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  • Alone after surgery, is it OK?

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    Old 07-20-2004, 05:51 PM   #1
    dove777
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    Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    I am having my operation Thursday for ACDF. Hopefully I will be home by Friday. My husband is a trucker and will only be home on the weekend. My daughter is going on a vacation with my brother and sister-in-law and leaving Saturday. Will I be OK alone next week?
    I have a couple of friends who will check on me during the day, but I am worried about the night time.
    I went to the store today and go soups and TV dinners and easy stuff to fix to eat.
    I just dread being alone.
    Susan

     
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    Old 07-20-2004, 06:20 PM   #2
    dove777
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    Might I add my diagnosis. I am having a ACDF on C4, C5, C6 and C7. I have cervical radiculopathy, cervical HNP with myelopathy, cervical spondylosis with myelopathy, cervical stenosis.
    The doc said I would never have a "good" neck again but if I don't have the surgery I could face being paralyzed.
    Did I mention I am so scared right now, with the operation date so near.

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 01:39 AM   #3
    geoffrey
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    Smile Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    i was alone after they released me from the hospital and it wad fine, i had friends who called and came over, i slept on and of for days....just have the phone close by and give a set of keys to a friend who can come by to check up on you. the soup is a good thing, also have some ensure plus, it will be easy to drink and through a straw and has lots of calories to help with the healing process. it is scarey, but i slept on and off for the first several days to a week. and if they are taking the bone graft from your hip, i would ask the doctor and the hospital for a walker, i asked for one at the hospital to make it easier for me to get around and i wish i had to requested to take it home with me. the pain from that surgery was horrendous and still bothers me from time to time.
    if you have trouble swallowing pain pills....buy a pill splitter and split them up and take them with a spoonful of applesauce, that works best for me.
    i wish you the best of luck on your surgery day
    i have faith it will be fine and you will be great

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 07:55 AM   #4
    marlotoo
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    I just wanted to wish you luck with your op. I know it is scary but just think it woill all be over soon and you will be on the road to recovery!

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 08:28 AM   #5
    Kissa
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    You should be fine. Geoffrey's advice is very sound.
    The only thing I would add is that keep a notepad by your bed or where ever you end up sleeping that is comfortable for you and a pencil as well to jot down times you take medications so you don't take them too early or too late when the pain is extreme and the meds have wore off. Also drinks loads of water the first few days you will be very dehydrated from the anesthia. I kept a large container of ice water at my bedside you could also maybe purchase small bottles of water like aquifina and keep them near the area you will rest most.

    If you get a chance before your surgery or can have someone help you out stop by a store or pharmacy and get some throat drops or even some hard candy to suck on, you will probably have a sore throat and drops will help some. I used the Fruit Breezers and now and addicted to them Use lots of ice on the surgical site if you aren't braced it will reduce swelling. Also have your sleeping accomodations ready, bed ready to just jump in or pillows on the sofa, you won't want to be fooling with it when you get home.

    I hope your surgery goes well and my experience was I actually woke up in alot less pain than prior to the surgery. I was hurting for about a week but it slowed down over time.

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 09:38 AM   #6
    dove777
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    Thanks for replying. I am just a nervous person by nature and I think of everything that could happen.
    As for the bone graft, it will be from a donor.

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 07:34 PM   #7
    pattymelt
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    All of the above letters have given very good suggestions. My daughter is an RN and was with me for three full weeks after surgery as I had to have both front and back incisions. I could not have gotten through it without her as I did need a lot of help, but I am 74 years old and have a lot of arthritic problems. She coaxed me to eat when I didn't want to and she even spoonfed me to make sure I was eating enough and drinking enough as I tend to get dehydrated. I drank Ensure and ate lots of jello and pudding and ice cream and especially tapioca pudding. The swelling was really bad in my neck and shoulders and I had a lot of difficulty turning over by myself and getting in and out of bed but with help I did fine. By the time she left to go home to Alaska I was doing fine with the help of my husband. It has been four months since my surgery and it has been a long slow recuperation but it has been steady improvement and I feel so much better than I did before surgery and I am sure you will too - just don't overdo! Pamper yourself and it will pay off in the long run. I had a walker for the first week after surgery and it was a great help as I was unsteady on my feet - I was in the hospital for five days and in surgery for 6-1/2 hours so it was quite a major ordeal, but thanks to the miracles of modern medicine I am looking forward to a lot of good years ahead! Good luck. God bless!

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 07:39 PM   #8
    pattymelt
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    Another suggestion. I have the Ace ice packs which are soft and pliable and they have been a godsend for the pain, spasms and swelling. I still use them for soreness in my shoulders. I just wrap one in a pillowcase lengthwise and drape it around me shoulders - it really does help a lot. I have a memory pillow too and it is wonderful. I had the large plastic sports bottle with bendable straw that I got in the hospital and kept it full of ice and water at all times and still do as you need to drink lots of water. Again, Good luck!

