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Old 01-15-2007, 11:31 AM   #1
SKZ SKZ is offline
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HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Sorry I took so long to post after my ACDF c5-C7 surgery on Jan. 10th. I had a very annoying complication, that i am sure none of you will have to go thru. You may remember that I had a sinus infection when I went into surgery. I have chronic sinusitis for the last 15 yrs. (I am about to turn 51) and got one a week before surgery. I went on Levaquin for 4 days and it didnt work, so they upped me to Augmentin on the Monday night before my Wed. surgery. It didnt have time to kick in, unfortunately. My sinus Dr. said I shouldnt have the surgery. My surgeon and anesthesiologist told me it would be OK. OY. I was examined by the anesth. the day before the surgery and he said so long as it wasnt in my chest, it would be fine. So I had it and I had a really hard time waking up from the anesthesia for about 2 days. My eyes just wanted to close the whole time!!! Nothing serious, just annoying. I was on IV morphine the whole time I was in the hospital and I think Valium, too. I was totally out of it. I wasnt in pain or anything, except for my nightmare sinuses. I spent one night in the hospital and went home on Thurs. Well by Thurs. my sinuses were swelling up BAD! I had to do nasal washes to being to halfway function, which didnt exactly help since I had to bend my head forward. I had to do these many times a day, too. I managed, though. By Sat. I was so far gone with the sinuses, I thought I was going to have to go back to the hospital. I needed a Medrol Dosepak (6 day oral steroid) and my sinus Dr. was so annoyed with me that i went ahead and had the surgery and wouldnt give it to me. (even though he knows I can get so bad with the sinuses that I have ended up on IV antibiotics about 14 yrs. ago). My surgeon told me I could have the steroids but wanted me to get them thru my sinus Dr. The sinus Dr. said it would be bad to take them after the surgery. oh boy. I was really bad off...so so my husband called the surgeon's PA back and she prescribed them. It was either that or end up back in the hospital from major sinus problems. My eye lids were so swollen, I looked like Frankenstein. The big lesson here is DO NOT HAVE SURGERY WHEN YOU HAVE A BAD SINUS INFECTION. My sinus Dr. was really mad that my surgeon did the surgery. He even went so far as to say he was IRRESPONSIBLE. Can you imagine how I felt? Well, the steroids helped me immensely and I am feeling tons more better. What a nightmare, you guys. (having 2 things at once to contend with). OH yea, did I mention that my daughter's car got stolen right before my surgery and the car was in my name? (2nd time in a yr. and 4 months....97 Honda accord). I am still in the middle of dealing with all this junk while recuperating.
I am hoping the steroid havent messed up the fusion process. Its all so stressful. I just found out that the lady who was supposed to come over to help me while my husband is out of town on business just fizzled out on me (as I am writing this). So I will be on my own and the heck with it all. Now my hubby is all freaked out because no one will be here. Anything else can go wrong? I HOPE NOT!!!! heh
The surgery was fine and do not worry if you are about to go thru it. It was much easier than I expected. I Just hope my surgeon knew what he was doing and isnt irresponsible like my sinus guy said. Oh brother. Anyway, I have been up all morning and its already 11:30am (dealing with this car garbage). So I hope am not to inconherent. Today Is the first day I do not feel I need any pain meds. Not bad.
Talk to you all later
Sue (aka SKZ)

 
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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dennisgb HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

I can't believe you went through all of that!

Now an important message from someone who knows:

TAKE YOUR PAIN MEDS!

It's important to take your meds as prescribed even if you think you don't need them. You should not wait for pain to kick in and then take them.

If you don't believe me, call your doc.

Dennis

 
Old 01-15-2007, 04:09 PM   #3
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Melindafm HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

What an ordeal! You were in my thoughts all week. Glad to see you are on the road to recovery. As stated be very careful not taking pain meds. But even more important take the muscle relaxers. The muscle spasms still creep up on me and I am six weeks out. I had a bad night last night (don't know why) with spasms and now the back of my head is on fire again. Maybe your doc decided to go ahead because of the anxiety factor with this surgery since you had been put off once already. Be very careful as this surgery can make you unsteady on your feet and now with sinus infection clogging your equilibrium.... just be cautious when walking. Best to you.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
SKZ SKZ is offline
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Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

