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Old 02-13-2007, 03:29 PM   #1
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Surgery is Scheduled!

Hi, Guys!
I have been cracking up reading posts from you all today! You seem to be in rare form! I'm thinking you northerners are getting that snow fever thing, or whatever you call it! Rainy and 50's in Tennessee today, but we're getting down to 17 tonight, so guess what happens to the RAIN???
My surgeon called today with the MRI results, and says we have to go on to surgery. He feels that the anterior route will be the only way to go. He says that my cord is so twisted around the rupture that he is afraid he won't be able to get at the entire disk if we try it from the back. We scheduled it 2 weeks from tomorrow, 2/28. He actually does his ACDF's outpatient, so I'll come right home when he is finished, with a soft collar.
My big question is this...How limited am I going to be post-op? My husband really can't be staying off work for a long time, and I'm not telling my elderly family members about this. Will I be able to get through the day relatively well with no help? I can always pick up the phone and call if I need it, and my next door neighbors are retired, so could come if I had a problem, I guess, but I don't know what to expect as far as limitations. There are just some things you aren't going to ask a neighbor to do, if you know what I mean!!

 
Old 02-13-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Sorry- accidentally posted without signing out!! Appreciate any info you can share with me! I'm nervous!!!
TReva

 
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Wow,
There are pickups full of posts on what to expect, how to prepare, reasons to take your meds, what not to do!
You need only go back a few pages. Everything from books on tape, to shower chairs. Ice Cream and pudding.
I'm sorry that you will be an outpatient. My 2 nights were awesome. Its been a long time since anyone waited on the Ice. I could have used a couple more..
Good Luck,
Ice

 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

I have printed all the good info about what to have available, and appreciate them so much. I guess my main questions are more basic...will I be able to get up and down from chair or bed without assistance? Will I be able to handle everything toilet-wise without trouble?? I know I may need help with the first couple of showers. Will I be able to lift my arms? Can I get the pitcher of tea out of the fridge, or will I be smarter to have bottled water on lower shelves? Will I be able to get the CAP off the stupid water?
Guess I'm being a little overly anxious, but I'm awfully independent, and don't really want anybody hovering over me when I just want to rest and be left alone. I don't want to go on the assumption that I'll be able to handle it, only to find out too late that I can't!

 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Treva,
I had surgery on a Wed, stayed overnight and then went home with no collar (5 weeks ago). My husband had to go out of town the following Tues. I needed the help till he left. But I also had a bad sinus infection at the same time. (oy do not ask). I would definitely have him help you Thurs, and Fri. for sure (and then the weekend). You should be OK by the time Monday rolls around. Just make sure you put milk in smaller containers because those gallons are a $%^*() to lift. Ice was right. Go back a page or even the main page and there are a ton of ideas on how to get ready. If you cannot find them, then ask again. We wont mind.

 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Thanks, SKZ and ICE.
I'm wondering if I should take the Friday date that was offered, instead of doing the Wed. I just can't see DH being crazy about taking off work and sitting around with a cranky wife who is sleeping most of the day! If I do the Friday, he will be off Sat and Sun, and I should be set by Monday. This is just too much to coordinate! Talk about a headache to go along with the neck/shoulder/arm ache...

 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

I seriously do not think if you do the surgery Fri. that you will be good enough to not have any help by Monday

 
Old 02-13-2007, 06:24 PM   #8
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

I had the surgery on a Thursday, stayed in the hospital Thursday and Friday night - home on Saturday. My husband went back to work on Monday and I was fine. I just made sure everything I needed was within reach (so I wouldn't have to reach up on a shelf, or lift a jug of milk, etc).
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

did you ever share WHO is the doctor performing your surgery?

I live in Franklin, TN, just curious

oh, I just searched previous posts and I think you said Everett Howell? with which practice?

BW

Last edited by bw67; 02-13-2007 at 07:45 PM.

