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ALIF L4/5 - One Week to go

trishdownunderttrishdownunder Posts: 971
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
At long last my surgery date is just about here - Monday 19th.

It was last December that I started trying to get things moving after decompression surgery in April 08 didn't help. Saw three neurosurgeons and the third one was willing to help me.

I've been keeping myself so busy that I haven't had time to get stressed out, but think that'll happen once I'm on my way to the hospital on Sunday. Have to do a bowel cleanse when I get there.

To help me cope, I've been spoiling myself. Saw Il Divo in concert last Thursday - just brilliant. The surgeon wanted to bring my date forward a week but I said "no way" I wasn't missing out on the concert. Have booked for two more concerts next year - Cliff Richard & The Shadows reunion concert in February, and Patrizio in May.

This forum has been a godsend and the list of "must haves" is brilliant. Even though we're all different, reading other members' experiences is helping me to understand more about fusion and the need to learn new movement techniques, etc. Listening to my favourite music also helps me keep calm.

I expect to be in hospital for about a week or so. I've not heard of people being released within a few days here in Australia as seems to be the norm for the US, but I'll be wanting to get home ASAP just to be with my Labrador girls, Tiger and Molly. I'll be on my own most of the time but will be arranging for home help from The Silver Chain, and the hospital will arrange nursing help if I think I'll need it.

Sending >:D< to everyone here.


XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
ALIF L4/5 2009
Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008


  • I hope your surgery goes well, I will send hugs and prayers to you. I totally understands wanting to go home as soon as possible. I was in (alif360 fusionl5-s1) the hospital for 7 days and really had great care. They kept me an extra day just because i really was so anemic and tired they wanted to watch me, but boy was I ever glad to leave!! I walked in my door and home never looked so good!! I walked to my bed arranged about 500 pillows :))( :))( climbed in and just was so thankfull to be home.
    I am worried that you are alone, not having someone for at least the first 3-4 days home can be hard. Just having a go getter (someone to fetch you things) or someone to help you get comfortable can mean a world of difference to you. Try to get a trapeze for your bed, helped me so very much and a walker is a must at first and of course a grabber which has become my best friend.
    Please write and keep us posted as to how you are doing.
  • Good luck Trish, It will be here and over before your know it.My post op MUST HAVES, 1 Grabber, 2. Toilet seat raiser 3. shower seat.4. walker. 5. necessities within easy reach. would have liked to have had the silk sheet or pajamas. I didnt have either, but can see how one or the other would have helped tremendously. :) Your road to recovery will be long, but hopefully minimally painfull :) I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy painfree recovery.
    Please keep us posted of your progress.
    God Bless,
  • Good luck, I'm so am so hoping that everything goes well for you. I am also having the ALIF at 3 levels in November and the anticipation is hard. I hope you have an advocate to help you while in the hospital, are you getting the H1N1 vaccine before being there for 5-7 days? I was thinking I should. I can't believe they aren't letting kids in the hospital, I have a 14mo. old and I can't imagine going a week and not seeing him. Someone told me he might be able to go to the lobby, so as soon as we can walk that far. Good luck. Hope your surgeon is amazing.
  • All the very best Trish, I will be thinking of you on Monday. Hope everything goes smoothly and you receive the best care. You sound very well prepared so you have less to worry about.

    Yes, you will be hanging out to get home. I was in hospital 19 days and coming through my gate was like entering the Garden of Eden! The pain halved when I lay in my own bed for the first time. It was almost magical! And you will have your dogs waiting for you as well. Plenty to look forward to!

    Looking forward to your first post-op report!

  • Thank you so much Rachel, Shirley, Kendrak and Jen. I was going so well until hospital admissions phoned me today and now my tummy is feeling all upside down. I'm listening to Secret Garden at the moment and trying to keep calm.

    Rachel, what's a trapeze for the bed? Does it give you support to get in and out of bed? My bed is very high and that's one thing that worries me a bit. I wish I wasn't going to be on my own most of the time, but a dear friend will call in when she can, and I think a couple of others will later on. I'm starting to get all the things I'm going to need put out at waist level.

    Shirley, I've been "umming and ahhing" about the satin sheet wondering if I could afford it, but I'm going out tomorrow to get one.

