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What the !!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Yay, I hit three weeks tommorow and I am loosing my MIND 8} I dont know whats happening with my body now, if its meds, or if its the new symptom for the third week I dont know. Outside of feeling like there is a tonka truck in my back now, and feeling like I could shoot lightning from my big toe...I now have these wierd night time issues.
I get hot, then cold, then sweat, my head gets all swimmy and dizzy, face will flush. I feel like I have vertigo everynight now for four nights in a row. Oddly, when I take my meds which I take around ten, one Soma, one Percacet...30 minutes later it goes away. Are they related? The bone growth stimulator also has the side effect of feeling faint, so Im not sure if its that either. Im not sure what it is but it happens like clock work and these symptoms flare up between 7 and 8 at night. Tonight I finally got aggitated by it all and this new symptom broke the proverbial camels back. ~X( I know this is a long process, and I am just barely out of surgery but cabin fever is setting in. Not being able to bend or lift or twist or put a plate in the dish washer or just plop down on a chair to eat...its all just getting to me @) I feel like everyday throws a new wierd symptom and I have to play pin the tail on the medical donkey to figure out what it might be so I can be more at ease.
First...whats with the vertigo and flushing does anyone have an idea for me?
Second...I needed to vent. #:S
Thrid...How common is this aggitation in the beginning, the cabin fever part, and feeling like life is on standby? :''(
Sorry, I have no where else to turn to and I feel like today Im loosin my cool a bit. (except when I have a hot flash ;) I at least tried at humor)
Help... :(
It almost makes me wish I had never done this (but rational me knows it had to be done)...


  • I understand your frustration and wish I knew what to say to help-but like you I have issue that go beyond just the pain of the surgery, but also the menopause, family stress, medicine side effects-sometimes I feel like an ogre, lol!

    Please take one day at a time-if you think a med is doing it-see if the doctor can try something different. If you need stress release-find a quite room and listen to some music and light a candle. Who knows what will help? :) I drink hot chocolate. I know-sounds dumb but it helps me.

    Good luck!
  • I know that my whole post was one big whine fest, so I appreciate your response. Encouragement helps so much so thank you :) Seems like sense the surgery Ive been a little more apt to loose my cool or not so much in control of emotions. Wait...thats a side effect of percaset :? I really need a med check huh. Thanks again I appreciate it. >:D<

  • It can cause us to suddenly have an alter ego who comes and goes as she/he pleases. The feeling faint might be your stimulator if so you need to tell your doc before you actually hit the ground. Could also be your meds plus the stimulator. Just offering you some hope here but just when you think the cabin fever is going to do you in once and for all, you will all of a sudden find yourself doing the little things that make you feel human again. So hang in there sweetheart the time seems to pass slowly at first but then life will come calling and want you back out there and being productive. I wish you all the best in your healing and stop beating yourself up over what you can't do today. So what if the dishes didn't make it to the dishwasher today? There will always be tomorrow. I actually took 2 days to load my dishwaher after my surgery and mine was cervical so I really didn't even have the BLT rule to apply. I just didn't feel like doing it so I didn't. :D
  • thank you for being so sweet. yes i feel as though i have some sort of alter ego right now and i know it is going to get better but today wasnt so much that day. i will get my docs advice on this vertigo type hot flashing, chilling temperature changes and swimming head (before i hit the floor!) I wish this all came with a manual haha. Thanks again
  • It's called Spine-Health. :) I've found more answers here than in my doctor's office. So open it up and read read read. You will find you're perfectly normal.
  • Your evening symptoms kind of sound like withdrawals. How long do you go before taking that evening dose?

    Bone growth stimulator making you feel faint? Not sure how that would happen unless it makes you be in some sort of weird posture that doesn't work for you right now.

