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TwinmomTN
04-18-2012, 08:20 PM
Hi everyone,

I received news yesterday that my surgery would be this Friday, April 20th, instead of May 21st! So it has been a whirlwind of activity to prepare for surgery on such short notice 300 miles away from home but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go ahead with the procedure. It has been a long agonizing wait. We traveled from Nashville to St. Louis arriving at 11:00 last night, full day of pre-op testing today, central line and anesthesia meeting tomorrow. We are to arrive at hospital at 4:00 AM on Friday. Wish me luck!

Pam

Kat3573
04-18-2012, 08:23 PM
Good luck pam!!!!!!

Hope u have a super fast, painless recovery! I have a 53 degree scoliosis and im stuck in a brace I hope to get surgery soon!

Good luck with everything!

Doodles
04-18-2012, 08:36 PM
Pam--
That's fantastic! A month early! Not having to go through the long wait is a really good thing. Best wishes to you on your surgery and have a smooth steady recovery. Janet

mdtaffet
04-18-2012, 08:46 PM
Good luck!

Seems like a lot of people go to St. Louis, so I'm guessing you'll be in very good hands....

KathK
04-18-2012, 09:14 PM
Pam,

You will do just fine! What levels are you having fused? You are in great hands!

Kathy

TwinmomTN
04-18-2012, 09:45 PM
Pam,

You will do just fine! What levels are you having fused? You are in great hands!

Kathy


Fused from T-4 to sacrum . Thanks everyone.

mabeckoff
04-18-2012, 09:53 PM
Hope all goes well

JenniferG
04-18-2012, 10:52 PM
Great news! You've saved yourself that difficult last month, as Janet says. All the best for a great outcome and a smooth recovery.

Confusedmom
04-18-2012, 10:53 PM
Pam,

That's my exact same levels. I think he does that a lot. You will be "easy" for him. He told me I was a 3 out of 10 on the scale of difficulty of his operations.

Best,
Evelyn

LSKOCH5
04-19-2012, 04:37 AM
Best of luck Pam. Will be praying for a successful surgery & speedy full recovery. How great that you didn't have that last full month of thinking about it all.

TwinmomTN
04-19-2012, 05:40 AM
Thanks so much for all the well wishes. I am so thankful for this forum for all the knowledge and experience that has been invaluable. I'm sure I will have a lot more questions in the coming weeks.

Nerves are setting in today now that I've had time to catch my breath. Have to get last minute items forgotten to pack for hospital like a button up shirt. I packed in such a hurry that I forgot and just brought t- shirts.

Evelyn, your curves measure exactly as mine but I am a lot older than you at 48 and with a stiff twisted curve. He said I would be a 3-4 on difficulty scale.

I will ask my husband to post updates until I am able. Thanks again everyone for all the support.

Pam

amelot
04-19-2012, 07:02 AM
I was there for my first visit. How exciting for you to almost be on the other side!

Marina63
04-19-2012, 09:36 AM
WooHoo!! Congrats Pat! Wishing you all the best!!

rockycarm
04-19-2012, 07:11 PM
Hi everyone,

I received news yesterday that my surgery would be this Friday, April 20th, instead of May 21st! So it has been a whirlwind of activity to prepare for surgery on such short notice 300 miles away from home but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go ahead with the procedure. It has been a long agonizing wait. We traveled from Nashville to St. Louis arriving at 11:00 last night, full day of pre-op testing today, central line and anesthesia meeting tomorrow. We are to arrive at hospital at 4:00 AM on Friday. Wish me luck!

Pam

Much luck to you Pam, prayers are with you. I am scheduled for May 16th and have been waiting for about 4 months. I think the wait is worse so glad you are going early. Just think, 4 weeks earlier to having a straight pain-free back. Keep us posted.

golfnut
04-19-2012, 08:30 PM
Pam,
Best of luck tomorrow. I'll be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. Dr. Lenke and his entire team are outstanding. We'll be anxious to hear from your husband tomorrow. My fusion is also T4-sacrum.

titaniumed
04-19-2012, 08:31 PM
Pam

Oh boy, well time to get it done....you will do just fine.

Ed

TwinmomTN
04-19-2012, 08:51 PM
It provides tons of encouragement that others have made it thru successfully. Hasn't been a lot of time to fret due to all the prep but reality has set in tonite. I humbly apprecIate all the prayers and well wishes. Hubby will post here hopefully since I gave him a brief iPad tutorial lesson tonight. See you on the other side!

mdtaffet
04-19-2012, 09:27 PM
Pam,

Good luck tomorrow! When you're back in the swing of things, you might want to change your signature since your date was moved.

-- Best wishes,
Mary

Spring72
04-19-2012, 10:12 PM
thinking of you...and hoping for a smooth recovery, you are in good hands. See you on the otherside

TwinmomTN
04-20-2012, 08:11 AM
This is Pam's husband. I received the 1st update at 8am as promised. Things are proceeding fine. They started the procedure at 7. We got here at 4 and they carried her back to the OR at 6. I'll give another update later this morning. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Confusedmom
04-20-2012, 08:23 AM
Thank you for the update! Keep them coming. I will be praying for Pam all day! I am confident she will do very well.

Best,
Evelyn

TwinmomTN
04-20-2012, 10:31 AM
I got update 2 at 10:15...they have a couple of screws in the bottom...no ETA yet but the nurse said it was progressing nicely. With the short notice of the surgery Pam didn't have much time to get nervous, but it hit us pretty hard this morning. I think the knowledge from this forum probably helped lessen that some.

I'll post another update tis afternoon

TwinmomTN
04-20-2012, 12:30 PM
So far so good. They're putting rods in now. Should be done by 2pm

TwinmomTN
04-20-2012, 02:59 PM
I just spoke w/ Dr. L and he says everything went great...she is in recovery now. I'll post again later. TY for all the thoughts and prayers

Confusedmom
04-20-2012, 06:16 PM
Great news! Stay with her if you can tonight. She might need your advocacy for pain control or whatever. At any rate it will make her feel better to have you there. So glad to hear it went well!!!

Evelyn

TwinmomTN
04-20-2012, 06:21 PM
I just left the recovery room. It took about an hour but they did get her pain under control. She is taking some ice chips now and moving her hands and feet a little. That's all for now, we will give another update tomorrow.

djkinkead
04-20-2012, 07:27 PM
Good news on the surgery being successful.

Saying prayers for a safe an uneventful recovery!

susancook
04-20-2012, 08:22 PM
You are in my thoughts and prayers! I am 65 and just starting this journey and may have surgery in the future, so let us know how you do and give suggestions. Sounds like you have lots of support and that you are in a supportive place. Best of luck! Take care of yourself!

JenniferG
04-20-2012, 09:12 PM
Many thanks to Pam's husband for keeping us up to date. Please tell her she is in our thoughts and we wish her well. Take care of yourself, this is going to be hard on you as well. But you'll both get there, and life is going to be so much better.

Pooka1
04-20-2012, 10:03 PM
Hey! I think this is you on Dr. Hey's blog!!! TL curve by Lenke on a 48 yo!

http://drlloydhey.blogspot.com/2012/04/away-at-scoliosis-conference-and-hey.html

golfnut
04-20-2012, 10:13 PM
OMG! Pooka, I think your are right. That is wild!

