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ALIF set for the 17th of this month!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having surgery in a few weeks!!! #:S Scared to death, yes!!!! :( Any good ideas on how to be prepared? I have read what I need to have/ good ideas. I won't be on here for a few days but please add anything you can think of!!!! I am hoping that this surgery will help some, if not a lot. I can do this, I need it. I am just scared. Thanks for reading, and it has been a long road, and I know that recovery will also be. Thanks!!!! >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<


  • Hi Heidi,

    I am having a 3 level ALIF/PLIF (I think they call it a 360?) May 18th... one day after yours. What level or levels are you having done? I'm 40, very active when I can be. This will be my 4th lumbar surgery. My last one was about 10 years ago (fusion L5/S1). I did pretty well on and off up to these last 4 years. Best of luck with yours. I'm scared to death too!!! From what I've been reading, it could be up and down for about a year - but then we should be good as new :)

  • I had an ALIF at L4-L5 to S1 seven days ago today April 28, 2011.

    Here is the truth about my surgery and experience so far. The pain is ungodly after surgery, I thought i knew pain till i had surgery but I Didn't at all. And seven days later still huge pain the recover is tough and slow but the benefits are already showing and i would do it again if things continue this way. The pain is virtually gone in my butt and legs and let me say I wanted to die on an almost daily basis from the pain, and i think i will be able to get off morphine in a few weeks and possibly all the other pain meds.

    Don't let anyone tell you this is not a painful thing to do it is! I have one of the best surgeons in the business and his assistant was just as good maybe that made the difference i don't know what i do know is my life may be returned to me for the most part if not i wont regret trying but things sure look good at this point just expect alot of pain for some time after surgery if you think it will help and you trust your surgeon go for it!

    I have a world of family, friends and prayer support get alot of rest and walk as much as you can before surgery good luck i pray for you!
  • I just got back from florida for a few days, and got a message that I could have surgery the 10th or a few other days. Need to get ready here!!!!! What is the single most important thing to have? I am buying a grabber. I am afraid of how I will sleep. I remember after my discestomy, I know that this is much worse!!!!!
  • If you are a fairly tall woman then you should have what is known as a "comfort height" toilet installed before surgery this is very needed if your taller than oh i would say 5'6" if your not then i wouldn't worry to much about the toilet then. ANd by the way that is what the toilets name is, i used to be a professional builder if you ask for that toilet they will know exactly what your talking about!

    Make sure your bedroom is setup for YOUR comfort not anyone's else's even if this means being a lil selfish! Reading well not much of a chance your going ot be able to concentrate long so subscribe to a couple of magazines where you can just thumb through them. If you do not have a bedside lamp get one it's for your comfort and needs.

    Buy a few brand new pillows and get them broken in now buy good pillows you'll be glad you did, WalMart has some certa-pillows for about $12.00 each you will need at least 3 of them. If you don't have a night table next to your bed get one your going to need it!

    Your a woman but your shoe's may not be what your going to need, buy some good quality velcro tennis shoe's yeah i know but you NEED them i didn't have and regreted it immediately. Your going to be getting a show horn thats oh maybe a foot long or so.

    PT-will be giving you and teaching you how to use some items like a sock tool to put your socks on, and a grabber(it will become your best friend) to pick things up cause bending over aint happening, i am on day 9 and wouldn't even dram of drying to bend over for anything on earth(ouch)just thinking about it. If you have the velcro tennis shoes along with the shoe horn and grabber you can put a pair of shoes on by yourself.

    ANd it is very very painful but make yourself get out of that bed many times per day and walk slowly around the house it HELPS! If you want or need a person thats been there done that and going through it too you are welcome to call me i would be happy to give you my telephone number.

    This surgery is hell on wheels there isn't any doubt about it at all but i am seeing the benefits and did start seeing them very quick after surgery. And yes it's worth the agonzing pain at least it has been so for me, i do expect things to get better and better as time goes on and to think less than two weeks ago there wasn't any such thing as pain relief for me the morphine, norco, tizanidine and zipsor just made a very tough life barely do-able! My doctors and medical team has freed me from a life of hell here is my saying on this "my doc opened the gates of hell and let me run out of that gate and slammed it shut for me" they are truly my hero's and thats no joke!

    Good luck, my thoughts and prayers are with you!
  • Thank you for your words, and your wisdom! I am very short. 5'2. I guess I will be fine! I have a wonderful husband that will help me a lot, which will be great. The pillows, great idea!!!! I would like to paint my room white now, lol. It is a dark color, and darkness is depressing!
    I am sure that everyone has their own way of dealing with things, and my new way is god. I am learning to lean on him to help me. I am very scared, but the other side of my brain says it will be ok, you just may get a lot better!
    I am thinking that the sooner the better. They can do the surgery tuesday. 10 days early! I feel like I am not ready, but who is ever ready? I have the 10th, tje 24th, or the 31st to pick from!
    I am thinking the soonest?????????
    I am so glad to have you guys to talk to!!!!! :)
  • I had an A/P LIF two months ago and have had so far a very smooth recovery. But those first couple of weeks are very tough. Even though I wasn't in a lot of pain, I felt completely broken.

    Be sure you have somebody to take care of you your first week or so at home.

    My partner is self-employed and has a mother w/ alzheimer's so he could only devote so much time to taking care of me.

    A retired friend of ours came and stayed for an entire week - she did everything: helped me in and out of bed, fixed my meals, helped me manage my meds, helped me wash and dress, changed the sheets every day. I can't imagine someone trying to go through a procedure like this without that much help.
  • Hi,

    I am happy for you without a doubt. You have alot going for you, a great partner is wonderful. I have a wonderful large family and loads of support without them I just couldn't imagine getting through this.

    I wished this option had been available to me much sooner. I spent almost a year doing research and finding the right doctor that i would allow to do such a big surgery to me. I also spent two years trying everything else first just to make sure this was my last resort. I had nerves burnt, many injections and everything in between, no relief so I knew this was it for me!

    I agree a white room would be good, your going to be spending alot of time in your room and bed. May I also suggest stocking up on some foods easy to eat and digest like cream of chicken, noodle soups and such. STAY far away from any foods that create gas for you it is VERY painful and you don't need anything to add to your pain (learned this one the hard way).

    I know it will hurt very badly to get up and walk but please make yourself do it many times a day it has turned out to relieve pain for me opposite of what i expected, I just wanted to get as much benefit from surgery as possible after years of severe suffering.

    I love and depend on God also. I pray when it hurts most and try to never forget to pray through my easier times and thank God for the relief and support through my battles, so its good to hear your leaning on God too!

    Don't rush to surgery make sure everything is ready for you then get it done.

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