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Geting in and out of a car after back surgery!

alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Chronic Pain
Well as we all know after having back fusion its not always easy geting in and out of the car. Especialy if you drive anything low with bucket seats. You learn to park in ways where you are able to open the door to be able to make the stressfull movement to get your feet out enough to raise yourself up and walk. Even if it means parking a litle further away from other vehicles and having to walk a litle further then you prefer.

I thought this to be a good practise for other vehicles are safer away from me having to posibly bump the side of there door and them also posibly hiting my car them not paying attention while geting out.

Well lately this has not been working out as i hoped. It seems if i parked in an empty parking lot the next car that would pull in of all places on a 10 acre parking lot would be drawn to me so much so where they park there vehicle inches away from me on the driver side where now i cant open my door or can barely open my door to get out with my bad back.

Its almost as if they thought i knew something that they were not aware of and if i parked there that must mean thats the place to park. And beter park it real close cause the wave of cars must be ariving soon. I am usualy just amazed how stupid people are so i dont even bother to tell them off i just might say, Lucky you found a parking place eh?

It would not make a diference if you had a dissabled flag on your car these people would block you in to your vehicle thinking nothing of it. You would have to climb out the back window of your car in some cases breaking out the back window with your wheel chair. Or take out the back seat and climb out the trunk of the car.

Just this morning i pulled in to the gas station plenty of parking places around me being in pain as usual . Made sure i have plenty of room to open my door. Hell i could of tossed a rock out on that side and not been able to hit a car. Well Suprise. Suprise Suprise as i look in the side mirror. Could it be the redneck mobile pulling in just inches from my passanger door. Kujo barking out the open back window just about biting off my rear door handle.

The banjo music just went off in my head. A younger guy driving with female on my side which i figured is probably his sister or wife or both. I waited to see if she makes her move opening the door 1st but i guess she was trying to be polite leting me make the 1st move.

I make my move sliding out while kujo trying to sexualy assult me but being beat down by its owner foaming at the mouth. Not the dog the owner. Thank god female never opened her door and hit my car cause there would have been a a spiney gone postal ending.

They driving a primer gray chevy caprice last seen heading east on i 80 in illinois so be aware lol.

Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
2012 scs implant ,


  • amazing isn't it! must be the magnetic draw from our spines!
    I am not driving yet, but I can tell you that I am having nightmares just thinking about the possibilities...
  • Alex,

    You and I are thinking alike on that same subject. I try to do the same as I drive a small Kia Rio (THAT will be fun to get in and out of after my surgery!). I also purposely try to park far away as I am slow moving and I'm a big guy.

    It really does seem like people try to piss us off by doing that......I thought maybe its just me, but maybe not!

  • It's not just after surgery... I had a dakota (pickup) for 14 years before it threw a rod :( I went looking for a car... figured I worked in an office now, and gas was getting pricey... I found that I could hardly get up out of them without needing to go lay down afterwards. Between my knees and my back I realized I had to go back up... literally. This time, since I'd be driving my mom as well.. (she got out of the trick without a problem back then!)

    I ended up with a Durango... figuring the 4WD had gotten me around in the truck and it would here as well. Now, I'm suffering with the gas prices... an 11 year old behemoth... and even more of a problem with the old back and knees. Not sure what to look at... without the height, everyone in the building would hear me :( With it, I end up with another 12 (gulp) mpg waste.

    Oh!! Alex! I believe they actually did a study about your issue. They parked cars in the absolute last, farthest space in an empty parking lot and then turned on the video.... without fail, cars came in, drove around the (still) empty lot and parked next to the one (test) car!!

    People are just crazy. There's no explaining them ;p

    I wish I had a solution for ya. I have the same problem at times with the durango... people park with about an inch between the cars... it's like they don't know how to park! I always park in the middle of the space (equal space on either side of the truck) because it's so big, I don't want to block others... too bad no one else thinks that way :p
  • So its not just me then? I thought i was just a crazy magnet. Lol. Thank god it hapens to others also then. I make a sound geting out of my vehicle as if i was having an orgazm. Lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Okay Alex,

    I have to post this......good laugh! LOL


  • Lol. Those are the same monkeys that blocked me in. Lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Why the durango 4x4. ? Why not the 2 wheel drive which should be cheaper on gas. I always loved the durango. I also have my truck still that i use to use for work truck the dodge ram 1500 but truck without weight in the back of it not at all smooth ride and dont feel great on the back. But it is much easier to get in and out of the truck then the car.

