Well...My Spine is Broken.... - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 02-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #1  
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Default Well...My Spine is Broken....

Well....I am injured again. And it's pretty scary this time.

A couple of weeks ago I had picked up a 2 year old that was about 30 pounds overweight, and I picked her up wrong and pulled a muscle in my back. Then a week later my little sister was being a brat and punched me in the spine, JUST when I was starting to feel like it was healing. That hurt sooooo bad and I was miserable all week.

Well, Monday I was sitting down doing homework. I stood up quickly because my mom was calling and my phone was across the room....and when I was about halfway up (kind of squatting) I heard a really loud snap sound. Instantly I was in excruciating pain and couldn't finish standing up. I started screaming and fell over and my mom told my boyfriend to take me to the ER and she met me there.

In the ER they did x-rays and said that they didn't see anything and sent me on my way. I was absolutely miserable the next day and my mom managed to get me an appointment Tuesday with her neurosurgeon that did all 3 of her spinal fusion surgeries (she has degenerative disk disease), who is one of the top back specialists in the country.

We went to see the doctor....he pulled up my x-rays and INSTANTLY saw that my spine is fractured. It's not near my spinal canal so it's not like I'm paralyzed, but it's still really scary.



The part that is broken is the pointy part that sticks out the back. It snapped off. It's my lower back and it REALLY hurts. I have these shooting pains all down my right leg and I have an MRI scheduled for Saturday to see if the disks or ligaments are injured. They are concerned a disk may have blown because of the pain down my leg. There is a major nerve called the sciatic nerve that they think may be pinched, and if it is something that major then I may end up needing surgery.

At this point, I don't need surgery....but I have a follow up appointment on the 28th with the back doctor to look at the MRI and decide what we need to do.

UNTIL THEN I am so absolutely frustrated. I had just cleaned my room so I had space to start this spark people exercise challenge that I found on youtube and I wanted to do...and now I cannot bend and I cannot twist and I cannot lift anything more then 10 pounds. It's so absolutely frustrating.

I'm still losing weight. In the past 5 weeks I have lost 12 pounds. I was just recently put back on Ritalin and have basically lost all appetite since then, and I'm having to force myself to eat to make sure that I get to 1200 calories a day (if not more). I am still losing, so I should be happy....but I want to exercise too. I had just bought a new Pilates mat and I haven't even used it yet.....I just bought a new stability ball (which is actually the only thing comfortable to sit on with the broken spine and the doctor told me its great because I can stand up using only my legs) and DVD set and I can't even use it for exercise. It's disheartening.

I forgot to talk to the doctor and ask if there was anything that I COULD do....but I was wondering if you guys could suggest some things that I could ask about.

I need exercises that don't have me lifting more then 10 pounds and where I keep my back straight and don't twist or bend my back. I'm not as concerned about cardio as I am about muscle building, but suggestions for both would be great. I will take the list you guys help me come up with and I will show it to my doctor and ask what I can or cannot do before I attempt anything.

If you read all of that, thank you. Any support is welcome. Even if you don't have any exercise ideas, it's still good to know that there are people out there who understand how hard losing weight and getting healthy is when life gets in the way.

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #2  
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I broke the same part of a bone (it's called the Spinous Process), only at my 1st thoracic vertebra (so, right at the base of the neck). It eventually encapsulates itself, usually, so it doesn't need to be removed. You just end up with a piece of bone, locked up in scar tissue. At the same time, two of the disks in that area started bulging, which made them push on my brachial nerves (the nerves that run from your spine down into your shoulder and arm). So I have a very, very similar situation to what you have going on. You definitely want to NOT stress that area. The more you move right now, the more likely it is that your spinal muscles will lock up to protect the injured disks. I pushed mine (we didn't discover the broken bone until a year and a half later), and I am going on 3 years of chronic pain (essentially, my muscles around my shoulder knotted up to protect the broken spinal parts, and those knots encapsulated in scar tissue, so they are there all the time).