    I think you could be a new kind of superhero if you could shoot lightening from your big toe. We could put a cape on you and call you "The Electric Toe." =))

    Seriously, sounds like your evening symptoms might be from withdrawals. Maybe you're waiting too long for that dose.
  • I also thought it could very well be withdrawl as I take the medicine 24 hours apart. Yet...I use the bone stimulator during the day. In the info I got with the Stimulator it has a list of things that are adverse effects with fainting being one of them...as well as nausea, skin rash etc. So is it happening after the stimulator, or is withdrawl setting in. I have no idea :S I do have my first PT tommorow so maybe they can shed some light and it is in the same office as my surgeon so I should get some answers on it tommorow. *crossing fingers*
    I had drop foot and the sensation from a year long coma is waking up so thats why I have this electric foot lol, it does feel like I could shoot a taser out of my toe. I should put it to good use and help fight city crime :D I will be checking to see if its withdrawl cause this is ridiculous and let you guys know what I find out. Miserable night. I have my meds in me now and Im ...fine in the dizzy department...ugh. Where is my manual!!!!! :W
  • to all of you who understand I needed to vent but also need some input on this vertigo problem. Much appreciated. :-C
  • Hi Erica,

    I can't comment on your nighttime symptoms - I never experienced that. The only dizziness I felt was after taking a whole Soma!

    Regarding cabin fever, I can understand how tough it is to not be able to bend, twist, lift anything, etc. I was a fairly active person, so it seemed like hell doing nothing but sleeping, laying on the couch in front of the TV, eating, going to the bathroom and walking twice a day. Truly, that was my day for the first 6-8 weeks. Since then, I have slowly been able to add more activities to my daily routine.

    For me, it was difficult for the first 2 weeks. Since there was nothing I could do about it, I then decided to accept my short-term fate. Yes, I would have an occasional hour or two of depression, but by accepting the situation it became easier to deal with.

    I know it is extremely difficult, but as I keep preaching ... PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.

    I don't know if this will help, but I kept telling myself if I didn't accept the situation and tried to do things I shouldn't do, I could make things worse and extend my time on restrictions. I can't think of a better motivator than the threat of staying on restrictions longer than the original plan! :)))

    I know it's hard, but you can do it. You've already made it 3 weeks - the next 3 will fly by.
  • I don't think the bone growth stimulator would be causing the sensation your having. Unless there is a static electricity thing going on in your house. I had a thing in the hospital that everytime they took an X-ray, I could feel it. The technician on duty said there was no way I could feel an x-ray. I agreed with her in principle, but everytime they pushed the button and took a picture, it felt like my gown all the way down to my toes would tingle. After three times, they called a maintenance guy to make sure there wasn't a problem. Come to find out that in winter, when it's butt a$$ cold outside, an x-ray machine can generate enough power for you to feel a static charge.

    I agree with Angie that the majority of what you're feeling is withdrawl. It doesn't take long for the drugs they give us to begin affecting our bodies in a way we don't like. This could also explain incresed back pain (classic withdrawl symptom). Percocet is a pretty strong pain killer. You may see if the doctor will step it down a little bit and see if your still having issues.

    I think everyone who has gone through a fusion has been through the depression/anxiety stage. I sure did. What helped me more than anything is when I was cleared to drive and could go to Taco Bell again. There is NO PROBLEM a #2 combo can't fix! (just kidding!). I think you will feel better once you can get out.

    Keep your head up, it will get better.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I do hope that you start to feel better soon...hang in there
  • That taco bell has some medicinal effect haha, when ever I get down thats the first place people take me to see if it will improve my mood. How odd is that? :))(
    My stimulator sends out an EMF although it is a low EMF it has been proven to have some adverse effects to people who are sensative to it...so I thought it could be a possibility.
  • check with my doctor because it does seem more like withdrawl symptoms. I was on percocet before surgery at one point for about a month before I was switched to a lower grade pain reliever and I had no issues with it. I am wondering now if it is possibly Soma or if it is just a whole combination of things, but the fact that it happens like clock work makes me lean towards withdrawl effects Im just not sure which one. But then again, I do use the bone stimulator throughout the day and was given the thing not that long ago. UGH...my doc is already on vacation so hopefully someone will be in the office today. Because this flushing, hot flash, to shivering cold, to heightened goose bumps, to dizzy swimmy head just isnt in my game plan right now. As for cabin fever...I know patience. Just had a bad night with it and it seems to have subsided this morning. Thanks everyone and keep posting if you have anymore idea's or experiences with this type of thing.
    :) >:D<
  • I am sorry to hear that you are having these problems. Regarding the flashes/dizzyness etc., I had/have the same problem. When it gets even close to time to take my meds I was having the same problem. So, I decided to take them an hour earlier and the problem has gone away. Give your doctor or your phamacist a call and ask them about it though regardless, just to be safe. About the cabin fever, that is totally normal. I went from working 55+ hours a week and going here there and everywhere to laying flat on my back for a month. One of the things that helps me is walking. I go outside to walk as much as I can. I speak to my online friends. I read. I use my imagination. I do get bored still, and have days when it is hard to concentrate on anything, but I get through them. You will too.

