View Full Version : One week until surgery

05-07-2007, 12:38 PM
I've been visiting this forum for several months now reading up on everyone's experiences. I've learned alot from this site and now that I'm facing my own surgery in 1 week I'm ready to ask a few questions.
I'm having a spinal fusion from T4 to L4 on 5/14/07. Both curves are at about 80 degrees.

I'm married and I'm concerned about sleeping arrangements. My husband sometimes tosses and turns at night and I'm worried that if we share our bed that he could accidentally hurt me. I hate to boot him out of the bedroom if I don't have to. And if I do have to ask him to relocate, how long will I need to keep him on the couch?
Does anyone have any recommendations?

Also, did anyone else have full blown panic attacks right before the surgery? I thought I was doing so well and then out of the blue I just couldn't stop crying. I can't believe I'm suddenly so scared of something that I thought I had accepted.

I appreciate any words of advice anyone has to offer. This site has been a tremendous help!


05-07-2007, 12:46 PM
First of all, good luck with your surgery. Try not to think about all of the possibilities of things that could happen...it will drive you crazy! I went into my surgery with the attitude that I wouldn't worry about anything until I woke up and was told that I had something to worry about. It really did help keep me calm.

My husband doesn't toss & turn, but he is twice my size and during the first week home, I realized that because of his size, our mattress tilted towards him at night. This was causing me more pain on that side and so he did spend about 5 nights sleeping in our guest room (he spent one night sleeping on the floor in our room because he was afraid to leave me alone...he's so sweet!). We had two way radios so that when I needed meds or help getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I could page him. I felt bad, but we both knew it was best for my back and my recovery.

05-07-2007, 03:00 PM

I'm running out tomorrow and getting a baby monitor -- thanks for the great idea. My husband snores and tosses and turns and will probably be banished to the guest room...

Lori, it's normal to be scared and panicky. I have found that it's impossible to be scared 24 hours a day; the bad feelings come and go, so I just try to walk through them. You're almost there -- the week will go by before you know it.
Best of luck to you!

05-07-2007, 03:25 PM
I think my husband slept on the downstairs couch for about 2 weeks or so. We don't have a guest room but it is a nice big comfy couch. He did fine & believe me, he would'nt have gotten much sleep with me. I was up each night about 2am looking for my next pain med dose. Then I'd sit up & watch tv for a while. Your whole sleep pattern is knocked off for a while. I slept the most at 4pm to 6 or 7.
all my best to you for your surgery and a good recovery! The wait is the worse part, at least for me it was....Ly :)
fused T-11 to L-5 aug 1, 2006( now 9mos post-op!!!)

05-07-2007, 03:55 PM
Congrats on your upcoming surgery! Mine was similar, T5-L5 for 72 and 77 degree curves.

The other posters' husbands slept somewhere else, but mine slept right with me every night when I came home. I was glad to have him!! At first it is hard to even roll over in the bed, so he would gently help me roll over or turn. Also, you can't sit up to pull the covers back up if they come off, so he had to do that also. If I dropped something on the floor, he picked it up. Also, he kept an eye on me going to and from the bathroom in case I would get dizzy or trip or start to fall.

I don't really remember us bothering each at all during those first few weeks, but I slept very well with the pain medication. I also had a hospital bed out in the living room and could sleep like a log out there during the day with my whole family talking, walking around, watching tv, etc. It was nice to be out there and not stuck back in the bedroom all day.

If I was you, I'd just play it by ear with your husband. maybe have someplace that he could go sleep if you keep him awake. But maybe you won't even need it!

posterior surgery 7/24/06

05-07-2007, 04:15 PM
Mine slept with me the whole time too as we don't have a spare bedroom. But it was hard because we only have a queen size bed and although he's not huge, I still felt like I needed more room. If we had had a king size bed, it would have been perfect. I also hated when he would get into bed because I could feel everything when the bed would move. I had to wear a brace at night during the first 6 weeks and in order to get comfortable, I had to prop a pillow underneath my right side, which added to the room I took up. But he was fine with that. So we managed! But when he went out of town for business I relished having the bed all to myself!!

Oh and yes, I had sudden moments right before both of my surgeries where I lost it! Especially at night when you're left alone with your thoughts. When I kept myself busy I was usually good. Talking about it with people helped a TON. You reassure yourself when you say outloud why you're having the surgery and how it's going to make you better. So think on those positive things. And go ahead and cry when you need to. Good luck, you'll be fine!!

Karen Ocker
05-07-2007, 05:21 PM
I went to spine rehab for 2 weeks post op and was happy to be near him. However it might have helped that we have a sleep by number bed with 2 separate sections individually controlled.

05-07-2007, 05:48 PM
The baby monitor is a great idea. We actually already got one because my husband is hard of hearing and without his hearing aids at night, I could not communicate with him. So my mother is staying with us and I will be able to communicate with her over a baby monitor :)

Good luck on your surgery. I'm a few weeks behind you. Try to stay extra busy with friends and family and know that everything will be alright!


05-07-2007, 10:53 PM
Hi Lori,

Good Luck with your surgery, I'm following you one week later. This is my third time and it's just as difficult waiting as the first one was. I've been to my doctor this past week and got some aniexty medicine to help when I feel panicky.

05-08-2007, 08:05 AM
Hi Lori

\Good luck on yor surgery!!!!
I will be having mine on June 26 & 27 with the same fusion. My curves are 55 and 78. I am constantly having panic attacks and crying, I guess we just have to hang in there and say this will be all over soon and how much better we will feel in the long run.

I will be thinking about you!!


05-08-2007, 08:42 AM
Good luck on your surger, I'll be right behind you on the 23rd of May.

I don't know if its panic attacks or just stress, but yesterday was awful and I cried on and off all day at work. I'm giving two units of Blood and getting 2 units from directed donations. They were suppost to be from my sister and husband, and yesterday in talking to the red cross my husband just gave blood April 4 and can not give again befor my surgery and my sister was sick all weekend, so my other family members are going today to get there blood types check.


05-08-2007, 08:57 AM

I would check with Red Cross and/or your doctor about blood donations from family members. I know that my husband shouldn't donate for me because it could cause birth defects in any future children we may have (I don't know if you already have children or are planning on it). I gather your husband can't donate anyway because of the timing, but it something to take into consideration.


05-08-2007, 10:33 AM
Thank you all for your words of support. I was very concerned that if my husband did have to move out of the bedroom that I would be in trouble if I needed to get up without assistance. But the baby monitor idea is a perfect solution!
And I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who is panicky (although I would not wish these fears on anyone!). I have been feeling terribly alone but this forum helps to ease that fear a little (along with all of my wonderful friends).
Thank you all so much!


05-08-2007, 08:00 PM
Thanks Anya,

We are done having kids! we already have 3 wonderful daughters now 21, 19 and 14. But that is something the red cross should mention to people as i've never heard that until this forum and my husband did donate when I had a cervical fusion in april 2006 and that was never mentioned.