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Finally made it home!!!

FarmgrrlFFarmgrrl Posts: 146
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

So I'm post-op day #6 from my discectomy at L4-L5 last Tuesday and I finally got discharged today! My discharge was delayed due to the crazy snow storm this weekend. My surgeon was just not comfortable letting me go home in the middle of it on Saturday or Sunday (we don't get much snow here so everything comes to a stand-still; we got about 8 inhces!).

Everything went pretty well, he performed a sub-total discectomy and removed about 80% of the disc. I was in a whole lot of pain post-op, I was actually crying in the PACU so they had to put on a PCA pump with Dilaudid. Anesthesia blamed my low pain tolerance on the Vicodin I took pre-op but I never took more than 2-3 a a day. I was taken off of that on Friday and transitioned to Percocet and Zanaflex. I worked with PT and they gave me a walker to take home. Right now the pain is mostly at my incision site and I'm having some significant issues with spasm. Unfortunatley, I got used to the hospital bed and can't seem to find a way to get comfortable in my own bed now. I'm very much looking forward to Thursday so I can take off my dressing and shower! I'll see my surgeon again in 3 weeks.

I'm going to try to lay down again for a nap. I haven't been able to sleep more than 3 hours at a time since surgery.

I'll try to post more later!



  • welcome Home Christine,

    I'm sure once you find a way to get a little comfortable the sleep will come. It has taken me several weeks and an occasssional ambien to sleep thru the night. I am happy to hear your Dr kept you out of all this crazy snow. It's definitely not something you need to be walking in.

    Best wishes and feel better soon,
  • I'm so glad you made it home finally. I think the pain pump works great the first day or two, although I preferred Morphine to Dilauded. Either way, it can help make you more comfotable.

    You should be resting muc better now that you're home, assuming you can find just the right place to get comfortabe. I was great during the day in my recliner with a couple of pillows behind me. But I always slept great in my own bed at night.

    Do you havea walker? I had a terribe nerve pain down my right leg (was always the left one before surgery) for the first week and a half and needed it to help me walk.

    Are you wearing a brace?

    Anyway, I'm so glad to see you're on the other side. Welcome home and keep us posted as you can, my friend.

  • Welcome home!It is hard to sleep the first few days,but this too will get better!We are proud of you!
  • <:P
    Glad you've made it home safe and sound. Take good care of yourself and hope to hear more about your recovery real soon.

  • Howdy Christine,

    Welcome home!! Sorry to hear you hurt so much in the beginning, hopefully it will be up up and away from here! Rest and heal, heal and rest! The hard part is hopefully over!!! :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Christine - I've been looking out for you to post. I'm so glad you are now on the rebound!

    I'm sorry the pain was rough but really pleased that your doctor/hospital took care of you and had you stay at the hospital. That must have been a relief.

    I head in next week (2/8) for my revision.

    I hope you are able to get comfortable and I think the day the dressing comes off will be a HUGE relief. Something about a hot shower makes things seem better!

    Welcome home.
  • I just woke up after sleeping for 7+ hours until my cat woke me up LOL. He just wasn't giving up on making me wake up and I'm glad he did because I was past due for my meds. :)

    I was happy to have the pain pump, it was just really unexpected. After my first micro-d all they would give me was one shot of morphine in PACU, then a Skelaxin and I was off to my room for the night. All I was offered was Percocet until I was discharged home the next day.

    This time around was much, much different. After they hooked me up to the PCA, I apparently hit that button 78 times in two hours! I was really in a whole world of hurt. It quickly became obvious that the surgery was not as simple as I thought it was going to be! Because I was on the PCA they wouldn't give me any type of muscle relaxer. I think I could have gotten off the PCA sooner if they would have given me something for spasm. On my 2nd post op day (Thursday), anesthesia was ready to take me off the PCA and my surgeon quickly disagreed so I had to keep it til Friday. (I think this was so he could justify the lenght of my hospitalization).

    I do have a walker but no brace. I just haven't used it much. The nurses at the hospital were kind of scratching their heads as to exactly why I need it. I'm slow to walk but very steady on my feet. I do see why I need it now, really for going out in public places! I had to stop by Target to pick up my Percocet and thought I'd be OK with out it. I regretted that pretty quick once I got halfway to the pharmacy! I was OK though and was happy to get home. Regarding nerve pain, I only have an occasional ache in my left leg (the problem leg), its nothing like it was pre-op. Most of my discomfort is centered around my incision area.

