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Recovery seems stuck at 3-month point

JoyJJoy Posts: 559
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery was on 6/28 and I don't seem to be improving ANY in the last month. I'm still in my brace which I use except when in the bed. I'm beginning to get worried that I'm not going to get any better. I'm walking as much as I can and trying to obey the no BLT restrictions, but this is getting to me now.


  • Dearest Joy!

    As much as you are going to hate to hear this, ya just gotta WAIT some more! You are about 3 months out--very very early--it's a 6-9-12 month timeline & beyond----

    I first started to really feel better at about 6 months. I'm now at about 9 months out & still have a lot of "lousy" days...but over-all, I am better.

    It just hurts for a long long time & it feels like you hit this "wall" & can't get past it...

    But you will ! Just keep wearing the brace, no BLT-ing, listen to your doc, use your meds/ice etc--WALK---and wait...

    I know: it's just awful. You want to do things now but now is too early yet. Let your body heal some more.

    And yes, it DOES "get" to you. It still gets to me! My NS said figure TWO YEARS until I know what's what...& all during that time, to expect good days/bad days/blah days, & pain that gets better/worse/stays the same...

    It's just a long road home. So if your images look good & your doc says things are fine, you just have to bear with it. If you had your TLIF in June, figure you'll start to feel better, more like yourself, by Chirstmas.

    No kidding! It takes that long...& beyond.

    You sound like a strong woman! You'll make it! :)

    (And you had that lammy w/ your TLIF too--and lammys by themselves HURT! So you are hurting a lot yet!)

  • 6-9-12-month waiting period? Oh, man! least I can walk and have a few hours now and then when I don't hurt so bad. You're right about me being a strong woman! My husband died of a brain tumor 10 years ago and I was the primary caregiver for 10 months. You gotta be strong to go through that and come out on the other side with a sane mind! This, too, shall pass, right? Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope you continue to feel better.
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  • Hang on Joy, we will get there. I had surgery a month ahead of you. OS didn't let me start weaning the brace until 13 weeks and I'm still fighting with the muscles to let go and suck it up. I haven't even begun weaning the brace while sitting; it's sure to be more fun....but we can do it. I suspect during these dreary grey days of fall, we'll be chatting a lot more around here. As Lakeside said, the most progress is made between 1-2 yrs. WE CAN DO THIS =D>
  • Yes, dear pals, it does take that long...longer perhaps, as the bone keeps getting stronger over that whole 2-year period & even beyond, if all goes well..

    And it WILL! If you concentrate on that thought, this is current discomfort is mostly temporary, & will pass, it is easier to bear. But go ahead & cry when you need to---I still do! I still have days when I dearly miss who I was "before" ---but as Joy says, we can WALK, and I'll add: we can smile, laugh, feel, see, hear, etc...there's a LOT we have left & a LOT to look fwd to!

    100 years ago, we'd be in wheelchairs! Or worse! Maybe 100 years from now they'll be able to do spine transplants, like knees/hips now, etc. But currently, this is the best they can do, so we deal.

    Joy, you ARE strong! You WILL get better! As I said: target Christmas as your new "6 month" goal: that is a big turning point, that 6 month mile-marker. Until then, you sorta just get thru each LONG day...

    I found it better to think in terms of "months" rather than days or weeks, even. If you think day-to-day, it's too micro....and this thing is MEGA!

    So as Carol says: Hang on! We CAN do this--at all different points in the recovery time-line--and we'll do it TOGETHER! :)

    ~Lakeside (getting off my back-side now to walk around a bit--OW!!)
  • Hi Joy:

    I agree with the others, time is the key. I had a TLIF, September 2007, followed by an emergency colon repair surgery a week later, they "got me" from both sides! I had a very smooth recovery, I was 58 when I had surgery and I fused in 6 weeks. I had to wear my brace for the first 6 weeks when I was up and walking and the first 6 months when I went out in the car. I have had a lot of other surgeries over the years, this one was the hardest one I have gone through as far as recovery time. You just have to be patient and give it the time it needs. Very gradually you will begin to feel better.

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  • I too was very stuck at the 3 month point. My energy was totally gone and I felt it was not coming back. I was patient and had plenty to read and do but with small children it was very discouraging to not be able to participate and do things with them.

    At right about the 4 month mark I felt that I was coming out of a fog. The fatigue and need to lay down all the time lifted. I had more energy. It kept getting better and by 6 months I was back at all normal activities and able to keep up. If you had not known that I had had surgery you would not have been able to tell. My brace and bone stimulator were gone at the 3 month mark. All of my restricitions were lifted regarding activity, bending etc. I am now fused!

    Don't give up! It will get better. Everyone is different so it is hard to tell when you will feel better but know that it will happen. Take care!
  • Thank all of you for your support and encouragement. I WILL get better. Spent a lot of time yesterday crying and other non-productive behaviors, but today is better...not hurting so badly. Thanks, again, for everything!!!
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