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View Full Version : Post op questions- 7 days out! Frustrated and desparate!! Help~~



LynnMarie74
01-22-2009, 06:02 PM
Hi! I got a call from one of the hospitals nurses...a nice one at that! She was very sweet & ask how I was doing. I was honest...I told her horrible. I cant sit for more than like 5 mins top, am sooo sick of laying on my back..I broke down. Told her I felt like a helpless little baby. I have sever numness over my whole butt and I told her my meds dont last long at all. I also told her I gained 10 lbs....yes 10 lbs!!! I HATE IT!!! And the hip indentation is still there!!! The corrected it to 10 thor & 10 degrees lumbar how is it still possible Im still "deformed?!?!?!" VERY ANGERING to me...sorry! The stomach bloating it making the back issue worse I think. So, she gave me a few diff #'s to call tomorrow am to talk to some docs to express my concerns. Debbe-have you had any of these issues??????? What did u do for the bloating?? WHen did everyone notice they lookedstraighter???? IM so frusrtatred!!!HELP!!!!!

debbei
01-22-2009, 06:23 PM
Lynn honey--

First off, HUGS. 7 days out, I was still in pretty bad shape too. I don't think I started to feel a little better until the 2 week mark, which is what my doctor mentioned. Yes, in the beginning, I couldn't wait for my next medication time, I would literally count the minutes. Maybe if it's really bad, you should call the Dr.'s office and they need to adjust your meds? In the beginning I couldn't stay in any one position for too long, not much of anything was comfortable.

Yes, when I came home I was heavier than when I left. Although My face and limbs looked thinner, I was heavier, which I think is the 'bloat' as you call it. It eventually came off on it's own. Also, have you---um---had a BM yet? I know I was much more comfortable once that happened. I came home taking colace 3x a day, which I continued for not even a week. Once I got home I ate high fiber cereals every day and my mom made me (don't laugh) stewed prunes, which worked wonders.

Yes, I felt like a helpless baby. Had to have someone help me get in bed, someone help me get OUT of bed. My husband helped me shower for about 3 weeks, first in the shower chair and then standing up. I couldn't do a thing for myself, even get dressed.

When I came home, I was numb on my whole butt, and on my upper legs, front and back about halfway down my thighs. Is that what you're referring to? As the weeks went on, the numbness decreased--the line of numbness moved up my legs and then butt slowly. I noticed TONIGHT (more than 3 months post op), when my hubby touched my butt that wasn't numb any more! WHOOHOOO. I bet yours will get better slowly too.

I'm not sure what you mean about the hip indentation though. My waist used to be much more uneven than it is now, and my lumbar curve is still 30 degrees.

Hang in there girlie--you're probably at the worst of it now. Things will get easier quicker than you think. Let me know if you need to talk, ok? I can call you or you call me.

sccrm08
01-22-2009, 07:32 PM
Lynn
It will get better. I am 1 1/2 years post op and still remember all the help I needed. One suggestion I have is are you taking the muscle relaxers and pain meds all at one time? If you are try staggering them so you take one at a time 1 to 2 hours apart. That way you always have something you can take. My husband and daughters would get up all through the night, wake me and have me take my meds. We never waited until I felt the pain so we could stay on top of it. As for the numbness it does get better slowly...I am still numb on my butt and back but I do notice improvement. Also I got a really good correction both curves less than 10 degrees, both hips even and both shoulders even. Yet I still notice I only show a waist on one side. I was disappointed in this but it is nothing compared to how I looked before surgery and something I can live with. I do not think anyone but me even notices.

Hang in there its still early and it all gets better.

LisaMS
01-22-2009, 08:32 PM
Lynn,

I had just come home on my 7th day, and also couldn't do anything for myself. My husband even got in the shower and washed my hair--washed all of me. Lotion, getting dressed, rolling over, etc--others did all of that. We put a draw sheet on my bed (a flat sheet folded in half) so that others could help with that when I rolled. I had no idea that I would feel like a turtle on my back whenever I was in bed! Once I was doing better at sitting and walking, I still had trouble changing position in bed. Now, at two months, I can change positions pretty easily and stay on my side of the bed (my husband had to sleep in another bed we set up next to ours for a month).

