View Full Version : Goodbye brace!

10th October 2004, 01:26 PM
It's two weeks on Monday since the consultant told me to wear the brace for another two weeks and then get rid of it. I've been going round without it this weekend and I can't believe I'm free at last after 15 months of plastic. :monkey: :rofl:

It's uncomfortable sitting back against hard chairs, because where I had the thoracoplasty the skin is completely numb and the muscles beneath are either numb or very tender, but I'll get used to it.

Rehearsed for 5 hours and then played in a long concert without it last night - before surgery, sitting up playing the violin without my pre-op brace, my spine would have collapsed on itself and I would have been in a lot of pain all evening, uncontained by 600mg of ibuprofen. At last, I'm actually finding times when there isn't pain where there would have been pain! My back didn't hurt at all, and far from collapsing sideways so I sat with muscles tense all over, my new back supported me, holding me upright, performing the duties a spine should do.

Alas I found a new pain last night, which will go into another thread.

10th October 2004, 01:32 PM
YAY!!!! :D :monkey: :jump: :party:

That's great!!! I can't imagine how it must feel :D

10th October 2004, 02:05 PM
I'm glad you got rid of the brace Jonny, that's great news :jump:

10th October 2004, 02:09 PM
great news :-)
About the hard chairs, when you're in school you can borrow the coats of other people to make yourself more comfortable :-)

10th October 2004, 02:12 PM
Or how about buying a cushion? When I was at high school I could never get comfy on the horrible chairs so I bought a blow-up back cushion from Boots the chemist.

10th October 2004, 02:28 PM
My chair at school! (http://online.duba.dk/pls/portal30/docs/FOLDER/DUBA/DOWNLOADS/BILLEDARKIV/QVO_STOLE/QVO43+KONTORSTOL+MED+JUSTERBARE+ARMLÆN.JPG)

Got it for free and everything. Get to keep it for as long as I like :D

10th October 2004, 02:30 PM
That's great, I only got a special chair for my art classes since they were basically backless stools.

10th October 2004, 02:34 PM
Great news Jonny!!!

Your back might be numb now, but there's every chance that most of the damaged nerves will grow back. After my surgeries at 18 I was completely numb down my back and at the top of my legs, but I got most of the feeling back over the next year, whilst some feeling took years to come back but did eventually. I now have only a couple of numb spots :-)

10th October 2004, 05:00 PM
Jonny, CONGRATS!!!!! Luckey you! Ur an inspiration 2 us all haha. :D

10th October 2004, 05:19 PM
Congrats! You did so well and were so comitted!

10th October 2004, 06:20 PM
It's great to abandon the brace and move on.Here's to the rest of your life starting from today!! :pint:

10th October 2004, 06:32 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!11 Thats great!!! I remember when my brace was gone its the happiest feeling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10th October 2004, 07:04 PM
That's really great Jonny! It's especially wonderful that you can play the violin without pain now! I know how exciting that was for me, and i'm not even dedicated at all. Anyways, congrats for getting through the brace!

10th October 2004, 07:39 PM
Congratulation, Sweetie.

10th October 2004, 09:15 PM
The countdown is over... Congratulations, Jonny!

10th October 2004, 09:41 PM
Yay! Congrats Jonny. You've done so welll since your surgery. And Toni's right, a lot of my numbness is gone now but I had a lot of numb spots for a while.

10th October 2004, 11:00 PM
Aww, thanks guys :-) yeah, I'll do that Leen, or just not bother sitting back at all - I'm used to sitting bolt upright on the edge of my seat playing the violin!

10th October 2004, 11:06 PM
1 hour to go! :niceone: Any ideas what you'll do with the brace?

10th October 2004, 11:06 PM
congratulations Jonny!!! :-D

Amazed Jean
11th October 2004, 01:46 AM
Congratulations Jonny! How about making your brace into a floor lamp?

