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rockycarm
05-24-2012, 07:53 AM
well to let you all know i am on the other side now - glad it is over but now the hard part. trying to figure out pain management, what normal, whats to be expected. hating the nights and where can i sit and be comfortable as a variation during the day. i am open to all of your experiences and please let me know how you all progressed the first 2 weeks. i am not pain free, pain probably between 3-9. i am told am doing well. all tapes wlll be coming off tomorrow.

Doodles
05-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Welcome to the other side, Rockycarm. It sounds like you are pretty much on target. I think it's amazing you can type! I couldn't have done that. My first 2 weeks were in the hospital and rehab before I ever came home. You are going through the worst part now. Hang in there. Good luck. Janet

mabeckoff
05-24-2012, 01:47 PM
Glad to hear that you are on the other side. Hope all continues to go well for you

JenniferG
05-24-2012, 03:58 PM
I'm with Janet on this. You're going through the hardest time right now, but keep in mind, this will pass and things will improve. I guess getting your pain under control is what you need to concentrate on. A 9 is pretty high and indicates your meds are not quite right. Or is that 9 only when your meds are due? It took 3 weeks for my meds to get things under control, but once they were right, I improved rapidly. Once you're out of pain, or it's in the low levels, everything - sleeping, sitting, exercising - starts to improve. Good luck!

golfnut
05-24-2012, 05:33 PM
Welcome to "the other side." As everyone else has said, the first several weeks are the hardest. I tried to watch Netflix movies to fall asleep at night. I also slept on several long "body pillows". I agree with Jennifer that a 9 is too high for your pain level. Maybe your surgeon's office could offer suggestions for your pain medications. Hang in there.

djkinkead
05-24-2012, 07:50 PM
Welcome to the other side--yes, this is the toughest time and you need to get your doctor to prescribe the pain meds you need to stop the pain level.

For a good month after my surgery, I was on constant Hydrocodon-Acetaminophen (Vicodin) (every four hours) and at night I would take a Valium. It helped with muscle spasms and helped me sleep. After a month, I slowly backed off on the Vicodin....finally transitioned to nothing but tylenol at around three months.

Using lots of pillows will help with the sitting, but you will not be able to sit for any length of time for a while. Did you get (rent or buy) a hospital type bed where the back goes up? That can be very useful. Also, a nice soft memory foam topper....

In short: think soft. Soft to lay on, soft to lean against.

Best wishes--and prayers for your recovery.

mdtaffet
05-24-2012, 11:19 PM
you will not be able to sit for any length of time for a while

I think it's interesting that when I was first home, I spent way more time sitting than doing almost anything else, yet other people seem to say that sitting is supposed to be difficult in the early days. Granted there were only 2 chairs I could sit in, but I spent LOTS of time in those chairs, and still do -- though not quite as much in one of them now that most of the prime time TV shows I watch have had their season finales.

Until after my dressing came off, I might be uncomfortable at some points while sitting or doing anything else before taking the pain meds, but that discomfort was way up in my shoulder blade area, above where the dressing was, so it had nothing to do with sitting.

So not EVERYBODY has problems with sitting, as quite clearly I didn't. I spent many hours sitting the day I came home, and ever since then as well.

Jenna.KB
05-25-2012, 03:24 AM
Well done on getting through your surgery!
I agree with everyone else, this is the hard bit but you'll get through it. Make sure you tell the doctors about your pain so you can get that under control.
I found the evenings the worst also, I had plenty of books, magazines to hand and the TV. When possible I also tried to delay my meds in the day so my last lot was late at night. I found this way I slept better but if your in so much pain during the day I wouldn't advise this. Maybe see if they can give you anything to help you sleep.

If all else fails just sleep when you can and remember the pain will get better and you will sleep more and more the further post surgery you get.
Hang in there!

Marina63
05-25-2012, 06:39 AM
So not EVERYBODY has problems with sitting, as quite clearly I didn't. I spent many hours sitting the day I came home, and ever since then as well.

I didn't have any trouble sitting either. Everyone's recovery is so different. It's hard to say how yours will be until you actually go through it.

Confusedmom
05-25-2012, 06:22 PM
Congrats on being on "the other side"!!!!!!! It's a huge relief, isn't it?!

I was heavily medicated the first month. I was prescribed Oxicontin, Norco (Hydrocodone), Flexeril & Valium and told to take them all! I was popping pills like mad, because in addition to all that there were the laxatives and reflux med, which I took before. Anyway, I'm just mentioning this as my way of saying don't be afraid of taking enough to make the pain tolerable early on. After a month to six weeks, you can start to slowly wean down. I was very worried about weaning, but so far it is going pretty well--though slower than I'd hoped.

I sleep on a memory foam mattress and have little to no pain on that. During the day, I alternate between sitting on hard surfaces (soft bothers me for sitting), walking and laying flat on my back on the couch. I put a twin bed eggshell foam topper on our living room sofa & removed the back cushions so it can be my "bed" in the living room.

Sitting was awful for me. I think if you are fused to sacrum or have a lot of lumbar work, sitting is hard at first. It is getting easier, but I still can't sit for an hour straight at 10 weeks post-op.

When all is said and done, you probably won't remember much of these first two weeks. Hang in there!!!

Best,
Evelyn

mdtaffet
05-25-2012, 09:21 PM
I think if you are fused to sacrum or have a lot of lumbar work, sitting is hard at first.

Evelyn,

I'm fused to the sacrum, and the vast majority of my work was lumbar (laminectomy L2 to L5 and fusion T9 to S1 with pelvic fixation). Yet sitting (in a comfortable chair only) was one of the most comfortable things for me early on, and was how I spent the majority of my time.

Lying down was and still is painful and is the main reason that I still don't sleep well at all at 4 months out; I don't know if it would be painful if I had kept my old bed instead of replacing it a day or two before the surgery. I replaced it because I felt that my bed was too soft; my husband's bed was much more comfortable to me, and his was the firmer version of mine. But the one he got wasn't available anymore, so I got the most current version I could. I did try sleeping on my couch downstairs once, but it is so low that I almost couldn't get up again. Once I can afford it, I may end up replacing the new bed with something else more comfortable, but I'll have to start earning more money first. I've gone back to work part time, but so far earn less than I was getting on disability, which wasn't much...

It is true that some chairs are so uncomfortable that I don't even want to sit in them at all, but fortunately that's not the case for my kitchen chair and my rocker.

Maybe I'm an unusual case, but sitting in a comfortable chair is just not difficult for me at all. Then again, I've only found 2 chairs (kitchen and rocker) that are comfortable.... But fortunately, both are in my house.

-- Mary

Confusedmom
05-26-2012, 02:07 PM
Mary,

I stand corrected! I guess we all must have our own issues. I sure wish I could try your chairs and you could try my mattress, though!

:),
Evelyn

rockycarm
05-26-2012, 03:21 PM
thanks again for all of your stories, it helps. I think a major factor has been the dampness here in the NE. MD put me on Prednisone for 6 days which seems to be helping. The sun finally came out today and felt great until about 2 p.m. when I crashed. UGH, now the dreaded night!

titaniumed
05-27-2012, 12:02 AM
Rocky

Try to hang in there. Take notes and write everything down, meds, food, etc.

Try not to let yourself get constipated. On meds its real easy, in fact it happens to just about all of us.

Having a bottle of Magnesium Citrate is a good thing to have. Its sold over the counter.....

One day at a time

Ed