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Thread: Post op questions- 7 days out! Frustrated and desparate!! Help~~

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414

    Post op questions- 7 days out! Frustrated and desparate!! Help~~

    Hi! I got a call from one of the hospitals nurses...a nice one at that! She was very sweet & ask how I was doing. I was honest...I told her horrible. I cant sit for more than like 5 mins top, am sooo sick of laying on my back..I broke down. Told her I felt like a helpless little baby. I have sever numness over my whole butt and I told her my meds dont last long at all. I also told her I gained 10 lbs....yes 10 lbs!!! I HATE IT!!! And the hip indentation is still there!!! The corrected it to 10 thor & 10 degrees lumbar how is it still possible Im still "deformed?!?!?!" VERY ANGERING to me...sorry! The stomach bloating it making the back issue worse I think. So, she gave me a few diff #'s to call tomorrow am to talk to some docs to express my concerns. Debbe-have you had any of these issues??????? What did u do for the bloating?? WHen did everyone notice they lookedstraighter???? IM so frusrtatred!!!HELP!!!!!
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Lynn honey--

    First off, HUGS. 7 days out, I was still in pretty bad shape too. I don't think I started to feel a little better until the 2 week mark, which is what my doctor mentioned. Yes, in the beginning, I couldn't wait for my next medication time, I would literally count the minutes. Maybe if it's really bad, you should call the Dr.'s office and they need to adjust your meds? In the beginning I couldn't stay in any one position for too long, not much of anything was comfortable.

    Yes, when I came home I was heavier than when I left. Although My face and limbs looked thinner, I was heavier, which I think is the 'bloat' as you call it. It eventually came off on it's own. Also, have you---um---had a BM yet? I know I was much more comfortable once that happened. I came home taking colace 3x a day, which I continued for not even a week. Once I got home I ate high fiber cereals every day and my mom made me (don't laugh) stewed prunes, which worked wonders.

    Yes, I felt like a helpless baby. Had to have someone help me get in bed, someone help me get OUT of bed. My husband helped me shower for about 3 weeks, first in the shower chair and then standing up. I couldn't do a thing for myself, even get dressed.

    When I came home, I was numb on my whole butt, and on my upper legs, front and back about halfway down my thighs. Is that what you're referring to? As the weeks went on, the numbness decreased--the line of numbness moved up my legs and then butt slowly. I noticed TONIGHT (more than 3 months post op), when my hubby touched my butt that wasn't numb any more! WHOOHOOO. I bet yours will get better slowly too.

    I'm not sure what you mean about the hip indentation though. My waist used to be much more uneven than it is now, and my lumbar curve is still 30 degrees.

    Hang in there girlie--you're probably at the worst of it now. Things will get easier quicker than you think. Let me know if you need to talk, ok? I can call you or you call me.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    Lynn
    It will get better. I am 1 1/2 years post op and still remember all the help I needed. One suggestion I have is are you taking the muscle relaxers and pain meds all at one time? If you are try staggering them so you take one at a time 1 to 2 hours apart. That way you always have something you can take. My husband and daughters would get up all through the night, wake me and have me take my meds. We never waited until I felt the pain so we could stay on top of it. As for the numbness it does get better slowly...I am still numb on my butt and back but I do notice improvement. Also I got a really good correction both curves less than 10 degrees, both hips even and both shoulders even. Yet I still notice I only show a waist on one side. I was disappointed in this but it is nothing compared to how I looked before surgery and something I can live with. I do not think anyone but me even notices.

    Hang in there its still early and it all gets better.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    52
    Lynn,

    I had just come home on my 7th day, and also couldn't do anything for myself. My husband even got in the shower and washed my hair--washed all of me. Lotion, getting dressed, rolling over, etc--others did all of that. We put a draw sheet on my bed (a flat sheet folded in half) so that others could help with that when I rolled. I had no idea that I would feel like a turtle on my back whenever I was in bed! Once I was doing better at sitting and walking, I still had trouble changing position in bed. Now, at two months, I can change positions pretty easily and stay on my side of the bed (my husband had to sleep in another bed we set up next to ours for a month).

    I also have a poochy tummy, but I think it's because this was my 4th abdominal incision (2 c-sections and a hysterectomy before), so my tummy muscles are shot.

    I am also a little uneven--my waist is curved more on one side than the other--but overall I'm really much straighter.

