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  • L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy

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    Old 03-20-2003, 11:06 AM   #76
    Traweaver
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    Hello everyone (Chad typing with tra standing behind!)

    I just got home from the hospital a few hours ago. I decided to spend the night just for piece of mind (plus they have the good drugs). The news you have all been waiting for......I woke up PAIN FREE!!!! I still a little "twang" in my calf from my nerve being pinched for so long but the doctor said that is normal. He said the surgery went really well and the disc was sitting on top of the nerve, he thinks he got it all and the nerve should be more happy :-)

    I am trying to walk, but I am very stiff and my back aches. I can not seem to find a comfortable position lying down in bed.....any suggestions? I am taking percocet every three hours. How long does this initial pain/doseage last?

    Off to eat some lunch...standing up. I swear not to sit down. The doctor said that is NOT GOOD!!

    I will check back tomorrow. Thanks for you kind thoughts and prayers, it really does help.

    TraWeaver

    ps.
    Who is going for post-op check ups and when? Is anybody on 4 week?
    __________________
    Herniation L4-5
    Left Buttock and Leg Pain
    Tried Meds, steroid meds, chiropractor, massage, epidural injection, Vax-D treament, Matrix & Tens Unit~ No Relief
    Hemilectomy-Discectomy on 3/19~ Awoke Pain Free!!

     
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    Old 03-20-2003, 12:44 PM   #77
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    HI TRA!!!!

    Yea! I'm so happy for you! Wasn't it great to wake up with no pain??? You are going to be just fine - and I'm glad your doctor told you not to do any sitting, as well.

    The most comfortable position I found in bed was on my side - just remember to keep your back straight at ALL times, even while in bed. The Percocet should last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. It's better to take it every 4 hours if you can, because of the Tylenol that's in it. Good, stuff, eh?!

    I'm going for my first follow-up appointment on Monday. Kristen had hers this past Monday and she can't go back to work for another 4 weeks... I'm sure you've read the posts.

    Today I feel a little more of the leg and toe stuff than I'd like - it hasn't been around for a couple weeks. But I think I did a little too much these last few days, like cooking, dishes, and stretching exercises.

    Today I think I'm going to take it easy and just go for a long walk in the rain. My left knee is bugging me now, jeez. Oh well. I've been glued to the TV set since yesterday - I was up until about 1:30am last night watching all the war developments. I can't tear myself away. I think I'll listen to public radio on my walk.

    Ddp11 - Have fun this weekend! I'm glad you are able to get away for awhile!

    Again, I'm happy for you, Tra. Now it's up to YOU to recover without complications [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif[/img] Let me know how things go with you. [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

    Carol
    ------------------
    Had right pain down butt/leg/toes for over 2 years.
    MRI confirmed L5-S1 disc herniation
    Discogram confirmed L5-S1 disc tear
    Tried chiro, PT, epi steriod injections, more PT... to no avail
    Insurance denied IDET
    Had L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy on 2/18/03 - now pain free!!!

    [This message has been edited by etoile du nord (edited 03-20-2003).]
    __________________
    L5-S1 hemilami w/ microdiscectomy 2/18/03 - right leg pain gone
    Successful chiropractic care 2005-2011
    Daily low back pain and HORRIBLE spasms since 2011
    L5-S1 ALIF 6/30/12 - back pain is GONE!
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    Old 03-21-2003, 07:16 AM   #78
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    Hi everyone!
    Welcome back Tra! I was so excited to hear how well the surgery went. I thought about you so often on Wednesday! I am sure you a relieved for it to be over and even more relieved to be PAIN FREE! Just like Di said, the hard part is over and now just concentrate on your recovery. I'll be anxious to hear how your recovery progresses as the days go on. My most comfortable sleeping position was on my side, kind of curled up with a pillow between my legs. As a matter of fact, this is the ONLY way I laid in bed for at least a week. I took the Percocet once every four hours and not once was I ever in awful pain. I took it for a week and after that, a few Tylenol or Advil here and there was enough.
    Well, I have to go! I'm at home visiting my family and my 7 year old niece is on my case to get going--we're going shopping (she's on spring break). How wonderful it is to begin living somewhat of a "normal" life again.
    I hope you are all doing well--have a wonderful weekend. Today is the first day of spring (finally!)
    Etoile, good luck on Monday at the doctor. I'll be away from the board until then, so I'll look forward to your post on Monday!!
    -Kristen
    __________________
    L4-L5, L5-S1 ALIF - September 2011
    L5-S1 Discectomy - February 2007
    L4-L5 Laminectomy/Discectomy - February 2003

