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Help please

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi spiney friends! Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. It means the world to me and and helps to give me comfort.

I am 4 weeks today, post op L4-5 360 fusion with my own bone graph.

Before yesterday, I would have told you that nothing would cause me to not follow proticals re BLT'S. But life has thrown me a curve ball/sucker punch. My 23 year old nephew lost his life suddenly yesterday. My family is amazingly close. We (myself and my siblings) all live in the same city by choice, to raise our kids together. We go on vacations together and spend just ordinary days together. I was extremely close to my nephew.

Everything has now changed for me. I have to be up, I have to travel by car, I have to be at family function, memorial services, funeral, after funeral, and more, supporting my brother and sister in law as they try to figure out how to continue on. Does anyone have any suggestions, knowing that I will be sitting longer thatn 15-20minutes. Getting up and leaving the services is just not an option. Nor is staying home, or trying to find a place to lay down.

I'm sure that all the crying/sobbing is hard on my healing and inflammation also. I wish there were other options, but there aren't. If anyone has any suggestions knowing I have to be up and about, I would greatly welcome them! Thank you so very much! Shari


  • My eyes fill with tears just reading this. What a horrible life shattering situation. Can the doctor give you any support on how to proceed. I think you will have to just lay down as soon as you possibly can after each service/function. And when just being with your family and being comfort for each other I am sure they will understand you lying down. Please dont put yourself back in the hospital because then you will not be able to be there for them at all. Wish I could help but I just do not know what kind of damage you are doing to yourself right now and I know if I were in the same position I would be right there next to my brother too. Sending love hugs and prayers and hope you get through this without any more physical distress than absolutely necessary. Please rest when you can and stay srtong.

    XOXO Melissa
  • Im so sorry to hear of your guys lost , my hear breaks for you guys.....Do you have a walker ? My doctor got one for me and it is a miracle worker if I have to go out side
  • I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss.Life can inflict more heartache than we think we can manage. Knowing that your family is so close is a strength and I am sure they will understand your need to rest when you need to. Your doctor may help with a short-term solution to the extra movement you find yourself doing.Sorry not to be able to offer more constructive suggestions.Sending you all of my biggest gentle hugs n' Love - Paula
  • Shari,

    I cry reading your posts. I feel horrible for you and your family. I cannot imagine losing my neice. She is the only I have. Please contact your Dr, ask their opinion as Melissa said. I cannot imagine what you are going through and how this must be making you feel physically. My prayers are with you. Please please take care of yourself. I am sending a pm with my number, in case you need to vent to anyone outside your family or friends.

    Love and Hugs to you and your family,
  • Hi Shari,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. This will not be an easy time and it is just the begining. You and your family have a long road of grieving and healing to do together. It is an unfortunate time but fortunate that you are close and will have each other to lean on.

    Right on the heels of my surgery I went through a very similar and trying situation I wondered how I would ever get through it, support my family, and still function and protect my new fusion. My husband tried to be supportive but continued to beg me to watch my back.
    Of course the stress doesn't help.

    Funeral homes have couches and such, do not hesitate to use them.

    In someone's home? Claim the couch. Family will understand and will surround you on the floor.

    When all else fails, take a few minutes every hour, grab a niece nephew sister or brother and go lay in the back seat of a car and enjoy a good laugh or cry. Just get off your spine.

    What I am trying to say is that your family is going to need you healthy in the long run as well. They will understand and my guess is they will just follow you to that couch or car or where ever you find yourself taking a load off.

    Take care. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • I add my voice to all the other comments from your friends here on the board. I am so sorry to hear of your loss and send prayers to you and your family.

    I have a couple suggestions for you.If you have to do anything like a receiving line, arrange to have a tall stool so you can either perch or sit on it. (just for future reference: Wal-Mart sells one that comes in two heights. It is light and folds so is easy to take with you. It's located in the dept. where they have card tables and other folding furniture.) Even though we usually say that you should stand rather than sit, it will get too tiring. You will really need to pace yourself and try not to get too horribly over-tired.

    You need to do what you can to keep down the inflammation. Maybe if you could get some of those icy cold patches to put on your back, it might help.

    Then as soon as you are able to, put ice on it and get off your feet at every opportunity. Your biggest problem is going to be fighting inflammation.

    Wear flat, comfortable shoes and really try to watch your posture...concentrating on keeping good alignment. Don't cross your legs or lean on one side when sitting. Also, do not let yourself become dehydrated. Take water with you and drink as often as you can.

    I'll add on if I think of anything else. I have some experience with this from my last surgery...you will get caught up in the events of the moment and will tend to forget about yourself...but try to keep these things in mind.

    Again, I am so very sorry.

  • What a horrible thing to happen. Little children should never leave the world before their parents. I'm sure your family knows your health issues and would not like to see you hurt yourself. Do go to the services, but take good care of yourself. Most funeral homes have couches or places for people to lie down in case they feel faint. Take advantage of those to get yourself flat and take the pressure off your back from time to time. Yes, you will want to be there for your family, but take good care of yourself at the same time.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I'm just terribly sorry. When I saw your post last night my heart sank and I mourned for your nephew.