Pam's husband: Thanks for posting. Get a good night's sleep. I knew that I would be in intensive care the first night and not need my husband until night 2. Tell Pam we are all cheering for her.
Karen (Dr. Lenke's patient)

TwinmomTN
04-21-2012, 11:57 AM
We met with Dr Lenke and Dr Kim who assisted him this morning. The X-rays from after the surgery are awesome. The back view showed a pretty straight spine. The side view looked good also with the curves in the right place. We are very happy with Dr. Lenke and all his team.

She has not been cleared for anything to drink, so she is strugling with her mounth being dry. She is getting her hydration through an IV and is allowed to chew on some ice chips occasionally. Hopefully this gets better for her soon. I think they are just giving her stomach time to wake up. Her swelling doesn't appear too bad.

Her pain is manageable as long as she stays still. When the nurses move her every couple of hours the pain does spike. She is still hooked up to a lot of cords so moving her is a challenge.

She started on the breathing exercises and is getting about 1/2 a liter each time she inhales.

The next milestone will be sitting up. That will come when she gets in her regular Ortho room later today, hopefully.

More post to come later.

Doodles
04-21-2012, 05:24 PM
So happy to hear the surgery went well. Hopefully, the week will show strong steady progress. Best wishes--positive thoughts and prayers coming your way. Janet

JenniferG
04-21-2012, 07:10 PM
It sounds like Pam is going well. Keep it up Pam! A big thanks to Pam's husband.

susancook
04-22-2012, 02:18 AM
Hope that you are doing well and that you are already healing. Thinking of you.
Susan

TwinmomTN
04-22-2012, 03:50 PM
She was having a lot of abdomine pain and swelling, so I was glad when the orders came for a physical therapist. The PT helped with sitting up in bed, then into a walker, and then to a chair. In the chair, she hit 750 on the breathing devise. The PT was excellent at her job. It was great to see the resolve Pam has to make progress here. After all the therapy, she was exhausted and immediately fell asleep.

More to come later.

Confusedmom
04-22-2012, 04:11 PM
Tell Pam the first time they tried to sit me up, I nearly fainted and had to lay back down. By the next day, I not only sat up, but walked down the hall. (Then fell asleep, of course!) Day three was stairs, I think. Even now (5 weeks out), sitting is the hardest of the three. Wishing her progress and comfort!

Evelyn

mabeckoff
04-22-2012, 06:25 PM
Glad to hear that things are looking good for her!

golfnut
04-22-2012, 08:44 PM
Thanks for posing. I will look forward to reading about Pam's progress. Tell her we are all cheering for her.

LSKOCH5
04-23-2012, 10:09 AM
So glad to see all good so far - moment by moment, it will keep getting better! Thanks for posting! Still praying for you & cheering you on from afar!

TwinmomTN
04-23-2012, 08:26 PM
Test ... Internet problems

TwinmomTN
04-23-2012, 08:36 PM
She had a good day. She walked to the door and back and sat for 20 minutes. The PTs are awesome.

She is still having "cotton" mouth and is only allowed 1/2 a small cup of ice.

She asked what is the average on the spirometer when laying down?

Here's my question...we have a six hour drive home...how did you handle breaks?

KathK
04-23-2012, 08:54 PM
Hi,
My drive home was about 7.5 hours. We split it over 2 days. We stopped every hour so I could walk. We would stop at a "big box" type store (Walmart or similar) and I would stroll around with my walker.

The second day was more difficult than the first. I found the "wear" on me to be cumulative.

kathy

Confusedmom
04-23-2012, 08:56 PM
Are you planning to stay in St Louis for a few days at a hotel before you drive home? Every day you delay will make it a little easier for her.

For me, I like putting the front seat as far back and down as possible, and then laying a really squishy pillow on top of it.

We stopped at least every couple of hours driving. You're supposed to to help prevent blood clots, etc. One time there was nowhere to stop when I "had to" get out of the car. We pulled up to a closed country restaurant, and I literally layed flat on one of their wooden benches with my head on a towel for a while.

Pain meds are important for the ride home. If it gets too bad, you might break it into two days, but I doubt you will need to.

Best wishes,
Evelyn

KathK
04-23-2012, 08:59 PM
Hi,
My drive home was about 7.5 hours. We split it over 2 days. We stopped every hour so I could walk. We would stop at a "big box" type store (Walmart or similar) and I would stroll around with my walker.

The second day was more difficult than the first. I found the "wear" on me to be cumulative. It was wearing on my husband, too, worrying about the bumps. I didn't get back in the car for another 4 weeks after I got home!

kathy

walkingmom
04-24-2012, 06:53 AM
Hi,
I had a three hour drive home from st. Louis. We stopped at the half way point so that I could get out and move around some. I was so heavily medicated when i left the hospital that I didnt even see the Arch as we headed east because i was already asleep and stayed asleep the entire way. Having our crossover vehicle was helpful too because it was easy to get in and out of. I only needed one pillow to lean back on.

Donna

LSKOCH5
04-24-2012, 01:25 PM
She had a good day. She walked to the door and back and sat for 20 minutes. The PTs are awesome.
Here's my question...we have a six hour drive home...how did you handle breaks?
Our ride was 3 hours; we stopped & had him walk around halfway home for maybe 15mins. Son actually lay on memory foam in the back seat, which was huge as I cringed every time we hit a dip in the road or a pothole or turned a corner. He still uses that mem foam on the entire seat when we have the 3hr drive back to the dr's office for checkups, helps tremendously.

Doreen1
04-24-2012, 02:42 PM
She had a good day. She walked to the door and back and sat for 20 minutes. The PTs are awesome.

She is still having "cotton" mouth and is only allowed 1/2 a small cup of ice.

She asked what is the average on the spirometer when laying down?

Here's my question...we have a six hour drive home...how did you handle breaks?

Lenke's nurse told us they do not like their patients being in a car more than a maximum of 5 hours when heading home. Kelly told my husband he had to stop every 1 - 1.5 hours so I could get out to walk. Since we had an 8 hour drive one-way, we stopped 1/2 way in Clarksville, TN for the night. I'm thankful Pam stopped by to meet me. Be sure that when you do hit the road for home, time it so that you leave right after Pam has a dose of pain meds. Is she taking any of the Oxy meds?

Do you know when Pam will be discharged? How are you doing? Where are you staying in STL once she is discharged?

Warmly,
Doreen

TwinmomTN
04-25-2012, 08:43 AM
Pam was cleared for a liquid diet of chicken broth and jello on day 4. She also had her drain lines and pain clicker removed. She is now getting oxycotton orally as well as a couple of muscle relaxers. PT is though but she is doing it. She doesn't have the strength to get up on her own but the PT keeps telling her that will come.

mdtaffet
04-25-2012, 10:38 AM
Pam was cleared for a liquid diet of chicken broth and jello on day 4.

I guess I must have been lucky; I got chicken broth and jello during the 2nd day, when I was still in the ICU, which means somewhat less than 24 hours after the surgery, as I was moved out of the ICU about 24 hours after I woke up in the recovery room.

Glad to hear she's doing well....

-- Mary

Confusedmom
04-25-2012, 06:04 PM
Glad she is making progress! Sounds like she will be released soon. I will keep sending good thoughts your way!

