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briarrose
02-13-2008, 02:59 PM
I'm planning on having surgery in May and it will be here before I know it. I have a bunch of questions that have accumulated over the past few weeks and I was hoping some of you could offer some insight. Thanks in advance!

1. When were you able to where a bra after surgery? I'm a 36D and I can't imagine not wearing a bra for any length of time.

2. There is only a sofa in my living room. Should I buy a recliner or just a bunch of pillows?

3. Were you asleep before you were in the operating room?

4. Were you panicked the night before/morning of surgery? Were you able to ask for an anti-anxiety medication from your doctor ahead of time?

5. Would it be possible for me to attend a concert 4-5 weeks post op?

6. What did you wear when you went to the hospital?

7. When can you pull a shirt over your head?

8. Do I need to get off the pill before surgery?

9. I have asthma and I was wondering if any one else has it that went through surgery. If so, did you have breathing difficulties?

Sorry for the long list.

Thanks again!

skoshi314
02-13-2008, 03:11 PM
briarrose,
I don't have a single answer for you, just want to tell you thanks for asking the questions. Most of these are things I would never have thought of asking but will be valuable information to have. I'm looking forward to seeing the answers!

Geish
02-13-2008, 03:17 PM
Let's see how many of these I can tackle:

I am 9 weeks post op and I wear a bra about half the time. I was a 34D and had to go to a 36D for comfort on my back. I was able to wear one for a few hours at a time at about 4 weeks. I can now wear one for about 10 hours before I have to take it off. If I am just sitting around at home I don't usually put one on now. I have a brace and it helps with some of that support we need!

I bought an office chair and used that for about the first 5 weeks. I still can't sit comfortably on my couch.

I was given an anti anxiety pill before surgery, that I didn't need BTW, and was sound asleep before I ever left pre-op. I was so excited to wake up with my new back that i didn't have a care in the world. Probably not the norm, but I was just so ready.

At 4 weeks post op I was at a wrestling tournament coaching my high school team. i lasted about 5 hours. I then attended a birthday party for my sister that evening. I was tired but it was sure worth it!

I wore sweats to the hospital. I knew I would be giving them to my family in a matter of minutes anyway. I think I wore the same ones home! I don't really remember.

I was able to pull a shirt over my head the day I left the hospital, 6 days post op. I didn't try before that. I just stayed in a hospital gown and changed underwear daily. I also brought a zip front sweat jacket to wear home because I couldn't stand the pressure from the bra strap on my back.

I can't answer the rest since I am not on the pill nor do I have asthma.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
Alicia

sccrm08
02-13-2008, 05:02 PM
Briarrose

I'll answer what I can with my experience, remember everyone is different.

1. I bought a night bra...somewhat like a sports bra...verycomfortable but does not give a lot of support.

2. I had to go out and buy a recliner, but I did not do this until post surgery as I wanted to make sure it was right for me with my new back.

3. I was not asleep before I went to the operating room. For me I liked seeing where it would all take place. The Dr. had come to see me in the pre op room but he also comes to the operating room and stays with his patients and holds there hand while they are being put to sleep. While they were preparing me in the operating room, one of the nurses noticed it was my birthday and the whole operating room staff came over and sang Happy Birthday to me.

4. I was not panicked...very ready for this all to be overwith but I was offerd meds that morning.

5. I went to my nieces High School graduation 2 1/2 weeks post op. I was in way to much pain and ended up in the ER the next morning. At 5 weeks I went to a family reunion and they had me laying down the entire day in the center of all the action so I was able to visit with everyone, but I could not of done it sitting up.

6. Sweats and then I wore them home 10 days later.

7. I was not allowed to do this for 4 months...but my family would help so i cheated and did it carefully.

8. I would ask your Dr. about the pill. I was taken off all meds 4 weeks prior to surgery.

9. I can't give you any advice here as I don't have asthma, Just my daughter and sister.

I hope this helps,
Best of Luck.

Suzy
02-13-2008, 08:41 PM
Hi Briarrose,

I can answer a few questions for you.
I got a light bra to wear that was pretty much a tube top with straps, comfy.

Some couldn't use their recliners, I could. Couch with pillows worked too. A foot stool is nice so you don't have to keep your head turned to see the t.v.

I was asleep before I went to the OR.

Pain was horrible, I couldn't wait to get surgery over with. I slept well the night before knowing relief was on it's way.

