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View Full Version : Pain related question- Surgery 2 weeks ago



JenM
06-24-2010, 06:09 AM
Hi all-

I know you guys can help me with my question since you have been so great answering all the other ones! As most of you know, I just had my surgery June 8. I am on my 2nd week now. I think I now have the constipation/bowels under control. Now I am feeling a little down because my back feels very painful. I am fused from T3-L3 and my back feels very stingy and has like a burning sensation. It was sooo hard for me to get out of the medical bed this morning. My arms really hurt and it hurts for me to even reach out to grab something. Yesterday it was over 90 degrees here and I wore a winter bathrobe since I was so cold! My teeth were chattering. Overall my back hurts really bad in general and I was wondering what week I will start to get better? I think I am getting down because I have 2 little kids who are demanding my attention and it is sooo hard for me to move. I don't want to feel like this forever! Everyday I hope the back pain will feel better and better but it doesn't. I am currently on Valium for spasms, oxycontin, oxycodone, lyrica, colace and senna.

Anyone have any uplifting thoughts about when I will start to turn the corner?

Thanks,
JenM

LynetteG
06-24-2010, 08:09 AM
I started to feel a lot better at week four, and at week nine I turned a major corner, I no longer took meds, and I had my brace off at that point, and I've never looked back. I really understand how HARD it is when your kids need your attention and you feel like crap. It was very very hard, and I really feel for you. I also felt freezing cold in Florida even in the hot days, then I'd get the boiling hot sweats. So what you're going through is normal, just know, and I promise Jen, it WILL get better, you will feel better very very soon, and then you'll feel a lot happier with the surgery and everything in life. You will be pain free - or have very little pain - very very soon! XX

ADMoul
06-24-2010, 08:54 AM
Hi Jen, Am so sorry to hear about all that you are going through. I know it doesn't help, but remember you are still so very early in the recovery process. All of us, I think, had some very dark days in those early weeks whether it was related to constipation, muscle spasms, etc. Everyone reacts to narcotics differently and I think they can play with your head even when taking them at prescribed and appropriate levels. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you with young children but try to remember you're doing this so that you can be a better Mom to them for a long, long time. All of us are with you in this and feel free to keep venting. That's what this forum is for.

JenniferG
06-24-2010, 06:35 PM
Ah Jen. I would consider this to be perfectly normal. I was still in hospital until day 19, so you are already streets ahead of where I was at week 2. As Anne and Lynnette have said, it's early days and things do improve. It's just hard those first few weeks. Just keep in mind that in a few more weeks, you'll be feeling so much better, be getting back (slowly) into a normal life and these early weeks will become a blurred memory.

Think of the day you go shopping for a new wardrobe, standing straight, tall and painfree. It WILL happen!

LindaRacine
06-24-2010, 07:30 PM
Being so cold makes me wonder if you're having a reaction to one of the medications.

Hang in there. I found the first 5 weeks barely tolerable. It does get better.

--Linda

Back-out
06-24-2010, 08:14 PM
I also felt freezing cold in Florida even in the hot days, then I'd get the boiling hot sweats. So what you're going through is normal, just know

Lyn, do you think you might have been experiencing menopausal/ peri-menopausal symptoms too, induced by the shock of surgery on top of what your body may already have been evolving?

Just a thought. I'm very glad to learn thanks to Jess and ConfusedMom's postings, that I'm unlikely to have to go off HRT more than pre-surgical. Hot flashes, etc., are NOT what I would like to add to the symptom-soup after surgery! :o

jrnyc
06-24-2010, 08:17 PM
nooooo...bio-identical creams are supposed to be OK...per my doctors...
not HRT...it's not the same thing...


jess

coscottsx61
06-24-2010, 08:55 PM
I agree with everyone else. This pain will get better gradually. Regarding the kids - I have 5 boys, 3 still at home and I know they will forget about this when you are well and able to give them the attention they need. Rest assured, this is all worth it in the end.

Praying for you and the kids.

TexEx
06-25-2010, 03:43 AM
I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are 7 and 12. I did my best to bring them to me for attention or have them "help" with my recover. We read books and played games in bed (when I was concious enough from all the meds), they held me hand when I did my walks or even liked to get things I needed for me. This helped with thier need to be a part of me and they felt important.