    But take heart! I am now working nearly 20 hrs per week, have been off pain meds for 3 weeks, driving, walking 2 miles in my hilly neighborhood, cooking, doing housework, etc. My energy is pretty good, too. I never expected (back at the beginning) that I would feel this good this soon!

    Hang in there! We're all pulling for you!
    Lisa
    Lisa MS
    age 46

    Braced 1976 - 1980, corrected to 19" then
    Spinal fusion, a/p, 8 vertebrae, 11/17/08
    Lumbar curve was 57 degrees, now 24 degrees
    Dr. Doug Wong, Panorama Ortho, Golden, Colo.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
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    Lynn

    Hang in there, Be tough, you are at the hardest part and it will get better. I felt like I was run over by a freight train and hit with every axle.

    The sitting thing is tough, we know. One way I would get relief was by taking multiple baths in hot water every day. It worked well. Sleeping is tough also, do you have a piece of foam for your bed? It will help.

    Sometimes the Docs cannot go for full correction, its too dangerous. 10 degrees on a 48/60 is pretty damn good if you ask me. My surgeon told me that if I was too stiff, and he could only tell after he was in there, that he was going to fuse me "as is"
    with 2, 70 degree curves.

    Don't worry about your angles or your weight, right now just worry about getting better. Its all about you right now.

    Watch your bowel movements!!!!! This is very important. Every day.

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    19
    Darlin... for the first few weeks it took me 4 -6 minutes to get into bed (under full pain mediation) and get myself flat on my back. If a butterfly landed I'd be done. Absolutely helpless.

    If you can get just one finger with the toilet paper where it needs to go... just one fraking finger... and do this yourself (I could and INSISTED on this)... you will not shoot yourself (I didn't). That's assuming you can get on the toilet with or without help.

    And then you have to repeat the process! If you want to do a good job, that is. And I like things done right, so I was in deeper than what... the average shopper? I like to do a good job, on whatever I do. So woe unto me.

    I'm happy to report, after two surgeries (still recovering from the second) you will be wiping your butt in no time! If you are not now, then I apologize. You will be soon. THAT'S how you are going to have to gage your progress. One finger... two fingers... a SLIGHT twist here and there.

    Don't get me started on getting on your socks!!! IF you can get them on at all.
    Paul (57 years old)

    ........

    Went in with lower back pain, diagnosed w/ Myelopathy late '07.
    Correction: 4-Level Cervical surgery Jan '08
    (Lumbar region continued to deteriorate...)
    Correction: L-4/L-5/S-1 Anterior fusion Oct 22, '08
    As of Jan 14, 2009... on my 11th week out...

    Both procedures: Rush Medical, Chicago.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Paul

    Good job! I guess your not the average shopper?

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Oooh, Lynn, I'm so sorry to read you're having such a tough time. Isn't it good to read though, that it's normal at this point after your surgery, and it will improve soon.

    If the bloating is caused by lack of BMs, I was given some advice from a friend who's experienced a fair bit of surgery over the years. She said to buy in a stock of both prune and pear juice. Mix it 50/50 and sip it all your waking hours. She calls it "PP for poopoo" and swears it works.

    Hope you're feeling much better soon and hopefully you're much more happy with your shape.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    19
    Thanks Ti,

    BTW, I'm 185 lb, came out with swollen feet like balloons. Looked like Popeye, only in the ankles. Took several weeks till it got under control. I'm 12-weeks out, and still have questions.

    Trusting my surgeon and his RN. Good to get support and advice on the 'net. Great to get similar conversations, for we can all use extra comparisons and help. Lots of ups and downs, and we are all different in how we handle them. Lots to compare, and lots of help mostly on the psychological daily experience.

    Lynn, unless your doc screwed the wrong screw into the wrong place, or did the left leg instead of the right arm, then what you are experiencing is what you have to get through... and it ain't pretty. It ain't no root canal, I'm afraid.

    You're going to be fine, but it isn't measured in days.

    HA ha ha... I was telling my wife, "get between the toes!", when she was drying my feet! She said, "WHAT!". She never took the towel and dried between HER toes, ever! Not like, between ever single toe. She though I was some sort of idiot!

    NOW she does it herself! "Ohh, that feels GOOD!", she tells me now.

    SEE, I told her?

    I judge myself on how well <I> get that towel between my toes, now. Not before when I was standing up in the shower, taking it all for granted.

    I spat in a cup every time I brushed my teeth... for 2-months. Now I can bend ever-so-slightly without the cup, and spit in the kitchen sink (not bathroom yet). BIG DEAL! BIG DEAL! Progress there!

