Tuesday, July 29, 2014

LUMBAR FUSION REVIEW - wish I had . . .

I did have a computer when I had my lumbar fusion, and I was using it.  For some reason, though, I just did the exercises from the rehab hospital and visiting PT, and the walking the doctor insisted on.

Information before and after was hard to come by.

Next week I will meet a rheumatologist for strength information.  I stumbled upon this web info I wish I'd sought out before and after fusion:

http://www.hopkinsortho.org/JHULumbSpineSurgeryGuide.pdf  Some good positions for daily work tasks around the house and around kids.  Note the bathroom sketches for brushing teeth, etc.

A few points:  I was about 10 weeks past fusion when I had to leave CA.  The doctor said I could fly to my destination but must not under any circumstances pack anything or lift.

In general, my surgeon was a bit more strict than Johns Hopkins.  Or perhaps the hospital guesses that people will not behave any longer than their guidelines.

Now, more than a year later, I still have some problems - not due to the surgery, but perhaps to delaying it too long.  One is squatting. My legs are still not that strong, and getting up from squatting is still tough.  To clean the bottom of the fridge, I just get down on the floor on my knees with a small rug to save the knees.

And a lifetime of slouching still leaves me careless of my posture - the most important thing.  Okay, the big confession:  I still sit far more than is healthy.  Far more.  And those poor nerves to the thighs didn't come out of surgery like a young woman's'

I'm still afraid of yoga for fear of any twisting - two spine joints are now doing the work that three did before.  Hopeful that the rheumatologist will calm my fears, give me some general ideas for exercise, and find me a PT who is completely familiar with fused spines, with my age group, and with sub-beginners like me who haven't got our strength back to the days before the spine problem got painful.

I want core strength--more than I even had in the past.  In my house at the beach, I could not climb the knotted rope that served as "stairs" to the loft.  (Though I could life my suitcase into the overhead.)

In general, my two big complaints:

One:  the brace never fit right because my waist is a lot smaller than my hips.  Just did not work, always rode up.  I suspect it was designed by a tall guy who was rather straight up and down. I needed it for a day recently, and surprise, it still doesn't fit.

Two:  I can't find a tough mat for floor work that doesn't exude carcinogens.

I wish you health.

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