Physical Therapy After My Spinal Surgery

Physical therapy is helping me get my life back on track. There are things I learn every time I go. So I thought why not share maybe it will help you too.

Waking up after lumbar surgery is no joke a very painful experience. I did what I could to get my muscles ready for it, because I knew it was going to be hell. I physical was unable to stand up after surgery. The nurses and therapist we’re there to tell me what to do. My mind was just trying to cope with the excruciating pain I was in.

The physical therapist that worked with me everyday was a welcome sight because as I getting stronger everyday. First the day of surgery they get you up a few times a day. Day two a physical therapist comes in, the next thing I new I was sitting in a chair.

Working patiently with me they showed me how to use my breathing to get through painful movements and to use my arms and legs. Than back to the chair for lunch. I was so grateful for the pain medication and muscle relaxers, because I would have been crazy with so much pain. I didn’t want to move at all because I new the physical trauma I put myself through. So I had an attitude I didn’t want you around me. All though anyone that could help me was a welcome sight. I needed help getting up so I could start walking. I’m using a walker and going as far as I could at least twice a day. The walker was my best friend for a couple of days.

Going right to the rehabilitation hospital was a blessing, I had physical therapy twice a day for 1 1/2 hours a day. My schedule started after breakfast and I’ve learning to walk with a cane, undress dress, dress, take a shower, move over and around objects with out losing my balance. These are things we take for granite.  Rebuilding my core again so I can keep my balance. Finally going up and down the stairs is my goal.

Teaching me to get in and out of a car or do a barrel roll to get of bed is a blessing. I didn’t know how to move I was in so much pain. The therapist explained to me that I am trying to protect the area of trauma in my back. So I may do more harm than good. I’ll be put myself in more pain if I don’t learn to move in the correct way.

Doing things over and over again is necessary to gain my strength back. I may not have worked as much as I need to if I went straight home from the hospital. Physical therapist helped me learn more about my bodies ability to heal when under the stress of the trauma. Dealing with the pain and keeping my healing progressing is the goal. By setting up a program that incorporates the correct ways to move through my daily routine is how I got home.

I came home with a plan and stuck to it. After going in for a follow up, I found I wasn’t doing as well as I should be. So I am back in physical therapy and I am just about in the middle of my 6 week program, as I write this.

Going to a new physical therapy facility is good, so far I have learned that doing my exercises was good but now it was time to change things up. I now know which muscles I need to strengthen to support my spine from top to bottom. I’m stretch the muscles that I tighten. Parts of my spine go out of alinement and need to be supported by stronger muscles. I have a lot of work to get my back healthy again. I didn’t realize how much I was out of whack. Until now!


217G acrylic on canvas w/wooden frame

Waking Up After Surgery/Three Things To Remember

Waking up is a blessing, I do it every day. This day I’m waking up for the second time. A few hours ago I was home in bed.

Now I’m in horrific pain, waking up from surgery is devastating to my mind and body. I have uncontrollable shaking and I feel sick, cold and in worst pain. My mind is trying to cope with the confusion and the trauma that my surgery right now.

Deb…time to wake up.  Wait a minute I’m waking up! What’s this…Oh God! I am in so much pain. Please! Just knock me out please! I hear you calling my name but I can’t respond. Trying to breathe but I am hurting so bad and I can’t speak. I feel like I got hit by a truck and can’t get up. Is this a nightmare? I’m going to wake up and this will all be over.

Now what’s going on… I can hear talking, so you must want me to wake up now. Why? I’m in so much pain. I don’t want to move yet I am shaking all over uncontrollably. Thank you, for telling me to take deep breaths, I think I forgot how to do it. Keep talking I can hear you. My mind is trying to focus.

Wait who else do I hear. Greg? I want you here glad your here. Can you hear me I feel Like I’m screaming my head off and everyone is ignoring me. I need help! I can’t do this, I’m in so much pain I want to die. Now I just want the pain to stop.

Debra! Deb, you need to wake up now. Waking up is not that easy because I can’t feel any thing except pain. What! You want me to stand up! Are you kidding, I can’t! I can’t stand up! Please no, I hurt so bad.

Breathe Deb, take a deep breath in, we’re going to stand you up and take you into the bathroom now. No I still waking up. Oh my I am going to die! My brain is on overload and you want me to walk where and pee? Okay!

My God! slow down I can sit down go pee and get up, I can do this. Wow what a trip, This is torture, God help me! Can I get back to the bed. Can I have pain medications. Please give me something for this pain. Knock me out Please!

How long have I been a sleep? It feels like 10 minutes. I’m waking up again, oh  pain so much pain. A back spasm now is all I need and oh I feel like I’m going to throw up. I just want this day to be over. My brain is working better and so is the medication. I hate it but I need to get up and go to the bathroom.

Breathe in and breathe out as your getting up. It still hurts even with medication at least my brain is starting to recover from the anesthesia. Oh I hurt so much. Now the recovery begins. Just getting up is excruciating for now I know it will get easier. I know I have to move and remember to use my breathing to help control the pain.

This is pretty much how I felt waking up after my back surgery. Things are getting better, but it’s a slow process.

Waking up with pain

This is how my brain feels waking up in so much pain.

Three things to remember right after you wake up from surgery.

  1. Pain medication is your friend. You need it now your just waking up. You can ease up on it as you heal and stop it if it not doing any good.
  2. Use your breathing to move in pain. I had to breathe in before I moved in any direction and breathe out during the move. Breathing to focus your brain.
  3. Waking up is the worse pain you should experience. The more you breathe the more oxygen gets to your brain and it helps your brain focus on healing.


Thoughts On Over Load / Decompression Surgery

Thoughts for some people don’t turn to anxiety. My thoughts however can go from 0 to 100 if I let them. My challenge is to get to my surgery date healthy and calm.

When I heard the word decompression surgery all I could think of was waking up in excruciating pain. Talk about fear every time I thought I had my anxiety in control something would turn it back up again.

Once you have had surgery you know what’s coming. So I did the best I could, I keep very busy I trimmed and cut things in my garden beds, because one of the ways I deal with racing thoughts is to keep my body moving. It wasn’t easy yet I wanted to be in shape when I went into surgery. The thoughts creep in when I am not doing something, so I made a list and started at the top and worked my way down it.

Talking about the thoughts in my head can be understood by going through it. Thankfully my sister has always been their for me. I don’t know how she does it. She lives in constant pain and has gone through as much as I have and is still supportive. She was embarking on a surgery of her own in just a few weeks too.

We both have chronic pain from spinal stenosis and past surgeries. Having someone to talk to is just part of controlling my thought so they are not on me. Her surgery December 21st and mine is January 5th so now my thoughts are with her. My thoughts are on overload I have so much anxiety it is hard for me to know how much pain she will be in and I will be next.

She’s through the surgery it went well. As I stand there telling her to just be calm and breath through the pain, my thoughts are racing. Knowing this is just the beginning and as the medications from surgery wear off the excruciating pain is going to set in. I left thinking in fourteen days this will be me.

My anxiety was off the charts I could not focus on anything else, so I get back to my list. My gardens is done, I have prepared food for my family and made arrangements for a friend to help me when I come home. Last thing is to clean my house so it’s done when I come home.

I just can’t sleep and haven’t, so you can imagine my thoughts are consumed with what is going to happen to me on the fifth. Talking to my sister is helping her because she need my support right now. My thoughts go from not being able to help her because of my situation and trying to get mental prepared for my lumbar surgery.

Thoughts on overload

Thoughts on overload are screaming in my head