    Stay tuned, honey. You'll get lots of support here.
    Paul (57 years old)

    ........

    Went in with lower back pain, diagnosed w/ Myelopathy late '07.
    Correction: 4-Level Cervical surgery Jan '08
    (Lumbar region continued to deteriorate...)
    Correction: L-4/L-5/S-1 Anterior fusion Oct 22, '08
    As of Jan 14, 2009... on my 11th week out...

    Both procedures: Rush Medical, Chicago.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,158
    Opiates cause constipation that can kill you. This is why I mentioned it.

    Being bloated can be for different reasons, more than likely edema.

    Google it

    Im going to die now
    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. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    72
    Hi Lynn
    Sending you big HUGS too
    I hope these posts give you some kind of support and help.
    Welcome to the world of scoliosis surgery recovery - but yes, thats what it is, -recovery- and this is just what your body is doing right now. This is such major surgery and corrected to 10 degrees is wow - a lot of movement for a body used to being held in a different way to get used to - all those muscles, and nerves having been moved about and now trying to heal!

    I constantly wondered should I? why can't I? whilst lying on my back for a looong time - please dont give yourself a hard time too, just sleep, rest, sleep, rest and sleep some more - your body is healing.
    the tummy thing (bloating and feeling really uncomfortable) was very tough for me too - especially as I was a 'regular' if you know what I mean but just take the stool softeners and eat as much of the good stuff to get you moving and it will all come back good.
    Building up your sitting time will come it is soooo early yet as will the numbness everywhere. I am 4 1/2 months post op and things are still numb in my back and part of my butt.
    Boy did I cry lots in those first few months (hey still do occasionally) hubbie says oh no, you're not leaking again!!!
    my husband helped me with between the toes too and the wiping(!) when I first came home at 8 days. I would say things def changed for me in a lot of things by week 6 but everyone is different.
    Once you feel able to stand to shower - the hot water on your back will feel great but for me this wasn't for a good few weeks or so when I felt confident to stand in the shower on my own.
    Hang in there Lynn - it can only get better. I'm thinking of you and sending positive vibes from across the miles between us.
    Louisse (from the UK)
    Diagnosed aged 17 thoracic curve of 40°/48? given brace worn for short time but was then told that I had stopped growing and it wasn’t likely to get worse. Follow ups ‘got lost in the system’ and I chose to ignore until age approx 33, after two children. Now nearly 42yrs curve was progressing (last xrays 67 degrees) and increasing 'backache' so surgery (posterior T3 - L1) went ahead beginning of September 2008 in UK - thoracic curve now approx 20° and I look a lot straighter!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Lynn,

    The others reminded me of a few more things. Yes, I had a lovely glass of prune juice every morning, first thing. STRAIGHT, not diluted, that's what the nurses told me. Also, as far as the wiping thing, my husband ordered me this, and it worked great. I used it for a few months and then all of a sudden, like Paul said, I don't need it any more. But in the beginning it was a godsend--I mean really. Things are humiliating enough--who wants to have someone else wipe their butt??

    http://www.amazon.com/Bottom-Buddy-T...2714500&sr=8-2

    Hang in there Lynn, this hardest part will pass.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Lynn --the bloating is normal and will go down....and it will take a few weeks or even months for your body to settle into its new shape. Try Miralax for constipation...it's great stuff! I wouldn't even look at your body at this point...how it looks now is nothing like what it's going to look like in a couple of months. Honest!

    I wonder if your pain meds are strong enough. But even with adequate pain relief, sitting is the position that hurts the most for a few weeks or couple of months.

    At this point you're not SUPPOSED to be able to do anything. Your body needs rest and sleep. Hang in there!!
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    Hi Lynn,

    I just wanted to echo what everyone else is saying. You will probably lose the 10 lbs in no time. I was in the hospital 9 days and was shocked when I came home and gained 3 lbs. I barely ate anything in the hospital. 2 or 3 days later I weighed myself and had lost 12 lbs. I'm guessing it was water weight. Your body will continue to change as time goes on. The hip thing you mentioned may straighten out. I leaned to the left a good bit after my surgery but that has pretty much corrected itself.

    Hang in there. Things will get easier!
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Salina, Ks
    Posts
    126
    Lynn,

    I have sent you a private message.
    Nancy Joy

    Surgery- Posterior- Oct. 8th, 2008
    Anterior- Nov. 10th, 2008
    Age 54
    T10 to Sacrum
    Curve 65 degrees
    Very straight now!!!

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