Evelyn

TwinmomTN
04-25-2012, 09:25 PM
Pam is still a little loopy from the meds, so I'm still updating. She had a great day. The catheter was removed, and she was cleared for solid food this morning. She still took it easy on the diet all day, but her bowels did start working tonight. We were relieved in more ways than one...LOL. She just needs a little more work on bed mobility and continued work on her breathing, but we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now.

JenniferG
04-25-2012, 10:31 PM
It's going really well. I think holding off on the food for those 4 days is probably a good thing. I was allowed to eat on day 2 and was constipated for 9 days. What a miserable time.

Very happy to hear things going so smoothly!

titaniumed
04-25-2012, 11:34 PM
I went about 9 days NPO. After I ate and had some “movement”, I left the next day. I think that having noisy neighbors in my room drove me out of there sooner than I should have.

There is nothing better than quiet........

My radio broke in my car, and I didn’t even bother fixing it for 3 years. If I need music, I just hum “Tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree” by Toni Orlando and Dawn. Anybody remember that one? The 70’s were hard times....(smiley face)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBL2kzKg4nY

Looks as if Pam has passed 3rd base and is heading for home. She will read this and laugh...hopefully, the whole forum wont be humming this song tomorrow.
Ed

TwinmomTN
04-27-2012, 07:14 PM
Here's a message from Pam

After getting clearence from PT and OT I was released today (Friday). Pain has been well controlled except for a couple of instances. Bed mobility is my biggest challenge right now. I haven't used the spin kit tools yet. Did anybody else have problems getting in and out of bed? Thanks to evertbody for remembering me during this time.

golfnut
04-27-2012, 07:27 PM
Pam,
Going home makes everything better. As for getting in and out of bed . . . I just tried to log roll as smoothly as possible onto pillows. We had a new mattress and a 4 inch topper, so we bought a medical stool to make it easier for me since the mattress was rather high. Holding on the the handle of the of the medical stool really helped me push myself up and lower myself gently. Be sure to sit on the side of the bed for a while and also stand for a minute before taking off. When I was on the pain meds, I got up quickly and started walking immediately one day and became dizzy and blacked out. Be careful. I'll be anxious to see your before and after pictures.

mdtaffet
04-27-2012, 11:35 PM
Here's a message from Pam

After getting clearence from PT and OT I was released today (Friday). Pain has been well controlled except for a couple of instances. Bed mobility is my biggest challenge right now. I haven't used the spin kit tools yet. Did anybody else have problems getting in and out of bed? Thanks to evertbody for remembering me during this time.

Pam,

Glad to hear your'e doing well. I don't know what you mean by "spin kit tools", so I can't help you there.

I had to practice getting into and out of bed all by myself repeatedly before being cleared by the PT for discharge after my surgery. I always get into my bed from the right side because my husband's twin is just to the left of my bed. I start off by sitting on my bed sort of in the middle of the right side, and then lowering my right elbow to the pillow. Then I lift my legs up off the floor and put them under my covers, with a little bit of extra effort needed to get my right leg all the way up. While it seems that I'm putting my elbow on the pillow at about the same time that I'm lifting my legs up, I'm guessing that the elbow gets planted first. Then I pull the covers up over me as best I can. As I still use the walker at the edge of my bed, I then lean over just a touch to turn off the flashlight that my husband attached to the walker (he's already asleep by this time). Then I first lay the side of my head on the pillow, and at this point, my back is pointing to my husband's bed, and my face is pointing to the wall. Then I use the trick that the PT taught me of bending my knees. Only when my knees are bent do I attempt the log roll to get onto my back. Now that I can do it a bit more easily, I'll log roll again if I want to get over on my other side, now facing my husband's bed if I want to.

But the first 2 weeks I was home after the surgery, I never even tried to sleep on my back; I stayed on my right side the whole time. Sometimes my knees were bent, and sometimes they weren't. I had a 2-level pillow, with a standard pillow underneath my more back and neck friendly WAL-PIL-O. That helped to keep my head elevated a bit so that I was a bit more comfortable spending the night trying to sleep on my right side.

Then when I needed to get up, I would sort of reverse the process of getting in. First I would lift my head up a bit and support myself on my right elbow again, then I would move the covers off as best I could. Next as I carefully moved my legs to the floor, I would push off of the pillow with my arm to raise myself to a seated position -- which I had already been doing for several years before the surgery all on my own, so that part of the sequence was already routine and quite familiar to me. Then when I was once again sitting on my bed, I would carefully get up with the help of the walker. So while the getting in to bed routine was something I had to learn fresh, the getting out of bed routine wasn't really that much different from what I had already been using for several years by that point (except for the walker part that is).

I do remember while still in the hospital, when a nurse would need to inspect the incision, etc., I was asked to roll over. I remember first grabbing the side rail and then using it to log roll myself to the side, and I remember it was very painful most of the time, and when I still had a pain clicker button, I would always click it before having to roll.

Fortunately it got a lot easier over time. I still have some difficulty when I attempt to log roll onto my left side, but that may well be due to trying to keep shifting myself over far enough so that I can roll that far in my small twin bed.

While I can get into and out of bed without much of a problem, I still don't sleep comfortably at all. Whatever you can do to make your bed more comfortable for you would be worthwhile.

-- Good luck,
Mary

TwinmomTN
04-28-2012, 08:16 AM
Here's a note from Pam

We're going to stay at the lodge for a few days before heading home. Laying on my back is hard I can only do it for about 5 minutes. How long did it take for this to improve in your case?

mdtaffet
04-28-2012, 12:34 PM
Here's a note from Pam

We're going to stay at the lodge for a few days before heading home. Laying on my back is hard I can only do it for about 5 minutes. How long did it take for this to improve in your case?

I found it very difficult to lie on my back while the dressing was still on, though I had to for the physical therapist who came to my house because he had me doing some exercises while laying on my back in my bed.

But once the dressing came off, which happened during my first post-op visit about 3 weeks after the surgery, the pain I felt when lying on my back was dissipated quite a bit. Not gone entirely, but enough less pain to allow me to try sleeping on my back at that point. The vast majority of my pain dissipated after the dressing was removed; it had been applied so tightly that it had really pulled on the surrounding skin -- not to mention being plastic that was under me when I had to lie on my back doing those exercises for the home-based PT.

I don't know what sort of dressing you have, so I can't say whether or not your experience could end up being similar to mine.

-- Good luck,
Mary

Confusedmom
04-28-2012, 03:38 PM
Hi Pam! Congrats on being out of the hospital! That has to be some kind of record from the time you found out you were having surgery to the time you were released.

Regarding your questions, I slept on "eggshell" foam even at the hotel, and I actually preferred my back. But I had to have all of the sheets, blankets, PJs, etc. completely flat. Still do. It is okay to sleep on your side or even stomach, according to Kelly, if that's more comfortable. Try a pillow between your knees on your side. After I got home, I started sleeping on memory foam, and I'm telling you I could stay there all day! I do not use a pillow under my head at all. Just totally flat on my back.

For logrolling, that does get MUCH easier after a couple of weeks. But, try to remember to tighten your abs, keep your shoulders & hips aligned and use your arms and legs to move you. To get into bed, I sit on the edge and fall to my right elbow at the same time I'm lifting my left leg up. I make sure eveything is straight on my side before I roll to my back. Getting out is just the reverse. Make myself straight. Cross arms on chest and bend knees. Roll to side. Then drop legs off the side of the bed as I push up with my arms. It hurts less when I remember to tighten my abs.