     
    Old 07-22-2004, 06:15 AM   #9
    terrbear
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    I have been watching this thread, I to am worried. All of you have given good advice, I have written down all the items people are suggesting to have at home. I would never have thought about most of them. My hubby thinks we need to rent a hospital bed and set up in the room I just finished, overlooking my gardens, it also has computer in it and tv. Is this overeacting a bit? I wish you the best on your surgery, and will keep you in my prayers. Keep us informed.

     
    Old 07-24-2004, 12:47 PM   #10
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    The biggest aid in getting comfortable was a U-shaped cervical pillow and memory foam standard size pillow from Bath & Body (both things were great advice from this board which I purchased before surgery). Between the two I must say I have been able to get in positions of comfort whether at night in bed or during the day on the couch. My husband also spazzed out & wanted to rent a hospital bed for downstairs. I personally found the whole idea very depressing & decided I "would" make it with assistance the first week back & forth to my bed upstairs, just for my mental health's sake. I did fine, no dizziness or unsteadiness & I was the person who passed out in the bathroom at home after a gum-graft dental procedure years ago. I purchased a colorful cane as I am steady on my feet but tended to walk fast and sometimes I will slip on tile surfaces. My NS last Tues. is now allowing short, safe trips from home in my Aspen brace (no driving yet, of course), except I can take it off when showering. I do not have fixation just donor bone plugs which must grow together at two levels. I always take my purple cane out of the house as it 1) reminds me to slow down and can 2) serve as a barrier in public before small children run into you first. It has saved me twice from slipping so far. I did far better after surgery than I anticipated. Good luck!

     
    Old 07-26-2004, 05:57 PM   #11
    nero
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    You are a brave soul to have survived all this and now to attend for surgery and head home not wanting to inconvenience anyone.!!!!

    Having had that surgery Nov 03 being acdf c5-6 own bone and major spinal cord compression plus a microdiskectomy l5 s1 april 04 I have to say you should have someone around. Once Monday comes and everyone is gone you will be in need.. of a drink.. a hand to the washroom..a pill... a shoulder to support you emotionally.

    Your family sounds somewhat avail. so maybe your daughter could rethink her trip..after all this is a major surgery and a trip can happen again as disappointing as that may be for her.. you are her mom and you can ask this of her.

    Life is about helping out and I have to say I was a brave soldier too and yet when I had my second surgery the pain in my lumbar was like a backwards c-section and I was released one day later and was not ready for that. Compared to a release of 4 days after my acdf I cannot imagine what you would be like after day 1.

    I treadmilled throughout my 4 year battle with the spinal compression and herniationmaintaining muscle tone as best as I could and showing all that I was helping myself. However, after my second surgery's early release date and the incredible pain after the morphine wore off I hung onto the towel rack in my ensuite and cried by Sunday... just three days later.. I think it would be brutal to leave someone alone after your neck surgery release and I was glad to have my spouse and daughter knock on the bathroom door and cajole me to get into bed and take my meds and survive it all. It is survivable but there are good approaches to recovery just like anything else and if they are going to release you that early than you had better have a form of nursing care on the other end.

    Obviously you are having trepidations and are entitled.. you are a valuable person in your family and they need you in good shape.. I think they need to hear of your concerns and find someone who can guarantee attendance with you.

    Yes, you will be up and down, in one chair and another trying trying trying to get comfortable and sometime in between all that you have to take pills and eat a meal of some kind...so tell them this is not possible with out help.

    I AM NO WIMP and NEITHER ARE YOU having dealt with this pain to date but you deserve help and you need to realize that and this will be the first step in your recovery so speak up for yourself and be proactive and get the help you truly will need and deserve.

    GOOD LUCK MY SWEET AND GOD BLESS AND I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND KNOW IN MY HEART THAT WILL YOU JOIN THE REST OF US IN THE FUTURE WHO HAVE RECOVERED TO LEAD A NEW LIFE WITH LESS PAIN AND AN ATTEMPT TO MOVE FORWARD THROUGH THIS UNFORTUNATE PLIGHT.

    nearly new again ...Nero

     
    Old 07-26-2004, 06:45 PM   #12
    dove777
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    Re: Alone after surgery, is it OK?

    I Am Alone Now For The First Time Since My Surgery. My Husband Left This Evening. He Is A Trucker. He Has Helped Out A Lot The Past Couple Of Days.
    I Have Neighbors Near By And All My Church Friends Said To Call If I Needed Anything.
    I Hate Being Couped Up Inside. I Even Miss Going To The Mailbox! I Could Walk To It But I Believe I Won't Try It Cause We Live On A Hill And The Driveway Is Steep And I Sure Don't Want To Fall.
    I Have My Cats To Keep Me Company.
    And Thanks For All The Prayers.
    Susan

     
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