View Full Version : Over two weeks since surgery -- getting a little better each day

07-23-2011, 06:14 PM
Written Thurs., July 21

Hi, everyone, and thanks for all your good wishes. My surgery was Tuesday, July 5th and I came home on the 10th.

The surgery was three hours long and went smoothly. I'm fused T2-T12. I found the Hospital for Special Surgery to be a tightly-run ship, full of very professional, kind people. My first night was in the PACU, and my second night I was in a shared room but had no roommate. I had a roommate for the next two nights, and after she checked out, another one for my last night. Although I found the night nurses to be prompt, I was glad I had hired a private duty nurse's aide for the night shifts. It was great having her there to help me turn over, reach things, get water, get me cleaned up in the mornings and evenings, etc. Having roommates was helpful, too, because it seemed there were always nurses around tending to my roommates (both in for knee surgery) and I could get their attention easily. Strangely, the second day after the surgery was my easiest, most pain-free day. The next two days and nights I was in a lot more discomfort. I think Thursday morning was when I had my last dose of the PCA (patient-controlled analgesia) pump before they took it away. (I hated to see that thing go.)

On Saturday, I think, (it's all sort of a foggy memory now) I got the oxycodone amount increased. Sunday afternoon I went home to NJ. The potholes on the drive back didn't bother me but sitting up straight for over an hour was hard. After a meal of take-out sushi (in retrospect, not the smartest idea), I started to feel more and more abdominal discomfort. This went on through the next day until I called the doctor's office in the evening. The doctor on call said to reduce the oxycodone or I would get more constipated. That night, and the next day and night were pretty painful (from back pain--the abdominal pain was gone) so on Wednesday morning I called the doctor's office and Lindy increased the oxycodone back up to what it originally was when I got home. I'm also taking Tylenol, which helps a lot. (Sorry to go into so much detail--I see this post is getting very long even though my surgery was very simple and straightforward. I am absolutely in awe of all you who've gone through longer fusions and much more complicated surgeries.) I'm not sure why I'm writing in such detail except that it helps me remember everything better. So far my main advice is: don't hesitate to call and ask for more pain relief if you're suffering. (Also, don't eat sushi when you come home from the hospital.) The funny thing is: I don't think it was really constipation I had after that dinner--it was a huge amount of bloating and gas build-up. Luckily, I remembered what sarahcant had written about such matters and had my husband go out and buy several boxes of Gas-X. It helped tremendously. Ever since I got the oxycodone increased I've been doing much better. Also, I started taking Valium Tuesday night for muscle relaxation, and last night I slept pretty well for a change. My main problem now is that I find it very uncomfortable to sit in a chair or sofa for more than a few minutes. I also can't lie on my back for very long. Maybe that's par for the course. My first six days home I took all my meals in bed and pretty much stayed there all day except for walks inside and outside. In desperation, I had my husband go out and buy a petite-sized recliner, which was delivered my seventh day home. I sit in it (almost upright) for meals and for brief periods throughout the day. I'm trying to walk a lot--I took three 15-minute walks outside today.

Written Fri., July 22

Had a terrible night's sleep last night; maybe I overdid it with the walking yesterday. Overall, though, I am in very good spirits. I feel extremely lucky to have Dr. Boachie as my doctor, and Lindy, his nurse, is just great. I've had four visits from the Visiting Nurse Assoc. of NJ, and they are a big morale-booster, too. My first post-op visit is Aug. 15th and I'm really excited to hear what Dr. Boachie has to say about everything.

I can't imagine how I could have gone through this without all the information, advice and camaraderie of this forum. Thank you, everyone, so much.

Mary, 54 years old
T57, L43
surgery - 7/05/11 - Dr. Boachie , Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
T2-T12, posterior

07-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Congratulations Mary! You sound like you are doing very well. I also had trouble sitting for the first few weeks, but it gradually improves. I think there are a few of us who had the same problem.

Overall, your recovery is well on track and you must be so glad to have it over and done with!

07-23-2011, 08:00 PM
Glad to hear you are doing better and better! Was saying prayers for you during and right after your surgery.

Thank you giving us information on what works and what doesn't work.

I never have had ANY inclination to eat sushi, so I'll be spared that experience. :-)

Glad to see you back on the forum....

07-23-2011, 08:06 PM
I think you are doing amazingly well and so soon! Just keep on healing--even though it's slow you are on the right track. Congrats on being home. Janet

07-23-2011, 10:28 PM
Mary congrats on being on the ortherside

07-25-2011, 09:27 PM
welcome to "the other side"!!!! Hang in there, it's rough for a while but you'll get through!

Prayers that you have a smooth recovery with no major complications!

Keep us posted (as much as you feel up too!)


07-26-2011, 12:58 AM
Itís a fine line balancing the oxycodone and sushi. Whew! Donít worry, your digestive tract will forgive you. (smiley face)


07-26-2011, 12:03 PM
Hi Mary, thanks for the 'long' narrative you provided us, pls don't apologize for it. I am scheduled mid-October with Dr. Boachie and eagerly--perhaps obsessively--read all I can about the surgery itself, as well as specifics on Boachie and HSS. Your day by day helps me prepare. I can't do the private nurse--and guess I will keep my fingers crossed that the help will be there when I need.
I'm in nj as well, and the route from NYC can be quite full of potholes! I'm hoping will be filled by then--oy!
congrats on the surgery, I look forward to 'the other side'. Thanks for the insight

07-26-2011, 07:34 PM
Congratulations on being "on the other side." You'll feel better and better with time.

07-28-2011, 08:07 PM
Mary, we broke down after a week and rented an electric recliner from rent a center. For $25 a week it was invaluable. It looked a lot like this http://www6.rentacenter.com/Rent/Furniture/Living-Rooms/Recliners-and-Accent-Chairs/Ashley-74800.html but had a remote for reclining, and then it stayed with me until I was almost standing all the way up. I slept in it for 2 weeks, transferring between the chair and my bed upstairs. Then one day, I was uncomfortable in it and needed a firm seat instead. Go figure. That's when we called to have it picked up.

Maybe that will help you?

Good luck and keep going!

07-31-2011, 07:03 PM
Read your post...I too was very sorry after I gave into some cravings after the surgery but I am so happy that something I said came in handy! Gas-x has been a real lifesaver because I still have terrible bloating after some foods. I went to a holistic nutrionist that took me off of wheat, dairy and all gluten and I am much better. I never had this problem before the surgery but I guess being able to walk and stand again is the price I gotta pay! Glad to hear your doing so well...good luck with your recovery and enjoy the nice weather.