I know this is a very hard time on families, I felt totally left out of my family for 4-6 weeks.

Like Lynette about week 4 I took a good turn around, they took me off the oxycotin about week three because I was not reacting well and that cleared my head a little.

Believe me you will get through it and kids are resilient, like people kept reminding me this is a relatively small period in their long lives.

We set a goal for "when this is over". They bought me a gift certificate for a new bike for mother's day and we have it on a bulleting board waiting to all go shopping for the bike that mom will be able to right with them. That might be helpful too.

Good luck and feel better, just remember to concentrate on your getting better and strong and know that you are doing for them.

Melissa
Surgery March 31
T9-L5 Lumber Fusion
Pre Op 60 Degree
Post Op 20 Degree

LynetteG
06-25-2010, 06:10 AM
Amanda - I'm not sure to this day if those burning hot flashes and cold sweats were part of menopause or not - those hot flashes have completely gone now. So I really think that it was the meds, because when I described how terrible I felt to my brother, he said after his back surgery, he had exactly the same symptoms while on the meds. So I've a very strong feeling that it was purely those poisonous meds (meds are great though when we need them to help with pain) just I'm one of those people that hates taking any kind of medication, so I couldn't wait to get off of them. Truly once I could handle the pain at nine weeks, I was completely off them, and I started to reduce them at 6 weeks post op to wean off of them. That's when I felt waaay better.

debbei
06-25-2010, 06:35 AM
Hi all-

I know you guys can help me with my question since you have been so great answering all the other ones! As most of you know, I just had my surgery June 8. I am on my 2nd week now. I think I now have the constipation/bowels under control. Now I am feeling a little down because my back feels very painful. I am fused from T3-L3 and my back feels very stingy and has like a burning sensation. It was sooo hard for me to get out of the medical bed this morning. My arms really hurt and it hurts for me to even reach out to grab something. Yesterday it was over 90 degrees here and I wore a winter bathrobe since I was so cold! My teeth were chattering. Overall my back hurts really bad in general and I was wondering what week I will start to get better? I think I am getting down because I have 2 little kids who are demanding my attention and it is sooo hard for me to move. I don't want to feel like this forever! Everyday I hope the back pain will feel better and better but it doesn't. I am currently on Valium for spasms, oxycontin, oxycodone, lyrica, colace and senna.

Anyone have any uplifting thoughts about when I will start to turn the corner?

Thanks,
JenM

That stinging nerve pain is very normal and will decrease over time. I wasn't even on any nerve medicaions (lyrica) and it did decrease. I used to describe it as bee stings, or needle pinches. The hot/cold issues are probabl the oxy's. You will get better Jen, it's only been 2 weeks. Give yourself time to heal. Just think what your body has been through--your back was literally broken. It's not something you can recover from quickly. Your kids are taken care of and they won't hold this against you long term. They're probably just afraid to hurt you.

Radiogirl
06-25-2010, 09:18 AM
Yes, JenM...as everyone else has said....it's all totally normal. You are soooo early in your repair process...I know exactly what you are talking about with the stinging sensation in your back. I believe that is the nerves healing, so think of it as a good sign! I still get it when I overdo or get tired. And the hot cold sweat thing...yep....I truly believe that is from the pain meds. The oxycontin gave me the worst dreams, too. So, once you begin tapering down you will feel better. Just don't try to rush anything. Your job is to heal now. Best of luck to you...I promise, it does get better. (I think the 4 wk mark, then again at the 8 wk mark for me...then it keeps going! :)

Confusedmom
06-25-2010, 03:23 PM
Jen,

I have little kids, too. When I am sick or incapacitated (gallbladder out, the flu, etc.), I just let them watch TV and play on the computers more. I try not to feel guilty about it because I figure I've gotta get better so I can get back to taking them to the playground or pool or whatever. In the scheme of things I don't think it really hurts the kids if they have a little more screen time than usual for a few weeks.

Also, occasionally I get a "mother's helper"--an older kid in the neighborhood who will come over and play with them while I am home, and I pay them a few dollars an hour.

You'll be feeling better and ready to play with them yourself before you know it!