    I dont have any idea what vehicle car or suv would realy be the best for someone with serious back issues. I would love to find something with real smooth suspenssion and easy geting in and out.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I want anything that is convertible since I can't ride a motorcycle anymore.heck I'm down here in OK so take a blow torch to a pickup truck . The only equivalent I have is a sunroof.
  • Alex- 4x4 because we get a fair amount of snow and we don't seem to be able to keep the roads cleared all that well. I had to be able to get out and go in the event of an emergency at home or needed to get to work. Now, I work home 2 days a week... and I can probably switch them out if a work day is snowy.

    I'm planning on looking in October to see what deals I can find. I like the look of the hyundai tuscon (30 mpg?) and the sonata (40!!mpg) but not sure I can get in and out of the sonata.

    I figure with a smaller suv, I'll get better mileage, maybe AWD instead of 4x4? Not sure how that works. The ford focus is pretty nice as well... but again, I'd have to have it up on lifts to get in and out prolly! I think I'll take some time over the weekends and go sit in the cars I'm interested in... see how it feels. It would be awesome if I could find affordable AND great mileage AND be able to get in and out without putting on a show!

    (toyota is out, lol... my brother gave me a ride in his and I had to ask him to turn around and take me home... it was so bad getting out of the car that I couldn't walk once we'd arrived, bah!)

    Michelle- have you see the "new" Chrysler 200 convertible? ooh, preeeety ;) I'm a redhead, no way I could do a convertible, I'd be like a pool of fried fat sitting on the seat with the heat we've been having!
  • That was a great video! First laugh for today. Your post Alex is so true about parking. I haven't had surgery and do well sitting in a Toyota Yaris but when my husband drives me somewhere like the bank or drugstore, he will park away from the store so I have to get out and walk around to get in and then picking me up I have to walk back to the car dodging cars and my husband never gives me enough room to get in the passenger side. LOL

    He wants me to get a handicap parking sticker so he can park right there but I hate if there's only one spot available for a wheelchair person to get out. I think you can get a temporary sticker if recovering from surgery though. This is a great post!

    LOL Alex will watch out for that car! But I think they're everywhere! 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 think i am going to start searching for an ambulance with low miles. The way i feel today thats what i need. Look at the money i can save driving myself to the hospital in an ambulance and just slide out the back door on the stretcher. I can even hire a monkey for a driver. Maybe a monkey thats also a dr.

    Today i am so druged up already cause nerve pain hit me like a rock and i am doing everything i can to stay out of er. I had some bad nerve pain many times before but this one realy takes the cake.

    Charry: any time i walk out in the parking lot going back to my car there is always a monkey that seems to be waiting to run me down them thinking i am actualy going to run or something to get out of the way even when they have a stop sighn to let people walk out the door at the store. Maybe i was an ass myself before i was injured rushing people to get out of the way but now i understand and i can relate that i give them all the time they need. I even will stop another car now days for the disabled person telling the driver off to slow down and let that person finish walking across without him beeping the horn and acting like an ass.

    Its easier to spot an older person walking slow but some people dont realise you dont have to be old to be dissabled and have just as much trouble walking as older dissabled person.

    Clandy: i have found it dont have to be all wheel drive . I found some front wheel drive handle very well in the snow. Much beter then rear wheel drive vehicles,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Charlie, that was an awesome response to this topic. I remember seeing this commercial and lmao, =)) it is so typical of people. Thanks for the video, I needed that.
  • My wife and I bought a Ford Flex, which is a crossover, and it is absolutely by far the best vehicle we have ever owned to get in and out of. That was the main reason we bought it was because I could get in and out of it so much easier than anything we've ever owned. The ride is very smooth, and the seats are extremely comfortable. Oh, I don't work for Ford either, I am just trying to help other spiney's out. Just check one out sometime, Ford specifically had the Flex doors cut down where your feet would be able to slide into the vehicle; instead of having to pick your legs up so high. I have been very happy with the vehicle. If anyone is considering changing vehicles so you can be more comfortable, please at least look at the Ford Flex.

  • You're very welcome......it's good for us spineys to laugh! And I agree.....its very true, I can never seem to park anywhere without some bozo giving me less than a foot of room to get in/out of the car!

  • Ford= Ashes to ashes dust to dust. If it was not for Ford, Our tools would rust!