Concert at 4-5 weeks? Hmmm. I drove at 5 weeks and did a light grocery shopping (short trip) and was wiped out. But, you are young. Who do you want to go see?

They give you a gown to wear right away so it doesn't matter what you go in wearing. I wore the gowns the whole 8 days. I had a warm robe to wear when walking the halls.

I am fused T10 to L4 no problem with shirts from the start.

I stayed on my pills.

I have asmtha. I went to my pre-op appt. with a pulmonologist and found my asmtha wasn't under control. I was put on advair and now it is like I don't have asmtha anymore! This was a great side effect of my surgery, I never knew I needed help with my asmtha. I had no breathing problems during or after my surgery. I was on advair only about 5-6 weeks prior to my surgery.

Hope this helps. Suzy

vndy
02-13-2008, 09:30 PM
1. When were you able to where a bra after surgery? I'm a 36D and I can't imagine not wearing a bra for any length of time.
First time I wore one was to my 2 weeks post op appointment, but it itched. I agree with others - I only wore one out of the house, and went without at home. Soft clothes and robes were my preference.

2. There is only a sofa in my living room. Should I buy a recliner or just a bunch of pillows? I was able to make due with pillows. At the beginning I put one or two behind me and sat on another one. I also bought a memory foam cube that's about 16 inches square to put my legs up on. This set up worked wonderfully for me (and I still use the foot rest!).

3. Were you asleep before you were in the operating room?
Yes. I started getting nervous in the prep area right outside the operating room, and the anesthesiologist gave me a shot that knocked me out ("This will help you relax.....")

4. Were you panicked the night before/morning of surgery? Were you able to ask for an anti-anxiety medication from your doctor ahead of time? I went to a yoga class the night before, and that helped me calm down. The morning of I was nervous, but ready. Getting wheeled away from my boyfriend (rather abruptly) was still hard. I was nervous, but really ready.

5. Would it be possible for me to attend a concert 4-5 weeks post op? That would have been a stretch for me. I'm still nervous about getting bumped (and I'm 2 months out) and crowds make me nervous for that reason. I guess it would depend if you would be standing or sitting, and in what kind of chair. Is it something you can play by ear?

6. What did you wear when you went to the hospital?
Boots (it was snowing), sweats, tank top, and a zip up hoodie.

7. When can you pull a shirt over your head?
It took me awhile. I lived in zip up hoodies for about a month. I could get shirts over my head earlier, but sometimes it hurt and if I was just around the house, I preferred the zip up because it was much easier for me.

8. Do I need to get off the pill before surgery?
My primary care told me to stay on it but my surgeon's office said to stop taking it, just to be extra safe (it can encourage blood clots, which you're prone to if you're not up and about for a long time, like with surgery). I went back on it about 3 weeks post op.

9. I have asthma and I was wondering if any one else has it that went through surgery. If so, did you have breathing difficulties? Can't help you on that one.

Good luck - and please let me know if I can answer any thing else!

txmarinemom
02-14-2008, 12:27 AM
I'm planning on having surgery in May and it will be here before I know it. I have a bunch of questions that have accumulated over the past few weeks and I was hoping some of you could offer some insight. Thanks in advance!

Been meaning to take a stab at these, but the timing was never quite right ( I just loaded up on my 11 p.m. med dose so let's see if willpower or loss of motor skills wins the race!)


1. When were you able to where a bra after surgery? I'm a 36D and I can't imagine not wearing a bra for any length of time. I'm a 36 full C, and I HATE bras. I own two, in fact one sensibible flesh toned one if I MUST for work, and one sooooooooper-dooooooper , "oysters on the half shell" (near-outergarment) to be worn out under a black fishnet shirt. BTW, if it's comfort - and ease of dressing -front clasp, racerbacks have my vote, Hands down.


2. There is only a sofa in my living room. Should I buy a recliner or just a bunch of pillows? Gotta echo what other's have said: memory foam wedges (you can get custom cut here (http://www.foamorder.com/custom_cuts.php)). Pillows, and the Prop up in Bed (Pillows with arms) Pillows are all great.

Um, recliners are just ridiculously *large*.



3. Were you asleep before you were in the operating room?No, but probably within 3-4 minutes.



4. Were you panicked the night before/morning of surgery? Were you able to ask for an anti-anxiety medication from your doctor ahead of time? I wasn't panicked, but my doc routinely administers 5 mg of Valium after the patient confirms they know they're having surgery and why - LOL.


