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View Full Version : 18 DAYS TO SURGERY. I'M AFRAID... Pls share yr 1st night postop



GwenieC48
07-08-2015, 12:09 PM
Hi All.

I been a silent reader for two years.

My curve is 49 degree and Operation T4 - L3.

I have postponed my surgery once due to work.
I'm very afraid now that I feel like postponing again.

The reason I choose to do surgery is because these past few years I CANT sleep on my back, only on my side, n often there is a pressure sharp pain below my left breast that stay about 5mins, pain on my back neck and also shoulder. My dowager hump is getting worst. And my bra's right side keep falling off. It is embarrassing at work when i need to give presentation.

I have read and follow most of the "things to do before surgery"
- clean/declutter my room, toilet seat, all daily products at reachable height etc...

But now I am AFRAID of the PAIN. I have ZERO tolerance for pain. How do I overcome this?

For those who did the surgery, how did you feel when you wake up the 1st time?
Did you wake up due to the pain or was it because the nurse wake u up?
Any1 cry upon waking up due to the pain?

I watch ton of youtube vid, and some wokeup with a tube at their neck. Y? is it a must?

I am 31 years old, 164cm tall (5'4) and weight 95kg (209pounds)
Should I postpone and lost 20pounds for the surgery?
I am worried if I postpone the 2nd time, i will never do it.

Last week I wokeup from sleep due to crying, dreaming of the PAIN i will feel after surgery :(
these past few weeks is torture, every waking moments, my thoughts goes to the surgery and pain and what if the op fail, i cant walk again. While sleep is fill with surgery pain, mild night terror.

I remembered someone here mentioned waiting for the surgery date is tougher than recovery. I hope is true.

Any suggestions is welcome.

Thank you

mabeckoff
07-08-2015, 01:23 PM
Welcome

Regarding your weight, what does your surgeon say?

Your pain will be controlled.

Melissa

susancook
07-08-2015, 02:10 PM
Hi! First of all, your fear of pain is very normal. I do not remember anything right after any of my 3 surgeries as I was well sedated and the drugs provided an amnesia. Everyone has some amount of concern/fear/worry about surgery. This is a BIG surgery, and if you were not worried, then that would be abnormal. You WILL HAVE AT LEAST SOME PAIN AFTER SURGERY. You say that you have zero tolerance for pain.....do you have back pain now? How do you handle it? It is unrealistic to think that anyone will be pain-free after any surgery or procedure.

The "tube in the neck" in the You Tube is probably a central line for controlling your fluid volume/blood pressure during and after surgery. I never had a tube in my neck, most people have a line inserted near the clavicle.

My thought/advice to your questions:

- Make a plan on how you are "going to be in control of yourself". See suggestions below. Write self-affirmation statements to yourself. Read them often. I put a picture of my surgeon on the back of my cell phone and wrote the word TRUST under the picture. Do you have confidence in your surgeon?

- Talk with your doctor about your fear. Ask him what meds he/she uses and tell him that you want to be very comfortable. I don't think that there is anyone here that will say that the experience was pain free, but most had pain controlled. If your doctor does surgery with a Spine Fellow, talk to that person about your concerns also. In my experience, your spine surgeon will not do most of the legwork after surgery to visit you and keep up with you. Some surgeon come around daily, other do not.

- Have a family member/good close friend stay with you at all times in the hospital. Tell the support persons before you go to the hospital about your need to be comfortable after surgery. Support people can contact the nurse if you are in pain or if nobody comes to help you with your problem.

- Bring comforting items with you to the hospital: music that relaxes you, your favorite fuzzy blanket, pillow, etc. My blanket was awesome and I wrapped myself in it anytime that I needed some kind of comforting.

- As mentioned above, what did your doctor say about your weight? While being a "normal weight" is ideal [mine neither], I cannot imagine that it would be a major factor.

- When is your surgery? Do you have time to drop a few pounds at least [do not go on a radical diet as you will not be in good nutritional shape for surgery!!!!]?

- I suggest that you consider some counseling around your pain fear. Ask your doctor if there is someone recommended.

- Go on line and find relaxation tapes to listen to. There is a free series of on line pre-op messages to decrease fear of surgery. If you cannot find them, let me know. [send a private message]

- Do you have a partner that you can talk to?

- Did your surgeon give you names of people that have had your surgery so that you can sit down with them over coffee and ask about the hospital experience?

Hope that these suggestions are helpful.

Susan

tae_tap
07-08-2015, 03:20 PM
You will not even remember the first night due to the wonderful drugs that will be pumping through your blood. I will be praying all goes well. Remain calm and be ready to battle. Good luck!

Tamena

LindaRacine
07-08-2015, 09:32 PM
Susan... You almost certainly had a central line. At UC, the line is usually inserted after you're out, and removed before you wake up. They need that line in in case you need to get blood or fluids in a hurry. If they had to stop to insert a central line, it could be very detrimental to your health. :-)

I agree that it's very likely that Gwenie will have pain. In general, most people's pain is controlled relatively well, but sometimes patients have a tough time of it.

Gwenie...

You are the only one who knows whether surgery is right for you. You're the one who lives with the pain and deformity. Do you want encouragement to go ahead with surgery, or do you want to hear the truth, both good and bad? Reading posts here on the forum can easily add to your anxiety.

You might want to talk to your primary care doctor about taking some sort of anti-anxiety drug until your surgery. As my own surgery approached, I found that sleeping got more difficult. I kept waking up with thoughts about the surgery. I finally started taking something about a week before surgery.

--Linda

susancook
07-09-2015, 12:18 AM
Linda, I do not believe that I ever had a central line in my neck (jugular).
I believe that all of mine were subclavian.
Susan

LindaRacine
07-09-2015, 09:45 PM
Linda, I do not believe that I ever had a central line in my neck (jugular).
I believe that all of mine were subclavian.
Susan

Sorry, didn't realize there was a difference.

