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Old 10-26-2004, 06:13 AM   #1
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Mistina HB User
Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

I'm going in for my fusion on Monday the 1st. Does anyone have any advice for me and what to expect? I'm so afraid that I'm gonna be in terrible terrible pain. My doctor already told me that the first few days, I'll hate him. What will I feel like the day of surgery. Like, I'm having it in the morning, what will I feel like that night? Will I remember it? I had a fusion before but it was so long ago, I can't remember anything.
I'm so afraid of the pain but ready to get going on the recovery.
I'm real afraid of the ride home too, it's 3.5 hours. They told me that if I take breaks, I'll be okay. I told them I was concerned about the hardware and the bumps. He said there is no way that those bumps will knock the hardware loose. So, does anyone have any advice for me? Is the pain rediculous or what? What was it like when you were home? How long were you in the hospital?

Christina

 
Old 10-26-2004, 08:25 AM   #2
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ltedeschi HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

What a coincidence I am also due nov 1st for a 360 fusion on l4 and l5. I have had a previous fusion that failed and it was only posterior. In that siituation yes you will be in pain You will get up the next day and be home in 3-5.
the ride home will be tough Do you have a way to lie down. I can't imagine a 3.5 hour drive.
I wish you luck. Is yours 360 or just from the back??
Lisa
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:34 AM   #3
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lfoster21 HB User
Wink Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Mistina, I am 9 wks. post op from a fusion. I will give you my experiences. The day of the surgery went like this. It was done at 1pm and I don't remember the surgery or recovery room at all. I was told that my family came into the recovery room and I spoke with them. I don't remember it at all. I dont really remember anything until the middle of the night. I wasn't in much pain when I woke up because of the meds. I just couldn't move w/o help and I was really out of it. I was in the hospital for 5 days, but that was because I got really sick from the meds the 1st couple of days and I didn't get up and start walking till the 3rd day (other than to use the resttoom) and I couldn't keep any food/fluid down. Once they took me off the meds and I wasn't sick...I started walking and eating and I was able to leave.

As for the ride home...I agree that the bumps wont damage the hardware, but a 3.5 hr. drive will be uncomfortable. Take your meds. before you leave the hospital. Can you get a hotel room ans spend the night half way through the trip. (I know that sounds extreme and many people have had to drive those long distances and make it home...but if it's a possibility and not a hardship, you may want to consider it.) 2. I had someone pick me up who had an SUV. I was told this was better than my Ford Focus. I am very greatful for the suggestion because I hardley felt the turns and bumps. I had an hr. ride and did just fine. I would've rented it, if I didn't have a friend w/ one. Then when I got home I had to go down 2 flts. of stairs and I made that too.

The 1st week I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake. Just expect that. But it will get better, I promise. I am so thankful I had the surgery. I needed help at home the 1st 2 weeks and then I had people from the church bring me meals for several weeks after that. I am a single mom and those meals were a blessing. (And my house just never got a good cleaning. That was hard for me, but I got use to it.

Please read the thread "post surgery tips", I prepared my house ahead of time because of this thread. Also, get a raised toilet seat, a grabber ahead of time. There are a no. of aids you will find helpful...but these 2 are a must!

Good luck and keep us posted. Ask if you have any more specific questions. I am happy to help.

God Bless,

Lorie
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:42 AM   #4
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Mistina HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

thanks so much guys! I am soooo ready but of course scared to death. I'm mostly worried about the first week or two, the pain and all. I'm worried about the meds to a bit. They always make me ill and I have major bI hope that this surgery gives me the life I've been praying for for three years. I just want to be 'somewhat' normal.


Lisa, My doctor thinks that he will be able to do everything from the back. He said the chance of having to go back in through the front is a possibility but he's thinks it's avoidable. Why did your first one fail? I will definetley keep everyone posted as soon
as I get home. I hope you do the same!!

 
Old 10-26-2004, 11:18 AM   #5
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Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Hi Mistina,

I just wanted to add my best wishes to you for a great outcome. All the advice you were already given is exactly what I would've said.

Try not to be scared to death. I'm not saying it's easy, but try. It's a whole mind game, trying to "force" yourself to stay positive after the surgery -- for months even, as you negotiate the ups and downs of recovery. I felt exactly as Lorie did .. the second day after surgery I thought "Uh-oh. I made a BIG mistake." (Day 2 was bad - then it was over and Day 3 was better).

At 8 months post-op now I feel "normal" again! I hardly ever miss a day of walking or doing my stretches, but aside from that whole days go by where I don't even think about it -- that's how good I feel.

I wish the same for you! (all of us actually)

 
Old 10-26-2004, 11:43 AM   #6
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memawhurts HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Hi Mistina,

I just had my fusion revision (L4-S1) done on 9/20. I remember the Sunday before my surgery I was a basket case and so was DH. We were at each other's throats all day long. Only because we were both scared. There is no reason to tell you not to worry about it because nothing in the world is going to stop that emotion. Just try to keep yourself busy as best you can to keep your mind off of it.

