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Thread: Low energy levels post op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    39

    Low energy levels post op

    Ok, we are almost three weeks post op and my son seems to have almost no energy. Most of the day he is in bed he gets up a bit to walk around the house but finds it completely draining. He did have a good amount of blood loss during surgery. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any ideas of what might help? The surgeon told us not to use an iron supplement although didn't say why. I know it is still early but from what we know of other teens it seems like he should have more energy at this point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    63
    Sorry to hear about his tiredness. I hope someone can give you some ideas about what you can do. I guess everyone recovers and responds differently. I know I've read about how people have made an effort to walk everyday during the recovery process, but did not notice it being unbearably tiresome for them.

    -C
    Mom to son with new straight spine 8/15/2013 T16, L16
    Pre op T65, L?
    diagnosed 2/21/13 T55, L42

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    Hi...

    I think it would be a good idea to have your son's blood levels checked. It is not normal for a kid to have so little energy, even after a big surgery. I would call your pediatrician or family doctor (as opposed to the surgeon).

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    39
    Thank you I think I will call the pediatrician I wasn't even sure which doctor to follow up with. I really was thinking that it seemed unusual for a kid to be this tired even though I know it takes time with this surgery. If it is due to low blood levels Is there anything that can be done to fix it? I was also concerned that it might be a sign of hardware sight infection since he did have a UTI. Would this show up in bloodwork?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    Hi...

    If he had an infection, the most likely symptom would be a dramatic increase in pain and/or fever, but I suppose it could also manifest as lack of energy. If you voice your concerns, I'm sure the pediatrician will order whatever test is necessary to look for inflammation (SED rate comes to mind). If the problem is blood volume, I think the most likely solution would be a blood transfusion.

    Hope you get some quick answers and a solution.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    You might ask about a reaction to the anesthesia. My twins had different recoveries with the identical fusion... one was just noticeably faster than the other. I was so amazed at the second kid's recovery that I asked about it and they suggested it was a differential reaction to the anesthesia. Some people react better or worse to it and the effect can linger apparently, even with identical twins.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    39
    Thank you linda for the suggestion to follow with the pediatrician. He felt the low energy levels was from a combo of the procedure, meds,anesthesia, and anemia. He did blood work and found both his hemoglobin levels and red cell levels to still be low although he was not alarmed as they had climbed a bit from the last time they were taken two weed ago. I brought up the infection question and he did not feel it was an infection issue at all. I feel so much better having checked it out! The pediatrician was frustrated with the surgeons office for not giving more information as far as what to expect post op with blood loss and low levels.

    And Pooka, exactly what you said! The pediatrician said people react differently to anesthesia and it can sometimes take a month to get out of the system. He said after his own minor procedure he was exhausted for a good month and really felt It was a reaction to the anesthesia.

    Thanks so much for the help!

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