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Old 20-06-2017, 10:20 PM
Chrissy in CT Chrissy in CT is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Default Re: Post-op questions

Originally Posted by Christine View Post
Hi Chrissy and welcome!

I am also 54, 55 in Sept. Surgery in 2011 fusion T4 to L1 and thoracoplasty in 2012.

I remember being very bloated and presumed it was due to the Oxycontin and constipation. It wasn't very comfortable but wasn't over worrying. I think it settled down after a couple of months as I became more upright and my walks got longer.

I didn't have a walker or a brace.

I returned to work bit by bit, I think four months after my first op and three after my second. It took another two years to go full time. My job was pretty physical and haven't been able to do the same stuff since. Actually finished up at work on Friday and will write up a post on that soon.

Sleep? What is that? I went from a side sleeper (pre-ops) to being a back sleeper after my surgeries. I've not had very good sleep since I was young as I've never found sleeping a comfortable exercise. But I do find that stretching and keeping active makes sleep better but don't worry about being active until you are long past the early stages of recovery. Take things slow and listen to your body is my advice. Don't push yourself. I am now 5 years post-op and only really now just getting my strength and exercise regimen sorted out. My hips are a problem now, which is adding to movement and sleep problems.
Thanks for the reply, Christine! You don't know how relieved I am to be in contact with someone else who's been through this! Your timeline sounds doable. I have to learn additional patience (I already have a lot, but I guess it's time for more!) in order to work through recovery over the coming months and years. Sleep might be one of the top things on the list of priorities for me -- back pain had been such an issue before surgery that I already had insomnia going into this! I think I may already be sleeping better now than before...partially because of the meds, and partially because this pain is, somehow, more bearable than the pre-surgery pain.

I've made walking three times a day for about 10 minutes my exercise regime for now. Does that sound about right? Before surgery, I was an avid athlete (cyclist, hiker, etc.), but in the 6 months leading up to the surgery I was only able to ride a recumbent bike in the gym for about an hour a day. So walking feels like silly exercise, sort of. I guess I just have to come to terms with that! I don't plan to ride a bike again, to be honest, but I would like to be able to hike long distances, eventually.

I hope your sleep improves! It's so important for our health to get good sleep! My therapist is big into "sleep hygiene" -- she has recommended that I read a couple of books (I forget the titles right now) and modify my approach to sleep. So far, so good.

Again, thanks for the response. Glad to hear from you!

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