5. Would it be possible for me to attend a concert 4-5 weeks post op? I'd think several factors would be at play ... Is it f loor/general admission seats for Hannah Montana - or pressed against the pit rails at Manson/Zombie/Ministry/Nails/Revco, etc ... ? (the latter scenario is not advisable - even in MY book - and a bit of a sore subject since Manson passes through Houston March 2nd *grrrrrr*.

Regardless of the venue (a concert, the post office, or ... *gasp* ... you brave, brave souls ... a SUNDAY MORNING TRIP to WAL-MART!), avoid the crowds, get there early/leave late, and stay in ya dayum chair.

Holding a crutch sideways across the lap of your Wal-Mart scooter needs no justification - and clears a path like nobody's business.

Furthermore, I guarantee you it'll reverse a stampeding herd (no matter the size) after that last "As Seen on TV" "Clever Clasp" quicker than an Code Red announcement from the ladies' dressing station (storewide) "Hey! No one told me they were filming in Room 3!".

Bottom line? Use common sense. And on 2nd thought, a Manson concert maaaaaaaaaaaaaaay be more safe than the Sabbath at Wally-World.


6. What did you wear when you went to the hospital? Yoga pants, a bike rally t-shirt and flip flops ;-).


7. When can you pull a shirt over your head? I could the day of surgery. Did I have an overwhelming need to change clothes? Nah.


8. Do I need to get off the pill before surgery? No. I take it all year round to prevent menstruation. I haven't missed a day since surgery on Feb 5th ... and not a single bit of breakthrough.


9. I have asthma and I was wondering if any one else has it that went through surgery. If so, did you have breathing difficulties?
I honestly can't answer this, but it brings another question to mind: can they tell how how much is organ impingement/truly asthma?

All great questions and I wish you the best!

Regards.
Pam

Susie*Bee
02-14-2008, 08:33 AM
You've gotten a lot of good answers... mine are about the same, but thought I'd go ahead too.

1. I had no desire to wear a bra for awhile... I had a brace--and wore a t-shirt under it that gave me support. Then I wore a loose t-shirt/blouse over that so I didn't look ridiculous. :eek: (Like Brunhilde, sticking out...) After I stopped wearing the brace I felt obliged to wear a bra again... If you can find the front fastening kind, that will be helpful. I didn't, so had to resort to fastening it in front and then turning it around. Now I can fasten it in back ok, although my range of motion isn't what it used to be.

2. I don't have a recliner. I sit on my couch-- that was my "spot" during the day from day 1 when I got home. I used about 3 bed pillows for softness--2 to sit on, one behind my back--or even more if needed.

3. I must have been pretty zonked because it's all a blur... so even if I wasn't totally asleep by the time I got to OR, it didn't matter. I THINK I was still a little cognizant, but not much! I remember more from before that... saying good-bye to hubby, changing into the "gown", going to the pre-op place where the neurologist came and stuck little suction cup thingies all over me (can't think of what they're called) to monitor me with, having the anesthesiologist come and talk with me and do some things... and this is where it goes really hazy in my mind...

4. I didn't feel panicked the night before, but was anxious/a little tense... after all, it IS a BIG deal! I didn't need any meds though. We were in a hotel across the street from the hospital. I did wonderful things like giving myself an enema (required) and then just watching dumb tv programs to wile away the time... then I fell asleep.

5. This really depends on how you feel at that time. You'll probably know if you're ready to try a concert or not. Be sure to have a back-up plan if you go, so that you can leave if you feel you need to get out of there.

6. I wore comfy clothes to the hospital-- jeans, comfy shirt, etc. I took loose, comfy clothes for going home--they say you may be swollen (yes) and you don't want anything tight anyway. And I also took some fun PJ's for in the hospital--didn't need them till close to the end of my stay, but they did make me feel (and look) a lot more perky--that and getting my hair washed, finally! ;) I was there for 11 days though--and that probably didn't happen till about day 9 or 10!

7. They had me putting on a t-shirt while I was at the hospital--to wear under my brace. I'm fused T2-L4, but could manage, with a little help, to get it on and off. (I'm not saying it's easy though.) At home I wore loose t-shirts over my brace and could manage ok getting them on and off. Of course, I also had the t-shirt under my brace also. I had read you would need button-up shirts for awhile and had the dickens of a time finding any loose type summery ones, so had hardly any of those anyway. It worked out fine.

