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6 months pst op 2 level fusion and discetomeny

iowarobiniiowarobin Posts: 1,268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having the second bad month. In April I started on antibiotics for a cough, after two rounds of oral antibiotics and a medrol dose pak, I ended up with pnuemonia, and had 22 IV antibiotic treatments. Then back on 10 days of oral antibiiotics and then they sent bllos off and found I have walking pnuemonia and an old infection. So 14 more days of double oral antibiotics and that started last Thursday.

Long story short, I still am awfully tired, sleep all the time, still have terrible sweats, and a low grade fever. I have missed out on walking and physical therapy for the last two months. My back still hurts and I am still on 75 mg fentanyl patches every three days and 30 mg oxycodone for bt every 4-6 hours.

Discouraged because I am too tired to walk, and feel like my recovery is at a standstill. Dont know what to do. Dont seem to be getting better, pnuemoina wise after what I feel is massive amounts of antibiotics. But dont know where to turn.

Anyone have any ideas? My Dr has sent blood work, but I dont know what else I can do. Just want to cry, to tired to do anything and dont know if there is anything to be done.


  • May sound corney but what about a little fresh air and sunshine? Vitamin D the natural way is a wonderful boost to our immune system.

    Sorry you're having a tough time of it.

  • I had shoulder surgery in October 2008 then got pneumonia...lots of antibiotics...then 2 level PLIF L4 L5 S1 in February 2009. It all does knock you out but even if you just sit outside for a while, it does help. I took fish oil capsules and acai tablets too. Not that I am a doctor but it really has helped. I still have nerve pain in my left leg and foot but I can walk upright!! Good luck...I dont have my "old" life back, I have my "old" life with new parameters!
  • Bless your heart. You have really been thru the proverbial "wringer" and pneumonia is NOTHING to mess around with. Just to be sure, does your doc know that you are still running a low grade fever???

    I think that dealing with back surgery and then having all these other "issues" can be emotionally debilitating! I was just ahead of you with a PLIF end of Nov. About 3 months post op I walked so much that I developed awful plantar fasciatis (I think I mispelled) that feels like a nail in my heel. Last week and the week before I had epidural spinals and this week a root canal-tomorrow a crown.

    Not about me but just to say....I have had some very low, lows lately. It is very difficult for you, right now, to retain a perspective. Pain and illness is probably one of the most depressing things in the world. And of course, your pain doesn't help your ability to heal.

    So you ask, where to start. My opinion only but it is critical for you to get that infection under control. Until you do, you really can't do anything else. Hate to sound like a broken record but if you are not better, tell your doc! I mean, get his or her attention. Anyway, that's what I would do. If you've been on antibiotics for awhile, my understanding is that you can't always get an accurate read on a blood test so your doc may have to "experiment" on different antibiotics until he hits one that gets to the infection.

    My 2 other suggestions are 1) keep posting. It really feels so much better to know you have a support system here and 2) do anything you can to keep your focus off your misery. I am the world's worst at getting stuck in a world of mental and physical worry and sadness. Watch tv, listen to music. Write a letter. Do anything you can to move the focus to something other than how awful you feel.

    Anyway, I want to hear from you soon. I am worried about your infection. Don't be shy with your doc. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs. K
  • I really hate it that you are havng such a bad time of it. I wish there was some way of making this all better for you. Just know that we are all here to listen day or night and please hang in there and stay strong. I know it gets hard. I have days where I feel like this nightmare will never end but it will for all of us. Keep me updated on your recovery. I really hope that things turn around for you soon--I know they will.
    By the way, the message I sent you was sent before I read this--you can disregard it now.
    Take Care
  • Went to Dr this morning, and now I have to have CT of sinus. He thinks that the sinus are involved and so I have CT this afternoon and see the ear/nose/throat specialist tomm at 1:00. Love my Dr. He gets me right in when normally you wait at least 3-4 weeks. So....next.... Will keep you posted. Still on antibiotics, can be a bad germ in my body!LOL
  • Last November I was rushed to the hospital and they kept me for three days because my initial spinal tap showed I had meningitis (I had a 104 deg fever that wouldn’t go down, vertigo, migraine and ear throbbing). It turned out I didnt have meningitis but I spent about four months in my bed exhausted and they ended up doing sinus surgery because of a cyst they thought was infected in my sphenoid sinus. I was on the strongest prescription of augmentin for almost three months.