I also have a poochy tummy, but I think it's because this was my 4th abdominal incision (2 c-sections and a hysterectomy before), so my tummy muscles are shot.

I am also a little uneven--my waist is curved more on one side than the other--but overall I'm really much straighter.

But take heart! I am now working nearly 20 hrs per week, have been off pain meds for 3 weeks, driving, walking 2 miles in my hilly neighborhood, cooking, doing housework, etc. My energy is pretty good, too. I never expected (back at the beginning) that I would feel this good this soon!

Hang in there! We're all pulling for you!
Lisa

titaniumed
01-22-2009, 09:39 PM
Lynn

Hang in there, Be tough, you are at the hardest part and it will get better. I felt like I was run over by a freight train and hit with every axle.

The sitting thing is tough, we know. One way I would get relief was by taking multiple baths in hot water every day. It worked well. Sleeping is tough also, do you have a piece of foam for your bed? It will help.

Sometimes the Docs cannot go for full correction, its too dangerous. 10 degrees on a 48/60 is pretty damn good if you ask me. My surgeon told me that if I was too stiff, and he could only tell after he was in there, that he was going to fuse me "as is"
with 2, 70 degree curves.

Don't worry about your angles or your weight, right now just worry about getting better. Its all about you right now.

Watch your bowel movements!!!!! This is very important. Every day.

Ed

StevieRayFan
01-23-2009, 12:18 AM
Darlin... for the first few weeks it took me 4 -6 minutes to get into bed (under full pain mediation) and get myself flat on my back. If a butterfly landed I'd be done. Absolutely helpless.

If you can get just one finger with the toilet paper where it needs to go... just one fraking finger... and do this yourself (I could and INSISTED on this)... you will not shoot yourself (I didn't). That's assuming you can get on the toilet with or without help.

And then you have to repeat the process! If you want to do a good job, that is. And I like things done right, so I was in deeper than what... the average shopper? I like to do a good job, on whatever I do. So woe unto me.

I'm happy to report, after two surgeries (still recovering from the second) you will be wiping your butt in no time! If you are not now, then I apologize. You will be soon. THAT'S how you are going to have to gage your progress. One finger... two fingers... a SLIGHT twist here and there.

Don't get me started on getting on your socks!!! IF you can get them on at all.

titaniumed
01-23-2009, 12:49 AM
Paul

Good job! I guess your not the average shopper?

Ed

JenniferG
01-23-2009, 02:31 AM
Oooh, Lynn, I'm so sorry to read you're having such a tough time. Isn't it good to read though, that it's normal at this point after your surgery, and it will improve soon.

If the bloating is caused by lack of BMs, I was given some advice from a friend who's experienced a fair bit of surgery over the years. She said to buy in a stock of both prune and pear juice. Mix it 50/50 and sip it all your waking hours. She calls it "PP for poopoo" and swears it works. :D

Hope you're feeling much better soon and hopefully you're much more happy with your shape.

StevieRayFan
01-23-2009, 03:26 AM
Thanks Ti,

BTW, I'm 185 lb, came out with swollen feet like balloons. Looked like Popeye, only in the ankles. Took several weeks till it got under control. I'm 12-weeks out, and still have questions.

Trusting my surgeon and his RN. Good to get support and advice on the 'net. Great to get similar conversations, for we can all use extra comparisons and help. Lots of ups and downs, and we are all different in how we handle them. Lots to compare, and lots of help mostly on the psychological daily experience.

Lynn, unless your doc screwed the wrong screw into the wrong place, or did the left leg instead of the right arm, then what you are experiencing is what you have to get through... and it ain't pretty. It ain't no root canal, I'm afraid.

You're going to be fine, but it isn't measured in days.

HA ha ha... I was telling my wife, "get between the toes!", when she was drying my feet! She said, "WHAT!". She never took the towel and dried between HER toes, ever! Not like, between ever single toe. She though I was some sort of idiot!