    I think most everyone on here has offered good tips.
    People know your situation.
    For the service (and I'm not sure if this is possible), but can you sit toward the back and block off a pew so you could lie down? The Lord will understand why. I think even if you can lie on your side if you needed, it would help.

    As for the funeral home, I would have your husband contact the director in advance and explain your situation. Tell them you need to be there but is there any discrete place (back room) if you needed to lie down. I'm sure they have offices you can use.

    All I can say is that when your husband begs you not to overdo it, understand that he is going to be looking out for you so don't get angry. Let him be your guardian as you are trying to be there for your family.

    I agree to call your doctor. My guess is use your brace, be there for calling hours but give yourself a chance to step away as needed. For the actual service, well, I gave my advice, and then for the burial, the walker might be a good idea since it will be uneven surface.

    My heart and prayers are with you.
    Please let both your Primary Care and Surgeon know that you are taking this journey. This way in case you need their help medically while you are travelling, they can be supportive as well.

    May God watch over your family in this time of need.
  • I think everyone has offered all the suggestions I was thinking. The ice packs I have are great that have the elastic around the front and velcro to the back with the removable ice area. I think the ice would be a must being up on your feet so much. Take care of yourself the next few days. Lynette
  • Oh my dear I am so sorry to hear of you and your families loss. That is such a devastating ordeal to go through without trying to recover.

    Everyone has given you wonderful ideas and they are all right. Inflammation, pain, tension and stress are going to be your enemy and they will come at you from all angles.

    Maybe speak to your DR about some low dose anxiety meds to, watch your pain and keep ahead of it. The stool was a great idea, that way your more in the prone position and taking the pressure off your spine. Recliners if you can snag one, a couch to call just yours. You may find yourself standing more than sitting. Ice packs a must just to help with your pain.

    Traveling by car, if you can lay down in the back, and dont worry what anyone thinks. Being there for your family is important, but also remember your recovery is just as important.....

    Best of luck
  • Shari, I just cannot stop thinking about you and your family. I hope you are able to take care of yourself as well as being there for your family. Lie down as often as possible.

    When we buried our mother. We had an area strictly for immediate family and there were sofas. It was much more discreet to be in that area than the general funeral chapel. I hope your family can help make sure you have some place to lie, for short periods.

    I am thinking of you. Praying as well.

  • So sorry to hear of your loss. I cry for what you're going through.

    Everyone has come up with great ideas for you to follow. The ICE is probably the single best thing to do. Take extra Ice packs with you in a thermos bag. Also what does your DR. say about a brace that will keep you in a good position when you have to stand or walk?

    Please try to take good care of yourself. Marsha
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    You and your family are in my prayers. My grandfather died during post op of my back surgery. I was able to attend the services but had to sit in the car during graveside services. Would it possible to get a wheelchair for that day? I know for myself a wheelchair would of been of great benefit that day. Once again my prayers are with you
  • Dear Shari
    there is lots of good advice here.
    You need to get a balance between your emotional and physical needs.
    You need to take part in the services, but look after your back
    Your family will want you to do that and will quickly learn to look out for somewhere for you to lie down and rest. They can come and be where you are.
    Praying for strength and comfort for you all
  • There's nothing more that I can add that the other posters have already said. I just wanted to convey my sympathies to you and your family.

    Take care of yourself at this difficult time, Lisa
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It appears you've received good advice from other posters. Please don't be afraid to take time for your back whether it be laying in a pew, on a couch, or on someone's bed. The last thing your family needs is for you to get worse so watch out for yourself and take care of yourself during this tough time.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I am so sorry for your loss. Everyone has given great advice. I just want you to know that everyone here is thinking of you and your family. Take it easy and don't feel bad if you need to lay down and rest. Your family will understand.

  • Jayhawk..
    I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.My best recommendation for you personally is to just take it e-z and slow. Sit when you can,stand as long as you can but be careful. Someone mentioned a walker....after my 2 back surgeries I used one,they are a great help. A cane might be an option also.

    May God bless you and your family at this difficult time..


  • Thank you all so much for your suggestions, heartfelt well wishes and prayers. Initially I thought that this forum would be educational and informational for my spine isuues, but it is so much more then that and I thank you! Your support and unconditional love means the world to me.

    There are no words to describe how we are feeling. We are shaken to the core. I am the youngest in my family. So as I have grown up and through out my life, I have always had my family to lean on and learn from. We are just like any other family, ups and downs, with hurts along the way. We have lost family members, but it had been expected and goes along with life's plan. But I never expected this, it had never crossed my mind....