Now that I'm six weeks out, I find I am moving more at night, logrolling without even thinking about it to my side. It will come!

Best,
Evelyn

TwinmomTN
04-28-2012, 06:19 PM
Any tips on getting rid of gas pains? I know Doreen had this problem. But it makes it very difficult to eat. Sorry for typos. We are now under a tornado warning. Ugh!

nanut
04-28-2012, 07:39 PM
I am sorry to hear about the gas pain issue! One thing that I found helpful was to take simethicone (gas-x) tablets after meals (mostly dinner). Another thing I became famous for was Pacing-once the meal was finished I was up and moving. As I look back on that time (nine months ago) I remember gas pains as something I dealt with as well as stomach distention. Hang in there, It does get better-one day at a time!
Stay safe from the weather threats!
Nan
54yo
T10-L5 fusion with instrumentation
July 12, 2011
Straight and feeling pretty darn good

mdtaffet
04-28-2012, 08:46 PM
Any tips on getting rid of gas pains? I know Doreen had this problem. But it makes it very difficult to eat. Sorry for typos. We are now under a tornado warning. Ugh!

Pam, I don't really have gas pains, but I can tell you that my drinking habits changed dramatically after the surgery. Before the surgery, I drank Diet Coke pretty much all day long -- for breakfast, lunch, dinner, in between, and well into the evening. After the surgery, I found that the Diet Coke tends to give me too many "bubbles" that I can feel churning around. I still drink it, but now no more than 2 1/2 glasses at breakfast time. I don't have any soda the rest of the day. I now will have a glass or two of fruit juice (orange or grape, or sometimes both at different times) with lunch or mid-afternoon. I have a glass of iced tea with dinner, and the rest of the day I now drink water. I also start my day with prune juice now, upon the orders of my doctor after I had an early bout of constipation.

[So yes, breakfast is preceded by prune juice that I have with my morning medications -- i.e. the vitamins and long-time prescriptions, etc., then accompanied by at least 2 to up to 2.5 glasses of Diet Coke -- mostly to chase away the taste of the prune juice and to satisfy my craving for soda. I spend a LONG time at breakfast these days -- enough to finish the entire front section of the morning paper and part of the entertainment section as well. Thanks to my new routine, I stay fairly regular. I'm just worried what's going to happen when I have to go back to work full-time, and have to drive an hour each way to get to the remote worksite...]

JenniferG
04-28-2012, 08:52 PM
Charcoal tablets!

Confusedmom
04-29-2012, 09:56 AM
Move around as much as you can. That helps get the gas out. Also, it seemed to decrease dramatically after just a couple of weeks. I wonder if some is still from the effects of anesthesia? Early on, I was taking 4 Senna Plus tablets a day plus Miralax. If you can get rid of the constipation, it should help with the gas pains, too. :)

SisterFriend
05-02-2012, 03:42 PM
This is the first time I've used the forum, so I hope I'm doing it correctly. I met you and your husband at Dr.Lenke's office 4/18/12 during your Pre-op. My husband and I are from Iowa and I was using a walker. I think our husbands kept each other company while us girls were having fun getting our test done. Ha Ha. Anyway, when I saw Twinmom from TN and having surgery with Dr.Lenke on Friday, I knew it was you. I've had you in my prayers as Pam, mother of twins from TN. Tee Hee. hope all is well. Would love to hear from you. I believe doctor is trying to move my surgery up to August. Sooner the better. I gave Naomi a message for you, but might have been too late, If you see her, ask her. God Bless,
Laurie (and husband Clark)

king14
05-02-2012, 07:39 PM
You will be in my thoughts and prayers! Best of luck to you!!

TwinmomTN
05-03-2012, 05:18 PM
This is the first time I've used the forum, so I hope I'm doing it correctly. I met you and your husband at Dr.Lenke's office 4/18/12 during your Pre-op. My husband and I are from Iowa and I was using a walker. I think our husbands kept each other company while us girls were having fun getting our test done. Ha Ha. Anyway, when I saw Twinmom from TN and having surgery with Dr.Lenke on Friday, I knew it was you. I've had you in my prayers as Pam, mother of twins from TN. Tee Hee. hope all is well. Would love to hear from you. I believe doctor is trying to move my surgery up to August. Sooner the better. I gave Naomi a message for you, but might have been too late, If you see her, ask her. God Bless,
Laurie (and husband Clark)

Yes, we did meet briefly in the hallway.My husband enjoyed visiting with both of you. Sounds like a good chance of your date getting bumped up. Mine did with three day notice but so elated that it did. Best of luck to you and keep us updated.

TwinmomTN
05-03-2012, 05:31 PM
Hi everyone! We are finally home after a grueling 8 hour drive. Needless to say I felt terrible when we arrived finally. But we arrived to find our house decorated by our 11 year Old twins with welcome signs, streamers, and balloons Anyone else noticed a tightness or soreness in chest along with sides feeling sore at about 2 weeks out? I didn't seem to notice this until the last few days. I know central line and several other issues may be at fault.

golfnut
05-03-2012, 06:02 PM
Pam,
How nice that you came home to a decorated house by the twins! That's so sweet. Eight hours is a really long trip. My drive home was 40 minutes and I remember every bump on the highway. I felt tightness for a long, long time, so I am sure it is normal. My left ribs ached for months which is probably due to them getting repositioned. Dr. Lenke got rid of my rib hump, so I accepted the rib pain with no complaints. It eventually went away. Best of luck with a smooth recovery.

TwinmomTN
05-05-2012, 09:13 AM
I am so worried about twisting and not properly log rolling in bed. How did everyone cope with changing positions during the night? I flip flop and change positions at least every hour or so in bed. Do you need assistance with pillow placement (especially for side sleeping with pillows in front and back) during the night or just try to cope best as you can on your own? I think one would twist a bit to reposition a pillow behind your back. Do you wake your spouse or how is this handled?

golfnut
05-05-2012, 09:57 AM
Pam,
I was a tosser and turner before my surgery and worried,like you, about twisting too much after surgery since I wasn't braced. This may not be the answer you want to hear, but I just log rolled onto my back and didn't move off of it until I needed to get up. I'm pretty sure that someone told me not to even attempt to lay on my stomach because it caused some arching of the back. I still don't lay on my stomach, although it was my main sleeping position before surgery. During the first month post-op, I had trouble sleeping, which most likely wasn't due to my position in bed, but the meds and abdomen discomfort. Eventually, I felt like I actually slept better by staying in one position instead of turning and turning and turning like I did before surgery.
At a year post-op, I sleep some on my sides, but mainly stay on my back. I got used to it and actually prefer it now.

