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29 hrs post op! Sorry long detailed post.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery was delayed yesterday by about 3 hrs...something about being able to do nerve conduction studies during the operation. I'm a little fuzzy on the details cause they had already moved me from preop to the holding area (my sis stayed with me in pre op but it was patients only in OR holding)& had already given me versed, fentanyl, decadron & zofran. The anesthesiologist came to see me twice. The first time to ask questions & order the above mentioned meds & the second time just to see how I was doing with the delay & to offer me more drugs which I declined...I was very comfortable & had no anxiety. My surgeon also came twice..the first time to mark my neck & chat & the second time to apologize for the delay. Some girl came & spoke to me about the nerve conduction stuff but I really don't recall much of what she said. Too bad cause however they did it left me with really bad bruising & swelling from all the needles (about 7 on my hands & wrists). Everyone was VERY nice & comforting. They all felt bad that I had to wait in holding so long. I was awake when they put me on the OR table & while they were setting up the room a little. They put a mask on my face & said it's 100% oxygen. I felt a rush go up my arm & I asked if he had given me something but they said they had the iv wide open. Then the nurse started to say the medicine would burn a little & as she was saying it I felt the heat go up my arm. I got very sleepy & remember trying to fight it & that was it.

I think I was in the OR about 1 1/2 hrs. I woke up in recovery feeling really good except for pain in the back of my neck & upper back. They hooked me up with a Dilaudid PCA but gave me an extra shot of it cause it wasn't working fast enough. 10 minutes later I was in my very nice private room with great view. I did have a urinary catheter which I didn't expect but was grateful for all night & I woke up in a Miami J collar which I was fitted for before they took me to holding. My sis came in the room shortly after & helped me change into my jammies & thank God UNDERWEAR! I felt really hyper cause I didn't expect to feel so good. I scared my nurse by having my sis get me up & walk up the hall. I talked everyone's ear off cause I was so excited it was over & had gone so well.Even though the dilaudid made me groggy I had a lot of trouble sleeping. The nurse came in around 11 pm & told me I could sleep on my side with lots of pillows for support. That was the best news EVER. I hate sleeping on my back. I dozed a little for a couple of hrs but was up at 5am.

Sis helped me get washed up. Surgeon came at 6am, saw me in bathroom putting on moisturizer & said "hey if you're putting on makeup you can go home"!!! He told me everything had gone really well no surprises. I took out my catheter myself & walked down to my unit & the icu to visit my buddies. I walked, walked, walked & walked some more. The surgeon's PA came in & changed my dressing & took out my drain. That was hard..with the collar off I felt like my head was gonna fall off. I went home at 11 am. Have percocet & flexeril to take at home. I definitely overdid it this morning at the hospital & the nurse manager forced me into a wheelchair to go to the lobby. I was hurting bad when I got home but I had not gotten muscle relaxers at the hospital & the flexeril was good once it kicked in.

Sorry about so much detail but I know kattoo & others are soon going & I wanted to share what a great experience I had. Everyone is amazed at how well I feel & can move. I'm really tired but that's cause I was running around all day & didn't sleep last night. Overall, I am completely thrilled with my experience.

I'll keep updating on my progress but if anyone has a specific question they can pm me. Take care everyone!

ps The numbness & tingling in my legs & feet has disappeared! I still have it in my hands & arms but not as bad. No incision pain (except when she changed the dressing). Muscle spasms are really my only pain but flexeril is keeping those manageable. My throat is really sore & swollen but I had liquids in the hosp & had scrambled eggs & pudding tonight. Losenges really help & ice water is my best friend.


  • Sounds like things are going great. Don't over do. Follow your doctor's instructions. Will be praying for you

  • Good to hear you did so well. Now make sure you follow all the surgeons orders and rest alot. You may experience days you feel good and then bang the spasms set in. So don't over do it on the days you feel good. Time will pass fast and you will be back to all those things you loved doing. good luck and keep us posted on your recovery.
  • I'm so glad to hear that your surgery went well. I can't beleive how much you were up and walking around right afterwards. I give you a ton of credit for taking your own cathetar out. I probably would've with mine if I knew how. I'm sure you just yank it but I didn't dare take a chance. Mine kept filling or the hose wasn't positioned correctly and someone the urine was going back up the hose and it was so uncomfortable.

