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post infection recovery

nelnnel Posts: 402
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi all,

I haven't been on here much recently - I think I have been too fed up to post! It is just over three months since I had my hardware out and the infection cleaned out.

My recovery is really slow and I cannot do anything to hurry it along. I have hardly any energy. I can do my 40 - 50 minute walk each day and then some days I can add a small trip to the shop or something similar. If I go for my swim I can do about 10 lengths (I used to swim at least 64 lengths 5 times a week and on good days it would be 100 lengths!) and then I need to come home for a sleep!

If I do push myself to do a little bit more then I pay in exhaustion and pain. I feel quite pathetic because, like a lot of spineys, I am an up and at 'em sort and find this waiting to get better really frustrating.

The surgeon did warn me against "powering through" so I try and stay within my limits - to be honest I am too tired most of the time to do much else!

On a positive, so long as I don't do a lot then I have very little pain. It is only when I do extra that I start to really hurt. Mind I have returned to the naproxen twice a day and I think that has helped a bit too. I do still have nerve pain in my thighs most of the time but I can bear it so it can't be that bad! When I do too much it gets bad and goes in my feet too.

I had thought that I would be going back to work in January but that is looking less likely as time goes by. I am not even doing anything like half a day's activity at the moment let alone a whole day in the lab! I am signed off for another 6 weeks yet so I will just have to hope that I start to get better faster!

I have never felt like this before. Sure, after the fusion I was tired and in pain but this exhaustion is something else. I am finding it difficult because there is no information out there. There was loads out there for me to read about recovery from fusion so I knew what to expect but this time there is nothing. I don't think I had realised just how bad the infection had been. I suppose my body had been fighting it for best part of two years and now it has had enough! I was really tired all the time before the surgery, maybe it was a miracle I didn't just keel over earlier!

I feel pretty low at the moment as it feels like life is passing me by. I had the initial fusion two years ago because the pain I had was limiting my life and now, two years later, I am doing even less! I know that I will get better eventually and that I should count my blessings, I do try - honest!

Anyway, I am sorry to moan on as I know that so many of you are suffering with pain and tiredness much worse than me. Thank you for listening/reading! I am off now to get a grip and pull myself together!



  • This malaise is normal. My doctor warned me that I would tire easily for a year after the salvage procedure. The infection and surgery takes it out of you! It takes at least 3 months to recover from the anaemia alone. Now, at 6 months after my redo,I am starting to recover some of my energy from 2 years ago. And the pain is largely gone. Still weak muscle wise but my swimming and ski-walking endurance has vastly increased in the last month.

    I can do a long day at work now. Still need to crash on weekends, but otherwise can feel that I should be okay.

    Hang in there !
  • sorry to hear how you are feeling. It can be hard after surgery waiting to feel better. It does take so long. Hang in there,day by day. Emily has some encouraging words of experience.

    You have been through alot over the last few years, this could be why it takes longer. Great to hear that you are out walking 40-50 minutes a day,and swimming as well. Try not to compare to how far you used to go, it will come.

    We are hear for you, keep coming on here, vent away, post your successes, fears, frustrations,we are here to listen,support, and cheer you on.

    Judge week to week, rest as you need to (this is when your body does its best healing)

    Great that your pain levels are doing well as long as you don't overdo things.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Thanks for the support both of you!

    Emily - it is good to hear from you as you have been through a similar trial! I am so pleased to hear you are doing well. My GP also told me to expect to feel tired for a year and it is good to have a confirmation of the timescale. I have no idea though how you are managing to do a day at work. There is no way I could do it at the moment. Mind you I say that but if I was there I suppose I would manage somehow - probably by sacrificing the rest of my life like I did most of last year! I do feel irritated with myself because I feel great(ish) when I do nothing but exhausted when I do a little bit. So hard to get any balance.

    Thanks for the encouragement Ouch! I am trying not to have any expectations so that I am not too disappointed in what I can manage. It sure is hard though! I am making sure to rest - I have read loads of books, watched some films/tv etc. Certainly not feeling bored yet! Just a bit fed up that I can't do a bit more.

    Last night I had the worst night I had for ages. I have been taking it easy this week after I pushed too much last week so was surprised when I started having the same old left sided back pain again after I went to bed. I tried to ride it out for about an hour and a half but couldn't sleep through it and caved in and took codeine. My back is still tender to the touch around my scar and so I started panicking that the reason I don't seem to be getting better is because really the infection is still there! Wow - those midnight paranoia attacks are great aren't they?!

    Thanks again for all your support.
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