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DECEMBER Upcoming Surgeries- Post Stories Here

Sparky123SSparky123 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Of course I got this idea from TerriJV, Thanks Terri and everyone else who has started a thread like this! I thought I'd start this because I know for me it's kind of getting close to my surgery (Dec.4), and my pain seems to be getting worse every day. I'm already starting to make my plans for recovery and its nice to hear what everyone else is doing for their upcoming surgery.

As always, Good Luck to everyone on their upcoming surgeries and hope you are coping well with your pain. :)))


  • You da BOMB sparky!!
    Thanks for starting this!! I was getting to confused with the other surgery and recovery post was not even thinking it was November already to start a December! 8} 8}

    Good luck on your surgery on the 12/4!!! <:P <:P
  • Just got the final date for my surgery Dec 17, :W and wanted to add my name to the list. I must admit now that everthing is finalized I am getting very nervous.My NS said it would be a 7hr surgery and I have never been under that long and it worries me. :S :S But thank you for starting this thread I hope everyone that has had surgery and will have surgery a speedy recovery.
  • Hi Everyone..add me to the Dec list.
    I'm having TLIF..in the past several years I have tried many different routs from..chiropractor to a PT..from there getting acupuncture..to the pain clinic with multiple injections and 1 round of Radio Frequency Ablation...None of them helped in the least. I'm on viocodin..Valium and muscle relaxers..Zanaflex.
    So off I go to my wonderful Neurosurgeon and he looks once again at my older MRI which was done in January..he says we need a new one done and we talk about my options and his words were "oh ouch..ick bad...worst back I've seen in ages"! hahah Wonderful..so having said that we scheduled surgery for Dec 3rd. L3 L4 and maybe L5 fusion..more will be determined after my next MRI in a few weeks.
  • Thanks for starting this thread Sparky!! I am also scheduled for a two level (L4-S1) minimally invasive TLIF on December 3. Deb, I am also in IL in the Chicago burbs. What part of IL are you in.

    I scheduled out in advance due to a trip to Disney over Thanksgiving week, so I can't believe how close it is getting. I do have to say that I am getting more ready for it. I feel like I have gone downhill even more this past month. Today I am really in pain and about to start crying in the office. :''( I talked about trying to stay late today to try to build up some extra leave time for the surgery but I don't know if I am going to make it.

    Anyways, I am really glad to meet all of you and share our experiences. >:D<

  • Mine is going to be at Northwestern (Evanston)on the 4th.
  • Wow, I didn't know that you were in IL also. My surgeon was actually trained at Northwestern. He is out in the western burbs now and the surgery will be at LaGrange Hospital. (Love the fact that they have all private rooms.)
  • Sparky and Anjuan,

    I'm closer to St. Louis..south of Springfield, IL and my NS surgeon is in St. Louis. And as we speak my mom is in northern IL outside of Chicago..we have family up there...in the burbs..Oak Lawn..Burbonaise and Burbank.
    I put my surgery off for a few years and this last one I canceled because of our vacation..so now it's on..eeks. I know where La Grange and Evanston is. Wish I was downtown getting some Garrets popcorn!

    Awww Anjuan..I sure know how you feel when the pain get so bad all you can do is cry>:D< do what you can..that's all you can do..gotta rest up for Disney!
  • Great to hear everyones stories, keep 'em coming and good luck!
  • I just wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing. I have my pre-op appointment next Wednesday. I am getting more nervous. On the good side, we are heading to Disney World this Friday for a week so I am something great to distract myself. I don't know how much I will be able to do there, but at least I can hang out by the pool rather than be home in the cold Chicago weather.

    Are there any new people out there with Dec surgeries?
  • I'm having very rare three level disc replacement on L3/4, L4/5 and L5/S1 on December 1st.

    This surgery is still in its experimental stage (I don't think they even allow it in the US) and I'm very nervous. But like most people here, I feel I have no choice. I will be the 22nd person in the UK to have this op. I think a few have been done in Germany too.
  • This is my first post here. I grew up just north of Evanston and my mom still lives there. I am a 59 year old grammy of almost 8! living in Richmond, VA and will be facing a huge 360 surgery in January. I do alot of crying too, but sometimes I think it does help. I will say prayers for you all...

    Beth -- not sure if I'm doing this right, but I'm going to send it!

    I had a fusion of L3-L5 in 2006, now will have the cage put in through my abdomen for L5 to S1, and then a fusion all the way up to either L1 or T2. I will post on the surgery page. Good luck to you all.
  • It is a small world! I'm also in Richmond and had a one-level fusion in June. I'm getting along just fine. I'm almost 65. My surgery wasn't the same as you will be having. However, if you want to call and chat about it, send me a private message and we'll exchange phone numbers or something!
  • Well, I went to my preop appointment today. I got there and they said that my appointment was supposed to be next Wednesday. ~X( I know I would have never agreed to that because we will be in Florida. Thankfully, they did go ahead and take me today. I do have to go back on Dec 1 for a blood test that the ansethesiologist wants within 7 days of surgery.