 
Old 02-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Dr. Howell is with the group that used to be called Neurological Surgeons. They are now the Howell-Allen Surgical Group. Dr. Vern Allen, and Dr.Timothy Shoettle are in the group, along with a ton of others. They have offices at St. Thomas and at Centennial, but my surgery will be at Baptist.
I did go on and swap to the Friday date this am, although it will have to be later in the day, since his first for the day was already scheduled. I don't care. I'm not an early riser, anyway. That will give us 2 1/2 days at home to see how I'm doing, and then, if I have to, I'll call my precious 81-yo Mom, and get her to come on down from Clarksville. Maybe if she feels sorry for me, she won't kill me for not telling her ahead of time I'm having the surgery! Having 2 sets of company for a few days each between then and now, and sometime need to see if we can get out and buy a couch with a recliner (hopefully something we like will be in stock somewhere, as we will never get it in time if it has to be ordered!)
Keep your collective fingers crossed for me!
(and thanks, again, for the info and support!)
Treva

 
Old 02-14-2007, 09:19 PM   #11
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Treva I am really surprised this is going to be out patient! This is major surgery that I feel you at least need to stay one night........I don't know your age but at any age I do not feel this is an out patient type surgery.....

Why does your doctor feel you can go home the same day......and being done on a friday if you go home Is he on call on the weekend or will it be a doctor who does not know your situation if you have a problem.......at the very least make sure you can urinate after surgery......I personally would ask to stay at least one night.......I went in on Wed and left on Sunday! I did use my own bone but still most people on here with donor bone stayed 2 days......
I would ask the doctor about this.......especially about who is on call if you have a problem........will you get to talk to him personally if you have a problem...........This is a surgically induced broken neck if you are having ACDF.........Not my idea of outpatient circumstances........

 
Old 02-15-2007, 09:55 AM   #12
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

It really surprised me, too! I'm 42, and in really good physical condition. I'm also an RN, so understand what I can and can't do when given instructions. (I'm just not a neruo nurse, so all of this is Greek to me!) My doctor will definitely be the one on call. I was extremely pleased with him when he did my L5S1, and I know several nurses who used to work with him. They say that honestly, if you put the best surgeons in the country in a room together, Dr. Howell is still better. He has become distressed, apparently, at poor staffing conditions in the Nashville area hospitals, and with float staff doing more harm than good when being unfamiliar with his orders and how he wants his patients handled, so has chosen to go the outpatient route, unless there are complications, with very clear outpatient instructions. I know for a fact that, historically, surgery patients run a much higher risk of surgical site infections if they stay in the hospital, so apparently he is not willing to take the risk. I know I'll probably sleep better in my own recliner than I will with techs waking me up all night for vital signs.
I'm just going to have to trust him. He does hundreds of these, and as we all know, all surgeons are different in what they do and what they recommend. Everybody just PRAY for me!!!

 
Old 02-15-2007, 10:02 AM   #13
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Well I have to admit, in the hospital, they woke me up constantly to do one thing or another. The nurse actually told me she wasnt supposed to wake me up, but that she felt better if she did all those vital signs all night. oy

 
Old 02-15-2007, 02:04 PM   #14
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Hey everyone! I guess if one our our surgeons ever had this surgery done onto themselves they would never consider outpatient surgery ...but I know 2 people who had a 2 level and a 1 level done out patient and they were OK.

To address the post op... what can you do by yourself ?questions..... you are going to be a little loopy with the meds, so if you are by yourself make sure you get those meds in the daily containers so you dont forget when to take them.

Have your husband unscrew those water bottle caps, you may not be able to open. I had no problems with toilet getting up getting down and walking.

Have a lot of movies and a tv that is high enough for you to see when you are lying down in a collar.

Chicken soup and chamomile tea...How I lived on those 2 items!

Best of luck to you.

July

 
Old 02-15-2007, 02:47 PM   #15
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Re: Surgery is Scheduled!

Yea, I made it a point to write down when I took what medications because you get so "out of it", it is easy to forget.

 
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