Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Week 6 (Day 42): The Magical Milestone

I am officially 6 weeks post-op and boy do I feel great! I'll do a recap of this past week first:

6 Days ago I started feeling strong pains in my lower back.. It was basically body-aches with a focus on my lower back. A few hours later I started getting a very high fever. That night my sister called me and asked me if I had a fever as well. We had eaten at the same restaurant the day before and the food made us sick. In a way, this was a relief for me, since the body aches were part of the sickness. 2 days later the fever stopped and everything came back to normal, which in my case is a 1-2 pain level. (This was the reason for the spike in pain on the right-side pain log.

I decided to go back to the gym and I started more strenuous exercises 2 days ago. I walked on the treadmill, this time uphill at a 4-6 degree angle and at 3-3.3 mph (around 5 kph) for 30 minutes. Then I got on the stationary bike and sustained a 170 bpm (heartbeat) for 10 minutes, which really got me sweating. I felt great!

Today I went back to the gym and walked at an average 7 degree angle at the same speed for 30 minutes, which again got me sweating a lot. I felt no discomfort, 0 pain. I felt like I could start jogging (but obviously won't yet!)! I will go to the pool once a week now.

I can also note my improvement when I sleep. Right after the operation, I would go to sleep facing up and wake up exactly the same way. My body would NOT move because doing so would spark pain. A week ago, I couldn't lie down sideways for more than 10 minutes. More recently, I've been waking up in the middle of the night in the most awkward positions possible (some of you are crazy sleepers too!). I'm also waking up facing down! (with a tiny bit of discomfort so I immediately turn myself around and face up).

So, as you can see, the improvement is definitely there. Driving is a lot more comfortable too. Getting in and out of the car is a breeze. Also, if I were pressured to get back to work, I would feel comfortable returning to a half day of work now. Keep in mind, though my back still gets easily upset.

My limitations are mainly standing up for too long (more than 2 hours) and avoiding sudden movements. The afternoons get a little troublesome and I get a tiny bit of pain regardless of wether of lying down or standing up). But now, while lying down, I can reach my toes easily and I managed to finally cut my toenails! Socks are easy to put on now, and changing looks a little less awkward every day.

6 weeks seems to be the milestone that I've been waiting for. After this, it's only a matter of time before the vertebrae and endplate become solid fused pieces. Then we'll truly see the magic of the M6 core and fibers.

Mr. Boeree's website says that after 6 weeks I can start 'light aerobic training'. Does anybody know what that entails? I don't feel like I could run yet.. No until I see my next x-rays in another 3-6 weeks.

Future plans:
-Travel back home in 1 week by plane for 3 hours
-Spend the holidays with family
-Go to the beach house on the 28th and spend New Year's there.
-Get cheap x-rays right before leaving January 11th and send them to Mr. Boeree
-Travel back to the US January 11th
-Move to Miami January 16th (still figuring this one out.. I will probably ship out most of my stuff on January 15th, including my car)

6 comments:

  1. Sounds terrific Mike! Glad to hear you are getting so much relief. Hopefully this is finally a way to slay the back pain devil. That's exactly what I tell people it is... "the devil."

    Please take it easy. I haven't sweat like you did in over 2 years and I want that so desperately. I've away been athletic and active until my injury and I've put on about 25 pounds in that time. Ugh. Please take the aerobics slow. Not having a setback before the 3 month mark is worth your weight in gold. Let her heal. :)

    Thanks for the update!

    ~Kevin

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  2. Agreed Kevin! I wouldn't want a feeling of self-worth put me behind months in recovery, or even worse dislodge the adr!

    I'll keep doing what I'm doing, I promise!

    Good thing I don't have a girlfriend right now.

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  3. good luck and god speed - thanks for this blog and your diligence in keeping it posted and up to date. How often are you in communication with Dr. Boree? Usually muscle and wound soreness onsets the 2nd or 3rd day after excercise in my back - wonder if it is the same for you?

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  4. Thanks! and you're welcome. It's nice writing about yourself, it's basically a public journal!

    I contact Mr. Boeree whenever I have a concern. He answers back within a day. But we haven't talked in a month when he asked me how my flight back home went. It hasn't been necessary. He did refer me back to my own doctor in Dallas but I haven't met with him. I'm doing all of this on my own.

    I don't really get muscle and wound soreness. My muscles are tight every once in a while and recently i've been alleviating that by doing some light stretching. Wound soreness has never been there. I get some internal soreness every once in a while (bone pain?).. but it's alleviated 2 seconds after lying down.

    If you any other questions, let me know.

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  5. Merry Christmas Mike! Hope you are feeling well for the holidays and that travelling wasn't too rough on ya. Thanks for keeping up with your blog.

    ~Kevin

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  6. Kevin than you for the wishes!! Same to you!!

    Read my latest post :)

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