Hi everyone, I have never posted here. I am hoping to find some people to help me through this hard ordeal with my husband. He had a three level fusion 12 days ago. Can anyone tell me if him sleeping all the time is just a normal thing the body goes through to heal . He walks a bit with the walker and sits in the chair some. He is so exhausted and sleepy,he just wants to sleep.
What can I do to make this easier for him,I'm so nervous I an in knots. Thank you in advance for any advise you can give me.
Hello and welcome to the board. I'm sorry your husband needed fusion surgery, and that you are having to go through this too. It is a surgery that puts a good deal of stress on the wife or partner as well as the patient.
You don't say if your husband's surgery was at the lumbar level or elsewhere. In any case a three level fusion is a big surgery, and it is a big trauma to the body. What your husband is going through is not really atypical. We all react differently and there are so many variables in our physical conditioning going into the surgery, how we manage and handle pain, etc.
I have had a one level fusion and then a couple years later, a 3 level fusion (both lumbar) and the first one was the most difficult...even though it was one level. I barely remember the first three weeks, and I think I napped and slept through most of it. Looking back and comparing the two surgeries, I think I was probably over-medicated with the first one.
In any case, rest is a very important part of early recovery. First he has to recover from the stress of surgery. Then his body will be using lots of energy to grow new bone, and it will be important to have energy for this purpose.
The other thing you husband needs to do each day is walk. He needs to get up and take a number of short walks. They don't need to be long, because, at this early time, the point of walking is to stretch out the spinal nerves. This is very important because walking is the best way to keep developing scar tissue from attaching to the spinal nerves. So he should plan his day accordingly. I would arrange my day around my trips to the bathroom. With my first surgery there was lots of snow and ice on the ground, so I just walked around the house. I would get up, use the bathroom, and then go for a walk. Then I'd have a snack, sit up for a little bit, go for another walk around the house and go back to bed. We set up a twin bed in the den so I didn't need to go up and down stairs and so I was in the center of activity...so I'd recline in bed to watch TV and would nap, then maybe read for awhile, nap, etc.
Some people react the opposite and are unable to sleep for weeks post surgery. It may have something to do with the way each person responds to the anesthesia.
If you are concerned though, please call your husband's surgeon and discuss it with him.
After most any surgery you can expect fatigue and pain with gradual improvement. The recovery from a fusion can be long, tiring, and involves pain even as he recovers. The pain changes over time.
What levels did he have fused? Will he go home with any kind of a brace? All you can do is be supportive. When he's home you may want to take an active role in his pain management. When pain medications wear off the pain comes back strongly. So in the first week or so at home if he's sleeping and he agrees you may want to wake him to take his pain meds on a regular schedule.
You have some answers already....just want to say that he's lucky to have such a caring support person!! I know the help I got in the weeks after my 1-level fusion was simply invaluable. It's amazing how many little things are hard to do in the post-op time.
I joked the BF had to walk me like a dog the first two weeks....we'd just do a block or so but I was scared to go alone. Both walking AND rest are key to recovery so I'd encourage the sleep and also offer to be company (even doing a lap around the house/apt since it is a bit diff having it in Jan than August!!)
Welcome to the boards and, Best to you both! I slept a lot the first three weeks and, then slowly went back to normal. I felt it had alot to do with the meds I was given as well, as the stress from surgery. Your husband is ahead of the game, just having you on board. Help him to be patient..... sounds easy enough but, a daily reminder could never hurt. For you too! I had a cervical fusion and The healing process has been anything but, normal for me. I am 35 days post-op and, feel my energy level is just startin to improve. I hope the best moving forward for you both. These boards are a great way to stay connected. God Bless.
To those who replied to my original post I say thank you. Just having someone out there who understand and can give me support means the world to me. I am trying so hard to help my husband in anyway that I can. It was lower lumbar fusion. I feel he may be getting depressed,his pain is still averaging at an 8. He was a MESS before the surger,has spent years with a pain level of around nine. He had severe foot drop and since July had been dragging the foot,he had to have a leg brace made.
Good news is that his foot appears to not be dragging anymore and he can walk without the brace. He is using the walker and still real weak. He is just walking around the recroom where we have his bed,do you think that is suffient,it will be three weeks since fusion on Thursday. It is all icy and snowy outside cant take him out there.
Again any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Surgeon has said he hopes he will get pain relief from this surgery but cant promise anything,I Pray he does, Cant imagine him living forever with the pain he has had for twelve years.
God Bless you all.
The following user gives a hug of support to CandySue: Itralian1 (01-16-2012)
Hi Candy, any walking as lil as it may seem. has to be bettter than none at all. Fusion has been a slow process for me and I've learned alot pf patience since having my surgery. Great bunch of peeps out here! Lots and lots of support! : ) I'll make sure I say a prayer for your husband and you! Hang in there! my best to you both moving forward! God Bless!