Evelyn

doodie
06-25-2010, 06:03 PM
Hi Jen -
At two weeks plus you really are still early in this recovery process. It's hard though when you are so aware of every ache and pain...

It was at the 3 week point that I noticed definite improvement (just in time for surgery #2! which set me back for sure!) so you are due to start feeling better soon!

As for the hot/cold flashes - I would say with assurance that it's your pain meds. That is such a common side effect. But as you are able to eventually decrease the dosage, so will the side effects diminish. I posted on here somewhere that I dreaded showers, even hot, steamy showers because I was freezing so much of the time. I just wore a hoodie with the hood up and it was easy to take off when I had a hot flash. And I wore flannel or yoga pants in June!

Pain meds can also change your mood - I had times when I felt depressed for no real reason - I didn't feel like myself and those moods would just descend suddenly. Weird. But I knew it was not a permanent situation and I tried to focus on the positives...for example the nerve stinging. That is a positive thing! However, for months after the first surgery my upper back felt like a horrible sunburn that was further assaulted by scrubbing in a hot shower. It was brutal and when I went in for surgery #2 I mentioned it that morning and was prescribed Lidoderm patches...... let me tell you, they were a god-send! We just cut one 5" x 7" patch in half, one for each shoulder blade and I wore them to bed every night. I can not tell you how much they helped me! As my skin felt less sensitive, I cut it down to every other night, then every third night and then on an as needed basis.

I never did have a script for Lyrica.

You also mentioned colace and senna. I was fine with that until the second surgery when I came home on additional pain meds, then added Miralax which did the job beautifully - but it sounds like you've got that part figured out already! :p

Hang in there!

jsully
06-28-2010, 03:41 PM
I know exactly how you fell. Today my hat and cold sweats where so bad I thought I had the flu. However, I have been cutting back on my meds. Before I would wake up all during the night and take my PRN meds, now I stgopped doing that the last couple days. Then this morning I took my long acting Oxycodone, and still felt pretty good, so in 4 hours I took strictly Tylenol. Then I did the same in the next 4 hours. Then I started feeling horrible!!!! Thus I broke down and took a Percocet without much relief and 2 hours later took a Valium and now I feel good. The problem is I only have 3 more Valium so I am not sure how much longer the DR wanted me to take these as he works a hour away. I guess I'll have to make the dreaded phone call. Don't want to feel like a druggie. Good Luck!
Janet

rohrer01
06-28-2010, 03:46 PM
I know exactly how you fell. Today my hat and cold sweats where so bad I thought I had the flu. However, I have been cutting back on my meds. Before I would wake up all during the night and take my PRN meds, now I stgopped doing that the last couple days. Then this morning I took my long acting Oxycodone, and still felt pretty good, so in 4 hours I took strictly Tylenol. Then I did the same in the next 4 hours. Then I started feeling horrible!!!! Thus I broke down and took a Percocet without much relief and 2 hours later took a Valium and now I feel good. The problem is I only have 3 more Valium so I am not sure how much longer the DR wanted me to take these as he works a hour away. I guess I'll have to make the dreaded phone call. Don't want to feel like a druggie. Good Luck!
Janet

I know what you mean about not wanting to feel like a druggie, but for cryin' out loud you just had MAJOR SURGERY. If your surgeon won't refill your Rx, then I would call your GP. Geez, I can't believe anyone would expect you to be off meds already, although it sounds like your doing quite well. I hope you feel better!

naptown78
06-28-2010, 04:15 PM
I know exactly how you fell. Today my hat and cold sweats where so bad I thought I had the flu. However, I have been cutting back on my meds. Before I would wake up all during the night and take my PRN meds, now I stgopped doing that the last couple days. Then this morning I took my long acting Oxycodone, and still felt pretty good, so in 4 hours I took strictly Tylenol. Then I did the same in the next 4 hours. Then I started feeling horrible!!!! Thus I broke down and took a Percocet without much relief and 2 hours later took a Valium and now I feel good. The problem is I only have 3 more Valium so I am not sure how much longer the DR wanted me to take these as he works a hour away. I guess I'll have to make the dreaded phone call. Don't want to feel like a druggie. Good Luck!
Janet