Honestly, with your spine, you don't want to mess with it. Can you see a physical therapist? Maybe you just need to focus on taking it easy for a while, really. Your back is used in almost EVERY exercise you could do, and you really don't want to chance this until you have figured out what is going on.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #3  
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I was going to ask him about seeing a Physical Therapist at the next appointment....because I want to wait and see if there is damage to the disks. Degenerative Disk Disease is genetic and it could be that my disks were just weaker then normal and one of them collapsed. That would probably explain all of the pain. I'm hoping that it's nothing that bad, but we won't be sure until after the MRI. If it HAS happened I might end up needing a spinal fusion surgery like my mom has had....and I've seen how much those surgeries helped her, so if he recommended it I would definitely do it. I'm just hoping it won't go that far...you know? lol
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #4  
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Wow -- I'm sorry you are hurt!

I'd pause all weight loss and just heal up. Talk to the doc, physical therapist, etc. The LAST thing you need is more issues down the road simply because you didn't want to take some time off now to heal properly.

GL!
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:31 PM   #5  
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Drink a lot of whole milk every day. At least a quart a day. It helps the nerves to heal. I know, it's a lot of extra calories, but it is worth it.
Nerves takes months to heal.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:46 AM   #6  
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Astrophe, you are probably right. I have been doing as much resting as i possibly can....and that is probably what i will keep doing for a while. I am still going to talk tp my doctor about exercises and about seeing a physical therapist though...because i want to know what he says, and i want to know what a physical therapist would suggest to strengthen my back in the future.

Marla, i dont drink milk....it makes me nauseous and i dont like it amyways, but i have started supplementing my regular multivitamin with an extra calcium pill in hopes that it will help strengthen my bones. We will see....


UPDATE: I have my MRI tomorrow, and will see the doctor on the 28th. I am in so much pain right now i am miserable. Not only does my back hurt, but my legs hurt from squatting instead of bending....my neck and shoulders hurt from trying so hard not to move my back....i am just sore all over. The sciatica goes all the way down my leg....and then my foot hurts too because thats my weak foot that i may need surgwry on again someday. I just want to lay in bed and not move.....but i have to go to work. If i dont i will for sure lose my job. Thank god its the weekend and i can rest.

I am taking pain medicine and muscle relaxants like candy, which is no good....but if i dont then i cant even roll myself over in bed without screaming. I just want to feel better. I want to be healthy and i want to exercise. I hate being injured.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:27 AM   #7  
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Awwww Hugs from here thats such a land...
i understand the "want " to exercise.. its always the way when your suddenly told you can't... when i tore muscle last year, i just swam for 3 months.. i dunno if you can swim with your injury?

well done with the food... keep up the healthy eating if you can, and try to rest and recoup.. you will be able to get back into things sooner.. if you give yourself enough time to recover..

feel better and good luck with the MRI

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Old 02-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #8  
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wow that is crazy scary. i hope you heal up soon! i can't offer any advice because i wouldn't want to say anything to hinder your recovery. definitely ask your doctor or other health professional. take it easy and good luck!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:23 PM   #9  
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Eesh, what a terrible stroke of bad luck. I would also ask about physical therapy. Maybe swimming as well? With an injury like that I wouldn't get in a bath tub without asking a doctor. It sounds like you're in good hands though! Good luck with the MRI.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:53 PM   #10  
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I would ask what exercises you can do to maintain the muscle you have at the moment. Thing with back is we tend to do less to recover, and then because it still hurts, we do less for a long time and then end up deconditioning and in worse shape than when we started. So maintaining that strength is probably important. I'm definitely not saying keep doing what you were doing before, but trying to move about a little bit if you can, within the limits of the injury and the pain, might be helpful in the long run- something else to ask your doctor about. I agree with junebug, physiotherapy is a good thing to ask about too

Since you still seem to be in excrutiating pain, perhaps it would be a good idea to call your doctor and ask if that should be the case? There are good pain killers out there from what i know, so it might be that these ones arent the ones for you or you need something a bit stronger.

What do you do for work and why will you lose your job? Another thing to ask your doctor might be for a medical certificate if you havent already- a broken back sounds like a totally legit reason to have some time off work!

And since you are still losing weight, I think thats a good thing As long as you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, being less overweight will hopefully put less strain on your back, so that might be helping too.

