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View Full Version : Is this unusual? passedout!



golfnut
02-02-2011, 08:07 AM
Yesterday, I was one day shy of being 1 month post-op. I feel like I've been doing really well walking laps inside and on a few nice days, walked quite a bit with my walker and husband outside. When I walk my laps, I take my walker, but if it's just a brief walk from the dining room to the bedroom, I don't use it because i want to practice swinging my arms naturally and I'm very steady on my feet.(I thought)
I just had breakfast and took my pills (I'm still on oxycotin) and walked to the bedroom, briefly looked at my Ipad, and then headed to the bathroom for a shower. I got really llight headed and grabbed the doorway. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor. My husband was in the hallway and helped break my fall. I didn't feel any pain other than hitting my head. My biggest worry was that I did something to mess up one of the screws. Dr. Lenke's office didn't seem as concerned as I was and didn't request any new xrays.
I am just so disppointed that I am not as indedpendent as I thought I was at this point. I just can't believe I blacked out adter a month of doing well.

KathK
02-02-2011, 11:28 AM
Goodness, Karen, I'm sorry to hear that you fell. That would be frightening. I definitely used to get light headed when I would go from laying down to standing. I would always make sure to sit on the edge of my bed for several minutes before standing. If Dr. Lenke is not concerned and if your back does not hurt, then try not to worry too much about it. It's not a sign of weakness to use the walker. I used mine for a long time!

Hope you were on the "rain side" of this storm. We have ice and I am not going anywhere!

JamieAnn
02-02-2011, 12:23 PM
Wow, I'm glad you are ok other than being a little freaked out!

I was very surprised at how light headed I got at the same post-op time as you. I used to shower and then have a really limited amount of time afterwards that I had to sit. One time my mother was re-dressing my bandage and I had to sit down very quickly - I started to see stars. I also vomited a few times after walking around too much and that is very unlike me!

I actually was surprised to see how active you are for so early.

So, I really think this is normal. I can understand from my own experience how odd that feels, when you are usually so in control of your body. You will have strange thigns like this happen and I think you will hear this over and over - this is all part of the recovery.

Keep us posted!

golfnut
02-02-2011, 12:23 PM
Kathy,

It really did scare me as well as surprise me. I hadn't been light headed at all, except in the hospital when I first tried to sit up. I think it scared John even more. Now, he is driving me crazy!!!!! I put in a call to Kelly to see if I can get off the oxycontin. It does the trick for the pain, but I think I'd like to try something not quite so strong, even if I'm a little more uncomfortable.
We got the ice and snow, so there won't be any more outside walking for a while. I can't wait until spring!!!

jrnyc
02-02-2011, 01:12 PM
hi Karen
is there any chance you have low blood pressure...or that the pills might be lowering it, without you knowing it?
do you own a blood pressure cuff to check?

hope you feel better...
and the ground hogs said early spring, so we can all hope they are right!

jess

jeneemohler
02-02-2011, 02:17 PM
Jess-that is a very legitimate question. I normally have extremely high blood pressure, and have actually had low blood pressure since surgery-and without taking any meds for it anymore. I DO check my pressure quite often because of this... Check your pressure, Karen!

Karen, sorry to hear about this. I almost have the feeling of waiting for something like that to happen, since I have been doing so well. I think we forget that this is a long recovery, and an everchanging one. I believe there is lots of little bumps ahead for us. Nothing serious, but just normal little things. I am just so disappointed to discover that I may NOT be superwoman. Not all the time, anyway! Hang in there Karen-we are still so early in the process...

I always use my walker when I first get up, or if I get up in the night to use the restroom. I just don't trust my body enough to not use it. Even though I feel very steady... I will walk around the house without it after I've been up for awhile, and I always have my brace on. Remember the story of my husband's customer who was being stubborn and wouldn't use his walker? He fell and broke his back and had to start over at square one. I DON'T want to be that stubborn. There is a fine line between being stubborn or being just plain silly. Or I guess I can say it-stupid!

golfnut
02-02-2011, 03:45 PM
Thanks for your responses. I have to realize that I had major surgery and I'm not superwoman, especially at age 60. Dr. Lenke doesn't have his patients use braces so I'd better be even more careful from now on. Jess, I have always had low blood pressure. We have the blood pressure cuff and used it after talking to Dr. Lenke's office.

peachrush7
02-02-2011, 08:30 PM
so sorry to hear about your fall! thank goodness your husband was there to catch you! i too have been feeling VERY lightheaded when I stand up after laying down for a while. I will be more cautious about it though after reading this, it would be awful to end up back in hospital so soon. I have low blood-pressure normally, and my dr warned me about hot showers lowering my blood pressure even more after surgery. In the first 2 weeks I remember having to lay down immediately after showering, but it's not so bad now. But I'll be careful and keep the walker near the shower!