    Isn't it funny how much you missed your panties? That was one of the very first things I wanted on when I woke up, however I had to wait until the next day when they took the cathetar out. I hated that thing. I just didn't feel right not being able to wear my panties =)) It was so comfortable when I was able to put on my own jammies and robe and panties. I was in the hospital for 4 days.

    You really need to take it easy and not overdo it so you can recover that much quicker.
  • I'm glad to hear that everything went ok. You sound very well and on that road to recovery!! Ice water was my favorite, too. Don't forget the bendy straws ha ha.
  • surgery is over and you did so well. Please take care and dont overdue it. You sound like you went through it so well, its amazing. Get your rest and take care. I hope tomm is another good day for you. :H
  • I think I just slept for about 5 hrs straight! Woke up just in time to take flexeril...I'm trying to keep ahead of the muscle spasms. I am so thankful that I am able to sleep in a modified side lying position. I started to fall asleep on my back on the couch last night & kept waking up feeling like I was choking.

    As others have said, eating with a collar on is challenging. I wear a bib LOL! Had a chocolate chip cookie last night & managed to swallow it ok but feel safer with yogurt, pudding etc.

    It seems that the numbness in my hands is better tonight. Yea!!!! I will go easier on myself today. It is so easy to overdo it when you feel good but then you pay dearly for it. I am taking the percocet & flexeril regularly, benadryl cause all pain meds make me itch & xanax to help me sleep. I was not on anything but advil prior to surgery so I'm surprised I'm not completely zonked.

    Better try to get some more sleep now. Its hard to be on my laptop cause I'm too lazy to set it up properly I find I tilt my chin too far down.

    Thank you guys for your well wishes & hope evertone has a great day!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad that you're doing so well. Hope your recovery continues to go as well and that you're soon 100%. Take care and don't overdo it.
  • Congrats Joann. Isn't it just the greatest feeling to be back home? I couldn't sleep in the hospital either - it's a really crappy place to stay.

    Welcome home and I'm glad it went so well and that you're doing great. Like everyone said, it's so easy to overdo it, so follow doc's orders and take it easy. You're healing really depends on it!

    I'm sending you gentle hugs...
  • I would not have known the catheter was in if I had not seen it. I didn't feel it at all & had no urge to pee. I really didn't want one pre op but since they put it in while I was asleep it didn't bother me & I was getting so much iv fluids & drinking tons of water so I would have been up to the restroom every 1/2 hr.

    I slept more after I posted this am.I feel pretty rested now. I have some spasms in my back & I get this weird pain in the center of my chest...kinda from the front & the back but it only lasts a few seconds. It happen a lot when I drink. Throat is still sore & swollen but I'm gonna try to eat some breakfast now.
  • Hi Joann...

    Glad to hear that things went so well for you.

    I had an ACDF 9 days ago now. I am glad to hear that your experience was similar to mine. I felt so good right afterward. I actually felt really good for a couple of days. Then 3 days later, the muscle spasms hit hard. A steroid dose pack seems to have helped for the most part.

    I am feeling way better than I expected to feel. As a matter of fact, I am having trouble not overdoing it. When you have pain, it's a good reminder to back off and not do too much. But when you are feeling good, it's easy to push it a little.

    I hope you continue to feel good! Keep us posted!

  • Yes Tina it's very easy to overdo it when you feel ok. Everyone at the hospital was shocked that I was up so much but I definitely regretted it later in the day. Today I went for a fairly long walk & then came home & took a nap. I don't really feel like eating much cause it hurts to swallow but I'm drinking lots of water. I'm still finding needle holes from the nerve conduction tests...I look like a heroin junkie...needle tracks everywhere even my feet! The one on the fleshy part of my palm below my thumb was the worst. Grossly swollen & dark purple.

    The collar isn't too bad except when I went for my walk & it's hot outside today. At least it allows me to sleep on my side. When I start to doze off on my back I feel like I am smothering..not sure why. Now it seems to happen when I lay on my right side as well so I'm sticking to the left. It's a horrible sensation. I changed my dressing today but can't really tell how the incision looks cause its covered in steri strips.