Doodles
05-05-2012, 11:44 AM
My situation was and still is at 3 years out very similar to Karen's. I too was a stomach sleeper but that just doesn't work now. I log rolled onto back from beginning and really never moved all night. I still don't other than to get up--but get right back to back position. Early on I guess I had to be moved with husband's help to side & he had to help reposition pillows. Definitely needed help for that. Don't worry--tossing and turning is not really an option. Janet

Confusedmom
05-05-2012, 01:08 PM
Well, I've got a slightly different take on this. First, my post-op instructions said sleeping on your stomach is okay. However, I have never had the desire to try it. I was a back sleeper before surgery (since bracing in middle school, actually). I maintained that for probably the first six weeks post-op. When I needed to go to the bathroom or take meds, I would do the logrolling by myself, but carefully. The key for me is remembering to tighten my abs. Everything hurts less when I do that. Just in the past week or two I have found some comfort in switching positions during the night. I will logroll to one side or the other and stay that way for an hour or two. At first it hurt my ribs too much, but now it seems to be giving my back some relief. If you do sleep on your side, a pillow between your knees is supposed to give you better spinal alignment. Truthfully, though, I often don't bother. Also, when on my back I don't use a pillow. It strains my neck too much. Good luck! Glad to see you posting again.

Best,
Evelyn

Karen Ocker
05-05-2012, 05:00 PM
After my surgery I felt like I would break in two if I turned. I then employed a technique I learned in Pilates which really helped: I would tighten all my abdominal/pelvic muscles before moving or turning. This acted like a splint and significantly reduced discomfort while changing positions.
This still helps to protect my back if lifting something or doing something strenuous.

golfnut
05-05-2012, 07:50 PM
I, also, do not use a pillow under my head.

mdtaffet
05-08-2012, 03:42 PM
I am so worried about twisting and not properly log rolling in bed. How did everyone cope with changing positions during the night? I flip flop and change positions at least every hour or so in bed. Do you need assistance with pillow placement (especially for side sleeping with pillows in front and back) during the night or just try to cope best as you can on your own? I think one would twist a bit to reposition a pillow behind your back. Do you wake your spouse or how is this handled?

For my first 3 weeks at home, I slept on my right side the entire time, with two pillows under my head. I didn't want to go onto my back at that point because at the time my dressing was causing a lot of pain if I tried to put weight on my back.

Since then, I sometimes sleep on my right side, sometimes on my back, and sometimes on my left side, though rarely. The only pillow I use now is my one single WAL-PIL-O under my head, which is what I used before the surgery. I don't know if I toss and turn during the night, but I'd be surprised if I didn't. I have occasional issues with post nasal drip that sometimes make back sleeping difficult despite the daily Allegra taken to combat it, and issues with nasal inflammation and stuffiness that frequently make sleeping on one side or the other difficult; I frequently wake up in a state where I can't breathe very well and have to get up long enough to let that side of my nose clear out. There is no single position that is really comfortable for me to sleep in, so I don't get good sleep at this point, and don't expect to for quite some time.

I do start out most nights sleeping in a recliner, so obviously don't move around too much there. That's because sleeping in my bed is so difficult due to not only the issues described above, but the residual pain after the surgery that is generally only felt when lying down in one position or another.

My sleep issues also include a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia as well as Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in addition to the nose and back issues. According to my FitBit, I wake up an average of maybe 18 times a night. One of those wakings will be accompanied by a trip to the bathroom, but most of them just lead to repositioning myself -- often without even knowing it.

So I guess I'm in the "cope best as you can on your own" category. But I'm guessing I would probably wake up in pain if I moved in a way that was really dangerous. At least I hope I would.

-- Mary

TwinmomTN
05-12-2012, 07:35 PM
Hi everyone. Just wanted to update my progress. After settling in at home last Thursday, I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak. Pre-op was walking 4-5 miles each day and alternating swimming laps an hour each day. I currently get winded just carrying on a long conversation. I haven't weighed but I believe I am between 1.5-2 inches taller. My daughter was almost my height pre-op, so she has noted the additional challenge of catching up to me. The pain has been well controlled so far but I do have constant stiffness and muscle spasms. The x-rays look very straight but they have no measurement yet. I do feel the rods and hardware in my back especially when sitting, which is uncomfortable. At most I can tolerate about 20-25 minutes of sitting. The hardware almost has a feeling of rolling as I move my arms. Wondering if anyone else has felt this and if it gets less noticeable over time. My first follow up visit will be on June 20th. Oh, and luckily no bowel issues so far thanks to Senna and Miralax. I am also drinking Ensure shakes to supplement. All considered, I am pleased with how I am progressing so far.

rockycarm
05-12-2012, 07:49 PM
Hi everyone. Just wanted to update my progress. After settling in at home last Thursday, I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak. Pre-op was walking 4-5 miles each day and alternating swimming laps an hour each day. I currently get winded just carrying on a long conversation. I haven't weighed but I believe I am between 1.5-2 inches taller. My daughter was almost my height pre-op, so she has noted the additional challenge of catching up to me. The pain has been well controlled so far but I do have constant stiffness and muscle spasms. The x-rays look very straight but they have no measurement yet. I do feel the rods and hardware in my back especially when sitting, which is uncomfortable. At most I can tolerate about 20-25 minutes of sitting. The hardware almost has a feeling of rolling as I move my arms. Wondering if anyone else has felt this and if it gets less noticeable over time. My first follow up visit will be on June 20th. Oh, and luckily no bowel issues so far thanks to Senna and Miralax. I am also drinking Ensure shakes to supplement. All considered, I am pleased with how I am progressing so far.

Thanks Pam for the update. I am down to the wire now, going in on Wednesday, May 16th. Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help? My Mom is 80 and my daughter just had a baby and my other daughter works. Are you feeling a little better each day? You seem to have been in great shape before walking 4-5 miles each day which concerns me a bit but will remain hopeful. Hope you see this before I go. Good luck with your continued healing.

TwinmomTN
05-12-2012, 08:16 PM
Thanks Pam for the update. I am down to the wire now, going in on Wednesday, May 16th. Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help? My Mom is 80 and my daughter just had a baby and my other daughter works. Are you feeling a little better each day? You seem to have been in great shape before walking 4-5 miles each day which concerns me a bit but will remain hopeful. Hope you see this before I go. Good luck with your continued healing.

I can only speak for myself and yes I did need someone with me after arriving home for the 3rd week Postop. My Mom ,is 78, and has come on days when my husband couldn't be here,so yes just having someone around to pick up something from the floor or help with your dressing would be necessary in my opinion. Good luck. Will be thinking of you.

mdtaffet
05-12-2012, 08:50 PM
Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help?

I spent most of the first 2 months at home pretty much in my pajamas all day long, so I didn't have to worry too much about getting dressed.

My husband had also planned to take 2 weeks off. I was in the hospital for the first week. My husband works in the building next door to the hospital, so he was actually at work during my surgery, but was accessible by phone and was no more than 5 minutes away at any point. He stopped in to see me at multiple points each day throughout that entire week, and even brought his students in to see me one day.

In my house, the kitchen and TV are downstairs but the bedroom and bathroom are upstairs. So I was up and down the stairs multiple times every day. I managed that all by myself, but generally had my husband bring up or bring down whatever I needed but couldn't carry. Eventually I started using plastic bags, shopping bags with handles, or canvas bags to carry things up and down when I could.

The first few days, there was only one walker, and somebody would have to bring it upstairs for me while I came up using the cane. Or bring it downstairs for me. Then we got a 2nd walker, and left one upstairs and one downstairs. I had the grabber that the hospital gave me, but that was another item that was needed both upstairs and downstairs. So my husband bought a 2nd grabber, and it was left downstairs with the one from the hospital staying upstairs.