We had our surgeries so close together, and it sounds like we are at about the same place! Over the last week and a half I've finally see my pain drop significantly, and I am considering asking to step down to hydrocodone (i'm still taking oxycodone, one every 4-6 hours) and feel like I could switch down a level. But, I'm nervous about it, and go back and forth. So for now I'm just working on taking it every 6 hours consistently before I switch completely.

I'm walking for 30 minutes inside without a walker, and am able to sit for a full hour without any support, several times a day. Having to wear this bone growth stimulator thing has really forced me to be up, either walking or sitting straight up for 4 hours a day, and made me build my strength up a little faster than I probably would have without it. I can't lay down in it because it hurts when it presses against my back, so I use those 4 hours (broken up into one hour segments) to walk and sit. haha, sometimes I think I sound like I'm a baby, saying things like "i'm walking really well now," or "i'm able to sleep through the night" like these are big accomplishments =) ...i guess they are big accomplishments after this surgery, it just cracks me up sometimes when I hear myself saying it.

hope you don't have any more trouble!!

briarrose
02-02-2011, 11:51 PM
I just wanted to say that I passed out and fell twice after my surgery. The first time was 5 days post-op in the hospital (fell in the bathroom by myself and woke up on a bed to Code Blue announcements). It was thought that I passed out from low hemoglobin (I think it was 7.6 or 7.8). I had x-rays done after this fall to make sure everything was still in place. I passed out 2 weeks after that at home by myself. I was taking a shower and felt horrible. I got out of the shower, sat down and woke up on the floor with the curtains down and the trash can knocked over. I don't know why I passed out that time. It could have been for the same reason as the first, but I know people told me that hot showers can do that to you early on in recovery.

I hope it doesn't happen to you again! It sounds like you are having a good recovery and are doing a lot. Keep up the good work, but be careful not to over do it!

golfnut
02-03-2011, 09:03 AM
Well, I am definitely more careful. Probably having low blood pressure naturally doesn't help. I have now heard from 3 people that passed out in the shower. It just seems that we should have a huge printout of warnings! I know if I was told anything verbally by the doctors or nurses in the hospital there would be no memory of it.

jeneemohler
02-03-2011, 12:40 PM
Because I'm always cautious to a a fault, I won't take a shower unless my husband is home and with me in the bathroom. Sometimes that means waiting until the evening, but so be it! Sounds like I made a good decision. Scary to wake up on the floor. And doesn't the bottle on the pain meds say it can cause dizziness and lightheadedness? We just have to be careful and smart. None of us want to go through this again if not necessary!!!

backissues
02-04-2011, 12:00 PM
I'm sorry to hear you fell. That is frightening.

When I was on the oxycontin, I was dizzy when I sat up and sometimes when I stood up. Try to get off it and I think you will see a big difference. While on oxycontin, I lost my appetite and wasn't eating or taking in enough sodium or potassium. Thus, I got dehydrated and ended up in the hospital for a few days. This was 3 weeks post-op. At that time, I went off the oxycontin and felt better all around.

I was on Dilaudid for a few weeks and that didn't have the same side-effects as the oxycontin. See if Tylenol 650 mg (Arthritis Strength) helps at all. I know you have to watch for liver function.

I have other problems with referred pain to my abdomen and am on Gabapentin (Neurontin). However, it doesn't have the same side-effects as the oxycontin.

Good luck!!

golfnut
02-04-2011, 03:34 PM
Jenee'-I'm trying to be smarter. The first time just took me by surprise because I had moved from sittting to walking for 3 weeks without hesitating. Also, Irene, I stopped the oxycontin 2 days ago and I feel more like myself. I hope you have your abdomen issues resolved.

jeneemohler
02-04-2011, 06:35 PM
I really do think the oxycontin and oxycodone are major culprits in so many ways.

I have been slowly cutting down my oxycodone- by half now. I started with one here and one there during waking hours if I was feeling really well. And I quit setting my alarm for the night oxycodone doses. Next week, I am going to cut out the oxycontin (long acting) during the day and use only the oxycodone (short acting) as needed.
I still take the long acting during the night to help me sleep. I don't know why, but I always wake up between 2 and 4 am, and again at 5:30 or so. Then I sleep really well from 6-9 am. I don't wake up with any extra pain, so maybe I'm just still on the old work schedule... I got up between 2:30 and 5:30 am for over 20 years.
So my overall intake has decreased quite a bit, if you count all the milligrams. I try to drop only a little at a time, and do it for most, if not all, of the week so that I don't have those horrible withdrawal symptoms. I haven't had any yet. Knock on wood! Gradually and methodically is working for me!