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 10:24 AM   #79
    Traweaver
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    hi gang,
    i am going to keep this short. i am standing on my own here at the computer. i am doing one of my walkings for the day...should have six total. the percocet has benn ok. i think my problem maybe i took it for a week before surgery due to pain...may have some tolerance. Day 3 is better than day 2. I get a sharp pain at incision site somtimes when walking. Lets me know it is time for bed. I got flowers from my class today, and a couple letters already. Plan to start writing back tomorrow.
    I haven't removed bandage yet, or showered. Chad peeked in and said it looked good. he got me the high toilet seat and long grabber...both wonderful. My biggest problem now....a bit of gas and afraid to poop!!hehe I just let the pee-pee trickle out when i sit on the "throne"....wonder how long before you guys has post-op poop? (Jeeez that sounds silly!!)
    Okay...off to bed. Chad checks posts and prints them and reads them to me! Carol, please don't over do it...you have been so strict with yourself...you are my idol...he he...keep it up! Recov, glad you are ok at work, and Kristen enjoy your mini vaca.
    Thanks for your support!
    Traweaver
    __________________
    Herniation L4-5
    Left Buttock and Leg Pain
    Tried Meds, steroid meds, chiropractor, massage, epidural injection, Vax-D treament, Matrix & Tens Unit~ No Relief
    Hemilectomy-Discectomy on 3/19~ Awoke Pain Free!!

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 11:02 AM   #80
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    Hi Tra,

    I hope you recovery goes smooth for you, and that you will be pain free

    One thing that caught my attention, was the poop word, please be sure to take stool softeners while taking percocet, it is the worst for constipation.
    I was never advised to take stool softeners, and ended up with a huge impaction. They wanted me to go to the E.R. to remove it, but I chose to do 72 hours of hard labor at home instead. Imagine a baby being delivered from the wrong end [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif[/img]

    If you haven't gone for a day or two, I would advise to start taking the stool softeners now, and also add a laxative, until you can go.
    If you are afraid now, you will be terrified later if that happens. I can actually say that the impaction pain was 10 times worse than my surgery pain, not to mention my incision starts at the top of the butt crack.

    I don't mean to gross you out, but I had a horrible time of it, and just want to save you the extra added pain.

    Please take care, and I hope you have a peaceful evening [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

    Be Well,
    Baxter [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

    ------------------
    Two level laminectomy fusion L5-S1 & L2-3 done on 12/6/02.
    Fifteen inch scar from the very top of butt crack (sorry), to the bra line.
    BAK cages, rods & screws.(Titanium)
    My pelvic bone was used for grafting.
    Praying that the other two discs in between, won't have to be fused later, as I was told it was a possibility, due to the other two discs in between, not being in that great of shape.
    Doc didn't want to fuse four levels, unless it is really necessary.
    I would hate to repeat the surgery, as the recovery period, is so very painful.
    I also have a free fragment in my T11-12 area, that I'm still refusing surgery for, at this point in time.
    That surgery is way too dangerous for me to consider, until if affects my being able to walk.

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 03:47 PM   #81
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    Tra,

    I'm so glad to hear that you continue to do well. Regarding the potty situation - was it ddp who recommended a stool softener? Great idea. You asked about elimination after surgery, which is a very appropriate question. Pain meds, the percocet, and if you were given morphine during or right after surgery will make you extremely constipated. Your first bowel mvmnt. might be difficult and painful, because of all the meds. The stool softener will help a lot.

    Also, my bladder didn't work too well for at least 2 wks. after surgery. I was told that again, the pain meds had sort of put it to sleep, so it was hard to pee. Is that what you're feeling? Drink lots of water and tea, which will clear out your system. Someone here also suggested cranberry juice, which is an excellent remedy.

    Just be a queen right now, Tra. Let everyone take care of you, and don't do anything you absolutely don't want to. Back surgery is a very delicate matter, and these first few days of healing are critical for your long term recovery. Sounds like you've got some good support at home - you're a lucky girl. Maybe someday you'll be able to return the favor to Chad. If not, at least his help now will get you on your feet faster.

    Take care, and keep getting better! Best wishes, dianne

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 03:47 PM   #82
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    Hi everyone!

    Di, it's so good to hear from you and that you're doing well. Your post made me laugh, fer shure. Don't worry about asking "too many" questions, that's what they're there for. I'm glad the PT is going well for you.

