View Full Version : more post op questions pleaassee....

12-07-2008, 02:54 PM
Hello everyone......hope everyone is enjoying their sunday...its REAL cold here in Milwaukee...bbrrrrrr....supposed to get a boat load of snow tonite into tomorrow....gotta love winter in Wisconsin I guess..bllahhhh!!

Anyway, obviously all that is on my mind these days in my upcoming surgery...which is only about 5 weeks away....yikes. And I always have questions and forgot to write them down when they pop into my mind...however I was able to remember a few: 1-I know it all depends on how much curve & how much correction....but how much of a height increase do you will I will have? 2- Did anyone lose a significant amount of weight after? From what I understand eating can be a "challenge" but I guess I dont understand why? 3- I bought a laptop to use in the hospital and during recovery time. Am I a fool for thinking I will actually be able to, or want to do much of anything while in the hospital? Or even the 1st 2 or 3 weeks after? Im clueless I guess. 4-I have this fear of waking during the operation....I think its called "awarness"...that scares the livin you know what outta me...especially since my Doc said I would be under for about 8hrs. Anyone have info on that? 5- As far as the trip back home from the hospital....I live about an hour and 1/2 away......whats my best bet here? A non stop hurry home car ride..or several stops on the way?

Iknow I have more, I just cant think of them right now...Any answers to these questions would be appreciated!! :) Thanks all.......

loves to skate
12-07-2008, 03:18 PM
Hi Lynn Marie,
I couldn't even figure out my cell phone for at least two weeks after my surgery, but other people here have been on their computers soon after, so it is pretty much an individual thing how you react to the meds. I lost about five pounds after my surgery, but it is all back now with more besides.:D I was in surgery for 12 hours and I too was worried about being aware, but I didn't even remember leaving the preop holding room, so try not to worry about waking up during surgery. The ride home, I personally would make it a hurry up non-stop ride. It won't be easy for you to get out of the car and then get back in; as in painful, so make sure you take pain medicine before you leave the hospital:( Take care and be especially good to yourself right now. Sally

12-07-2008, 03:59 PM
Thanks sally...that is kinda what I thought..about not being w/the program afterward....makes sense I guess. I think I may have some unreal expectations....and using this site makes things more realistic. 5 lbs huh? Im hoping for about 10-15...lol...oh well...we shall see! Well, thanks again for your reply....and if I dont talk w/you before then, have a great holiday season!!!

12-07-2008, 04:09 PM
You'll do fine-- and Sally is right in saying we are all different in what we are able to do in the hospital.

1. I grew somewhere in the 1.5 to 2 inch range, but it varies.

2. I gained 8 lbs. in the hospital, so not everyone loses. It wasn't because I chowed down or anything... just have low metabolism and that IV solution must be pretty high in calories! (I wasn't allowed any food or drink for 5 days.)

3. I never thought of the computer, but laptops weren't allowed (I think!) in rooms anyway. I don't think I would have felt up to any serious thinking... I was occupied with just trying to do those things they were having me do. :rolleyes:

4. I very vaguely remember being awakened during surgery, when they check on you. It was not scary to me at all. I just remember trying to move my feet back and forth to show I could wiggle them ok. My op report says there was NO question about that ability. I did not feel in any pain then or frightened in any way.

5. My drive home was 2.5 hours and I was instructed to stop half-way home to get out and walk a little, to avoid blood clots from sitting too long in one position. We didn't have much choice, driving from Chicago to norther Indiana... just stopped at a toll road oasis and went inside, used the restroom (my daughter went into the restroom with me, I didn't lock the door "in case" I needed her help, etc.) Somehow it worked out ok. I got home fine, even though I felt all the bumps and was really tired when I finally got there. It sure was nice to be home though!

I remember we got me a chocolate milkshake on the way home and it tasted so wonderful and cool and soothing. :)

Try not to get panicky right now (easier said than done!) about all those concerns. You will draw on strength you don't even realize you have-- and your family will fill in and help you the rest of the time.

We're having frigid temps here in northern Indiana too. Not sure about how much snow we are in store for-- they seem to mess up with the predictions so much that I don't pay that close attention. :confused:

Enjoy your next few weeks and do some fun things. When you think of other questions, just ask away. Hugs, Susie

12-07-2008, 04:54 PM
HI LYnn Marie,

We are all different in our experiences but here is mine.

