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Previous surgery rescheduled for the 7th!

dlbettsddlbetts Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all!

Thank you to those of you who responded to my last post. I feel loads better about my surgery!

Two days before my original date of Dec. 17th, I received the results of my bloodwork- WBC count was too high and they said I had a UTI. I thought this was crazy bc I had zero symptoms, but nevertheless I took the antibiotics. I was told to take 2 a day for 14 days. Halfway through the pills, I woke up covered in splotches and a swollen gland on the left side of my throat- sulfer allergy!

So I have taken a new antibiotic since the incident.

Anyone else experienced this or something similar? Should I be worried that the initial drug wasn't as effective bc of the allergy?

Anything else I should be concerned about? I am having my spinal fusion next Thursday (January 7th). With the extra few weeks to think, I am actually excited about the surgery. Still have some apprehensions, but my mind is much more at ease thanks to the wonderful people on here!

For those who don't know, I am undergoing a L4/L5/S1 posterolateral fusion. Maybe one day, i'll get all the acronyms down :)

One concern I do have (now that surgery has been pushed back and my leave from work is affected), I was told that recovery is 2-3 months. I am a teacher and will need to go back the 2nd week of March to make sure I don't go over my leave days. Is this realistic thinking? My principal has been through 2 back surgeries and I know he will work with me and let me take it easy, but I just want to think realistically!

Thanks again and any final words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!



  • well best of luck with the op best wish from ireland
  • Diana,

    I feel your pain. When I was getting ready for my PLIF my surgery was postponed due to insurance. Then finally when I was doing my labs I mentioned the small friendly dog bite I had. The nurse at the hospital sent me straight to the NS and he looked at it and said we need to reschedule it is infected! It was not infected, I assured him. I had been cleaning it and had been on a very strong antibitoic for a bad sinus infection the entire time. He said if it looks bad on surgery day we will send you home. I literally held my breath while he was deciding to let me have surgery while we was already in scrubs(which he did but said if I get staff infection or marsa it would be my own fault)....

    At any rate your probably going to be fine but rest assured they will run the same tests before this surgery.

    Incidently while I was pregnant with my daughter I also developed an allergy to sulfer based antibiotics. It narrows down the choices and some of the ones that I have been on are down right nasty.

    I think you will be about ready to go back to work if everything goes well. I went back at 10-11 weeks. I was not 100% but my job isn't terribly physical. I was sore and tired by the end of the day but each week I got stronger. I would advise to try to get as much help as possible (can you get a student TA or parent volunteer to help?)... I started mall walking as soon as I could manage and PT at 6 weeks- I gained my strenght back quickly but I was not given a brace (although I used the ones I had sevral times in the begining). My NS said the braces actually slow the fusion and recover (by deconditioning).

    Good luck,

  • I personally think 2 months is a very optimistic time frame. Do you have to move around much with your teaching? If your job is not too movement-intensive, you could possibly go back at 2 months...but 3 is more realistic.

    Another member asked a similar question over the summer. Here is a link to that post:


    Remember to differentiate between a fusion and a discectomy when reading through it...a fusion is a bigger surgery and a longer recovery.

    Hope you recovered from your infection and reaction to the meds and are now ready for your fusion.

    Let us know how it goes!

  • My surgery was also postponed back in July of '08. At the time I was very upset - yes, it was because of work issues, but afterwards I was grateful for the extra time I had to prepare.

    I also had the same fusion - it took me longer to get back to work, but mostly that was my work telling me I couldn't come back with restrictions.

    It's good you've got a sympathetic boss.

    My hardware removal is one day before your surgery (IF I don't get re-scheduled too ;) )Best of luck!
  • Well I am a teacher too. I had PLIF of L5S1 on 16th October so am 11 weeks post op tomorrow. I am going back to work on Monday for half days only and am pretty worried about how I will manage. I hadn't realised just how much this surgery takes it out of you. My core muscles hurt nearly all the time and I am still walking real slow. I did have an infection in my wound 11 days after surgery that was horrid and meant that I had 3 and a half weeks when I wasn't really allowed to do any exercise. I think that this period of enforced rest didn't help and might be why I suffer so much now.
    Having given you the negative other people seem to do a lot better (grr!!) so you might be better by March.
    I will post after I return next week so you can see how I do if you like??

  • So good to hear from you. I must have missed your other post, as I was thinking you had had your surgery, but we hadn't heard from you.
    I hope that you were able to have a good Christmas.

    I'll be thinking of you on 7th January.

    What age do you teach? Perhaps you could be supported by a TA or someone while you are getting back to full strength. It is great that your head has had back surgery. Hopefully he will sympathise and do all he can to help you get back into work. (I am a TA working with Primary age children. Those little chairs don't help backs!)

    Take care
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Do you have Short Term Disability and/or Long Term Disability through work or something similar for teachers out for a disability? Many school districts do have this and it often kicks in after any leave you have is exhausted.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi all!

    Thank you once again for thoughts and prayers!

    I am an AIG teacher (gifted teacher) so I really have a lot of freedom in my position. Unfortunately I do not have a TA, but I can send the kids back early if I'm in too much pain.

    Overall, I think i'll be fine just some getting used to :)

    I really like hearing all of your experiences and it is comforting to know i'm not alone. I can envision what to expect!

    As soon as I am up to it, I will update everyone! Keep me in your thoughts and I hope everyone is doing well out there- either post-op, pre-op, or recovering!

    Well wishes,


    PS- arrival time is 5:30 pm EST, surgery should be 2-3 hours after....
  • Best wishes for your surgery tomorrow. Sending a prayer out for you to get a good sleep tonight and that all will go well for your surgery and 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
  • Praying for you Diana.
    Hope all goes well and that they keep you comfortable afterwards.
    Look forward to hearing from you when you are up to it.
    This is the year that your back will get sorted.
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