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Thread: Surgery this Friday

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
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    1,707
    I, also, do not use a pillow under my head.

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinmomTN View Post
    I am so worried about twisting and not properly log rolling in bed. How did everyone cope with changing positions during the night? I flip flop and change positions at least every hour or so in bed. Do you need assistance with pillow placement (especially for side sleeping with pillows in front and back) during the night or just try to cope best as you can on your own? I think one would twist a bit to reposition a pillow behind your back. Do you wake your spouse or how is this handled?
    For my first 3 weeks at home, I slept on my right side the entire time, with two pillows under my head. I didn't want to go onto my back at that point because at the time my dressing was causing a lot of pain if I tried to put weight on my back.

    Since then, I sometimes sleep on my right side, sometimes on my back, and sometimes on my left side, though rarely. The only pillow I use now is my one single WAL-PIL-O under my head, which is what I used before the surgery. I don't know if I toss and turn during the night, but I'd be surprised if I didn't. I have occasional issues with post nasal drip that sometimes make back sleeping difficult despite the daily Allegra taken to combat it, and issues with nasal inflammation and stuffiness that frequently make sleeping on one side or the other difficult; I frequently wake up in a state where I can't breathe very well and have to get up long enough to let that side of my nose clear out. There is no single position that is really comfortable for me to sleep in, so I don't get good sleep at this point, and don't expect to for quite some time.

    I do start out most nights sleeping in a recliner, so obviously don't move around too much there. That's because sleeping in my bed is so difficult due to not only the issues described above, but the residual pain after the surgery that is generally only felt when lying down in one position or another.

    My sleep issues also include a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia as well as Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in addition to the nose and back issues. According to my FitBit, I wake up an average of maybe 18 times a night. One of those wakings will be accompanied by a trip to the bathroom, but most of them just lead to repositioning myself -- often without even knowing it.

    So I guess I'm in the "cope best as you can on your own" category. But I'm guessing I would probably wake up in pain if I moved in a way that was really dangerous. At least I hope I would.

    -- Mary

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    Update at 3 weeks and 1 day

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to update my progress. After settling in at home last Thursday, I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak. Pre-op was walking 4-5 miles each day and alternating swimming laps an hour each day. I currently get winded just carrying on a long conversation. I haven't weighed but I believe I am between 1.5-2 inches taller. My daughter was almost my height pre-op, so she has noted the additional challenge of catching up to me. The pain has been well controlled so far but I do have constant stiffness and muscle spasms. The x-rays look very straight but they have no measurement yet. I do feel the rods and hardware in my back especially when sitting, which is uncomfortable. At most I can tolerate about 20-25 minutes of sitting. The hardware almost has a feeling of rolling as I move my arms. Wondering if anyone else has felt this and if it gets less noticeable over time. My first follow up visit will be on June 20th. Oh, and luckily no bowel issues so far thanks to Senna and Miralax. I am also drinking Ensure shakes to supplement. All considered, I am pleased with how I am progressing so far.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinmomTN View Post
    Hi everyone. Just wanted to update my progress. After settling in at home last Thursday, I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak. Pre-op was walking 4-5 miles each day and alternating swimming laps an hour each day. I currently get winded just carrying on a long conversation. I haven't weighed but I believe I am between 1.5-2 inches taller. My daughter was almost my height pre-op, so she has noted the additional challenge of catching up to me. The pain has been well controlled so far but I do have constant stiffness and muscle spasms. The x-rays look very straight but they have no measurement yet. I do feel the rods and hardware in my back especially when sitting, which is uncomfortable. At most I can tolerate about 20-25 minutes of sitting. The hardware almost has a feeling of rolling as I move my arms. Wondering if anyone else has felt this and if it gets less noticeable over time. My first follow up visit will be on June 20th. Oh, and luckily no bowel issues so far thanks to Senna and Miralax. I am also drinking Ensure shakes to supplement. All considered, I am pleased with how I am progressing so far.
    Thanks Pam for the update. I am down to the wire now, going in on Wednesday, May 16th. Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help? My Mom is 80 and my daughter just had a baby and my other daughter works. Are you feeling a little better each day? You seem to have been in great shape before walking 4-5 miles each day which concerns me a bit but will remain hopeful. Hope you see this before I go. Good luck with your continued healing.

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by rockycarm View Post
    Thanks Pam for the update. I am down to the wire now, going in on Wednesday, May 16th. Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help? My Mom is 80 and my daughter just had a baby and my other daughter works. Are you feeling a little better each day? You seem to have been in great shape before walking 4-5 miles each day which concerns me a bit but will remain hopeful. Hope you see this before I go. Good luck with your continued healing.
    I can only speak for myself and yes I did need someone with me after arriving home for the 3rd week Postop. My Mom ,is 78, and has come on days when my husband couldn't be here,so yes just having someone around to pick up something from the floor or help with your dressing would be necessary in my opinion. Good luck. Will be thinking of you.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by rockycarm View Post
    Can I ask you, how long do you or did you need the assistance of someone at home? My husband is planning on taking 2 weeks off which will basically be most of my hospital stay and a little bit when I get home. Will I be able to manage on my own or do you think I will need additional help?
    I spent most of the first 2 months at home pretty much in my pajamas all day long, so I didn't have to worry too much about getting dressed.