    One Love,

  • Erica,

    Instead of focusing on what you can't do (bend, twist, lift, etc.) give yourself a positive every day.

    After my first week home, when I was able to walk a little better, every day I walked an extra 1/4 mile than the previous day. Even at the snail's pace I was walking at first, it only added an extra 10-15 minutes to the walk. Plus, every few days I was able to go a little faster.

    By doing this, at the end of each day, despite the negatives, I always had the positive that I had walked further than any previous day since the surgery. It was something good to focus on instead of the bad, and also allowed me to see that I was making progress.

    I hope this helps.
  • I had acdf done on 12-4-08,I am a very active person i snowmobile.my day use to start at 4am and go till 8pm.Now all I do is sit.I messed up at my 2 week checkup the doctor told me i could start lifting 10 pounds and start on the treadmill. So I went overboard and started doing dishes and taking out the garbage to help out my girlfriend.now i'm back to being in pain,was off all meds.now back on meds.I fully understand you pain for my self i just got to slow back down and accept it. hope you feel better.
  • I have PT, my first visit. This should give me an idea of where I am at in recovery so that I can compare each day like you say and find where the positive is in my recovery, right now it seems all over the board. I do try to stay positive...yesterday just got the best of me. Hoping PT will give a good report and good advice on a healthy recovery plan :) Will let you know. Thanks again your so kind Mark. :)
  • try to take the medicine a little earlier, however if its possible I would like to just be off of them all together. Im not a big pain med person and even hate to be on them. I spaced them so far apart because the only really bad pain or spasms I get is closer to bed time. I wake up fine...then like clock work I get those symptoms so for tonight just to ease this I will try to take them earlier and see if that corrects the problem. I noticed though that I do feel like there may be some fluid on my left ear so this could all be sinus related although it seems silly that it would only flair up at the same time each night and go away when I take the meds. Just have to find the kink now and work it out. Frustrating, but I am staying positive about it. Cabin fever just got me yesterday...Im feeling better about it today but realize I will have days like yesterday. Thanks for your reply, all of you they help alot :)
  • I didn't read everyone else's posts, so if something I said has already been said, whooooopsie.

    Anyway, venting is necessary to having a healthy emotional state. Everyone, at one point or another, HAS to get their feelings out... And venting is the quickest, most pain free way to do it. Human beings have intellectual needs that can sometimes override even physical needs.

    Spine Health is the perfect place to vent. We've all been there, we all understand, and we're all more than willing to listen without judging you for it.

    Hope things start lookin up for ya :)
  • I agree that it may be withdrawal from meds depending on the half-life of what you are taking. I had the same, hot, cold sweaty, lightheaded stuff and just chalked it up to meds. (But the lightheaded swimmy feelings continued long after I went off meds - nurse said it could be fatigue and the after-effects of anathesia which can continue for weeks/months after surgery). Also other weird stuff like the bottom of my feet would feel like they were on fire - but several people had warned me to expect lots of weird sensations and pains that would mysteriously pop up and then go away for several months after surgery.

    As for the "life is on standby" feeling - yes. And it makes you crazy! I cried every day. But keep reminding yourself that right now recovery is your full-time job - concentrate on walking, nutrition, and rest so you can heal and fuse. Try to establish a routine for each day that includes these things. It is certainly boring but the routine does help. And the walking can take up quite a bit of your day if you do it several times.

    Hang in there - it does get better.
  • Erica, I had to respond...when I had a multi-level fusion and lami last summer, I was on the OR table for 7 and 1/2 hours. I can tell you that - beyond the pain, spasm, other back/leg symptoms - I was completely confused, overreacted to really stupid and simple stuff (not my usual)....I attribute my emotion and confused behaviors to post-anesthesia "fog"...when you bring this issue into the complex mind-body recovery process, it is all made so much more complicated. And in my case, the "fog" lasted at least 5-6 weeks - memory problems, periods of confusion, inability to concentrate, etc, etc.

    What you really need to do is to pay attention to pain and recovery. I assure you that things WILL improve - I know it doesn't seem like it today, but it's true. I've been there and done that - and BTW, you're NOT whining...people who have not experienced such a significant surgery have NO CLUE as to the physical and emotional challenges that come with such an invasive surgery.

