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noseovertailnnoseovertail Posts: 387
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I decided to go ahead with the M.I. TLIF/laminectomy surgery after my nervousness and cold feet. I'm scheduled for tomorrow at 9:30am.

Does anyone have any last minute advice they'd like to share? Anything that you wish you took care of the day or night before surgery?

I went to Target yesterday and picked up everything I needed off the great post operative 'must haves' list on this forum. It's starting to finally feel real now! I'm sipping on my Metamucil as I type this.... :)


  • Good Luck,

    Do you have a good TV and lots of videos? I watched tons while recovering.... There wasn't much else I could worry about. Have a grabber, elevated toilet seat and loose your shame :O)

    I needed "all" kinds of help for the first 2 weeks at home.

    Learn to be calm & satisfied with yoru help and always say THANK YOU. Let the housework & laundry pile up IT IS OK and it is not going any where.


  • I am sure you have all the necessities so I won't bother with mentioning those. I loved having a Netflix account while I was recovering. I wish you a safe and successful procedure. Hang in there, you're in the homestretch :)
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hope the surgery goes well, I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing from you as soon as you feel up to it, so we know how you are.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi! Sorry you haven't heard from me lately. I've been thinking about you often. I've said my prayers for you and your medical team and I will continue to do so.

    The only thing I wish I had purchased prior to surgery was either satin sheets or satin pajama bottoms. Getting out of bed the first week felt like velcro was stuck to my backside - really hard to move in and out of bed. Drink as much water as you can once you are allowed. You will find the water helps to get your bowels moving again and it will give you practice getting in and out of bed :)

    When in the hospital, use the pain meds and the patient controlled analgesic pump when you need it. Walk as much as you can while in the hospital. If you have steps in your house, make sure that physical/occupational therapy goes over this with you so you will feel comfortable once you go home. Also, if you have other obstacles at home such as a high bed or a high tub to step in, they'll help you figure out the best way to address these obstacles as well.

    I'm thinking of you and I hope that you are at peace today and tomorrow morning. Relax today and try imagine a life with less pain :) It will soon be yours.
  • I have read your post and know you have struggled with this decision. We are praying for your surgeon and care givers that everything will go smoothly and will be a total success.

    John 14:27
    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • I hope you have some help at home and someone to be with you when you get home. Try to get things up high to avoid bending over. Healing thoughts and a prayer O:) for your recovery. 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
  • It'll be over before you know it (literally) and remember,..take one day at a time. :)

    Good Luck.

  • I'm glad you reached a decision and I hope you are at peace with it. For a few days after surgery, you will probably feel like you made a big mistake...but this too will pass. I think most of us felt that way at one point in recovery, or another. It does get better.

    As BB said, just take it one day at a time....look forward to hearing from you when you're up to it.


  • for successful surgery and speedy healing. As Gwennie says, you'll probably regret the decision for a few days after surgery, but it will get better. I too would recommend putting things up where you can easily reach them before you leave for the hospital.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • i am laying in the hospital bed right now. the surgery went well they said. im on a morphine pump and taking flexeril. i woke up with A LOT ALOT A LOT of pain, and I still have immense pain whenever I try to move or roll over in bed. the morphine makes me really nauseas so I'm not sure if I want them to give me something stronger.

    I sure do hope this intesnse pain goes away soon. I'm pretty sure it's mostly where my incison is, but it's hard to tell. The hospital food has been disgusting, so I'm kinda hungry.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Sorry to hear you are so much pain. At least you know the surgery went well, so it is now just a case of taking it easy and recovering.
    I hope they get your pain to a manageable level very quickly for you.

    Hospital food, well, same problem the world over unfortunately.



    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • It sounds like your surgery went well. The first couple days are the most uncomfortable.

    For me, I just focused on how I felt compared to the day, even hour, before. Any small improvement can lift the spirit. It helps to know that even though the pain is intense, it is getting better and will continue to do so.

    I wasn't able to eat for a couple days, and then I got to have the wonderful hospital food! yuck! I am still not eating that much at day 8 post-surgery.