    Kristen, I hope you're having a good little vacation. It's so good to get out of the house, I know - last night I spent the night at my mom's just for a change of scenery. It was nice. This morning my husband came to pick me up and we went shopping along Grand Avenue (street in St. Paul where there are lots of shops and restaurants) and then went out to eat for lunch. It made a world of difference in my mood to get out for a while. Then we took our dog for a nice long walk.

    I actually sat part of the time at lunch (we ate at a bar and grill where the tables are high so I could stand at the table) and it was pretty comfortable. I also sat down for dinner at my mom's last night and did really well. I'm keeping my back VERY straight, mind you, so it really isn't hurting. But I am really glad that I didn't sit for a whole 4 1/2 weeks after surgery.

    Tra, take it easy! I'm glad things are going okay... except for the poop issue. I didn't poop for about 3-4 days after surgery, and even more than the pain medication, the anesthesia really slows down the gut. So if I were you (as this is what I did), I'd get some milk of magnesia and take a shot (or two if one doesn't work) of that. My first poop was was pretty darn hard (sorry) and that was after the prune juice at the hospital, 2-4 stool softeners a day (Colace), milk of mag, and an exlax... so I can't imagine how I would have been without all of that! I would've looked like this on the throne: My girlfriend had surgery the same week I had mine (for vulvar cancer, poor thing, she's only 27) and didn't poop for a week and ended up in the ER. Drink a TON of water, too.

    I could only do really short walks the first week - like 10 minutes at a time around the house, so don't think that you need to push yourself. Let pain be your guide - if it hurts, stop and go lie down. Tra, thanks for the compliment - I'm glad I am here for you.

    I'm doing better than the last time I wrote. This morning I think I pulled too hard (I was trying to move my mom's NordicTrack - dumb) and my leg and toe pain was there again. Well, I was able to walk most of it off really quickly, and when I lay down on the floor with my knees bent, I leaned my knees to the left just slightly and felt a small 'pop' and the pain went away completely. Weird.

    I'm nervous for my appointment Monday, mainly because I need to decide whether or not I will be able to go back to work the following week. If I feel like this, I can't imagine it. I guess I'll just ask for another week, like I've been thinking all along.

    Take care, everyone. I'm off to glue myself back to the TV again. Now the Turkish troops are going into Iraq? This is truly amazing. I said to my mom that I thought this war has really been "interesting" and she was a bit shocked that I could think of it as that - well, I've had nothing but time to read the papers, watch the TV, and listen to the radio - so I've really had the time to reflect on the entire situtation. And it is, indeed, interesting.

    Stay well - [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

    ------------------
    Had right pain down butt/leg/toes for over 2 years.
    MRI confirmed L5-S1 disc herniation
    Discogram confirmed L5-S1 disc tear
    Tried chiro, PT, epi steriod injections, more PT... to no avail
    Insurance denied IDET
    Had L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy on 2/18/03 - now pain free!!!

    [This message has been edited by etoile du nord (edited 03-21-2003).]
    __________________
    L5-S1 hemilami w/ microdiscectomy 2/18/03 - right leg pain gone
    Successful chiropractic care 2005-2011
    Daily low back pain and HORRIBLE spasms since 2011
    L5-S1 ALIF 6/30/12 - back pain is GONE!
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 06:16 PM   #83
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    Hello Everyone,

    Just like everyone else, I've been watching the war on every channel on tv. Di, I thought about you when the power plant was mentioned yesterday, but felt better when I saw the National Guard there. In the event of a disaster here in West Covina, we have no where to go and if we did the traffic is bad you may as well watch tv, or read a good book.

    ddp11, I'm really glad to see that you're able to visit your family this weekend. Have a good time and be careful.

    Tra, it's wonderful that your surgery went so well. Don't over do. I feel you on the constipation problem and this can cause a great deal of pain by itself. I was bent over with my butt poked out in June and I only took two Tylenol 3(toothache). Drink plenty of fluids, take the stool softeners, and hold your breath. Your class is adorable. It shows that you're a good teacher for students to want to write to you (smile). They miss you.

    Etoile du nord, I'm taking thorough pt notes. I already know what to expect pretty much post-op. My daughter said it looks like I'm studying for a test...this one said this and this one said that. The doctor/staff doesn't tell you these things. So please keep the information coming.

    Okay, back to watch the war.

