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Thread: Stopping narcotics before surgery

  1. #31
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by dianadee58 View Post
    He sees a pain/addiction specialist and he is teaming up with the surgeon to come up with this plan for him. Problem is...they are 10 hours apart and conversing by phone and it is difficult to get in touch with the pain specialist. Easier to speak with the surgeon as he gave us his cell phone number. We just need to get up to date on what the two of them are conversing about. It was just today that the surgeon's nurse called and got the pain docs number to call him...again since they misplaced the number. Originally though the pain doc said he could use the saboxone and come off like 2 weeks before the surgery...so I need to find out what their plan is! Soooooo frustrating...on top of the thought of the huge surgery and wondering if it is even going to help him. I wonder what the % of people that really have successful surgeries is? I said before his fusion is from L3-S1, but I meant to say T3-S1!! Thanks for your input!! ;o)

    Hi I am dianadee58's son Jonmarc H. looking to having the spinal fusion correction operation with Dr. Lebwhol on June 14. I am very scared and stressed, and I think that I have been making it worse on myself with so much anxiety. I have an extreme amoumt of pain and I want to let all of you know that I logged in and my membership username is readytoheal. You can contact me at jonmarcholland@gmail.com. I appreciate this forum soo much. The support is greatly appreciated. I am trying to figure out how to post and reply on my own forum username account, but am having a hard time with it.

    Also, I want to say THANKYOU so much to Linda - I have your contact information and I will give you a call. Also I will email you and give you my contact information as well.

    -Jonmarc Holland

  2. #32
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    Quitting smoking before surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Just read in here about the need to stop smoking, too. That sounds terribly dillfficult on top of everything else, but I gather smoking significantly decreases chances for a good fusion.

    Rohrer, how do we post-ops avoid pain meds becoming addictions? Any basic tips would be appreciated, as I am starting to wean. Thanks!
    Yes, I have to quit smoking at least 6-8 weeks before the operation and no smoking after surgery because if you do, apparently there is an 80% failure rate of the spine fusing correctly. I need prayers for this as well.

    - Jonmarc Holland (username: readytoheal) jonmarcholland@gmail.com

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Just read in here about the need to stop smoking, too. That sounds terribly dillfficult on top of everything else, but I gather smoking significantly decreases chances for a good fusion.

    Rohrer, how do we post-ops avoid pain meds becoming addictions? Any basic tips would be appreciated, as I am starting to wean. Thanks!
    I'm probably the wrong person to ask, but I will tell you what I know.
    I haven't had any spine surgery, but have had several other types of surgery. As of right now, I do take narcotics and benzodiazepines (klonopin) along with the muscle relaxant baclofen for my pain. I am by NO MEANS an expert on this subject. I've talked with my doctor extensively about this because I have had periods of time where I didn't need anything more than a tylenol here and there and then I have these bouts that can last several years. You WILL go through some withdrawal. The severity of withdrawal will depend on how fast you do it. I have detoxed myself many times. The withdrawal syndrome, according to my doctor, does not mean you are addicted per se. It is your body's response to coming off of the drug. He told me that true addicts are consumed with thinking about the drug, tend to take more than prescribed and want to increase dosages. It becomes a mental thing and not so much a pain thing. My best advice, since I haven't ever had a surgery with more than a week or two of actual surgical pain (except the residual soreness), would be to talk to your doctor about it. Be specific with your pain symptoms and how you feel about the drugs you are taking. Be honest. The fact that you seem concerned about becoming an addict tells me that you probably aren't. I'm not a drug counselor and never have been. I have worked with some in a hospital setting years ago. My advice comes with personal experience with these meds and detoxing and ending back on them again.

    Right now I have a plan of action in place to try to work physically with exercise to help control my pain and hopefully reduce or eliminate the meds all together. I'll do this along with my other treatments. Exercise produces endorphins that actually target the receptors in the brain that make us feel good. That's where they get the expression "runner's high". People really can get "high" so to speak from exercise. If you are consistent and get past the initial soreness, it's wonderful for pain management. You just have to stay within your limitations with your fusion.

    As far as the weaning process goes, I would do it slowly. I have detoxed rather quickly and was terribly miserable. Some of my symptoms were, of course, increased pain, sweating, skin that felt like I was severely sunburned all over, headache, nausea, shaking and severe diarrhea. The best way I dealt with it was to go for a brisk walk and then take a bath and a nap when things got too bad. I detoxed wayyy too quickly. I chronicled it here somewhere in the non-surgical forum. Mind you, I was coming off of fentanyl (stronger than morphine), klonopin, and soma. I was doing it all at the same time. Not a good idea. It took about two full weeks to start feeling much better, just to put a time frame on it. I would ask some of the people who've had fusions how their detoxes went. It might give you a better idea of what to expect. I still have pathology to deal with since I'm not fused.

