View Full Version : I'm Home and finally done!

07-11-2008, 10:40 PM
Hey everyone I just wanted to say that I have made it home from my surgery. It was on June 30, and I stayed in the hospital for 8 days, mainly because of nausea and dealing with blood and pain issues. Everything really went as planned though and from what it looked like I have a really straight spine. I don't have a picture of the front xray but I have one of the side, i'll post it later. The only disaster was the first night after surgery my morphine pump got somehow shut off and my nurse didn't figure it out until the dr. saw me the next morning. to say the least it was hell but after that I have felt pretty good, just really really tired. I will post more later, I have sat for too long already...


07-11-2008, 10:56 PM
I'm so glad to hear your home and that everything went ok! The pain must have been awful after your morphine shut off and I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Did you have low hemoglobin?

07-11-2008, 11:56 PM
Yay, Abbie! Welcome back!!

Good to hear you're doing well, kiddo :).

07-12-2008, 12:59 AM
Good for you!! I'm glad everything went well (except for that morphine pump thing!) I'm looking forward to hearing more when you're able to post.

Take care, and rest up!

07-12-2008, 11:09 AM
Yay Abbie! It was great to read your post! It sounds like, all things considered, you are doing quite well now that you are out of the hospital. Rest up for now-- but post again later when you are feeling up to it-- it's so good to hear of others' experiences! Lookin' forward to seeing those pics of that straight back! Gentle hugs, Susie

07-12-2008, 05:32 PM
Congratulations on a successful surgery. I am so glad to hear everything went well for you. Hope to hear more from you as you start feeling better.

07-13-2008, 08:33 AM

So good to hear you are home! I had my surgery on 7/3, but in hospital five days, so I think we both came home the same day (7/7). Doesn't if feel wonderful to be home!!! I find I have one good day, one not so good day...and the pattern repeats. I think on the good days I do a little too much, so I'm trying to be more mindful of not overdoing. Yesterday, as I was setting down a plate, I hit a glass and it started to tip, so my natural response was to grab the glass....ouch.... I don't have a brace to help support my back. It really didn't feel very good, but I feel ok today. I will be praying for a steady, strong recovery for you. I totally understand the "I have sat long enough already". Me too for now. I look forward to following your progress. BTW, what was your fusion level?



07-13-2008, 05:32 PM
Ladare- my fusion as far as i know was from T3-L1, but I am missing a lumbar vertebrae so it is almost like i had it to L2.

Anyways, thanks for the responses. My main obstacle right now is trying to eat enough. I have no appetite whatsoever but we bought some ensure and I've been trying to drink that at least.

I have a question for anyone- right now we have a bed set up for me in our living room so that I can lay down downstairs during the day. The thing is, it still takes someone else to help me get comfortable and arrange pillows behind my back or straighten me out... stuff like that. I also have to call my mom like 3 times a night to come help me turn over because I get sore laying on my side or back for too long. My question is how am I supposed to transition being able to turn myself over and make myself comfortable? In about 5 weeks I am not going to be at home anymore and back at school in an apartment with a roommate that really doesn't understand what I had done. Any advice????

here is a link that might work of my before/after pics... i don't have my xrays yet, there's a whole album of pics there but i think you might have to take a sec and make a facebook account to see it, i will try and put them somewhere else when i feel up to it:
before/after (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30627194&id=1194900250)

07-13-2008, 07:13 PM
Loved the pics, Abbie! Your new back looks SUPER! :D

07-13-2008, 07:15 PM
By the time you get to school I think you'll be fine to turn over on your own. You still need to be careful in what you are doing, because your back is still healing. But overall I think you'll be up and around and doing most things you need to be doing.


Ginger W.
07-13-2008, 07:35 PM
I agree with Brad. I was amazed at the differences between Week 2 and 3. Then, between Week 3 and 4. I think you won't have any problems with changing positions in the bed.

I'm a "mature" woman and needed a lot of help during the first two weeks, but things really tapered off. My god-daughter was living with me until the end of the 3rd week and then my daughter and her husband were planning to move it. Well, I assessed the situation and realized I didn't need them. For me, I made the right decision.

07-14-2008, 09:13 AM
Little by little you'll be able to reposition easier. I still have some problems laying on my left side so I do that during the day when I rest so I can pay more attention to how I move. It all just takes time...good luck

07-14-2008, 01:23 PM
Abbie, I do believe that you will be able to move quite well by the time you get to school. For now, as for shifting from back to either side in bed, I wear satin pj's, and have put a piece of satin fabric on top of my bottom bed sheet. You can grab the satin with your hands and really easily slide your body side to side. Well, at least I can with my fusion that starts at T10. Since yours is starts quite a bit higher, maybe this won't work for you, but you might want to give it a try. I only lay down in bed, and sit up in a chair. As for sitting in the chair, I leave the extra back pillows where I need them, and occasionally fluff them before I sit down. And I have two pillows on a table next to the chair that I can grab and reinforce my sides once I'm sitting. It took a while to figure out the routine, but it works. Again, we do have different fusions, so what works for me may not work for you, but maybe you can gleen some ideas from it. And I agree with other comments, each week will get better.

