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My Surgery is Completed

TraseeTTrasee Posts: 571
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey Everyone,

On Monday 11/16/09 I had decompression laminectomy with pedical screw fusion at L4/5. The surgery went very well. It was over within 3 housrs. I am still hospitalized due issues with pain. The PCA Morphine was helping for very limited times. So, they are now trying IV demerol and switching between oral percocet and lortab. Hopefully some cocktail will work and I can go home tomorrow. Or thursday at the latest. I can say every nurse, tech, surgical team etc, Have been great. I have never received such good treatment at a hospital. Really has been surprising.

Btw, my previous pain seems to be relieved. Thats the whole point of this.

Thanks my Friends,


  • you are on your way to recovery.
    sorry that the pain is still an issue but sounds like you are well on your way to getting that under control too. At least they are keeping you there until they fix that b/c you don't want to go home with that.

    It's amazing what a great crew of doctors, technician, aids, etc can do for your attitude.

    Stay well!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Glad your surgery is over. Hope they find the meds that work for your pain soon. Take care and keep us posted on your recovery. Good luck.

  • Thanks for the kind comments. I am truly hoping I can go home asap, without this pain. I am sure it will all be ok. My physcian and his staff in hospital will be sure to take god care of me. I will check in periodically.
  • I'm so glad you're having relief from the old pain. Let's hope they can get your surgical pain under control so you can get home and get on with your healing. All the best to you!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I'm so glad to hear you are out of surgery and that your care has been very good. I think that will help a lot with the healing process.

    The morphine pump gave me very little relief too. I hope they can find a mix of pain meds for you to take that will work for you.
  • Hey Andrea, Linda, Sunny and DNice,

    I had the worst night last night, I was not surprised that 2nd day pain was worse, IV demerol and 3 percs, gave enouh relief to help me sleep a bit. I am starting to get drowsy from writing this LOL BNL thanks for all the well wishes.
  • I'm so sorry you pain level is still so high! My 2nd day was the worst for me too. I think it's because all of the anesthesia has left your system and you feel the pain even more.

    Sleep as much as you possibly can. I hope you are feeling better by the time yo read this.
  • My best friend and my sister are taking care of me, I really feel bad for them, This is new for all of us. Positioning is hard as hell. Ughhhh how frustrating. Any way, I am up and about for short periods, eat a little and take drugs and go back to sleep. This site is so helpful. Thanks to all of you that have pm'd or even posted to me. Your help has made a difference. I hear percocet calling. Talk with you all soon :)
  • Those first few days are definitely the worst!! I had the same surgery on October 6th - the hospital staff was wonderful, but the painkillers did nothing for me! But I'm a very stubborn person and insisted on going home 24 hours after the surgery - I don't think I could have handled another night being awakened every 30 minutes by someone moaning and vomiting in the next room!

    Glad to hear that the pain is only from the incision site though! I'm still swollen there 6 weeks later ... just have to remind myself to take it one minute at a time, and more importantly, to remember to breathe!! :)

    Hope they find the right pain medication for you!

    Best Wishes,

  • I feel like kaka tonight. I am taking my meds on schedule, but still feel really bad tonight. I can't stop crying. It's not from the pain. Just emotional, I guess. My (sometimes) boyfriend should be here this weekend. Maybe that will help. :''( My dr. prescribed 10 mg valium every 8-10 hrs and 7.5/325 Percocet 6-8 hrs and I don't seem to be making it to the max time. I am gonna give him a call tomorrow. Other than that, my incision and drain spot look really good. They hurt like hell, but thats to be expected. Oh well, I think I will watch the real housewives of OC. They have money but my life(even w surgery) is better, LOL!!
  • Have you tried an ice pack? Make sure you have a good dressing over your wound, and put the ice pack in a plastic bag so it can't get you wet, then maybe put a clean kitchen towel between you and the bag. I found ice really helped me when the pain was really bad. Also, I had oxycodone 5mg, which it said I could take 1-2 every six hours. I interpreted that to mean (and I'm not saying this is okay, but I did it) that I could take one every three hours. That way, I was sure I had the pain level covered -- no getting to the point where I was so damn painful that I couldn't handle it. Yes - the emotions do really get to you. I hope you have a good weekend.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Thank you Linda. I may have to try splitting the dosage and see how that works. I do apply ice packs some, my nerve damage is so, that it makes my pain somewhat worse, but all good suggestions. Thanks and Hugs!!
  • What a frustrating day. I went out a bit today to walk, wore my brace, took my meds like a good girl and tonight I am just in agony. I swear it is almost like I can feel my hardware causing me pain. It's definitely different than the incision pain. I did attempt Icing briefly but I am too sensitive to use it long enough to make a difference. I am medicating now and going to bed. Tomorrow is another day, or so that twit Scarlett O'Hara said. Blah!!!!