I am monitoring the pain factor very carefully. If I feel I need some, trust me I will take them. I am tapering off, not completely getting rid of them or anything. I am taking the Valium for the spasms. Not to worry. I could have totally lived without the lady fizzling out on me, who was supposed to come help me for 5 days (a few hours a day). That really made my husband mad because now he is going to worry while he away until Sunday eve. I just took my first shower on my own, and it was OK. Not having the brace makes it a little easier. I just have to accept that my back is going to be scuzzy for awhile. LOL. Seriously though, if I didnt have that sinus issue, it really would not have been as bad as I totally expected. My incision hardly hurts at all. Just mildy annoying. The only part that is painful are the spasms and I had those for a full 5 yrs prior, so its not like its any new phenomenon for me. I am going to walk very very slowly on the treadmill for 5 mins. at a time a couple of times a day to keep up some stamina. Other than that I am watching a whole lot of Lifetime TV chick flicks!

 
Old 01-15-2007, 05:32 PM   #5
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quilter58 HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Hi SKZ.......thought about you everyday since Wed......was just wondering today when you might post.........glad to hear it was not as bad as you thought EXCEPT for the sinus issue.......I am having my 2 level acdf on Wed the 24th........what kind of collar do you have........Stay ahead of the pain .....better than playing catch up.......quilter

 
Old 01-15-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
SKZ SKZ is offline
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Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

HI there,
Believe it or not I had a 2 level ACDF and I do not have a collar. dennis will happy to know I just took a pain pill and a Valium. LOL. Dont worry too much about the surgery. its not as bad as you expect. I promise.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:21 PM   #7
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PearlDoves HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Glad everything went well otherwise. I had been thinking of you and was waiting to see you post. May you fuse well

 
Old 01-16-2007, 11:08 AM   #8
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ShepherdLady HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKZ View Post
Sorry I took so long to post after my ACDF c5-C7 surgery on Jan. 10th. I had a very annoying complication, that i am sure none of you will have to go thru. You may remember that I had a sinus infection when I went into surgery. I have chronic sinusitis for the last 15 yrs. (I am about to turn 51) and got one a week before surgery. I went on Levaquin for 4 days and it didnt work, so they upped me to Augmentin on the Monday night before my Wed. surgery. It didnt have time to kick in, unfortunately. My sinus Dr. said I shouldnt have the surgery. My surgeon and anesthesiologist told me it would be OK. OY. I was examined by the anesth. the day before the surgery and he said so long as it wasnt in my chest, it would be fine. So I had it and I had a really hard time waking up from the anesthesia for about 2 days. My eyes just wanted to close the whole time!!! Nothing serious, just annoying. I was on IV morphine the whole time I was in the hospital and I think Valium, too. I was totally out of it. I wasnt in pain or anything, except for my nightmare sinuses. I spent one night in the hospital and went home on Thurs. Well by Thurs. my sinuses were swelling up BAD! I had to do nasal washes to being to halfway function, which didnt exactly help since I had to bend my head forward. I had to do these many times a day, too. I managed, though. By Sat. I was so far gone with the sinuses, I thought I was going to have to go back to the hospital. I needed a Medrol Dosepak (6 day oral steroid) and my sinus Dr. was so annoyed with me that i went ahead and had the surgery and wouldnt give it to me. (even though he knows I can get so bad with the sinuses that I have ended up on IV antibiotics about 14 yrs. ago). My surgeon told me I could have the steroids but wanted me to get them thru my sinus Dr. The sinus Dr. said it would be bad to take them after the surgery. oh boy. I was really bad off...so so my husband called the surgeon's PA back and she prescribed them. It was either that or end up back in the hospital from major sinus problems. My eye lids were so swollen, I looked like Frankenstein. The big lesson here is DO NOT HAVE SURGERY WHEN YOU HAVE A BAD SINUS INFECTION. My sinus Dr. was really mad that my surgeon did the surgery. He even went so far as to say he was IRRESPONSIBLE. Can you imagine how I felt? Well, the steroids helped me immensely and I am feeling tons more better. What a nightmare, you guys. (having 2 things at once to contend with). OH yea, did I mention that my daughter's car got stolen right before my surgery and the car was in my name? (2nd time in a yr. and 4 months....97 Honda accord). I am still in the middle of dealing with all this junk while recuperating.
I am hoping the steroid havent messed up the fusion process. Its all so stressful. I just found out that the lady who was supposed to come over to help me while my husband is out of town on business just fizzled out on me (as I am writing this). So I will be on my own and the heck with it all. Now my hubby is all freaked out because no one will be here. Anything else can go wrong? I HOPE NOT!!!! heh
The surgery was fine and do not worry if you are about to go thru it. It was much easier than I expected. I Just hope my surgeon knew what he was doing and isnt irresponsible like my sinus guy said. Oh brother. Anyway, I have been up all morning and its already 11:30am (dealing with this car garbage). So I hope am not to inconherent. Today Is the first day I do not feel I need any pain meds. Not bad.
Talk to you all later
Sue (aka SKZ)
Hello Sue!!