Until the dressing came off, the only bathing I did was two sponge baths that were managed by a home health aid, until the agency realized that my insurance didn't cover it. If I had had medicare, the insurance would have covered that person as well. But the only services from the home health care agency covered by my insurance were a nurse and a physical therapist.

Once the dressing came off, which was after that two week period, my husband helped me with a bath in the shower sitting on the special bath seat that he had bought.

Once I came home, my husband stayed home with me maybe the first whole day, but then realized that I didn't need him quite as much as he thought I would. So he did spend a little bit of time at work that second week. Fortunately he has a very flexible schedule when he's not teaching.

I am not domestically inclined, so have really never done the cooking or the cleaning; my husband is the cook and generally does most of the cleaning as well. If I were domestically inclined and cooked and cleaned, I'm guessing I would have needed at least some help with that, but it wasn't an issue for me.

The only cleaning-related tasks that I used to do but cannot do right now are load and unload the dishwasher (we usually all do that), and my own laundry. My husband does my laundry for me, and my husband and son manage the loading/unloading of the dishwasher. I can handle the top rack, but don't do the bottom rack at all.

-- Good luck on Wednesday,
Mary

susancook
05-12-2012, 10:04 PM
[QUOTE=TwinmomTN;139140], I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak.


WOW! You have done so much since your surgery! I'm really impressed! Be kind to yourself.

Susan

TwinmomTN
05-22-2012, 08:26 PM
As of last Saturday I am off the oxy and percocet and replaced
with Vicodin, which has been causing nausea. This has set me back since it has
Zapped what little appetite I had and less walking and sleeping as well. I feel
like I have been set back by a week or two by this. I called Dr. Lenke's office and the
only other thing available is Tramadol, which doesn't do much for the pain.
This is a real downer. Guess I will try to get by on the Tramadol and a valium
as needed. I think I overdid it last week with my 1 hour in the hair salon chair plus
car ride to and from. My left lower back is really pulling and hurting. The left was the
Convex side of my curve, so I guess the muscles were weaker
to begin with.

Confusedmom
05-22-2012, 10:04 PM
Pam,
I'm sorry to hear this! Do you think there's any chance the nausea is coming from withdrawal, rather than the Vicodin? I had problems with Percocet withdrawal after a C-section once. It made me have chills and bed sweats for about a week, plus I was an emotional wreck. (Post-partum, too, I guess.) Also, when I got off Oxicontin & decreased Norco around 5 weeks, my digestive system got much more active. Didn't need the laxatives anymore, and I think they were actually making me nauseous. Anyway, just hoping the nausea goes away. You could always try Norco, but I think it's pretty much the same thing as Vicodin. You are still in early days and I could not have been without some serious pain killers at that point. Heated blanket & rest were (still are) my best friends, too! Keep us posted.

Evelyn

titaniumed
05-22-2012, 11:23 PM
Pam

At 4 weeks, I was still laying very low....and would have been wiped out by a car ride and sitting in a chair for an hour.

I was doing hot baths 5X per day for pain. I found that they were crucial.

Hang in there, soon you will feel better.

Ed

amelot
05-23-2012, 02:47 PM
Do you think there's any chance the nausea is coming from withdrawal, rather than the Vicodin?
Hello: I don't know about your situation, but all of the medicines you've mentioned make me very nauseated, which worries me because I'm scheduled for surgery in January. Do they not have ANYTHING else they can give you? (Asking selfishly, too.)

Irina
05-23-2012, 05:01 PM
Hi Pam,

Are you taking vicodin with food? It might cause nausea and vomiting if taken on an empty stomach (know this from my dental surgeries).

TwinmomTN
05-23-2012, 08:47 PM
Hi Pam,

Are you taking vicodin with food? It might cause nausea and vomiting if taken on an empty stomach (know this from my dental surgeries).

Yes, I took Vicodin with food every time. According to Lenke's office
Once you are off the percocet and oxy, Vicodin( hydrocodone) is the only
Stepdown available other than Tramadol. I also asked about withdrawals
and was told that would not occur.

loves to skate
05-25-2012, 11:54 AM
There are anti-nausea medicines they can give you. I get nauseous on all of those meds, but with the anti-nausea, not so bad. Good luck.
Sally

TwinmomTN
05-25-2012, 10:41 PM
Yes I tried Compazine and even with that, still had
some nausea. What meds did you take for nausea?

mdtaffet
05-25-2012, 10:50 PM
What meds did you take for nausea?

I fortunately haven't had nausea since my surgery, but something I took for nausea on several occasions in the past is Emetrol (http://emetrol.com/). I found it to work very well for me, though at the times I took it, nausea was my only symptom (i.e. during what is usually called "stomach flu" even though it isn't really flu). When I first bought it, it was on the advice of my doctor.

I don't know that this will help you at all, but it might be worth trying.

-- Good luck,
Mary

leahdragonfly
05-26-2012, 10:54 AM
Yes I tried Compazine and even with that, still had
some nausea. What meds did you take for nausea?

Hi Pam,

I am another of those who has terrible trouble with nausea from most pain meds. Vicodin in particular makes me throw up, and I will not take it. After my first surgery (T8-sacrum) I switched off oxycodone to tramadol at about three weeks post-op, because I just could not stand the nausea, vomitting, and loss of appetite any longer. I did suffer a lot of unnecessary pain and misery because the tramadol just wasn't enough at that point.

Is Dr Lenke's office saying they will not prescribe any more oxycodone? If not, I would strongly recommend going to your primary care doc and tell them that the vicodin makes you sick, the tramadol is ineffective, and you need a few more weeks of oxycodone. Another alternative is Tylenol #3.

As far as anti-nausea meds, zofran works well for some people. It didn't work too well for me, but phenergan worked well for me after my revision surgery. Your primary doctor or Dr Lenke's office should have no objection to prescribing either of these.

Good luck getting this sorted out.

TwinmomTN
05-26-2012, 05:50 PM
Thanks Gayle and others for feedback. The tramadol
along with the Valium seems to be handling the pain.
Maybe since I am now 5 weeks hopefully I won't need
the stronger narcotics anymore. I am still feeling the lower
left side muscle pain though.

loves to skate
05-27-2012, 09:33 PM
It was probably compazine, but don't remember for sure. I still had nausea on it , but it did keep it to a dull roar. Hang in there.
Sally

TwinmomTN
06-04-2012, 03:23 PM
Hi everyone,

I am 6 weeks and 3 days post op today and have several questions. First, boy this sitting is really difficult! Do most of you sit periodically throughout the day or try to sit for as long as you can at one time? I can only sit for tops maybe 40 -45 minutes at a time. Seems like this is going to take forever to be able to sit long enough to return to a desk job full time. Part time is not an option for me. I still have several months of leave but if only increasing time by a few minutes every few days still seems like this will take forever to reach an 8 hour day!

Next question for ladies: At what point did you start wearing a bra again? My husband says it's not obvious that I'm not wearing one....yes I am that small,lol. But still feel self conscious out in public.

Thirdly, I've read some take their walker for follow up appointments, but at 8 weeks is this necessary? I haven't used the walker since week 3. But do most carry a pillow with you when out in public at about 6-8 weeks, and to Dr. appointments ? I'm afraid of getting stuck in a waiting room for longer than I can handle sitting.

