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7 week check up

tonyanwisconsinttonyanwisconsin Posts: 189
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to let you know how my 7 week check up went. The doctor said I am coming along as expected. They also told me I am no where near going back to work. I have to be 100% to go back. I am a registered nurse that works in an industrial factory. I am the only person in the medical dept..so if someone comes in with a foot injury I have to get down there and check it out. I have to also be able to respond to any emergencies that occur on the plant floor. So he wants to see me back in 6 weeks. That will be 13 weeks out. I know my supervisor was hoping I would be back at 12. Oh well.

He also bumped my PT down to twice a week instead of 3 because I was pretty miserable from it. Due to the fact they won't let me drive I have to have my husband drive me after he gets home from work. And that put me at having therapy back to back days every week. On that 2nd consecutive day therapy couldn't do much with me anyways..

He gave me a weaning schedule to get out of my brace. Yesterday I was suppose to not wear it for an hour 3 times a day. I didn't put it on at all...trust me I did not bend or twist without it..that is ingrained in my brain! lol
My back feels very "noodley" when the brace is not on. The muscles they cut through are still very weak.

Overall I have good days and not so good days. I have felt pretty well for the past 2 days and that has lifted my spirits. I was a little down yesterday..It was my best friends birthday and I always see her on it. She went with 3 other friends to bingo..we always do that on our birthdays if we can cause you get your birthday number for free. So I felt a little sad I couldn't go.

I still don't get out a lot. I just don't feel like it most of the time. And when I try I get tired very quickly and my left leg starts hurting. Going to the grocery store is a major chore even though my husband is with me. That is the one thing I wish I had more of...Stamina..

Thanks for letting me ramble..



  • Sounds like you are doing fairly well. Don't worry about decreasing your PT from three to two right now.
    If you were miserable...that is your cue to back off anyway. Not much that you can do to accelerate your recovery in reality.

    So, when you go back to work at your factory...what if someone has a cardiac arrest, would you potentially have to do CPR? Can you take narcotics while working?

    I'm a nurse also, and am 22 weeks out. I can not bend, but can squat for maybe 5-10 seconds, and then have to get back up. Can only lift 7-8 lbs without feeling it in my back. Sitting/standing for moderate periods of time cause pain. Pushing/pulling is difficult also.

    I thought I would be back to work at this point, but there is no way I can imagine taking care of patients, and still need pain meds. I walk at least twice daily, do my PT, eat healthy, am not over-weight.

    Everyone heals differently obviously... most people go into a fusion hearing that it is a long process, I thought I would be different; invincible perhaps...but that is not how things have worked out. Very few people seem to just sail thru this recovery...and have come to terms with the fact that I'm experiencing what many others have as well.

    Take care,


  • I was still on all my pain meds up till 8 weeks, when I just stopped everything, and I did not even start PT until about 14 weeks. I was not working so made no attempt to speed things up. I started PT the first time about 11 weeks, but it was too early.

    But I felt a big change at 12 weeks...I had a little more energy, etc. But the stamina thing takes awhile.

    Personally I think the spondylolisthesis factors into it. I think there is more recovery that has to go on with the musculature and soft tissue after surgery.

    Just keeping working at your rehab...walking and resting. It is a long haul, but you want to do everything you can to maximize the chances for success with your surgery, so it will all be worth it in the end.

  • Thanks for all your comments and support. The group of spineys on this site have been a lifesaver. Thank you
  • You sound like you are doing well!!!It's true-you will have up and down days,and days when you feel better than other.At 4 months post-op I still am that way. I no longer am required to wear my brace all the time,but I wear it when outside,or for long car rides.It feels better when I wear it!I still feel "noodly" too.Keep up the postive attitude,and take good care of yourself!!!!Please keep us updated-Jeannie
  • Yes if someone codes on the floor I would have to perform CPR. Part of me wonders if I will be able to return to this job and perform all the duties necessary. I work for a large hospital in the area but this is a contracted position. So if necessary I could probably post for a different position working in a doctors office. I did that for 7 years.

    I think the most frustrating thing about my recovery is feeling lazy. I want to do so many things but I am physically not able to. My husband is back to work and my house is messy..I hate it. My best friend stopped by last week and she did my dishes for me and helped me pick up the house. I can tell my husband is worried I am getting depressed. He will tell me all the time..hey it is not too bad outside..why don't you just come sit outside in the backyard for a while..get out of the house. But I don't want to leave the house most of the time. It takes everything I have to leave and go to therapy.

    I hate being seen in my brace..it looks like a WWF championship belt..lol..and if I use a cane I see people look at me..very unnerving...

    Anyways..rambling again..sorry..Im trying to take it day by day...just wishing time would speed up
  • Wow, I can't believe how similiar we are! I have all the same feelings. I have promised myself today that I would take it easy, but it is so hard! I feel like I am not doing a thing. I sit and look around and notice all the things that need done. Before I know it, I'm up doing.....What kills me, is thinking, if my hubby was in my place, he would not be doing all this!

    It is so hard! I understand your feelings about the brace. I'm okay wearing it out with strangers, but this weekend I will be around friends and I am already worried about it....I don't fit into my clothes, which isn't a huge deal. But it adds to my not feeling good about my situation...

    It's hard to not get depressed. Are you taking Cymbalta which is an antidepressant that also helps with pain.

    Being outside does really help. The sun shining with the spring flowers...

    Hang in there! We are all here for you, to support you and to vent to! You are not alone in this! sending you a gentle cyper hug! Shari
  • Thanks Sheri,
    No I am not taking anything for depression. I don't feel like I have depression. Just lack of stamina. Somedays I feel great and set out to do a few things..It is just frustrating when I do maybe 1 or 2 stops I am worn out and need to go home. Esp. when I haven't really done anything at all..lol
    I haven't driven in 8 weeks..and the doctors office said nope..no driving while still taking pain meds. So if I go anywhere my husband has to take me..that is a pain in the butt.
    My plan today is to clean up the kitchen to the best of my ability...and I guess I will have to just be happy with that.
  • Hi there, just wanted to pop in. Sounds like you are doing good. Of course it's always disappointing not to be doing excellent but sounds as if you are where you are supposed to be.

    It must be a relief to be able to wean off the brace, especially with warm weather approaching. It will also force those muscles to do a little more work.

    Keep us posted. I am glad things went generally well.
  • I so sympathise with you Tonya.
    I sit or lie and everywhere around me are things that need tidying or cleaning.
    I feel so bad that I am doing so little each day, but my poor hubby works all day and then comes home to lots of jobs that need doing.
    I do manage to get some things done, but I seem to have so much time where I am not achieving anything!
    I think that we need to imagine inside our bodies very busily working away healing itself. Then maybe we won't feel so guilty about not doing much. Regrowing new tissue and bone is a job well done!! Well done to us all for the great healing that is taking place!! :D

    my job for today is to sort through a big pile of paperwork that has gathered.

    Take care all of you spiney friends, do a couple of jobs, get a few walks in (not too far) and get plenty of rest! This is just a stage that will pass :-)
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