    Since the surgery I slowly got better, but I had extreme sensitivity to sound, migraines, ear throbbing, and extreme fatigue. I had a batch of fairly good health and then I ended up getting a bad chest cold. I went in to the ENT doc last week and it turned out I had a really bad sinus infection and the culture showed it was Streptococcus Pneumonia, so now I’m on Biaxin for 20 days. I’m sure this is the same bug that is in my lungs and probably my ears too. I was actually feeling ok when I was at that appointment, but four days later it hit me and I have been in bed for six days straight now. I’m getting a little of my strength back, but if I do too much at all I get extremely tired and shaky.

    I’m just sharing my experience, I really don’t know what the answer is for this. I do know for sure that the biaxin is the right antibiotic to kill it. Lets hope for the health and sanity of both of us we get this thing figured out soon so we can concentrate on PT and getting out of pain!
  • I think your body is telling you it needs the extra rest, so listen to it and rest as much as you can! Pneumonia can be tricky to treat and you do get other inf. too so I'm glad your dr. is taking action. Soon they'll have the right med combination to treat it all and you will see a difference! Feeling bad like that does wear you down, if I lived close to you I'd bring you soup and visit with you to cheer you up!

    My son once had pneumonia for almost 6 months, in/out of hospital and on anti-biotics until they finally found the right med combo to treat his type of pneumonia.

    Maybe if the sun shines in your bedroom it will help you feel better. I know I feel better when I see and feel the sunshine. Let the sunshine in! Walking every so often around the house will keep you going until you feel better to do more, it's ok. Keep posting and hopefully someone will bring you some homemade soup and visit with you to make your day!

    I always enjoy reading your posts! It makes me sad you are still feeling so bad because you really have had a tough time ....I'm thinking of you and wishing you a better tomorrow!

  • Robin, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. Being so sick and on all these antibiotics can really mess up your entire system. Are you taking any sort of probiotics? Yogurt is a good source. Whole foods also sells probiotics in powder and pill forms. The antibiotics are stripping your body of the good stuff you need to fight off infections.

    I thought of something when you mentioned that the dr thinks your sinuses might be involved. This could be allergy related too. I went through about 7 sinus infections in 8 months late 2007 to early 2008. My PCP sent me to an ENT and had a CT of my sinuses done. Everything was fine there. The ENT sent me to an allergist and we found the problem. I was having sinus infection symptoms that were actually allergies. I found out that I am very allergic to cats and dogs and had pretty strong reactions to most trees and grasses along with dust mites. I was never allergic to dogs or cats before but apparently having two babies changed my body chemistry and am has made me allergic to these things now. We have a cat that is almost 12 years old (we had two but the other cat had a stroke recently and had to be put to sleep). There's no way we're going to get rid of the cat now. The kids are so attached to him. At least I know and with hubby's help we keep the dander down as much as possible.

    I hope you start to feel better soon. Maybe you can get outside and enjoy some sun. A little time outside on a nice day might make you feel a little better. Thinking about you and sending lots of hugs and prayers your way. (((((((((HUGS)))))))))
  • Dear Robin,

    I am so sorry you are going through all of this.

    And you are right... you have a fantastic doctor who has been keeping a very good watchful eye on you. That is peace of mind, as he is doing everything possible to get you feeling better.

    We all will be anxious to hear how your visit with the ENT specialist goes today.

    I understand your frustration with having to wait around and let the antibiotics do their work. For some reason, certain bacteria can hang around much longer than anticipated. You have a double dose of antibiotics fighting the nasty bacteria out of your system... and we are all rooting for those antibiotics to take charge!

    Beth is right with eating yogurt. I mentioned a while back that I didn't see any "rhubarb" flavored yogurt at the store, but there is a wide variety of flavors to choose from. Your antibiotics are so powerful, that they may wipe out some of the good bacteria during their fight with the bad bacteria. The probiotic yogurts help replenish the good bacteria. My favorite is the DanActive probiotic yogurt drinks. I drink 3 of them a day. They are only 3 ounces in size, so you finish one bottle in about 5 swallows. The blueberry is my favorite flavor... it tastes really good.

    "C"'s suggestion of fresh air and sunshine is terrific... does the body good!

    This all will pass and when it does... we will all be doing a happy dance for you. I'm getting my fingers ready for their upcoming dance performance. My pointer fingers have some really good high kicks going on, so they will need to wear shorts under their skirts. :))(

    I'm saying prayers for continued strength for you.