Still not feeling very well on most days and spend probably 90% of my day lying in bed. Hope this is normal at this point.

Thanks for listening.

mdtaffet
06-04-2012, 05:02 PM
Hi everyone,

I am 6 weeks and 3 days post op today and have several questions. First, boy this sitting is really difficult! Do most of you sit periodically throughout the day or try to sit for as long as you can at one time? I can only sit for tops maybe 40 -45 minutes at a time. Seems like this is going to take forever to be able to sit long enough to return to a desk job full time. Part time is not an option for me. I still have several months of leave but if only increasing time by a few minutes every few days still seems like this will take forever to reach an 8 hour day!

Next question for ladies: At what point did you start wearing a bra again? My husband says it's not obvious that I'm not wearing one....yes I am that small,lol. But still feel self conscious out in public.

Thirdly, I've read some take their walker for follow up appointments, but at 8 weeks is this necessary? I haven't used the walker since week 3. But do most carry a pillow with you when out in public at about 6-8 weeks, and to Dr. appointments ? I'm afraid of getting stuck in a waiting room for longer than I can handle sitting.

Still not feeling very well on most days and spend probably 90% of my day lying in bed. Hope this is normal at this point.

Thanks for listening.

Pam,

I started wearing a Genie bra (not my regular bras) daily once I started getting dressed daily. My surgery was on January 23rd, and I spent most days through probably late March/early April in my pajamas. While I probably could start wearing my regular bras now, I haven't done that yet because it seems that the metal hooks in the back become uncomfortable when I'm wearing my bone growth stimulator. Since I have to wear the bone growth stimulator for 4 hours a day, it's much more comfortable for me to stick with the Genie bra for now. But sometimes I can feel discomfort beginning in the band area in the back the later it gets in the evening -- and that's with no metal at all -- just the fabric itself.

My bed was and still is uncomfortable when I'm lying on my back, so I probably spent 90% of my time during those early weeks sitting, which in my house was the most comfortable position I could find. Fortunately my kitchen chair is one that is very comfortable for the most part. Between that and my rocking glider with an extra pillow, I would spend hours sitting every day. I still do. But now I have to be careful about having my knees flexed too far when I'm sitting. When my knees are flexed too far, I develop a lot of knee pain which in particular makes it difficult to go up and down the stairs (the kitchen is downstairs but the bedroom and bathroom are upstairs, so I have to go up and down stairs numerous times every day). The other problem I have with my knees is if I sit still too long (such as for 3 straight hours of television), sometimes it is difficult to stand up again.

I took the walker with me for the first post-op appointment because I was still using it at that point (my first post-op visit -- and removal of the dressing -- was 17 days after the surgery), but I didn't bring it to the second post-op visit, which was almost two months later.

I'm at the point now where I don't use the cane in the house for the most part, even though I still hobble quite a bit without it. I had been using the cane mostly when going up and down the stairs, or when leaving the house, but today I actually went up and down the stairs without it 3 times (twice due to phone calls that required me to move from one floor to the other -- can't easily hold the phone and talk while also holding the cane, and I didn't have my phone headset on).

I did start back to work part-time from home about a month and a half ago, but am not yet doing the number of hours I had hoped to be doing by now. I had hoped to be doing 20 hours a week now, but I'm lucky if I can do 20 hours over two weeks time. Unfortunately now that I've started working part-time, I'm bringing in even less money than I had been getting during the period considered to be total disability -- and that was a mere pittance compared to what I usually get when able to actually work 40 hours a week.

My employer has been very good about working with me. When I first took the job back in July 2009, I would work at home 4 days a week and then drive 156 miles each way one day a week to attend my supervisor's staff meeting in person. That one day was always a very long day for me (and usually led to a lot of extra back pain -- I started wearing an ice pack on my back the whole way which helped a bit but didn't make the pain go away), but it was a very nice mix of telecommuting and face time. [I had been laid off by a local employer in March 2009; this job allowed me to stay in my field with a company that has a great product doing the kind of work I want to do.]

Then I was furloughed for 6 weeks in the summer of 2011; when I went back to work, I started driving 47.5 miles each way to work on a contract at a customer's work site every single day. That lasted until the Friday before my surgery. I'm guessing that once I start back full-time, that daily travel (an hour each way) will start up again -- assuming that there's a new contract in place by that time. That will make it difficult for me to continue to do my daily at-home exercises that the PT prescribed, and will also make it difficult to continue wearing the bone growth stimulator for 4 hours every day, unless they allow me to wear it during the work day. It's not very comfortable to wear it while driving -- I already tried that once and decided not to do it again.

Just so you know, when the surgeon filled out the New York State Disability Claim Form, they indicated that I would be able to return to work in October, which means a bit over 9 months for recovery. My surgery was T9 to S1 with pelvic fixation; I believe your surgery was more extensive than mine, since my biggest trouble spot was lumbar only.

About a month ago, I bought a standard McKenzie lumbar roll and a newer McKenzie lumbar super roll. Whenever I go someplace whose seating arrangements I'm not familiar with, I take that super roll with me. I used it at a dinner party on Saturday night in a fairly standard wooden chair with I believe it was horizontal slats.

But in the PT's waiting room, I actually prefer to stand. I fill out the every-visit paperwork standing. I only sit in their chairs if the therapist doesn't come out to get me shortly after I arrive.

Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon.

-- Mary

twistedRN
06-04-2012, 05:09 PM
Hi,
I will be 10 wks postOp tomorrow and have to say that at about 6/7 weeks I really felt a big change for the better. Each week I would think back to the week previous and realize how much further along I was...think of it : just 5 weeks ago you could barely stand, let alone sit, and here you are sitting for 30-45 minutes! I do agree that sitting is the most difficult part, though. I STILL tote around my pillow, not so much for the pain, but just for comfort - I still can't feel my back hitting the back of a chair and the chair back feels soooo far back there. I am just more comfie leaning on a pillow. Hopefully that will end soon. I get a lot of strange looks carrying my pillow into restaurants etc! Hang in there, one day you will realize you sat through a one hour show on TV without even thinking about it!

twistedRN
06-04-2012, 05:15 PM
Hey Pam,
Sorry, also forgot to mention about the bra - I am small also and just bought a couple of those pull-on bralette type things. I started wearing them about week 3/4 and then went pretty quickly to a regular one. At first I used a gauze 2x2 under the strap and over my incision, but then eventually went without that too. Yes, it can feel tight at the end of the day, but I just take it off at that time! As far as the walker goes, I stopped using mine (except for neighborhood walks or long walks in warehouse stores etc) at about week 2/3. But I did take it to my 7 wk follow up appt....

Confusedmom
06-04-2012, 10:04 PM
Hi Pam,
I am by no means out of the woods, but I have started sitting for up to 2-2 1/2 hours. I have done that probably 3 times now. I'll stand up to stretch every 20-30 minutes and then sit back down. Made it through an entire neighborhood association meeting tonight! This change happened just in the past week or two. I just started feeling somewhat more flexible (Flexeril helped, I think), and I've had more energy. For me this started around week 9. I still do have to lay down flat several times throughout the day, but I would say I am up for the majority of the day now. I have no doubt you'll be ready to go back to work when the time comes.

