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pilar
12-18-2010, 02:50 PM
Hi EVERYONE,
Well my surgeries were December 6th and 10 th and I came back home yesterday. to tell you the truth I am in a lot of pain and nothing seems to calm me down. Meds, etc. I can't really get in a confortable position and I am runing aout of air very easily.
I hate this. I don't know if this is worth it at all. My back hurts and it is an an odd position, so it its my brace. I f I want to lay down everynght presses to my chest. My back in general is very tied and presses up into my diaprham. I don't know what to do
I call Dr. Pashman yesterday and he said that I was having a panick attack...
He barely saw me when I was in the hospital and everytime I told him thta this feels wrong, he said ahhh you look great!
I am having really bad thoughts right now, and I am fully regretting this.
Pilar

JenniferG
12-18-2010, 03:17 PM
Hi Pilar. After waiting so long for this surgery and having to jump through so many hoops, I am wondering if the excitement of finally getting the surgery means you didn't think much about the pain and discomfort associated with the early days after surgery. I hear what you're saying but this discomfort is probably normal this early out - you had a huge surgery. Everything inside your back is in a different position. It's scary if things don't feel normal. It sounds like your pain meds aren't doing the trick. Perhaps if they were reducing the pain a lot better, you wouldn't feel quite so awkward/uncomfortable/in the wrong position because you wouldn't be aware of it.

Are you recuperating at home on your own? Do you have people around you to take care of you? I would hope you're not going through this on your own, because I feel all these worries would seem much bigger and more worrisome on your own. It's very early days for you, but if you still feel something's not quite right in another few weeks, I would certainly get back to Dr. Pashman and not be brushed off. When is your first follow up appt with him? X-rays might put your mind at ease.

These first few weeks are not pleasant and all sorts of worries go through your mind. At the point you're at, I was still in hospital and I only had the one surgery.

My suggestion is to see your GP and see if you can increase your meds just for the next week or two, to get over this difficult time.

jeneemohler
12-18-2010, 06:48 PM
Hang in there, Pilar! Yes, it IS very early, and you will only get better as time goes by. Keep looking forward to where you will be after this is all done. Someday this will be a memory and you will probably be so glad you went through with it, like most of our friends here on the forum are. Keep writing and venting, and we will keep cheering you on!!

naptown78
12-18-2010, 08:21 PM
Pilar
It is very hard to stay calm when your pain is out of control. Call your surgeon and let him know that your pain medicine is not doing the trick. The first weeks of recovery are sometimes rough but you will get through it. Your brace can be filed down if it is pressing on your chin or armpits. I had to have mine cut a little off of the top because every time I sat down it would press up under my chin and I felt choked. My brace guy did it. (for free). But your first step is to get that pain under control! Good luck Pilar and Merry Christmas ;-)))

gmw
12-18-2010, 09:18 PM
Hang in there Pilar. Those first few weeks are really tough and I think we all wonder if we've done the right thing at some point during that time. Things do get better. :)

titaniumed
12-18-2010, 09:35 PM
Pilar

I knew this one was coming. You had very complicated surgeries. I was regretting it also, but knew I had to get through it and eventually it all turned out great.

Everything will be ok, you just have to hang through this, itís the hardest part. Itís the ďsurvival modeĒ part of major surgeries. You can do this!

The first few days are total hell. I was on Oxycodone and was switched to Percoset 7.5ís. and couldnít sleep more than 1 hour a day....The foam topper will help with sleep.... I paced quite a bit since sitting was so difficult. Walking is important....

I hope you have someone there helping out....you need to eat.....Can you get in the shower? The heat feels good.

Does Dr Pashman have nurses coming over every day? If not, ask to have them come over, they will do that. They came to my place everyday.
Ed

leahdragonfly
12-19-2010, 11:06 AM
Hi Pilar,

I am so sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. I completely empathize with you though, as I could have written your post when I was 10 days post-op. The first 2-3 weeks are complete hell. (I am almost 10 weeks post-op now so it is all fresh in my mind).

I experienced all of the things you mentioned in the first 2 weeks: severe pain not well controlled, severe constipation which makes you miserable in so many ways, anxiety that would crop up at night especially, when I would think OMG what did I do to my back, etc. I went from having essentially no lumbar lordosis to having 90 degrees of lordosis, and it felt extremely unnatural at first. I am now getting used to it (at 9 weeks post-op), but it is a huge adjustment, and it is really easy to feel anxious and upset about how your back feels.

I wonder if you are anemic, since you mention getting out of breath so easily. Might be something to ask about.

Your back muscles have a huge adjustment to make, and I'm sure you have lots of internal swelling all through your back (I did, everybody does). All of this contributes to your back feeling so incredibly tight and stiff. This improves with time. Your doctor may allow you to lay on a heating pad, I still do this every afternoon.

