stay ahead of the pain
Wonderful news that everything went so well. Isn't it great to be on the other side of surgery? The lead up I believe is near-fatal for us parents!
My daughter had a much smaller surgery than yours, but I hope I can give some helpful advice. I am also a nurse and have taken care of many post-operative patients in the last 20 yrs. At this stage, and especially since your daughter is still having major break-through pain, I would concentrate more on staying well ahead of the pain, and not worrying about over-medicating as long as she can be woken up. If the pain is a 2, that's good, you want it to stay low, but it will only go up from there, and once it goes up, it is so much harder to control. Also, once pain gets out of control it takes a lot more medication and time to get it under control. I would give her the valium around the clock on the schedule prescribed. They just massively rearranged her spine, and with it all the muscles and soft tissues have been stretched and moved. They are prone to painful spasm at this point, which the valium helps with.
If she is nauseated (which does not surprise me with hydrocodone, it makes me and my daughter both throw up), you may consider a call to the dr.'s office and ask to switch to oxycodone. Some kids handle this better (mine did), and it is a more effective pain medicine than hydrocodone, so less may be required. Again the zofran can/should be given around the clock on a schedule. I am a very barfy person when I have to take narcotics, and I found that zofran really didn't help me much. I had better luck with phenergan, which you could ask her doctor about.
If she is having break-through pain, I would go back to an every 4 hour schedule on the hydrocodone if it was prescribed that way. None of these pain meds last for 5 hours, so I am thinking it is just too long for her to go at this point. Keep her on an even keel and around the clock scheduling for another week or so, then you can try to lengthen out the meds a bit. She will NOT get addicted, and in another week or two you will be amazed at her progress.
Best of luck, it sounds like you are doing great. The hardest thing as a Mom I have ever done was send my precious baby into surgery. That part is now successfully behind you!
Last edited by leahdragonfly; 03-31-2012 at 11:01 PM.
Gayle, age 46
Boston brace as a teen for AIS
Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation, TLIF at L4/5.
Feb 2012 major A/P revision for broken rods
mom of Leah, 12 y/o, diagnosed Jan '08 with 26* thoracic JIS (age 6)
4/08 26 degrees, brace 16 hrs/day
9/08 17 deg. OOB - brace discontinued
9/09 30 deg, resuming brace
5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
5/14 stable 4 yrs post-op, 14* T
also mom of Torrey, 9 y/o son, 12* T, decreasing spontaneously (from 19*)