8 and 9.--can't help you with these.
Best wishes on all this! It's hard work, but you'll manage fine!

geo
02-14-2008, 11:58 AM
These sound like the types of questions I had before surgery! I say every question we can answer that helps ease your mind - go ahead and ask, and don't feel bad --

1. When were you able to where a bra after surgery?
About a week and a half, but not comfortably. Like others mentioned, front clasps are a grand invention, and I still cringe at the thought of a back clasp. Also, racerbacks are nice, as is a size up (so, a 38 instead of a 36); you'll feel swollen, and the bra straps can feel like they're digging in.

2. There is only a sofa in my living room. Should I buy a recliner or just a bunch of pillows?
I'm with Pam - recliners seemed too big and hard to get out of. My vote is for lots of pillows.

3. Were you asleep before you were in the operating room?
Yes! I don't remember a thing past meeting my anesthesiologist and his assistant - thank God!

4. Were you panicked the night before/morning of surgery? Were you able to ask for an anti-anxiety medication from your doctor ahead of time?
I wasn't panicked at all the night before or morning of. Like vndy, I got nervous as they were wheeling me away, but I was SO ready by that time.

5. Would it be possible for me to attend a concert 4-5 weeks post op?
At 4-5 weeks, I was back at work part time, but I was able to go from sitting to laying down when need be. You'll probably still feel fatigue, and not be comfortable in any one position for too long.

6. What did you wear when you went to the hospital?
Ummm, I don't remember, but I know I went home in pajamas and a robe! Fashion be danged!

7. When can you pull a shirt over your head?
A loose shirt in the first couple weeks, more fitting shirts after about 3 or 4.

I can't help you with the pill or asthma stuff. But there's usually atleast one person on here with the same experiences, so just keep asking questions!

briarrose
02-15-2008, 05:40 PM
Thank you all so much for your responses. They have been very helpful.

I decided not to buy a recliner (I don't really have the money anyway), I'll just buy some more pillows.

I really don't want to be awake in the OR. I want to fall asleep while I'm holding my husband's hand. I know I'll be like you, vndy and geo, I'll get really nervous when they wheel me away.

Pam, I'm sorry to hear the Manson concert is so soon after your surgery. I can relate. R.E.M. is coming to Philly June 18th. I've become a huge in the past two years and I REALLY want to see them. It probably won't work out. They're playing an outdoor concert. I may still buy tickets though.

Thanks to everyone for the bra advice too. I'm going to buy one of those tube top bras and a front close bra.

Suzy, my doctor hasn't recommended seeing a pulmonologist. Maybe I should call and ask. My asthma was horrible as a kid (I was in and out of the hospital all the time). It got bad again after I graduated high school and now it's off and on. I'm glad Advair has made such a difference for you. I take it once in awhile.

Pam, I don't know how much of my asthma is actually asthma or organ impairment. I'm guessing it's more asthma since I don't have trouble breathing all the time.

Thanks again to everyone! All your info has eased my mind a lot.

The Slice
02-16-2008, 05:37 AM
Briarrose, I might be able to help you with a little bit of this. I'm a middle aged guy who used to work as a respiratory therapist for about 11 years. So far as the asthma goes, you should definitely make sure that the anesthesiologist knows about it before they start, even if you are not currently on medication, or symptomatic. So far as the nervousness goes, I have had several surgeries as a child, and a couple of other procedures under anethesia more recently. The first of the two was some time back to remove a lump on the back of my knee. I remember that the anesthesiologist came into the booth to see me, and start an IV. It was great because he used a small amount of lidocaine before trying to get the catheter in and it was a real blessing as I am a very difficult stick for IV"s. I dreaded medication because of what I remembered as a kid and that horrible buzz you get before you're out. Well this guy gave me some Versed, and told me that I would probably start feeing like I had a couple of beers. Well the last thing I remember was the guy getting me part way out of the booth shortly after the med and then I was out cold. No buzz, no nothing, I just fell asleep. The next time was a few years ago for a cystoscopy. Unfortunately it went pretty much like it did when I was a kid. Yuck!

Sp far as bras are concerned, perhaps you can attach some spacers to the rear of the back strap so that they will be on either side of the incision to take the pressure off the incision. Some foam, or perhaps some fabric wrapped around the strap several times. You probably won't need to build it up much so the fabric is probably the easiest to set up.

For the IV, the anesthesiologist may say that the lidocaine is not needed as it's just another stick, but using an insulin syringe with a 27 gauge needle will feel about as bad as a mosquito bite, a BIG difference from the catheter especially if they have trouble finding the vein. Good luck with the surgery.