1st 5K 2 years post fusion surgery

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And just like that it’s 2 years since I had that horrible pubic symphysis fusion surgery.  Let me just tell you, I feel GREAT! You really wouldn’t even know the ordeal I went thru.  I’ve been running and swimming and biking occasionally (that still bothers my SI joint in my back).

I did my first race since surgery in the Outer Banks NC and it was a 5K on the beach.  It was a fun race, I did it with some good friends (shout out to Colleen and Scott Lee!).

I have people asking me all the time what I’m doing that has been so helpful post surgery.  My answer…weekly Pilates, constant stretching of my SI joint (done with my husband), and believe it or not, regular exercise.  Not excessive or hard core stuff, I have trouble lifting anything heavy, but running and swimming a few times a week have been very helpful for my pelvis.

To those following my blog dealing with post-partum osteitis pubis, there really is hope.  It is a long road, but hang in there and stay strong.  Surround yourself with people who are caring and understanding, as this condition can cause some serious swings with your life.

Random question, does anyone want to see a video of the SI joint stretch I do to get instant relief when I have a bad flare up?  If so, please respond and I can try to upload a video on my blog.

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Forum started!

Ok people, if you are reading this and need to talk to someone about the horrendous diagnosis you received called Osteitis Pubis or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, I just started a forum with gals who all have these issues so we can help and talk it out.  Please email me to be invited into the forum cyndi.roberts5@gmail.com.  I so wish I had this 2 years ago when I felt like I was a lone soldier trying to get a handle on facing a surgery to fuse my pubic symphysis with metal plates and NOBODY had ever heard of it.

So my latest update is amazing!!! I’m running 4 miles PAIN FREE and I keep inching up a little more every time 🙂  I’m cycling, but no more than 1 1/2 hours as SI joint gets pissed off.  I’m seriously ok with that tho, who knew I’d be cycling again!?  Plus I just signed up for a swim meet!  I’m really feeling great and I’m kinda back to normal.  Sure, some days really suck and my back hurts from chasing the kids around and doing yard work or just standing for long periods.  However, that stretch/exercise thing I do most nights with my hubby Jim has been a saving grace for me.  He literally pops my pelvis back into place and I’m good for another 24 hours, it’s so strange but I don’t care.  IT WORKS!

Thank you again to everyone who has been so supportive of me and my family over the past few years dealing with this.  You all know who you are and you rock.

I’m so happy that this is yet another good blog post and not one of my scary OH MY GOSH I’M DISABLED posts.    There’s hope!

 

Summer Update

I haven’t given an update in awhile, so here goes.  I’m doing very well lately with my new pelvis.  Surgery was still a life saver for me.  This summer has been jam packed with activities and travelling with the kids because I CAN NOW!  I’m overjoyed to be able to function normal again, it’s the best feeling in the world.  I still can’t believe a little over a year ago I was bed ridden for 8 weeks and prior to that I was using a cane to get around.  I feel like I’ve climbed mountains to get where I’m at now, but so worth it in the end.

I do have bad back days, which is to be expected since I’m fused in the front of my pelvis.  My SI joint in my back is constantly acting up, but I have a routine at night with exercises to stretch and strengthen it and my husband has to literally line up my pelvis with a weird stretching move every night.  This seems to work for me for now.  I do think this is something I’ll probably have to live with for the rest of my life.  I’m learning to deal with it now, resting on the bad days is key.

I’m able to ride my bike again, not too much but here and there on good days.  Swimming is no trouble and I’ve even dabbled in some very short runs on my treadmill.  Pilates is definately a life saver for me, my back feels so much better after doing pilates.

Overall I’m doing AWESOME!  I just have to get my back to understand that it has a new pelvis to work with now.  I’m determined to avoid putting a screw in my back to stabilize the back of my pelvis too.  I think I can get thru this.

If you are reading this blog and searching for answers about your painful pregnancy and or post partum pelvic pain, please send me a message and I’ll email you privately.  Since this surgery is so rare, it certainly is not for everyone and it should be considered the last resort.  There is so little information out there on pubic symphysis fusion surgery, I’m really just trying to give a small glimmer of hope to those searching for sucessful surgery stories.  Here I am, a SUCCESS!!!

I’m FREE!!!

I have officially been released from all my surgeons in Hershey because I’m doing so well, yeah!!!  I have no restrictions and I’m able everything provided I’m pain free.  My SI Joint has been acting up, but I’m confident that I can calm it down with those exercises in my pelvic pain book, I wasn’t able to do them for 5 weeks following my hernia surgery and my back got bad again as soon as I stopped.  Now I’m back at it and enjoying living life with my family and actually DOING things with them.  I couldn’t be happier, this has been a horrible year.  We went to Dorney Park (amusement park) the other night and I remembered that a year ago I had to go in a wheelchair because I was in so much pain walking that I didn’t think I could make it thru the park with my kids.  This year…absolutely no problems!

