View Full Version : Happy to be home

01-12-2011, 07:51 PM
Hi, Everyone,
My sister in law read all of your nice comments to me in the hospital. I think she told you that Dr. Lenke was really proud of the correction I got. The spine had more arthritus than he thought and it took 10 hours instead of 8. I am now 3 inches taller. I was definitely out of it off and on the first day. The surgery was on the 5th and I came home on the 11th. Everything would be perfect if I could just get my bowels moving again. Maybe tonight . . .I am so bloated that I could pass for someone 8 months pregnant.
I'm drinking hot prune juice, eating Fiber One, Colace, Senna. I'm about ready to try the magnesium citrate.
I think I'm walking pretty well. The PT told me I was way ahead of a 20 year old that had the same surgery the same day. My husband said "No wonder, she's very competitive." I showed John my signature that said "wonderful husband" and told him I didn't have to delete it when I came home. Just kidding. He's been the best!

01-12-2011, 07:52 PM
I just noticed my signature says age 6. Must of been out of it when I did it yesterday.

01-12-2011, 08:00 PM
Congratulations Karen!!! That's SOOOOO awesome to hear that you too got such great results! I feel your pain with the constipation. It's from the pain pump we were on in the hospital. Once the initial stool passes it gets A LOT easier if you manage it. Personally I take docolace (2x day), miralax, and citraprune (gentle laxative from walgreens). I recommend keeping enemas on hand too. It will get better but I feel the miralax makes a big difference in keeping you regular while on the meds. I'm off percoset but still on the oxycotin and muscle relaxers. Everyday will get a little better and though we have a long road ahead it will get brighter and brighter! Thank God for answered prayers!!!

Take care!

Jacque's Mom
01-12-2011, 08:12 PM

I'm so happy to hear you are doing well. As LaurieAnne mentioned try Miralax, that really works well. I mix it in orange juice and you don't even taste it. It really does help. I feel it's better than Milk of Magnesia as it doesn't make you have to hurry to the bathroom, especially when it takes time to get up, put the brace on and get into the bathroom. I felt 8 months pregnant as well but that will start to go away. It's just so darn uncomfortable. You think it's going down, and then you drink or eat something and it's back. Once your bowels are on track, you will start to feel better.

It's so great you are home and on the road to recovery. I'm just five weeks post-op and I am doing really well. You'll see a difference week to week. When you look back you'll see what strides you made. I wish you the best!

01-12-2011, 08:26 PM

I have been following your situation since last spring when you were still making your decision and worrying about whether you would play golf again. And I remember chatting with you about all the stuff with Joy, and when your surgery got postponed. Sooo...I am so relieved and happy to hear that you are home safely and got a good correction!!! I was thinking about you and hoping everything would go smoothly.

On a side note, I booked my own first appointment with Dr. Lenke this week, so I'll be following you down the road to "the other side" in a year or so!


01-12-2011, 08:36 PM
It's so great you are home and doing quite well--except for the usual going problem I don't think anyone ever escapes. So glad it went so well for you--3 inches--Wow! Janet

01-12-2011, 09:01 PM
Glad you're home, Karen. I did mag citrate and after that I was fine with the Senna S, Colace , prune juice and raisin bran. That bottle of mag citrate gets you started though. Just close your eyes and chug it!!

01-12-2011, 09:41 PM
Wonderful that you are safely home, Karen! Stay warm! I'm amazed at your 3inch growth...wow! My advice is to start the Miralax asap (smiley face).

01-12-2011, 10:09 PM
This is a great thread. Once you get "going" it will be even better, Karen.

I wonder if anybody ever escapes the dreaded constipation?

01-12-2011, 10:58 PM
hey Karen
so happy you are home and healing...

bet the puppies are too, right?
who was happier to see each other...you or the doggies?

jess...and Sparky

01-13-2011, 07:34 AM
welcome welcome home; i was positively EUPHORIC to get the hell out of there
i won't expect anything for at least a couple wks but look forward to how your experience went

i was a little constipated and this was the first time in my entire life; i discovered what it felt like and it's not fun but mine resolved quickly, the others have given you good advice but, in addition, the more you walk the quicker it should resolve; also, i remember how difficult it was to eat - u just gotta make yourself

separate from the constipation is the bloating; mine went away gradually over 2 -3 2ks; other than walking, not much you can do about it

but you are HOME SWEET HOME in relatively quick time so i conclude that there were no major problems and it's all a matter of time

01-13-2011, 08:46 AM
Glad to hear you're home! I hope you're able to get that bloating under control quickly. I feel like a different person now that mine is gone. It took me a while to figure out how much fiber to eat and I'm still taking ducolax once a day, but at 2 weeks and 4 days post-op, my stomach is not so bad! I really think the bloating and constipation is the worst part of recovery.

Anyway, glad you're out of hospital!

01-13-2011, 10:29 AM
Yea! Congrats on being home!!! My recovery seemed to fly once I was home! Hope yours does too. You may need that mag citrate to get the initial BM and kickstart your system! Good luck and congrats!!

loves to skate
01-13-2011, 10:39 AM
I'm so glad you are home and in the healing phase. You will be feeling better soon. When you are resting, just imagine yourself hitting that little white ball and before you know it, it will be your reality again.

01-13-2011, 01:08 PM
LisaB, I took your advice and chugged the Magnesium Citrate. What a relief! I bought it weeks ago just in case I needed it and it seemed to be the only thing that worked.

It is so nice to be home. I just took a nap with my little dogs curled up with me. John has been catering to my every need. I may stretch this out longer than necessary. Actually, I am going to have to force myself to be patient. These walking laps in the house are a little boring and I hope to go to the Y or school next week for longer walks. I've got to get the hair washed first!