    Hang in there, watch TV, read a book...don't push things too much....it will all come together in time - you'll see!



  • anesthia fog...(spelling not a strong point for me haha) This is not something that I have thought of or heard of until today.

    Lo, thank you for understanding the need to vent this all out at times at that none of you have judged me for it >:D<
  • Post-anesthesia "fog" is my own term...

    But I have read about it in various places....e.g:


    ...empirically, I've lived it!

  • and I dont seem to fit the symptoms. I am not having memory problems, speech or slowed mental process. I dont know...still having to figure out my little kink here. There are a hundred possibilities. Maybe PT people can give a suggestion after reviewing my case today. Lets hope! Thanks for that link
  • Hi Erica, your symptoms just reminded me of some of mine post fusion. I got the hot/cold/sweats post-op while on skelaxin, a muscle relaxer. I then switched to soma and that one gives me a major head rush and vertigo for about 30 minutes, then settles down. Sounds like your symptoms are pre-meds, so not sure about that. Is the percocet scored? Can you break it? Perhaps take a half twice a day instead of a whole one at bedtime to see if this makes a difference. And don't be surprised if PT brings more pain and need for more meds. This is really common, as you will be moving more and exercising weak muscles.

    As for going stir crazy, just remember you have a full time job right now, it is called healing. So focus on rest, nutrition, walking, and of course Spine Health. I know I was feeling really down at 2-3 weeks, then I started driving, and that really helped to be able to go places, even though I only tolerated short trips. Then at 4 weeks I started going to the pool at the YMCA, and just having somewhere to go, with a goal each day, helps so much. I went to regular PT starting at 8 weeks, and besides helping my body, it helped my mind. These little accomplishments and human interaction were vital to my recovery. I am single with teenagers, so being at home got so lonely.

    Now I have been back to work for one month, and I can't believe how fast it all went. I wish I could have enjoyed it more instead of feeling down so much. Back to the grind now with too much to do and not enough time to do it. Hang in there and try to find some things you enjoy to do, read, watch movies, catch up with old friends, organize photos, etc. You will feel accomplished just to do a few fun things.

    Follow those surgeons rules, and remember, the grabber is a Spineys best friend. You will gradually be able to do more safely. Take care and keep coming back here. It is a great place as you know. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Hey there,

    I am at 6 weeks today and it seems that every day is a new challenge. I think every weak link in my body is using this surgery as an excuse to act up. First it was my tight hamstrings. I literally couldn't stand in one place--still have problems--or it would feel like my hamstrings were being stretched to oblivion. It was like my hamstrings said, "enough!!" Today it is my calf muscle. I cannot walk on it right out of bed--it feels like I had a charlie horse--which I have gotten in this calf before because it is so tight. My back actually isn't that bad today--but now I have the calf thing going.

    I have found that eating really helps. Honestly, I am craving a meal number 3 from McDonald's today--so I think I will have it. I need it. Food has really been a great source of comfort (just kidding). I had the same wierd sensations that you are talking about--there were a couple of times I had to take a knee because I would have gone down by fainting. I've had strange feelings in my legs, almost like restless leg stuff--but now at 6 weeks, I feel like some of those things are going away. Also, the drugs are killing us. I am on so many drugs right now and I wonder whether or not I would do better to just feel the pain.

    I have also learned to live in the moment. I am very spiritual, I know not everyone is and I respect that--I am a Christian (probably a different kind then you are used to) and also have a doctorate in theology. One of the things that has helped me is to have a strong theology of time--it is actually a very interesting thing to study. In short, a theology of time forces one to live in the present second. Basically, my first paragraph is now a past event. The present is oh so fleeting. At this second, I feel pretty good. I have a twinge of pain in my leg, and my back is sore, but I'm not crying out in pain like I have in the past, and I can hear my dear little children playing downstairs--so life is good in this present time. Those of us in pain tend to either live in the past or in the future when we need to live in the moment--in the second--the past and the future are a vast ocean--while the present is a blink. The past and the future overwhelm us--but the present is doable. We live in the future by hoping we will get better, by lamenting that we can never live a whole life in this kind of pain. We live in the past by remembering our past pain and how bad it was.

    All that said (|: --I totally hear you...it sucks to be us right now. Time is our friend--the weeks go by, then months, then years, and we will be better.

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