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Old 01-06-2007, 08:36 AM   #1
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Question Questions- Hospital & Home- Help please

Hello all, I value your info, I have gained so much insight reading the threads....I am having acdf surgery on Jan 24th, using my own bone..( I know that will be painful, but won't have to worry about many things) I was wondering what the day of and the following 2 days are like in the hospital .....also help at home afterwards ? I just read the thread posted recently about the help at home but was wondering if anything would be different since I will be using my own bone..........
I also read the post about storing your own blood.......my doc never mentioned anything about that ......should I ask him.......
I do live in a two story house with the main bedroom upstairs and not a real comfortable couch......a dog and a cat....my husband will be at work during the days.....should I get one of my daughters to come help....Is getting comfortable to sleep going to be bad....what kind of pillows did you use.......
I value this board so much .......I have learned a lot from reading the posts and gave me more questions to ask when I went to the nuero....thank you all so much. PS..what about sewing and quilting - think I will be able to do that??

Last edited by quilter58; 01-06-2007 at 09:32 AM. Reason: better title

 
Old 01-06-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

I also am interested in hearing anything anyone wants to share, since I am having my ACDF this Wed. (if the freaking surgeon doesnt cancel on me again, this time for me having a sinus infection!!!! )MOMMA MIA!~

 
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Re: Questions- Hospital & Home- Help please

q58 (& SKZ),
I did not use my own bone, so cannot offer any information about that. However, from what I've read here on the board, I'm guessing you will have difficulty with the stairs. You'll essentially be healing from two surgeries, so of course you'll have more to deal with.
Definitely figure out a way to sleep in a reclining position. Laying flat will be terribly uncomfortable at first. Many people sleep in a recliner or propped up in a chair with pillows.
Ask before surgery what medications your doctor will send you home with - pain medications, muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety medications, sleep aids..... If you're someone who gets very drowsy from pain meds or muscle relaxers, you may not need anything to help you sleep.
I only mention the anti-anxiety meds because it seems many surgeons now include them as a standard part of the post-surgery routine. Stress and anxiety ARE extremely common, especially in the first few weeks. All very natural, as you have just been through a major surgery.
You are not supposed to lift more than 10-15 pounds for the first few months, and bending over will be very uncomfortable for a while, so you may want someone to help with the pets.
As for the sewing and quilting, you'll just have to see how it feels. Looking down won't feel so good for at least a few weeks, so you'd need some way to prop the work up in front of you. And you might find that hand/finger 'detail' work (like typing) aggravates neck pain, so try to listen to pay attention to what things seems to affects your pain.
In simpler terms - if it hurts, don't do it!
I don't mean to make this all sound scary or negative, it's just that you WILL feel rough for a while and have to adjust some things while you heal. In my opinion, the surgeons play down the recovery process.
Good luck to you both.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Enjoy them! When in pain ask for the pain meds. I have never been one much for pain meds. Well, in my younger wilder days. This time though, I took the shots. Demerol what a dandy medication. I woke up in recovery, with the sore throat, and the drain tube running out of the soft collar. It was a small private community hospital. Not so overworked. That afternoon I ate ice cream, and soup.That night I ate ice cream, and soup The Neuro came in and took the drain tube out. They put the Aspen collar on. I got a pain shot. I flipped through the tv channels. Took a glorious nap. The PT came in and woke me up after a couple hours. She said "time for a walk" I walked to the nurses station. She said "that was good". I told her a little farther. So we walked around the next wing. I said "that was enough". We walked back. The great male nurse came in at about 2 hours later. He said "pain" I said "yep"! Got the shot and slept so soundly. The next morning my throat had improved markedly. I orderd scrambled eggs,toast,sausage,and my 1st cup of coffee!The toast was a little tough going down! I got it down though. The Neuro ordered regular cepacols for my throat. They helped.
A pain shot, rest! Then the PT came in for another walk. Only made it a few feet. Dizzy, and woozy, from the demerol. Took a couple hour rest. Got up on my own, and walked around the whole floor. The nurse spying on me the whole time. I did two laps. I laid back down. Lunch! Cheese burger and fries with a salad. The PT came back in we did two more laps. She said "your good to go"! A little pain got a shot, took a rest. Supper a turkey club, with fries and a salad, coffee. I got up and took another stroll. Different wing, grabbed the last chocolate from some nurses station. They were eyeing me very critically for that! I wasn't their patient!
Supper a turkey wrap, with a salad. Some lettuce got caught, but I washed it down.
The Neuro came in and said "your outta here tomorrow" I begged for just 2 more days!! He said "NO WAY" ! That son of a gun! Another walk this time with the PT holding that damn belt. Slowing me down. We did 2 laps around the hospital, went to the cafeteria free coffee. Got back to my room. Waited for the pain. It took a couple hours! I got the shot rested well. Another one at midnite. Woke up with the nurse changing the IV. She said the Neuro would be in signing my discharge in a couple hours. She had added Levaquin to the drip.
10 AM the Neuro signed my papers, I scammed them and told him I had a question for the GP. He showed up 2 hours later. Looked at me and asked "why are you still here?". I said "well the tobacco cessation stuff?"
He wrote me script and said "Now get outta here!"
I changed they brought me a wheelchair. I had them take me to the cafeteria. Free coffee!
Then see my first post?
Having to be the primary caregiver for my parents! Who had subsequently gone on. I was hoping for some of that care! No such luck. "No rest for the wicked". I'm afraid.
Icejohnb

