Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

On again, off again

downinmyheartddowninmyheart Posts: 497
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went back to work part time on 2/16 for two weeks and then on to full time on 3/2. After less than two weeks on full time I am exhausted. Last week I came home three nights and just layed down and cried. The nerve pain in my right side has greatly increased since coming back to work full time. I have been attempting to follow the doctors restrictions as closely as possible but the demands of my job often take over. I have already been working 10, 11, 12 hour days just in week one. Too much for me!!!! My 100% is not quite what it was prior to declining into the state I did necessitating fusion surgery. So, today the doctor changed my restrictions back to part time for another month.

I am not upset about this. I need to take care of me and I know it is not going to happen in my current work environment. So come what may I have to love me. I am excited about what I am sure is going to be a career change for me. I say goodbye to the attachments and ideas I have had about who and what this job is to me. I am not my job.

I am curious though, are there others who thought they were ready or had to go back to work just to soon thereafter slow down again?

One Love,



  • I am going back to work on Monday, after being out for 7.5 weeks, and my fear is how tired I will be at the end of the day (I have a desk job, but I'm going back full time). So I can't answer your question but I can sympathize!! As one friend said to me, "don't burn up upon re-entry" and while I hardly feel like a space shuttle these days, she makes a good point :)))
    I have vowed to leave work on time every day and actually had the conversation with my manager, the last thing she wants is for me to be out on medical leave again (though she has been very supportive).

    Re: your nerve pain - did you have nerve pain after your surgery, or is this new? THAT has me worried my dear!!
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • The nerve pain started immediately after the fusion. Kinda feels like my skin is on fire or asleep or something like that. It starts around the incision on the right side of my lower back and takes over the entire right buttock and outer thigh. It is worse for strenuous activity and also for sitting. I have been taking 1200mgs of gabapentin daily to try and calm it some.

    One Lovem

  • advertisement
  • Hi Stephanie.

    I know how hard it is to go back to work. I can't even fathom your working such long hours. OMG, how hard that must be. I'm so, so glad your doc put you back on part time and that your manager is understanding.

    My company was understanding too, and I was only going part time when I got laid off. I'd love to be working, but there's a part of me that's relieved because it IS so hard to go back to work. (DO NOT tell my hubby LOL) I've also started getting nasty sciatica in my left buttock and leg, so that's another reason being home is ok.

    No, you are not your job. There's only one person in this world that you can always count on, and that's YOU!

    Take care and I look forward to see where you end up in the working world.
  • Sounds like something is agitating the nerve, maybe hardware... gosh I do hope it goes away, nerve pain is the worst pain in the world, IMO. I hope your surgeon can do some diagnostics and figure it out if it does not dissipate. Keep us posted.

    I am still working my way off of Topamax and conscious of every little nuance in my leg, in case it has been masking some pain I was not aware of...
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • At this point I don't know what my company is going to do...

    I can't perform the tasks I need to in 10 hours much less in 4. So they *should* terminate my employment. I don't know if they will or not though.

    One Love,

  • advertisement
  • Stephanie,

    My symptoms post fusion are real similar to yours. The burning nerve pain is all to familiar. My calf leg and foot are on fire.

    Presurgery, I was planning to go back to work at the one month mark. My job has always defined me. I like to work. And if I work, I work very hard. It is very hard for me to work at 1/2 or even 1/4 throttle.

    I worked for 4 hours at month one, and said I need two more weeks off to heal. I was bending, I was lifting and not thinking about me, or what and the consequences were for my actions. I remembered the pain in the hospital, and at that point I realized I wanted to make sure I do everything I can to make this fusion heal properly. There are way too many variables, that I can't control that will make my fusion heal inproperly. I am hoping to have a long life to live, and want to do it as pain free as possible.

    I am blessed to have a very supportive girlfriend and a job with an understanding boss, and that is fairly flexible during the winter months. But as more time goes by, the more time I take off, the more I wonder how understanding everyone will be to my situation.

    I've been walking close to every day, building up my strength, doing PT, but I am still nowhere near where I need to be to get back to work 8-12 hours on my feet most of day, teaching volunteers how to build a house.

    I was truly suprised, at week 6, I tried to work again. When I called my boss and said I need at least 3-6 months to recover properly. The answer was, take 3 months see your doctor and we'll go from there, we want you healthy. I have taken phone calls from home, sent out some emails and did some planning work from my recliner, where I'm still comfortable, and work has continued to cover my health insurance.

    My recovery is now at the twelve week mark, I don't have to make any decisions for another couple of weeks, I am still concerned that I will not be ready to go back to work. I cannot lose my health insurance, I don't want to screw up the healing process, and my GF and I are struggling to make ends meet.

    I understand now, recovery from fusion surgery is a painful and long recovery, that for some can last well over a year. I didn't understand how painful, and in how many ways this recovery is painful.

    I don't know if I'm any help to you or not. Maybe just another soul who understands how you feel.Keep truckin' Stephanie and remember, you only get one body. You gotta take care of your body and heal properly. Your body is the most important thing. You showing up and getting to work for 4 hours a day is a heck of a lot better than I was able to handle. And with reguards to the nerve pain it's normal, my doc says up to a year or more to heal, and stress increases pain levels. Hang in there Stephanie.
  • Thank you, skibum.

    I have been and continue to learn that I have to listen to that still small voice or intuition and follow it without fail. The times when I don't, the louder voice of my body has let me know who is leading the charge. I want to live consciously.

    One Love,

Sign In or Register to comment.