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Thread: Surgery went well Monday; now trying to recover enough to go home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Syracuse, NY, USA
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    Surgery went well Monday; now trying to recover enough to go home

    10 hour surgery on Monday included everything surgeon needed to do. Received 6 units of blood and 2 of plasma;1 more unit of blood on Tuesday am; another Friday evening.

    My ligaments are very weak, which I'm told led to more correction than surgeon initially thought possible.

    Had traction during surgery (knees stapled on both sides).

    Looking for advice on pillow wedges

    -- Thanks,
    Mary

  2. #2
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    Jan 2010
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    Syracuse, NY, USA
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    Pillow wedge for sleeping?

    PT in hospital had me practice getting into and out of bed, showing me that it would be easier if I used a pillow wedge and multiple pillows.

    Right now I have brand new twin bed and generally use one pillow -- a "Wal-Pil-O".

    Suggestions for pillow wedges for sleeping?

    --Thanks,
    Mary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    Have no advice on pillow wedges - just wanted to say congratulations, it's over and best wishes with a continued smooth recovery. Sounds like a great outcome has been achieved!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  4. #4
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    Mar 2010
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    I'm glad to hear that you are okay. Wow, that's a LOT of blood loss. Did the surgeon tell you why you lost so much blood? I haven't had surgery, so I don't know about the pillow wedges. Maybe someone that has used them will chime in here. It's too bad that they didn't tell you that you would be needing them BEFORE surgery so you could have bought them ahead of time. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    Rohrer01

  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    Syracuse, NY, USA
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    Thanks JenniferG and rohrer01.

    I don't know why I needed so much blood, but it may have been due to low hematocrit or something like that.

    I wish it was easier to sleep in the hospital, but besides being sometimes too warm or sometimes too chilled, I usually end up in an uncomfortable position as well, with no clue as to what sort of adjustment would help.

    I woke up in recovery room with numbness and tingling in right foot, which had previously been asymptomatic. Surgeon says it may be temporary.

    Hospital tried to move me to nursing home, but surgeon nixed that idea. He says I'm doing so much better than most patients who have had same surgery that most people underestimate what I've been through.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    I'm glad they didn't put you in a nursing home. My mom had a bad table saw accident and they put her in one (nursing home) after a few days in the hospital. She escaped! (with the help of my sister, LOL) I stayed with her for a week to make sure she was okay and taking her meds on time so that the pain didn't get ahead of her. It turned out well for her in the long run.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    I also had 6 units of blood, including one on the night of Day 2 because I'd felt faint when they tried to get me up to walk. I was fine after that.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Mary,

    Glad to hear the surgery went well, and you are on your way to recovery! I was just reading in Wolpert's book that sometimes temporary nerve damage (the tingling in foot) can be caused by surgery, so hopefully it will be just that--temporary!! I have also heard of several people losing six or more units of blood. Seems like someone on the forum posted they lost 13. It's just something we have to accept with this surgery. And thank God technology has come so far with blood cleaning. Best wishes for a smooth recovery and getting out of the hospital soon.

    ,
    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
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    1,707
    Mary,
    I'm glad your surgery is over and you are on your way to recovery. Good luck!
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213
    Mary,

    Glad you are now on the other side of the surgery. I ended up getting two units of blood, but my doctor was able to recycle some of my own blood, so I guess that helped.

    Am looking forward to seeing your after surgery xrays!

    Not sure what they mean by the wedge pillos, although I have seen wedge pillows for sale as anti-snoring aids.

    I just bought a bunch of soft normal bed pillows and have them everywhere.

    Best of luck on your recovery. Remember, everyday it gets better.
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    137

    can't believe you're posting!

    So happy to see that you're feeling well enough to post,coherently too! Congratulations, you made it! will be praying for your speedy recovery from here out- God bless yoU! Jamie
    57 years old.
    thoracic curve 68 degrees
    lumbar-sacral curve +/- 41 degrees
    Cspine C3- C7 fusion Nov. 2011 <done! success!!>, then scoli surgery T2- L4 or maybe to sacrum.
    Discogram/ myelogram pending. Surgery to be scheduled, maybe fall 2015. <scared but I know this is not going to get better>
    THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR SHARING EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY, USA
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    Home now

    I came home yesterday, 1/30, a week after the surgery. They wanted to send me to rehab instead, but I passed all the physical therapist's in-hospital tests (walking, stair climbing, getting in and out of bed), so they couldn't do that. Instead they're having me set up with Home Health Aides here at my house for a while.

    Trying to find comfortable chair, no luck just yet.

    Brand new bed isn't uncomfortable, but it's also not really comfortable either.

    I just wonder if that sensation that my back has half the amount of skin it used to have is due to the dressing, the hardware, or just a figment.

    Now getting ready to try a second night's sleep.

    The walker is right next to the bed so that I can get up and go to the bathroom if needed. That happened last night and fortunately I wasn't too dizzy to handle it (dizziness after lying down was big problem in the hospital).

    -- Mary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    4,155
    Mary

    You are doing great!

    Sitting is hard after surgery. It takes a while......Get some soft down pillows. I couldnít sit for more than 3 minutes for the longest time.

    A foam topper for the bed 2-4 inches thick will help with sleeping. There are many threads about this subject here.

    Careful upon standing after getting out of bed. I would stand with my walker for a few minutes, then move. You donít want to fall down.

    Careful with constipation on meds. Keep a bottle of Magnesium Citrate handy. Itís the best thing just in case. Drink plenty of water, and walk. This promotes peristalsis.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Mary

    You are doing great!

    Sitting is hard after surgery. It takes a while......Get some soft down pillows. I couldnít sit for more than 3 minutes for the longest time.

    A foam topper for the bed 2-4 inches thick will help with sleeping. There are many threads about this subject here.

    Careful upon standing after getting out of bed. I would stand with my walker for a few minutes, then move. You donít want to fall down.

    Careful with constipation on meds. Keep a bottle of Magnesium Citrate handy. Itís the best thing just in case. Drink plenty of water, and walk. This promotes peristalsis.

    Ed
    Don't think a foam topper would really help me; my brand new bed already has a Latex Pillow Top. It may just be harder in a twin bed. Maybe if I had more room and a body pillow, that would help, but there's no room for one now.

    Maybe when the dressing comes off (perhaps next Thursday 02/09 at next surgeon visit) my back will feel less tight; for now it feels as if I have half the amount of skin back there that I used to. But maybe that's the rods.

    Had a cerebrospinal fluid leak during surgery, but it was repaired immediately. I doubt that could be making my back feel so tight.

    Home health aide came today to assist with "personal care"; physical therapist comes tomorrow to evaluate me. Then nurse comes on Friday.

    I'm going to see if physical therapist can help me figure out how to lie down in the most comfortable manner so I can get some real sleep. I laid down on couch today for a while. It felt okay, except that I almost couldn't get up from that low spot.

    I gather that my "very weak ligaments" that led to more correction than surgeon thought possible may also make recovery more difficult.

    The nurses in the hospital rarely knew up front what my surgery had been. Most thought it was on my knees when they saw the two staples on each side of each knee. I had to educate them about traction as part of fusion.

    -- Mary

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