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Thread: Rough Night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
    59

    Unhappy Rough Night

    Shelby was doing so well until last night. She had a hard time sleeping and when I got up at 3:30 to give her her medicine she was crying. She said that she can't move and readjust herself. So we got up and walked around a little bit and then moved her to her side and she laid like that for a couple of hours. Then woke me up to move the pillows so she could lay on her back again. She woke me up about 7:30 and said she wanted to get up. She started crying again about how bad it was hurting. She seems to be an emotional wreck right now. She is now sitting up in the recliner sleeping. I don't know what to do for her to make her comfortable at night. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    I know this first week will be the worst and we just have to be patient but that is hard to tell her when she is in so much pain.

    Kathy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    Part of the problem may be a bit of depression, combined with pain. It is pretty common to have a bout of depression after surgery. The anesthisia (sp) effects of seratone levels of the brain. This effect happens about 7-10 days after surgery. My only suggestion is to make sure she gets her pain meds on time. It should pass in a week or so. If the weeping doesn't pass within the next week or two I would ask the doc about an antidepressant.
    SandyC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    212
    Unfortunately there was NOTHING anyone could do to help me feel comfortable. The first two weeks I would sleep for about two hours and then HAVE TO get up and walk around or sit. Then I would sleep for another couple of hours and so on.............It's a pretty common complaint and it will get better within a few weeks!
    Jenn
    37 y/o female
    60 degree lumbar
    45 degree thoracic
    1st time anterior/posterior surgery May 8th and 10th 2006
    T 5 to S 1
    NYC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    87
    It will get better, but you are right that this first week is the hardest. My daughter hated not being able to move by herself and turn over. The best thing that helped her feel more comfortable were the moshi (squishy) pillows that you can mold and tuck where you need them. I also agree with the depression issue. My daughter cried a lot during the first couple of weeks after surgery. She cried at her office visits and was just generally out of sorts. There does seem to be a magic turn around point where their bodies just seem to make the adjustment and I think it was around the 2-3 week mark. Elizabeth just seemed to start feeling more like herself again.

    Hang in there and know these times will pass. You just have to let your daughter know you are there and let her cry. It is just hard to see your child going through so much pain and not being able to do a whole lot.

    Love,
    Connie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    778
    After Jamie had her surgery, I told people it was like having a new born baby, because she would have me awake every two hours or so. Sometimes it was to take the pillows out; sometimes she needed to walk; sometimes she just couldn't get comfortable. Like other have said, it does get better. For us it seemed like the 2 week mark when she started sleeping through the night or just having me up once a night.

    Try to remember to take care of yourself. Sleep when Shelby sleeps, if you can, because the last thing you want to do is let yourself get worn out or run down.

    Hang in there.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Satin sheets and wearing satin pj's made it easier for me to logroll and readjust myself once in the bed.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gail

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Thumbs down Child's post-op pain-not acceptable

    It is against current accepted medical practice for a person to have so much pain they cry.

    My suggestion: Contact the doctor and have the medication changed or the dosage increased. What works for one person does not work for another.
    That much pain is bad for healing.

    About a week after my second stage surgery I got a terrible burning nerve pain. Fortunately I was in a rehab hosp and the staff physician immediately gave me Neurontin. (I had nerve pain which was not touched by narcotics).
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    178
    It's a tough time indeed! If her crying is in fact mostly from pain, then her level of pain relief needs to be re-assessed. It's going to be herd for her to be comfortable. Encourage her not to be either a hero or martyr, if she needs more relief, she should ask for it. It's a good chance that she's crying because of both depression and irritablity. The depression because of the drain on her whoe system from the surgery, as well as the anesthesia and pain meds. Remember, they are also depressants. The irritabbility is common with even low levels of pain when the pain is virtually unrelenting. The challenge here is a balance between pain relief and funtionality, you don't want her to be so doped up that she has trouble getting out of bed and starting the recovery process. Hang tough and remember that you need rest as well. See if you can get other family members to spell you for a few hours a day so that you can get some sleep. Also remember that in teens, the emotional highs are higher, and the lows lower.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,006
    I second what Karen said. Although I suspect that your daughter has a little postop depression (which is very common), she probably needs a little stronger pain medication for at least the next few days. In 2-3 weeks, you'll both look back and wonder what the big deal was. :-)

