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Terrified! Lumbar lam/360 fusion tomorrow!

delta_dawn67ddelta_dawn67 Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I hate hospitals! And needles! And well I'm not too crazy about Doctors! Lol!!
I know I have to do this cause its my best chance at some quality of life. But I am scared. I'm scared of the pain and long recovery. And I'm terrified of what to expect when I first wake up!! Is the pain going to be horrible?? There is so much said on here about the long term recovery, but I really haven't seen much about the first day or two. If anyone is willing to share their story about the first day or two I would be so grateful! I'm the kind of person who is less scared knowing than not knowing what to expect! I've had 3 C-Sections and a laminectomy, but I'm thinking this will be completely different.


  • after 5 or 6 years your memory fades a bit but i dont have recollection of severe pain. i know right after surgery you can keep pressing the pain feed button to get relief. plus they dump steroids in you during surgery to curb swelling. of course everyones different.
    i'll be looking forward to hearing how well you feel delta so please stay in touch. we truly are here to give you that needed support. so when they wheel you out of the operating room there will be a bunch of us spineys at you side!!!!
  • The thing I remember most is how difficult it was to move when I needed to reposition my body. Except when they came to get me up, I think I mostly slept or dosed. I was kept pumped full of pain medication and the time in the hospital is kind of a blur. It was not as bad as I was anticipating. I was hungry and eager for my first meal.

    With a 360, you will be uncomfortable. There is no denying that...and unlike childbirth, it will not be for a joyous, wonderful reason...but you'll get through it.

    I had been reading on forums such as this for two years prior to surgery and I was so prepared for fusion to be THE most horrendous experience imaginable. Compared to my anticipations, it really wasn't that bad!! Just take it a day at a time and before you know it, you will be on the other side and well on your way to recovery.

    Try not to let yourself get too worked up. It serves no useful purpose. Do whatever you can to foster a positive attitude and a calm heart...and know that all your friends here on the board are rooting for you.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    As far as pain after surgery you should be made very comfortable. If your not, tell them. Do not be afraid to be vocal. I doubt you will have to. all 6 of my spine surgeries I was medicated very well and comfortable. Good luck tomorrow and try to sleep tonight. I know.. easier said then done.
  • I had my surgery 2 months ago, and I didn't wake up with any pain. The next day I got out of bed and walked the hall with no brace or walker. I was on a morphene pump, and I'm sure that your doctor will see to it that you are comfortable. My incision was in the abdomen, but it was NOTHING compared to my hysterectomy (which is somewhat like a C section). Good Luck and try not to make yourself sick over it. The nurses will take good care of you, and you'll be home before you know it.

  • Thanks you guys for sharing your experiences with me. And of course a big thank you for the support and encouragement!! I feel sorry for people who going through life like all of us, but don't know about this place!
    We are on our way to the hospital now. Its about a 3-1/2 hour drive. Surgery is at 3. I will check in as soon as I can.
    Hope you all have a great day! With as little pain as possible. :-)
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I wasn't around to wish you luck for your surgery before you went to hospital. So now it will be over and you will be on the road to recovery. You have had 3 c-sections, me too and nothing has beaten that yet painwise.
    I hope your pain is being managed well and you will soon be back on the forum.



    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Honey, I know how scary it is to go for a surgery, I've done it 5 times in the last 2 years! But you're going to be just fine, they'll control your pain very well, and if not, just let them know and they'll get it taken care of.

    I had a total hysterectomy last year and was so doped up I didn't have an instant of pain in the hospital. Getting out of bed was a bit uncomfortable, but no real pain.

    We're all rooting for you, and we'll be waiting to hear that you did just fine and you are on the road to recovery!
  • Good luck today. I'm sure they will keep you as comfortable as they can. Be assertive for your care, speak up if you are not comfortable enough.

    Best wishes today and will see you back in the forums in no time.

  • go get em!!!
    best of luck!!!
  • Good morning to a beautiful day! Hope your surgery went wel.
  • I cannoy answer answer your your question. But, by the timr you get this you are already on the road to recovery. Yeah!!! Good for you. Follow your doctors orders, speak up if you are in too much pain tell your Dr. Follow Drs orders. Follow Drs orders, follow Drs drders. LOL It takes time to heal from what I hear, from a spinal surgery. Take care in your movements. I wish you a speedy recovery, B12 with anti-oxidentendts I hear are very good at speeding up the healing process. Check with your doctor to make sure I got that right. Good luck, I am wishing you well. ;-)
  • I just wanted to say hi and that I'm alive. The pain has been excruciating but we seem to have it under control now. The nerves to my left leg have shut down. Can't move foot or toes at all. The only movement or feeling in that leg is front of thigh. They are running tests. Also just had chest x-ray. SeveRe pain in lower left ribs front and back. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Thank you all for your support!
  • You're back in action! I'm sorry you're having such issues, though! Hopefully you can check in tomorrow and report that everything is turning around in the right direction!