Dunno if this is all obvious stuff, but I hope it helps and that you get better soon
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:56 PM   #11  
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Iconised Ghost - I am moving around a good deal...buti am not allowed to bend or twistmy back, or lift over 10pounds. I stand more then i sit because it is more comfortable.....and when i do sit its on a stability ball, its the only thing thats comfortable, which engages my core muscles. Instead of bending i squat down to get things on lower shelves.

The pain medicine i am on is basically the strongest stuff i can take. Its good enough, but if i bump my back or accidentally bend it a bit too much, its awful. I have muscle relaxants i can take, which really help, but they make me sleepy so i cant take them all the time.

I teach pre-k. The kids are great about not making me bend or lift, they are very helpful. I have had 3 surgeries in the past year.....and missed over 100 days of work in the last year and a half. I am basically on probation and cannot miss work or i will lose my job. If i end up needing surgery i WILL lose it. Also, there are less then 30 employees there, so they have no legal obligation to give me medical leave.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:21 AM   #12  
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Another thing I just thought of- do you take your pain meds on a time basis or an as-need basis? I know for chronic pain and possibly pain in general (its late, I cant remember) it can be better to take it on a time basis rather than wait for the pain to be so bad you have to turn to meds. Keeps it on a nice plateau rather than dips and spikes. Might be another thing to ask your doc.

Good to hear about the moving about and the stability ball, I hadnt thought of the ball but thats probably a really excellent idea. Provided you dont fall off! Oh man, pre-K must be tough, I know people in primary school work here (so like ages 5-10ish) and the little ones really do their back in as it is, because they are so close to the ground. That sounds pretty screwed up about how they can fire you I dont know much about American employment laws, would it be worth getting some free legal advice or anything?
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:32 AM   #13  
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I can totally understand how you feel. I have a tendon issue which has led to lots of pain and Arthritis in my feet and ankles so I am not able to even walk for exercise. It is really hard not being able to do what your mind wants. I would talk to the doctor about getting you some physical therapy-they will be able to guide your exercise. It is hard to suggest exercise because just about all movement involves the spine to some degree.I hope you get some good news soon!

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:59 PM   #14  
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Iconized Ghost- I tske the pain meds on a regular badis. The muscle relaxants i only take as needed though because they make me so tired i can barely function.

Pre-K actually isnt that bad. Normally i have to bend a lot....but i haveexplained what happened to my back to the kids. They know not to touch my back or my stability ball. They dont walk behind me. They have even been helping me carry things, and if something falls on the ground i dont even have to ask them to pick it up, they just do it because they know i cant. There is actually one little boy who gets in trouble a lot and i normally have to pick him up kicking and screaming and move him to the "purple line" which is a line near the door where they go to calm down. The other day he got in trouble and i told him to go to the purple line and he started fighting......and i looked at him and said "I know you are upset, and that is okay, but if i have to pick you up and move you it will really really hurt my back. Please dont make me do that." He looked at me and then he got up and moved to the purple line. Even the kids who are normally uncooperative have been doing what they can to help me....so its not bad.

I actually assogned them different "helper jobs" until i am better. One of them carries my lunch box, one of them carries the sign in binder, one of them passes out pencils, one passes out crayons, one passes out scissors, one is the door holder, one sweeps after lunch. They love having jobs, and its great for me to have the help....so it really works out well.

I dont need legaal advice, i know all about the laws (since i am in school for education i had to take a class about the labor laws for teachers)...and i amnot too concerned. I will be moving and quitting in August anyways, so if i lost my job i could just apply for unemployment benefits until then.



TiffNeedsChange - I have foot problems too. I have had surgery on both feet and have to wear custom made prescription orthotics in my shoes at all times. I have found stability ball exercises to be the most low impact on my feet, just fyi.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #15  
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sorry to hear about your back!

as far as exercises, i found this video that helped me out when i tore a ligament in my foot. you could probably do most of these (except maybe the bending ab exercises) sitting on the stability ball. it's seated pilates. the video is 32 minutes.

http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Do-...Desk-259776922
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