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Old 02-11-2010, 10:00 AM   #1
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Kelliew HB User
Unhappy L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hi I am 42 years old and going in for surgery in 5 days this will be my 3rd surgery for the same problem, it started almost 3 years ago with the back pain after a vacation just thought i over did it. Fast forward to dec 08 and had first surgery it was microdiscectmy (spell) and it worked great pain was gone. About a month later in jan 09 I fell on the ice getting out of my truck tried as hard as i could not to fall on my back side but splat right on my a**.

The pain came back and my surgeon did not want to go in gain but after an MRI that showed the same disc had herniated again he agreed to do it again, this time the pain did not go away this surgery was in april 09. so now after another 7 months of pain and going to a pm for meds that at this point are so strong but dont work my only option is fusion because now i have DDD it is set for feb 16th and need some advise i ave read the sticky about post op tips and i would have never thought of some of them, just would like to hear from someone that has been through this. Thanks for listening to me ramble hope to hear from anybody thanks again Kellie

 
Old 02-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #2
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megss HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hey I just had my second fusion 2.5 weeks ago. My first fusion was in April of '09, so the same month as your last surgery!

It is scary, and it is a big surgery, but just stay positive and make sure you have plenty of support. You will have good days and bad days, so be prepared. Stay in touch with your PM clinic because you may need meds after your surgeon won't prescribe anymore and especially for during PT. My surgeon will only prescribe for 6 weeks. But only get meds from one Dr.
What meds are you taking? I would talk to your surgeon about it as soon as possible- tell him what you are taking and say that they don't work very well. You both will need a plan for how to control your pain after surgery. Seriously, it is a painful surgery and you will need pain relief. Pain relief is essential to healing as well.

Walking is very important to healing as I'm sure you are aware. I live in a wintery area so I bought a treadmill, that way I could also measure my distance as well. You could also make loops around your house if that is not an option.

Um, I find my walker very useful. With my first surgery I used a cane but the walker is much more supportive, especially for icy conditions. You definitely don't want to fall again! Also, you may have to wear a brace, I do. It sometimes helps with the pain as well. I feel like everything is being held together properly I also use my shower stool and have my husband bathe me, and I have a grabber tool so I don't have to reach down for anything or reach up. My 2 year old thinks all my things are really cool! It makes me smile because by most people I get stared at! (A 28 year old struggling to move with a cane). You just have to laugh about it. You can get all the these things right in the hospital and they will bill you for whatever insurance doesn't cover. It is very convenient.

Spine always has really great advice but she just had her latest fusion last week and I haven't seen her on here.

So is Monday the big day? We can chat until then, I will probably remember more advice as we chat!

 
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:57 PM   #3
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Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Oh are you having a 360 fusion? Meaning they go in through both the stomach and the back? I had that with my first fusion but this one was only through the back. The 360 was more difficult to deal with.

Another weird thing. Each time I have had a fusion, it triggers a period. And it is always about 2 weeks early. I have had 2 other significant surgeries and this only happens with a fusion. I think for most people though it delays their period! I am weird I guess!

 
Old 02-11-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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JCW247 HB User
Smile Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

[QUOTE=Kelliew;4183529]Hi I am 42 years old and going in for surgery in 5 days this will be my 3rd surgery for the same problem, it started almost 3 years ago with the back pain after a vacation just thought i over did it. Fast forward to dec 08 and had first surgery it was microdiscectmy (spell) and it worked great pain was gone. About a month later in jan 09 I fell on the ice getting out of my truck tried as hard as i could not to fall on my back side but splat right on my a**.

The pain came back and my surgeon did not want to go in gain but after an MRI that showed the same disc had herniated again he agreed to do it again, this time the pain did not go away this surgery was in april 09. so now after another 7 months of pain and going to a pm for meds that at this point are so strong but dont work my only option is fusion because now i have DDD it is set for feb 16th and need some advise i ave read the sticky about post op tips and i would have never thought of some of them, just would like to hear from someone that has been through this. Thanks for listening to me ramble hope to hear from anybody thanks again Kellie[/QUOTE]


Sorry to hear about your circumstances KELLIE. I feel your pain. Are you sure that you have no other options besides doing fusion. I had fusion on L5-S1 for a bulging herniated disc. 17 months forward I am still in alot of pain with impingement on a nerve from a bone or the hardware that requires corrective surgery. I am happy to hear that MicroDiscectomy did work on your first surgery. This was the surgery I wanted and did not get. Expect to have a large incision. I have a implant with the hardware (rods/screws). Just
wondering if you did a second/third opinion before agreeing with this new surgery. These fused surgeries seem to be outdated and don't work. I hope everything goes well for you. My prayers are with you for a quick recovery.

Leticia

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:04 AM   #5
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hi Megss,
Thanks for your reply my surgrey is set for Tuesday and i would really like to chat with you untill then mught help to talk with someone tha has gone through this.

My fusion is not 360 only going through back doc wanted to go through the front but it made me a little more stressed out and he said if it was stressing me out that it was no prob to just go through the back so thats ok with me less truma to me i think.

