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Thread: What should I expect postsurgery?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227

    What should I expect postsurgery?

    OK - it's been 25+ years since I've done this surgery thing. I'm being "revised" T2-L1 and new fusion L1-L4. All one rod. It's anticipated to be posterior and anterior. What should I expect when I get home? I'm not worried about the hospital recovery part as I'll have people there to wait on me (parents and etc) but wonder what I should expect when I come home. How long before I'm self-sufficient? I have 3 kids (and a hubby). But I do EVERYTHING around here now - so need to know what to expect.

    Any feedback would be WONDERFUL

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    HI,

    I was spoiled and had my parents here taking care of the family and waiting on me hand and foot for 2 months. I actually started doing some things like some cooking at 3 weeks--then I'd be exhausted, go take a nap and my mom would clean up after me.

    I think that maybe by 6 weeks I could have been ok by myself. When they left at 8 weeks, I managed, but then my husband and kids were still pitching in. They're going to have to get used to the idea that for at least a while, you will be out of commission.

    I had a post where I asked similar questions, here it is; I received some really good responses. YOu might even want to have your husband read it:

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7858
    __________________________________________
    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
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    One more thing I forgot to say---GOOD LUCK!! I know you'll be just fine.
    __________________________________________
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    Debbei-
    THanks for that link. I really want my mom here for 2 weeks (my hubby does not) but I really don't think he can do what I need done around here (shame on me for thinking that). I'm not sure he understands at all what a long healing process this will be. I think I have 4 weeks covered with help - after that I'm hoping that my kids will be able to help out a lot with evening work. I never even thought that I couldn't make dinner and clean up. Wow! What I take for granted right now. I'm going to need to remember to not feel guilty - I tend to do that to myself a lot. Actually, I feel very guilty for choosing to have the surgery and I'm not sure why. It's not like it's going to be a fun time. I just want to get rid of this daily pain...I sure hope I'm making the right choice. I question myself until I lie down or sit for too long or stand for too long in one place - then I remember why I'm doing this. I hope my family can weather this storm - but I hate to be a burden on others! I'm 28 days away from another big moment in life - sure hope I'm doing what's best. I want to be prepared before and after surgery - I get 4 mos. off work and hope that's enough - I know Lynn is preparing to go back after 3 mos and I feel like she needs more time. So many questions - but I know time will answer them all (I'm always so on top of things that time is not something I like to wait to happen Wow! Grocery shopping is even a difficulty - no one has EVER done the grocery shopping before - I'm going to have to let go...this is tough.
    Wow - am I babbling tonight!
    Anyway - thanks again Debbei.

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Why is it that so many of us women feel we have to do everything ourselves? I used to be like that but have come to my senses in recent years and life is so much nicer, sharing the load.

    Pre-op, my partner read a lot of this forum, which gave him a fair idea of how it would be post-op. I am incredibly fortunate in that he willingly took on the role of taking care of me and has been wonderful. As it has turned out I can do a lot more than we both expected so I am helping him out where I can. He is as thrilled as I am about my smooth progress since leaving hospital.

    I think it has brought us closer. I appreciate him so much more now that I've seen this committment to me.

    I know we are all different and some can manage virtually by themselves. I suspect the majority of us needs some help. Some might need a lot of help. My feeling is, pain control is the key. Secondly, feeling loved and cared for, I suspect, also plays a role.

    All the very best!
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    I'm a control freak who does everything around the house too -- but in the first few months after my surgery I was more than happy to let everything go while friends and family stepped in. So what if hubby washed the whites and the darks together and all my socks and undies turned gray.....at least he was doing the laundry!!

    Good luck -- everything will be okay.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    43
    Hi Ya,

    Was just wondering are you having your surgery to correct the curves again and if so what degree have they told you they can achieve and what are the risks?