    Ford= Buy a Ford. Buy the best! Drive a mile, Walk the rest!

    Ford= Here i sit so broken hearted. Wishing that my Ford would have started. But it did not so its a rap. So i think i will shoot that piece of crap!

    Ford= F=fix. O= or R=repair D=dailey!

    I was driving my ford down the road. When i realised it was going to explode. The Ford motor blew up in my face. So i put a chevy motor in its place. I drove that truck untill body panel was rusted away. But that chevy motor still runing to this day !

    I think i am safer geting another spinal fusion then a ford fusion. Lol.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • The only damn cot monkey that's going to haul your butt around is this licensed cot monkey. ( and I'm a paramedic too) :) so if you start asking me to do mouth to mouth or if I'm just pissy I can always sedate and intubate ya to make ya quiet. HahhahbAaaaa . Ya know they do sell ambulances at public auctions but if you do get one you'll have to have a decorating party for us to put flames and other custom gig on your ride. Hee hee .
  • That car does look really pretty, especially if i can get it in metallic midnight blue. I'm a blonde so wouldn't fair much better .
  • Alex I'm sorry to hear it's still kicking your ass. Is it the normal pain or did it flair from activity. Don't know if you saw my other post but hubby ambushed me and took me to dr appt to address pain and insomnia increase. Dr doubled my meds for a week till i get the epidural a few days after. He also said he considers me a high functioning failed back surgery patient. So i added a bag of mini Hershey bars to the med mix because you can't get hurt with chocolate like you can with alcohol and narcotics . How about we go to er together for iv pain killers and I'll bring the chocolate ? HahHa Seriously though I'm sorry your not feeling good.
  • i sure agree when ppl see a older person its okay let them take ther time with cane or walker..but the looks and ppl speed around me when they see me with my hot pink cane trying to walk.
    I finally got my tag for handicap i do try not to use it often but when i do i get such looks waiting for me to get out of my car..
    I figure if you stupid idiots got that much time on your hands go ahead cause believe me takes me a bit to get outta my hot red car...
    ppl don't have any compassion at all when they see us middle age ppl walking slow.. duh duh ppl i would do anything to walk fast or run..
    good minds think alike alex..i often park far away cause your right they don't care even if i'm in handicap spot..
    i'd rather only use it when i have mom in car we are a good site to see...her with walker an me with cane...
    maybe alex they saw you get out and just want to meet that handsome guy or they like your car..
    hugs on the off the chart pain we can't catch a break even in summer time....
    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.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,863
    I have always loved my Honda Accords. I am on the 5th one now. But it is always a struggle getting in and out. Most of the time, I bang my head trying to get in.
    After opening the door, I try to sit on the driver's seat. Then I try to swing one leg into the car at a time. Thats when the fun begins! After a few yelps and sighs, I get one leg in. Ready to take off! But, still one leg is outside the car. No matter how many times I try to swing the leg into the car, both my back, hips, neck and shoulders say NO. So many times, I use my cane to grab hold of my leg and swing it in.
    Finding my seat belt and trying to hook it in place is a whole other ordeal.

    Get my left leg out, which is normally numb by this time, so it isnt too painful. I grab hold of the top of the door and start to left myself up at the same time swinging the right leg into position to get out. I usually get my left leg on the ground and use it as a brace to stand up and get the rest of me outside the car. Now about 60% of the time, I get out and realize I have forgotten something, the keys, my cell phone, etc. After cursing a bit, I try to just bend in to get the item. Here is where I wish I carried my grabber with me all the time.

    Now, our other car , the Honda Odyssey (We are a Honda family), I can get in and out so much easier. Still getting in takes a bit longer.

    As far as those alien people who insist on parking right next to your driver or passenger side door,
    well, I can't explain how I handle these situations.
    Luckily, I've only been the alleged person who dealt with those problems when going to court, so I am still innocent.

    Handicap Stickers. There is an entire thread devoted to this. So, I am only going to mention one thing. People ABUSE them! Plain and Simple.
    I've always felt when something is necessary then you need it, but when it only becomes a convenience, I dont buy into it.