I have been thinking of you and wondered how you've been doing.

OMG, What a nightmare this all has been for you! I hope your sinus's are doing better now, and hopefully the medrol pack won't cause any fusion problems.

How is your neck now? Is it painful? Are you able to shower?


I am getting ready for my 3 level fusion. I go in Monday morning. I won't know what time until they call me Sunday night.
My surgeon's PA says this is a long surgery. That it will take 3-4 hours. So I freaked out a bit hear that.

Then I seen the anesthesiologist. Because of my RA I had to have a shot of medrol ( cortisone) 80mg a couple months ago because of an RA flare. Anyway they are going to have to give me some on the day of my surgery because they say my body may not be producing any! And that surgery is stressful on the body and medrol will help me get through the stress.

He also said this surgery could take as long as 5 hours! But also said that my surgeon is very good, slow and meticulous. So that was good to hear.

They say I could be in the hospital for as long as 3 days. They are being very thorough with me as well because of my health problems, ie. diabetes and the RA, so my immune system is compromised.

Sorry to go on and on about me...LOL

Hope you are doing better now! And please give us up dates if you can...
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-16-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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ShepherdLady HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisgb View Post
I can't believe you went through all of that!

Now an important message from someone who knows:

TAKE YOUR PAIN MEDS!

It's important to take your meds as prescribed even if you think you don't need them. You should not wait for pain to kick in and then take them.

If you don't believe me, call your doc.

Dennis

I agree! You need to stay ahead of the pain. If you wait until it is bad, it is harder to get a handle on it.

I believe you also heal faster if you are in less pain.
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-16-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
SKZ SKZ is offline
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Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Shepherd Lady,
Dont worry about the steroids. You need what you need. YOu wouldnt want it all much worse for you because you didnt have them. I figure if it was a nightmare to take them then they probably wouldnt have given them to me. I see the Dr. next Monday for my first check up. I will be sure to ask plenty of questions about the steroids effects. I did a google search on steroids and bone fusion and nothing came up. Just the NSAIDS. weird.
Showering isnt too bad. The first shower I had was 3 days after the surgery because I was so sick from the sinuses I could have cared less how scuzzy I was. My husband actually got in the shower with me and helped me. I took one alone yesterday with my husband monitoring me. I just had to accept that my upper back wasnt going to be that clean and the heck with it. It was a little hard to lather the hair without leaning forward and not being able to rinse it easy because leaning back was not an option. So I just stood straight in the shower and rinse the hair and kind of reached up gently to help get all the lather out. I have to admit I was really tired after that, but I just took a pain pill and a valium and took a nap afterwards. I am definitely noticing improvement on a daily basis, which is nice. I am just not doing much of anything else. Today I am going to start walking for a very short time, slowly on the treadmill...a couple of times a day. My husband just left today until Sunday eve. for a mandatory business trip. He is upset to leave me since the lady who I was hiring to come in a couple hours a day fizzled out on me yesterday. (unreal). You know what? I will probably do alot better on my own anyway. Sometimes those people can be annoying and then you have to tell them where stuff is and bother with all of that. I have my neighbor bringing my mail and newspaper to my front door, so that me slipping on ice wont be an issue. So I am pretty good to go and feel OK about being on my own. My daughter, who is 21 got her car stolen right before my surgery (it was in my name and what a nightmare dealing with that since it got stolen for the 2nd time in a yr. and 4 months). So she cant come visit me until Sat. when she gets her new car. I have a son who lives about 20 miles away that could help me if I was in need. So I will just enjoy the peace and quiet and heal.
It sounds like you will get great care since they know all your medical issues. I think with your issues it may be harder to heal, when you have a double whammy situation. I have virtually no memory of the hospital stay, I was so doped up on morphine. I felt no pain!
Feel free to ask any more questions. I seriously think you will do OK, though.

 
Old 01-16-2007, 03:09 PM   #11
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dennisgb HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKZ View Post
I am monitoring the pain factor very carefully. If I feel I need some, trust me I will take them. I am tapering off, not completely getting rid of them or anything.
SKZ,

You should not be tapering off of your pain meds this soon.