  • Hi again, Sorry no posting over the holidays. I do hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow for 2 week follow up. I know I am doing way too much bending, cleaning ect. he is going to bit*h me out. But I am really needing some assistance with this chronic nearly debilitating depression. I cry all the time, It is soooooo frustrating since I am not a crier and think people that are, are really just wuss'. LOL I am already on Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2 x a day. Other than that, my incision is sore but healing nicely. That Dr and I are going to also go over a length chart. He said incision would possibly be 3 inches, maybe 3.5. That sucker is 8 inches so I don't know wtf he was talkin about.

    So thanks to all the well wishers. Hopefully I will feel better soon. Off to cry then sleep :(
  • Girl, maybe it's something in the air but I've been crying like crazy lately too! I have been bawling my eyes out more than normal lately. I wonder if it's the drugs?

    Sorry you're still feeling so down. I'm glad that you're healing nicely though. And wow, 8 inches is def not 3.5! That will be a pretty darn cool scar though, way tougher than mine will look (I'm honestly sort of jealous!)
  • :< sorry to hear of your sadness.

    I'm going to tell you a secret, ok? But, don't tell anyone.
    <------ See that big, tough, guy?

    He too cried alot after surgery! (L5-S1 md)
    Like 3 weeks worth!

    I guess the drugs, the surgery, immobility, and isolation got the best of me.

    I hope you feel better soon O:)

    Remember, don't tell anyone. LOL

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Andrea you have been so great to me thru all of this. I am going to make you my little sister!!! I hope your sadness eases, I will definitely let you know what length challenged surgeon says tomorrow.

    Paul your post made me LOL. Size doesn't matter (ahem) when it comes to emotions. I hope you are all healed physically and mentally. Hugs to you both..thanks for making my night :)
  • I'm facing a TLIF fusion on L5-S1 (still deciding if it's time or not). My doctor told me day 1-2 I will hate him. My bigger fear is how to prepare for the first 3 weeks as I don't think my husband quite understands what will happen and what he's up against. Today the neuro surgeon explained that this is WAY bigger than cervical fusion and will cause me a great deal of surgical pain.

    I think reading your threads helps me understand the road I'm up against if I go this route. I keep thinking I'm only 40 . . .pro is I should recover better b/c of age but the flip side is I'm only 40 so what does that mean 20 years from now if I need another surgery.

    I'm scared of the unknown so reading the thread here helps a planner like me, plan. I'm cooking and freezing and ready to take several family members up on help. MOther in law (at least to cook/clean and be here so hubby can work and give him a break) and I might even have to talk others into a visit.

    Ah, decisions decisions.

    It sounds like you are feeling better if you are "over doing it" cleaning. I'm sort of glad to hear you say that b/c it seems like you made it past the pain.
  • I'll gladly be your little sister! I've always been an only child so that sounds very nice :) I'm glad that I have been able to cheer you up a bit.

    Definitely give us an update about what the surgeon says, I'm eager to find out. Hope you're feeling better today.
  • I know you are in a rough place right now. Between the anaesthesia, pain, isolation before and after surgery; its no wonder you are upset and crying. I bawled myself to bed quite a few times after surgery (and before).

    Things do eventually get better. We are only a few days between our surgeries, please PM me if you need to chat or vent. Lisa
  • Thanks to Andrea, Lisa, DNice for the comments. I am still teary. But my Dr is so wonderful, he said that I have to remember I had major trauma to my body and ansthesia, drugs etc can really make post op depression pretty regular, He of course said some is normal but mine did seem excessive. And he was not condescending at all. He immed called my primary physician and requested an immediate appt. So I am seeing primary tomorrow. I really cannot say enough good about this DR. His name is EDITED in Dickson TN. I would recommend him anytime and very highly. He has a crazy sense of humor and almost laughed himself off his chair when I informed him of my plan to have a Zipper tattooed over my scar when it smooths out. I think that will be a bitchin tatt.

    Sooooo on to primary to see what he thinks about antidepressant, I have been on Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2xday for going on 5 years. Dr EDITED is leaning toward this being the problem, and he wants my other physician in on any decisions to change it. I totally respect that, I personally think I have been on it far too long.

    Thanks again to all who read and respond. It is a tremendous boost just to have someone listen, I "heart" you all.