Karen, I sure wish we lived close so we could walk, since we had our surgeries so close together and are at the same stage. Bummer! It is hard to motivate myself to go out alone. I don't have anyone around here to walk with, and we haven't lived here too long, so I don't really know people in this community yet. I guess this will be a good way to get to know the neighbors!

I wish I didn't have to wear the brace. The opinion seems to be divided on this one. I see and agree with the reasoning on both sides. I think they both have legitimate arguments. I know part of it is reminding the patient to not bend or twist. But I wore that brace for all those high school years, and it taught me to permanently hold myself in that posture. So I do a little of both. If there is a chance that my footing isn't secure out walking, I wear it. We are out in the woods. (I think of that guy who broke his back...) I use it when I first get up in the morning when I'm still stiff and not "warmed up" yet. Then I take it off when I'm up for shorter periods, and just around the house. But I'm very cautious and aware of area rugs, etc. I don't want to have my muscles atrophy- but we really aren't doing much, with OR without the brace! The only time it seems to really help me is when I'm tired and it supports me a little better.
I hope you don't have any more episodes! This recovery is so strange, with all the things that happen to people. I'm prepared for just about anything to happen!!!

golfnut
02-05-2011, 09:49 AM
Jenee',
I haven't been out of the house in over a week because we have ice and snow. I'm really bored walking laps in our house. I know I'd be walking a lot more if I could just get outside or to the Y. I am not taking oxy. at all and just Norco when needed. I haven't had any withdrawal symptoms, thank goodness! I can't wait for an improvement in weather which will lift my spirits! (The high for next week is 21 degrees)

backissues
02-06-2011, 11:02 AM
Karen,
I'm glad to hear you are off the oxy and feeling better. You might want to put something in the shower to hold onto to steady yourself.

I am on Neurontin (Gabapentin) for the pain in my upper abdomen. It does help by reducing the pain from 8 to 3 or 4. If I lay down for a while, I have no pain. On the other hand, when I start walking for more than 10 minutes I start getting the pain again. So, I'm not walking for exercise much.

On the other hand, I have gone shopping (last week for the first time - it feels great) and walked next to and not hanging over the cart. I have no pain in my legs for the first time in about 25 years when I stand or walk. My husband pushes the cart. However, after a while, my pain starts in my abdomen just as if I walked for exercise.

Tomorrow is my 9-week checkup with the surgeon. I saw him about the pain Jan. 10. Let's see what he has to say. I would hate to think that I traded in the pain in my legs while standing and walking for pain in my abdomen.

As for dropping things, my cell phone fell out of my pocket into the toilet. My husband had to retrieve it because I can't bend over. Talk about the "dropsies."

golfnut
02-06-2011, 12:07 PM
Irene,
Let us know about your next check-up. Hopefully, they can get the abdomen problem taken care of. Great news with no pain in your legs!
How's the cell phone? I hope your husband retrieved it in time that it still works.

backissues
02-06-2011, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the good wishes.

No, the cell phone didn't work. Hence, the need to go shopping for a new one. The shopping got me out of the house and made me feel almost "normal."

I'll report on tomorrow's visit with the surgeon.

LaurieAnne
02-06-2011, 03:37 PM
Karen,
I'm glad to hear you are off the oxy and feeling better. You might want to put something in the shower to hold onto to steady yourself.

I am on Neurontin (Gabapentin) for the pain in my upper abdomen. It does help by reducing the pain from 8 to 3 or 4. If I lay down for a while, I have no pain. On the other hand, when I start walking for more than 10 minutes I start getting the pain again. So, I'm not walking for exercise much.

On the other hand, I have gone shopping (last week for the first time - it feels great) and walked next to and not hanging over the cart. I have no pain in my legs for the first time in about 25 years when I stand or walk. My husband pushes the cart. However, after a while, my pain starts in my abdomen just as if I walked for exercise.

Tomorrow is my 9-week checkup with the surgeon. I saw him about the pain Jan. 10. Let's see what he has to say. I would hate to think that I traded in the pain in my legs while standing and walking for pain in my abdomen.

As for dropping things, my cell phone fell out of my pocket into the toilet. My husband had to retrieve it because I can't bend over. Talk about the "dropsies."

Hi there, I just wondered if your abdominal pain could possibly a hernia. I've heard that spine surgery like this can cause or worsen a hernia. Just a thought. Hope you feel better soon!

debbei
02-09-2011, 05:44 AM
I remember getting light-headed several times during the first month or so, and I'm also another one with normal low blood pressure. I think the pain meds just make it lower, so you have to be careful. For weeks I used a shower chair when showering, and my husband also installed 2 stainless steel handles in the shower that I would hold onto in the shower, especially when I closed my eyes to rinse my hair.