    Hang in there, every day is different. Just know you are on your way to a better life! It gets easier.

  • I don't know the correct spelling of this med, but I will sound it out and hopefully you or someone else here will know what it means - Phen - grin or Fengrain

    It really helped me with nausea, I still use it form time to time -

    Happy your surgery went well :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • are the hardest and then things start to look up. Okay that was how it was for me! Stay with it and don't over do it!

  • Glad to hear surgery went well & hope you'll be home soon. First 3 days were bad for me, be sure once you're released from the hospital to take your pain meds on time. As long as you stay on top of the pain, it should be controlled well. Also, try icing your back (15-20 mins max), it can be helpful. You sound very positive, try to keep an upbeat attitude, it's critical to your recovery/healing.

    Take care & keep us posted.

  • Thanks everyone! They put something in my IV to help with nausea, not sure if it's the same as Fengrain but I'll ask. They switched me off the morphine pump and gave me 2 Norcos and 2 Flexerils. I have already stood up with the occu therapist and tonight I will go to physical therapy. No more catheter, either.

    It's kinda funny, the day sbefore my surgery I was in a lot less pain than I'v been in lately. Go figure, right? :)
  • Yes, those first few days are awful - especially if the pain meds make you nauseated. The medication they probably gave you is Phenergan -- it's used for motion sickness and nausea. I think once you've been up and down a couple of times, you'll probably start to feel a bit better. You may, however, have some nerve pain -- your nerves get painful when they realize the pressure is off and they start to re-generate themselves. My surgeon gave me Lyrica for that and it helped a lot.

    All the best to you!


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • The incisional pain will raise your overall pain levels, but should start to subside soon and get better every few days. Hang in there. Glad to hear that the doc said the surgery went well!

    Take it easy on yourself and post as often as you need to. Most of us have been through one type of back surgery or another and can empathize with you.

    All the best.

  • Are you still taking Lyrica? Was it better for you than Neurontin?

  • It appears I've broken out in allergic rashes. Not sure what I'm allergic to. I know that sometimes they tape they use causes me to be itchy, but my whole face got red and blotchy. After hours, I finally got them to put Benadryl through my IV.

    They also brought me the wrong meal 3 times. I can't eat dairy and I got dairy, they didn't realize that I'm allowed to be off the liquid diet and brought me liquid diets, etc. etc. So annoying. At least the PT lady told me I did great!
  • It sounds as if you are doing well after surgery. Those who haven't been there will probably think, she hurts, she has a rash, she was nauseous - what's so good about that? Many good things: you feel like telling everyone about your surgery means that you aren't knocked out and you are capable of thinking (yay!), you get to eat solid food while many were restricted to liquid diets for days (yay!) and your surgery is over (the biggest YAY of them all).

    I'm so glad you did well with PT. It can be scary. It sounds like you are doing amazing! Continue to rest. I hope the benadryl works and I hope they find the right pain med for you.

    Keep us posted!
  • Hi Kristin I know I'm doing better but it still hurts so much. I still feel like I have the same back pain that I did prior to surgery, but it's so hard to tell. I also have some pain (feels like a pulled muscle) on my right thigh/groin area.

    I got a new nurse (thank goodness... you dont even want to know about the other one) and she has me on morphine through my IV every 2 hours, 2 norcos and a skelaxin. If this doesn't help, I'm going to cry. Also, ever since my catheter has come out I've had a really, really hard time urinating.

    /end vent. Sorry, I know I shouldn't complain but ouch ouch ouch.
  • oops i posted twice on accident
  • I don't know if this helps or not, but my surgeon told me the patient can end up in some "weird" positions on the operating table...that they pad and try to be very careful of the person's body, but sometimes the patient ends up being sore across the thigh, or across the lower tummy area....Perhaps that accounts for your thigh pain.

    Just remember that nerves were moved and they don't like to be touched, so you will probably feel new and different sensations for awhile. This is perfectly normal.