    Get some rest, and keep us informed!
  • You made it through your surgery, hopefully they keep taking good care of you. I am sorry to hear there are a few complications but hopefully everything will soon be resolved and you can focus on your recovery.

    Take care & Good luck,
  • He was scheduled to have surgery same day as me.
  • Unfortunately I'm miserable. They do not have my pain under control!! I'm still trying to keep my sense of humor and positive attitude but it isn't easy. In addition to all the above crap I now have a horrible headache and stiff neck! And my brace keeps riding up. Sorry for all the complaining! I know it will get better.
  • youre right things will get better...we're thinking of you....hang in there....keep pressing the button >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I hope you're feeling a little better soon. I wish you a speedy 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
  • I know its scary but you can do it! I just had a microdisc not yet 2 weeks ago. Ask for Dilaudid. Its a great pain med. I was on a Dilaudid pump and was comfortable. The pain I have experienced after surgery is not really that bad, nothing compared to before. I think you will do well. Like mentioned several times above, make sure you tell them if you are in pain. They will see you are comfortable. You will be glad you had the surgery. :) Good luck tomorrow. You will do fine :)
  • have told your doctor about your headache and stiff neck.

    All the best, and hope things turn around for you swiftly.

  • Hi. I just wanted to send you best wishes and hope that you are feeling better soon. Dilaudid is what has worked best for my pain after my many surgeries. Hopefully you will find what works best for you today! Please keep us up to date on your progress and know that many people are thinking of you.

  • I hope the numbness in your leg gets a lot better. That sort of stuff often happens from swelling around the surgical site. I'm almost 10 months post op and the outside of my right foot and a stripe all the way down my leg is still numb. I doubt I will get that feeling back, but it's okay. Sounds like you have a lot more numbness than that. I hope it resolves soon. I'm glad to hear that at least your pain is under control. Hang in there! We're all pulling for you.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Sweetie you complain all you want! It's the best way to get them to pay attention, and we all know how bad the pain can get sometimes. I hope they resolve your issues soon, so you can concentrate on your recovery. Make sure to let them know about the headache and stiff neck, too. You've been through a major surgery, and your body is telling you what it needs right now to help it heal.

    Hang in there and keep us posted!
  • Glad to hear you are through your surgery, sorry about the post op pain. When my sisters melanoma metastasized to her bones i was told that morphine does not touch bone pain, i keep reading about spineys using it. Is it for the bones (im sure hurt after a fusion)i hope to start with the dilaudid it helped my sis. are you home already? keep us posted on your progress, Ill keep praying.
  • Glad you are on the downhill now, although you probably dont feel like it. Every day should get better for you, I hope. I am sending you a real soft hug, and hope you are better and they have your pain under better control.
  • Thank you all so much for your support! My pain is still not under control. Dilaudid worked well, but not long enough. Now we are trying oxycontin 40 mg every 12 hours. Still doing toradol injections for inflammation. Had a big set back last night attempting to get MRI. MRI tech insisted I be sent down without my corset. When I got down there she and her aide hurt me badly! They didn't communicate with each other about how to move me and I felt like I was a rag doll! There is no improvement in my legs. Right works some and left is still dead weight.
    I will try to type more later. Thank god this phone puts the words in for me. I can close my eyes and rest between words.
    Has anyone else experienced this leg problem? I know its not good to have no improvement within 48 hours.
  • think positive you will walk out of there...we are here to support you....
  • Sorry to hear of your post-op problems. That is very annoying that the techs didn't follow your surgeon's directions. Some of the problems you are feeling may be a result of the way you were placed on the operating table. Are your ribs feeling better yet? I bet anything that was a result of handling you and your positioning on the operating table.

    Please know that things will improve. It is hard enough when things go well, let alone when you have experiences such as yours. Try to keep positive and keep after them to get your pain meds right. That is crazy that they can't control your pain while you're in the hospital.

    Sending you gentle hugs and substantial good thoughts for a turn-around very soon.

    xx Hang in there ~
  • I'm sorry that you're having some post op trouble, but I'm sure your doctors will get them straightened out soon. Don't worry, it will be okay. I posted earlier but it got lost in cyberspace UGH!

    Just keep pressing your PCA button. It's hard sometimes because we stay asleep a lot and then wind up waking up in more pain. This is why it's good to have someone with you so they can wake you up periodically. They can also advocate for you if your pain mgt is insufficient.

    Do your your head hurt worse when you raise it, and do you have nausea, vomiting, dizzyness? It could be a spinal headache and it happens with any invasive spinal procedure. I had one post op after a fusion and my surgeon did a blood patch to stop the spinal fluid leak. It usually is an easy fix and the relief is immediate.

    Just hang in there and remember we're all rooting for you and praying that you come out of this with flying colors. Take care >:D< >:D< >:D<
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