    clumsiness....go away and don't come back another dayh! ha ha
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