    P.S. DNice I know that is a hard decision to make, mine really came down to the quality of life I was having over the past couple of years, and I am taking a chance that if my pain is reduced by even 50%, than I am better off than I was 6 months ago. Best of luck with your decision and know you have friends here that will listen and help or suggest or just curse with you whenever you need it :)

    Doctor's name removed by forum Authority Cath111. We do not permit publishing specific doctor's names.
  • Okay why can't we name our doctors on here?! I would think that would be helpful and beneficial to people. If I was looking for a surgeon, I'd love to read someone's experience with him/her.
  • I didn't realize doctors pay to have their names on here, I guess that makes sense then.
  • the more you guys seem to become like family to me. >:D< It is such a wonderful feeling knowing there are more people just like me going through this. I have been happy to know soon I will be on my way to recovery and a stronger back...then times like today when I just feel down and weepy worried at the future. It's amazing to me the emotional roller coaster that this takes you on. One moment you are in such terrible pain that you are willing to do just about anything (including major surgery) to get rid of it and a moment later you are teary-eyed dreading the thoughts of surgery and the what-ifs of your post-op experiences. I am just so glad I have you guys. My family is being very supportive and my husband, God bless him, is a nervous wreck :SS, but he is hanging in there and wanting to take care of me. I am more worried for him than I am myself. I am not sure if he understands what he is taking on here. lol I can't say how great it is to have found this site and be a part of our special little group. I would love to be another sister in this family. :D
  • about the emotional rollercoaster. On a good back day I feel so positive that I can beat this and avoid surgery, then it just takes one bad day to make me feel so depressed and scared of the prospect of fusion surgery.

    My family is generally supportive, but sometimes I get the feeling that they are rather fed up with all this and me not being able to do all the things I usually do. I think that partners should read some of the stuff on here to get an idea of what they may be facing if we have to have surgery.

    It is so nice to be able to chat about our problems and not feel that people are fed up with it. Also that we are in very good company.
    Thanks to you all for your support and friendship.

  • Hope you are having good days and are able to prepare your home for post surgery. I expect you are trying to get ready for Christmas too.
    I thinking of you and hoping that you are managing to stay positive. Once you get over the other side of surgery, you can start to heal knowing that you are on the way to an improved life.
    Take care,
  • Long time no update. My phys. did change my antidepressant, I am now on 1 20mg Celexa and 1 150mg Wellbutrin SR to wean off of it and onto the Celexa. It seems to be working a bit. I am not crying as often, still a lil sad about being so inactive. I woke today with EXTREME pain in my right hip and thigh, I attribute it to inactivity and sleeping in one position. If still an issue will contact Dr and get his opinion. I previously lost approx 100 lbs. and it is creeping back on at a surprising rate. that is just pissing me off. I worked my butt off literally to lose that, now to be gaining it back bc of this stupid back issue has me fuming. I am walking as much as possible. I know it will come back off once I am cleared for normal activities and I just can't wait. Damn glad I kept some of my fat clothes. Any way, I was unaware of the terms of naming specific physicians, sorry about that, had I actually read the small print, I would have known.

    I hope you are all well, esp, Andrea, Linda, Lisa, DNice, Paul and anyone I missed, blame it on percocet :)
  • for my surgery on Tuesday. I printed my pre-op list from Saltz and hoping I dont forget to do or pack anything I will need at the hospital. Got my manicure and pedicure yesterday(with clear polish of course) lol :) Hey I figure they will see my naked feet (among other things) so at least I will have cute toes. hehe Not being gross but am going to start my colon cleansing tomorrow morning and drink plenty of fluids, because it sounds as if I won't feel like eating for at least a couple of days post-op. I have all the laundry done and housework done. My hubby is staying at home with me the first week and my mom lives close by so she will be coming in the following week when he has to go back to work. She and my sister have a menu planned so I dont have to do any cooking. I am trying to keep my nerves calm. Deep breathing and reading a book my co-workers all signed and gave to me Friday on my last day at work called "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" it is helping keep me in a good mindset. :))) Any last minute advice you all can give me will be well-taken and appreciated. Thank you for all your words of support and prayers my Spiney Friends. >:D<

  • Sounds like you are in a really good frame of mind and ready for this surgery.
    Look beyond the surgery, to your days of healing and moving closer to getting rid of the pain.
    Take care

  • I hope that you've been feeling better this weekend, and more optimistic for the future.

    It must be disappointing to be putting weight back on when you have worked to hard to lose it. This is your time for healing and once you are there, you will be able to get your activity levels back up again and lose the weight again.

    Nearly a month since your surgery now, and less than two weeks til Christmas.
    Take care
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