You will do absolutely fine I'm sure. I had other problems related to a dural tear during surgery, but as far as surgical pain, I thought it was a breeze. I was up on the 3rd day walking around thinking this is the best thing I have ever done. Now I'm a little over 4 weeks post-op and have just a small amount of pain at the surgery site. Nothing that isn't bearable.

So just keep a positive attitude and come back when you are able and let us know how you are doing.

Best wishes,
Memaw

 
Old 10-26-2004, 12:55 PM   #7
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onthemendnow HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Hi again Mistina .. I didn't mean to imply that you are silly to worry; I hope I didn't come off that way. I meant to emphasize the importance of a "positive attitude".

 
Old 10-26-2004, 02:18 PM   #8
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memawhurts HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Onthemendnow,
I hope what I said didn't make you feel that way. I certainly appreciated everyone telling me not to worry. I just know it didn't do me any good. LOL. I did anyway. Any and all positive encouragement was appreciated by me.

If I offended you at all, it was certainly not my intention and I apologize so much.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 02:43 PM   #9
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onthemendnow HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

No no, no apology necessary ... but you did get me thinking that I came off differently than I intended. Thanks for posting otherwise, appreciated!

Last edited by onthemendnow; 10-26-2004 at 02:44 PM.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 02:56 PM   #10
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MARY G HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Hi Mistina,
I am 9 mos post fusion. I have no pain!!!! I am working on the weakness in my leg. I would like to add a reminder to ask for your dose of pain meds before you leave the hospital. It is a tough recovery. I remember my surgeon saying to measure the progress by months, not days.Recovery is so s;ow, especially the nerve recovery. I found a lot of good information reading the posts. Do not isolate yourself. There are a lot of people who will support you. Follow the doctor's orders. I wll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Peace and healing, Mary

 
Old 10-26-2004, 03:04 PM   #11
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islebe HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

well, i am 2 weeks post l5s1 fusion, and you really shouldn't worry yourself. Think about what the surgery will offer when you no longer have the pain you are accustomed to, and you will do well.
The few days i was in the hospital afterward were tough, and i layed there thinking, whati had i done, why did i dithis surgery. then i came home, started feeling better, realized my old pain was gone and started recoveing, both mentally and physically.
funny thing beforehand, i was more worried about the discogram then my surgery, and i had never had surgery before.
Just remember, eat and think recoveryand things will go your way.
i remember waking up in recovery and asking for water, they gave me ice, and then i remember waking up in my room, my wife there with me.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 09:19 PM   #12
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Suba HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Hi,
I'm Back!
Today is one week post op of PL4-L5. I think my leg pain is almost gone. What I am feeling now is mostly where the incision is, and the top of my legs and butt. The pain is so different.
I was scared out of my wits. Now I am on the other side, taking it very easy. Those first few days are really rough. It's amazing each day does get a little better. Remember that. The hardest part was trying to change positions in bed. I also got sick from the morphine. I felt better once that was out of my system.
I had my first post op appt today. No more staples. Had xrays at hospital. That was tough too, trying to move from one bed to another and back again. He said everythiing looked good. I will be starting rehab in 5 weeks. Right now it's time to start walking outside the property. I'm so looking forward to everything. The leaves look so good. It's my favorite time of year. I have to go. I'll be around.

Try not to worry, it will be better. Get everything in order so you can relax.


I was thinking of you. I thought you were having it done on the 21st.
I wish you the best of luck. Hang in there, and you will on the other side soon.

Nora

 
Old 10-27-2004, 05:27 AM   #13
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Rhonni HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Mistina: Will it help to know the anxiety before surgery is more overwhelming than the surgery itself?

The goal of the doctors and nurses after surgery is to keep you out of pain. (I love people with this goal).

I can't stress enough to you that the key is ATTITUDE!!! You must keep positive, you must do exactly as they tell you, you must remember that you trust them or you wouldn't be allowing your care to them, you must measure your accomplishments - even if they are as minor as going an extra hour without pain meds that day, and you must continually tell yourself that you're going to get better. Don't get discouraged by setbacks and there will be one or two here and there (words I, myself, need to practice what I preach).

The ride will be a challenge, but with good meds and strategically placed pillows, I bet you can sleep a good share of it. My drive home was only about 45 min and I dosed off after I finally quit yacking enough. Again... attitude. If you think it will be awful, it will. If you tell yourself you'll manage, you will.

Keep posting. We'll be here.
Hunni

 
Old 10-27-2004, 04:05 PM   #14
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Mistina HB User
Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Thanks to all who responded. I am ready for this and by the great outcomes that I've recently read, I'm looking forward to posting mine when this is all said and done. I truly appriciate everyone who posts and gives me their support. I can only hope that you all are around to ask questions when I get back, I know I'm gonna be stressed!!! I know it is a slow process so I'm ready to get this going. Thanks to everyone, I'll be around a bit before then. As soon as I can hobble back to the computer after surgery I will get to posting and posting questions I'm sure!

God Bless!!

Christina

 
Old 10-27-2004, 07:19 PM   #15
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lfoster21 HB User
Wink Re: Fusion Nov. 1st-L4 L5, what to expect?

Mistina, It really sounds like you are ready. I will have you in my prayers on monday morning. If you have any more questions between now and then, you know where to come and ask

God Bless,

Lorie
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