I forgot to ask about walking up the stairs to increase my indoor track route. Were any encouraged or discouraged from walking steps? I guess I should call.


01-13-2011, 01:17 PM
I'm glad you have an appointment with Dr. Lenke. I would never have gone through with the surgery without having a tremendous amount of confidence in his ability and opinion of the necessity of the surgery for my later years of life. I know my husband was shocked when he saw my pre-surgery x-rays on my preop date so I had his support.
We also saw a couple of people in his waiting room that were bent over at a 90 degree angle. I'm glad I didn't wait until I reached that point. Being in good physical shape sure helped. Recovery is no walk in the park, but I hope each week proves to show improvements. Let me know how your appointment goes. You can email me: pottoff@htc.net

Jacque's Mom
01-13-2011, 03:54 PM
The physical therapist that came to the house a few days after I got home showed me how to go up and down the stairs. I was a bit nervous in the beginning because my body is so different and stands so straight plus I hurt. I only went downstairs if necessary - first because I wasn't sure of myself and second my bedroom and bathroom is on the second floor so I felt comfortable staying upstairs. It gets easier but in the beginning it's tough. So happy to hear you are home and on your way. Lynn

01-13-2011, 06:33 PM
The PT in the hospital had me working on stairs since our house had them. I found them to be difficult, and used a cane on one side while gripping the banister on the other. I had to go both up and down them ok before being discharged.

01-13-2011, 08:19 PM
They had me practice two different days on 2-3 steps only and I didn't have any problems. I asked the nurse about goals and she said the PT would talk to me about it, but I just realized yesterday that no one did. It's hard to count laps in a small downstairs. I know several on the forum worked up to a mile or more fairly early. That would be about 200 laps in our house. I was just thinking that going up the stairs and walking laps there and then back down the stairs to walk more laps. I don't want to overdo it. Finding the happy medium with everything is challenging.

01-13-2011, 08:36 PM
I think I had something like 7-9 steps or so. I think your body will let you know if you are over-doing it. Build up a little each day for awhile and I think you should be fine. That's my advice, anyway. It sounds like you are doing great!

01-13-2011, 08:47 PM
Karen - when I got home Bernie told me to only do steps once a day for the first few weeks and then gradually increase. It was about 4 weeks before I was allowed to walk on a treadmill. Since I was operated on in the summer I could walk outside in the beginning when I needed more than just doing circles in the house.

01-14-2011, 12:44 PM
you definitely can and should do stairs; i was specifically shown how to do stairs in one of my PT sessions in the hospital (start out one at a time, if one leg is stronger than the other and hang on to bannister)

01-14-2011, 10:13 PM
So glad to hear you are home and on your way to recovery. It is great to be "on the other side" even if it hurts. At least we know this pain will go away in time.

Wishing you a continued and smooth recovery -

Take care,

01-14-2011, 10:49 PM
Here's to a speedy recovery and you'll be back on the golf course in no time!! I'm glad everything went so well.


01-15-2011, 07:31 AM
I had such a good day yesterday with lots of walking and several naps, but I paid for it in the evening. I just couldn't get comfortable. I've always been a tosser and turner, and it's difficult to do it correctly, especially when you're half asleep. Maybe I should try not to sleep so much during the day so that I could sleep more at night or maybe it just doesn't make any difference. I may try a few indoor steps today just to change the path. I'd like to get outside but it's only in the 30's.

Have any of you sufferred from an extremely dry mouth? I can't even chew a cracker. I have ice chips and bought Biotine, but it didn't help. Besides not being able to get comfortable, I think the dry mouth is also keeping me awake. I'm sending hubby to the drug store today. I heard that there is some kind of lozenger for saliva. Water helps but only briefly.

Jacque's Mom
01-15-2011, 09:09 AM
Karen - terrible drymouth in the beginning. I'd wake up in the middle of the night or the morning and felt like I had a mouth full of cotton balls. I'd sip some water, plus I had Halls Defense Vitamin C drops that I would suck on. I didn't take them in the middle of the night, as I was afraid I'd fall back to sleep and choke on it. It has to be the meds as the drymouth is for the most part gone as I'm on minimal meds. As far as walking, when I first got home, I just walked a little every time I had to get up to go to the bathroom. Eventually I increased it. This past week I noticed a huge difference with everything and it will be six weeks on Tuesday. Hang in there, it gets easier and better as the weeks go by. Take care and stay well. LYNN

01-15-2011, 11:01 AM
pain meds can/do cause dry mouth...


01-15-2011, 01:44 PM
Sounds like you are doing great, Karen. You were probably in such excellent physical condition going in that your body is tolerating everything better than most people's. Didn't have the dry mouth problem but can tell you nights during those first few weeks were rough. I did not sleep much during the day but just was miserable at night. I could not get comfortable, everything would stiffen up and moving around in bed was excruciating. I have a very supportive mattress on my home bed and even with that, ended up in the recliner a lot. I did eventually get some muscle relaxants prescribed which helped somewhat, but I think it's just part of the early healing process. It does get better but it's no fun when you're going through it. As far as steps, I "passed the PT test" for them in the hospital but was limited to just 2-3 trips a day early on. My surgery was in the dead of winter last year, too and I can relate to the boredom of those endless laps around the dining room table! With almost 2 ft. of snow on the ground at that time, outside was not an option!
Glad to hear that things are going so well for you.
Take care and don't rush your body. It knows what to do (except for the bowels!) :-)