    So, my surgery time is 7:30am and I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. I am actually very happy about the time because it means that I don't have to sit around all day not being able to eat or drink anything. Plus my surgeon will be nice and fresh in the morning and I know my surgery won't be pushed back in the day.

    It didn't take as long as I thought so I went Christmas shopping for my daughter. I am happy to say that I have almost finished all of the Christmas shopping. I just want it to be one less thing for DH to worry about while I am recuperating.

    Only two days until we head to Orlando and Disney. I can't wait! =D> I hope you all are well over the next week. I probably won't be posting while we are away.
  • Hi Janey, and everyone

    What part of the UK are you in Janey? Im in Suffolk.

    I am waiting for a discectomy L4-5/S1 or possible fusion depending on what they find when they open me up. At the moment I am really really stuggling with the pain. I am also finally admitting that I am depressed about my situation. For me this has been really hard to admit, as I have triend to self counsel myself using all the nursing techniques learnt over the last 16 years. Now I feel I am a waste of space. Today I couldnt dress myself or put my own shoes on. I dont want this at 32. I dont want it at any age, but I know that I am not alone. I know non of us asked to have a bad back or neck, but we find ourselves in this position.

    Love to all of you having surgery soon. I am thinking of you and sending you lots of love and gentle hugs, for a safe op and good recovery.

    Love Danni xoxox
  • I will be having a PLIF surgery on December 4 on L5-S1. Doctor initially said that I would be in the hospital 4-5 days, but is now saying 2-3 days. Does this sound about right? I'm hoping that it is shorter, but want to be able to have pain under control before going home (or at least semi under control). Also, can anyone provide advice about sleeping/resting post surgery? I underwent shoulder surgery a couple years ago and sleeping was the hardest part as I struggled to find a comfortable position. I was wondering about renting a hospital-style bed to help with elevating body without putting too much pressure on the back. Any suggestions?

    Good luck to everyone undergoing surgery this month and to those recovery.
  • I was told 2 to 7 days. My surgeon said the wide range was because everyone heals differently. I was also thinking about getting a hospital bed, but I thought I'd wait until I've slept on the one in the hospital to see how good it would help. One thing I'm worried about is that I have sleep apnea and I always end up on my side. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep on my side or I might just have to get the bed so I can prop my back and head up.

    Good Luck!
  • After my 360 (ALIF/PLIF) my hospital stay was 3 days. My release goals were urinating on my own after catheter removal, walking 2 laps around the floor, and passing gas. The docs didn't expect a bowel movement (just gas) until I got home with all of the narcotics in my system. The best part about getting home was the 1st shower. WONDERFUL!!!

    My 1st 3 nights at home were on the couch kind of half laying half sitting with plenty of pillows. I guess I looked like the Leaning Tower of Pizza. LOL Weird I know but it was comfortable for me.

    I would say that after the 1st week, pain hasn't been a big issue for me. I don't know if is because I have a high tolerance or if the docs got it right this time. I still keep the Vicodin handy just in case...

  • Here is a strange question...does everyone get a catheter with fusion surgery or does it depend on the type of fusion surgery? :SS Or do you just get a catheter with any major surgery?
  • Sparky123 said:
    Here is a strange question...does everyone get a catheter with fusion surgery or does it depend on the type of fusion surgery? :SS Or do you just get a catheter with any major surgery?
    Sparky, I really don't know the answer to your question but I had a catheter for both the TLIF last year and the 360 a couple of weeks ago. Both times it was inserted once I was under (thank goodness!!!). Years ago I had a catheter inserted when I was awake and it is NOT a pleasent experience.
  • Hi all-

    We just got back from Disney today. We really had a wonderful trip. It was so neat to see the joy in my daughter's eyes when she saw the Disney characters and rode the rides. I had to skip a couple of days at the parks because my back pain got too bad, but it was still great being about to relax in the 70 degree weather. Sitting on the plane ride home was pure hell... but again, the trip was totally worth it! :D It also helped to keep my mind off my surgery which is now less than 5 days away. :SS

    I just got home and I had two messages from a medical company telling me my surgeon had ordered a bone growth stimulator and they wanted to drop it off prior to the surgery. I guess my surgeon's office didn't give them the message to call my cell this week. I also didn't know that I was going to have a bone growth stimulator after the surgery so, I guess I need to research them now.

    Sparky, I know that it is different for men vs women, but they put a catheter in while I was under for my lamenectomy surgery, and I was actually glad that I had it in because I didn't have to get up right away. Now I didn't have one in after my fibroid surgery, and I was unable to go even though my bladder was full. That was a very excruciating feeling. Finally they had to put a catheter in while I was awake and send me home with it. They really aren't that bad (for women).

    I know several other people's surgeries are getting pretty close now. HOw are you all doing?

  • I'm scheduled for a 3-level laminectomy on December 19th. I'm working through the various psychological stages right now - have been through denial (oh, it's not a big deal) through total panic (what am I doing?), and now am working on acceptance and problem solving! The post-op must have list on this site is phenomenal - I've ordered my Crocs, new PJ's, sweatpants, a rolling bed table, a reacher, and a new swimsuit to motivate me to get back to the pool when I'm allowed. I still have to work out the whole sleeping thing - I'm not sure our current mattress is going to work, and am also considering a body pillow to help brace me.

