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Minor, hopefully, inconvenience after ER
Old 05-22-2013, 08:28 PM   #1
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Minor, hopefully, inconvenience after ER

My official retirement date was April 1 of this year. On May 5, I had "emergency" back surgery. A back problem I had managed for years got worse and worse until on April 29, I couldn't hardly walk. It just got worse and worse during the last week or two of April. When my regular doc saw me on May 3, she almost panicked. She ordered an immediate MRI that showed a huge glob at the L3-L4 level. I had drop foot in both feet. My calves and butt muscles were in constant spasm. They stuck me in the hospital and told me I was in danger of permanent nerve damage. The MRI referred to the mass as a tumor, but I later learned from a biopsy it was just disk material and the stuff in between the disks and some blood, but a lot of it.

Had surgery on May 5. Within 10 days, the foot drop was gone, but now I'm looking at 6 to 12 weeks of therapy and a good chance of a full recovery.

This retirement thing hasn't worked out exactly as I had hoped, but it's coming around. Had my first therapy today and the guy was very positive. I'm guessing I'll be back to my usual bicycling and gym workouts by late July or early August. Sure not the way I planned to start retirement!

BTW, my wife has been more than a saint through all this. She deserves a medal.

On the positive side, we've had some extra money come in from tax refunds and some other minor stuff, so that part is working out great.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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Looks like you had your surgery just in time. Waiting longer would risk permanent damage, even paralysis. I'm glad to hear you are improving and hope you make a full recovery.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:46 AM   #3
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Sending good wishes.
Therapy is good, but take it slowly. Healing takes time.

DH is currently seeking treatment for similar issues, only that he had spinal fusion some years ago. Now pain is creeping back in. He wants to avoid more fusion as long as possible. It is hard to see him struggle, hug your wife a lot.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:28 AM   #4
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I had similar issues including nerve damage requiring immediate surgery on L4/L5.

My advice is to do all the recommended activities but be patient. Nerve damage can take a long time to heal, it was a full year before the pain down my leg finally went away. That was 23 years ago and and I'm so grateful to the skill of the surgeon who fixed me up.

I was off work for 12 weeks at the time (1 week before the surgery, 11 after), but since you are retired you have plenty of time for recovery.

Take care, and best wishes on your recovery
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel better already. This has certainly been one way to "slow down" during retirement ! And you won't have 12 weeks of work piled up and waiting for you after recovery !!
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
This retirement thing hasn't worked out exactly as I had hoped, but it's coming around. Had my first therapy today and the guy was very positive. I'm guessing I'll be back to my usual bicycling and gym workouts by late July or early August. Sure not the way I planned to start retirement!
Hope your recovery goes well. While the retirement thing isn't following the original plan, now that you're not working you do have time to really focus on rehabilitation and therapy, without having to deal with work-type distractions or need to compromise. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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What a miserably painful month of April, your first month of retirement, must have been. I hope the recovery goes well and it sounds like you are already seeing good results.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #8
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What an awful "retirement gift" your body gave you right after retiring! After such a rotten first month or so, I can almost guarantee you that retirement is going to improve markedly from here on out.

On the bright side, since you are retired you will be able to focus on your physical therapy, health, and recovery, without feeling as though you should be doing anything else. Good luck and I hope your recovery progresses smoothly.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Imagine the stress right now if you had been living paycheck to paycheck and this happened. This is one perfect example of why you LBYM.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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Sorry that happened. I've had cervical spine issues, I have much empathy for your issues.
I learned to love my DRs and physical therapist. Patience, attitude, rest and prayers, made it easier to recover.
Here's to a speedy full recovery.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Sorry your ER got off to a bad start but glad you are doing well & on the mend.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:36 PM   #12
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Best wishes for a fast recovery...

I had a similar situation... cancer... that led me to retire before I wanted or expected to. Then 3 years later DW had a stroke... The good news is that both of us recovered fully and are quite healthy nearly 25 years later.

May this just be a crack on your road to a long and happy retirement.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #13
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Thanks to all. Today started rough-very stiff & sore from therapy. But it got better. Did my stretches & walked about 2 miles. Some lower back discomfort & leg weakness, but overall a good day.

My male ego does however suffer from having to admit I'm not invincible.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your back problems. Hope you have a speedy recovery. Try to use your recovery time to decompress from w*rk.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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Since you were having back trouble for years, hopefully this will be a positive step forward to an even more enjoyable retirement. Hope you heal up fast.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #16
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Wow, that was a close call!

Best wishes for a good recovery
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
Thanks to all. Today started rough-very stiff & sore from therapy. But it got better. Did my stretches & walked about 2 miles. Some lower back discomfort & leg weakness, but overall a good day.

My male ego does however suffer from having to admit I'm not invincible.
Two miles is pretty impressive that soon after surgery. I'm guessing you will be at full speed in a few weeks. Best of luck.
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