    May have to look into this option aswell.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by always smilin' View Post
    Debbei-
    THanks for that link. I really want my mom here for 2 weeks (my hubby does not) but I really don't think he can do what I need done around here (shame on me for thinking that). I'm not sure he understands at all what a long healing process this will be. I think I have 4 weeks covered with help - after that I'm hoping that my kids will be able to help out a lot with evening work. I never even thought that I couldn't make dinner and clean up. Wow! What I take for granted right now. I'm going to need to remember to not feel guilty - I tend to do that to myself a lot. Actually, I feel very guilty for choosing to have the surgery and I'm not sure why. It's not like it's going to be a fun time. I just want to get rid of this daily pain...I sure hope I'm making the right choice. I question myself until I lie down or sit for too long or stand for too long in one place - then I remember why I'm doing this. I hope my family can weather this storm - but I hate to be a burden on others! I'm 28 days away from another big moment in life - sure hope I'm doing what's best. I want to be prepared before and after surgery - I get 4 mos. off work and hope that's enough - I know Lynn is preparing to go back after 3 mos and I feel like she needs more time. So many questions - but I know time will answer them all (I'm always so on top of things that time is not something I like to wait to happen Wow! Grocery shopping is even a difficulty - no one has EVER done the grocery shopping before - I'm going to have to let go...this is tough.
    Wow - am I babbling tonight!
    Anyway - thanks again Debbei.

    Always--

    If I were you I'd overrule your hubby on the 2 weeks with mom decision. For the first two weeks just about all you'll want to do is eat (and not very much), sleep and poop, just like a baby. You'll be awake between naps counting the minutes till the next medication and the next sleep. There is NO WAY I could have done anything around the house for the first 2 weeks. The doctor told me that the first 2 weeks were the worst, and I think he was right.

    Good luck to you,
    __________________________________________
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    Debbe-

    Interestinng reading your signature...we sound a bit similar. Milwaukee brace - I was "cured" or so I thought. And here we are
    I think my hubby will have to give in as according to the law and his union - he can only help me for 2 weeks and that is definitely NOT enough time. After my reads last night I shared some of what I learned - I think he's in shock/denial - so hopefully all will go smoothly.
    I have my preop appt the day after Easter.

    Amanda - I'm really hoping to stop the progression and whatever correction they can make would be wonderful. I was warned that I may not look much different after (with the exception of some beautiful new scars) but hopefully will not be in as much pain. My curve has progressed significantly since my last surgery in 1982 - very shocking to see the x-rays - but I felt that something was wrong. I hope that you don't have to undergo this - it took me 2 years to make the final decision - a lot of thinking "it'll go away" if I don't deal with it - doesn't work too well.

    Thanks for all the words of advice- I can use all I can get these days!

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Always,

    This whole ordeal is a shock for the husbands. Heck, it was shocking for me too--who wants to feel so dependent? I used to whine and complane prior to surgery that I would have a hard time 'relinquishing control'. Well, you know what? Especially for the first few weeks, I had NO PROBLEM relinquishing control and really didn't care at all.

    We had about 6 months to get used to all of this, so by the time my surgery rolled around, we had everything in place and my husband was ready to do whatever was needed. He always steps up in times of crisis. (it's in regular non-crisis times that he can slack off ) Your husband will come to understand too that you just won't be capable of much for some time, and he won't want you to be by yourself.
    __________________________________________
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by debbei View Post
    If I were you I'd overrule your hubby on the 2 weeks with mom decision. For the first two weeks just about all you'll want to do is eat (and not very much), sleep and poop, just like a baby. You'll be awake between naps counting the minutes till the next medication and the next sleep. There is NO WAY I could have done anything around the house for the first 2 weeks. The doctor told me that the first 2 weeks were the worst, and I think he was right.
    The first 2 weeks were the most challenging for me, but because of all the prep I'd done beforehand (like crazy, *insane* prep - LOL), I was easily able to recover solo. Although I had friends and family who wanted to camp out, I vetoed it. No one stayed with me at *any* point after surgery ... a friend literally picked me up from the hospital, took me home and went back to work.

    I was completely coherent almost from the moment I woke up after surgery. There was some MAJOR drama when I was forced off PCA Dilaudid on Day 2 (IV's blew), but that was as bad as it got. They hooked me back up for a few days, and I left the hospital the morning of Day 6 on Percodan, Norco 10/325 and Valium. My case is a little different in that while I have a huge pain tolerance, I also have a huge tolerance to narcotics. My first 4-5 weeks were spent alternating 2 Percodan and 2 Norco every 4-5 hours. It kept most of the extreme discomfort at bay, and I was even released to drive at 3 weeks. That's how little the meds affect me.

    Of course everyone is different ... some here couldn't have made the decision to stay by themselves even if they'd wanted to.

    Always Smilin' (and Debbe) ... regarding the Mom for 2 weeks issue ...

    I can't help but wonder, *why can't your HUSBAND handle things*???