I can't believe how many doctors forget to advise patients about how to take their medication.

Please call your doctor and ask him how you should be taking your pain medication. You are doing it wrong. Trust me on this.

You should be taking the medication exactly how it is prescribe to be taken. If it says every 4 hours, you should be taking it every 4 hours. This is not a competition to see how tough you are...you need the meds to heal properly.

Call your doctor and ask.

Dennis

 
Old 01-16-2007, 03:51 PM   #12
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TraveltoSL HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Hi Sue,

I just wanted to see how things are going with you since your hubby went out of town....i agree with Dennis....please take your pain medicine as directed....there will be a time to taper later....you really want to stay ahead of the pain which will help you feel better, sleep better, and move better, which in turn will make your recovery faster....

How is your hip doing? I hope it's doing good an not too sore....have you tried one of the Thera Care's or other warm packs??? Now that the weather has finally turned cold here in northern VA.....about time for winter! LOL....I am using it on the back of my neck on my insicion site to keep me from tightening my neck too much...again...it's been 2 months since my surgery so it's ok to put some heat right on the spot.....

Also...just so everyone knows....I was prescribed a Medrol pack the day I left the hospital as part of my recovery....It is used to prevent infection with the donor bone and help promote healing....Hasn't anyone else been given this after surgery????? So please don't worry about this being a bad thing....

And I consider having one of the best surgeons in the US at our Virginia Spine Institute...they are known for there work.....saying this to show that it's not some random thing....

Anyway....maybe because they used a cage and the BMP (bone morphonegenetic protien) the Medrol (steroid) was used.????...

Hmmm...be curious to hear about others who were give this too....

Also....I had to wear a collar the first 2 surgeries but didn't have one at all this time around and this was the longest and most difficult one of them all with going in the front and the back of the neck...So...I think it depends on the surgeon and how "overly cautious" they are...Since I have so much metal holding my neck up now..ha ha.....there's really no need for a collar.....Only if I wanted to "rest" my neck muscles but I do this by leaning my head against the wall in my bed when I watch tv.....Anyone else have that "ahhhhh" effect at the end of the day to just put your head against something?????LOL

I hope and pray you are doing well and that they will find your daughter's car....My brother's car was stolen when I was out in Las Vegas in Nov. It was a Toyota Camary Station wagon.....kind of a rare one....but thank goodness the police found it in a high school parking lot.....it was just taken for a "joy ride"....So I will pray that this is what happened to her car and you all get it back....

Keep us posted on your recovery.....please take it easy and don't do too much too fast....I have learned my lesson the hard way on that!!!!

Blessings,
Ingrid

 
Old 01-16-2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Dennis,
I swear I am listening to you now! The Vicodin says to take 1-2 every 4-6 hours. I am taking 1 rather than 2 and its working well.
I didnt use my own bone, I used donor bone. Thanks for telling me that you used steroids also, Ingrid, because that has been worrying me.
As far as my daughter's car is concerned, they found the thing and now UNFORTUNATELY its fixable. Now its at the auto body place (finally) waiting for its turn on Jan. 23rd to start to be repaired. My wonderful mother just bought my daughter a new 2007 VW Rabbit, which she will get on Friday (lucky kid), so now I will be stuck with selling this cursed Honda, that keeps getting stolen! My mom bought the car for her for college graduation and getting straight A's in college. So I only wished that I could have used the Honda for a trade in and be done with it. Other than that, things are settling down now and I can rest!

 
Old 01-16-2007, 10:14 PM   #14
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TraveltoSL HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Hi there,

Glad to hear that you are taking your medicine and feeling better each day Sorry about my confusion on the hip bone....sometimes I type faster than my brain....LOL....

That's great that your mom bought your daughter the car....but bummer that you have to drive the Honda.....what we do for our kids!!!!! HA HA !

Since the steroids are a normal protocol after this type of surgery for the VA Spine Institute Dr.s....I am still curious if others out there took them after their surgery as well....The only downside from them that I disliked was my face broke out like a teenager...and I am 38! And they taste horrible!!! I got one accidentally stuck in between my gums and teeth and kept trying to get to it but it dissolved there....YUCK!

I'll keep praying for you and others that are recovering!
Ingrid

 
Old 01-16-2007, 10:38 PM   #15
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ShepherdLady HB User
Re: HI all. Back from 1/10 surgery

Sue,
Do you know if they used BMP to help with your fusion? They are using that with me. Seems they have a lot of luck with it.
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
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