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Difficulty with the no BLT restrictions

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

I was just wondering how you all cope without bending, lifting and twisting???? I am 3 weeks post-op and I find myself bending all the time!

I am recovering well so I am attempting to do more and more, but without trying to over do it, I find myself, bending to make beds, bending doing laundry, bending to load and unload dishwasher, bending to pick things up!!!

I tried squating to get myself lower to do some things and boy I can feel it in my legs!! I just wondered if you all bend as much as I do withou realising just how much we are doing, and how badly can it hurt me???

I still have some swelling, my back just aches every day. I still feel the numbness and tingling on the left side, no leg pain but I do get twinges at times and it scares me all the pain will come back.

Maybe some of you can share with me how you get things done around the house without all the BLT!!!!



  • Hi Sandra,

    When I had my fusion my doctor chose not to put me in a brace. I was thrilled.

    Of course, he said no BLT. I was surprised how difficult it was. When I realized how much we really do bend lift and twist naturally day in and day out I was wishing he had put me in a brace to keep me from doing it.

    It's hard. Especially when you start feeling better. But it is important to really follow those instructions. Keep squatting. Build up those leg muscles. Trust me in the end you'll be happy you did.

    Laundry was the toughest one for me. I would try slightly bending at the knees and pulling it out of the washer then dropping it on top of the dryer and pushing it on to the open dryer door. I would then kick it in and shut the door. Hilarious! Other than that I just had to rely on others to change it out and put it on the table for me to fold...

    I tried a lot of squatting to make beds and load and unload the dishwasher. The Swifter became my friend. I found out I could do the floors and never bend or twist with it. Other than that a lot of stuff just had to go undone or wait for someone else. (That laundry really did make me mad cause believe it or not, I love to do laundry!)

    Then there was the retraining of everyone in the house to leave everything I needed at waist level...That was a whole different story! Why couldn't they leave my coffee cream on the center shelf of the frige? Answer me that!

    Hang in there! It won't be forever!
  • hotcoffee29,

    Glad you are doing well, don't push it, it is too early. I am not versed on the medical words, so did you have a fusion. If so, that needs time to solidify.

    That said, I had L5-S1 decompression and fusion with crushed nerve. 2 months out. Still have fair amount of pain, nothing like the first three weeks, OMG.

    I too have to do things and have squatted probably too many time and am in a setback for a few days I hope. I never got the BLT speech. My doctors believe in doing what you feel up too within reason. Just no bending from the waist too far down. Wasn't happy when I told him I used my new, LIGHT gas trimmer. Was concerned with vibration hindering fusion.

    Just be careful, I did more and more because I started to feel better and went a little too far, I think.

    Your picture, whichever one you are shows a young person. I am almost 60, so we will have different healing rates anyway.

    Continued recovery wishes,

  • to keep reminding myself that I am still recovering and remind my family that I am not all healed yet, because I look just fine!! I walk well and overall feel really good, I just amazed myself at how much I was bending without realising just how much I was bending!!

    Babybubbles, Its not all bad, I don't do the floors, my hubby does it all and he yells at me when he sees me bending, its when I am home and day and everyone else is gone that I feel like I should be doing "something" meaningful and helpful around the house. I am my own worst enemy and I don't want to blow this partnership because I really want to heal!!! Good luck with your 3 level fusion, wow!! Thats a big one. I wish you well for the operation and a good recovery, please let me know how your doing. I have never had a fusion and I can only imagine how challenging that must be to recover from. Best wishes and NO laundry for you!!!!!

    Frog- I am glad you understand how frustrating this is for me, and most women out there I would imagine!!! I need to train my teenage daughter better, I wish she would help me more but my youngest son does alot for me!! My husband is great too, Like I said I ty not to bend but before I know it, there I go again!!! I know I must try better because I want this to heal properly with no problems this time :)

    I like your comment about the coffee!! Thats soooo important!!! I am all about my coffee.....hence my screen name!! LOL

  • Sandra,

    Sorry I didn't pay attention to the end of your post. I now know which one you are.

