Back to work 10 weeks post op and not doing good :(

I can't help but wonder if anyone went back full time at 4-6 weeks post op? Dr. Tew was very adamant at my 7 week check up that I should have been able to return to work. I didn't end up going back until 10 weeks post op.. and it has been kicking my ass and I am not doing good at all. I kept telling myself the more I go the easier it will be and that is not the case.

So I started back Tuesday last week, worked all day Tuesday, 6 hours Wednesday, and come Thursday morning I couldn't even life my legs and I was at home in bed until 2:00 in the afternoon. And then Friday I worked all day.

This week has not been any better. Worked all day every day so far, but yesterday I didn't think I was going to make it. My legs were like jello in the morning and I needed to shower but I finally gave in and literally got dressed and some what ready and came in. I was miserable the entire day all day. And same again today. It sucks so bad.. but yet I feel guilty for even thinking I should take a few more weeks of. My work is very supportive don't get me wrong. But I am not caught up enough to be able to work from home. And with all my kids appointments I don't want to use ALL my PTO for missing days here and there. Plus then come Christmas time I wouldn't have any time off.

I know that isn't a good reason but I am divorced and have 50/5o custody and both kids have special needs. So I like to spend as much extra time with them as possible. Usually for all their follow ups in te summer I work longer days so I don't have to use pto but that isn't happening this year. So I just don't want to run out of pto and then everything be unexcused.

I guess I am feeling that i should have came back part time instead. but with our STD it wasn't going to pay me enough to only work part time.. it would be less then not working at all and being on STD which makes no sense but it is what it is. So i literally jumped right back in full time at 10 weeks.

I started a B Complex vitamin which i haven't noticed any difference yet. I still take pain pills daily which is basically a bandaide to get through the days. I feel like I am a mess.... physically mentally, and emotionally. All I do is cry. I cry every morning because I just want to hop out of bed and in the shower like i was doing last year at this time. Instead i set my alarm an hour before i need to be up so i can take medicine to be able to get in the shower. It is so frustrating because i love my job, used to love cleaning my house, the 100 miles a day i drive never bothered me before 8 months ago. And its all been taken away. Its depressing and pisses me off!

We did a time line of how fast my symptoms progressed. I have had headaches/migraines for 5 years. But the back pain, tingly sesnation, lack of sensation, muscle weakness, and everything else all started between August and September last year. September is when my doctor had notes from my appointment telling her even a gentle touch hurts my legs. October was when I mentioned my back going numb and tingly. And december is when I had enough and asked for the MRI and then January found out about Chiari and shocked since my son had it and surgery at 13 months old. So I still would have had surgery or who knows how much worse I would be 6 more months ya know. But damn this sucks... I know you all can relate to feeling like it has stolen parts of your life. I wish other people could understand.. so depressing

I'm sorry you are still feeling bad. I went back to work at 8 weeks and lucky for me my commute is only a mile. I could totally see how a long commute and a full day at the office would be torture on you. Not to mention the challenges you face at home. That would be enough to cause you to feel down without having recovery from brain surgery on top of it all! I'd say it's harder for you where your symptoms escalated so quickly. Mine progressed rather slowly and were compounded by mono. I spent years prior to surgery scarcely functioning so I couldn't really remember a time when I could jump up and start the day. Even now due to an unrelated arthritic condition I awake stiff and achy and have to lie there forever before I get the motivation to drag myself up!

Don't let the doctor's attitude bring you down. They have never had this surgery so they can only base expectations on what they've seen in their patients. As we know everyone is different and has different challenges outside of Chiari so just because patient A felt great at 4 weeks doesn't mean you will. They may have a less demanding job, a lesser commute, etc.

Thanks everyone…

We don’t really have any family or friends close by to help out with cooking or cleaning. I am a neat clean organized freak so I do what I can and my husband tries his best. My parents live 3 hours from me and his are busy and work a lot (nurse and cop) so we don’t have much help. My husband just started a new job so he can’t miss any days right now. Plus medical bills pouring in so we both need to work to pay the bills.

Beeba, I have tried to taper off the pain meds but with the amount of Tylenol ibuprofen or aleeve I was taking in one day it would do more harm then then pain meds in the long run. Plus with all my back issues they didnt come close to touching those. I don’t take near as many and I am not on the strong ones (oxy) that I was on before. I don’t feel they mess with my moods as I know it does for some people but I’ve been on so many different kinds and dosages the last 4-5 years I’ve never noticed and now I am on ones that aren’t even as strong as before.

BP is only a little high on days I am in pain, but even Tuesday after working 6.5 hours I had my PCP appointment and it was 128/84 or around there when a month ago it up to 140’s/90’s and usually pre surgery I am always 120/80. So it’s a little high for my normal but my doctor wasn’t concerned. And no issues with heart bearing too fast or anything either.

I’d be in much better shape if my back and right shoulder wasn’t where all the pain is every day all day tingly and completely numb. My doc said its the trapezius muscle that is giving me the most pain, and can feel the huge knots up in my neck too. I take a flexoril at night but nothing during the day for that. And use the rice heat bag things and arnica at work.

My doc wants to do a sleep study when I am feeling better since I’ve had sleep issues for years. I’ve been on several sleeping pills but hate taking them now because I don’t want to rely on them and then if I take one one night I don’t sleep the next! Other then that no other suggestions…

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply… I just hope this Gets better soon!

I’m so sorry you are struggling. You are not alone. I went back to work part time at 12 weeks and totally fell apart. I did not handle it well. My primary care doc took me back off work, but i am still having trouble with leg weakness, fatigue, joint and all over body pain. Mentally, I feel like I can’t handle anything. I have horrible brain fog. I feel like it is all so depressing and frustrating because no one can give us a time table on when we may feel better or even if some of this will get better. It is hard to hear “just take more time” when you have kids, a house to care for and bills, etc. I wish I had some magic words, but all I can say is know that you aren’t alone, I understand. I hope you start feeling better soon! Hang in there!