You got great advice from Ed, take hot showers if you can. They do help! And try to get outside even for 5 minutes a couple of times per day. Have someone go with you so you don't feel so vulnerable at first. Try to drink plenty of fluids, and see if you can increase your pain meds. A few days of visiting nurses would be helpful too I'm sure. Don't be afraid to keep calling Dr Pashman's office until you get your pain under control. Once your pain improves and your swelling goes down, you will be able to stand better, and this might improve the weird feelings in your back.

I felt like absolute shit for the first 12 days, in pain and throwing up all day long too. I went back to the ER on night 10 and truly was afraid I could die, because I had such uncontrolled back and abdominal pain and uncontrolled vomitting. Amazingly though, by day 14 I had turned the first corner and things have improved tremendously each week since then. They will for you, too.

Until then, please know we are all here pulling for you. Please post again soon and let us know how you are doing.

lray
12-19-2010, 12:00 PM
Welcome home Pilar. I'm so sorry that you are having so much pain. Like others have said, you should get in touch with Dr Pashman and try some other pain meds. Yes, the first few weeks home are HELL. When you are so miserable its normal to question your decision to have this surgery. People ask me all the time if the surgery was woth it, and at 11 weeks postop I still can't say Yes or No because of my frustration of not being "normal" yet. I tell people to ask me at 6 months.

I hope you have support at home, and like Ed said, a memory foam mattress topper. We all hope that you find pain relief soon!

pilar
12-19-2010, 01:49 PM
Thanks everyone! you truly understand me...
I feel like every day gets worse for me instead of getting better...
Today I woke up with a crhonic chest pain due to my ribs. They are pressing through the chest wall at the sternum... It really hurts. I am in Hell!
This was a really bad idea and timing to do this... It's affecting my relationship with people and partner.
I think I trade no pain and deformity for lots of pain. The correction was suppouse to be great. Dr. Pashman told me that I went from 100 degrees to 40 degrees approx. I am afraid that he focuses to much on the degree of correction and his achievement that In the pain and discomfort that I am. I am really out of breath with a lot of tietness and pressure on my right chest/breast. Really going out of my mind in here... It has only been a week and the pain and discomfort is getting worst. I don't understand. How did it get better for all of you guys. Ah, and nurses coming home are not an option for me...
In hated that he discharged me only for 4 days post-op and me saying I don't feel well. who does that?

Singer
12-19-2010, 03:00 PM
Pilar, I'm sorry you are going through this. I can't imagine why you weren't sent to rehab, where pain management is usually fine-tuned, after that big of a surgery. If I were you, I would make a very insistent call to Dr. Pashman to make adjustments to your pain medication, or even to the ER for more aggressive pain relief. Yes, the immediate post-op period is very hard, but it's not supposed to be unbearable!!

JenniferG
12-19-2010, 03:54 PM
Discharged at 4 days post op? After such a huge surgery? I'm sorry, I know this sounds very emotional, but that's inhuman. I'm horrified. It takes longer than that just to fine tune your medication without anything else. To send you home to be cared for by lay people....it's just not right.

loves to skate
12-19-2010, 05:57 PM
Thanks everyone! you truly understand me...
I feel like every day gets worse for me instead of getting better...
Today I woke up with a crhonic chest pain due to my ribs. They are pressing through the chest wall at the sternum... It really hurts. I am in Hell!
This was a really bad idea and timing to do this... It's affecting my relationship with people and partner.
I think I trade no pain and deformity for lots of pain. The correction was suppouse to be great. Dr. Pashman told me that I went from 100 degrees to 40 degrees approx. I am afraid that he focuses to much on the degree of correction and his achievement that In the pain and discomfort that I am. I am really out of breath with a lot of tietness and pressure on my right chest/breast. Really going out of my mind in here... It has only been a week and the pain and discomfort is getting worst. I don't understand. How did it get better for all of you guys. Ah, and nurses coming home are not an option for me...
In hated that he discharged me only for 4 days post-op and me saying I don't feel well. who does that?

Pilar,
So sorry you are in so much pain. Is this because of your insurance that you were sent home in 4 days and can't have a visiting nurse, or is this the Doctor? I know some insurances won't cover rehab hospitals. It is unconscionable that your Doctor didn't get your pain under control before he released you from the hospital. I couldn't even figure our how to use my cell phone, much less use a computer on day 4. You definitely need more pain medication in my opinion. Call your Doctor now and if he isn't available, call his on call person. Don't wait. Sending you love and gentle hugs!
Sally

naptown78
12-19-2010, 06:09 PM
Pilar,
If you are having chest pain and shortness of breath, you should call your doctor right away. These are not normal symptoms in my opinion.

jrnyc
12-19-2010, 06:24 PM
so very sorry to hear how you are suffering, Pilar...
most doctors/surgeons respond when a patient says they cant breathe!
maybe if you call and emphasize that...sometimes you have to make a lot of noise to get the right attention...
doesn't sound as if your pain meds are helping much...
i am so sorry you weren't sent to a rehab!

thoughts and prayers are with you for the worst to be over, and the healing to get easier...

jess

titaniumed
12-19-2010, 06:52 PM
Pilar
It was 7 days after your posterior....12/10-12/17 which was the same time I spent, and I ran out of the hospital as soon as I could,(my decision) and WAS rough when I got home....I went on orals when I got home and had a really hard time with the pain ...anteriors, especially if they remove bone hurt like heck. My ileus didnít help...Breathing is difficult, as moving everything is so delicate. Try to maintain, if you cant hang, go to the emergency room. Distress will get you in very quickly.