Chihuahua Mama
07-09-2015, 10:13 PM
I had a central line - and it stayed there (open) because my heart rate went up and they wanted to evaluate me before second surgery.

This surgery, dr. is putting central line in FIRST to see if it irritates my heart before the deep, deep anestesia.

titaniumed
07-09-2015, 10:23 PM
Gwenie

All of us have had the pre surgery jitters. I pretty much turned into a zombie.....feet dragging, no attention span, maybe some drooling. (Do zombies drool?)

Learn to breathe! In hard, hold, then exhale slowly. This helps quite a bit, before and after surgery.

If you scheduled scoliosis surgery twice, you must be in pain. Remember why you are doing this, and stick with the agenda.....eyes on the prize.

Donít worry about hoses and things till you get there.

The meds are powerful. They have the ability to remove ALL pain.....

Hang in there

Welcome to the forum!

Ed

mabeckoff
07-10-2015, 12:34 AM
I have had many 1st night post op nights as have many on this forum. We have all gotten through them and so will you.
You have gotten some excellent advice

Melissa

PeggyS
07-10-2015, 06:30 AM
Great suggestions! I was surprised that I never felt pain from the incision - it has stayed numb. The pain I felt was from muscle spasms & most of the time it was controlled with meds. Once the catheter was removed and I had to get up to go to the bathroom, it was very hard to move my body because it felt so, so heavy.
For me, the best comfort tool was my cell phone with a playlist of music that was meaningful & uplifting. It gave me a focus & a distraction.
I like the suggestions of anti-anxiety meds before surgery & talking with a counselor.
Recovery might be one hour or one nap, at a time! Hang in there, you can do this!

JenniferG
07-11-2015, 05:03 AM
Hi All.

I been a silent reader for two years.

My curve is 49 degree and Operation T4 - L3.

I have postponed my surgery once due to work.
I'm very afraid now that I feel like postponing again.

The reason I choose to do surgery is because these past few years I CANT sleep on my back, only on my side, n often there is a pressure sharp pain below my left breast that stay about 5mins, pain on my back neck and also shoulder. My dowager hump is getting worst. And my bra's right side keep falling off. It is embarrassing at work when i need to give presentation.

I have read and follow most of the "things to do before surgery"
- clean/declutter my room, toilet seat, all daily products at reachable height etc...

But now I am AFRAID of the PAIN. I have ZERO tolerance for pain. How do I overcome this?

For those who did the surgery, how did you feel when you wake up the 1st time?
Did you wake up due to the pain or was it because the nurse wake u up?
Any1 cry upon waking up due to the pain?

I watch ton of youtube vid, and some wokeup with a tube at their neck. Y? is it a must?

I am 31 years old, 164cm tall (5'4) and weight 95kg (209pounds)
Should I postpone and lost 20pounds for the surgery?
I am worried if I postpone the 2nd time, i will never do it.

Last week I wokeup from sleep due to crying, dreaming of the PAIN i will feel after surgery :(
these past few weeks is torture, every waking moments, my thoughts goes to the surgery and pain and what if the op fail, i cant walk again. While sleep is fill with surgery pain, mild night terror.

I remembered someone here mentioned waiting for the surgery date is tougher than recovery. I hope is true.

Any suggestions is welcome.

Thank you

Hi Gwenie,

We were all scared, you are not alone. Those of us who've had our surgeries, totally understand. You can get through it by thinking past the surgery, to your recovery, getting a little better every day with an easier future to look forward to. To answer your questions, I woke up of my own accord. I had no pain. I was on my back and I felt like I was lying on a lump. Therefore I only had a little discomfort. I wriggled my fingers and toes. I knew exactly where I was and what had happened. It was quite clear. I didn't cry. I felt enormous relief that the surgery was over. That was the strongest emotion I had. I felt strangely calm - which I put down to the medication. I couldn't see because my face was swollen and my eyes were shut and I couldn't open them until I woke up the next morning. But I knew this might happen and I wasn't concerned. Again, I think they must give you calming medication because I wasn't worried about anything. It was around 5.30pm in the evening when I woke. My surgery was started around 8am, and was 8.5 hours.

When I was in the waiting room prior to surgery, I requested a "pre-op" Someone had told me to do this. I'm so glad I did. The nurse was happy to give it to me. I immediately went to sleep and wasn't aware of being trundled into theatre or seeing the inside of theatre. I'm grateful for that.

If your surgeon is happy to operate at your current weight, I think you should put your trust in him and get this done. You will lose a bit of weight following the surgery because it's likely your appetite will be low. Some don't eat for days.

Don't decide to be a hero about the pain. If your medication isn't keeping the pain under control, ask for more. I did. They didn't want to give it to me but I was insistent. I'm glad I had my pain controlled. I had a good recovery and I feel sure that pain control was a big part of that.

I wish you all the best. I always think, hon, if I can do it, anyone can! You're young so you've got that on your side. I was nearly 58. Let us know how you go. :)

jackieg412
07-11-2015, 07:33 AM
It is a rough time before but I did find all the time to plan helpful. Get your legs strong as they will need to lift you. You will lose weight after, it seems that everyone does. Try to find your inner peace because you can do this. I wasn't in any distress when I woke up but the surgeon put a morphine block in the spinal cord. It truly helped. There are some tough times but do ask f or pain management as those doctors can really help.
Good luck and stay peaceful.

JenniferG
07-11-2015, 05:07 PM
Jackie reminded me of why I had no pain when I woke up. I had two epidurals. They remained in place for 3 days. I'd almost forgotten that bit!