Janet,
Make the phone call!!!!! You are 3 weeks out from surgery, of course your doctor will refill your pain meds. You are not a "druggie" if you are having pain. I had surgery in mid-March and am still on Norco a couple times a day. If you need it, you need it. Don't try to cut down too soon before your body is ready, ;-)

spinalfusion09
06-28-2010, 10:36 PM
Hi there! I hope you're getting better ! I'm 19 and had fusion last year. I think everyone can agree that we know that pain. I had horrible, feverish, uncontrollable shakes after sugery. And moving was something that did not come easy...it'll be like this for a while :{ My doctor and physical therapist both told me to look forward to the 6th week and for me it really was the magical week where everything got better and better. The healing process is so similar to a broken bone and bones don't get better untill after the 6th week mark. It may not seem like it but week by week your body's tolerances will get longer . Its not an easy recovery but I hope it gets easier for you! O and tv series + movies on a laptop really got my mind off of where I was :} Feel free to ask questions.
Maliha

jsully
06-29-2010, 02:43 AM
All i have to say is do not cut down on your pain meds early. Just woke up in so much pain and had to 2 pain pills instead of 1 which i've not done for days now. It will catch up to you. Still freezin, in long pj's in florida.

doodie
06-29-2010, 07:34 AM
Rohrer - I haven't heard the expression 'for cryin out loud' for ages! That sure made me smile this morning. :D

jsully - It's hard for most of us to 'make that (dreaded) call' to get the drug script filled. I was only ever given enough meds for about 10 days at a time so I was making 'the call' quite often. And let me just say they expect you to call. You had major surgery a couple of weeks ago......much more than a broken leg or shoulder surgery. (not to diminish those in any way...) Don't be so hard on yourself, if you need meds, TAKE THEM! It's no fun when the pain gets ahead of you, as you've found out.

Keep us updated when you can and hang in there....

jsully
06-29-2010, 07:51 AM
Called the DR. He is in surgery. guess I should've called sooner. The problem is my appt. is 7/23 and all my meds will be gone by then. I guess there is no way to conserve. Thanks for making me feel better and giving me the courage.
janet:):):)

doodie
06-29-2010, 08:49 AM
Yea for you! Calling wasn't so hard now, was it?

Of course, your Dr. would be in surgery huh? :rolleyes: That's always the case. Does your Dr. have a partner who could write a script for you? Or a PA? July 23 is a long time from now and with a holiday week-end it could take a bit of doing if you have to wait for a mailed script, but it could be done.

In my case, the prescriptions came out of Dr. Kebaish's office but were generated electronically with an electronic signature. Then the script was mailed to me as Baltimore is approx. 2 hours from my home. I had to call in advance so there was enough time to get it through the mail, so it seemed like I was always calling. The plus side of that though, was the wonderful Helena in their office who kept tabs on me. (She is a gem!)

As a last resort, it's possible your PCP could write a prescription for you until you get your routine figured out? Just a thought.....

LynetteG
06-29-2010, 09:25 AM
Janet - You're waaay too early to be cutting back on meds - I tried the same thing as you, and suffered exactly the way you are right now. The pain hits you suddenly. You think you're going so great because you're feeling better each day, and you think okay I'll try cutting my meds back because I'm sick of feeling like a zombie, but boy your body soon tells you - no way. This is a huge surgery, and you are doing great Janet. What I did to top up my meds was call my local GP and got her to refill my percocets etc., and that made it nice and easy. I didn't wean officially off the pills till I was about six weeks post op, and then I finished the last meds at nine weeks post op, so I was completely off the meds at nine weeks post op. For some people that might be too early, and for others too late, but each one of us has different tolerance for pain etc. I also empathize so much for you with the hot and cold sweats, they were horrific. I hated them, and I continued to have them for two weeks after being off the meds, now thank God they are gone completely. There is light at the end of the tunnel Janet, hang in there, each day WILL get better and better!

jsully
06-29-2010, 06:05 PM
Still no work.. I guess I should have called his personal cell phone but I didn't want to be a PIA since he was in surgery and all. Hopefully I hear wed.

LynetteG
06-29-2010, 09:18 PM
Janet - I used to text Dr. Cronen & he always text me back quite promptly. I did this for meds also and got a prescription immediately.

jsully
06-30-2010, 06:23 AM
I'll be doing that this AM. Thanks.