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Surgery on Monday

sleeprgirlssleeprgirl Posts: 695
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Having my PLIF on Monday. My computer has been down, and I've been crazy busy trying to get things ready. Just wanted to thank everyone for all the advice and support that you've given me over the past few weeks. I think I'm ready...time to get down to the nitty-gritty!!



  • sleeprgirl said:
    Having my PLIF on Monday. My computer has been down, and I've been crazy busy trying to get things ready. Just wanted to thank everyone for all the advice and support that you've given me over the past few weeks. I think I'm ready...time to get down to the nitty-gritty!!

    First off, Welcome to Spine Health!!! This is a wonderful site - great information - forums, condition descriptions, videos etc. Good luck with your surgery! Let us know how it goes!!! Take care. :-) Again, Welcome!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Was just thinking of you last night, Lisa. I'll be thinking and praying for you Monday. I'm sure everything will go well, and you will soon be on the road to recovery. Take good care of yourself.

    Lisa C
  • I read several "interesting" books that think they prove that a patient's whole attitude prior to surgery and going into surgery, even during when the anesthetic is being administered has an effect on the procedure.. I put interesting in quotes because I'm not sure how much I buy into the authors concepts...but they are backed up by data....

    Anyway I figure anything that MIGHT help a successful outcome is worth a try....

    So, spend the weekend getting yourself to a peaceful and positive mental place. Do what you can to find that calm within you. Perhaps you respond to favorite music, soothing sounds, whatever it might be.

    It sounds like you have done as much prep work as you can, have done your research and now it is time to muster all the positive energy you can, and focus your attention on finding the positive stillness that lies within you.

    Wishing you an uneventful surgery on Monday. Before you know it, the worst will be behind you and you will be on a path toward healing...

    I'm probably having more fusion after the new year. I'll think I'll go look for the books and reread them....

  • I hope your surgery goes really well and your recovery is the best that can be expected. Train those puppy dogs to fetch things for you!


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I will let you know how things go when I can. My anesthesia team is using a new drug to help manage my post-op pain. We use it on many big procedures, but have never used it on a PLIF; so it will be interesting from a clinical standpoint to see how it works...I will let everyone know, if it helps.

  • Hi Lisa :H I will be keeping you in my thoughts & prayers :)

    I will be very interested to see how this new drug works on you.
    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 Lisa

    Wishing you all the best for your surgery tomorrow. Keep positive and think how good it eventually will be to walk without major pain.

    When I got home, my dogs sensed that things were different and they were so good and I've found looking after them easy - this was the one thing that was worrying me pre-op. I'm sure your kids will be the same and it will be a joy having them with you.


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

    I wish you the best. Agree with Gwennie about getting in a good place mentally. Today is all about finding that peaceful place in your mind.

    Keep us posted
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Just wanted to wish you luck with your surgery. I'm sure that everything will go great. Hope you have a fast and easy recovery. I'll be thinking of you. Just think it will soon be all behind you.

  • I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful support system here, where everyone understands intimately what I am facing these next few weeks. I'm sure I will need your caring and loving advice in the days to come.

    My morning is going great. Me and the "pups" are taking it easy. Trish...I think you are right, because the dogs are already aware and responsive to me when I'm in terrible pain.

    Its rainy here in the southeast, so I'm trying to make sure my home is workable when I return.

    Gwennie...will be interesting to know how a positive outlook effects outcome. I am so ready to move forward, and have a great life ahead.

    Let's Rock n Roll!!!

  • I'm 4 1/2 weeks post L5/S1 spinal fusion related to spondlylolisthesis, stenosis. I just wanted to write something positive. Just met w/my surgeon yesterday, had an x-ray. I feel GREAT (of course with a little stiffness and calf pain, that seems to lessen daily.) I am walking, walking, walking (about 2 1/2 miles a day.) My surgeon seemed to do some things differently than others, and seems to have a MUCH less conservative approach, eg. no brace, only internal sutures, glue used externally, driving after a week. I was walking the night of surgery (a lot, because I didn't want to be in the hospital room with my screaming roommate). I continued walking at home, and did some very minor stretching of my legs in a sitting position-just flexing and pointing, and calf stretches in the shower. I discontinued all narcotic pain meds after about 6 days, and per my Dr., took Ibuprofen (a lot of docs say not to take it). t I was very careful to try not to bend, twist, etc, but did make some mistakes here and there.

