First Checkup since Surgery!

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Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 3/23/2010 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
OK, today was my first check-up since my surgery. When I got to the surgeon's, there were three others there that had fusion surgery. I visited with one of them, and he had the same feelings and worrisome questions on his mind.
The surgeon was very surprised at how well I was doing, and was amazed that I had taken myself off of the Oxycontin already. In-fact, I had started to reduce my Percocet's intake as well. He was really tickled that I had been walking a little over a mile a day.

After a few of my questions were answered, and a quick look at my scar, he wrote me another script for 90 more Percocet's, and told me to come back in 4 weeks, and he would see if I was ready to go back to work by May 1st. We were both smiling, and my wife was grinning from ear to ear as well. I asked him if he wanted me to bring him the extra Oxycontin's, and he said no, to keep them for a rainy day. I have vacuum packed them, and carefully placed them in the safe. I'm really hoping that I will not have to use all of the Percocet's as well. They are nice to have on hand in case of an emergency, and is more of a mental crutch at this time for me, as they do not just hand these out like candy here.

Please don't be fooled by my good news here, as the progress is very slow, and the healing takes several weeks if not months for a full recovery. Those of you that have had this kind of surgery know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm not used to this kind of a slow recovery, and it drives me nuts, as the world goes by without me. I was so used to being a very hard worker in life, and to feel so worthless at this time is a real let down to me.

One thing that I do not miss is smoking. I could care less for a cigarette at this time. We have changed my diet as well, with lots of fiber, and cut way back on the caffeine intake too. Last night was the first night that I finally slept over 5hrs, and I credit some of it to the Tempur-Pedic bed that we purchased before the surgery.

The one tool that we got before the surgery, and I'm so very grateful for, is the potty extender or raised seat for the potty. It has been a real life saver for me, and the hand rails are nice too. I spent two days with a walker, and did serve it's purpose well, but I just did not need it for too long.

Thank you all for your support, and the many personal emails of well wishes you have sent. I still have a ways to go yet, and will be slow here on the forums. Just give me some time, and I promise that I will be back to support you all when you need it. Again, I cannot Thank You enough for your prayers and support. It meant the world to me. Bless you all!

DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 3/23/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
YEA!!! So happy to hear the wonderful news that it sounds like you are right on track with your recovery...

It's a long and slow process but you seem to be doing wonderfully with your medicine reduction as well as the walking too keep up the strength...

Congrats on the no smoking and dietary changes..I am real proud of you!
I switched to all organic last year and have never felt better with my tummy/intestine issues and energy! It's actually not any more expensive when you add everything up...

Just keep taking it hour by hour/day by day and getting that much needed sleep will really help the recovery process..

Look forward to more great updates!..

Sending big hugs to ya:)
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Dec 2006

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 3/23/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations!!! This is such wonderful news to hear SE and I hope things continue to progress well for you.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pelvic Pain, FAI, Reynauds, IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (Surgical Menopause and drug related), plus physically unable to vomit due to Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins...a joy for blood work or IV's)
Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT
Medications: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril, Clonidine plus Vitamin D and Multi-Vitamin daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 3/23/2010 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm so glad to hear that you are healing so nicely! Keep up the good work!


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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 3/23/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Michael...

It was good to read your update and hear how you are doing :) I'm really glad you had a good appointment. I know you aren't "out of the woods" yet... but at least you are moving in the right direction. It's a good start!!

I'm really proud of you re: your meds...that's great news. Make sure you use those percocets when you need them, though, and don't let the pain get ahead of you (I'm in "mom mode"...can you tell?) :)

That's also great news re: the smoking. That's a hard one to I'm proud of you there, too!!

I look forward to the day where we are joking and laughing again... and both feeling well :) Until that point, take good care of yourself...and post when you can.

Your friend...Tina (who really, really wants a Tempur-Pedic bed)...
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/24/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to say I'm glad things are going well for you. Sounds like some of the pain the surgery was designed to correct has subsided? (not the surgery pain - I know that's still there and will be for awhile!)

Great news on the non-smoking, too. Remember the full fusing process can take up to a year (ok, you've heard this a million times already.).