The meds that I am taking are Lryica 200 mg 2x day and Avinza 30 mg in morning and 60 mg at night Avinza is a pill form of morphin, my surgeon is working with my pm to figure out how to deal with pain after i go home so hopefully they will find something that will work for me.

I do have a tredmill so i will plan on using it but my tredmil is in my basement so i am not sure if i will be able to go down the stairs for awhile. My doc did say that i would prob go home with a walker i have to tell ya that scared me when he said that i did not think at all that i wold have to use one, but if it helps i am willing to do whatever he tells me. I was not told one way or the other about a brace he never said a word about that so i dont know i will call his office about that. I really hope that i will skip my period dont want to deal with that on top of recovery i have a very very heavy period due to fybroids and because of that my blood count is low so i am on iron pills to build it up so i wont need a transfusion doc said he will use(cant remember what he called it) something that will recycle my blood lots to deal with uggg. So anyway i look forward to chating with you thanks for the advice and hope you remember more tips i need all i can get. Thanks again Kellie

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:11 AM   #6
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hi Leticia,

Sorry about your pain, yes i did get 2nd opinion and belive me the last thing i wanted was another surgery but the meds dont work anymore and i cannot continue to live like this, the meds are doing crazy things to me messing with my memory cant really drive so i am dependent on everyone and that really sucks. I have high hopes this will work for me so am willing to try and trust my surgeon with my life have a great day...Kellie

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:20 AM   #7
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megss HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Ok good I am glad your PM and surgeon are coming up with a post op pain management plan for you. I started Lyrica this week. I am on 75 mg 3x daily. Before that I was on Gabapentin. It helps some with my leg but does really help me sleep.

Another tip I thought of for you is to make sure you have plenty of food handy that will be easy to prepare for yourself. I bought a lot of stuff that I good just grab out of the fridge and eat and stuff that could be microwaved. In the beginning I like to stick with softer foods like Jello and Pudding because constipation can become an issue with being on so many pain meds. I also found saltines to be handy for nausea. Nutrition is a big deal to me because I am trying to put on weight, so I am also supplementing with Ensure with my meals. It is important to make sure you get enough protein and calcium. I am also taking a multi vitamin for women and a calcium supplement.

As far as stairs, they will probably make you do stairs in the hospital before discharging you. I had to be able to do stairs right away because my bedroom and only bathroom in the house are up, and my kitchen and living space are down. I didn't have much of a problem with doing stairs right away with either surgery, but you have to take it slow and hang on to the handle. Pain meds make you dizzy and you will be a little unstable anyway so be careful.

Don't feel bad about the walker. It really does help and you may only need it for a short time, everyone is different. But it is key that you protect your fusion and don't fall. It is especially important in the winter to have something to keep you stable.

I am glad you are not having a 360. For me, the 360 was much more difficult to deal with. It will make recovery easier. It sounds like you have been through a lot so I really hope this surgery will fix the problem for good! I am hoping mine does, I want to have more children.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 08:46 AM   #8
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

I just re read your first post i must have read right past it because i just got the fact that you are in recovery right now, how are you feeing so far i hope not to bad you seem to be in good sprits. I dont know how old you are or howmany kids you have so i really hope this works for you so that you can have more kids as you said you want more.

Going out tonight to get some thing like the grabber and a cooler for me to have next to me with some foood and drinks and ice i love to chew on ice lol and to have some ice packs in it. I have read some posts to have satin sheets do you have what do you think.

I will use a walker if doc says i need it it just scared me when he said it i did not know at first how rough this surgery was gonna be but if all goes good and it works it wont matter to me what i had to do to get through it.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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megss HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

I am 28 and have a 2 year old little girl

I do not have satin sheets, and I manage, but getting up can be a challenge. They will teach you how to do it in the hospital. It's called the log roll. I roll onto my side, push myself up and use my headboard to help pull me up into a sitting position. In the hospital they actually had be get in and out of bed on the same side I would be doing it at home.

Oh also make sure you have lots of loose fitting clothing to wear. It's just more comfortable, easier to dress yourself, and you don't want anything tight going against your incision.

I am doing okay, and yes trying to stay in good spirits! I will be 3 weeks post op tomorrow. I had a really hard time last week and into the beginning of this week emotionally and physically. The pain got a little out of hand (back under better control now) and I was feeling sorry for myself. That's allowed every once in awhile It's just that I may have permanent nerve damage, so I was feeling distressed about it. I am just worried about being so young and the prospect of being in chronic pain for the rest of my life.

Good idea about the cooler! Never thought about that! I have found that I get dry mouth easily from all the pain meds so ice chips might come in handy for you. I have been sucking on candy and drinking lots of juice and water. They will keep you on a special liquid diet at first (broth, jello) but by the time you go home you can eat whatever you want.

 
Old 02-13-2010, 05:06 AM   #10
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Wow so sorry you are so young to have such problems with your back and how do you take care of a two yr old while in recovery you must have lots of help from someone.

