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Boyfriend and surgery

nursedina001nnursedina001 Posts: 235
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok... Here is my problem:

I am having two level spinal fusion on 12/19. My mom is coming from Florida to take care of me.

My boyfriend's birthday is the 28th of December and he wants to have his brother and some friends come up to visit him, I suggested that I would not be in the mood 9 days after surgery for company and he seems to think that I will be fine and I am making a bigger deal of this than I need to.

Am I bending this out of proportion that I would not be up to having company 9 days after a two level fusion?

He seems to think I will be up doing things and sees no reason why I am having my mother come up to stay with us to help out.

How can I help him to understand that this is serious surgery?




  • Can your doctor speak with you (with him present)to explain what your recovery is like? Possibly give him any literature that explains what recuperation is like? It is really important for him to understand how much help you will need! Good luck.
  • Have your Doc tell him. Show him the data and what is involed. He might just want you to be "better" and thinks it magically happens. It is a long road.

    Good luck with the the surgery!!!

  • Are his brother and friends staying overnight? I don't think that's right unless you live in a big house and you can relax in your bedroom. I really would consider this person in your life. I would even get my own place. I couldn't handle that. But that's my opinion. I don't know if talking to a Dr. would help. You're a Nurse and he doesn't understand. May be they all could get a motel room?Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Dina,

    I had a textbook perfect, successful three-level fusion with no post-op pain in May, and 9 days later I was not even home yet (3 days in the hospital, 7 days in rehab). When I got home after 10 days, I was only ready for short visits. For one thing, I could only sit 20-25 minutes at one time then I had to get up, plus the living room seats were not that comfortable for me. And I think I did much better than a lot of people who posted here who were still in a lot of pain and on heavy medications after 9 days. So tell your BF, that realistically you may not be ready for other than brief visits, or maybe for none at all. Ask him to respect your recovery and tell him if you will feel up to it, he will be the first one to know. He has to understand that it is a serious surgery and some people require a long recovery. Even under the best of circumstances there will be a lot of restrictions, so he should respect your wishes. Have a serious talk with him, ask him to log in on this site and read some of the postings if he does not believe you. Whatever you do, don't let anybody coerce you of doing anything that you don't think you are ready to face yet.

    Good luck with your surgery and with making people understanding your situation and give you the proper support.


  • They are not staying overnight. He was going to have them up for the day because it is his birthday. I told him that I didn't think it would be a good idea and he said we can play it by ear.

    He is having a hard time understanding the seriousness of surgery. His mom had a few back surgeries a few years ago and went home alone with no help so he thinks that I am making a bigger deal of this than needs to be done.

    I am very frustrated and don;t know what to do. thanks for the support

    -- :D
  • My 20 year old daugter has decided she is going to marry her boyfriend 9 days afer my fusion on the 22nd.
    When I told her I wish she would wait so I could attend she said they could put me in a wheelchair.
  • Hi,

    First of all, your boyfriend really needs to understand what your recovery is going to be like. This is major surgery. I could not even turn myself over or wipe my own @$$ in the hospital. He is going to be an important part of your recovery during and after your mother leaves. If he wants to see his friends while they are in town and for his birthday then perhaps they could meet for coffee or beers or whatever somewhere outside of the house. That way the conversation won't be all about you as well. People can act resentful at times when the attention should be on them and is not. I don't think you will be up for it that soon. At least not playing hostess. Maybe if there is room for you to be comfy and them to visit. My thoughts anyway.

    One Love,

  • Or has he come with you to any of your doctor's appointments? I've brought my boyfriend to my last two, and he is coming tomorrow for my last MRI review, and I am lucky to say, he totally gets it (he also helped me thru the last surgery).

    Anyhow, as others have said, that may be the best way (or show him this thread - maybe some of the above posts will help illustrate!)
  • in hospital 9 days after my surgery and just having visitors for an hour or so was as much as I could handle.
    Your boyfriend needs to brought back to reality. Maybe he should read this thread.
    Stephanie had a good suggestion that maybe they could go out so you didn't have to play hostess or more importantly have to clean up before and after them.

    A friend said to me the other day " why are you waiting for your back to fuse? Isn't that what the Dr did during your operation?" She mistakenly thought that having fusion surgery would be it and I would be right to go ahead and do what I wanted after. So maybe your boyfriend needs to understand that the surgery is just the beginning and the fusion takes months to grow before it is stable.