11th October 2004, 05:51 AM
awww that is good.but i still have to wear mine for a another 2 years:(

11th October 2004, 10:43 AM
I remember when i was allowed to have mine off after wearing one for 18 months, felt so good! but also i was worried i was going to do something i shouldnt and bend too far or something! hah.

11th October 2004, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by BarmyArmy@Oct 10 2004, 12:30 PM
That's great, I only got a special chair for my art (http://www.ntsearch.com/search.php?q=art&v=56) classes since they were basically backless stools.
I wish i did! I asked for chairs in science (http://www.ntsearch.com/search.php?q=science&v=56) but think i would get them? no... same as in my form room (it was a science (http://www.ntsearch.com/search.php?q=science&v=56) class) i wasnt allowed a chair because the desks were too high :| but it wasn't too bad, the brace kept me straight.

11th October 2004, 11:42 PM
Wooohoo! Jonny is officially brace-free today!!! :-D Missin' it already? ;-)

11th October 2004, 11:50 PM
so jonny! how is it, to be brace free??

12th October 2004, 05:35 PM
Congrats... so what does it feel like?

13th October 2004, 02:07 AM
Hello :-) It's odd (and rather nice) to be able to breathe freely, it's odd not being able to bend when not even wearing a brace, it's bloody uncomfortable on the back of hard chairs, it's bloody uncomfortable on the back of some soft chairs because of the lumps from my rods (which I AM going to have trimmed, I've decided), my ribs feel a little tight and strange... what else?
It's all still better than wearing a brace!

13th October 2004, 12:57 PM
Saturday night I played my violin for the first time since my brace came off. As I picked the violin up each time, the muscles below my trapezius muscles (I think) really tightened painfully. The pain went when I put my violin down, but after that, when I bent my neck forwards for the first time, I could feel the muscles at the back being forcibly (painfully) pulled out straight, because they were tightly contracted. They relaxed a little after that, until I took my violin up again.

Less than five minutes ago, as I sat here (using school laptop on high-ish desk), with my right elbow bent out sideways so it fit on the edge of the desk so I could use the touchpad with my right hand, I lowered my arm back to a neutral position, and felt this awful cramp in my neck/right shoulder, in the same place as Saturday night I think. I am sitting with my elbow up on the desk facing inwards because every time I drop my arm again, it hurts. I'm going to chase after Tina in a few minutes to get some ibuprofen off her, because I can't bear this cramp.

Does anyone have any ideas? Wish me luck in the next hour or so :woe:

13th October 2004, 01:34 PM
Oww Jonny.. :-( You're only 3 months post-op, and your body has to get used to a new situation (no brace--> no extra support). The muscles on your back need to work a lot more now. I hope you find a high dose of ibuprofen somewhere soon, and take some rest tonight. :hug:

13th October 2004, 02:11 PM
Ouch. I remember that phase of my recovery! It's really miserable.
It helped me a lot to be on a muscle relaxer during that time (Flexeril).
I also ended up doing physio and massage...
Feel better soon Jonny!

13th October 2004, 03:22 PM
I think give the scoliosis nurse at Stanmore a quick phone call.
It can't do any harm..if that doesn't work get an appointment with your GP.I've spent every night since last saturday with a barley bag and hot gel pack trying to loosen up taut neck muscles.it's so infuriating when one pain goes away and another disappears.

13th October 2004, 05:17 PM
Ouch Sins - I was wondering how you were doing after your neck went :(

And Jonny, I agree, call the scoliosis nurse, or see if there's a drop in clinic you can go to down there. I wonder if some of the problem is that without the brace, and with things being uncomfortable against your back, you're more tense now? A certain level of underlying tension can certainly help to set things off. Hopefully taking it easy and maybe using a wheat bag will help it to settle. Some of that luvverly Deep Relief gel might just help as well :-)

13th October 2004, 06:40 PM
Isn't it too soon for physio (3 months)? :roll: A good massage could help though (you could ask your mum or Tina). Or do you have an oat bag, Jonny?

