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Thread: Waking up from surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Staten Island New York
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    298

    Waking up from surgery

    I am having surgery a week from today, I my main worry is the pain that I will wake up to. My doctor said if I don't move I won't feel the pain, that didn't sound right, probably didn't want to scare me. How is pain when you first wake up and what about when they roll you - does that make the pain worst? I just want to prepare myself.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
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    850

    no memories of the first week......

    suzyJ---Honestly, I don't remember any pain the first week...I was sooo out of it with the drugs......It was all I wished for.....2nd week I was uncomfortable a bit & hallucinating a bit at night but nothing bad...I slept daytime more & woke up buzzing for pain meds at night....I loved those shots I got(D___??? whatever, when I really needed them,..) Everything was groovy after that.....!!!!
    I know it's hard, but try to look past all of this..to your recovery & visualize a month from now!!! Ly

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    near Philadelphia
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    Waking up from surgery is very much on my mind also. If you have an all-day surgery, do they keep you asleep the rest of that night?

    Also, my big question is: do you wake up with a ventilator tube in your mouth? I can't imagine anything more disconcerting.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Texas
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    93
    I remember the doctors and nurses waking me up after the surgery to tell me it was over. I was not in any pain, still intubated with the breathing tube, and then I was out again. I would wake up briefly when the nurses would give me meds, etc. for the first day or so but mostly I slept. I never had any agonizing pain my whole hospital stay. When I got up for the first time it wasn't pain I felt--I was a little scared and worried mostly. The meds I got really worked, plus I may have a high pain tolerance. Everyone is different though. I think the key to pain control after you are awake and lucid is to take meds when your pain is starting and not to wait until it is intolerable--the meds take longer to work then and it is troublesome. The nurses would say, "on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain whatsoever and 10 being agonizing pain, like your leg had been cut off--where are you now?" If I was a 3 or greater it was time for meds.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    new jersey
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    my anesthesologist(sp) explained to my husband that I would be kept asleep after the surgery(11 hrs surgery) at night thru the next day-morning.....I don't remember anythg....I'm sure there were many tubes in me...but I knew Nothing!!!!! Just the way I would have wanted it.....Ly

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Texas
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    Also, when the tube was in my mouth I don't remember it bothering me because I was so groggy. When they removed it, they talked me through it and I remember coughing once and then it was out and over--no big deal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    88

    Don't worry!!

    I do (somewhat) remember waking up.... i remember hearing my name, and I remember being in recovery. I thought that the recovery room was yellow, but it was the gowns that my family had to wear that were yellow!! I don't remember what I said to my family, but apparently, I was cracking jokes and laughing at myself and being very funny. I wasn't in any pain... I was told that my dad came in to see me and i said i felt like a million bucks! he replied with "well you look like a buck fifty". haha... don't worry too much about this. like i said on other posts, the anticipation is SO much worse. It is the hospital's job to keep your pain managed and keep you comfortable. And they will do that!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    88

    I forgot....

    I also had a huge tube in my neck, in my wrist, and a catheter, and when I was in recovery, I remember finding this out and feeling them (they didn't hurt, i was just aware of it), and they even took them out!!- well, they kept the catheter in for a few days.. (i don't remember them taking out the tubes from my neck and wrist at all....) It should make you feel better that I worried more about the IV then I did about the entire surgery...I freaked out the morning of surgery when they put the IV in! I have a fear of needles and the thought of tubes half inside and half outside of me repulses me! But it wasn't a big deal, and it didn't hurt at all.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    7,102
    Hi Sue...

    As I think you can tell from the responses, every experience is different. If you've chosen a good hospital and surgeon, you should be kept medicated enough that the pain won't be intolerable. You may or may not still be intubated, but at least you're prepared for that possibility. As far as I remember, I was not warned that I might be intubated and in intensive care, but that's exactly what happened to me, and I was quite concerned about it.

    If you have a preop appointment with an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist, ask him/her what to expect when you wake up in terms of pain, to what sorts of things you'll be attached, etc.

    Good luck with your surgery.

    Regards,
    Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    92
    Hi, I remember waking up in recovery, and being really cold and shaking, then throwing up. They put heating blankets on me to bring my body temperature up. I didn't have a tube in my throat when I woke up. I don't remember the pain at all, just getting nervous because I was shivering so much! They do a fantastic job at controlling the pain.
    Cena
    Nov. 2006 - revision surgery
    Aug. 1992 - revision surgery for hook removal and pseudoarthrosis
    July 1989 - Cortrell Doubosett procedure - two rods and fusion T4-L4 (age 13)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
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    Don't they give you anti-nausea stuff as part of your post-op drug cocktail?
    (I'm getting queasy just thinking about it ....lol)
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,293

    Post-op nausea.

    I never was nauseated my whole recovery time.

    There are very effective remedies for it though if it does happen.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    92
    Yeah they do, but I don't do well at all with anesthetia and morphine. It really upset my stomach for a while there. I told them I had problems in the past with severe nausea, which they looked out for. Everyone's experience is so different though, that if you get a pre-surgical consult appointment with the anasthesiologist (how do you spell that?) it's something to talk to them about. I remember getting sick after my first surgery too.
    Cena
    Nov. 2006 - revision surgery
    Aug. 1992 - revision surgery for hook removal and pseudoarthrosis
    July 1989 - Cortrell Doubosett procedure - two rods and fusion T4-L4 (age 13)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    36

    When I woke up...

    When I woke up from the surgery...my first thought was NOT "ow!"
    my first thought was "hey...im awake...i made it through... i have my rods in my back...now i can move on with my life" honestly!
    I didn't experience much pain...actually...I had an allergic reaction to morphine and I was all itchy. That's all I cared about. "stop me from itching!!!" was all i said. no complaints about pain.

    ummmm....when they xrayed me the day after surgery.....that hurt a lot...i screamed and cried...im not gunna lie. cuz they had to put the xray tray under me...so they had to roll me a bit...just ask them to do it slow...cuz they kinda dropped me. thats the only reason it hurt. but iwas only in pain for about half an hour.

    when you're in pain...there's always a fix for it

    When you FIRST wake up there is no shock...you kinda wake up all..."duhhh" feeling and look around and slowly realize that you're awake.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    311
    I haven't had scoliosis surgery yet, but after my thyroid surgery, I was really nauseated from the morphine. This worries me because I can't imagine throwing up when you can't really move or sit up. Is this a common reaction to morphine and should I ask for some other pain medication that might make me less nauseated??

    Thanks,
    Anya
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

    Previously 55 degree thoracolumbar curve
    Surgery June 5, 2007 - Dr. Clifford Tribus, University of Wisconsin Hospital
    19 degrees post-op!

    http://abhbarry.blogspot.com

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