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back to work FT: WOW this is hard!!

lynettellynette Posts: 217
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well I went back to work full time with restrictions on monday. I am a nurse in a radiation oncology office. I made it 8 hrs all 3 days but I am really tired. I have rested for a hr at lunch and then I rest most of the evening when I get home.Today I had to lie down around 3pm for 20min, then they made me go home. I do remember after my microdiscectomy I went back at 8 weeks post op too and remember the fatigue but I am moving better that I did after that surgery. I haven't had that brace on for full days either cuz I don't have to wear it around the house, so that has been irritating. I don't have any real pain, just fatigue. I know I have had success just by some of my movements that I did pre surgery that used to cause me pain that I don't have now. Like just standing in a room with a patient I would have alot of low back pain/pressure or just leaning slightly foward to take a blood pressure I would have pain and I don't have it now! That part is really exciting, so now it's about building up some stamina. And I have been walking 2 miles every other day and being up constantly most of the day and it is still hard. I know each week will get easier. Hopefully I will get through the rest of the week and rest up on the weekend !! Lynette


  • Make sure you are eating enough. I find when I am in pain I don't get enough to eat. You might need to add some carbs for a few weeks or whatever gets you going.
  • sounds like you are doing quite well.
    It's not uncommon to have fatigue. After my revision, my return to work went better b/c my doctor eased me into it which the best thing.

    I remember after the first week of 4-hour/day remote (which I really did 5-6 hours), my husband thought I stopped breathing b/c I layed down on my side on the couch for 10 mins and fell asleep....he kept trying to wake me up and I wasn't responding. He had to scream at me and I remember saying "what?" He said I wanted to make sure you were ok and I remember being annoyed b/c I was just so tired.

    Keep it up...it should get easier but stay smart...if you are wiped out and need to go home, then do so. Drink lots of water too...stay hydrated.
  • I really don't know how you ladies do it...going back to work so soon after what amounts to two BIG surgeries. When I had a one level PLIF two years ago, my surgeon told me to expect to be out six months....

    I think I was still half-way comatose at eight weeks -- I know I stopped taking all my medications at that point.

    I hope your good progress will continue and that you will just have to deal with feeling tired. Please take good care of yourself!!

  • Lynette - I am amazed that you were able to return to work so soon. I will be praying that your stamina gets better and that you grow stronger every day. I am sure your body is in shock after returning to work. Hang in there! I know it will get easier for you every day.

  • I've been thinking of you! You must be soooo tired! I don't think I could be back at work this soon!

    Please take care of yourself and if you need to shorten your days, please do!

    Wish I could be closer to bring you dinner! :-)

    Hang in there, will be keeping you in my prayers!
  • Thanks girls for all your encouragement!! I made it through another day and today was easier. I took 2 doses of tylenol today which I didn't do till late yesterday, and had a big lunch with extra carbs (and cake, it was a free lunch). I don't think I was eating enough(thanks Kris for reminding me)cuz I was so conscious of not eating too much when my activity was low. I think I'm gonna make the week!!! Lynette
  • Glad to hear that today was a better day for you!

  • Wtg Lynette,

    I am glad to see you're going to make it through the week. LOL Going back so soon is hard and tiring. I think it set me back and put me off work again. I wish I had just taken the time offered. But live and learn. I am going back to work next week, so I know I will have a few days of fatigue. I am hoping to battle it like you have. Best wishes and I hope each day gets easier!!

  • Just one more day to get through, then it will be the weekend and you can rest :-)

    Traci : Good luck to you for next week. Take it easy this time :-)
  • I so wish the best for you, Lynn!! Hope you have a restful weekend.

    Traci, you know you are in my prayers for the coming week, also. I will be so happy when I can return to my job and feel productive again...that thought keeps me going :-)

  • Well it caught up with me!! Today I ached all over and wasn't able to do much today. I hope one more day is enough to recover. I have a hot tube so going to soak a while tonight. My legs were so tight and achey, but I look it like PT NO PAIN NO GAIN!

    Shari...thanks for the dinner offer!! I hate to cook.

    Traci..how long ago was your surgery now??

  • Lynette, wishing you 48+ hours of TLC!! Hopefully, you can ice, soak, rest, sleep, repeat...:)

    Is it possible that several times during each day, while you are taking a "quick break" you could lay on your back, hips and knees at 90 degrees with ice? This has really helped me just to decompress and "unload" my spine!!

