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One week until PLIF surgery...

DIFerrisDDIFerris Posts: 86
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,

I am counting down now until my surgery, one week from today.

The issue I am having is the pain right now, and not being able to sleep at night.

I stopped taking the percocet, as it was not helping the nerve pain in my hip and leg. I stopped taking all of the over the counter medication I was supplementing with (aleve, motrin, etc.) as I am not supposed to take anything like that for 2 weeks prior to surgery. About the only thing left that I am still taking is the flexeril, which does help some but obviously does nothing for the nerve pain.

It would be nice to hear from others regarding what you did/do to help with sleeping at night - if anyone is indeed having the same issue, or have had it. I would so love to get rested up before I start the ordeal of recovery after surgery next week. I have tried reading a book, herbal teas, etc. but nothing is helping.

Any comments/advice would be appreciated.

I hope everyone is doing well, or as well as can be expected.



  • I don't sleep unless I take something, so I've tried it all. You should be able to take OTC Tylenol PM pre-surgery; an RX that is not a sleeping pill but helps many slepp is Elavil. Otherwise, I am sure the Dr would perscribe you sleeping pills prior to your surgery. You will certainly need to check with him, but you should be able to take Flexeral with a sleeping pill (Ambien is the one I currently take)

    Good luck on your surgery -- you need your sleep for healing, so it is important that you get it!!
  • I would try the sleep aids to see if they help (they are basically Benedryl plus Tylenol). Like you, I had/have problems with nerve pain and am still taking percocet and a muscle relaxant. In the past, my GP prescribed generic ambien because I was not sleeping at all.
    I'm 2-1/2 weeks out of my TLIF, and from doctor's orders, am not allowed to take any Ibuprohen for at least four months. The assistant told me that it complicates the bone to metal growth (?) I am so happy that I decided to undergo surgery. :)))

    Keep us updated on your progress. :H

  • Why dont you try the benadryl it worksfor me also it will relax your muslces try one if not two it cant hurt . you do need rest also i do the deep breathing tech. Just lye down do not let anybody dissrup you take in adeep breath blow out slowly do this ten times .Hope it works ill be praying for you and your surgery i"ll be right after you in july . I) STILL SCARED TO DEATH about mine but with all this support and the Lord ill make it .I just afraid ofthe pain right after i wake up not knowing is scary. Have you had to wear the back brace?Hope you can get the sleep you need take care . Rebel Renee
  • Thank you for the comments. I emailed my NS to see what he recommends. I did tell him that I am not able to get a night's sleep right now.

    I forgot to mention that after I had to stop taking any medication, I asked him if there was something else I could take, and he told me I could take Celebrex. But when his assistant phoned it in to the pharmacy, the insurance company told the pharmacist that it had to have prior authorization. I did a search on here and see that others have had the same problem with that particular drug. So, I am waiting on that. I talked to my insurance company today, and they told me it could be up to 5 business days. I told them it wouldn't matter at that point... I would be in surgery. So, the insurance company said they could push it through in 24 hours if the doctor's office marked it urgent and why.

    This week is creeping by, being in so much pain, and not sleeping! I would love to get some things done in the house before my surgery, but I can't seem to get off the couch for very long.

    Sorry to vent... this is very frustrating ~X( . I will be so happy when this is over. I am praying for a speedy (as much as possible) recovery and putting this behind me.

  • Goodness, Deanna!

    You've been through a lot already. You need to reserve your energy for healing! Don't expend it all on dealing with pain. /:) (You know this already.)

    My GP had ordered Vicodin for me, and pre-op, I was allowed to take that right up 'til surgery (though I didn't take any that morning, as I didn't want to take it on an empty stomach). I was taking 2 plus a Flexeril 3x/day before surgery.

    Might this be an option for you?
  • Hi, Renee.

    For what it's worth, there was no pain for me upon waking up after surgery. I had many people praying for me, and their prayers were heard and answered. My guess is that you have the same support, yes?

    Do you have a herniated disc? At what level(s)?

    You'll do just fine. :)
  • My NS prescribed this for me, and had to wait for prior auth from insurance company. I picked this up yesterday.

    While it is not doing much for the nerve pain, it seems to be helping me as far as stiffness in hip and leg.

    I am 5 days until surgery, so I am just trying to focus on getting everything prepared so it is easier on me when I come home from the hospital. My husband has been wonderful. He is making sure I will be comfortable at home. I made sure to scour the posts here for tips after surgery, and I think I got everything I need.

    Today it is get the day bed set up in the living room (husband doing that), and get a nice pedicure!!! I am looking forward to that! If my back wasn't so tender from the surgery in May, I would get a massage as well!

    Take care all.

  • How did your surgery go, and how do you feel now that it's over??
  • Hi Rose,

    Thank you for asking about me.

    I haven't had my surgery. Insurance denied authorization. I see my NS on Tuesday. He is going to run more tests, so we have more to send back to the insurance company when I appeal the decision.

    I am hoping all goes well. Who knows, maybe something else will come up out of this testing and I won't have to have the surgery! I can only hope.

    I would just like to have resolution to this so I can get on with my life. I feel like I am on hold right now, and spending all my time on the couch for fear of the intense pain I experience when trying to do normal chores and things.

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