 
Old 01-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Oh,
I have since seen the dvd, and the 8X10 glossies of the surgery. They put you in a strange position. Arms up to relax the neck muscles. The blood loss was amazingly little. A couple suctions, and some saline. The blood is gone! Really bloodless!
Icejohnb

Last edited by icejohnb; 01-06-2007 at 01:46 PM.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Recline yes indeed. I went out and bought a not so poffy recliner. I slept fairly well.
My pain Doc had ordered me a pillow wedge for my collar bone. I use that on my bed. Its still tricky to sleep with just pillows, just as the collar becomes more aggravating. I have woken up without my collar on some mornings. The results are not pretty. I run to the vicodin bottle. Some nights I tape the velcro closures so I can't take it off in my sleep!
Icejohnb

 
Old 01-06-2007, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

I didn't have to stay but one day, but it was a 24 hour blur. I arrived at hospital on day of surgery (Gainesville, FL) and once checked in was given 2 pills (Pepcid AC and something that would not allow acid to pool in stomach). Once I arrived at surgical floor the anesthesiologist started IV. I said my goodbyes to parents and husband and he knocked me out with some drug. The next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. I had a collar on and they said I was doing so good they were ready to move me to a room. I told them I was ready for lunch (steak and baked potato). They thought I was kidding. It was around lunch time. They came in and gave me a shot of morphine plus I still had IV. They started muscle relaxers and antibiotics in the IV. I drank some water and again said bring me lunch. I am one of the fortunate people that does not get sick from anesthesia, so they finally took me at my word and brought me lunch (meatballs and noodles). My throat was quite uncomfortable but I got quite a bit of food down. I also had the lovely compression hose and machine on, so in order to get up I had to have nurse help me unhook from the machine. I also had a drain in my neck that they kept checking along with my vitals. Around 5:00pm that afternoon I was in the worse pain of the whole time. They gave me another morphine shot and said if I continued to get shots I would not go home the next day. No more shots for me, I switched to Percosett by mouth. They continued to push muscle relaxer and something else via the IV. I also received more Pepsid AC. Around 6:30 I was ready for dinner so they brought me dinner. I never really got up much except to visit the restroom. The doctor came in to see me around 7:00pm. I complained to him that the tape on my neck was tight (didn't realize how swollen my neck was under the collar). He kindly pulled back my collar and released some of the tape and said the pain was worse in the first 12 to 24 hours, squeezed my hand and he was gone. They were still giving me muscle relaxer by IV. They came in around 9:00pm and gave me a sleeping pill. Then around 10:00pm the nurse brings me Celebrex?? I had been taken this for my neck pain prior to surgery but had stopped about 2 weeks before. I did get nauseated about this time and threw up a little. The nurse brought me an antinausea drug and a cup of vanilla ice cream. I promptly ate the ice cream (felt good on the throat). Next morning I was ready for breakfast. They still were pushing muscle relaxer IV (have to push this very slow). I was on my 3rd IV site by this time. Still taking Percosett by mouth. Doc came in around 8:00am and said I could go. They removed drain, pushed more muscle relaxer in IV, removed IV and compression hose and I headed for home with a prescription for Percosett and Muscle Relaxer. Realized I was breaking out in a rash and itching all over so my hubby called doc to change pain med to Darvocet (can't stand Loritab) and I started taking Benadryl. Was a rough day with many drugs. I have never taken so many medications in a 24 hour period in my life. I got off the pain meds as soon as possible (about 1.5 weeks). I still have some rough days and will take a half of pain pill at night mostly. I also will take a half of muscle relaxer to sleep. I am 5 weeks out now and each day gets better as long as I don't overdo. I have taken a 3 hour trip one way this weekend to see new grandson and I have paid for it. Jiggling in a vehicle becomes very painful and makes the neves start firing. Thats my surgery day in a nutshell. Like I say it is mainly a blur. I really don't remember much at home until about the third or fourth day. It was about that time that the anesthesia had worked out of my system and I couldn't get comfortable to sleep in that hard collar. We rented a hospital bed for a month from a local medical supply place ($85, insurance will pay if doc writes prescription for it). This bed was great for the first few days and then off and on I would sleep in it over the course of the 4 weeks.

