View Full Version : 8 Days post surgery, things we learned

11-27-2007, 01:48 PM
Kayleigh is back home from the hospital. She had a spinal fusion surgery (T3 to L4) on Monday November 19th and was discharged on Thursday the 22nd. The surgery was long (~8 hours) at Kaiser Hospital on Sunset Blvd in Holloywood. So far there have been no complications and she is doing OK. The nurses there were awesome. She is down to one Vicodin every 5 hours and a valium twice a day. The biggest problem just seems to be stiffness in her back. We try to get her up as often as possible to move around. For those who are scheduled for surgery, here are things that have helped us out.

A hospital bed at home. We tried the first night without it (4 nights post surgery) and she was miserable.

I purchased a Memory Foam Mattress Topper at Costco (like a Temperpedic Pad)that really helped (When she layed on it the first time, she cried because it felt so good)

Also, the nurses showed us trick on how to move her in the bed. Put an extra sheet on top of the bed that she lays on top of. When she gets into bed, many times she needs to be slid up on the bed, so we pull the sheet she is laying on and she says that feels real good.

She is very sensitive to being straight, sometimes I have to rotate her hips so they are aligned with her shoulders (in the same plane)

She still has her meltdowns but feels good after, so its best to just let her have them.

The raised toilet chair and shower seat are also a must. A heating pad on her stomach comforts her a bit as well.

The nights are the worst and my wife and I trade off so at least we get sleep every other night.

She complains of lightheadedness and dizziness when she stands up, I am assuming this just from laying around so much and from the changes in her body. She is 2.5 inches taller and glides around when she walks.

She enjoys watching TV when she can focus

She has been very strong through this adventure. This is a 15 year old girl who has always been terrified of doctors and needles, she amazes me how she has just accepted it. There have been a lot of prayers said on her behalf and I am sure we couldn't have gotten through it without them

11-27-2007, 02:07 PM
Hope your daughter has a speedy recovery. I will remember her in my prayers.

11-27-2007, 02:13 PM
My surgery is scheduled for Dec 13 at Kaiser Sunset...Who was her Dr? My Dr is Dr Ganocy. I will also be fused from T-4 to L-4 at least. Was she allowed to have overnight guests in her room?
I'm glad to here that Kayleigh is doing well. It is nice to hear that she had good care while in the hospital. I have my pre-op tomorrow and was planning on requesting a hospital bed, now I know it is pretty much a must have, so thank you.
I hope Kayleigh continues to have good progress and an uneventful recovery.

11-27-2007, 03:24 PM
I'm very happy to hear Kayleigh is doing well. Sounds like she's doing extremely well considering the HUGE surgery she had. Stiffness is normal. I'm amazed that's one of the only complaints. Thanks for sharing. Continued best wishes for a smooth recovery.

11-27-2007, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the prayers and wishes. She complains about other things but they are minor.

Her Doctor was Doctor Kessler (pediatric orthopedic surgeon) He was very good. my only comment was he seemed to downplay the recovery abit. In any case, I believe he did a great job, her speedy recovery and lack of complications is proof. He promotes activity asap after surgery to aid in recovery

As far as Kaiser Sunset goes, They allowed us to stay all night with her on a pullout bed, however we requested the pediatric ICU post surgery which is supposedly better suited for that. The first two nights we had a private room which was great. The third night we were in a group area in pediatrics where you are separated by only curtains. that night was bad for two reasons, noisy and weaning from morphine. That night motivated us and her for discharge asap. The doctor said we could stay another night if we wanted, but he thought she would be more comfortable at home. Ask your doctor about the pullout bed, I think if you request it at the preop, or at admitting, they will try to accomodate.

You definitely want someone to stay with you all night. The nurses are great, but things like a wet wash cloth on the forehead go along ways and they don't always have time for that. Also getting your nurses attention when the IV machine starts beeping.

One other tip since your preop is tomorrow and your surgery isn't til the 13th, If you are having someone donate blood for you, Kaiser needs at least 4 working days to process it and have it ready for you during surgery.

11-27-2007, 04:42 PM
<<my only comment was he seemed to downplay the recovery abit.>>

I'm afraid surgeons tend to do this. They aren't always aware of the 24/7 needs of post-op patients. Their focus is the operating room. That's where they excel. We need them there, but we also need a good person or team to help with the post-op issues that the surgeon may not be fully concentrating on.

<<The third night we were in a group area in pediatrics where you are separated by only curtains.>>

This comment makes me remember to NOT take for granted the fact that our Children's Hospital has PRIVATE rooms! (Except for PICU.) I can't imagine having only a curtain for privacy (I can imagine, but don't like that thought).

Again, continued best wishes. Sounds like she's doing great. Hopefully she feels that way soon.

11-27-2007, 05:26 PM
Congratulations on Kayleigh's successful surgery. It sounds like she is doing great. My 17 year old son is scheduled for surgery on Dec. 12 and I appreciate you posting those helpful tips. Best wishes for a smooth recovery!

11-27-2007, 07:05 PM
Thanks so much for sharing the details; we all learn from you. And it's great to hear she's doing well.

Mary Ellen

11-27-2007, 08:21 PM
what you do sounds alot what my situation was like I had the same temperpedic thing on my bed (still do because it feels nice!). When I got in bed I would sit at the side and one parent would grab my legs and one arm with the other arm I held the bed and the parent would gently lay me down as I let go of the bed. Sitting up I hated I wanted to cry each time I sat down in a chair because the pain was so bad hope your daughter recovers quickly! :)

11-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Another thing on sitting up that I forgot to mention,

In the hospital they showed her how to get up from the bed in the flat (horizontal) position. She basically rolls on her side at the edge of the bed, swings her legs over the side and pushes on the bed with elbow and opposite hand. Kayleigh said this was the most painful thing she does (much more than walking or sitting) We discovered yesterday that by rolling over on her side and then raising the hospital bed to the sitting position (putting her torso almost vertical), she doesnt have to push much to get vertical. This makes it a lot easier to get out of bed and more motivating to get up and move around

always smilin'
11-27-2007, 10:46 PM
I'm so glad that everyone's spirits are for the most part high. Your description of the recovery brought tears to my eyes. While my surgery was 20+ years ago I can remember vividly all that you describe. Kayleigh sounds like a very strong person with a great supportive family surrounding her- thanks so much for sharing!

Always Smilin'
Harrington Rod 1982

11-29-2007, 05:35 AM
Welcome home to Kayleigh. I am so happy she is doing great. Just remember that each child has a different experience, so we all don't necessarily need the same things. We didn't need a hospital bed. Going up to her bed was just fine. Although Nicole is very tall with long legs, she was fine with no raised toilet seat. We borrowed a shower chair for the first 2 weeks from a friend. She had the mattress topper since last year and loves it, too.

I just don't want some Parents to panic and think, "Oh, no, I have to get a hospital bed, or something like that." Our kids surgeries and recoveries are as unique as they are.

Best of luck for a speedy recovery.