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Five Days After Surgery on L5

Slkep2004SSlkep2004 Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone. Just wanted to give an update. Five days have gone by and I have been home for a day now. I can get up out of bed by log rolling. I was able to sit on edge of bath and bathe the front of myself. I am eating although bowels won't budge. Starting to worry about that. I can walk outside in the yard for a few moments. Sitting on the couch is uncomfortable. I can come to the computer for a few minutes. Usually he chases me back to bed though. If I stay in bed too long, incision site hurts. So I get in and out. Hair is still a mess.
Today is my beloved son's 19th birthday so it's a happy day in our lives. He is my only child. We are eating like kings and then having cake. Weather is beautiful. I would just like to thank everyone that sent me well wishes right before the surgery. I can't believe how helpful you actually were. This is a very worthwhile site. I am now going to pay it forward and give out words of advice or wisdom here for new people facing what we have gone through.
Thank you for everything.


  • So glad you are home and doing well. Enjoy the birthday cake and don't forget the stool softeners. I know it's kind of gross to think about but I have used glycerin suppositories to encourage things to get going. They work very well. Have a great day and Happy Birthday to your son (aren't boys the best? I am a mother of two boys and just love being a "boy" mom).
    Take care,
  • Happy birthday to your son, today is my birthday too! :)

    Glad to hear you are home and doing well. Keep updating with your progress. I'm having surgery on my l4/5 tomorrow so we will be recovering together!
  • Hey great to hear you are doing well.. I am 12 days post surgery and started a walking porgram today! I went 2 miles in about 45 minutes.. Not bad!! As for the stool softeners, listen to what others have said and do not worry.. I think I did not have my first "bathroom break" (#2) until 8 days after the surgery.. Now I am fine.. Keep up the progress!
  • I second the recommendation for Colace and I find Benefiber really helps alot too. You can mix it into anything and won't be able to taste it, but it does the job! Pain meds naturally make you a bit stopped up.

    Keep walking. I never sit on the couch. That is where I lie down with my laptop on my knees!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • This is my second lumbar fusion. mine was on the 22nd of last month. For your bowels, colace helps, i took this three times a day along with miralax once a day and i think i used two suppositories on different days....after that, everything started working on its own.
    As for bathing....dont. Get into the shower and have your hubby help you. My hubby stands outside of the shower and waits til im finished, he passes me towels and helps me dry and dress. Its so good to have the water running over your incision and it feels good to be clean.
    At bedtime I usually change sides of the bed fairly frequently so my sides dont get sore. I just wake my hubby and we switch sides with his help. Before i get back into bed though I take a lil stroll around the house to help get rid of the stiffness.
    I cant sit on anything but a huge computer chair we have with wheels on it. My fisrt fusion someone told me about it and it was a godsend. try one.

    Good luck on your recovery =)

  • I had a plif on weds. last week. When I came out of surgery great other then my left foot was asleep and feels asleep still six days later. I was wordering if anyone else has had this problem? or is it just me?
  • but PLEASE PLEASE get the bowels going for ever how that needs to happen. I ended up in the ER impacted and was hold 21 lbs of fluid on me from it.

    Keep taking care of yourself- walk - walk- walk and rest as much as you can. talk it super easy you are SO early in your recovery. I am 7 weeks post op today and still feel the after effects of over doing but can do more and more each week. I am normally wiped out by 12P but feel that I have a productive morning as I get up at 5:15A - ish!~ Keep us posted on your journey and I wish the very best!!
    Shannon ~
  • I sit here giggling as I read. Are we really speaking to each other about how to get our bowels moving? Did I really take ya'lls advice and it worked? It just makes me laugh, that's what us spineys talk about. I've started calling myself that at home and my family thinks it's cute. I used colace, ducolax, suppositories, 2 fleet enemas, prunes and prune juice and finally the dam broke! Yes! I feel so much better. I'm actually smiling now. Amazing how that one function can hold you down. Yesterday was tough for me, it was the 6th day since surgery. I'm getting around good. I guess I'm just feeling like there's so much that needs to be done or addressed and I just don't feel like doing it yet. My mom is coming over today and making meatloaf for my family. My garage door broke while away so that guy is coming today to fix it. Finally got all the glue from the neuro-leads out of my hair. Still trying to get the leftover tape off of my skin.
    The best thing in the world though, is not having that stabbing nerve pain. I am tentatively imagining life without it now. I keep getting scared that this is just a tease and that it's going to come back. Each day without it, I feel more free. It's like this grey cloud of pain has been lifted and I am tentatively wandering out from under it to see if I'm okay. I feel released. It's wonderful to not cringe with each step. It's wonderful to laugh and not get stabbed. It's just going to take some getting used to.
    I'm tired again already.
    Sincerely, Shannon

  • Hi Shannon,

    Sounds like you're recovering well and that you have a terrific attitude - keep it up, it helps immensely in the recovery. To get leftover tape/adhesive off, try putting some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or gauze and gently rub on the areas. You may need to do this a few times, but, it does work. Afterward, to avoid any irritation, apply a dab of vaseline or baby oil.

    Hope this helps, please keep us posted.
  • I used the alcohol and it worked. I had tried it on the little hospital wipes but those didn't do the trick. Lots of alcohol did. Now I'll use some lotion. I feel ten pounds lighter and am eating raisen bran as I type. Feels good to be up out of bed and doing stuff. I watched my mom make a meatloaf and I sat outside for a while in the sunshine. I feel like I'm rather useless but that's going to be the way it is for a while longer. I'm not going to do anything that will jeporadize my procedure. I didn't go through all of that for nothing. I am making myself not bend or twist. I'm using my grabber a lot. That's all for now.
    I am still getting tired quickly but figure that will work itself out with diet and healing.
    P.S. On the numbness thing...I do have a numb area on the outside of lower thigh right above knee. It's just real fuzzy feeling. I am going to rub it a lot and see if that helps. It's not completely asleep, just semi asleep. It feels weird but I would rather have that than pain, any day!

  • Glad it helped, the tiredness is normal, so is the numbness. In the beginning, it felt like I was wearing a heavy sock on my right foot, 'fuzzy' is a good word to describe the type of numbness felt. I did foot flexes, ankle pumps/circles, self massage, soaked the foot in warm water - thinking anything I could do to help the circulation would help the nerves heal. Must have helped, a lot of the numbness has abated, I hope to have it resolve completely in the coming months. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.
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