Last edited by Melindafm; 01-06-2007 at 07:13 PM.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by icejohnb
Enjoy them! When in pain ask for the pain meds. I have never been one much for pain meds. Well, in my younger wilder days. This time though, I took the shots. Demerol what a dandy medication. I woke up in recovery, with the sore throat, and the drain tube running out of the soft collar. It was a small private community hospital. Not so overworked. That afternoon I ate ice cream, and soup.That night I ate ice cream, and soup The Neuro came in and took the drain tube out. They put the Aspen collar on. I got a pain shot. I flipped through the tv channels. Took a glorious nap. The PT came in and woke me up after a couple hours. She said "time for a walk" I walked to the nurses station. She said "that was good". I told her a little farther. So we walked around the next wing. I said "that was enough". We walked back. The great male nurse came in at about 2 hours later. He said "pain" I said "yep"! Got the shot and slept so soundly. The next morning my throat had improved markedly. I orderd scrambled eggs,toast,sausage,and my 1st cup of coffee!The toast was a little tough going down! I got it down though. The Neuro ordered regular cepacols for my throat. They helped.
A pain shot, rest! Then the PT came in for another walk. Only made it a few feet. Dizzy, and woozy, from the demerol. Took a couple hour rest. Got up on my own, and walked around the whole floor. The nurse spying on me the whole time. I did two laps. I laid back down. Lunch! Cheese burger and fries with a salad. The PT came back in we did two more laps. She said "your good to go"! A little pain got a shot, took a rest. Supper a turkey club, with fries and a salad, coffee. I got up and took another stroll. Different wing, grabbed the last chocolate from some nurses station. They were eyeing me very critically for that! I wasn't their patient!
Supper a turkey wrap, with a salad. Some lettuce got caught, but I washed it down.
The Neuro came in and said "your outta here tomorrow" I begged for just 2 more days!! He said "NO WAY" ! That son of a gun! Another walk this time with the PT holding that damn belt. Slowing me down. We did 2 laps around the hospital, went to the cafeteria free coffee. Got back to my room. Waited for the pain. It took a couple hours! I got the shot rested well. Another one at midnite. Woke up with the nurse changing the IV. She said the Neuro would be in signing my discharge in a couple hours. She had added Levaquin to the drip.
10 AM the Neuro signed my papers, I scammed them and told him I had a question for the GP. He showed up 2 hours later. Looked at me and asked "why are you still here?". I said "well the tobacco cessation stuff?"
He wrote me script and said "Now get outta here!"
I changed they brought me a wheelchair. I had them take me to the cafeteria. Free coffee!
Then see my first post?
Having to be the primary caregiver for my parents! Who had subsequently gone on. I was hoping for some of that care! No such luck. "No rest for the wicked". I'm afraid.
Icejohnb