Once again, the one thing that helped my bone and nerve pain was the hot 106 degree bath water. You have to watch your incisionís close as an incisional infection is something you donít want. I used an anti-bacterial soap after getting out of the tub each time in a shower, and changed my dressings daily. You should be getting your staples out soon, ask about this.

The people in your life need to know that you just had a 10 level ďextremeĒ surgery. They need to understand that recoveries from these long A/Pís are tougher than anything they can possibly imagine.....and patience and a little understanding is needed. You deserve a little pampering right now. If I were in LA, I would be over there right now.

Show them my x-ray, yours will look just like mine, as we are the same levels. It will help them understand the magnitude... everything has been moved, cut, and bone has been ground away. Your body is in overtime trying to heal, it hurts, and its tiring because it takes so much energy.

This wasnít a bad idea, it was something that had to happen and no time is a good time. I know it is overwhelming, and feels so strange, but believe me, your going to get through this. Say this to yourself often, ďIím strong, Iím going to make itĒ. Your going to do this and everything is going to be just fine. I did.

If you want to talk, PM your phone # to me. Iím here.
Ed

pilar
12-20-2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks ED and Thank you so much everyone!
My curves and deformity were a lot grater than most of yours, and even though I am 32 years old and somehow healthy, The manipulation was so big that It is impossible not to have this kind of pain... I know that.
However, I still feel that I should have stayed at the hospital at least for a week post op... They took the catherere and made me get up, and thats it! Ok, she is fine... Next.
That's how I feel.
I am wearing a brace right now, and If it wasn't for this brace I will be in such a bad pain. That is the main reason why it is so hard for me to go to sleep, because I take the brace off to go to bed, all the pain irradiates and concentrates in my back. It gets so tight that it is hard to breath... especially on the side that I got the ribs taken out!
I also feel the hardware, yes, the rods, I feel them burning right next to my shoulder blades.
My new position makes my stomach to stick out putting a lot of pressure in my lumbars. I also haven't been able to go to the bathroom, I am very constipated. I am taking Miralax and eating activia everyday, but nothing happens. This, of course, gives me that extra pain that we all love so much.
I can continue with my discomfort and pains list, but I don't want to bore you.
Now, If any of these sounds weird to you please, let me know.
Also, how long until you were able to move around witouht the brace feeling somehow normal?
Thanks
Pilar

rich1752
12-20-2010, 09:39 PM
Pilar,
been there and done that. I had mine on December 9th of last year. When I got home, had tremendous pain, couldn't sleep, couldn't walk, couldn't eat. I would throw up everything I ate. I regretted having the surgery, but I had to look ahead. I would sleep on a recliner. I would sit there, until I got too tired to stay awake. I told my wife that I regretted having the surgery. I turned the corner about a month after, thats when it got easier. Christmas was a horrible time. I was in pain the whole time, but pain pills helped. I also had my surgery at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills and then had a 4 hour drive after surgery. I hated that also.

rich

Elisa
12-20-2010, 09:44 PM
Pilar, I can almost imagine your pain by the way you're describing it. I've never had surgery before but I do hope you get your pain under control soon you poor thing.

Doodles
12-20-2010, 09:54 PM
Pilar--
So sorry this has been so especially painful for you. The quick "out" seems ridiculous. I was in 8 days hospital and 8 days rehab--& still had a really tough time. I wish you a much better holiday and pain relief for the New Year! Keep taking that Miralax. Janet

karena
12-30-2010, 07:04 PM
Hi Pilar, so many pains, info, what to do. It helps me to read everything, no matter how old to get me thru' the pain. Mine was hell. 4 er visits. I had no breath to catch and went to ER right away. Good thing. The pain in my chest was 1 litre of water on my lungs, and they don't know why it came up. My chest tube was clear, I too, came home after 4 days with 7 discs replaced/+ hardware.

The first week or 2 I black out too much pain. My mom said all I said was "I want to die" over and over. Then the pain meds, what a pain!! My RX doc friend gave me a lecture (when I was able like 1.5 months later) and said every person is different. What works for me may not work for you. Unfortunately, it is trial and error to what meds work best. I went thru' 3 before I found the right 'cocktail'. Please email me back if you feel like it.

I prayed, did positive talk, walked, had lots of friends visit, and became aware of the least little improvement and thanked God for it. I still do this. I am not out of the woods yet, now have nerve issues for at least 8 more months. Karen