    Good luck to all of you who are scheduled early this month!
  • Glad to hear you had a good time. I can't believe its almost here! Starting to get a little freeked out. :SS I also got the bone stimulator dropped off last week and I also didn't know I was getting one. When she dropped it off she explained everything to us so its pretty simple, I have to wear mine 2 hours a day until the Doc says to stop.
  • :SS Hi Spareky..Anjuan..Lumbar Lass..Oh2bback.are we all ready for this?
    Oh2bback..I asked my NS about the hospital bed that my DH wanted me to have and he said NO WAY!! as the beds are harder to get out of than our own and they tend to move if you try to kick out of them. I got a recliner to help me rest at night if I can't in my bed.
    I got my lumbar brace..OMG it's huge..feels hard to wear but if you have to ya have to right? I'm also supposed to get the bone stimulate in the hospital.
    Not looking forward to having a cath either..that has to be uncomfortable..thank God I'm not a man...sorry Sparky
    I got orders on how to bathe before surgery and the precautions. The hospital will call a day or 2 before with orders.
    Does anyone know what to take to the hospital? I have all of the post op info.
  • Hi Deb, I'll tell you what I took to the hospital: a gown (wore it only after all tubes were out), a robe (to cover tush while walking), slippers (or your crocs will be good), toiletries (unless you like hospital soap,etc.), chapstick, notepad & pen (for questions and nice nurses names), cellphone and charger, my brace, my favorite pillow, and loose clothes to wear home. Good-luck with your surgery, >:D< Cali-Sue

    P.S. The catheter was painless and a blessing not to have to get up to the bathroom. Unfortunatley they stole it away at 22 hours post-op :(
  • I took nothing but my hairbrush! I asked for extra hospital gown...that way, I put one on with straps in front and one on with straps in back. No tush showed! I really didn't have any nice gowns to take anyway, lol. I was so out of it after surgery, I didn't have a need for anything else. I was in for 5 days (blood pressure too low and fever of 102). I just put back on the comfy clothes I wore to the hospital to wear home. Oh, yeah, I did bring extra panties to wear home. =)) =)) Hospital provides everything else, and I didn't want to be bothered with taking my own stuff.
  • I want to take stuff so I'll be for relaxed with some of my own stuff..especially my jammies to rest in and my own pillow..these I always take on vacation also..*lol* do you know if they'll let me bring a small fan?..my laptop? ;)
    I just want to be prepared.
    I've been a little freaked out so they upped my prozac some..though I have a high pain tolerance it seems to be lessening over time and I've had to take more Norco than normal...my dr told me I'd have a pain pump in my back..not sure what that means even..so will I also have a morphine pump also?
    I have my brace already..the big hot sexy thing that it is. =)) .now I have to get my bone stimulator when I'm at the hospital.
    Thank you again for the well wishes..I appreciate them so much. >:D<
  • Deb, I am a nurse and at the hospital where I work, patients bring their laptops all the time. We have fans for patients to use if needed. Some hospitals require all electronic equipment to be checked out by their maintenance department before you can use it.

    If you are going to have an epidural pain pump, I don't think you would also have the IV pain pump. Where I work, an epidural infusion is set on a continuous drip and you don't need to push a button or anything. It works great cause it drips pain meds straight on to the nerves.

    You must have a TLSO brace (tortoise shell)? They are big, heavy, hot, and oh so sexy! =))

    Good-luck, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • I know exactly what you mean. I can't believe that the surgery is less than 4 days away. :SS I am madly trying to get the house in order. Also trying to get hubby to pull out the Christmas decorations tomorrow so I can help decorate the tree. I would be really disappointed if I couldn't do it (plus it will keep me really busy).

    When I went for the testing at the hospital they told me to bring a robe, slippers, any toletries for which I wanted to use my own (they have toothbrushes, etc but they aren't the best), chapstick, hand sanitizer (was a little surprised about this one). She also told me to bring my astelin (nasal spray) because that is something the hospital pharmacy might not have for me. They do have wi-fi in the hospital rooms, but I haven't decided if I am going to bring the computer since I will only be in for a few nights. I think I will bring my mini DVD player.

    So, for those with surgeries this next week, what time are you at? Mine is scheduled for 7:30am so I have to be at the hospital at 5:30am. I guess my surgeon is an early bird, which is fine by me.
  • My surgery (ALIF)is set for December 22 and I am getting very nervous!!! I'll be telling my boss on Monday and not sure how this will set since I just had a surgery in June of this year. (high demand job & coworkers pride themselves for working through illnesses)
    Since I will be in the hospital on Christmas we are celebrating our Christmas a little early. I have most of my Christmas shopping done but I am still trying to get everything ready for my recovery at home. I have my reacher, satin PJ's, and laptop tray. Still much to do...
  • count me in only 16 and getting a discectomy, just wana get it done already
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