Take good care,


07-14-2008, 04:36 PM
Hi Abbie
So glad to hear you are home - good luck for your recovery. Fantastic pics by the way - thanks for sharing.
I'm looking forward to reading more of your recovery soon.
Take Care - glad you got the pillow routine sorted, from what I read, I better get stocked up!!!

07-14-2008, 05:09 PM

I really think you'll be a lot further along than you think by 5 weeks, and as others have said, that 3 week mark really is kind of magical ...

Even recovering solo, I found by 1-2 weeks home, things were getting MUCH easier.

Hang in there! BTW, your back looks fantastic, dah-link! :)


07-14-2008, 05:45 PM
Abbie-- I'll add my agreement to everyone else-- you'll be doing so much better by then... you should be able to "arrange" yourself pretty well, as long as you have extra pillows to soften and support, whether sitting or lying down. I understand about not being able to get comfortable lying on your side (I still am not comfortable-- it bothers my shoulders and my hips), but I have always gotten pretty comfy on back every since my surgery. I do sleep with a pillow under my knees though, as that provides a more gentle position for your hips. I can sleep that way all night without any problems. I was always a "tummy" sleeper before my surgery, so it was a little different than what I was used to. I know we're all different, but thought I'd mention that if you haven't used a pillow under your knees yet. I am glad I didn't have slippery PJs, even though I've read others loved them. I still remember logrolling to a sitting position one time when I was going to get out of bed, and I ended up too close to the edge and started slipping off the edge. If I'd had PJs that were slick, I'd have been on the floor before I could have even thought about reacting... :eek: After that close call, I always made sure I had scooted over fairly far in bed, so it couldn't happen. With our long fusions it can be tricky at first. (I don't even think about it anymore-- it is totally second-nature to log-roll now...)

I think you'll do fine, but do plan ahead and have a grabber or two and other items that will help you get by on your own. If you REALLY think your roommate might not understand, you might hang a few pics of before and after x-rays around your room. Especially a lateral showing how long those screws are! ;)

07-15-2008, 10:44 AM
Abbie, I just got my facebook account to look at your pics. Wow! What a fantastic improvement, you must be very pleased! Have you conquored your nausia yet?


07-16-2008, 01:55 PM
OK, I shall try some slippery PJ's, that seems to be the common solution. Hopefully I can move better by then anyways. Little by little I have been up more during the day, although the mornings are the worst with nausea and light headedness.
Slowly I have been able to eat more but I am literally making myself eat and we have a lot of ensure on hand. I am probably around 6'2'' now and I weighed only 150 the other day. Usually I am around 160... I know it will get better though.
Last night, only two weeks and two days after surgery we made my first outing... to the grocery store!! haha.. got some magazines and frozen dinners that sounded good. Thanks again for the help,

07-16-2008, 06:41 PM
Hey everyone I just wanted to say that I have made it home from my surgery. It was on June 30, and I stayed in the hospital for 8 days, mainly because of nausea and dealing with blood and pain issues. Everything really went as planned though and from what it looked like I have a really straight spine. I don't have a picture of the front xray but I have one of the side, i'll post it later. The only disaster was the first night after surgery my morphine pump got somehow shut off and my nurse didn't figure it out until the dr. saw me the next morning. to say the least it was hell but after that I have felt pretty good, just really really tired. I will post more later, I have sat for too long already...


I'm glad to hear that your surgery went well! What are your curves post operation?

07-16-2008, 08:47 PM
I am probably around 6'2'' now and I weighed only 150 the other day.
Oh my Abbie, you are one tall girl! :) I USED to be 5'2", but now have shrunk. I am anxiously awaiting getting a little bit of height back.

Good luck with the slippery PJ's!

07-22-2008, 06:18 PM
So as of yesterday it has been three weeks since my surgery! I am still having some really bad days and some good days. For example, sunday i went out to dinner with my family and felt pretty good- had to get up and walk around the restaurant a couple of times but made it nevertheless. Then yesterday i got up and felt pukey again, couldn't eat much of anything, decided to go walk around in the neighbor's swimming pool, felt a little better, but then when i got home walking up the stairs i passed out. luckily my mom was there to help me get to the floor safely and i didn't hurt myself but i felt absolutely awful the rest of the day.

I am taking darvacet every four hours still and occasionally substituting it for a tylenol instead, but there is still a big difference between the two. I would rather just be on tylenol because my bowels and stomach are so irritated but i think i need to just congratulate myself for quitting the oxycontin first. It's a bit frustrating having days when i can actually eat and not feel like i am going to regurgitate it all then feeling bad the next day again. I am still counting my blessings so that i can be back at school full time at the end of august. I will be taking only 13 hours, one class online, but it will still be a lot of walking and will be interesting.