    DNice, I'm so happy to hear you got your surgery date! Its coming up fast!!! My doc was very adamant about me staying in until it was completely safe. On my last night in the hospital, they had 3 admissions for broken legs (I was on the ortho/neuro unit). Nothing would have been worse than to get in car accident or slipping on the stairs leading up to my apartment.

    For now, I'm trying to work really hard on NOT bending. I'm good about not doing "big" bends, I have a hard time with the slight bending or leaning forward. My doc told me not to even lean forward when brushing my teeth. I made sure to bring home the little kidney-shaped basin home with me so I don't spit all over myself LOL

    I'm gonna go hobble to the kitchen and find myself a waffle to buffer these meds!


  • Great to hear that your surgeon was looking out for you! Hopefully your recovery will go must easier now that you are at home and in familiar surroundings. Incision area pain for me normally begins to reside with more movement around and establishment of a daily routine. That is fantastic that your nerve pain has resolved so much so quickly.


  • Christine, welcome home.

    Your recovery journey is under way. Hope it will be smooth and not too long.

    Enjoy your home surroundings and I hope that you find a comfortable way to lie and get some more sleep.

    Take care.
  • Good to hear Christine. I understand on the storm thing. I'm a few hours below you and we got hit good too. This whole weekend, Friday-Sunday was a bust.

    That slight bending thing is so difficult to avoid. I kept my little bowl to spit in too! You end up looking like you do at the dentist after the novacaine kicks in. And the dentist says lean over and spit in the bowl. Yeah right... ;-)

    Sounds like this disco was a fair bit more harsh than the last one.

  • After my last post I took a quick nap and woke up feeling kind of hungry and in need of meds. I ate a cinnamon bun and almost immediately threw up. Not to be graphic but I didn't even make it out of the kitchen. I tried taking a Zofran and then some Dulcolax (have the usual constipation issues) and felt HORRIBLE. I waited for a while and tried to eat again (still hadn't been able to take my meds an hour later). This time I threw up for about 5 minutes straight. I don't know what in the world this was all about but all I can say is it was incredibly ackward to vomit standing up (into my little basin LOL) and my boyfriend was great about it. I was thinking maybe a stomach bug? Also, I developed a slight temp (99.9F) with the sweats. Once I finished getting sick I devloped chills. After a few hours I was finally able to tolerate some food and was able to take my meds. Since this afternoon, I've felt pretty good and even had a BM tonight. I really had few nausea issues in the hospital, this kind of caught me off guard. Any ideas?

    Graham, I kind of felt like I had a fusion without the fusion LOL especially when I woke up in PACU!
  • Omg Christine,

    I am soooo sorry you were barfing like that. That must have been incredibly painful. I hope you don't have a flu and was just a temporary thing. If you keep a low grade fever call Dr anyway. I don't believe in waiting until it's a raging fever at 101.5 I hope you feel better this evening. PM me if you need. I am on insomniac time now.

  • After I posted, I fell asleep for a good 6+ hours! Again the cat woke me up at ~9:30 am! (If he does it again in the morning, I'm going to lock him in the bathroom! LOL)

    Would you believe the SAME thing happened again today? No awful stomach cramps or temp but afer I took my meds this afternoon (after a snack) I felt a bit nauseous and took a Zofran 15 minutes after my meds. 45 minutes later I was brushing my teeth and kind of gagged and up it came! I don't know if my GI tract is all out of whack but definitely no constipation today (had the opposite problem x3!), I'm almost worried about delayed emptying of my stomach because I hadn't eaten for 2 hours or so when I got sick. After I threw up, I felt better but I don't think I absorbed much of my meds. Toughing it out til 9pm when I can have my next dose of meds.

    If this happens again tomorrow I'm givng my surgeon and/or PCP a call because this is getting ridiculous!
    Otherwise, my left leg is a bit "achier" and had a few leg spasms this afternoon but very, very tolerable. Of course, the sensation that I have a tennis ball taped to my back is still there too (@ the incision site)

    Thanks for reading!
  • Hope things are going better for you now. You sure don't need any extra hassles to cope with. Thinking of you heaps and hoping for smoother recovery from now on. I am heading for surgery next monday and hope for the easiest recovery as I can. Hugs n' Loves- Paula
  • Word of advice from a fellow 'throw-upper' - TAKE THE ZOFRAN BEFORE your medications! Plan for it. And take it about an HOUR before your other meds.