    Hope things work our for you.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • everyone here knows what I would say, being that I'm a back patient also. So I just walked out my husband and said "Say my surgery was scheduled 9 days before your birthday, and your friends wanted to come over for the day and hang out, what would you say". He smiles and says "I'd say no", and I said "becaaaaaause?", and he said "because you'd be recovering.". So problem solved. :) Your BF is TOTALLY out of line. :O

    Even if you do have a big enough house where you could sneak off, you're going to need his help. Tell him absolutely not, no no no! }:) }:)

    Take him to your appointment and tell the doctor what he is proposing, guarantee the doc will make him feel like a jerk for even considering it.

    You're BF probably does not understand what this surgery is, or how you will be feeling. So I would not be mad, but like Angel said, he needs a dose of reality.

    Good luck with all of this, and let us know how it goes.

  • He has been to ALL my doc appointments, he has gone to my cortisone injections, he has been to my pre-op appointments .

    We do have a big house, and they would be out in another room and he would not expect me to be there to see them or clean up or anything, I just think that I don;t want ANYone there, My mom will be here to take care of me, but I don;t think she needs to fly in from Florida to take care of me, and he has friends here.

    I have told him that I think he should not have them here, and I will wait to see what he decides, Either way, they will not be here, I will put my foot down if necessary, but I hope he will make the right decision in the end without my having to yell or make a fuss.

    Since his family lives 2 hours away and this is the time he will see his family for xmas, i suggested that he drive to spend time with his family and friends (they all live 2 hours away) for his birthday since my mom is here, and it will get him refreshed for having to take care of me when my mom leaves.

    This way, he can visit his mom, his brother and his friends,

    Well, I will keep you updated,

    --thanks sooo much for the advice!!
  • What are you going to do about the wedding? OMG, i couldn;t imagine....you're right, they just don't get it.
  • option! especially if your mum is with you. Then your B/F can enjoy himself, see his makte, his family and you can recover :))) Sounds like a good plan to me but just a shame he didn't come up with it.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I can't even think of doing that to my mom. granted I can't talk we eloped hehe.
  • I hope your BF comes around. Maybe he will get it after he
    sees you post op. If it was my husband I would have a fit but we can all say what we think we would do or say...doesn't mean that would work for you.

    As far as my daughter, they decided they will get married here at home so I can be present, but won't budge on the date. Dec 31 is their "4 yr anniversary" or whatever so I guess that trumps my surgery. My surgery is Dec 22 so it also is 9 days post op. I'll probably be doped up & have dirty hair - should make for some good pics, huh?
    She's a good kid but VERY impulsive.
    This one hurts alot!! She's my oldest.
  • I think he might have a hard time understanding because everyone is different. Maybe if he were in your position, he WOULD be up to it, so it's hard for him to see how you wouldn't be. I know I wanted lots of company in the hospital, and lots of company when I got home. I didn't want to be alone, I didn't want to just lay in bed... I wanted excitement. I had company the day after I was home... I loved it. But it all depends on the person, and what they prefer. There is nothing wrong with either end.... Some people prefer to rest and relax and be alone to chill when they are in pain... Others welcome the distraction. Maybe just explain to him that there are certain things you need, and certain things you don't want, after your surgery, and that they are crucial to your recovery.
  • I would have to say that I agree with Sara...let him go visit his friends. I was in the hospital 5 days and still in a medicated fog at day 9! What has the doctor told you and BF about recovery? Mine told me that I'd be doing everything I wanted to at 2 weeks. NOT! I'm 6 months post op and still not there!

    Hope you and BF can come to terms on this. Perhaps you should really re-think a long-term relationship with someone who is not tuned in to what you will be dealing with. Remember...THEY DON'T CHANGE!!!
  • I think others will agree that rehab/recovery can be a bit more intense than we expected. Especially those first few weeks. I didnt look to SH before surgery to hear all the stories,lol. My hubby and I went to all of the same visits and heard the same expectations, but when it actually happened it was much more than we ever expected.

    My hope would be that once he sees the pain and discomfort that you have after surgery he will realize what recovery is "really" going to consist of and what kind of help he will need to give you.

    As for company at day 9,lol. I made occasional appearances in my living room, but at that point I just wanted to pretty much lay flat, but I didnt want to be completely alone. I did walk outside to talk to neighbors, which was nice. I wont comment on relationships because everyone is so different and I could never understand your place in life.

    That being said, I would want my hubby at home or close by, even if it meant giving him up for the day to visit with friends in my home, while I had other help. That is as long as they werent having a rip roaring party,lol. However, I know when I would call for my hubby he would stop what he was doing and come running to see what I needed without hesitation and he would clean up after himself. I guess I have a special guy!

    I hope that what ever you two decide will work out for both of you.