  • I found ways to do things to "help out" and feel a sense of accomplishment without doing any BLT. It started with a golf club. I was wandering around the house and grabbed my 2 iron and hooked a towel that had fallen on the floor. The light bulb went on and I found I could get clothes into the washer ( albeit only one or two pieces at a time) and it gave me something to do with my time as well. I would wash the clothes and get them into the dryer and my husband only had to pull them from the dryer when he got home. Since we didn't have a dish washer at the time, I found I could widen my stance enough to bring myself lower and have the dishes in the front half of the sink and could then wash dishes. I would dust anywhere I could reach without having to bend or reach above my head, so then my husband only had to get the lower or higher stuff.

    Anyway, there's a ton of things you can do and keep your BLT to a bare minimum.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling so much better.

  • I had a 2 level fusion 3 months ago. At 3 weeks trust me..I couldn't have bent over if I wanted to.
    So since we didn't have the same surgery I cannot understand how easily you are bending.
    I still use a grabber for everything floor level and squat to pick up the dog bowls, etc.
    Bending over...forget it
    I use my grabber for laundry too.
  • Oh Sandra, it is SO hard to remember not to bend especially as you begin to get better.

    Following my first 2 surgeries, as I healed, I would notice that I had bent to pick something up without even knowing it.....

    Just this weekend, my hubby and I had went for a walk on the beach. We were washing the sand off of our feet when my hubby said, "NO! You're bending!" And I was....

    Try to do the best you can! Put signs up, insist on help, buy extra reachers on but them where you bend the most, laundry room, kitchen, etc. I take a little chair to the dishwasher, sit on it, take the dishes out...

    Hang in there. Your recovery is still early. Hopefully, you can make these body mechanics habits for life to help protect your back!

    Wishing you the very best! I know it is a difficult summer for you!
  • I love sticky notes. Put them all over the house. Believe me that little note is all you need to remember not to do it. If you are creative draw some funny pictures on them too.

    I know it seems hard now but before you realize it will be 3 months.
  • Thanks "C". I really liked some of your suggestions. I really do mean to be careful and not over do it, but I find I am just on auto pilot sometimes and just do "stuff" and when I am feeling ok its hard not to.

    I see my surgeon tomorrow and if he thinks I am well enough, I will have my hysterectomy a week today. So I'll be back to taking it real easy once more!!

    Hope your doing well,
  • I hope you continue to recover well and I must have missed the sale on the Grabbers that everyone has but me!! LOL

    I have not had a fusion so I am sure its alot harder to recover and bend, I actually do alot of squatting and I found sitting on the floor made it easier for me to do laundry, I have a front loader so that helps. But today my daughter is doing all the laundry, yeahhhhhh!!!!

    I know I am doing well for 3 weeks post-op but I need to remember its still early and alot of healing is still going on in the inside.

    Take care,
  • Thank you for your reply and the compliment, I am the young one in the picture! LOL This year was my big 4-0 and when you have a bad back, it always makes me feel older!

    I have not had a fusion, I know fusion recovery is alot more intense, I hope you are taking it easier now and not doing too much. Babybubbles had a good point to make when she said if we don't follow our doctors orders and then when we end up in more pain, hmmmm its kind of our own fault!! So I am trying to remember that!!

    I am a bit like you, I feel good, so I just found myself doing more and more and bending way too much without realizing just how much I was doing and I do still get pain so I am paying much more attention to my movements and now that the kids are out of school for summer, I will be counting on them to help out more.

    Take care Ken, I wish you continued success on your journey.

  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend, walking on the beach sounds so nice! You really deserve it :) I hope it helped you clear your head and put things in perspective.

    I do have to learn better body mechanics, and now after 2 spine surgeries in one year, and possibly a fusion in my future, I know that my life has changed and my back will never be the same so I must look after it.

    I see my surgeon tomorrow and he will let me know if he thinks I can handle my hysterectomy, if so, I will have it done one week from today (June 14th), so I will be recruiting the help of my children who are out of school this Wednesday!!

    I hope you enjoy your summer with your daughter, take good care of yourself,

    Hugs, Sandra
  • I love it, great idea..................we all need reminders :) 3 months, phew!! I will try my best, lol.

    Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions to help me remember not to Bend, lift or twist.

  • Maybe your youngest son would love to make some creative artistic signs to serve as reminders! It would probably be fun for him and build his self esteem at the same time! :-)

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow when you see your surgeon. I know it is very important to you and you have a lot riding on the outcome.

    Let us know how it goes!

    How is your mom feeling? I think of you often!

    gentle cyber hug!

    The walk on the beach was so nice! Sat I didn't wear my brace, probably not the best idea. My brother looks a lot like Brad Pitt and always gathers a lot of attention (in fact one woman told me she thought he was "Mr. Yummy"! LOL). I really based the decision to not wear my brace on vanity~ ha!

    When I woke up in the night with horrible pain I realized it wasn't the best of ideas.

    So Sunday morning I wore my brace. My hubby kept suggesting we turn back to stop walking, but I was having so much fun! This surgery has taught me to not take things for granted! So a walk on the beach was fantastic. We held hands, laughed, talked, and we really needed that!

    I'll be watching for your post tomorrow and thinking of you! xxxx Shari

  • Thinking of you for your appointment today.
    Hope it goes well and that you get good news.

    Do let us know what news you got. We are here supporting you. :D
  • after my doctor appointment and let you know what he says to me. My appointment is not until 4pm today and I am about to go get showered and go to my school and visit my class. I have cookies and silly bandz for my students. I am excited about seeing them and all my co-workers. My principal told me I could visit but I can't stay long!

    Thanks for ALL the support :)
  • That should be great seeing your students for a visit. Have a great day! 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

  • Hoping that you are having a lovely time visiting with your class.
    Good that you are getting a chance to see them before they finish for the summer break. :-)

    I am hoping to do the same thing and visit the school where I work and see all the staff and children. I especially want a chance to say goodbye to the older children before they move on to the next school in September.

    Have fun! :D
  • If you have a hysterectomy, make sure that the Operating Room Staff carefully positions you for the procedure, especially if they put your legs in stirups. One of the risks of that position is nerve injury from incorrect positioning or prolonged positioning in the lithotomy position.

  • I enjoyed visiting my school and seeing my students, I got a lot of compliments from staff on how good I looked and how well I am walking!!

    I was hurting after a few hours so it worked out nicely. Jelly...I hope you get to go visit your school and I know the students will enjoy seeing you. When does school get out in the UK? Our kids last day is tomorrow.

    My surgeon is concerned about the hysterectomy. He lifted my legs to see if I had pain and I didn't, he had me bend over and pick up my purse. He said I should be ok, but to stretch as much as I can over the next few days. He told me I will be stiff and hurting after the surgery but it shouldn't harm me because this last surgery was more about tissue and ligaments rather than the disc. He wants to see me in 3 weeks and he was very clear that if I had any concerns or anything bothered me for me to call him....so here we go.....I have to say I am pretty scared about the whole thing!

    Thanks so much for all the support, you guys are really the best!!

    Lisa.........thats the biggest concern that I will be in the stirrups and the surgery is 2 hours long. My spine surgeon told me I'll be ok but he cautioned me that I may be sore afterwards. Tomorrow is my pre-op with my OBGYN, I am just keeping my fingers crossed that this goes smoothly.

    I appreciate all the advice.
  • So glad that you had a good day visiting at your school today! It's amazing how wild the kids are over those silly bandz! Down here it is hard to find them! :)

    I know you are worried for next week. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during your pre-op tomorrow!

    How long do they anticipate you being in the hospital? When do you plan to leave to see you mom?

    I am sure your kids are so excited for tomorrow! :)

    I'll be thinking of you! Shari

  • I'll be thinking of you today too, for your pre-op.
    Wow! Another surgery in just one week! I'll be praying for you Sandra. :-)

    In the UK, schools finish for the summer on 23rd July, so plenty of time to get a visit in.

    Take care,
  • Thank you Jelly and Shari...........

