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Successful surgery -- so far.

JeffAJJeffA Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HI everyone,

Just wanted to post a 1 week post surgery update (well… almost a week).

I had a double laminectomy (L3/4 L4/5) Wednesday, August 5th at 9:00 am. They tell me the surgery took 3 hours. Of course to me it took about one second --
Anesthesiologist: "Okay, you're going to start to feel sleepy…… how do you feel?"
Me ( groggy): "What do you mean how do I feel?"
Anesthesiologist: "The surgery's done, you're in recovery."
Me (stunned):"Wow, that was fast"

It turns out I had been in recovery nearly an hour - unconscious. The anesthesiologist said I was out 'pretty deep'. Just the way I like it.

When I woke up I felt no pain at all. A half an hour my lower back started to hurt. I told the nurse -- a quick shot of fentanyl -- no more pain. I love fentanyl. :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" /> Unfortunately that was the last time for that particular drug.

I stayed in recovery for 8 hours, wide awake, watching patients come and go. Turns out they couldn't find a bed for me in the neurosurgery recovery wing.

As I lay there I noticed four things:
First -- my legs that had ached and burned for the last year were now pain free. Yea, normal legs.:applause:
Second -- my lower back didn't hurt that much
Third -- the top half of my right thigh was completely numb to the touch. I could move it but couldn't feel a thing.:puzzled: The surgeon said the numbness would go away, an artifact from being in the surgery position for three hours.
Fourth -- I was getting very hungry. Finally the nurse gave me some crackers and juice.

Sometime after 8:00 pm they wheeled me to my room. They gave me a sandwich and Vicodin 5/500 every 4 hours (I don't like Vicodin). :barf: I stood up about midnight but didn't try to walk because I felt like I was going to feint. :hypnotize: I was able to walk the hall, with the nurses help, at 3:00 am. They pulled the catheter sometime in the middle of the night --
"You'll feel a little burn, now take a deep breath…"
"Yeowwwwww" :shocked:
Little burn! I'd hate to feel a big burn. At least it was over quick, like ripping off a bandage.
The nurse told me I'd start to urinate within six hours. I started in six minutes. (In the bottle, not the bed)
One note to those who have never had a catheter. Don't be surprised if air comes out when you urinate. I thought they had poked a hole in my bladder but apparently it is normal.

My wife drove me home at 11:00 am Thursday. I walked up the stairs at home with no problem.

Right now I feel great. I'm on vicodin at night only. I take Tylenol during the day. I walk 1+ miles a day and am very careful to do no BLT. The doctor told my wife that I had some 'oozing' and that I might get a blood clot that would press on the spine. If that happens they might have to surgically remove it, so I'm being extra careful not to irritate things.

Before the surgery my pain was severe. The left leg from buttocks to foot, the right leg from buttocks to knee. It was very painful to walk or stand. Now the right leg is pain free except for a tiny bit in the calf. The left side is much better with only minor pain in the buttocks.
Although I have very little pain I do have fatigue. I can go for a couple of hours then need to take a thirty minute nap. :sleepy:" alt=":sleepy:" height="20" /> I suppose this will improve over the next days/weeks.

Oh, by the way. The right thigh is back to normal. :party:

I know things can go downhill as I heal and scar tissue forms but for now I'm very happy with the surgery.



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