    I hope this helps.

    Diana,
    I didn't realize that your son has already had a couple of spine surgeries. I'm so sorry that he has to go through this again. I'm sure he's a nervous wreck, especially if the previous surgeries left him in pain. I will tell you from personal experience that narcotics cause sexual dysfunction. This may resolve for him once he is completely off of them. If he knows this, it may be a GREAT incentive to work harder at getting and staying clean. ;-)

    I should have seen that this was under the Surgical Revision section. I have a habit of not looking when I hit the "new posts" button.
    Last edited by rohrer01; 04-21-2012 at 01:33 AM.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianadee58 View Post
    Yes, I have to quit smoking at least 6-8 weeks before the operation and no smoking after surgery because if you do, apparently there is an 80% failure rate of the spine fusing correctly. I need prayers for this as well.

    - Jonmarc Holland (username: readytoheal) jonmarcholland@gmail.com
    Jonmarc,
    Welcome! As you can see, we are all very concerned for you in a good way. You CAN do this. I have a thread on Muscle Dystonia in the research section. I posted a link to a paper I found interesting. It was about trigger points, which are muscle spasms. People with scoliosis are often prone to get these. It stated in the article that the muscles respond to the nicotine via nicotine receptors. In people prone to muscle spasms, the nicotine actually triggers the spasms. So in light of that, the smoking cessation may actually help with your pain. I have lived with pain since I was 8 years old and am now 43. You've been through a lot and everyone here will help you the best we can. I know the battle with drugs is hard, especially when you have legitimate pain. Hopefully this surgery will be your last one and you will finally have a comfortable back when it's all said and done.

    Take Care,
    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  5. #35
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    May 2009
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    3,745
    will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, Jonmarc...wishing for a successful operation,
    and an uneventful smooth recovery.....and some peace of mind

    jess...& Sparky

  6. #36
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    Jan 2009
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    Ames, Iowa
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    Jonmarc--
    Glad you have gotten valuable info from the forum. Good luck with the June surgery. You should do well. Younger folks heal much quicker. Hope we can all help you with questions and concerns. We all had the--big time! As others have suggested, getting yourself in the very best condition is a must. You'll feel better mentally that way too--or at least it takes your mind off it for a while! Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Diana, your son has one major positive in his life - you. I wish you both the very best possible outcome.
    Thank you Jennifer...how is your pain after surgery? Your pictures look amazing!

    ;o) diana

  8. #38
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    Thank you dear one....God bless you.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianadee58 View Post
    Thank you Jennifer...how is your pain after surgery? Your pictures look amazing!

    ;o) diana
    I'm one of the lucky ones Diana - and there are plenty of us here. I just wish everyone had such a good outcome. I'm fortunate enough to say I have no pain at all.
    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

  10. #40
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    right direction~~

    Johnmarc~~~sounds like you're getting the right kind of help! Good Luck with this, and I agree that you're young and hopfully will heal faster and without complication. Not that I'm minimizing the type of surgery you're having-I certainly know how serious it is and definatley not a walk in the park, know matter how old you are. But age seems too be a factor in any surgery. KEEP US POSTED~~~Linda B.
    Linda Brozik~~60 yrs. old at time of Lenke's first surgery. 62 now!
    Surgery 2006 L3/4 L4/5 double fusion/ instumentation/ With 2 cages
    This started adult onset scoliosis
    July 1st, 2010/ surgery ~~fused T10 to pelvis (long rods/ screws)
    Oct.20th 2010, extended rods to T4 / did osteotomy at L3
    Oct. 29th 2012 Dr. Lenke St. Louis Mo. T4 to sacrum osteotomy anterior cage L3/4 titanium rods
    May 30th 2013 revision
    May 8th cervicle surgery 2016
    May 31st Dr. Gupta revision 2017

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    I'm one of the lucky ones Diana - and there are plenty of us here. I just wish everyone had such a good outcome. I'm fortunate enough to say I have no pain at all.
    Wow!!! That is sooooo awesome!!! I'm really happy for you that you have NO pain! Praise God for that! Hopefully Jonmarc's surgery will go good like that! Dear Lord I pray so.

    ;o) diana

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianadee58 View Post
    Wow!!! That is sooooo awesome!!! I'm really happy for you that you have NO pain! Praise God for that! Hopefully Jonmarc's surgery will go good like that! Dear Lord I pray so.

    ;o) diana
    I hope so too! In the meantime, I hope Jonmarc will get some of his questions answered here and some good support - for you too.
    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

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