I'm sorry you've had to come to the point of fusion, but you're in the right place to get some help and encouragement from others who have already been there.
There's a sticky at the top of the page called "post surgery tips" that has a lot of helpful suggestions. There are a lot of pages, but it's worth scrolling through.
I can tell you that for me the single best thing I did was get a grabber tool. It was worth what I paid for it the first day home from the hospital. Some people have been given one before leaving the hospital, but I didn't get one. I have since invested in a second one so I would have one upstairs and one downstairs. A satin bottom sheet on your bed and slippery pj's will make turning in bed much, much easier. At 5 months post-op, I'm still not ready to put the cotton back on. I did end up taking off the satin top sheet and put the cotton back because the satin top sheet slid out too easily from the satin bottom sheet. My bed stayed neater and easier to sleep in with the satin bottom sheet and cotton top sheet.
You'll want to get a little notebook to record your meds (which ones, how much, what time). You'll be groggy and in pain and won't want to be trying to remember what you took and when. I used the same little notebook at the other end to keep a running list of questions for my doctor, appt times, and whatever else came up in life so I wouldn't lose track. The pain meds make you a bit loopy, so it's good to write things down.
Put a plastic trash bag in your car for the ride home from the hospital. If it's on the seat when you get in, you can slide on it and not risk twisting. Also, put a zip lock bag in the car in case you feel nauseous on the way home. If you need to use it, you can just zip it in and no one has to clean up a mess!
Shop ahead for extras of the nonperishables you and your family use. Soaps, cleansers, cereals, soups, flour, etc. I stocked up on refrigerated things that keep for a long time, too, like butter and cheese. Fill your freezer with dinners that can be pulled out and popped in the microwave or oven (not by you, hopefully).
Put new batteries in your remotes. If possible, get a pile of movies you haven't seen or your old favorites. You're going to spend quite a bit of time lying down and resting. During your walking times, if you're inside it's helpful to have something on to distract you from the discomfort as you do your laps across the bedroom or wherever you choose to walk.
There are lots of other tips in that sticky, but those are my top tips.
You'll no doubt have lots of questions, both now and after your surgery. This is a great place to come for answers, to comment, or just to vent if you need to. I hope it will be as great a help to you as it was to me.
I wish you the best with your upcoming surgery. Let us know how you're doing.
Wow Painful... you sound like me!.. I'm lookin at somethin similar with fusion at S1-L5 & disectomy or fusion at L5-L4. The 1st Neurosurgeon said just a matter of when I want to go so I'm thinkin a couple more opinions to confirm & then shoot for this Fall.
Please keep me/us posted as to your situation as I am very interested.
If you wouldn't mind sharin i have a few questions...
How old are you?
What are your symptoms & how long have you had them?
What procedure are you havin (ie - TLIF, PLIF, etc)?
What was te deciding factor for surgery (ie - pain, motor loss, etc)?
thank for all the info......it helps with getting things together i have 2 childern so all the info in preparing for the weeks ahead in recovery is very helpfull thanks again an i will keep you posted.
well iam having a fusion on my L4 L5 and a disectomy on my L3 with bad ddd iam 35 and have been dealing with real bad back pain with severe leg pain that radiates up and down for the past 10 years i have been to 10 or so drs who say there is nothing they can do which is very frustrating i had a disgogram which plain out said my back is bad so it has put my life at a halt and i need this surgrey and iam despirate at this point so my dr said yes and iam going to go march 21st.....
Thanks guys, I am having fusion tlif on friday. I just wanted to point you to those long posts because I have been trying to find out all the info I could before surgery...so I listened to everything...and still am listening to everything they are both saying...as well as roy..he has a post going and is post op I think four weeks.
Because of those threads...I feel optimistic and prepared. I couldn't imagine going into surgery without that knowledge.
I wish you success with your upcoming surgery and pray that you will have many pain free days in your future.
As Yvette said, I had surgery almost 5 weeks ago and I have absolutely no regrets for moving ahead with the fusion. I only wish I had the surgery months earlier.
My word of advice is to remember that no two people heal alike or have the same outcome and to remember that we are here to support you. Remember that we are not MD's just normal people dealing with our own paths of back dilemas.
The hardest part of the recovery is remembering not to lift, bend or twist and that the recovery is extremely s l o w!!
Just keep the faith and we will all soon be celebrating on that tropical island drinking our pina colada's.
thank you very much pepper i have been reading your posts so they are extrmley helpful iam glad i found this site i just want to have my life back and to stop being in severe pain good luck with your recoveryand i will be on until i go in and then i will post my recovery post ....
[QUOTE=painfulback;2841304]thank you very much pepper i have been reading your posts so they are extrmley helpful iam glad i found this site i just want to have my life back and to stop being in severe pain good luck with your recoveryand i will be on until i go in and then i will post my recovery post ....[/QUOTE]
Your welcome. I am so glad that I helped you. You sound so much like me before my surgery I just wanted the pain to end so that I can play with my children without cringing in pain or having my children saying your back hurts doesn't it?
we are much alike iam stuck in my bed after i come home from work it really stinks so i know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and i just have to be positive my kids get so frustrated and say i guess we arnt doing anything today because your back hurts its so sad so iam glad to hear things are going good for you......