    My husband had also planned to take 2 weeks off. I was in the hospital for the first week. My husband works in the building next door to the hospital, so he was actually at work during my surgery, but was accessible by phone and was no more than 5 minutes away at any point. He stopped in to see me at multiple points each day throughout that entire week, and even brought his students in to see me one day.

    In my house, the kitchen and TV are downstairs but the bedroom and bathroom are upstairs. So I was up and down the stairs multiple times every day. I managed that all by myself, but generally had my husband bring up or bring down whatever I needed but couldn't carry. Eventually I started using plastic bags, shopping bags with handles, or canvas bags to carry things up and down when I could.

    The first few days, there was only one walker, and somebody would have to bring it upstairs for me while I came up using the cane. Or bring it downstairs for me. Then we got a 2nd walker, and left one upstairs and one downstairs. I had the grabber that the hospital gave me, but that was another item that was needed both upstairs and downstairs. So my husband bought a 2nd grabber, and it was left downstairs with the one from the hospital staying upstairs.

    Until the dressing came off, the only bathing I did was two sponge baths that were managed by a home health aid, until the agency realized that my insurance didn't cover it. If I had had medicare, the insurance would have covered that person as well. But the only services from the home health care agency covered by my insurance were a nurse and a physical therapist.

    Once the dressing came off, which was after that two week period, my husband helped me with a bath in the shower sitting on the special bath seat that he had bought.

    Once I came home, my husband stayed home with me maybe the first whole day, but then realized that I didn't need him quite as much as he thought I would. So he did spend a little bit of time at work that second week. Fortunately he has a very flexible schedule when he's not teaching.

    I am not domestically inclined, so have really never done the cooking or the cleaning; my husband is the cook and generally does most of the cleaning as well. If I were domestically inclined and cooked and cleaned, I'm guessing I would have needed at least some help with that, but it wasn't an issue for me.

    The only cleaning-related tasks that I used to do but cannot do right now are load and unload the dishwasher (we usually all do that), and my own laundry. My husband does my laundry for me, and my husband and son manage the loading/unloading of the dishwasher. I can handle the top rack, but don't do the bottom rack at all.

    -- Good luck on Wednesday,
    Mary

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,598
    [QUOTE=TwinmomTN;139140], I have been walking my indoor track each day approximately 30-40 minutes broken into 10 minute segments. This week hubby has driven me to the local park with a walking track and walked .5 mile increments each time, probably 5 or 6 times this week. We have only inclines in our neighborhood. My walking is extremely slow and wobbly it seems to me ,but I ditched the walker the second day home since it was too cumbersome in our small house. Even with this amount of walking I am still very weak.


    WOW! You have done so much since your surgery! I'm really impressed! Be kind to yourself.

    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    4 weeks and 4 days update

    As of last Saturday I am off the oxy and percocet and replaced
    with Vicodin, which has been causing nausea. This has set me back since it has
    Zapped what little appetite I had and less walking and sleeping as well. I feel
    like I have been set back by a week or two by this. I called Dr. Lenke's office and the
    only other thing available is Tramadol, which doesn't do much for the pain.
    This is a real downer. Guess I will try to get by on the Tramadol and a valium
    as needed. I think I overdid it last week with my 1 hour in the hair salon chair plus
    car ride to and from. My left lower back is really pulling and hurting. The left was the
    Convex side of my curve, so I guess the muscles were weaker
    to begin with.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  9. #84
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Pam,
    I'm sorry to hear this! Do you think there's any chance the nausea is coming from withdrawal, rather than the Vicodin? I had problems with Percocet withdrawal after a C-section once. It made me have chills and bed sweats for about a week, plus I was an emotional wreck. (Post-partum, too, I guess.) Also, when I got off Oxicontin & decreased Norco around 5 weeks, my digestive system got much more active. Didn't need the laxatives anymore, and I think they were actually making me nauseous. Anyway, just hoping the nausea goes away. You could always try Norco, but I think it's pretty much the same thing as Vicodin. You are still in early days and I could not have been without some serious pain killers at that point. Heated blanket & rest were (still are) my best friends, too! Keep us posted.

    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.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,153
    Pam

    At 4 weeks, I was still laying very low....and would have been wiped out by a car ride and sitting in a chair for an hour.

    I was doing hot baths 5X per day for pain. I found that they were crucial.

    Hang in there, soon you will feel better.

    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

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    18

    Nausea coming from withdrawal?

    Do you think there's any chance the nausea is coming from withdrawal, rather than the Vicodin?
    Hello: I don't know about your situation, but all of the medicines you've mentioned make me very nauseated, which worries me because I'm scheduled for surgery in January. Do they not have ANYTHING else they can give you? (Asking selfishly, too.)

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    571
    Hi Pam,

    Are you taking vicodin with food? It might cause nausea and vomiting if taken on an empty stomach (know this from my dental surgeries).

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Hi Pam,

    Are you taking vicodin with food? It might cause nausea and vomiting if taken on an empty stomach (know this from my dental surgeries).
    Yes, I took Vicodin with food every time. According to Lenke's office
    Once you are off the percocet and oxy, Vicodin( hydrocodone) is the only
    Stepdown available other than Tramadol. I also asked about withdrawals
    and was told that would not occur.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    There are anti-nausea medicines they can give you. I get nauseous on all of those meds, but with the anti-nausea, not so bad. Good luck.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    Anti-nausea

    Yes I tried Compazine and even with that, still had
    some nausea. What meds did you take for nausea?
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

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