    Thanx everyone for the well wishes. Take care.
  • I LOVE that you are doing so well and I'm glad I'm not the only one who was online and posting within a day :)

    I also felt incredibly good after my fusion. Well, if I don't count the nausea. It did hurt to roll over in bed, but to have the leg pain gone - that was heaven :)

    Unfortunately I was back in the OR after 48 hours post-op for the bleeding and numbness ;)

    Still - I also felt wonderful when I finally got home and could get dressed.

    I think that being on low-to-no pain meds pre-surgery counts for a lot. The strongest I was on was Ibuprofen before my surgery. Afterwards I had problems with being overmedicated (the nausea) but once it all got straightened out it was fine.

    Do keep taking it easy and I'll be hoping for more excellent news from you on your recovery!
  • Thank you!
    I feel incredibly blessed that things are going so well. I just slept for about 3 hrs & think I'll be able to go back to sleep without more medication. My neck, shoulder & upper back muscles are really sore but I'm sure that won't last forever. The last 2 nights I tried to watch movies with my sis & both times I dozed of in the 1st 10 min! Eyes drooping again..gonna get some more sleep!
  • Wow I was not here since last night and you have so many posts for me to read! :))( I meant that in a good way! I'm glad you're doing well after your surgery. I'm so happy for you. It seems you had so many obstacles before your surgery but you're positive attitude I'm sure has helped you through it. Are you wearing a collar all the time? I hope you take it easy and don't hurry back to work or do too much around the house even. I take flexeril too and that makes me sleepy too. I wish you a quick recovery and hope the sore throat and neck pain eases up for you. Take care. Charry O:)
    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
  • Yes, I have to wear the collar 24/7. Doc said if I'm sitting very still I can take it off for a short time. Actually, the collar does not bother me too much. I have found comfortable positions on my couch & in my bed so I can rest well. I catch myself doing things I shouldn't but it's so hard to change tour habits. My sis will be here til the 7th & she has been great!

    Wow, I just nodded off while typing. Feels so strange . I went longer without my pills last night but I'm afraid to go too long. Those muscle spasms really get you.
  • So great to hear a postive surgery!! That is how I felt with my revision of my lumbar. Woke up in recovery w/ just burning at the incision site and nausea.
    Was awake most of the day and night. They took the cath out the next afternoon and I was up walking all around. Then sent home on the 3rd morning!!

    Yes with my cervical I could only do liquids for about 2wks. It hurt to much. Sleeping on my side oh noooo that was way to hard. But mabye easier in a hard collar?? Not sure. Guess everyone is different..

    P.S. Someone wrote they could not imagine being awake in the O.R. I'v been awake for all surgeries. Majority that I have had, I have had no meds before getting myself on the table. Last revision I don't remember cause I had a horrid headache and got some good drippy meds. And with my kidney removal they gave me "whatever" all I know it was GOOD!! Before they wheeled me in. LoL
    Everyone now a days are so cool in there that your laughing anyway. But I'm also one to love the hospital scene!! LoL

    Keep up the great recovery!!!!!!!!
    Terri :)
  • Joann, I think the pain you're experiencing in your chest is something I had and another person on here posted about - it's a bubble and it slowly moves up until you burp. I had that for about a month and still get it from time to time. I have no idea why it happens post-cervical surgery, but it can.

    Also, I didn't have a catheter and wish I had because, like you said, I was going to the bathroom every 45 min. and had to call a nurse each time. It sucked.

  • Hi everyone, my name is Olivia and I found this site while looking up post-op info on the web(and boredom). I'm glad I did! I have been hoping to find a blog where I can learn and share about our experience. Like others here...I am recovering well..my surgery was about 10 days ago. The pain and spasms seem to be better...especially over the last few days. My surgeon put me in a Miami j collar with the extension piece to it...not fun at all...but tolerable. I did want to comment that my numbness has also improved a lot and seems to still be getting better, but it is not gone, anyone have some thoughts? Also, any suggetstions to riding in a car? My Dr. has told me it's ok to start getting out on short trips, store etc.? I'd be happy to share my experience or answer any questions? Thanks for having me here, take care, Olivia
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