View Full Version : Waking up from surgery

01-31-2007, 08:30 AM
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.


01-31-2007, 08:53 AM
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 :)

01-31-2007, 09:03 AM
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.

01-31-2007, 09:36 AM
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.

01-31-2007, 09:37 AM
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 :)

01-31-2007, 09:38 AM
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.

01-31-2007, 09:47 AM
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!!

01-31-2007, 09:52 AM
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.

01-31-2007, 12:10 PM
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.


01-31-2007, 01:33 PM
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.

01-31-2007, 01:49 PM
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)

Karen Ocker
01-31-2007, 03:28 PM
I never was nauseated my whole recovery time.

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

01-31-2007, 03:29 PM
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.

01-31-2007, 05:12 PM
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.

01-31-2007, 05:22 PM
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??


Linda G
01-31-2007, 05:47 PM
I honestly don't remember any pain for the first 3 or 4 days. I was pretty out of it. Also they took the tube out of my throat right after surgery so that wasn't a problem. Turning over was a little painful but you have to take it slow. I don't remember it hurting to get up and walk . More than anything I was just so totally tired--no energy at all, very weak. They do a great job of managing pain.
Linda G.

green m&m
01-31-2007, 10:41 PM
not spinal fusion but when I had surgery to remove a tumor, I remember the nurses waking me up and my thought was

*AGHH...* just let me sleep...why are you people making noises?

of course a few seconds after that I remembered the faster I wake up and become alert... the faster I could go home (same day surgery)

I wasn't in pain unless I thought about the incision site.

01-31-2007, 11:03 PM
Anya, I think it depends on the person, because there are others who've had no problems at all. I told them ahead of time about it though, and they gave me anti-nausea meds. beforehand (although I was still sick) - but it could have been a combination of things, because I had antibiotics as well as the anesthetic and morphine. I was worried about "getting sick", but it didn't really hurt my back. I was sitting up in the hospital bed really quickly, and had a bowl if needed. Sorry for the specifics!

01-31-2007, 11:48 PM
Suzyjay, I doubt your surgeon had this surgery like all of us. What kind of advice is don't move? Hopefully we can shed some insight on this one for you. I woke up and thought "wow it's over" was relieved and went back to sleep. Nausea can be addressed easily and pain management is very high on the "to do" list for all the staff. They will constantly ask how you are doing. I was very comfortable the whole 8 days I was in the hosp. One day my morphine pump jammed but it was not to the point of pain where I thought I would scream. I went without pain relief for 4 hours and lived to tell the story. I hope this helps along with all the other posts pain is controlled very well.

02-01-2007, 02:17 PM
hiya guys

Before my op i never thought about any of this and i think that was the best way to deal with it...for me, but everybody needs to prepare themselves in different ways.

I initialyy woke up in intensive care and i just remember i had a hunky male nurse to myself and i was just chatting poo to him about my boyfriend-i then remember waking up againa nd asking if id had the op yet...can you believe it!?! i was in no pain and probably not even on this planet.

Ive got random memories of waking up and seeing different members of my fam but nothing else. apparently i was chatting away and introduced my sisters to the nurse as "the ugly sisters" which they questioned me about later but i had the perfect exscuse...morphine!!

i didnt have a lot of pain but was given a morphine drip that i could control myself which was great.

I dont knwo where you guys are based but the only thing i would forward think about is the food they give you if you are in the UK. although you wont want to eat much-when you see what they are giving you , you definately wont want to eat.

Sickness tablets are given and work great.

good luck-you wont need it though!!

02-01-2007, 02:24 PM
Thanks everyone...I am little less anxious about my surgery. I can believe it's just six days away :eek:


02-01-2007, 03:49 PM
dont worry hun

i would suggest one thing though...eat what you want before the op-over indulge and enjoy...you wont be eating for a little while after

enjoy!! :D

02-02-2007, 08:51 AM
There is a little anti-nausea patch that you can request before you are put under... it goes just behind your ear. I had one for all 3 of my surgeries and never once was nauseated.

Suzy... the time has come for you to quit visiting here until after your surgery.... I don't say that in a mean way, but the more you read, the more you will worry... and these last few days.. you need to just put it out of your mind as much as you can. I personally believe that things are in God's hands and fretting over them doesn't help one whit. I know it's only human to worry.... but if you have faith, now is the time to stand on that faith. You have many prayers behind you and angels all around you.... so just relax in the knowledge that you are in the hands of the greatest physician of all.
(((((((hugs)))))))) Love and prayers..... JoAnn

02-02-2007, 10:57 AM
hi sue, my surgery is in 7 days, i guess a day after you.im nervous too but i agree with joann and have faith that everything will be ok.

02-02-2007, 11:17 AM
JoAnn you just reminded me that I had that patch too! I totally forgot about that. I didn't get it until I was in recovery. I don't remember feeling nauseaus AT ALL, but apparently I told someone I was. I think it was more in my head, because that was one of my biggest fears before surgery. Anyway, I had that patch on for 3 days and I had no stomach problems. I usually have a very weak stomach, so I guess it worked!

02-02-2007, 11:21 AM
Sue & Trudy, & also Kim(KKONG in CA)
I will be sending good thoughts your way on all of your surgeries. Personally speaking, I think what I imagined was way worse than the reality of it all....I have an active imagination! :)
Looking forward to your first entries after surgery.....Lynne
fused T-11 to L-5/Dr. Boachie/Kim@HSS in NYCity