    Kendrak, I'll be thinking of you in November. 3 levels will be a BIG op and when you need encouragement and a hug, let us know. What's the H1N1 vaccine? Not being able to see your your son for a week or so will be soooooooo hard for you. Hope you'll be strong enough after a few days to be able to get to the hospital lobby. The hospital I'm going to has more restrictions than when I was in there last year - they've reduced visiting hours, visitors have to wash their hands when they come into the room and not allowed to sit on the bed.

    Jen, your's was such a huge surgery and 19 days in hospital must have seemed unending, but you needed to be there so they could care for you and get you going again. I bet you must feel so much better now.

    Once it's all over, I'll be in touch again and let everyone know how the surgery went. I know I'll be needing lots of encouragement then.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Just wanted to let you know all us spineys are praying for you. You have been an encouragement to so many on this site and I am sure they all want to help you as well. You have people all over the world praying for you.You are going to do great and have a speedy recovery. You will be chasing those dogs around your yard in no time. Have a Blessed day!
  • Trish--

    I just read about your upcoming surgery and I am praying for you and your doctors. I really hope that you have an uneventful surgery and recovery. So far, so good for me, one month post-op from my lumbar ALIF L4/L5.

    My bed is high too and this is my suggestion for you (in addition to the satin sheet, which I didn't have but really wished I had purchased one): measure the distance from the floor to the top of your bed with a piece of string and bring the string with you to the hospital. The first 24-48 hours in the hospital, you will really need the hospital bed as low as you can get it. Once you feel more comfortable with your incision and getting in and out of bed, raise the bed just a bit each time, with the goal of being able to successfully get in and out of your hospital bed at the same height of your home bed. The string will help you know when you have the height right. PT and OT should be willing to help you master getting in and out of the hospital bed at the same height your home bed is as they want to make sure that you will be safe at home.

    Trish, I wish you well. Watch a sappy movie (or two), sing at the top of your lungs to silly songs, paint your toenails a crazy color - do anything you like to keep your mind off things and to lighten your mood. In no time, this surgery will be behind you and you will be offering all the other spineys post-op advice.

    Best to you,

  • Thank you so much for your prayers. I can't believe that I'm still calm !!

    Will be back in a couple of weeks and hope you're still doing well.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi Kristin

    Thank you for your prayers and very happy that you're going well, and very much hope you keep going forward.

    What a brilliant idea about measuring the bed and cutting a piece of string - as soon as I log out I'm going to measure the height of my bed and cut a piece of string and put it in my case.

    I will definitely watch a sappie movie tonight - love them!! I've got some concert DVDs and yeah I'll be watching one and clapping and singing, probably when I should be asleep, but heck who cares, I'll be getting plenty of that during the next few days.

    Keep getting well Kristin and I shall be back soon.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Sorry this is coming so late to you, But I just now got a chance to catch up on this site. A trapeze is a large metal frame like thing that is set up to go under your bed and up and around the head to come up over your body with a grab bar hanging from the big metal frame thing to give you something to grab on to to move, couldn't have lived without mine!!! Any medical supply store will know what you are talking about and it was about $25 to rent for the month, very easy to set up AND it even worked when my husband set it up so I could try to sleep on the couch.
    Two more days for you, I will be thinking of you. Take earplugs with you to the hospital, they really help block the noise so you can sleep. If you have any specific questions, let me know. All thoughts and good prayers are with you!!
  • Kudos for you for living it up before your surgery. That will bring you great memories while you're laid up. Prayers for you for tomorrow and a speedy recovery also. 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
  • Thinking of you today Trish. Sending warm wishes for a successful surgery and the very best of care.
  • Just reading about your ALIF due today.

    Best wishes for the op and also a speedy recovery. Where in the "land downunder' are you? i am in southwest sydney.

    I had ALIF to L5S1 nad also ADR to L4L5. I have been takin extra supplements to try ensure that the fusion has every chance of success. One is a calcium supplement because i think it is an obvious necessity for bone growth for the fusion. Not sure what the surgeons say though. I have been taking twice daily dosage of caltrate and had no worries. caltrate has vitamin D in it which you need for the body to absorb calcium. I also take glucosamine and a multi vitamin - all on top of the pain meds etc.

    remember if something hurts stop. Dont be a hero. Your the only one who can lose out of this and also the only one that really matters. Look after yourself. Best wishes....
  • I was on a trip for five days and am just checking in. I may be too late to send my greetings prior to surgery, but I am sending good wishes your way and will pray you have an uneventful surgery and recovery.

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