Icejohn,

You're making me laugh!!
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:25 PM   #9
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Thank ya'll for all the responses,,,,I am very appreciative for the input and belly laughs.........I know the first couple of days will probably be rough....I just want to have an idea of what to expect............One last question......what about bathing, and washing your hair........how ? shower or tub.........thanks to all of you for taking the time to post.....quilter58

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

I just showered and was fine... didn't try bathing, but I would be afraid of that because if you are weak, it might be hard to try and get up out of there, plus its slippery when wet.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:38 PM   #11
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Were you able to put your head back to wash your hair? Silly thing to think of but I wonder............thank you

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

I don't think I tried that. My restrictions were no over head actives, no repeditive neck bending or turning I think, so I was probably just looking straight ahead of me and just letting my hands do all the work without trying to raise my arms too high.

Last edited by PearlDoves; 01-06-2007 at 09:50 PM.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 06:53 AM   #13
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Resting quietly today after the trip.... Washing hair.... ah that is one of the greatest pleasures after this surgery is having clean hair. I had bought a couple of soft collars plus had the Philadelphia (spent most of my 24/7 in an Aspen) to shower in. Very carefully I would wash my hair and oh does that feel good. I made sure the shower was not coming down really hard (like a rain shower). My hubby had bought some stuff at medical supply store (waterless shampoo). That stuff was awful. You wet your head and then towel it off. It left my hair feeling like an oil slick. I guess if I was really desparate or very, very ill I would use that stuff again, but if I can climb in a shower, you can bet I am going to figure out a way to wash my hair. The main thing is be careful and don't bend your neck even if you have a plate. Doc was very clear to me about don't bend neck down or back. Side to side must not be as big of an issue cause he didn't caution me about that. I was able to shower the day I came home, just had to be careful not to get incision site wet so we wrapped by neck in Saran wrap. I felt like a dish on the way to a covered dish supper but at least I could shower and wash hair. Hubby helped dry my hair with towel and blow dryer. Just be very careful and don't slip in shower. First time you may want someone with you as I have heard that some people pass out first time in shower. Good Luck! It is really not so bad, you just take one moment at a time and go slow and everything will be fine. Oh yeah, my aunt had this surgery without a plate so she had to be extremely careful. She finally could stand the dirty hair no more so her family rigged up a whole deal on the bed with a shower curtain and got her some clean hair. It must have been a sight.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

The hospital should be VERY generous with the pain meds! I was only in for one day, but I wish I would have stayed for two.

I was up and around in the hospital about an hour after I was moved into my room. I think it was more stubbornness though, because I'm very independent and really have no desire to pee anywhere but in a toilet!

I'm not a huge fan of pain meds, so I started off with oral percocet, which had little effect. They then gave me a morphine pump that worked great for about three hours, then, when it came time to try to sleep...no way. So they swapped the morphine out for dilaudid, added a sleeping pill and I was on my way to never-never land. The nurse had absolutely no problem giving me whatever I needed to find some relief. Post-op, my doc was as generous as legally possible with the percocet (which worked great after I got out of the hospital). "Don't be shy about taking them", he said. I still have about 3/4 of a bottle of left overs because I'm no longer in enough pain to have to take something that turns me into a pile of mushy goo.

The swallowing issue was the worst part for me, and I still feel a little lump in my throat. On the bright side, I lost about 10 pounds on the "applesauce and soup" diet I ate for the first week. And because I have to take smaller bites to make swallowing more comfortable, I find I'm still eating less.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 01:46 PM   #15
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Re: What are the 2 days in the hospital like?

Hello again;
To be quite frank! Since my Neuro doesn't believe in hardware. He told me that he had used it in the past, but didn't like it. 6,000 of these surgeries and he said maybe "75-100 were done with hardware".
That being said, when he told me to "take the Aspen off when I got into the shower". I looked at him with all sincerity and said" MY HEAD WILL FALL OFF!".
He looked at me and said "Your not serious?". Thats how scared I was.
The nurse kinda laughed and said "No your head won't fall off!" "Just keep it as steady and straight as you have to. Keep the collar within arms reach so you can it slap back on. While you put the shampoo and the soap where they belong." They did give me the option of showering with the soft hospital collar! Thats what I did.
Icejohnb

 
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