Log roll to get out of bed should not be a prob for me i do it every morning only way i can get out of bed I really have so much pain in the morning somedays really tired of the pain yesterday was a bad one for me meds didnt do much at all somedays are not as bad as some. I called my doc yesterday to see if i would have to where a brace since i had not been told on my last appoint and was told that no i would not have to have one so i hope that is a good thing.

Oh yes we are allowed to feel sorry for ourselfs everyonce in a while its only natural being in so much pain for so long. didnt get to go shopping lastnight for all of my stuff that i will need so my daughter will be taking me this morning to the mall and to walmart.

I have two kids I have a boy 18 and a girl 16 so they will be able to help out around the house also have his girlfriend living with us so she can take care of me while the hubby and my son are working and my daughter is in school. The rest of my family is just to far away to help out. I have to assume that you have alot of help being you have a two yr old running around. Did you need anything like a hemmoroid pillow to sit on and at first how long can you sit for?

 
Old 02-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
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Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hi-

I have some help, but mainly people are just selfish. Like right now I have her by myself. It is HARD. She just has to be a little more independent. I turn movies on for her and she plays while I lay in bed. The last few days have been extra tough because I have felt so tired and would like to take a nap but can't.

I cannot sit for very long. It is a good idea to take pillows in the car with you. I do if I have to drive more than 10 minutes. (I am still not driving, but riding.)

That is good that you don't need a brace because they are uncomfortable. Probably because you are having one level fused. I had 2, so it is very crucial that I don't bend or twist for a little while. I have to wear it for 3 months at all times accept when in bed.

That's convenient that your kids are older! More helpers and drivers!

I have actually been feeling pretty lonesome. I haven't had a social life in so long, and my friends are being pretty rotten. They have been saying they will come see me since I was in the hospital, but no one has come or keeps canceling. No one even calls, I call them. Didn't get a single phone call in the hospital or a visit besides parents and my husband. It wouldn't bother me so much I guess accept they say they will come, and then cancel. I just am lonely and need a friend!

Did you get to go shopping yet?

 
Old 02-14-2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Good morning,

Happy Valentines Day Megss. I guess at times like this you really find out who your friends really are the good ones will be there for you all the others kick them to the curb.

I am very sorry that you feel so lonely right now, I will be here for you to talk to we can talk about anything you want to.

SO you have to where the brace for three month ouch long time i hope that it is not too uncomfortable for you. So you cant sit for longer than 10 min so are you laying down in bed most of the time, or can you lay down on the couch, what kind of pillows do you use are they just reg pillow or do you have different kinds I did get to shopping yesterday I could not find the grabber at walmart so gonna have to look at walgreens i have a few days to find it, and by the way silk sheets are a no go lol could not belive how much they cost they are like $300.00 for a queen size bed ha ha ha not gonna happen but i did find satin sheets and they run from $25.00 to 80.00 so i think i will go with them. I did get my silk shorts and a few other things like a long handle brush for my showers so i can get by back and my legs without bending.

Well thats it for now gotta get my laundry done so it wont pile up too much, I really ment it when i said you can talk to me about anything i willcheck in a few times a day for now once tuesday comes dependiing on how i feel i will try to check in once a day hopefully just not sure how i will feel. I will check back later hope you have a good low pain day...Kellie

 
Old 02-20-2010, 06:08 AM   #13
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Kelliew HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Well home from the hospital was released yesterday afternoon and sad to say that my doc did not work on my pain management for when i got released so right now i am feeling like **** sorry for the lang but it just hurts so much not sure doc has office hours today being it is saturday.

well gonn try to get some sleep that is the only time i an painfree now i really hope my recovery gets better i know it is only the 2nd day home but i had hoped my doc would give me somethin that woud touch the pain. Check back later....Kellie

 
Old 02-20-2010, 09:44 AM   #14
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Linda_in_NJ HB User
Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

Hi Kelliew, I am 5 weeks post op from having a 360 fusion, front and back. It is very hard at first but it does ease up. I was sent home after spending 5 days in the hospital and my pain meds were just vicodin 3 or 4 times a day. The first 2 weeks are very painful but then it should get easier. I'm one of the lucky ones whose pain is totally under control after 5 weeks. Don't forget to take colace or a stool softener, that really helps. I have been talking with megss too but she hasn't posted in a few days. Hope she is all right. Probably just resting. Feel better. Linda

 
Old 02-20-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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Re: L5 S1 Fusion in 5 days just a little bit scared!!!

HI,
Sorry all of you are going thru this. I have had 3 back surgeries last one was PLIF 08.
When I was release to go home PT sent a package of grabber,long stem sponge,a thing to help put your socks on,shoe thingy,elastic shoe strings where you don't have to tie your shoes,seems like 1 more thing can't remember what it was. I did get shower chair and riser for comode.
Good Luck. Sending prayers your way.
__________________
Mary

Last edited by mlh11350; 02-20-2010 at 10:36 AM.

 
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