NOW she does it herself! "Ohh, that feels GOOD!", she tells me now.

SEE, I told her?

I judge myself on how well <I> get that towel between my toes, now. Not before when I was standing up in the shower, taking it all for granted.

I spat in a cup every time I brushed my teeth... for 2-months. Now I can bend ever-so-slightly without the cup, and spit in the kitchen sink (not bathroom yet). BIG DEAL! BIG DEAL! Progress there!

Stay tuned, honey. You'll get lots of support here.

titaniumed
01-23-2009, 03:40 AM
Opiates cause constipation that can kill you. This is why I mentioned it.

Being bloated can be for different reasons, more than likely edema.

Google it

Im going to die now

Louisse
01-23-2009, 05:56 AM
Hi Lynn
Sending you big HUGS too
I hope these posts give you some kind of support and help.
Welcome to the world of scoliosis surgery recovery - but yes, thats what it is, -recovery- and this is just what your body is doing right now. This is such major surgery and corrected to 10 degrees is wow - a lot of movement for a body used to being held in a different way to get used to - all those muscles, and nerves having been moved about and now trying to heal!

I constantly wondered should I? why can't I? whilst lying on my back for a looong time - please dont give yourself a hard time too, just sleep, rest, sleep, rest and sleep some more - your body is healing.
the tummy thing (bloating and feeling really uncomfortable) was very tough for me too - especially as I was a 'regular' if you know what I mean but just take the stool softeners and eat as much of the good stuff to get you moving and it will all come back good.
Building up your sitting time will come it is soooo early yet as will the numbness everywhere. I am 4 1/2 months post op and things are still numb in my back and part of my butt.
Boy did I cry lots in those first few months (hey still do occasionally) hubbie says oh no, you're not leaking again!!!
my husband helped me with between the toes too and the wiping(!) when I first came home at 8 days. I would say things def changed for me in a lot of things by week 6 but everyone is different.
Once you feel able to stand to shower - the hot water on your back will feel great but for me this wasn't for a good few weeks or so when I felt confident to stand in the shower on my own.
Hang in there Lynn - it can only get better. I'm thinking of you and sending positive vibes from across the miles between us.
Louisse (from the UK)

debbei
01-23-2009, 06:43 AM
Lynn,

The others reminded me of a few more things. Yes, I had a lovely glass of prune juice every morning, first thing. STRAIGHT, not diluted, that's what the nurses told me. Also, as far as the wiping thing, my husband ordered me this, and it worked great. I used it for a few months and then all of a sudden, like Paul said, I don't need it any more. But in the beginning it was a godsend--I mean really. Things are humiliating enough--who wants to have someone else wipe their butt??

http://www.amazon.com/Bottom-Buddy-Toilet-Tissue-Aid/dp/B000RZNBTU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1232714500&sr=8-2

Hang in there Lynn, this hardest part will pass.

Singer
01-23-2009, 06:55 AM
Lynn --the bloating is normal and will go down....and it will take a few weeks or even months for your body to settle into its new shape. Try Miralax for constipation...it's great stuff! I wouldn't even look at your body at this point...how it looks now is nothing like what it's going to look like in a couple of months. Honest!

I wonder if your pain meds are strong enough. But even with adequate pain relief, sitting is the position that hurts the most for a few weeks or couple of months.

At this point you're not SUPPOSED to be able to do anything. Your body needs rest and sleep. Hang in there!!

briarrose
01-23-2009, 07:47 AM
Hi Lynn,

I just wanted to echo what everyone else is saying. You will probably lose the 10 lbs in no time. I was in the hospital 9 days and was shocked when I came home and gained 3 lbs. I barely ate anything in the hospital. 2 or 3 days later I weighed myself and had lost 12 lbs. I'm guessing it was water weight. Your body will continue to change as time goes on. The hip thing you mentioned may straighten out. I leaned to the left a good bit after my surgery but that has pretty much corrected itself.