    So, at 4 weeks, my surgeon said to resume normal activity, within reason, and not to the point of pain. I can even bend! So, yesterday, I raked a bit, shopped a bit, cleaned my kitchen, and it actually HELPED. I feel a little like the tin man who finally got oiled.

    I wouldn't want to have surgery again tomorrow, but all in all, it was well worth it, and I feel like every day gets better. I really think it has to do w/MORE activity, not less. (Clearly, go with your surgeons instruction, but I just wanted to share my experience.)

    Best wishes for speedy recoveries for folks.
  • Lisa,

    Tomorrow is the big day!!! Enjoy today, what's that saying...eat, drink and be merry? Well most of that anyway! Your spirits are in an excellent place! I will keep you and what your going through in my thoughts. Please let us know how you are doing and feeling. :-) *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm wishing you much success on your surgery and recovery.

    I'm going to be watching your posts very carefully because I'm scheduled for a TLIF/PLIF (depending on what they find when they get in there) on L4/5 in early January.

    I so hope you get some relief and that you have a good recovery. Please post back when you can and let us know all the details.

    Again, good luck and I'll be thinking about you tomorrow.
  • Lisa,

    You'll do just great! It is very helpful to go into this with positive thoughts, and such a mental relief to be on "the other side" so recovery can slowly begin and you can get back to living.

    I'm only 4 days post-op, but am showering by myself, walking and in between taking it easy. Because of my brace I am laying down more than sitting because that is more comfortable. I think when the belly swelling and incision pain lessen then I will not be laying so much.

    I am home, please feel free to PM me with questions or just to chat. Good Luck!

    Oh, by the way, if I have to answer those "pesky" e-mails I can get a quick escape from my Mother-in-Law if she is "helping" me that day!

    Did I mention my nickmane for her is "Cruella"?

    Be well, Lisa B
  • Lisa, your positive attitude is really inspiring. I will be thinking about you as well and sending positive thoughts for a smooth surgery & easy recovery afterward. I'm sure you will get lots of snuggles from your pups when you return home. They look very cute from your avatar.

  • My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow too. I am trying to avoid surgery, but trying to learn all I can about it on here, just in case. I'll be very interested to hear how you get on.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Best wishes and we'll be thinking of you!
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • My surgery went well. Surgeon said it was more unstable than he thought.
    Post op has been hell..Demerol injections every 3hrs didnt cut it. Luckily, he went out of town yesterday, and the doc on call has me on oxycontin, percocet for breakthrough pain, and soma. I just took my 3rd dose of the oxycontin. Still in the hospital. Got nauseated for the first time today.

    The kicker of this experience is that they put me on a floor where the nurses don't know how to take care of a fusion...unbelievable!!!!! They admitt to not knowing how to log roll me, so I'm scared to death, every time I get up. Several other things have happened. I always make them show me the drug name before I allow them to give it to me.
    Well, they had me down for a drug for high blood pressure...my pressure has been very low 82/54. That could have killed me. There were several other big issues, as well.

    Hopefully these new drugs will help. I've thought about you guys and what you have been throudh, and its just crazy that we can't have optimal care.

    Thanks for allowing me to vent!

  • Lisa,

    I think you're being "polite" in what you are calling venting! That low of blood pressure and they wanted to give you "lower the BP meds? incredible!!! I am not surprised that the nurses don't know how to deal with you. I had that on my last fusion (neck) with one of my nurses. I refused to let her give me any meds - especially where there is a huge sign on the door to my room, and OVER my bed saying NO LATEX, and here she is with the Latex gloves on! Thankfully only one nurse like that for me!

    I hope it gets better for you. Hopefully you can let your doctor know all that is going on so he can help you! Sorry that you are still in the hospital, especially on this day which should be with family and friends! Lisa, take care, rest and get better! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm so sorry you're still in the hospital. And I'm doubly sorry that you're still in so much pain. I'm surprised they didn't have you on the PCA. I'm glad you're checking your meds - geez! That is just awful. I hope you'll get to go home soon -- you'll no doubt feel much better there.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I was hoping to hear from you soon. Glad the surgery went well and that now your pain is being managed better. Thank God you are knowledgable and question your meds!

