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- May 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm#39377AnonymousInactive
Short summary: 31yrs old, 10yrs ago I had a barefoot water-ski fall at 46mph that fractured L5 vertebra, shattered L5-S1 disc and dislocated both shoulders while tearing the labrum on the right rear.
Chronic pain for 8yrs (beginning after the disc degenerated enough to pinch nerves) and I was using prescribed prescription pain meds as prescribed but in very high doses. 150mcg/h Fentanyl, Morphine, Norco, Roxi, Oxy 80mg, Kadien, etc. and a whole lot that don’t come to mind at the moment.
Surgery repaired the spine with an artificial disc in 2005 and it was a 100% success. From the moment I woke up from anesthesia, no spine pain for the first time in 5yrs. The shoulders then became my primary problem and a Sep 2005 arthroscopic procedure on the right labrum helped to stabilize the shoulder but did not cure the cramping and nerve pain in the scapular region. The left was not as bad and has been fine w/o surgery.
For the first time in 8yrs, over the past 3mo I have been able to go days at a time without taking an opiate, the longest being 24 days. After $400,000 in treatments, my main problems are getting better every day. In the 8yr time though, a lot of time was spent laying on the couch 22-23.5hrs/day. I am still prone to huge pain escalations if I over-do an activity and they can incapacitate me for 1/2 day up to 4 days. In the past, I could be incapacitated for 2-6 weeks from a single one of these episodes.
Sitting has always been the worst thing for my shoulder problems but things are getting better every day. I have been struggling with resuming normal activities without medication because my two problem areas are now feeling much better. Now when I go walking, do PT, lift light weights or something else, without opiates I have severe stiffness and discomfort all over my body. Knees, back muscles and leg muscles, to name a few. The very worst part of the non-medicated activity is that I have a fraction of the endurance and become exhausted almost before I start. In the worst cases, I have to plan my trips to the bathroom because of the general pain of simply getting off the couch.
I have come to the conclusion that I should probably approach this stage of recovery like I am recovering from bedrest. I think that the stronger I get, the less prone to pain spike episodes caused by one wrong move.
After all of that, my question is, does anyone have any tips for coming off of bedrest? If anyone does have ideas, I would also be interested in timelines regarding how fast activity should be increased. When I do have an episode and have to spend more than 1/2 day laying down, I can feel myself sliding backwards due to stiffness that causes strong but general body pain. I want to avoid bedrest as much as possible because ironically, it seems to require more bedrest to recover from bedrest initially caused by a legitimate escalation of the chronic cramping/spasaming pain area around my right shoulder blade.
I’m sorry for the rambling email but I could really use some tips if anyone has them. Thank you for your time.
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