Hang in there. Things will get easier!

Nancy Joy
01-24-2009, 12:09 AM
Lynn,

I have sent you a private message.:)

LynnMarie74
01-24-2009, 07:06 PM
Darlin... for the first few weeks it took me 4 -6 minutes to get into bed (under full pain mediation) and get myself flat on my back. If a butterfly landed I'd be done. Absolutely helpless.

If you can get just one finger with the toilet paper where it needs to go... just one fraking finger... and do this yourself (I could and INSISTED on this)... you will not shoot yourself (I didn't). That's assuming you can get on the toilet with or without help.

And then you have to repeat the process! If you want to do a good job, that is. And I like things done right, so I was in deeper than what... the average shopper? I like to do a good job, on whatever I do. So woe unto me.

I'm happy to report, after two surgeries (still recovering from the second) you will be wiping your butt in no time! If you are not now, then I apologize. You will be soon. THAT'S how you are going to have to gage your progress. One finger... two fingers... a SLIGHT twist here and there.

Don't get me started on getting on your socks!!! IF you can get them on at all.

LOL! Thanks for the laugh..needed one...however it hurt like hell! lol I can barely reach the toilet paper and if it is hanging there long enough I can grab it w.my thumb and ever so slowly pull it w.out making the piece too short! lol I can reach back and wipe one some days....other days its "PAAAUUULLLL, COME HERE AND WIPE MY BUTT PLLLEEEASSEE???!" For better or worse they say! LOL ;)

LynnMarie74
01-24-2009, 07:11 PM
Opiates cause constipation that can kill you. This is why I mentioned it.

Being bloated can be for different reasons, more than likely edema.

Google it

Im going to die now

Well, I sure as heck dont wan die.....ha ha ha....its slowing going down and its mainly in my lower 1/2 of my body. Im trying to drink more water too in hopes that helps. And yes, I do know they can cause bloating & the "C" word. Ugghhh.....not issue (yet) with that that God.

discombobulated
01-25-2009, 03:35 AM
Lynn,

I really can't add anything to what these good people are saying, except to add to the list of people who are thinking much of you, cheering you on, & assuring you that it will most certainly get better. [In fact, eventually, it will most likely get Great :D - hard to believe now, I know, but true!]

I'm always amazed by how docs differ in when they release patients from hospital - my guy rarely lets anyone with a long fusion out before 10 days! I know it's not always the most useful thing to remember, but your body is insanely busy healing. What a trauma these surgeries inflict on the body! You Are Doing GREAT.

As already said, the weight is likely at least partly water retention - a common side effect of many meds, the fluids you're pumped with in hospital, & at least for a good few days after surgery it can even be from positioning during surgery (lying face down for hours). Regardless of whether it will directly help the weight, you're doing a good thing by drinking more water - t'is essential for all your cells to function, let alone heal! And yes, it can help reduce fluid retention from some causes. One of the best things you can probably do is to make sure you're doing some walking - even if it's only a minute at a time, a few times a day. It stimulates blood & lymph circulation, & especially once you're feeling better & more mobile will likely clear that lower-half retention quite quickly.

Best wishes, Lynn. It's all up from here. :)

abhbarry
01-25-2009, 09:54 AM
Lynn,

Everything you are feeling is TOTALLY normal. I haven't read everyone's reply, so I am sorry if this is duplicate advice. You are only a week or so post-op. YOu will still feel deformed, bloated, and utterly frustrated. It is perfectly normal and completely frustrating and depressing not to do anything for yourself. We all completely understand exactly where you are right now. The only advice that i can give is to be patient with yourself. This surgery is rough and takes a looong time, but it will be worth it in the end. Keep your eye on the prize and just be patient with yourself. If the pain meds aren't working the way you think you should, then please talk to you PCP if the UW nurses aren't helping. I had a difficult time with some of the UW nurses and switched over to my PCP and my pain control got A LOT better.

I send lots of hugs and prayers your way. I promise - it will get better, even when you have set backs day by day.

Best,
Anya