Really Struggling Post-op 5 months

I have been having a rough time with still having pain and being flat exhausted.  My surgeon hasn’t been a lot of help so I’m hoping someone here can shed some light.  Here is the situation...

I’m 51 yrs old had T4-S1 w/pelvic anchors in July.  I am my only financial support so went back to work part-time (4-6 hour shifts) as a cashier.  Yes I am standing this whole time.  By end of shift I am wiped out.  It’s definitely taking a toll as I am in a fair amount of pain constantly some days worse.  I have applied for disability help but have been told not to count on it.  

I’m just curious if anyone has any advice to help me get through this.  I know walking is key but I am so tired by time off work I go home rest for a bit then get up and do whatever chores need done have supper go to bed.  I just feel like I should be further along than I am and feel better than I do.



  • marthasumnermmarthasumner Posts: 3
    edited 07/31/2019 - 7:32 AM

    MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO get a social Security Disability attorney NOW! They can speed up the process. They only get paid by dad so no money out of your pocket.

  • it was too soon for you to go back to work, you have so much more healing to do. being so tired is part of it. by wiping yourself out at work you are slowing down the recovery time line. but I understand needing to support yourself and pay your bills. maybe talk to your boss at work, work just 2 hrs, then rest an hour and then go back for last two hours. its a big surgre and a long recovery. maybe they can even get you a stool to help rest while working. I agree with getting attorney to help move the disability along faster. it took me over a year to get rid of some of the pain post surgery. so some pain is normal. but again I fear you are over doing it. good luck, remember it take two to three yrs to fully recover. I am sure you are doing a lot better then you relize for just being 5 months post. good luck and keep us informed

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  • I agree with the others. You went through a big surgery and your recovery and the impact a proper recovery has on your future is not something you can put a price on.

    I’m also working part-time and feel like every day I’m overdoing it. I had a sudden injury almost three years ago and haven’t been anything close to the same since.

    No conservative treatments have helped and I’m told I’m not a candidate for surgery.

    Disability approval can take two years so I wouldn’t sit on it. You’re also 51 which isn’t ancient but isn’t a spring chicken either.

    I would question the motives of someone who told you disability isn’t likely achievable.

    The more complex your medical and surgical history, coupled with your income level the past five years play a big role. 

    The less income someone is earning on average over the past five years the higher the odds they’ll be approved.

    Good luck. Please keep us posted.

  • I think the most tiring position is being 'vertically static'. So even if a stool was provided you would still be tired.  If I have stood or sat upright in one position for even 30 minutes I am uncomfortable and my T9 -S1 fusion was 2-1/2 years ago.  At 5 months you are really still in the initial stages of recovery.  If you can find a way to walk around, even pacing back and forth, every 20 minutes or so, that may help.  When I get uncomfortably stiff from being vertical for too long I take a short walk.  About 3 minutes into it I can feel a difference.  Muscles loosening, tension lessening etc..  I know it sounds weird but moving/walking is so much less tiring than standing or sitting still.  I think that is even true for people without fusions.  At the very least do you have an anti-fatigue mat to stand on?  

  • Thank you everyone for your help.  I have contacted a disability attorney and have filed with social security.  My doctor told me no physical therapy, I was shocked but he said they could do too much damage to easily and I have been walking 1-2 miles a day but not so much since been working.  I feel like I may be adjusting somewhat to working maybe or maybe I’m trying to convince myself lol. 

    This forum is awesome.  I have gotten so much more information and help here than I ever did from my doctor!

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