Saturday, February 2, 2013

Another year goes by!

When I first started learning about the condition I ran into several folks who shared their experience. But often times, suddenly they "disappeared." This left me wondering what the true outcome was and what the future holds. I'd like to prevent repeating this conundrum of uncertainty, and for this reason today's post shall be written.

It has been 2 1/2 years since I was nearly certain my life would never be the same. Yet now, I wake up with no back pain, I go to sleep without it as well. While running a 10k last year I did feel a bit of discomfort in the first mile--and for that reason (perhaps unwise) I am going to stick with cycling instead of running--but this is likely unnecessary. I still finished it in the low 50's with hardly time to train, entirely pain free the rest of the run!

Last month I lifted a 280lb piece of machinery (granted, with some mechanical leverage), frequently lift the young ones, and generally pay no mind except proper mechanics. Standing? Zero issues. Walking? No problem. "Popping" in the back has all but disappeared, and it is seemingly a more distant memory these days. While still cautious; I have little worry.

Is it 100%? I have nothing to say otherwise. No pain meds, no limitations, no more follow-ups....
Now I am only reminded of it by the fading scars and not being able to touch my toes by an inch--though an inch taller! There are worse things indeed.

And an off topic comment more general to healthcare:

Doctors all start out with good intensions. Most continue their careers carrying those. Some have ambitions, some push innovation with a higher level of risk, some are all too agreeable to fads and including you in an unproven technique without full disclosure. Sometimes that can help, but more often it will not. Doctors are not all-knowing, and most certainly not infallible. Bear that in mind, do your own research, get multiple opinions from MD's/centers that frequently do these procedures. In regards to Chiropractors, I have my own opinion; and that is I generally agree with folks who believe in evolution, math, and repeatable studies that show statistically signfiicant long term outcomes. Weighing in on that information I found myslelf surprised that insurance covers their services.

For surgeons, today's standards are very high for these folks. The more educated you are walking in the better you will know your options. Search their name, their center, their outcomes (and what they consider a "good" outcome).

A proper fusion on a radiograph is not the sole criteria for success; return to a quality way of life with little to no pain/deficits, and being back to work does.

So for now that is all. No issues, no pain, no limitations! No doctors, chiropractors, physical therapy or anything else. 100%. Glad to live in this time; had it been 50 years earlier my active life would have ended all too soon.


  1. I know exactly what you're talking about. I had a PLIF a few years ago and write about staying active, along with the emotional toll of chronic pain, on my blog:

    I'd be honored if you get a chance to check it out.

    I wish you all the best!
    Take care-

  2. Hi, I also had a spondy grade 1, discovered after lifting injury but was told it most likely was present already along with pars. I'm from Australia too!

    I've had an anterior fusion only as mine was grade 1 but had back pain that wouldent quit for over a year! Surgeon explained that these things usually get worse if your active and gave me the choice. I'm 1.5 yrs out still get ache and stiffness it has gotten better though. I'd really appreciate any advice and does it keep improving?

    Glad your doing so well :)
    Email me

  3. thank you for this! this is the first GOOD news I have read on the subject of laminectomy/spinal fusion, I thought that all those procedures could do were to prevent further harm, but you proved that at least for yourself, that restoration of physical function as well as major pain reduction are part of the package also. this gives me some hope.

  4. Can you let us know how you're doing this year? Your blog has been tremendously useful as my husband is facing a similar situation. I'd love to hear some updates. Hope you are doing well. Thank you!

  5. Hi. Like the others, I ran into your blog while searching online for others like me and just wanted to know if you do have an update since it has been a year since you last wrote on here. It would be great to hear from you

  6. My journey of spondy just started 4 months back. I had a slippage at L5 over S1 grade 1 and didn't go to PT till now, but doing some exercises for myself. I'm a software developer so most of the time I sit in front of computer. I feel little pain at some point of time everyday but its not stopping my daily activities. May be after couple of years I should also undergo fusion.