My mom still helps me move in bed at night with the pillows and stuff, i can take a shower by myself but it takes everything out of me and i usually sleep right afterwards.

does this sound anything close to what everyone else was like three weeks out?

07-23-2008, 01:29 PM
Hi Abbie,

Your situation sounds similar to mine at 3 weeks post-op. I passed out at 5 days and 19 days which I believe was from low hemoglobin. It wasn't until 5 1/2 weeks that I was finally feeling better and had a lot more energy. I'm guessing my hemoglobin finally went up around this point. I hope you don't pass out again. It's so scary and I'm glad your mom was there to help you out.

It's good that you were able to go out to dinner. Getting out of the house helps a lot.

I was throwing up for about 5 to 6 weeks post-op. I finally figured out that it was fruit that was making me throw up. I hope it stops for you soon.

Don't worry about being on pain meds still. I'm 8 weeks post-op and am still on 7.5mg of percocet or vicodin every 6 hours. I tried to cut back to 5mg on Monday but had to up it again today as I was unable to do much of anything on the lower dose. I've tried to take just Tylenol too but it doesn't cut it. I hate how narcotics mess up the digestive system.

I'm going back to school at the end of August too and I'm scared of all the walking as well. We can do it. We made it this far and that's quite an accomplishment.

I hope you're having a good day today. It will get better!


07-23-2008, 03:11 PM
I'm on a bit different timeline then you guys because of the extra surgeries. But here are a couple things that might help...
Doculax(sp) generic is genasoft 100mg, need a 'script for it. I didn't need it when I was on the antibiotics because that gave me the runs which countered the clogging effects of the pain meds,second I was off that IV I stopped right up. So ask the Dr for a 'script, its probably stronger then an ot softner.
I didn't have problems with throwing up(only when I 1st woke up after 1st surgery and felt like it but didn't, so can't help you there.
As far as food I went in weighing 139 and went way down(don't know to what) but after eating lots when I got home I'm up to 125(oh I was 5'5 1/2", not sure what I'm up to yet, should check that out now that I'm not so tender). Both surgeons say PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN, then your wonderful vegis, don't worry about the carbs. Oh and many small meals don't try to eat a lot at one time. My dietician friend was over today and said same thing. Your body need the protein to rebuild. Eventually you'll need less and start gaining the weight back(in my case not too much I hope)
I wore satin Jammies and it certainly helped with mobility, but now can be hot. I was not able to lay on back at all after 3rd surgery so always was right at edge of bed with something there to keep me from falling out. I am now able to carefully switch to back (having been a tummy sleeper like Susie this is weird) but I can actually sleep pretty decent this way. I guess because its a change and gets the weight off the one side. I used to have to stay up and either walk around or sit for awhile in the middle of the night. Though I use only one pillow for sleeping I have one in each car and keep an extra for if I go in someone else's.
I guess what I'm trying to say is we're all different and you'll have to experiment to see what works best for you, this forum is a great place to get ideas from, so try them :D
Good luck with school. I like the idea of posting some of your pics, it may be an ice breaker and help others understand.

07-23-2008, 09:54 PM
I just wanted to let you know an herbal medicine that was and still is very helpful for me from being on narcotics which really stop your bowels up. After my 1st surgery I went to my pain dr. telling him my psoas hurt and he felt my stomach and laughed, saying honey it's not your psoas it is bowel. They sent me home from the hospital at 8 days post-op. without having any sort of bowel movement. It was finally my pain dr. that told me to get the herb "Cascara Sagrada" and by the next day I finally had relief. This was 2 1/2 weeks after my surgery. It works well as is usually in 450 mg, it doesn't create any sort of cramping or diarrhea. It can be found at Wal-Mart or GNC stores. Still to this day I take it daily with my Methadone. Try it out b/c I had tried stool softeners, dulcolax, suppositories, and mineral oil- this is all that worked and it worked within 12 hrs. of first taking it. It is very healthy to take even long term. I have been taking it daily for 6 years now. Hope this helps all you out post-op. I know that feeling of having a yucky tummy. Good luck!


4 Spine Surgeries fused T2-sacrum. :)

07-23-2008, 11:42 PM
OMG, Amanda! I assumed I was the only one that had ever hear of Cascara Sagrada, much less uses it!

I really must echo what Amanda said about how much it helps. In fact, my youngest had suffered with constipation since she was about 3 and cascara is the only thing we found that would give her some relief. We gave it to her when she was really little (mostly out of desperation) and it worked every time. And it has been a lifesaver for me since surgery. I highly recommend it!

08-12-2008, 11:24 AM
hey! you came home on my 12th birthday! i guess my b-day IS a lucky day...lol. everything good happens on the same day as my birthday! heehee how funny...