    Much love,

    Tammy >:D<

  • I can't imagine having pneumonia and still having to recover from a fusion. I'm sorry you've been so ill and I hope this clears up soon. I don't know how you do it girl ;) Hang in there and get well soon >:D<

  • Went to ENT today. Sinus is not problem. They are fine. My CT shows a tumor/something in bone behind eye? Around eye? Something, anyway, I have a appointment in Unv Hosp at Iowa City to have a biopsy of this July 2. I guess they are the only ones who do this type of biopsy. Supposibly the lymphoma risk is low, but I guess it is possible. And I was surprised to get in that quick. Anytime, anyone has to go there is is a 6 week or better wait. So I wont have that long to worry about it. I dont know if its surgery or not, assume so, because they have to drill into the bone...I guess I am never gonna say whats next! It always finds me. Still dont know infection is from. I need to finsh antibiotics, and rest. Dr says walking pnuemonia takes its sweet time going away. SO that my friends, is the Rest of the Story,,,You guys are great. You have no idea how much you keep me up...I am taking probiotics. Pill form , every day. And sun, when its out., Thanks for all the good wishes. Prayers about now would also be great. Kind of scared of the next go around. :SS :(
  • oh my girl enough already. I had to read the part about your eye at least three times. Anything to do with eyes worries me. Thinking about you, praying and sending hugs.
  • I'm a little worried. But I have enough battles that I have won with stuff, I know whatever this is, I can beat it too. Not gonna think about the worse, gonna try to be positive. I love you guys, and am sure that the coming weeks, I probably will be a basket case. But Thanks and I will keep you posted. Have a good weekend. I think I will go shopping a little. Always makes me feel a little better. Hugs to you! >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Boy, you are having a bad time of it! I'm also going to pray your luck changes for the better soon. If anyone desrves a break, you do!

    I'm praying and sending hugs your way too! I hope those antibiotics kick in so you feel better in the meantime!

  • I sure hope they kick in too. I think I just need to keep doing what I am doing and rest,drink fluids, and keep a positive attitude. Everything has a way of working out sooner or later. I appreciate all the kind thoughts and prayers. It helps to have such great friends that send so many hugs...Hugs back to you >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Having an infection in your body can spread elsewhere if not treated in time.I hope everything goes well for your appt for the problem behind your eye. Finding out early works best on your side and hope everything goes well. I can't imagine having a lot of problems with infection after you're healing from spine surgery. Taking antibiotics can cause weariness as well as your body fighting the infection. I hope you recover soon and best wishes for a complete recovery. 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
  • Thanks for the well wishes, I am resting alot and it is helping cause I am not coughing now. I guess walking pnueminia can take a month or more. So..paitience is a virtue right. After all of them I have been on, its gotta go away. Now, to the next thing with the tumor or whatever. They say God dont give you more than you can handle. I wish he didnt think I was so strong! University of Iowa is suppose to be best in nation for this problem. So I will be in good hands.Thanks for the support. (wasnt that a Bartles and James wine cooler ad?)
  • Guess it is time to kick my own butt and get busy. I have been so tired for all this, but I havnt exercised either. Maybe thats the problem. Sooo,,think this weekend I will try to go to aqua therapy pool, do some walking, maybe at the mall(LOL) and try to get in some grandaughter time. I am so tired of being tired. Maybe some activity will help. Thanks to all who have cheered me up. Better days ahead...
  • Dear Robin,

    Geeze... I think you threw us all a curve ball with this new development!

    Whatever it may be, I am so glad you're getting the biopsy soon. You have been through so much and I admire your strength. There's no doubt in my mind that you are a fighter and you will get through all of this.

    Now Hear This, Mrs. Robin:

    I promise, to do my very best, to keep you sane throughout it all... k? Girl Friends Honor! We gotta keep our sanity amidst all of our hormones, chronic back pain, pneumonia, behind-the-eyeball thingies, new puppies, pain pumps, going back to work, children choking episodes, childish mates, etc. We will do our best, so don't you forget that!

    Signed: Tammy

    Okay, now on to the spiritual stuff...

    I sometimes wonder the exact same thing as you do... "The Lord says He will never give us more than we can handle... but, wow... what the heck is going on here!"

    You know what I do, when I get this overwhelmed? I throw it all back in His court.

    I wad all of my problems up and throw them up to Him. (I believe He loves me, so He delights in catching the wad of problems). I will cry my eyes out and tell Him that it's just too much... and I'm giving all of this agony, back to Him. He's greater than I am and I know He will always listen and get me through anything. I place my faith in Him, to get me through whatever overwhelms me. (It takes a lot for me to get overwhelmed... it seriously does. But, when it does happen... this is what I do... from a spiritual perspective).