    After all my surgeries, I still park in normal spots, then I get out and walk to my destination and then back. Both ways are always uphill at a 70% incline.
    But I do it.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron i can relate to leaving something in the car after the strugle of geting out. You finaly get out check your back pocket realising wallet is in the glove box. So here we go again ass back in the seat of the car with door open. Reach in to glove box feet out the door back and neck cramping up while of course a car pulling in ready to take your door off with your legs lol

    I need a graber with a tazzer built in to it. I would love to zap the next person parking next to me giving an attitude. I do carry the same golf club putter i give my dad years ago when this car was his for protection. He always kept it in this old mercedes he brought back from germany in the back seat. Its not that we ever look for trouble. But there has been times a crazy person jumps out of there car road rage and ready to go at it.

    With spine issue i would have trouble geting in to a fight with someone but i would not hesitate taking out there knee cap if i had no choice with the golf putter. Came close only one time. But i was lucky i had my friend kevin with me but he also had neck and back fusion so both of us would of been worthless. But at least the guy who jumped out of his vehicle coming at us was not aware we can barely walk or move so fighting would of been well not easy.

    Other guy was totaly in the wrong but you cant tell a hot head they are in the wrong, you can only flip them the finger and move on. Lol

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Thanks for sharing your family reunion video. Git-er-done. Lol

    Keith. Sorry about the ford coments. Nothing personal lol. I did check out the ford you mentioned cause i was not sure what one you was talking about. It actualy looks cool, but Ford dont go over well in this house. Girlfriend has you know that decal on her chevy pickup window with litle man peeing on ford. The ford you got looks nice but litle high in price range for me i think.

    Michelle. I see a new neuro i think same time you having injection. Monday i think. I will me asking her about her thoughts on this dmso for nerve damage if they dont have any beter ideas.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • after my first fusion, the hospital, nurse, gave me lessons about how to get out of bed. i had to do this for 6 months. one has to be really careful because according to my surgeon it takes about a year for back to heal after fusion. remember, at least in my case, i had bone graphs put into the screws and if you are not careful, you can ruin the graphs. my back has healed more or less but i still have chronic pain and 3 other surgeries but i am still careful. small cars are bad bad and bad to get out of. i had to get a mini van with enough room to get out of and to drive comfortably. i still have pain if i drive for a period of time. i bought a kaia and it is the best care for me for room and pain and comfort. some of us will have lifetime chronic pain and if you are unlucky enough to have chronic pain, then the roomier and bigger the car the better. the worse part is getting into the car. before my last fusion, the pain was so bad i had to get out of car to get pain under contrrol and the pain was so bad getting into it, i literally screamed. it still happens when i get out of bed.
    good luck and take it easy
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Jon,
    I see you have had 4 surgeries, which levels did you have done?

  • i had level 5 at first, then they took out the metal after two years to see if it helped pain, it did not. then unfortunately, when one has a fusion, sometimes it makes the disc on top of it unbalanced and it goes out. so they did a lamenectomey on levelv 3 and 4. it did not work, so they did a fusion on level 3. and 4. i also had a lasar disectomy on level 5 before my fusion. it did not make it work, it made it worse by the way. so if you count that, it would be five surgeries. haven't had a surgery for 4 years now and i won't unless it is so bad that i cannot function.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I needed a good laugh today! Thank you for that opening story and follow-ups, lol
  • Stick around meucci24 we always find a way to entertain to help our pain. Just wait when we make the moderators strip naked and chase them around snaping towels see how fast and how high we can make them jump.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I understand you do what keeps the house in order. If you buy the Flex new it is expensive, but we bought one with about 20,000 miles on it and that helped a lot in the price, otherwise we could never afford it. I think a test drive would definitely spark people's interest. :?

    Ron, I have had two Hondas and I enjoyed both of them, especially the gas mileage. I would have a tougher time now getting in and out of them. I had an Accord and Civic.
  • I also have a Honda accord and civic but I'm kinda short and so no problems for me. My hubby is 6'1 so little tighter squeeze for him.
  • I had a little Honda Civic 5 speed when I hurt my back. It was 14 years old, still ran like a champ, although just about all I had done to it was change the oil regularly (yes, I did replace the timing belt and got some new tires). Once I ruptured all those discs, getting in and out and working the clutch just became way too painful. I sold it to my secretary (still running like a champ to this day!) and bought myself a Honda CRV. Not only is the seat exactly at butt height, it's an 8-way adjustable heated seat. ;) It's amazing that, although I still get stiff and sore on long trips, I can just slightly adjust that seat and then I'm comfy again for quite a while. The heat helps when my back is sore or when my cheeks are freezing in the winter time! I just retired, so when the annuity check comes, I can finally quit making car payments!
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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