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  • Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

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    Old 04-23-2006, 04:05 PM   #1
    schragie
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    Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Hi folks,

    Thought I'd check in to let you know I survived my L5-S1 lumbar fusion with my own bone. I was very pleased with my surgeon, but less pleased with the hospital staff (Hosp. for Joint Diseases in Manhattan), but that's another posting....

    All went well and my scar is about 7 inches or so I think. I can't really see it of course. I eneded up with a UTI (I thought of you Suzie-Q!) which was surely from using the catheter. Because of this my fever kept going up really high and they kept me in the hospital a little longer than they would have otherwise.

    I was on PCA (morphine) for about 24 hours after surgery before they pulled the plug on me and put me on oral meds (percocet). It ended up working out okay because I was too out of it keep hitting the thing to get enough morphine. The pain is still pretty bad, mostly a horrid burning pain at the incisision site and a cramping pain in my legs. Doing about anything exhausts me, including walking around the block or sitting up in a chair for 20 mi
    nutes. I'll get there soon, I'm sure.

    One thing i can safely say now is that I have no regrets. A week ago I was complaining that it felk there were squirels living in my legs, trying to eat their way out. Chip and Dale are gone! Woo hoo! God knows what else is in store for me, but I'm taking one day at a time and trying to keep my spirits up.

    I hope everyone else is doing okay and an extra special thanks to all of you who were extremely supportive of me prior to my BIG DAY.

    Tata!
    schragie
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    Old 04-23-2006, 04:23 PM   #2
    Quietcook
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    schragie,

    So glad to hear that you are home and at least noticing improvements, even though small. Give it another week and then think back to prior to surgery and you will be even happier. Do your walking as instructed by the doctor, but don't forget that your body went through a major ordeal, so continue to get tons of resting in.

    May many pain free days be close at hand.

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 05:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    That's great to hear you're doing well. I was shocked when my daughter's dr asked her right after surgery if she felt relief and she said she did. It's amazing what they can do!

    The first week home was slow for her. Take it very easy and it's all up hill from here on in. You'll feel a little better each day. We wish you the best with your recovery. cas

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 05:04 PM   #4
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Congratulations!!! It's nice to hear that you are being so positive, that will play a huge role in your recovery. Take it easy and be sure to not push yourself and over do it. Keep us posted with your progress. Kristy.

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 06:32 PM   #5
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Welcome Home Schragie!
    My but it is good to hear that you have landed safely and things are progressing fairly well. My thoughts have been so much with you and Lorie - so glad the hospital stay is behind you.
    I was in hospital for 7 days for my fusion and all but one day 'NPO' - not a drop of water or anything else passed my lips for 6 day. I can tell you I was not feeling very well at all. In fact, I was terribly dizzy and nauseous for 3 solid weeks. So, I think it sounds to me like you are doing quite well.
    The pain is terrible, I know. I remember well the burning at my incision. AHhh, yes, the evil UTIs. Beware the secondary fungal infections, too! I tell you I am on guard for that for the rest of my days!!! It is the anti-b's that knowck the balance off and then the fungi get you. Well, they get me anyway. Is the percocet doing the job for you? I found it to be effective and very necessary. Thank goodness for good doctors and good med! Are you already fitted for a brace? How is hubby holding up?
    Well, I'm sorry to say I am not doing so great. The last several days have been most uncomfortable. I must lie down but I couldn't go without expressing my heartfelt joy to know you are home and safe. Take good care - Suzy-Q

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 06:46 PM   #6
    schragie
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Hiya all and thanks for the good wishes. Any word from Lorie on how her surgery went? I am so medicated now I could easily have missed her posting. The NPO thing is a bear, Suzie. They kept changing their mind about my diet at the hospital. I went from ice chips for breakfast to some sort of meat thing we'll loosly call "lunch" to an all liquid dinner. I just stopped eating so it didn't really matter what garbarge they tried to serve me. One night when my fever was especially high my hubby went out and bought me some ices. That was good!

    Suz -- I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling well and I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

    As for braces, I am not getting a brace (yay!). As for fungi, Suzy, is there something I should do about that? I drank a whole bottle of cranbberty juice since yeseteray for the uti. I don't know what to do for fungi

    CYA later.
    Schragie
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    Old 04-23-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Hi and glad to hear your doing good after your surgery, just remember to listen to your doctor and take it easy it will take a couple of weeks till all that surgery and incision heals up. Get lots of rest!! Let others wait on you hand and foot!!

    Msmona

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    HI,
    I'm so glad to hear that you are well. The fungi thing, I got yeast infection after every surgery , due to the anti-biotics too. Eating one or two containers of yogurt a day for the next few weeks is the trick. A pharmacist told me that one. It puts the healthy bacteria back into your digestive tract again, works like a charm.

    So glad to hear you don't have that darn brace to deal with, it has caused me more cursing under my breath than I care to admit to,lol.

    God Bless and take it easy, the slower the better for the next few weeks. Enjoy it, if all goes well it won't last long and you'll miss the being waited on soon enough.

    Carol
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    Old 04-24-2006, 07:24 AM   #9
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Schragie
    Welcome back!! Glad to hear you are noticing improvements. Just take it slow and don't overdo it. It's so hard not to overdo it because you start feeling so much better and want to jump back into life. I will pray you continue to improve! Keep us updated!!
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    Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
    Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
    May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
    Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
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    July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
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    Last edited by scbmxmom; 04-24-2006 at 07:25 AM.