  • Dina:

    I say, let your boyfriend read this whole post, it will fill him in...he should be asking how he can help you!

    You will definitely need help from your Mom and him after your surgery.

  • At 9 days postop from two level TLIF, I still had a brace, walker, chatting with the Easter Bunny(gotta love that fentanyl), and begging everyone who walked in the door to give me an enema for my constipation(I was a bit mentally out of it, tho I really was constipated.) That kind of behavior might change your boyfriend's mind about having guests over! :))(

    Seriously, tho, with my first surgery I would have gone bonkers if my hubby suggested friends for his birthday. As I approach my 3rd surgery, I've kind of learned that sometimes he needs a little attention himself. So much attention is directed on me, so much of our social life has changed because of me. It's not my fault and yes, he vowed in sickness and health, but I've learned to let him go sometimes. He has to have some time once in a while to unwind, vent to his friends, and just relax. It makes him a better caregiver for me.

    It doesn't sound like your boyfriend has a clue as to how major your surgery will be or how painful your recovery will be. I understand that, but he'll find out real soon! By then, he'll either come to the conclusion he shouldn't have the boys over or he really will need the stress break. There's a real diagnosis called "Caregiver role strain." He'll be feeling that pretty soon I bet.

    After my second surgery, hubby hosted a poker party within the first 2 weeks postop. It was all guys but all ones who knew me and all were in the medical profession. Therefore, I felt no need to put on makeup or entertain but it was nice to walk out for a few minutes and chat with "normal" people about something other than my pain and my constipation for a few minutes.
  • sorry for the double post
  • nursedina001: I highly doubt you will want many people around you at post-op day 9. One or two "close" friends/relatives yes - but a bunch of young 20-some partiers - NO! worse case - if they do come to your house - stay retreated in one off limits room with someone to help you (i.e. mom), and keep meds in your possession at all times. I really prefer letting BF have party at his house - he probably will feel some pressure and could use a little release after 8 days of caring for you; thumbs-up that he has been helping you this far.

    Now Tatiyana: everyone heals different but if you are having lumbar surgery I highly doubt you will want to be sitting at all period at post-op day nine. I could stand & walk for 30 minutes, lie flat, but barely sit for 5 minutes - so the wheelchair thing will not be an option. Sorry your daughter is so selfish, well it would actually upset me more if my mother couldn't physically be at my wedding because I insisted on setting the date in her post-op period. Ceremony itself only last 30 minutes - maybe plan to have a place to be lying down before & after the ceremony itself and tell your daughter to be prepared in anyone asks for you that you will be MIA. Even arrange so that you will have your own transportation to come an dgo depending on how you feel. I just doubt you'll be up to playing the part of "mother of the bride".
  • Let me share my recent experience, my dad decided to visit 10 days after my surgery. The visit was a disaster. I saw him for a few hours, ended up opening my incision and going to the ER for new stiches the next morning. So, he drove over 5 hours to see me for a few hours. Then we had a huge argument after I got back from the ER. He didn't get it. I should have stuck my foot down and said no to him coming.

    Good luck on your recovery!
  • Thank your lucky stars that you are seeing your boyfriend's lack of compassion and understanding before he becomes your husband. Please do yourself a favor and make note of this behavior as it is truly intrinsic and difficult to change by others. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's a bad person, he just wouldn't be someone I'd want as a life partner (in or out of marriage).

    I'm 11 days post op (PLIF) and having company right now would not be at the top of my list. My husband has truly made my recovery possible. I called him the 2nd night of my hospital stay crying and asking for him to help me. They started me back on a diuretic that caused me to have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes (after removing the catheter). The response time for the nurse and aids was often 30-45 minutes and I knew I needed someone I could count on. He slept in the chair and helped 14 times throughout the night so I could make it to the bathroom. I thank God for his love and compassion.

    Best wishes for a quick recovery.
  • Well all,

    Thank you for your advice :) I appreciate it all

  • Dina:

    O2bback "hit the nail on the head" when she said her husband helped her with her "bathroom" needs after surgery. When I was in the hospital my husband did the same thing. One day he wasn't there and I asked the nurse to help me, she looked at me like I was from Mars...she did help me! My husband did "everything" for me at home after surgery too.

  • Sounds like Dina & I both have selfish people in our inner circle.
    Since the ceremony is now going to be in my home, I guess they will have to surround my bed to echange their vows.
    Someday I am sure she will look back & see what a horrible, selfish thing she did.
    Not sure if I am supposed to order a cake & put a flower in my dirty hair or what to do!!

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