    --Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    88
    Kathy,

    When I had my surgeries there wasnt any position that was comfortable. I know you want to do anything to help but unfortuntaly in the first week or so there wont be anything you can do. She will be very stiff and in alot of pain. What helped me was just keeping up with my pain meds and i would wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain and would have to wait for the meds to kick in. What time is she taking her pain med before she goes to sleep? Maybe if you can give her one close to midnight or so and then it may last longer, maybe set an alarm clock to give her the meds in the middle of the night. I know for me when i would wait to long it wasnt a good thing when i woke up! It is good if she can sleep longer but not when she wakes up in pain. The walking helps with the stiffness.
    Is she sleeping with pillows up against her back and she is laying on her side? This was the only way i could sleep. Sleeping on my back was very painful. Also putting a pillow between my legs helped me. I can assure you it will get better. I think the depression is right on. I know i was very depressed after surgery and cried alot. It will get better i promise.
    Please let her know we are all thinking about her and wishing her a speedy recovery.

    Sarah

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Post-op Pain

    I forgot to add that ice bags were great in a pinch for the pain near my ribs. I would sleep with one ice bag on each side for a few weeks--bit I am much older--most adolescents won't have as much pain for so long. Their backs were not misshapen as many years as mine!!! so the "uncoiling" is not as painful.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
    59
    Thanks everyone for all the advice. We had a better night last night. We started her off on her side with pillows behind her and one between her legs. Then when we woke up in the middle of the night for medicine we switched her to her back. We still woke up very early this morning as she likes to move to the family room and sit up in the recliner. She then goes back to sleep for a couple of hours. She seems a little perkier this morning then she did yesterday. It was silly of me to think that she wouldn't have some bad days as she was doing so well. She hadn't hardly cried at all and I guess she just needed to let it out. I told her she didn't have to act so strong, we would understand if she was having a rough time. My husband works out of town during the week so I think she is a little worried that he won't be here this week to help us. My mom is coming tomorrow to stay as long as we need her so that will help. Thanks again but I guess I just need to be prepared for the good days as well as the bad days.

    Kathy
    Daughter Shelby 12 1/2
    Curves 44T 64L Corrected to 5T 10L
    Surgery June 19, 2006

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    60
    yes. it's difficult for me to get comfortable. i hate sitting up, standing and sitting. and it's hard to stay in those positions for long b/c i get stiff and restless. my mom and dad have been helping me walk around the house every so often to try to get those jitters out of me. once again. if shelby had any nausia or constipations please let me know. these have been worse than the back pain for me. i havent eaten much of anything in a week, and what i do manage to get down doesn't stay down. any suggestions?

    thanks so much.

    Lindsay and Mom

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
    59
    Hi Lindsay,
    Shelby has been constipated since the day she left the hospital which was Wednesday. I just went to the drug store and bought some suppositories as that is what they gave her in the hospital. Shelby is only taking Loritab every four hours and Ultram once a day. It is a non narcotic pain reliever that is extended release so it stays in her system longer. She is also taking a stool softener but it hasn't helped. I think if she could just have a bowel movement she would feel much better. I don't know what you are taking for pain but her surgeon is very adament about getting off narcotics as soon as possible because it does cause the stomach problems. She is eating pretty good just not as much as she usually did. She is drinking alot of water which she didn't used to do. I imagine throwing up isn't helping your back pain at all. I am sorry to hear you are having a rough time but hang in there and I am sure things will get better. Let me know if I can help with any other questions.

    Kathy
    Daughter Shelby 12 1/2
    Curves 44T 64L Corrected to 5T 10L
    Surgery June 19, 2006

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    672
    Hi,

    My son was started on Colace (a stool softener) as soon as he came out of surgery and was given one daily while in the hospital. This really helped when he finally had a bowel movement. We kept him on that at least the first week home and it really helped.

    Kathy, did Shelby have to have a bowel movement before she left the hospital? Just wondering b/c that was one of the requirements before Joe was released, they wanted to make sure all the "elimination" functions were working.

    Lindsay,

    The first couple of weeks home, I remember Joe wanting things like soup (or even just broth), applesauce, oatmeal w/toast, scrambled eggs. I also made alot of fruit smoothies for him. He wasn't really nauseated when he came home but it took a while to get his appetite back and he seemed to prefer soft foods.

    Hope this was helpful, good luck to you both.

    Renee

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