    Little by little it will get better. I remember the pain from my PLIF and you are right, its pure hell, but it does slowly go away. Just keep on top of your meds (sorry, I just remembered you are a Nurse and don't need me telling you that!)

    Hopefully once home you will be in a better place for healing and resting.

    Feel free to PM me anytime or post here for everyone, as you know, we are a very helpful and supportive group. Take care, Lisa
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    You'd think log rolling would be a relatively basic knowledge for nurses....or they'd call an orthopedic floor for consultation! And cheers to you for being your own advocate. Unfortunately you have to do so these days. I hope you get relief and get to go home soon!
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Linda, my surgeon does not do PCA pumps...so, I thought he must do some kind of cocktail of drugs to keep people comfortable. No, he gives Demerol every 3 hours in the muscle. I asked for Morphine 5mg Iv For breakthough pain, and he said (get this)...you can have one or the other, but not both. He told me this as I was having a 10/10 pain rating. I was mad, my family and my friends were upset, that I had to endure this. Its very conterintuitive to give a patient an Injection in the hip or leg, when you have a perfectly working IV.

    I have to see him in three weeks, and though it is water under the bridge now, I am having nightmares about it. They also wanted me to go to the restroom with no pain meds on board...1st day postop. I screamed at them, and I'm not usually loud and obnoxious. Well, the entire instances set me back a couple of days.

    Anyway, I have oxycontin, percocet and soma for pain/spasms, and I'm much better. I had not eaten anything in 5 days until today. I had a half a cup of soup with crackers.

    The moral of this story is; you must talk with your surgeon before the surgery date, and pin him down on drugs that he uses, and drugs that you think would work well for you. Don't wait till after surgery.

    If my surgeon had not gone out of town for the holidays, I would have gone home on his regimen, and right this moment would be in severe pain.

    Everone have a painfree day!

  • It sounds like this surgeon is a real charmer. I'm so sorry to hear you had to endure that type of pain with so little compassion. The nightmares will become less frequent, but I have to admit I still have them. Oddly enough, my doc is conducting a study of PTSD in spine surgery patients. I have to answer a series of questionnaires each time I go for an appointment.

    Have some more soup - you need to get your strength up - and be good to yourself. You deserve some special consideration after being through all that.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.

  • Your experience sounds horrendous!
    I really hope that they have now got your pain under control and that you can start to move forward and feel like you are healing.
    These are the type of stories that make me really try to avoid surgery. It sounds so scary!

    I hope and pray that you won't look back now, but will eventually be glad that you did have surgery.
  • Trying to manage the pain today so that I can shower. The pain was severe when I woke up this morning, and of course, getting out of bed causes muscle spasms. Everytime I take one of my meds, I write it down, so I can visualize what I have had in a given day. Sometimes, I just can't remember what Ive taken 4 hours ago..lol

    Jellyhall, before my surgery, i was told that I had slight spondylolisthesis, but when the surgeon got in there, he said it was much worse, and had to do more to stablize it. So, for me, I felt my only shot was to have surgery to stabilize the spine. I want to be active again, one day. I felt if I let it go to long, that the repair would be even more difficult.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful and painfree weekend!!

  • Your posts are a huge help to others, like me, that might be facing a fusion. I have added "pain management" approach to my list of questions.

    It seems this is a large part of people's recovery post-op. I appreciate it.

    Like you, I'm a freak about writing down what they are giving me and having them show me what they are giving me. It's hard to remember and you have to be your own advocate. They see so many patients and meds make you groggy . . the key is to write it down or have a family member track it for you.

    Glad to hear you are still in positive spirits and I'm sure you are looking forward to the shower even if it is just a quick one.
  • Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry you are having such a tough time after surgery. I'm sure it must be incredibly discouraging to have to not only deal with the pain but lack of good medical care after surgery. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you begin to feel better soon.

  • It will get better!!! You had a crappy beginning, but thankfully you are now home (or are you staying with your parents? I can't remember).

    Let your body rest as much as it needs. Besides the physical trauma you also had psychological trauma from the hospital staff. Let others help you, you are your #1 priority. Wishing you well, Lisa B

    PS: pm me anytime if you want to chat.

  • Hope that you are continuing to improve and that your pain levels are going down.

    What caused your spondylolisthesis?
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