Here we are with Week 4 and 5 updates…and yes, I did skip writing last week. It was a God-awful week (what IS “God awful” anyway since God is so amazing? Hrmm) and I just could not bring myself to write about it.
For those who are considering having sacroiliac joint fusion, let me give you my very best, personal advice for your recovery…
Don’t go back to work before 6 weeks. Take even longer if you can afford to! I don’t care what the surgeons say, what you do for a job – whether it’s standing, walking, lifting, or a desk job. Don’t do it. Don’t even do it if you think you CAN do it or even WANT to do it. A friend suggested that we should treat this surgery recovery like any other lumbar/spinal recovery and give it all the time in the world. After Week 4, I wholeheartedly agree.
So. I can be an overly stubborn and ambitious person, sometimes to a personal fault. Eh. It’s me. Also, since I haven’t been at my job for a full year yet, I don’t qualify for FMLA and my job technically isn’t guaranteed during my medical outing. These things worry me, although my employer has been extremely kind, understanding, and accommodating on all fronts. They even sent me a fruit bouquet and balloons…they’re golden. But it’s a pride thing you see…and this pride will get you every time after major surgery. Lay. it. down.
June 13th, I went back to work part-time with lots of enthusiasm at being out of pajamas with makeup and washed hair! And I could talk to real humans!! I have a desk job as a Recruiter and I had clear instructions from the Beckosphere to get up and walk every 45 minutes, which I did. But downhill I went. Sitting in a desk chair is pure torture…not because I can’t sit, but because the pains afterwards are quite horrible. And ironically, I ended up on crutches by Wednesday, not because of my fused side but because that darn left, unfused side was unbearable.
I grinned and bore it until Friday, at which point I couldn’t take another second of the insanity. I politely informed my manager that I would either need to work from home (and could probably work more hours from the comfort of my own bed), or I couldn’t do it at all. I was promptly provided a work laptop and off I went…back to my
I stayed on crutches for about 3 days and actually decorated them pink because I hated them so badly. You don’t realize how poorly our society is built until you qualify as “handicapped”. And I was feeling so badly about myself that I bought some Lularoe (check it out – my bestie sells it!) to make myself feel a little better (see picture with pink crutches). While I felt pretty compared to PajamaHead, I was in some serious left-sided pain.
Jenny, Dr. Beck’s PA, was very kind and said it’s probably just very very angry at all the over-compensation and Dr. Beck gave me the approval to take 800 mg of ibuprofen to help. I inquired about it affecting my fusion and he said it does have a small effect on fusion but he wasn’t worried about it in my case. So I started taking it and voila! Left-side pain gone.
I stayed home this week and worked from the comfort of my own bed. The left-side pain has been largely non-existent and I’ve even ceased taking the ibuprofen, which leads me to believe it was probably all muscular unhappiness. More to be revealed, I’m sure. I’ve come to discover that while I can sit comfortably all day long, if I sit for more than 2 hours at a time, I get stabbing pains in my fused joint when I walk. So I’ve been taking small walk breaks since I got off the crutches. Yesterday, I actually walked around the block without pain OR crutches! WHAT?
That’s right. I’m a freaking rockstar.
My intent was to walk to the stop sign and back which is only to the next house. But when I got there, I felt so good that I just kept walking…and the more I walked, the better I felt. I tried it again later that evening, however, and had pain so I knew I shouldn’t push it. Today, I did it again and did another long walk afterwards and have officially walked my most steps since my surgery. I have also taken NO pain medication today whatsoever…yesterday I took one 5/325 Hydrocodone and one muscle relaxer. I feel like I’m finally turning the corner after last week’s setback. The pain pill fog is also lifting and my usual spunkatard sarcasm is coming back. Yes! My husband is going to be thrilled.
I’ve also written very little about my ongoing struggle with Interstitial Cystitis here, but I’ve been dealing with that and fusion recovery at the same time. I’ve almost completed my round of paleo Whole 30 and will be writing about that next week. I thought it would be hard to do both but I feel so much better in so many ways and I thank God I’m not in severe bladder pain too!
Next week, I’m going to work from home again. Not because I overly want to (I miss my work peeps so bad!) but because I need to. Once I go back, it’s game on again and I need to take the time to “baby my butt.”
I do want to wholeheartedly thank the two women I chat with everyday – my Screw Buddies. You know who you are. We have an ongoing chat where we encourage each other, laugh, talk about poop, and pray for each other. If you’re thinking about going through this fusion, please find some other patients to chat with online when the “real” people in your life don’t understand what you’re going through. It’ll make a world of difference.
Next week…I’ll be at the 6 week mark! I need to have my CT scan done next week to check my screws and I’ll be able to lift my son again. Hallelujah! My husband will be happy :)
Interested in Rialto Fusion Method? Find your tribe, research, and an ongoing updated list of Rialto doctors nationwide…Join us on Facebook: Rialto Talk
Read the rest of my SI Joint Dysfunction Journey.
I’m also on Instagram: goffdropz