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I truly don't understand the concept of going into something like this feeling guilty, neglectful or having to justify that you won't be able to care for another ADULT.

    Can someone explain this to me?

    Regards,
    Pam
    Last edited by txmarinemom; 04-04-2009 at 06:55 PM.
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by txmarinemom View Post
    I can't help but wonder, *why can't your HUSBAND handle things*???

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I truly don't understand the concept of going into something like this feeling guilty, neglectful or having to justify that you won't be able to care for another ADULT.

    Can someone explain this to me?

    1) I have 3 kids and at the time none of them drove. They had to be toted around town here and there. Plus, when I was in the hospital my husband was in the city with me the whole time. The kids were home with my parents. I would never have left them without adults in the house.

    2) Financial reasons: I stopped working and was getting a very small disability. My husband is self employed. If he stayed around the house taking care of the kids and me, he couldn't be out there doing his job paying for the roof over our heads.

    3) You couldn't have kept my parents away no matter what. They swoop in to help when needed.

    4) My oldest son was out of control at the time, I think you remember this Pam. Having 2 extra adults in the house certainly helped keep things at a calm level.

    I applaud you Pam for being able to do it yourself. We just couldn't and needed extra help. I'm thankful to still have my parents who want to help, and are healthy enough to do so.
    __________________________________________
    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
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Okay ... I can understand that, and I know you had some special circumstances.

    I guess what I was speaking of is often on here I've read where women are guilty over the fact they can't do everything for everyone in the house after surgery.

    Certainly there can be extenuating circumstances that facilitate help, but in a normal situation, why can't the husband take over the role of running the house and running the kids (even with a job) when most women do it regularly?

    I didn't mean to put you on the defensive about your situation, Debbe. What I was questioning was the "yes, your Mom should come" when another adult already lives in the house.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Heck, I never felt guilty that I couldn't step right up after surgery and do everything....I still don't feel guilty. These kids are capable of helping out and I expect it.

    The thing is Pam, I don't think I could have been left alone like you were, even if I didn't have kids. You must be stronger than I was. I was so out of it on the drugs, I doubt I would have even bothered to eat in the beginning.
    __________________________________________
    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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    You're stronger than you think, girlfriend, and I still don't think I'm expressing myself - or my question - adequately. It's not at all about who can/can't - or even wants to - recover solo.

    I didn't have to ... trust me. My friends and Mom wanted to swoop in on me, as well. Maybe because I've been single as long as I've been (after so many years single with the kids), I'm just really funny about my privacy since they left a few years ago. To me, having someone in my teeny urban abode would have just more hassle than help.

    Anyway, that neither here nor there. I'm not asking why people don't recover solo. I don't believe Hanson had ever agreed to let anyone before me, so I don't think it's common - and under some circumstances it's just not doable. Many things can determine the feasibility ... extent of the operation, tolerance to meds and/or pain, prior planning, and even simple things like layout of the house. Some manage the challenges: I know Geish and her daughters managed with stairs, FFF (trulyaries) managed with stairs, and Ginger's place is like the most enchanting treehouse ever (stairs *everywhere* ... after seeing it, I am in awe how she managed mostly solo).

    Side rambling: I know if I'd been in my current place, things would have been a lot more difficult. I'm in the bottom unit of of ca. 1900 four-plex, and it is SO not handicapped friendly. The staircase from the unit above me actually cuts through my bathroom (think slanted ceiling), and the toilet is tucked in a corner at the lowest part of the slant - wedged between the wall and the clawfoot tub. The immediate response of anyone who sees it for the first time is hysterical laughter. I happen to love it, BTW, but I'm 5'2" (and a 1/4" now, damnit - no one else cares about that 1/4" I gained - LOL!): If I were a 6' guy, the Barbie Bathroom would be an issue. It certainly would not have been handy having to duck under the staircase during recovery - and the tall clawfoot tub would have been a total pain. I'm just attaching a pic (not all that great in quality, but gives you an idea how funny it is ;-).

    Back to what I was asking ...

    Again, my question wasn't why more people don't recover without help, it's why do so many (at least it's my perception) women think the house/family/pets/world is going to come to a sudden stop if the rest of the household (even if it "just" a husband) has to step up to the plate for a few weeks, a few months or more?

    I'm still not sure if anyone will understand what I'm asking ... I don't seem to be doing all that well at getting this out ...

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

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