     
    Old 03-22-2003, 02:13 PM   #84
    Traweaver
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    Hi Gang,

    I am on my daily walk around. My hbby has the computer set up for me so I can stand and type. Thanks for all the suggestions. I still have had no luck but have stool softeners, prune juice and sakonet, along with eating high fiber foods. (bran muffins, bean soups, strawberries) That ought to shake things up a bit!! hehe

    So Carol, you have your post op on Monday. What will that be 5 weeks for you? I am glad you are feeling good, but what the heck would possess you to move a Nordictrac?? You sound so much like myself, but please do not undo what you have worked so hard to achieve. I think sitting at lunch is reasonalbe...moving a Nordictrac...NO WAY!! Do you want to return to work? If not, I think you can ask your doctor to extend you leave. He should be listening to your body.

    I am off to bed. Talk to you all soon!
    TraWeaver
    __________________
    Herniation L4-5
    Left Buttock and Leg Pain
    Tried Meds, steroid meds, chiropractor, massage, epidural injection, Vax-D treament, Matrix & Tens Unit~ No Relief
    Hemilectomy-Discectomy on 3/19~ Awoke Pain Free!!

     
    Old 03-22-2003, 04:15 PM   #85
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    Hi there!

    Tra, I think it's funny what your wrote - what would possess me... I have no idea...! Yes, it was dumb to try to move a NordicTrack - those things are heavy! I just thought if I could just slide it, but on carpet it didn't want to slide. No harm done at least.

    Yes, this Monday's appointment will be at the 5 week mark. I want to go back to work, but then I feel like if I'm going to have to take time off, THIS is the time to do it. So I think I'm actually going to ask for an additional 2 weeks, making it a full 2 months. I hope I can remember how to do everything at work!

    Today I had a great time shopping with my mom. We went all over the place and I bought 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of pants, 2 tank tops (totally cool from the Gap), and for my husband a nice pair of dressy/casual shoes and pants. Oh also some Clinique makeup (which came with a free makeup bag full of gifts!). Fun, fun! I'm pretty tired now, but my back just feels achy and tired, not too bad at all. My feet hurt more than anything! It was a gorgeous day to be outside, but shopping was a lot of fun.

    Well, I'm off to lie down for a while. I was up late last night watching the news and couldn't sleep very well because of the war on my mind constantly. Today was also a good break from that as well.

    Hope all is well with everyone! [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

    ------------------
    Had right pain down butt/leg/toes for over 2 years.
    MRI confirmed L5-S1 disc herniation
    Discogram confirmed L5-S1 disc tear
    Tried chiro, PT, epi steriod injections, more PT... to no avail
    Insurance denied IDET
    Had L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy on 2/18/03 - now pain free!!!
    __________________
    L5-S1 hemilami w/ microdiscectomy 2/18/03 - right leg pain gone
    Successful chiropractic care 2005-2011
    Daily low back pain and HORRIBLE spasms since 2011
    L5-S1 ALIF 6/30/12 - back pain is GONE!
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

     
    Old 03-23-2003, 04:47 AM   #86
    Traweaver
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    Hey Carol,
    Your shopping trip sounded great! I too have been spoiled with new clothes. But mostly with new jammies and comfortable low waisted outfits. (like the yoga pants and such hehe) You mentioned shoes. Did you get any with a heel? I have been wearing shoes with no heel (1/2 inch or less) since I started the Vax-D treatment back in Jan.(it was a requirement of treatment)and haven't worn anything else since. I LOVE shoes and most have a heel of at least 1-1/2 inch or more...even sandals. What kind of shoes did you buy? I am willing to make some sacrafices after recovery to never wind up in this situation again...but come on!!! hehe

    Things were pretty quiet here yesterday on the board. I hope everyone was enjoying the beautiful spring weather and not glued to the TV and the war

    One of my students moms brought me dinner and balloons last night. Such a nice treat. I feel very fortunate to have so much help during my recovery. My husbad extended his Leave of abscence. He was suppose to return to work today but decided not to. He will go back next week instead. I just love that guy!!

    Things worked out on the potty!! LOL I was getting worried, but it is all good now. I also only woke up once last night and have been sleeping a total of about 15 of 24 hours per day!! YAHOO! Talk about making up for lost time!!

    I plan to write some thank you's today and maybe try to go outside for a walk. I live on the second floor so have to face the stairs. I think I am ready! Hope you all have a great day!!
    Talk to you soon!
    TraWeaver
    __________________
    Herniation L4-5
    Left Buttock and Leg Pain
    Tried Meds, steroid meds, chiropractor, massage, epidural injection, Vax-D treament, Matrix & Tens Unit~ No Relief
    Hemilectomy-Discectomy on 3/19~ Awoke Pain Free!!