1. I grew 2 inches

2.I did lose weight...10 pounds prior to surgery and and 15 pounds after surgery. I hoped not to put any back on, but our cruise at 1 year post op did me in and I gained 10 pounds I can't seem to lose again.

3.My husband brought our laptop and used it, I was totally out of it the whole time (10 days) I was in the hospital. I slept unless they made me get up to walk or sit. At home I could use the laptop for short periods of time on an overthe bed table while I was flat on my back.

4.I do not remember waking during this surgery although I was brought out during another spine surgery and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

5.I also had a 1.5 hour car ride home. We went the whole way non stop I was in way to much pain to want to make it any longer. They gave me the maximum amount of pain meds befor I left the hospital and I still felt every bump in the road. If I did it again I would of had my husband remove all the seats in our van and put an air mattress in the back to lay down on.

Best of luck.

12-07-2008, 05:15 PM
Hi Lynne Marie,

I grew an inch and a quarter.

I lost about 10 pounds overall. The anesthesia and narcotics kill your appetite for a while, but I was actually eating pretty big meals 10 days later.

I was also totally out of it in the hospital and mostly lay in bed having pleasant hallucinations (again, the narcotics).

I have no memory of being awakened during the surgery (9 hrs.) though I'm told I was partially awakened and told to wiggle my toes.

I had a two-hour ride in an ambulance to the rehab I went to after surgery. I was drugged to the gills and lay very comfortably in this little plastic stretcher that seemed to mold to my body. I dozed, talked nonsense with my husband (so he tells me) and was not in much pain.

The anticipation of this surgery is probably the worst part. You'll be okay!

12-07-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks for all of the quick responces.....I dont see how we dont all gain at least 2-3 given the amount of the curve..strange. Ive lost about 3/4 of an inch over the past few years I presume is due to the increasing progression. Ive actually been eating alot...alot more than I would ususally consume. When I get stressed or upset...well, I eat! LOL I was just telling myself that I should probably start watching what Im shovin down my pie hole! lol Seems like about 10 lbs is the average...except for SusieBee...8lbs gained....Im sure w/my luck, that will be me! lol Ive decided Im letting my hubby take my laptop, for something to do......other than calming my mother down, who will be there too. If Im able to use it, great.....if not, like you all said, I most likely will not even realize up from down! I guess I will have to just try the ride home in one shot and stop if need be. Paul(hubby) drives like a lunitic anyway, so the typical 1 1/2 hr trip could be cut to 1 hr, if be! lol
Wish me luck w/the pre-op weight loss! lol :p

12-07-2008, 10:08 PM
You are fused starting at T5 huh? Are you fused into your sacrum then? If so, how has this effected your everyday tasks....showers(getting the shampoo bottle, etc) getting dressed, etc? Mine will be starting at T4.....Doc is hoping he can "salavage" the T5 for now...to allow more mobility and movement. Do you really think leaving this one be for now will make that much more of a difference? How have you adjusted?

12-07-2008, 10:57 PM
Hi Lynn,

1. I gained about 1 inch in height.

2. I lost 15 lbs. from the surgery but managed to gain it all back after 3.5 months:( I barely ate anything for the first 3 weeks.

3. I was able to use the laptop in the hospital around day 6 or 7. It was nice to have it there when I had trouble sleeping.

4. I do not remember waking up during the operation. I actually forgot they did this until I read this thread. I wasn't told if they woke me or not. I think my surgery was about 7 hours.

5. I was so afraid of the trip home because I had heard it was the worst part. It was actually not bad at all. I thought sharp turns were worse than bumps (I live 1.5 hours from the hospital). We did it non-stop even though the nurse said to stop after an hour and walk around, but I just wanted to get home.


Linda W
12-07-2008, 11:27 PM
Hi Lynn Marie,

As you have already learned, our collective surgical and post-op experiences are as varied as our personalities and body types!

1. I regained three inches, and I am now as tall as my 13 year old son -- but probably not for much longer!

2. My appetite disappeared post operatively. Pain meds can alter your appetite and also make you constipated. Even the smell of food (including coffee) sent me over the edge. I craved fresh fruit and little else. I lost about 25 pounds before I was able to return to a normal diet and eating meals with my family. I wish I could tell you that I was able to keep those pounds off. Fortunately, I did not throw away all my clothes or purchase a new wardrobe.