I'm not posting a lot these days but did want to add I'm glad it's going well for you.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 3/24/2010 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Se,congratulations. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.
im dxed with  herniated discs,fibromylagia , scolosis,ddd,athritis, spinal stenosis ,gerd,gastric ulcer,gastroparesis and aslo gallbladder disease aka biliary colic.
meds:bentyl,zofran aciphex ,ambien and  trazodone.

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3697
   Posted 3/24/2010 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Glad things are going well for you! Just take it one day at a time! With back surgery there is just no other way of doing it!

Quitting smoking is an accomplishment you can be proud of! I know all too well what a challenge that is! Good Luck to You!

I wish you well!

White Beard

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 3/24/2010 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear Michael,
     I am so glad to hear your positive update! What fantastic news. I hope you continue to be able to add in more restful nights of sleep. Please, know you are in our hearts and prayers here.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood



Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 3/24/2010 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear SE, congratulations!!!! What a wonderful update!!! Praying that you'll just keep getting better and better!
And good for you for quitting smoking!!

Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, AIH, Hashimoto's, lupus, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, DDD, L3-4 and L4-5 radiculopathy -> severe lower back pain, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Zithromax, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 3/24/2010 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Michael
It's great to hear that everything is going in the right direction. Sounds like it was a very positive visit at the dr.'s office.
Keep up the great work buddy!!! Your mass is being said tomorrow at 0900 at my church!!! Hang in there my friend!!
 Chronic, severe and continuous bilateral temporal headaches since April 2000.
 Poor prognosis, seen thousands of doctors, been on dozens of meds and tried all forms of treatment with no success.
 Currently Feb 2010: cycles of IV Ketamine infusion via a PICC line and pump at home with some success.
 Meds: oxycodone for breakthrough, cymbalta, vitamin D, B12, magnesium, omega 3, melatonin
 Profession: Part time registered nurse on Long term disability and applying for permanent disability thru CPP
 52 yrs old, female, married, two boys 19 & 21, live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 3/25/2010 1:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ScreamingEagle:

I'm so glad to hear that things are progressing well. I'm very happy for you and for your wife as I am sure this means just as much for her as it does for you.

I returned to work after 4 months, but it took a full year & months of physical therapy to completely recover from this surgery. Please just be very careful.

I'm so proud of you on the no smoking! It really can make a huge difference on whether or not the fusion is successful.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 3/25/2010 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Mike warmest congrats on a great accomplishment , I hope I can follow your example and walk a mile after I get my hip replacement , you are an inspiration my friend  .So glad your back and having sucess , we missed you and look forward to hearing updates on your wonderful progress .Keep it up friend !!!! Mikel
HIV+ also Hep c , need hip replacement surgery on hold because of unknown but cellulitus-like ailment  .most pain from hip condition and cellulitus-like ailment .hands numb may have carpal tunnel syndrome now . Great frustration because doctors unable to diagnos ailment              .Medecines -   Celelbrex ,viracept,truvada, lasix .    '                                                                                                                         

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 3/25/2010 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi SE, I was hoping that today is even better than yesterday and more tomorrow *teehee* sounds like an old song originally done by Spiral Staircase! Anyway, I was just hoping all is well with you and that, for what it's worth, I hope you continue to get better every day! Congrats on the smoking! I've be 10 years this past October 6th without a cigarette.
Take care,
I'm called Cat, but as there are few other Cat's on here, I put the number of cats I have and combined it to spell out Catz4
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC , Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Muscle Spasms, Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder, Had emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06.
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 3/25/2010 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow! What amazing news SE! You are  able to walk a mile? I'm sure it is slow but what wonderful thing! Life is lookin up!blush  Keep us updated on your continuing progress!
 "Get busy living or get busy dying"
Dx in 2005 with Crohns after a Hysterectomy. Re-section in 2006...came apart so got to do it again! Frequent Kidney stones and Shingles... a new present as of 08-09 Diabetes Type 2. Total of 12 surgerys.
Imran, Asacol, Colestid, Bentyl, Lamotil, Paxil, Nexium, Probiodicts, Vit D, Folic Acid, Lots of Potassium, Fish Oil, up to 6 Immodium a day. Oh, and one Giant Pill holder!

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