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Help! 2 small children, I need discectomy/laminectomy

nursemom30nnursemom30 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am told I need surgery very soon, will find out Thursday at the surgeon appt.I have a 2 year old and 4 year old. They are very active boys and I am freaking out about how I am going to take care of them post-surgery! They weigh 40 and 50 pounds apiece.My family says they will help, but they already proved themselves unreliable after I had gallbladder surgery a few months ago.

I wonder if I will even be able to change a diaper, from what I have read about recovery. My husband is only able to take off 5 days from work. At this point I wonder if I should try to get a live-in caregiver or nanny. But I have no idea how I could afford one. Anyone else out there been in this situation, and if so how did you manage?


  • I had the same concern, as my wife was working while I watched my 2 and 4 year old. I told him about my 30lb. baby and he said, do what you have to. 1 year later I was still in pain and the mri showed that I reherniated sometime in the past. I am now recovering from a 2 level fusion. It sucks, and I often wonder if I would have been ahead if I hadn't done any surgery, and just took the pain meds when I needed. I never had a defining moment that I did too much after surgery, the discectomy just didn't work.

    Hope you feel better, Kevin
  • Hi there,

    I had a discectomy at l4/l5 three years ago and my children were 6 months old and two years old at the time. My operation was an immediate success in terms of nerve pain relief and as I hadn't been taking any pain medication prior to the surgery as I was breast feeding I was lucky that I didn't find the recovery too difficult. It felt like I had been kicked hard in the back a few times but nothing like the awful leg pain I had put up with for 6 months prior.

    I went to my parents place for 10 days post op and was able to hold the baby and dress, nurse and change him as long as I was careful. I could do the nappy of the older one too as she was able to follow instructions to stand up on the floor so I could kneel up rather than bend from the waist leaning over a change table.

    Once I got home I was managing by myself in the house with them all day but my husband had to do the laundry when he go home from work as I was unable to lift a basket of clothes for quite a while. I struggled with any job that involved taking weight in the lower back, like putting the children in or out of their car seats, but yours are a bit older so they can at least climb in themselves, but watch out for leaning over to do their seat belts up.

    My main advice is to take things slow, and if you need to judge the weight of something then don't pick it up. You will be OK but get as much help as you can, you will find your own pace once you have been through the op.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask me any other stuff you need to.

  • It's great to see that someone had complete success. I've heard that most people with successful outcomes dissappear from the forum. I wish my discectomy would have worked, but I'm still receiving medical care for my back. So now you don't have to see a doctor anymore for your back?

    I'm glad they were able to fix all your back problems. Kevin

  • I try to check the boards every now and again to see if there is anyone going though a similar situation that I found myself in as I know how encouraging it can be to get information from someone who had a good result.

    I haven't seen a doctor about my back since my 6 week post op check from my neurosurgeon. I have had the odd flare up when I think I bulged the disc out at the l5/s1 level but nothing that hasn't settled down after a few days or a week. I go for osteo treatment occasionally which helps keep it nice and loose, but only when I can fit it in, which isn't often with my little ones around.

    I went on to have another baby who was born just less than 2 years after my surgery and my back wasn't an issue with the pregnancy at all.

    I don't know why I have been so lucky with my recovery, I am pretty good about doing pilates and strengthening my core but apart from that there is nothing I could point to that might be making the difference.

    I am careful with my back and its always in my mind not to take a risk with it, but in the main I am so happy to be pain free any small inconvenience like avoiding contact sports etc seems trivial.

    I hope you get a better result with your next op, best of luck to you,

  • Cheeka has given some excellent advice. Please, please, PLEASE, accept any help you can. Taking care of young children is incredibly rough on the spine. All day long the awkward bending and lifting movements put so much pressure on the spine.

    I had a 2 level PLIF when my daughter was 1 1/2 and for 3 months (yes, 3!) I had someone with me 24/7 due to all of the BLT restrictions. Once I was "better" I did everything involved with being a stay at home parent. Well, suprise! A few years after having baby #2 my discs were shot below the fusion and had to have another 2 level fusion, this time an ALIF.

    I am not trying to scare you or be dramatic, but it seems that too many Drs. give the "do what you can" speech. Anyone who has taken care of small children knows that it is physically demanding. I wish after my first fusion someone smacked me in the head and told me the real story.

    Best wishes on a successful surgery and recovery,


    (PM me anytime if you have questions or need to chat)
  • I had decompression and spinal fusion surgery (S1-L5)Dec. 3rd, 2010. I am now post op going on 6 weeks and I have extreme pain in my right leg. I have six children and find it impossible to go a day without pain meds. I just cannot function. I understand the concern about caring for your children post op. If you have a strong support system in place prior to surgery that would be most beneficial. Like I had meals for 3 weeks everyday provided for my family from people from church and some of my children are teens so they helped with the little ones. The surgery did help stabalize my spine but the nerve pain is so extreme that I wonder if it will ever go away! All I can say, make sure that you completely understand the possible outcomes and weigh your current situation prior to surgery! I would not have done if my spine was stable but it wasn't so that did not give me much choice. Post op: My surgeon seemed indifferent to my pain, almost like avoiding the issue. Must be more common than we were made aware of. Incredibly painful surgery...would not wish it on anyone.
  • I just had a revision yesterday, 8 months after initial surgery. L5/Is discectomy and I can tell u that u will want to follow dr orders closely. Don't push yourself like I did. The revision is worse than original. I would believe it if they told me I have screws in my back right now. Other than that do not stress. Its not a very painful surgery and u will be walking same day. I have a 3 yr old and 1 yr old. No sweat. Just be easy
  • Just had a L4-L5 laminectomy. It will be two weeks weds (today is Monday). I have 2 kids (4 yrs special needs and 30 lbs who can't walk and a 6 yr old). I just recently had a baby whom is 1 month and about 6- 6.5 lbs. I'm wondering if I can take care of him. Or to be safe wait a month? Or just how long until I'm safe taking care of him. My surgeon didn't say much. Just looking for some advice. I'm scared to death of re-injury. Thank you. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello Jackie.O!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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