3. During each of my hospital stays, I was a mush brain and probably unable to complete even simple dot-to-to puzzles. I went to rehab after each surgery and could have probably advanced to more challenging pursuits like reading People magazine but my mind was still pretty unfocused. I did enjoy short visits and phone calls. Be prepared for your family and friends to tell you that you were talking rag time during these encounters. When I finally returned home after five weeks, I could handle and enjoy short spurts at the computer. My computer chair was the most comfortable place to sit at that time and continues to be my chair of choice.

4. I had two long surgical days scheduled, and I was terrified that I might wake up during surgery and try to scream to let the surgical team know that I was awake and feeling everything. I shared my irrational fear with the social worker at my preop physical, and she promptly offered me a psych consult. I told her I knew it was an "irrational" fear but I wanted the anesthesiologist to be aware of it and to insure he/she had an extra tank or two of anesthesia in the OR. She again offered me an immediate psych consult which I declined. However, it was important enough to me that I did everything I could to have the team see me as a whole individual rather than as just another twisted spine so I made them a bag lunch -- cheese and crackers, fruit, granola bars, homemade cookies, gum, bottled water, etc. They were pretty surprised. I quickly made friends with Harold, the anesthesiologist, and told him about my irrational fears. He assured me he would not allow me to wake up until it was time. We also discussed what kind of music he would be playing and reviewed my healing statements. He was also assigned to my second surgical date, and I was very glad to see him again. I had planned ahead and had bag lunch snacks for my second surgical date too which my husband brought in. The second time, they got store bought cookies rather than homemade.

5. Bring plenty of pillows for your ride home and ask for pain meds before you set out. A bottle of water for the car is also a good idea in case you get delayed and need additional pain medication on route. My trip home was close to an hour and a half due to traffic from an afternoon Red Sox game.

Chris is on the mark in telling you that anticipation is much worse than reality.
Being mentally prepared is important and it sounds like you are well on your way. Try not to stress out too much about losing weight before your surgery. Focus on enjoying the holiday season and getting your house and things in general in place for when you are home and recovering.

Good Luck!
Linda W.

12-08-2008, 05:18 AM
I wouldn't worry about the weight thing right now either. Good nutrition is important for the whole healing process. It's much more important for you to be eating a healthy diet than to lose a few pounds. And hey, it's Christmas time. Enjoy some treats! Just try not to overdo... ;)

12-08-2008, 06:12 AM
Lynn Marie,

1. I gained almost 2 inches in height.

2. I lost about 10 lbs. from the surgery and still have it off (but my date was Oct 15th.) I'm just starting to eat a little more normally.

3. I was able to use the laptop in the hospital after a few days.

4. I don't ever remember seeing the operating room. Supposedly, Dr. N spoke to me in the OR telling me how everything went well, and I answered back, but never had any memory of it.

5. My ride home was also 1.5 hrs and was miserable. A friend picked us up in his Cadillac, supposedly for a smooth ride, but it was very hard. I took my pain meds right before we left the hospital.

I hope these answers help. :) Feel free to ask any others.

12-08-2008, 07:14 AM
Hi Lynn Marie,

Ah yes - Wisconsin winters. We are supposed to get 7 inches here tomorrow, so I'm sure we are sending it your way to Milwaukee!

I grew about an inch. Yes, I lost weight, but you shouldn't worry about it because you WILL gain it back when you start eating. I had more problems because my stomach didn't wake up for a while and I had to go through more yucky procedures to help wake it up. Therefore I didn't eat for 7 days and stayed in the hospital for 10. However, eating was so good again once i could!!!!

Yes, I wouldn't bother with the laptop. I wasn't able to do much at all, but what did save me in the hospital was my Ipod!!! Before going into surgery, I told my husband what songs/albums I would want to listen to post-op that would relax and reassure me. Music really helped me. Also, you don't want to lose the laptop in the hospital. Remember to put your info on anything that is valuable to you. Sorry if I am repeating advice. I admit I haven't read all the posts on this thread since I'm running off to work.

Don't worry about waking up during surgery - it is very rare.
You are in capable hands of Dr. Tribus.

Let me know if I can help in any other way -especially since I'm in the area.