    "Greater is He who is not of this world... than he who is in this world". I believe this with all of my heart and soul.

    I hope you got some fresh air today. Now I need some... lol.

    Keep us posted with how you are. We'll be waiting to hear.

    Much love my friend,

    Tammy >:D<

  • Robin - I'm so sorry to hear you're going through all of this. Hopefully, it won't be a tumor, but some sort of infection that is residing there and perhaps they can clear it up. At any rate, no matter what it is, I hope you can get some help and feel better soon. You have been through so much. I feel blessed to have been through just a little of what you have. Hang in there girl!
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I had to quit the last antibiotic hw gave me. I took it for 8 days, but my stomache was so bad, it was so strong, that I couldnt take the side effects. I am feeling better. So I am sure with all of them I have been on, it had to kill any nasty thing in my system. I think it just takes time to get over this stuff. So, keep taking the probiotics and getting some sun. Gonna go to water therapy when I can. We were gonna go today, but they are now closed on Sun afternoons :(
  • Went two times this week. Felt wonderful. Back pain has been better. Next week is the week it all happens. July 1 go to ortho for knee surgery to scrape the back of knee caps. Not actual surgery, just get it set up. I need both done, and also carpal tunnel in other hand. Gonna see if we can do it all at once. Saves going under three times. Then July 2, I go to Iowa CIty to meet with head surgeon about the bone tumor, and see when he will do biopsy. Gonna be stressfull week. Trying to think happy thoughts. Walking pnuemonia is getting better. Still getting sweats, bad. But not sleeping 24/7. All my friends have a good weekend. Will update, when know something...Thanks allll
  • Sent I can't be there to give you a hug I send you lots of cyber hugs. You have been through soooo much. I don't know if the ortho will agree to do both knees and your wrist at the same time since you might need crutches for a little bit after the knee surgery. Glad to hear that the pnuemonia is getting better. And for the other thing, I'm not going to say the T word or any others, I hope that it all turns out fine.

    Hope you have a great weekend! Try to relax and enjoy a little. You are definitely going to have a rough week. Know that we're here cheering for you! >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Sorry to hear about the newest development and I hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Every time a doctor finds some kind of mass and they're not sure what it is until it's biopsied, it's so scary to deal with. They told me they found a mass behind my throat once and I needed a head ct. It turned out to be just some weird tissue growth. The time spent between having the ct and waiting for the results was truly stressful. I do have a benign hemangioma in my L2 vertebra, and as long as it stays stable I really don't give it much thought.

    Anyway, you know you've got us here to lean on and we'll keep you in our thoughts and pray that everything will be fine. I hope you can have a nice weekend full of rest and relaxation, and please take good care of yourself. >:D<
  • Robin ~ thinking of you. I hope you get some good news this week. I am so sorry you are having all of these problems.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • I am going to be thinking of you all week, thinking positive thoughts and sending good wishes your way! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

    I'm glad the pneumonia is better! I remember it took my son about 2 months the first time he had it and he was young (4 yo then) so it does take time!

    Also, glad you got some aqua therapy in! I think it is good for your soul as well as your back!

    Take care this week and remember you are not alone!
  • Went to Iowa City on Thursay for the tumor. Met with the Head of Head and Neck Oncology. He said ihe isnt sure how long the tumor has been there. He also said it was very difficult to get a biopsy of it because of where it is. He is having the radiologist there read the CT and is taking my case to the Tumor Board meeting on Friday. This is the head if every dept that involves tumors and they meet every Friday, Being the 4th of July weekend they wont meet till this Friday. He said he wants other opinions and will let me know. But he thinks that is might be possible to wait to see what a new CT shows in 3 months. Sooo. sit and wait till he calls or writes.

    My Pnuemonia is getting better, and I went to pool therapy last week 3 times. Really helps to relax the back. Go see Ortho the 15. Hopefully he will tell me I am doing better. Thanks to you all for the support. Its been a really long road...
  • Robin - I hope that means they think it's some benign thing. I'm praying that is what it is and you won't need to have a big surgery to get it out of there. I'm so glad you're feeling a little better. You definitely deserve a break!


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • youre up in middle of the night too...so much to think about...somehow i missed your post, i dont know how. just want you to know i will be thinking of you and hoping all is well with this tumor and also the pnuemonia issue. it must be so stressful waiting for answers to your concerns At least answers will come from docs way up in the experience scale! i wish you some good news and some relief....
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