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How soon post op were you able to get out & about?

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have cabin fever terribly & I am thinking of having my hubby pack me up & take me to Walmart for a bit 8> ... I don't know how to run one of those electronic chairs they have but thought maybe they still have regular wheelchairs there?

I am 3 weeks out, and not able to do much still. :W
I tried to go to the fabric store last week & that was a bad idea..the ride alone about killed me.
I guess I am kinda scared to try it :S

So I am curious how soon you all ventured out on small trips to the store/pharmacy , etc.


  • Hi,
    I went out at 3 weeks to show houses. I'm a real estate agent and I had clients I was working with before the surgery. We saw 4 houses and then my husband took me to Dinner. On the way home from the restaurant I started to feel sick and new I did too much. You should be OK.

    PS My husband came with me and did the driving
  • walking days after the surgery, as ordered by my doc. Since it was December/January, I either went to the "fake" indoor mall in our rural town or to Walmart. I took my walker and we would walk round and round and keep track of how far I could go each time. Bad news would be if we ran into friends and they wanted to stop and visit. I couldn't really do that as I had a limited amount of time I could really be standing and such. But we made our daily rounds at Walmart and I'm sure the employees there thought we were weird.

    Kimmy, I was also a real estate agent! And after my first surgery- laminectomy/discectomy, I did not take the restrictions seriously. I showed houses, listed houses, dropped things and bent over and picked them up because when with clients, I would do things before catching myself to not do them. I know I am a big reason that first surgery was a failure.

    And while I am still actively licensed in 2 states (but in referral status), I know it is unlikely I will ever return to real estate because of all my nerve damage and numb feet. I can't do stairs in my real life, and don't know how I would limit my showings to only one story houses. I can't feel half my feet, and could fall so easily. I can't imagine the stress I would put on my clients.

    But I still love real estate, still follow it constantly online, etc. Those were the old hyper Cheri days - so fun!!

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  • Living in the north, I can't tell you how glad I am that I had my surgery in the summer. I was able to get out twice every day for walks, so had no need to go to any stores too. Having hindsight, I can't image how tough it is to have this type of surgery in the winter.

    I think I only made one store trip until week 8, and that was short.

    I assume it is still difficult for you to sit comfortably for more than 15-30 minutes at a time. If that is true, remember that you are sitting in the car to go to the store and then may add sitting in an electric chair or wheelchair after that, then return home in the car. That's a lot of sitting at one time. If you had trouble last week on the drive to the fabric store, I imagine using any type of chair at WalMart will also be a problem.

    If you do go, it would be better to try to walk around a store for a little bit. Try to go when they're not as busy to lessen the chance of getting bumped.
  • When your body is ready.
    I did not go out anywhere except for walking on the road till my 1st checkup at 4wks. By the time I got home I was totally worn out.
    So its going to depend on what your body can handle and when your ready.
    If your walking alot already at 3wks on a treadmill or outside. Its more the car ride that takes the toll. Then the walking itself.

    I don't think there are no rights or wrongs on when to.
    When I did go out w/ hubby to the store I just held onto a empty cart and walked around.
    Its the driving thing that you usually cannot do for awhile till released from your dr.

    This is one long/boring recovery and worse during the winter months.. Hang in there!! O:)
  • If you going to be in a store, grab a push carriage. That way your getting some vital exercise and can still get some relief and rest with the carriage. I was out doing just that 4 days after I got out of the hospital when we went food shopping.


    PS. After my emergency surgery in 2006, I was so weak for a long time. I bought a good 4 wheel walker that you can sit on if need be. It was well worth the price.
    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
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  • I so recommend getting out if you can! However, those first 3 weeks I had to plan my day. Get up in the morning, get pain meds, shower, then lay down for a short rest. After rest, pain meds, then get up and have hubby drive me to store.

    In a store like Walmart, you need one of those electric scooters. The store is just too big. If hubby pushes you in a wheelchair, the ride might be a little bumpier than if you were driving a scooter.

    When we made stops at smaller stores like craft stores, I pushed around an empty shopping cart or used my walker or some of each. But walmart is way too big to not use a scooter on your first outings.

    Be prepared to be exhausted that night but yet it feels good mentally to have gotten out in public. Also, stupid people will ask you questions like, "Oh my god! You must have hurt yourself really bad to have that brace on!" Always made me feel better to have a good story ready. I had posted on the other site that I told some folks stories about Karate injuries and other way out things just to make myself laugh.

    Getting out in the real world can really lift your spirits but just be careful, don't overdo, and expect that you might feel a little worse since you've upped your activity level.
  • I don't know what your weather is like right now, but I had my fusion surgery in the summer. My mom would pick me up on fri and sat mornings and we would go to garage sales. I love garage sales but it was nice to go in public and walk a little but then be able to lay back in the car seat if I needed to. It was perfect for little trips and little rests in between.
  • Just don't push much weight in it. I had to get out and do a little Xmas shoppping at about 2 or 3 weeks. My DSH was with me to help and support. Dropped me off at the door and picked me up. Of course I was wearing a brace at that point. I really overdid it first time out, tho. Limit your time out and the amount of walking around that you do. In retrospect, I now know that I was also fighting anemia for weeks after my surgery, although with the help of iron pills I'm now doing alot better.

    I also agree that you should expect to feel some effects after your first trip out so take it easy the next day! Let us know how it goes.
  • I started with a small walk in my neighborhood. Nothing big, just listen to your body. You will be able to tell if your able to do more. I'm about five weeks post op and each day is different regarding my energy levels. I would read the forum and compare myself to other and I soon realized you can't do that. We all heal at different rates and have different levels of fitness and age. Just be really careful and don't fall. Best wishes!
  • after giving it more thought, I don't think I'll try the Walmart trip today..its just too crazy on a weekend in that place. 8}

    When I went to the fabric store, I could barely walk around when I got there, and since I do not have a brace, I think the staff just thought I was lazy (hubby went & got things, pulled up the car, etc.) sometimes it is better if you have a visual when in public.. so I think when I go I may use an older backbrace I used when my back would go out, more or less to say "Hey, I'm hurt here..don't bump into me" and "NO, I can't lift the bags you fill into my cart" lol.

    I like the empty cart idea. I need the excersise, I'm in Iowa- so no chance the weather will be nice enough to walk outdoors for awhile!

    I think I am at a difficult stage where mentally I want to do things & my body is not quite there ~X(
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