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Hi, I'm 6 weeks status post hardware removal from previous back surgery L3-S1 fusion and new surgery for herniated disc L2-3 and fusion again. At first I thought, boy this is better than the first surgery where i was basically incapicated for almost a year to this new one where I'm 6 weeks out and without the pain medication Norco 7.5, I'd be bed ridden all day. I'm somewhat ok with taking the pain meds but they wear off and OMG, it starts all over again with spasm and pain all across my lower back, hips and spasm further up the spine.

I am also so tired all the time. I have to take a afternoon break for at least 1 hour to rest my back laying down or I can't budge. I am doing everything the doctor said to do. Take walks, no walker usage, no additional supports of any kind. I see his nurse practioner in a couple of days and she never had much to say about anything. I 've gotten 2 x-rays since the surgery and all is well.

Now, for a new set of problems. I'm clumsy I guess. The other day I tried to walk over my wire garden fence. Didn't wake it. I fell big time right across the wire fence and bent a goof size pole. Now my back really hurts.

OMG! I'm crazy with this pain........... getting depressed about my stupidity of falling and hurting things worse.

I'm 63 years old. Pretty dumb huh?


  • I am sorry to hear you took a fall, you do need to let them know so they can take x-rays and be sure everything is in tact. You have to keep in mind your body went through a major surgery and it will take time. Don't be afraid to take the medications to help reduce the pain. Your body can't recover when it is in so much pain. if you need a afternoon bread, don't feel bad about lying down and resting, it is what your body needs. But it is so important you keep up the walking, even if you need to lie down afterward and use ice or heat to help out. You sound like you have come along way in just a short time. Remember to measure your success by the week not the day. Google walking programs and come up with one so you have a measurable distance your walking. Sometimes it helps to drive it in a car, so you know the distance first. But keep up the good work and when you need to vent where always open, but sounds like your doing fine so far. Keep up posted.
  • I had a tumor removed from my spine on the 16th June and have been forcing myself to go for walks and went to town last week. I tripped over a road bump in the car park and felt really stupid. I know how you feel. I am only 54. Give yourself a break at least you are getting out there and working on getting better.
  • martyjommartyjo Posts: 57
    edited 07/17/2012 - 1:44 PM
    Hi, Saw my Ortho doctor today, more x-rays of my back ( due to the fall) everything is ok. but I don't feel ok He mentioned about a 4 level fusion like I have that the lower back does not move. Therefore my hips do mot work as the used to. Also, the muscles in my lower back are not being used so they go into spasm. I told him and showed him how I waddle like a duck or someone pregnant because it's easier on my back and hips. He told me that's normal. Again, he said I am early in the healing process but he would like me to start thinking about lesser medication. I told him I take 2 norco 7.5 every 5 hours. I guess that'as ok for now, but he's letting me know that he expects me to be off medication for pain. I know that he would never let me be in pain and would give me pain medication if I asked but with having so much pain now, I can't go without taking the Norco. I can't use Ibuprofen or the like due to it interfering with the bone graft.

    So, I have to stay active and remember that everything does not happen overnight. I called his office and inquired about
    PT as I need to have someone stretch out my back muscles and help me brush up on core strengthening and how to get things off the floor. Maybe help with the spasms too.

    I tell you, it's not easy at all for me. I find it all depressing. Sure, I'm depressed I am never going to be like I was. I'm 62 now and can' t even trust myself to bike ride without worry of my back. Well, I'm thoroughly depressed now so I won't think about it anymore.
  • airborne72airborne72 Posts: 245
    edited 07/17/2012 - 2:59 PM

    Somewhere between your 14 July and 17 July post you regressed from 63 to 62 years of age. I wish I could do that. Hell, I would be 17 right now!!!!!!!!! The world would not be the same!! Ain't no telling what I would do or with whom I would do it!

    My recovery experience from a two level TLIF in January 2011 has been a combination of medication (minor dose of Percocet 10/325 X 4 a day) and mobility (whatever I can do).

    I have had more than one "clumsy" experience during my recovery. Fortunately they did not result in damage, but you/we still wonder.

    The depression issue is one big black hole. Avoid it at all costs. Our physical pain, medication, occupational restrictions, etc. all contribute to the possibility of depression. I am not a psychologist, but it is very easy to see the potential outcome from our formula. I try to stay connected with the rest of humanity. Not seeking sympathy, just human contact. All and each of us struggle with unique issues. The trick is to manage it and not let it manage you.

  • martyjommartyjo Posts: 57
    edited 07/18/2012 - 10:37 AM
    Jim.......Sometimes i think I'm 62 and sometimes I think I turned 63. Does it matter? Is that a problem for you?

    I write because I want to connect with others who may be going through what I am. Give me some idea as to how they've deatl with their surgery Not for the sympathy. Sure, I feel sorry for myself but I'm sure I am
    not the only one. I suffer from Major depression and with my recent back surgery, I'll be the first to admit sometimes I feel like maybe I should not have had it done but I had no recourse but to do it due to the pain I was experiencing. You and I are obviously different in the way we had surgery as well as recovery.

    I don't believe I will post anymore.
  • Martyjo:

    Please understand that I did not mean to offend, insult or demean you in any way through my response to your post. Often times I operate in the realm of humor, but sometimes it is misunderstood and hurts others. Obviously, that is what my post did. For that I apologize.

    Most, if not all, of us on this forum are suffering physically and that then impacts our mental and emotional health. Depression is a reality for each of us. It is real and it can become more of a debilitation than our spine health. I did not mean to imply otherwise.

    Don't stop posting because of me. I am just another member of the forum seeking solace from this chronic pain. And for goodness sake, please know that I did not mean to add to your level of pain.

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