     
    Old 04-24-2006, 06:45 PM   #10
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Hi Schragie -
    How was your day? Mine has been rather long. I have wicked cramps in my calves today. Always something new, eh? Ahhh, there is a fungus among us. Yes, yougurt is great. But I have had not only yeast infections but fungal invasions in my mouth as well as under my arms the last 3 times I was put on anti-bs. I eat yougurt everyday and I will also ask for anti-f mouth Rx and creme before I take any more anti-bs. Maybe 'they' won't want to Rx them in advance of symptoms but I aim to try.
    Tomorrow is my big day in Boston. I am about as prepared as I can be, I think. I have a list of 17 questions, current symptom log, and my most recent MRI on CD. My biggest fear is that he or his PA will be jerks. My last second opinion acted like a peeved child and was rude beyond excusing. I still hear from others about his wonderful skills in the OR and I've no reason to doubt them. However, I wouldn't have hired him to hang my wallpaper let alone fiddle about in my spine. He actually looked at his watch and told me he had no time 'for that' when I took out my list of questions.
    So, I am hopeful about tomorrow but also guarded. It will be a real let down to learn he is a non-starter and that I have another 8 weeks of just getting an opinion in store for me. But listen to me complaining and carrying on. I do hope each day gets even a tiny bit better for you.
    Did you have ileitis? My spelling may be off on that one but it is the shut down of the digestive tract after surgery. Mine slammed to a complete halt after my fusion surgery. Well, I'm going pack it in. I'm way beyond tired. Take good care - Suzy-Q

     
    Old 04-24-2006, 06:57 PM   #11
    schragie
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Wow, you guys are great with the support. I think I overdid it a tad today -- went for a walk that was probably too long and then had PT (at home) that was a little painful.

    I am having a hard time describing the pain I am feeling now although I am hoping it is all just post-surg pain. Did any of you feel muscle cramping in your legs -- thighs especially -- after surgery? Like how you might feel after having been in bed for a whole day with a flu or something? Also, I can't lie on my back for much time at all without my incision burning. Plus my hip seems to have decided to wake up and remind me that it's missing some of its bone. It was quiet for about 4-5 days post-surgery and now it's being really whiny. I also had a fever for days and was pretty out of it so now that I am more alert everything else is coming back to life. The fact that we have had non-stop rain for three days where I live can't be a good thing for my back anyway, so it's no wonder everything is waking up now and reminding me that it hurts.

    I just sent my hubby out to buy me some pants and tee shirts for lying around the house. He's so sweet and has such different tastes than I that I am sure he will use this as an opportunity to change my look. I'm so tired I was about to let myself fall asleep but then I will miss all of the fun of seeing what he thought would look good on me.

    Anyone got any good positions for sleeping by the way?
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    Old 04-24-2006, 07:02 PM   #12
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Suzy-Q,

    Best wishes for tomorrow and yes, let us hope he is the right spine specialist that you are in search of. Now, you understand why I booked multiple appointments at the time I did my research. Luckily was able to get them all bunched within about a 2 1/2 week period. Figured it would be fine to cancel appointments, as there is always a waiting list. As it worked out had to cancel only one or two.

    Will think of you tomorrow, and hope that you will be able to post good news about your visit. But, if he is a jerk, just be thankful that you found out early on instead of learning later that he is strictly in there for the money and doesn't give a hoot about the patient as a person.

    Later.

     
    Old 04-24-2006, 07:23 PM   #13
    schragie
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    Ah, Suzy ... our postings crossed each other at the same time I think.

    Sorry I missed you because I really wanted to wish you the best for Boston tomorrow. I wanted to remind you that docs don't always want to deal with MRIs on CD-ROM so when you get to the office, you should probably give that to the receptionist right away cause sometimes it takes a while to set them up to view them. Then again, you're probably seeing some bigwig who has multiple PAs to load CD-ROMs for him.

    It sounds like you are so well prepared for tomorrow and I hope you get the answers you need and are treated with the dignity you deserve. If you learn anything interesting about BMP, I'm sure everyone here would be happy to hear about it. Also, I remember your questioning whether their using your own lami bone contributed to your failed fusion.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you tomorrow and to answer your questions --- no, I don't have ileitis (thank heavens). My day was so-so today. Not as good as yesterday was, but hopefully manana will be better.

    Let us know what happens when you're up for writing.

    Schragie
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    Old 04-24-2006, 08:07 PM   #14
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    When you spoke about positions to sleep in my daughter had me help log roll her to her side. The hospital sent the big foam wedge home with us. It worked really well to help keep her propped on one side. One of those big body pillows may be similar. She did have me move her often. She really had a hard time getting comfortable some nights. I told her dr it was like having a baby in the house again. I wasn't getting any sleep.

    She also seemed to like to wear night gowns for a while. They didn't touch her incision at all. Then she progressed to pull on shorts/sweats.

    Take it easy and try not to over do things. Best wishes. cas

    Last edited by caszyman; 04-24-2006 at 08:08 PM.

     
    Old 04-25-2006, 12:36 AM   #15
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    Re: Home from Surgery -- 5 days post-fusion

    I am glad to hear you surgery was so successful. Now the most important thing is to follow your surgeons post op instrustions to the T. The surgery is over but the recover is just beginning and depending on what kind of fusion you had, it takes around 3-6 months to fuse, and a yr to fully fuse. I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than 1/2 gallon of milk, no bending and no sitting longer than 30 mins at a time and not straight up in a firm chair. Unless you have a laptop and can go online from bed, try to stay off the computer for a while, it's not good for your back at this stage.

    Even though you may no longer have the pain you did before your surgery, don't let that lull you into a sense of wellness. You should be getting a lot of rest, but getting up for short walks around the house frequently to prevent blood clots. Don't do anything that keeps you standing on your feet either, like cooking. You need to let others take care of you and wait on you. The last thing you want to do is mess up your fusion by doing these things.

    Wishing you a full recovery and no more pain!

     
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