     
    Old 03-23-2003, 08:29 AM   #87
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    Hello, Everyone!

    Tra, I am so glad that you continue to do well. Sounds like you are doing everything right, and will be better than new very soon.

    Etoile - hooray for Shopping Therapy! I spent most of yesterday shopping and got the exact same Clinique free gift! It's one more fun thing to do while lying on the back resting: playing with all those cute little mini-Clinique things. The eye gel looks interesting - I've never seen that before.

    I am on the prowl for a good pair of athletic shoes. Suggestions, anyone? There are so many to choose from. My physical therapist recommended New Balance. I found a good pair of NB running shoes, but they are so ugly. But I think that good shoes are important for the back, so I'll probably get them.

    I have found that Easy Spirit shoes are fantastically comfortable for everyday shoes. They have a lot of cushion in them which lessens impact on the back. They even have some models with elegant low heels, for evening which are very comfortable. I have seen all kinds of evidence that high heels are terrible for the back.

    OK, well I am going to the pool now. Catch you all later! - dianne

     
    Old 03-23-2003, 01:33 PM   #88
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    Hi!

    Tra I'm glad you're doing well, especially the potty issue - ha, ha! I'm also glad to hear that you're husband is taking good care of you - my husband also took some time off work that first week and it made a world of difference.

    The shoes I bought were actually for Jason, and unfortunately he didn't like them so we returned them today. First we went to the dog park in Minneapolis (one of the many) which was a lot of fun. There were tons of people and dogs there - our Ozzy loves it. We did a lot of walking around the park and it seemed hard at first because I'm not used to that terrain - up and down paths with rocks, sand (the park goes along the beach of the Mississippi River) and we even did what felt like hiking up and down steep hills. But the muscles got used to it, and I still feel great - NO PAIN!!!! I love it! In the car I've been totally reclined, but on the way home I had the seat up more and it was fine. I should say, though, that I really concentrated on how I was walking at the park, mainly keeping my abdominals tight, and not doing any pounding of my feet. That really helps. So then went out for lunch (and sat most of the time) and then returned the shoes at the mall... Now home, and I'm actually quite amazed at how good I feel.

    I finally have my life back.

    I have also heard that New Balance are really good shoes for walking. I always wear Birkenstock sandals in the summer, and Doc Martens in the winter. I wear Birks at work, too. They're great shoes.

    Hey, what eye gel??? I didn't get any eye gel! I got other nice things, though. [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

    How all of you are well.

    ------------------
    Had right pain down butt/leg/toes for over 2 years.
    MRI confirmed L5-S1 disc herniation
    Discogram confirmed L5-S1 disc tear
    Tried chiro, PT, epi steriod injections, more PT... to no avail
    Insurance denied IDET
    Had L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy on 2/18/03 - now pain free!!!

    [This message has been edited by etoile du nord (edited 03-23-2003).]
    __________________
    L5-S1 hemilami w/ microdiscectomy 2/18/03 - right leg pain gone
    Successful chiropractic care 2005-2011
    Daily low back pain and HORRIBLE spasms since 2011
    L5-S1 ALIF 6/30/12 - back pain is GONE!
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    Old 03-23-2003, 01:51 PM   #89
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    Etoile -
    What a wonderful outing for you! I've never heard of a dog park, but it sounds like a great idea. It's terrific that you are out and about and pushing yourself to do new things little by little. I know exactly what you feel about getting your life back.
    Being in the pool seems to make me feel that way, also.

    I can't believe you didn't get the eye gel. It's in a little pink tube. Maybe they have different Clinique gifts in different parts of the country. I also got a beautiful blue eyeshadow pencil and a little compact case with shadow, blush and lipstick all in one. I am all tuckered out from prancing around in the pool and am conked out playing with cosmetics and watching the war on TV.

    Thanks for the shoe tips. I am going to look into Birkenstocks, definitely. Take care, all! - di




     
    Old 03-23-2003, 10:14 PM   #90
    nordon
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    Well, I got pressed powder, scented lotion ("Happy"), lip gloss, lipstick, and facial scrub!
    __________________
    L5-S1 hemilami w/ microdiscectomy 2/18/03 - right leg pain gone
    Successful chiropractic care 2005-2011
    Daily low back pain and HORRIBLE spasms since 2011
    L5-S1 ALIF 6/30/12 - back pain is GONE!
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    Surgery sceduled 7/01/03 for an anterior/posterior (360) fusion to L4/L5 AMK34 Back Problems 7 05-16-2003 09:07 PM




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