    You are amazing to have gone back to work already and I am happy to cook for you any time! :-)

    Hopefully, these 48 hours will be renewing for you! Gentle cyber hugs xxxxx Shari

    ***dinner is on it's way!
  • What kind of work are you doing? I wish that I could do something for you...I'm so nervous for you, having a 360 only 9 weeks ago, and sorry that you had to go back to work so soon. Please take it easy tomorrow! We are here for you!!!

    Are you able to go straight home after work and go to bed? How many hours do you have to work right now?

  • Lynette,

    My surgery was 11/16/09. So I am just arriving at the 6 month mark. I do not know how you were able to go back so fast. I went back at 8 weeks and was right back off. Then went back at 12 weeks, worked 4 and was right back off. So I have been off 2 months this round. I am hoping for the best. Sitting is still so hard for me. But we do what we have to. When I hit the lottery though...

  • Love your photo...I think I will upload a new also. It does give a personal touch!!

  • Lynette sounds like your doing great. I went back to work after 5 weeks and I have been in and out a bunch. I'm at the over 3 month mark now and I still have problems, but it looks like its getting better. I hope. :) I have a desk job too, but chairs can be the most painful things.

    Whoever said some of these supposedly Ergonomic chairs are Ergonomic, if they felt the pains I'm getting they would go right back to the drawing board and remove the word Ergonomic. I was reading, this things that said, lumbar support, theirs "NO" lumbar support in those chairs, just pain. :S
  • Eric you post made me think of this. Many companies have Employee Assistance Programs. I think these days if they have health insurance they end up with this as well. It's free assistance to the employee and can apply to this as well. Also most companies are more than willing to make some simple changes to keep you happy and healthy and productive.

    So talk to your HR department. I know my job would get an ergonomic expert in if I requested it to look at my work space. A $200 chair is a small price to pay for a productive employee.

    If you are in a small company talk to your boss. There is lots of info on the web about proper sitting positions. I start at my feet and work up adjusting everything. And I have to do this everyday since my body is always compensating one way or the other for aches. My favorite trick is a few reams of copy paper under my monitor. I adjust this as needed since it is my last adjustment. My boss has offered to get a monitor stand but I tell him this is better because I can adjust it as needed.

    Don't accept pain and discomfort as a necessary part of your day.
  • Hey Lynette! :) Thinking of you this morning and hoping your aching is gone and you had a restful nights sleep!

    Hopefully, you can rest today and really baby and pamper yourself! I would love to cook for you! Wish I was closer! :) Although these days I am very slow when cooking. I start out with great ideas, but standing in one place is very difficult for me. It really increases my pain quickly!

    Sending positive vibes and thoughts your way today! Enjoy your Sunday my friend! We're all here for you!
  • Thanks for all your encouragement!! Well I spent any energy I had getting ready for the next week. I did my laundry, have my clothes ready for the week and got some groceries today so I have food for the week and did do my 2mile walk today. I probably shouldn't have walked but I did. It was harder that before I went to work. Hopefully I can get through another week!! Lynette
  • Hi Lynette,

    You sound amazing! You walked 2 miles after doing all that prep work? Darn, that's great energy!

    I just wanted to wish you luck next week and I hope each week gets easier for you.
  • Lynette
    Hope that this week goes better and that you gradually get more stamina.
    Do listen to your body and take some time to rest when you need to.

    You are doing so well, but mind you don't overdo it! :-)
  • Lynette

    It's a new week. Hopefully this one will be a little easier. And don't forget that chocolate cake with lunch!!

  • Now that is what I call a good motivator!

    Thinking of you on this Monday and hoping that you will have a great week! I'm sure that even if for just a short time, you make such a difference in the lives of many oncology patients.

    Last July I lost a very dear friend to cancer. I went with her to her chemo appointments and to her oncology follow up. I was always searching for the reassuring smile from the nurses or the doctors. That one smile would help to give me the strength that I needed to be postitive while I watched her battle.

    Thank you so much for what you do and you selflessness. You are making such a difference in many lives!
  • Shari..thanks so much for your kind words. I do love my job and this is the easiest job in oncology and still have patient contact. I don't think I could be giving chemo now cuz it is so fast paced and stressful. The radiation side is much more relaxed and I don't need to worry that if I gave the wrong dose or drug that I would hurt someone.

    This week is better so far. I did cut back a little and have left a 3pm both days, and just the extra hour has made a difference. I put my pedometer on just for kicks to see how much I walked and it was 1 1/2 miles per day and that was me really watching how many extra steps I took. I was walking 2mi every other day but that was at once and not the all day endurance that I was lacking. I think I'm gonna make it!! Lynette

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