    Try just liquids and gentle foods until you manage to keep them down on a regular basis.

    Sounds like you are getting great sleep now, but try surrounding yourself with lots and lots of pillows :)
  • Christine...as crazy as it sounds, I'm glad you shared your story. I was heading in to my pre-op meetings thinking 'heck...same surgery, just doing it again". My doctor made it very clear to me that this was bigger. He said nothing as big as a fusion but do not under-estimate that this is a big deal going in the 2nd time. He did it in a way that wasn't scary but prepared me that things will be different.

    He's keeping me overnight because he wanted me to know that the 2nd time I'm not going to want to mess around. I am thankful. I don't know if my hubby understands but I think so b/c my mother inlaw is coming up to help.

    I told my family it is bigger because I didn't want them thinking it was the same but I did down play it so they didn't get scared.

    I love the idea about taking the kidney shaped pan (which I thought were bed pans)...I am going to use that tip.

    I was watching how many "slight" bends I do in a day and thinking...I can't do this after the surgery.

    Anyhow, I hope your nausea is doing better.
    And thank you...for sharing.
  • I hope your surgery goes as smoothly as possible for you tomorrow and I'm wishing you all the luck in the world! My nausea is pretty much gone now, just dealing with some cabin fever especially with the weather.

    Gentle hugs & good luck!
  • The nausea finally stopped! I thought it was gonna happen again on Thursday but I laid down for a while and it passed. Just lots of burping LOL I'll take that any day over the *yucks*. As a nurse, I should have known better to take the Zofran ahead of time but the nausea was kind of random in nature so I was caught off guard. I also am thinking there might be a correlation between me sitting on the laptop while watching TV and combined with the meds...I think I was throwing my brain for a loop and perhaps there is a cumulative effect...sort of motion sickness?

    I'm definitely sleeping better and longer. I'm able to sleep comfortably on my left side with a pillow between the knees, another one between my arms and two under my head! My poor boyfriend is lucky to get two pillows to himself! LOL

    I hope you're dong well yourself!

  • Good news Christine!I am so glad you are feeling better!Sleep makes all the difference!I hope you are having a restful weekend-Jeannie
  • The nausea is pretty much gone!

    I keep catching myself trying to push it even though I should know better. I just need to let things be or just wait til my dear BF comes along and let him take care of it for me. (I try to justify it by bending at the knees but really that's for the advanced stages of healing...I'm still a beginner, again!)

    I started a new thread about my cabin fever with this nasty, crazy weather. I'm not walking anywhere or as much as I should and I'm worried about the repercussions of that.

    Yeah those little pans are definitely emesis basins LOL. If they were bedpans, I'd probably do nothing but change sheets all night long at work! ;)

    I hope you're tying up your loose ends and relaxing a bit before your big day!
  • Moved to bottom of thread.
  • Farmgrrl said:
    I also am thinking there might be a correlation between me
    sitting on the laptop while watching TV and combined with the meds...I think I was throwing my brain for a loop and perhaps there is a cumulative effect...sort of motion sickness?

    Hey buddy,

    Since you suggested I take the zofran for nausea when I had that problem. I thought I would return the favor. It may not be the meds per say in your case.

    I think I see your problem here and can offer a suggestion. Sitting ON your laptop is not good for you or the computer... The cover is really slippery and could cause you to slip off the couch and hurt yourself #o It also makes them run really hot. This is in turn will heat up your buns and other parts. That could cause more problems. Nausea and loss of control of bodily functions can result... =))

    I suggest you let your BF supervise your use of meds and the computer. Obviously you make a better nurse than a patient...

    Your pal, image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
  • Hi there, glad you are over the naseau hump.
    I have my mother-in-law in town because I need someone to police me while my husband is at work.

    I try but I've been bending, doing, moving my whole life...it's 2nd nature and really hard to think about not doing those things.

    I've been a rule breaker the last 2-days...mainly because I know I have to stop so I'm giving myself some leeway to enjoy a few days with my dog (who doesn't understand this stuff) and to try to get some of my "I have to do stuff and can't sit still" out of my system.

    I am going to find your thread on walking.
    Luckily hubby bought me a treadmill for Christmas so I have walking capability. Otherwise, it was going to be a lot of walks up and down the hallway.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    It's allways better to be home and recoup in your own surroundings. I hope you can find a way to get comfortable and have a quick recovery.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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