I also can get by without bras. Generally at home I wear tank tops instead. When I go out I wear bras. It doesn't bother me too much. I've probably been wearing them off & on since week 4.

I would ask Karen whether Dr. Lenke wants to see you with the walker. I brought mine, but he didn't ask to see me walk with it. I doubt you will need it.

At five weeks, I was getting up for about an hour in the morning to get my kids to school. Then I would pretty much rest all day, getting up for meals. I would take 6 minute walks in the house a few times. And I would help put the kids to bed at night. But really, I was laying down a lot of the time. I would ask Karen about this, too. You aren't on many meds, and it's possible they would want to get your pain down another notch to get you a little more active over the next few weeks.

Best,
Evelyn

TwinmomTN
06-05-2012, 02:02 PM
Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. Wow, Evelyn you are sitting for 2-2.5 hrs!!! I am very impressed. You are progressing swiftly! I will definitely find a bra to get into soon or use the 2 x 2 bandage strip idea, thanks Suzanne that is brilliant. It sounds like I may be a little behind schedule in my daytmakes activeness. I will make an effort to get more active each time I am up. Thanks all.

Confusedmom
06-06-2012, 04:38 PM
Update! I was very sore the past two days after sitting through the 2.5 hour meeting on Monday. So, I think I jumped the gun when I said I'm sitting 2-2.5. It's probably more like 1-1.5, which can be pushed if necessary. The latest is pain in my left gluteal muscle and left lower leg if I sit too long. I'm worried about a pinched nerve. Hope not!

Evelyn

TwinmomTN
06-11-2012, 11:53 AM
Question for everyone regarding muscle spasms and activity. Are muscle spasms just inevitable and unavoidable when increasing activity level? It seems everytime I attempt to sit longer or walk further my muscles do this "balling up" and tightening which I guess is a muscle spasm. Is there anyway to avoid these or do they go with the territory and I just have to ride this out?

Confusedmom
06-11-2012, 04:58 PM
Mine are still spasming constantly. I take Flexeril on an 8-hour schedule, and it helps a lot.

Best,
Evelyn

nanlo
06-11-2012, 07:23 PM
Hi everyone,

I am 6 weeks and 3 days post op today and have several questions. First, boy this sitting is really difficult! Do most of you sit periodically throughout the day or try to sit for as long as you can at one time? I can only sit for tops maybe 40 -45 minutes at a time. Seems like this is going to take forever to be able to sit long enough to return to a desk job full time. Part time is not an option for me. I still have several months of leave but if only increasing time by a few minutes every few days still seems like this will take forever to reach an 8 hour day!

Next question for ladies: At what point did you start wearing a bra again? My husband says it's not obvious that I'm not wearing one....yes I am that small,lol. But still feel self conscious out in public.

Thirdly, I've read some take their walker for follow up appointments, but at 8 weeks is this necessary? I haven't used the walker since week 3. But do most carry a pillow with you when out in public at about 6-8 weeks, and to Dr. appointments ? I'm afraid of getting stuck in a waiting room for longer than I can handle sitting.

Still not feeling very well on most days and spend probably 90% of my day lying in bed. Hope this is normal at this point.

Thanks for listening.

Hi Pam,
I know what you mean when you say that it seems like it takes forever! But what Suzanne said really resonated w/ me - every week was SO much better than the last! As far as sitting / resting, at 6 weeks, I still had a hospital bed in our living room, so I could adjust my sitting position. It seems that everyone's most comfortable position is different for the first weeks at home. I definitely did carry a pillow around w/ me in public for awhile though. I needed it.
I can recommend a good bra... I got a super comfy bra from the Spanx website called brallelujiah (!). It has the clasp in front, all the straps are just stretchy bands, really soft! I'm small too, but it comes in every size.
For muscle problems, I started seeing my massage therapist at week 4. And I keep going every week since it helps so much. At first, she didn't even go near my spine, but all my muscles were upset w/ me, and it felt wonderful to have her work on my legs, arms, shoulders, neck, etc. Over all, it's made a huge difference in my recovery.
Every week WILL get better!! Hang in there!
Nancy

SisterFriend
08-07-2012, 03:27 PM
Yes, my date is finally here! Monday, August 13th is surgery, but I have a mylegram on 8/9, central line on 8/10, and then wait over the week-end for Monday's 5:30 surgery. I have no idea what to pack. I need clothes for the hotel and then how much do you bring to the hospital? And Pam did you bring your laptop? and did your husband stay at a hotel the whole while you were inthe hospital or did he go home and come back. How long were you in the hospital and then were you in rehabilitation unit also.? Questions, questions. Help
How are you coping at home. We have a multi level home-Yikes. I'm tring to realize and let the Lord handle it. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Godbless Laurie

TwinmomTN
08-08-2012, 12:06 PM
Sister friend,

I did not bring a laptop, but I did bring my iPad and my husband posted updates on the forum while I was unable. The only items I brought to hospital were clothes that I wore in and a toothbrush and facial cleansing items. My husband stayed at Barnes Lodge within a few blocks of the hospital and walked back and forth every night. I was in the hospital approximately one week and then stayed at the lodge another week before leaving St. Louis. I never had any rehabilitation services....only a couple of physical therapy visits in the hospital teaching me to use the spine kit which included the grabber and a sock device and a couple other items that I have no idea what they are for or how to use them. Hope I answered your questions. If not feel free to ask again. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery. Who is your surgeon??

Pam

tae_tap
08-08-2012, 01:34 PM
Sister Friend,
I have to say that I am jealous that your time is soon! I can not wait to have my spine corrected and to ease the pain. I go in exactly one week to set the date. Good luck! I will be praying for you.

Tamena
34 years
Double curve

TwinmomTN
10-30-2012, 03:09 PM
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I will be having surgery next week, November 8th, with Dr. Brian
O'Shaughnessy to look at the nerve root area, L - 3 to sacrum, and hopefully locate a bone fragment or pinched nerve,etc., the source of my unbearable pain. It will be done at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. I should just be in the hospital a couple of days and hopefully a shorter recovery than my previous fusion surgery in April.

Irina
10-30-2012, 06:13 PM
Hi Pam,

Best of luck to you. I hope your doctor will be able to find the source of pain and fix it.

golfnut
10-30-2012, 07:29 PM
Best of luck, Pam. I'm so sorry you have been in so much pain. I hope that this surgery will take care of the pain so that you can continue with your recovery.

TwinmomTN
10-30-2012, 10:12 PM
Thank you Karen and Irina.

tae_tap
10-31-2012, 05:18 AM
Good luck Pam! I will be praying. Expect some ups and downs, but we are strng! Look how,long we have dealt with pain to start. Recovery will be worth it, and I say that for the both of us. See you on the other side!
Tamena

TwinmomTN
10-31-2012, 08:56 AM
Thanks Tamena. When is your surgery?

tae_tap
10-31-2012, 09:56 AM
Pam,
I am a week out from having surgery. Check my post and it will explain it all.

Tamena

jackieg412
10-31-2012, 05:15 PM
I hope this will find the reason for your pain. Also, my second surgery was much easier than the long fusion surgery and I hope yours will go well too!

loves to skate
10-31-2012, 06:11 PM
Good luck Pam, I hope the Doctor can find the source of the pain and get you fixed up so you no longer have pain.
Sally