I told my dr that I think I needed a good year post fusion surgery to really heal and strengthen everything again.  His response “really it was a BAD year, but yes”.  When he told me I was released and I didn’t need to come back of course I started crying and hugging him.  Then I proceeded down the hall to find the nurse who knows me and cry and give her a huge hug.

This is a true success story for a condition (osteitis pubis/pubic symphysis dysfunction) that is rarely known to become so severe solved by an even more unusual surgery (pubic symphysis fusion) and I hope this gives hope to other postpartum women reading this blog.

All restrictions lifted!

I followed up with my hernia surgeon this morning and all my restrictions have been lifted and I can hold my 3 year old, Patrick, again!  This was music to my ears, I missed the snuggles.  I follow up with my ortho surgeon who did my big fusion surgery next week as well.  I’m so excited to let him know how well I’m doing!  My back is not too bad and my hernia was fixed nicely (apparently it was a good size), he’s probably going to be in shock because the last visit with him was looking pretty doom and gloom.  So back to strengthening and stretching and easing into activities 🙂  Couldn’t be happier!IMG_0671

Surgery #2

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Good news, I survived my second surgery in less than a year.  I developed an incisional hernia from my fusion surgery and I just had that repaired in Hershey on Friday the 8th.  This was seriously a walk in the park compared to the symphysis fusion, I was home the same day!  I was walking around no problems, just out of it from the meds.  It looks like it is healing nicely and my only restriction is that I can’t pick up anything over 20 lbs for 4 weeks (aka Patrick who is 3 now).  I can see this being an issue in another week or so but for now my little guy is ok with it.

And on to the bad news, sadly I feel like there is always something going on.  I now have a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder which is SEVERELY painful all the way down to my fingers.  I’m no stranger to pain, I’ve lived in pain for 3 years now and this darn nerve is really bothersome.  Worst part is that I can’t treat it properly.  My favorite doctor PA in the whole wide world, Laura Yonych at St. Lukes has been on top of this for me for a couple weeks now.  So this developed 2 weeks prior to surgery and by the time I realized that it was more than just a bad kink in my neck, it was too late for me to take anti inflammatory meds or a steroid to combat the inflammation because leading up to surgery I had to be off any of that type of medication.  I basically suffered really bad for a good 10 days until just this past Tuesday I was allowed to take Advil.  Starting tomorrow I can finally take a steroid to reduce the inflammation and hopefully my pain will subside.  Luckily my Xrays came back normal so no major issues with my cervical spine, phew 🙂 Talk about bad timing with a pinched nerve and wow is that painful!

On to more good news, my back is still doing very well, I no longer think that I will need a screw put into my SI joint to stabilize the back of my pelvis, yay!  That is one HUGE step in my recovery.  And yes, it has been 11 months since my fusion surgery and yes I’m still recovering.  I get thru this by setting small goals and just focusing on one day at a time.  Tomorrow…steroid for nerve pain 😉

 

Turning the corner!

Dare I say it, but I’m starting to seriously get better!!!  My back is much less painful in the last couple weeks.  I have been doing a new set of strengthening and stretching exercises every day for the last 6 weeks or so.  I found this random book online and figured what the hell, I’ll give it a try I have nothing to lose.

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Ok granted I’m not pregnant and my post-partum is almost 3 years now but my condition with my back is all related to my pregnancy still so I wanted to give this a try.  I didn’t notice anything the first 3-4 weeks and I almost gave it up, but then all of a sudden one day I had so much less pain, yeah!!!  Jim has to help me every night with one of the pelvic symmetry exercises, which is an exercise that is supposed to equalize both sides of your pelvis, it hurts but I think it’s working.  Then there is a series of other exercises to do that is supposed to be done in a certain order.  The whole routine takes me about 30 minutes every day and so worth it so far.  Nowhere in this book does it mention pregnancy related osteitis pubis and the bone erosion I had prior to surgery, so I’m sure that these exercises would not have helped with that prior to surgery.  I know for a fact that I would not have even been able to do half of these exercises anyway, but now that I’m fused in the front and all screwed back together I can tackle this.

I even did a Pilates class a couple times, I’m so excited about this!!!  Never thought I’d be doing anything like that any time soon and I was totally ok in the class.  The front of my pelvis felt completely normal (minus the annoying hernia) and my back was not too bad.  I’m so completely overjoyed to be back on my feet again, literally.  This whole ordeal over the last 3 years has been horrendous and this has been my first glimmer of hope to living pain free again.