13th October 2004, 11:18 PM
Thanks for help guys - it went off within ten (painful) minutes of me posting, but it came back tonight a little in orchestra. I'm not certain the nurses at Stanmore will be that helpful and are likely to tell me to take two aspirins and come back in the morning...
A massage definitely sounds like it would help, but it's finding the people to do it at the right time :-P plus sometimes it has felt extremely tender while it's tense.

Didn't manage to find any ibuprofen today but it went off within ten minutes and didn't return for about an hour, so I survived fine. Definitely thinking about a muscle relaxant though if it continues and makes anything too painful.

Titch - the stuff is definitely luvverly on my back, but when it goes near my neck and shoulders it burns too much and leaves the area quite red :-?

13th October 2004, 11:21 PM
OOh keep it away from scars as well Jonny.I put some on my 21 year old bone graft scar and it caused a painful red swelling all across the scar area.Anywhere else was fine though........

14th October 2004, 12:29 AM
Yikes! I put it all down my scar if its feeling sore around it :-? Good call Sins, because I would never have known that!

14th October 2004, 12:32 AM
ouch! That sounds very painful. I'm glad the pain went away eventually. I can't offer any advice, other than what others have said. I hope it doesn't come back though. :squeeze:

14th October 2004, 04:19 PM
Well I was told with my brace that your muscles weaken greatly.... With the surgury and the brace your muscles just need time to readjust..
good luck

I have always wondered why doctors believed that a healthy back meant a sraight spine. There is was more involved! At least that is whta my doctor believes...

14th October 2004, 06:58 PM
Jonny, I actually had pain that sounds a bit like what you had yesterday while practicing. Was your pain in yourupper shoulder to neck area? I ended up needing to stop, because it hurt. But my pain stopped the second I put down my violin.

15th October 2004, 05:04 PM
Sounds like it, yeah! When I put my violin down it stopped, but the muscles were still tight until I actually got my neck to pull them out straight by bending my neck forwards. Hope yours (and mine) stops soon. Playing didn't hurt today but tonight it may.

15th October 2004, 06:22 PM
I got loads of cramps in my neck after my op , the Physio i went to gave me some great neck stretching exercises .I could feel the knot in my neck muscle and in the shoulder area of my back, he managed to loosen that and the exercises really helped .I was told a lack of magnessium can cause muscle cramp , so i got some magnessium tablets and took them and they seemed to work .Hope it gets better , it does take time though .

15th October 2004, 06:34 PM
Thanks - if it continues to hurt, will definitely try some magnesium, and failing that, an osteopath maybe. But I'm jumping the gun - let's make sure it is a lasting pain first!

16th October 2004, 08:16 PM
Try some muscle relaxants! They were very good right after surgery when I had bad cramps.

16th October 2004, 08:29 PM
Ooh, where do I get them?

*thinks of what Blair uses as a muscle relaxant and I found to be the best painkiller ever in hospital and I would love to have a supply of but alas is a controlled drug*

16th October 2004, 08:38 PM
Ask a pharmacist about Syndol - could be worth a try. And don't forget teh muscle relaxant power of good old fashioned quinine - Schweppes tonic water seems to have plenty of it (some tonic water is actually quinine free, so you need to check the label - not recommended for pregnant women, hence the quinine free versions, but that's not a problem for you of course :P)

16th October 2004, 08:42 PM
(I hope that's not a problem for me :-P) I actually just dreamt about those Syndol tablets but can't remember what about. Next time everything tightens up I'll take a couple and see what happens :-)

16th October 2004, 11:12 PM
Your dreams sound very interesting, Jonny. :roll:

Amazed Jean
17th October 2004, 04:53 AM
Hey Jonny I want some of those dreams. What kind of pillow were you sleeping on?

17th October 2004, 05:09 PM
One soaked in narcotics? :roll: I have hallucinated about my pillow before!

17th October 2004, 05:49 PM
So long as you don't dream that you're eating a giant marshmallow, and wake up to find your pillow is missing

*b'dm tssssh*

17th October 2004, 06:00 PM
he he!! i like that tonibunny!

Becs x x