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nmacnnmac Posts: 112
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Didn't really know where to post this so feel free to move to another section.

I work full time and have pretty severe DDD/Stenosis throughout my spine. I take medications to allow me to function OK. Yesterday I overdid it cleaning my house. I swept/mopped/vacuum etc for about 2 hour is all. The rest was light housekeeping. Today I am paying. I think the mopping did me in. Any ideas on how to keep the floor clean but not have to put my back into it? I let it go for awhile and it was filthy. Any suggestions?
Severe DDD. Klippel Feil Deformity. Cervical Foraminatomy that turned into Lamy. I have tried so many treatments, therapy's and medications.


  • hi nancy. one thing that i learned in occupational therapy is to sweep with the broom right in front of me, as if i am pushing it. as such i don't need to ever so slightly bend and torque my back as is required with sweeping/vaccuming, shovelling). i also learned that i can sweep with the broom in front of me and taking lateral steps (right foot to left foot, right foot to left foot). the same goes for vacuuming. my house also feels like a sandbox too sometimes, lol. hope this helps.
  • Nancy,
    It may be better to keep your spine parallel to the ground and kneel on the floor if possible with some protection; the alternative would be to pay someone else to do it. As disability impacts on all our capability we have to find what we can do, the alternative may be to pace more effectively and only do one job at a time, under that 2 hour current limit, I have many things I can no longer do, if these things are important to you who can help you.

    A less than perfect house is not a measure of who you are, people should not judge you based on your limitations, making a pacing error is learning for the next time, imposed change is never easy it takes time and experience to learn to do the same things in alternative perhaps inventive ways.

    Working full time is courageous and a huge achievement, you cannot do it all, be kind to yourself and acknowledge what you are doing in difficult and challenging circumstance.

    Take care, John
  • Hi Nancy...
    This is one of the things that bugs me the most - Im 25, and my fiance and I have built a house together...and mopping, sweeping and vacuuming are three of the things that stirrs up my pain the worst :( It's so hard to watch the floors get so dirty, but have the anxiety knowing that the price I will pay for cleaning them is so high... It's our first house. I want to be able to keep it clean and lovely for him/us... :( One trick I learned is to wrap the vacuum 'hose' around my waist, so I can't reach as far forward, so I dont bend as much, and sort of 'lunge' my way around-making sure I keep my back straight, and bending at the knees and hips...if that makes any sense? (it's hard to describe!) I know that it would be much better to mop a bit at a time as well, but once I start, the perfectionist side of me takes over and has to do the whole lot!
  • Backdate 4:10am work at 7, pain........ The relative cost is only financial should you damage your back or make it worse, no subsequent money would repair it. It is not an easy as you think letting a stranger into your home, to do a role you think you are capable ofdoing. Pain is a team event and that includes helping and supporting when the pain is bad and things need to slide as a consequence.

    We all have roles and responsibilities or domains, managing and pacing effectively and perhaps asking for help and not being critical of the results. I have been a hands on dad to three teenagers, at a time when this was not the norm, I am proud of being involved and doing my share, through laughter, tears and obedience.

    Keeping going past when a reasonable person would have stopped, we have all done that and pay the price in increased pain, either through pride or just stubbornness, my own capabilities are now what I can do, rather than what others think I should or historic achievements.

    Take care and be kind to yourself, a man with a bad back and three young children, an eventful time.

    John....resting, tick tock
  • for all the ideas. I am learning to let things go in my home. It is only my husband and I left at home. The girls have all grown and moved away. Hubby has his own health problems and only recently has done a few chores around the house. It has always been my domain. Recently, He is occasionally washing after dinner dishes and frequently takes out the garbage without being asked. I try to give him as much positive reinforcement as I can muster. Sometimes its hard to not be resentful. He just doesn't see the mess or will "forget" when I ask him to do something. He knows I have spine issues and pain but seems to not put it together that it is hard for me to do what I used to. He really DOES NOT want me to consider the surgery that was recently offered. I am getting a second opinion myself. If I decide to do this he will be upset with me if it doesn't go well. Enough of my venting. Thanks friends! Nancy
    Severe DDD. Klippel Feil Deformity. Cervical Foraminatomy that turned into Lamy. I have tried so many treatments, therapy's and medications.
  • Hi Nancy :wave:

    Oh don't ever stop venting - it is all that gets me through some days ;)

    Until my knees went (I got fake ones now) I did my floors on my hands and knees and boy where they ever clean lol Once I was down I often did my lower cupboards and lower parts of stove, dishwasher, frig etc. It was a huge help as I did not have to bend to do any of it.

    But once my knees went and even with new knees you can't go down on your knees (it is very painful) I use one of those light weight floor mop thingies that you attach a "wipe" to. But I put a wet rag on mine and spray my floor with cleaner and then get a new wet rag to rinse it with.

    As for your hubby - I have one of those too... hence one of the reasons I love coming here :D

    If you come up with any new ways to do household chores please share.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • When my back heals and i get back to work ( not full time) I decided to pay someone to clean once a month. My priorities are changing.

    I do not let anyone come in the house with shoes on. That helps a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I used to do everything in one day. I always had a lot of energy. I think a different day can be used for a different chore, keep it simple.

    Maybe suggest to your hubby: Maybe we can do a trade off, what would you like me to do to help you more and maybe you can do something for me to help me more.

    Leila deurell
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