    Just try to relax, think positive thoughts and realize that the first couple days are tough, but then it will get better. I'll save my "you've had a BIG surgery..." speech until after you get home. @)

    Take good care,
  • something fierce from morphine. I think they put Dilaudid in my IV after surgery, because I just can't take the morphine. You sound like the two times I've been in a certain hospital. I'm highly allergic to soy protein, and since I'd lost a lot of blood and needed to rebuild my strength, they'd bring me broth and protein drinks -- yep! Both of them full of soy protein! I ended up with hives all over (from the broth - I could read the label on the protein drink). Apparently, the staff couldn't read the green neon band on my arm that said no soy protein! I too had to have the Benadryl in the IV. GEEZ! I though they were supposed to try and heal us!

    BuckeyeBack - yes, I do still occasionally take Lyrica. It worked better than what they gave me before, which was gabapentin. If I get a flare-up and need steriods, I generally need the Lyrica too.

    Noseovertail - I hope the new cocktail gets you feeling better!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • After any surgery I have for any reason I have issues peeing again. It feels like something is blocking "it".

    TONS of water does the trick for me. Maybe ask if they can push more regular IV fluids through.

    So sorry to hear your pain levels are bad. Hope this ends real soon for you.

    PS: the picture of your dog is just beautiful !!!! :)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • hi there, thanks for hanging in there with me. you guys made me feel a lot better, but im still in a lot of pain. It hurts so so so bad on my right side... from my lower back to the front of my thigh to the front of my right hip. It's so hard to log roll out of bed and then getting up is really difficult.

    actually i just woke up now with some of the most intense pain ive ever felt in my life. they dont have a toilet extender for me, is that normal? i didnt purchase one yet thinking id get one for just the house but i dont have one here.

    Isteller, that is horrible about your allergy, I'm sorry you had that happen. Sounds a lot like me, you're right. I've had so many problems here with staff not noticing me. They 'forgot' to bring me my dinner last night until I just told them to forget about it and my dad went and got me a sandwich somewhere.

    Today I'm supposed to meet with my surgeon and his assistant. I'm looking forward to that, I hope they can explain things to me a bit better than the nurses can. I had one nurse that was absolutely clueless.

    gwennie, they told me the same thing about strange positions on the operating table. she also just told me that i might feel muscles i never knew i had before, and that since i am walking okay that its most likely muscle pain. I sure hope it is, but who knows.

    It's just so frustrating when I felt so good yesterday and today I'm a total mess. Pain is probably an 8 or 9. The nurse comes in 5 minutes with my norco & flexeril, I hope that helps me sleep a bit. When I told them the pain meds didn't help much they were goin to put me on Ultram instead of the morphine. I take Ultram (tramadol) at home and it never helped with the pain so I was really confused as to why they'd give me that here!

    Thanks again for all the support. I hope it doesn't just seem like I'm complaining, I guess I just want to vent and document what happened so that I can remember vividly, too.

    Oh and thanks for the puppy compliment! That is my little baby, Hana, I miss her so much. :)
  • Well, my dear, you probably won't appreciate my comment since you are in so much pain, but I think you're doing really well. I never could have been typing away after my fusion. Other than eating meals and going to PT, my recollection is that I was pretty out of it. My pain meds must have worked really well, because I don't really remember too much. I couldn't watch TV because I didn't have the attention span and I don't think my eyes were focusing well enough to see it.

    So, compared to how I was, you are doing great! But then I just broke Rule #5: never compare you progress to that of another person!!!

    Try to get some sleep. You'll have plenty of time to chat tomorrow.

  • I thought the same thing as Gwennie. Your posts are so lucid! I couldn't put a complete speaking sentence together for a few days let alone type. I know it is of little comfort to read that, but it will get better. Those first days and even week or two can be really tough and you do ask yourself "What the heck was I thinking?" It will get better. Every day will be different with some progress and some set backs. Hang in there. There are better days ahead.
  • I sure hope they find something soon to help with your pain levels :)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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