    We are trying to be strong. Services are on Wed and Thur. My parents are all arriving Tue (I have 2 different sets). I will have a full house beginning monday!:) My sister (and her cat) will be here Monday, my mom and step dad on Tue and the 3 of us. I will most likely allow my daughter to miss school, wed and thur. School is closed Friday for EAster.

    Thank you all so much for your support, kindness, and prayers! It is so badly needed and appreciated!

    I sincerely hope everyone is feeling well, recovering well and taking good care of themselves! Shari
  • I know how long of a week this is going to be for your and your family. We are all sending hugs and prayers for strength and peace during this dark time. Please try to take care of yourself as best as you can while supporting your family.

    We all love you! Here if you need anything.

  • Shari-My thoughts and prayers are with you-be strong,and take care of yourself-Jeannie
  • Shari,

    You have been on my mind this weekend. I hope you are holding up well and not putting your back in unnecessary stress. I know this will be an exhausting, emotional week for you. I hope you were able to rest some over the weekend. Be sure to lie down and rest whenever you can. I'm sure your family understands. Maybe your Mom can take on the hostessing part while she is there. That could allow you time to take care of yourself too. I will continue to think of you. Praying hard for you and your family.

  • Thinking of you Shari as we start this new week.
    This is going to be very tough for you all.
    You are blessed to have a close family, and I pray that you will all be able to draw together and support each other.
    Know that you are covered in prayer by lots of people who really care.
    God will carry you through this, if you will let Him.
  • Going to see my PM doc today. Talked with him on the phone: trying to figure out this abdominal pain...also talked about the funeral and memorial services and the possibility of needing more pain management to get through all this.

    I have nothing that fits to wear for all of this. Went to do a little bit of shopping to find something. How long does it take to get back to somewhat normal ie clothing fitting....it's depressing how clothing looks on me....

    PT is on hold while we try to figure this adominal thing out as particiapating just immflames it. I was counting on aquatics taking my mind off things...

    Thank you everyone for lifting us up in prayer! Shari
  • I'll tell you the maternity pant thing is not all that bad! I have worn my maternity jeans twice and they are so comfortable on the back and front incision...nothing binding. Maybe you have a family member or someone you know had a baby recently you could get some black dress pants and just change out for a nice tunic top that goes over your brace. You dont want anything constricting around that belly! Just a thought. Lynette
  • Or a black A line type dress that does not have any tighness around the middle. Being comfortable (which I know you wont be anyways) is the most important. People will understand. I cannot imagine everything you are having to deal with all at one my dear. I pray the doc gives you some good guidance and quick!

    Hugs and love

  • Shari my mother-in-law passed away last summer two weeks after my rotator cuff surgery. Those days in the hospital were hard and the funeral was even harder.

    I found some nice things in dress barn that weren't too expensive. This is one time that you just need to suck it up and do what you need to do to get through. Believe me no one is going to be worrying about what you are wearing. And if they are they are pretty rotten.

    Don't be surprised if your emotions are way out of control. You might want to ask the PM about some type of anxiety meds in case you have a melt down. And get an emergency number for him in case you need him. Hopefully he understands.

    Good Luck and remember we are here for you.
  • How are you holding up Jayhawk? I am thinking about you and praying for you and your family!!!
  • no words can express how sorry i am for your loss..
    i wish you and your family my thoughts and prayers..
    for yourself just get up and go for short walks.. bring ice pks and heating pads..you can plug in somewere and sit and stand for short times..
    set your mobile phone on vibrate so you can time 15min...
    be safe and so sorry for your horrible loss of you nephew..its good your family is close it will help for you all to heal together
    take care
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • thank you so much everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

    I seem to fluccate between denial and suddenly crying. My hubby has been out of town, so I am home alone. Which is difficult. but I am making it.

    Today, I am trying to just lay low. I know I over did it yesterday. I was anxious about finding something, anything to wear as none of my clothing fit (except sweats and PJ pants).

    I didn't feel comfortable to drive far, there is a Target just down my street. I tried on 18 things! :0 But I found 3 oufits! One for the memorial tomorrow night, another for the burial, funeral and reception/gathering after and Easter. Tomorrow the dress is sleeve less, but I found a beautiful scarf and thought I could drape it over my brace. I realized though these posts many put he brace under your clothes. I never have. I have just put it over my clothes.

    Thur will be such a long day. The burial is before the furneral. I expect this funeral will be standing room only as my nephew and his parents have touched so many lives. Following is a gathering. It will be such a long day, but I will have many looking after me.

    I am not looking forward to seeing my dad in pain. My step mother died last August. They had been married close to 40 years. I worry about him. I don't want him to be in pain.

    My mom and step father, as well as my little sister will be arriving to my house today/tonight. I'm trying to not stress about the condition of my house. It is easier said than done~especially since I am alone. Tonight we will all gather at my brother's house (dad to my nephew). Food is, kindly and thankfully, being brought in.

    I will bring my ice packs and heating pad. I'm sure this will be a big help.

    Thank you again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers! I'm so thankful for all of you1 Shari
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