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All Done and HOME!!!!!!! My Beginning

pascoflguyppascoflguy Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Had a 3 level fusion, L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, with a cage and 2 rods and 8 screws On April 6th. Discharged on April 11th. so I am already 8 days out. I can't believe I actually took the plunge. There are times I am VERY happy that I did it, and times where I regret it, but the thimes I regret it are getiing further and further away. Feeling pretty good. Glad I did it!!!!! I can not tell the success rate yet, have a of surgical site pain. Walking around a lot,I feel taller, the muscles in my legs are killing me, I think that is because I am walking straighter than I have since this began 18 years ago. It seems to be a very tough road, with a LONG way to go. I can walk around for a while, can sit for about 10 minutes, but then I get extremely tired, and have to lay down for a few hours. We have a (normally...lol) VERY comfy pit group, but I can not sit on it, I have to have a straight backed chair with a pillow behind my back. Sometimes the pain is EXCRUTIATING, but getting along, trying to find my limitations. It is very tough having to rely on others to do almost EVERYTHING for me, I am not a person that likes that, but I am learning it has to be that way. I learned that my turned out to be much more complicated than my surgeon thought when he went in. They had an extremely hard time putting me under, they say that is because I have been on such strong pain killers for such a long time. The anasthesiologist said the I was still talkinig normally to her at the point many would be under, and that she had to put more and more into me, right to the edge of dangerous. I lost 12 unit (don't know what measurement it was) of blood, a lot more than they expected, but they were able to recycle 6 of those somehow back into me. My surgeon drilled into my hip and too out my marrow for the cages, and he said it was so healthy that they were able to get some marrow from a cadaver (which really really bothers me).....but from whoever that was, i thank you and thank you and pray for you and hope that your family knows somehow you live on in me, your passing helped my life to get better. My surgery was 8 hours from first cut to close. they had though it would be around 6 hours. They then had a problem with recovery because my oxygen level kept dropping too low, and every time they gave me morphine, which was only twice in two hours, the level would drop even lower. But I am home, and on my way! Ran into one problem. They sent me home with a Foley Catheter, and i have a very bad infection down there. I am on my way to the Dr today, my first ride out since I came home. It is going to be a painful ride, and I assume and even more painful visit because they with probably have to re-cath me....OUCH! Well, I will keep writing my story here. I hope anything that i said helps anyone out. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! My asking questions on here is what got me to make the difficult decision to have the surgery! This is an amazing site!


  • i myself in sept will undergo ALIF surgery 3 levels and i am 541TT1NG myself !! i am also going to have a hard time being anesthetized as i too have been on long term narcotics and lots of them ! {they had the same problem last time i had my back operated on .but this time 5 years later on i am taking even more pain killers and sedation to help me through the day ..so you and i are on the same page .i am very happy that you are on the mend and i hope that it continues .i have been waiting for over 18 months {from seeing the consultant and all the tests like the dreaded discography etc} so i am now nearing the point of the BIG operation i am 44 nearly 45 and i do have my worries about the surgery {funny thing ..the other back surgeries did not bother me so much } but this one i feel that it wont be third time lucky ..dont ask why i just have a feeling and it wont go away .anyway lets hope that you recover well enough to resume some sort of quality life all the best
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Doesn't it feel good to be home !!

    That was a huge surgery you had and it's good to hear that you're happy you had it done.

    Yeah it's not easy to ask people to help you, especially when you've probably been the one to help others. I eventually learned to ask friends to help me and they were happy to.

    I wouldn't be looking forward to being re-cathed either but just one of those things that needs to be done, and the infection must have been painful.

    Looking forward to your next update.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thank you for all of your comments. They help me keep going. It is SO good to know that there are people in my same situation. Had my catherter taken out Monday, and all of my plumbing now works! (boy does something like this take away all of your modesty!) I am so happy about that. Was very concerned that my bladder wouldn't start back up. But I shouldn't have wasted the time worrying.

    Went to my pain management Dr. yesterday. He kept me on my new regiment. 3 Opana (30mg) a day, 3 Skelaxin (800mg) a day, 3 Neourontin (800mg) a day, 1 Percocet (10/325) every 4 hours, 1 roxy (15mg) in place of perc when needed, Valium (10mg) 1 at bedtime and Edluar (10mg) 2 at bedtime for sleep. He told me that as we go along we will be gradually REDUCING my pain meds as I get stronger. I could have danced around the room if I had the capability!!! I have been on so many stromg pain meds for such a long time, that to hear that I could reduce them was music to my ears. I see him again in a month.
    I see my Neurusurgeon next Ueusday for the first time since surgery. I guess we will discuss rehab and the bone growth stimulator at that time.
    I think that I am doing great. People look at me and can not believe that I am doing so well just two weeks out. My partner can't believe that I am doing as well as I am. All of this makes me feel great. It is really uplifting.
    It is still really tough to do things for an extended period of time. I get so tired so very easily. Sitting is not very comfortable, geetting in and out of the vehicle (I have a Jeep Liberty) is difficult, being 6' tall. One trip out and I am down for a few hours when I get home. But I just keep thinking that in the end this is all going to be SO worth it. 18 years of going through all of this and my pain will finally be diminished. The Neuro said that the most he hopes for is a 50% reduction in my pain level, but I am thinking more, the way I am feeling now. I will take 10%. I guess, from what I read on here, that I have a long road ahead of me, but at least I am on it!
    I am STILL not used to asking for things to be dome for me. I can not even put on a pair of socks. But my partner has been a blessing. I thought his patience level would wear out, but it hasn't.

    It is good being able to shower. So nice to feel clean. I think that there are a lot of things that I took for granted until I am in this situation where I am somewhat helpless. Can't put on socks or sneakers, can pull up pants, can't wash myself, can't cook or shop for myself, can't drive. But I will be able to do all of these things slowly. I am SO looking forward to it! Can not wait to see my Nero next Tues. and here what is next on my road!
    Good luck to you all!!!! Will keep this up here....I want to be able to come back in a year and read this and see where I was and where I am!
  • I can not believe it has been a month already since my surgery! Wow. It has been quite the road so far.....I never thought that I would HAVE the surgery, let alone be able to say that it has been a month SINCE the surgery. I have good days and I have bad days. Two days ago I was an angry bear, my hip hurt so bad. But those are few and far between now, thank goodness.
    I got my bone stimulator this week. Interesting piece of equipment. 30 minutes a day for 9 months. The research I have seen says that it increases the success of fusion by around 18%. I'll take it. Have had ne effects from it. I guess it is just magnets. I am so happy that I had this surgery. The pain is going and going......can not wait until the surgery site pain is gone so I am able to tell how much pain the surgeon was able to alleviate.
  • It's encouraging to see how positive you are even through the good and bad days, and hope that there'll be more good days from now on.

    It will take quite a while for the surgery site pain to go and when it does, it's like a big load has been lifted off you.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Wow, it is wonderful to read your posts and see all the positives from your surgery. You have a great attitude about expectations from your surgery. As someone waiting for fusion, I love to here how others are doing post surgery.

    Wishing you all the best. May you continue to get more pain reduction and solid bone growth.

    Please continue to keep us updated on your progress!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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