    As you both know, I am trying to take care of these surgeries so quickly so that I can get home to England to see my mum who has terminal lung cancer and to my grandparents. Well my granny didn't make it, she passed away this morning and I feel so useless, I am all the way in Florida and my family are all over there and my mum has chemo today and my grandad who is almost 90 is beside himself.

    I planned the trip in July to be there for their birthdays, I can't believe my granny is gone! I am going to loose them all, and the loss is hurting so bad. I have my pre-op this afternoon but I am thinking of just cancelling the whole thing and getting on a plane, then I will be away from my own children as they finish up with school today.

    Every which way I look, there is no easy answer..........I just feel sadness and pain!

    Sorry to vent, I just feel so lost right now. My granny was 85 and I know she lived a good long life, but she was a remarkable lady, she was the life and soul of the party, always making jokes and laughing having fun. She was a unique lady, I am so blessed she was my granny, I miss her so much.

  • i am very sorry to hear of your loss of your grandma.
    you need a few minutes to relax and think of yourself and your families memories with her, then make the choice you must make.
    the doctors and nurses will surely understand your cancelling, and wish you the best.
    do what your heart tells you to do, and dont look back.
    have a safe trip and everyone will be here waiting for your return.

    my sympathies, and best wishes to you
  • Sandra I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I understand the distance problems. My parents moved out west 15 years ago and my father has had several heart surgeries. Each time I just want to drop everything but it's not that easy. Your kids need to come first. If you can get that covered then I'm with you about going now. You only get one chance to experience some things in life.

    But remember that if it doesn't work out that's the way it wsa meant to be. YOu had lots of years to enjoy your grandmother and you will be there in July when all the activity of the funeral is gone. Sometimes I think that time is even more important to have family with you.
  • On the loss of your Grandma. Do what your heart is telling you to do and I pray you will find the strength each day to manage. Prayers for you and your family. 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
  • I am trying to pull myself together, but its hard!

    I am waiting on my husband who is going to take me to the doctors, its best I don't drive!!!

    Thank you all for such good insight and caring words of comfort, it is appreciated. So much for me to consider, if I leave now, I'd have to fly alone and my back isn't strong enough for that, in July my husband will be with me and my mother-in-law is staying with my children, it's all worked out, I just wish my granny had hung on just a little longer.

    I will follow my heart and see where that takes me, I'll keep you posted, thank you all so much.


  • I'm so sorry to hear your very sad news.
    Your granny sounds like a wonderful lady. :-) It sounds like she had a long and very happy life.
    I know that feeling of being blessed to have her in your family. I felt like that when my grandmother died. A terrible loss, but comfort in the knowledge that she had lived a very full and happy life, and being very grateful that she was my grandmother.

    You now need to weigh everything up and decide what you want to do. I'll be praying for you with making that decision Sandra, and also for your family in England and in the US.

    It is so hard for you right now being so far away from all your family. Hopefully, soon you will be together and will be able to support and comfort each other.

    Let us know what you decide to do, but know that we are here for you and I'll be praying for you.

    Take care Sandra
    Gentle hugs >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Oh, Sandra, I have been away all morning and just read your news! I am so very sorry!

    I have had 2 huge losses in my life this year and I can so understand your feelings.

    It is often so difficult to be the one left behind when someone we love dies.

    I agree with Kris, that if it doesn't workout for you to go now, being able to be there when the dust settles may be a real blessing for your mom and grand Dad.

    You are still in the initial healing stages with your back. If you go now, so much of your energy will have to be devoted to just getting through the servies....

    I wish I could be there for you! I know how it feels to feel so alone, but you aren't we are all here for you, putting our arms around you and helping you through this.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
  • My condolences on losing your granny, I know how hard it is. But she IS with you even though you aren't in England. She's sitting on your shoulder, patting you on the head telling you that it's ok, do what you have to do and that she'll always be with you, if not in body, in spirit and in your heart.

    I wouldn't doubt if you even feel her with you sometimes. I know that I've felt my loved ones with me who have passed on every now and then, but especially right afterwards.

    I know it's a terribly sad time and that all you're going through is difficult, but know that she sees you, loves you and is and always will be with you.

    Take care of yourself.
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