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Mom tattled on me!

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Lol! I had my 2-week postop visit with the NP at my docs office. She said the incision looks great and took the stitches out. My mom tattled on me for going in the pool the day before. I only went in waist high, but with the kids splashing, my back did get wet at one point. The NP wasnt too happy about that and said I'd end up calling her saying my incision looked infected and how she'd tell me "i told you so.". So I promised to be compliant and not go in anymore. She also scolded me for lifting my 19-lb 1-year old and said I shouldn't be lifting more than 5 lbs. In my defense, my discharge paperwork said 10 lbs, so I figured an extra 9 lbs wouldn't hurt, especially if it doesn't hurt to pick her up. It's not like I'm lifting my 40-lb 2-year old! But, I promised to comply with my restrictions. I guess it's hard for me because I'm starting to feel a lot better, so I think I can do more than I really should. I start out feeling great in the morning. At one point today I had ZERO pain! Talk about improvement! Even as I lie here in bed right now, my pain is minimal. When the pain hits, though, it's BAD! Tonight, for instance, it suddenly worsened and was at about a 9 on the pain scale, so I took an oxy along with a muscle relaxant and went to bed. All in all, though, I'm happy with how my recovery is going, and the NP was too. She said judging by how the first few days went for me, she was sure I wouldn't be doing well today. I go back on Aug 23rd for a postop visit with the surgeon. So, that's it for now!


  • Kim,

    I'm GLAD she "tattled" on you! Spine surgery is serious stuff - MAJOR surgery! You can be right back to where you started or worse if you don't comply with your surgeon's directions!

    I'm one that followed the rules to the tee, and I'm facing 3 more surgeries. Just the thought at deciding on my own to 'add' a few extra things because it's a good day scares the crap out of me - I would do anything to not be in my shoes right now.

    Please keep your shoes clean and dry Kim! It isn't worth it to rush things. I'm sure others will come in here and give you the same or similar talk or scolding soon. :) Heal, heal, heal...follow doctors orders! Oh, and "Good job Mom"..."Good job!!"

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • lol Brenda! Yes, you are totally right. I really need to be taking this more seriously. I'm so used to being super mom and doing it all, that it's very hard for me to sit back and let other people do it. But since the NP had a stern talk with me at my appt, I've been good and haven't lifted my little one. At one point she was crying because my 2-year old daughter pushed her, and she wanted me to pick her up. So I knelt down on the floor so that she could climb and sit in my lap, and it helped to calm her down. Really, as I sit here thinking about it, there is no reason I need to pick her up. She climbs in and out of her booster seat by herself. She climbs up and down the stairs by herself. In fact, if I try to carry her down the stairs, she gets really mad. She wants to do it on her own. She won't even let me hold her hand going down the stairs! And when I'm sitting on the couch and she wants to nurse (yes, I'm still breastfeeding my 17-month old), she climbs into my lap on her own.

    I guess the fact that I've been feeling better and better each day is a blessing and a curse at the same time, because I assume that since I'm feeling better, I can do more. But I certainly do not want to jeopardize my recovery in any way. The doctor warned me, even before I had the surgery, that if I were to re-herniate, it would mean a fusion since the thoracic spine is not built to undergo multiple discectomies. And a thoracic fusion is major surgery, which I'd rather avoid. I'm a nurse and have been out of work since October, although I did work on pediatrics a little bit up until February, at which point I was unable to work at all. I finally found a desk job, which I am scheduled to start August 8th. Everyone keeps asking me if I will eventually return to bedside nursing. Honestly, even if the doctor completely clears me to return to bedside nursing, I just don't think I want to take the chance. I have other herniated thoracic discs besides the ones he operated on. I'm only 29 years old and I have all of these herniated discs, so obviously I'm more susceptible to them. If I were to return to bedside nursing, I'd constantly be in fear of making one wrong move and having to go through this all over again. So I think I will stick to doing desk work! Maybe, and that's a big maybe, one day I'll do some work on pediatrics again, because peds is very light. I can count on one hand how many times I had to lift a patient over 25 lbs in the 7 months I was working there.

    I do have a question, though. Tonight, when my pain became really bad, it was on my left side and wrapped around my ribs. It felt very similar to the pain I used to get on my right side prior to the surgery. The discs he operated on were T8-9 and T9-10. They were both herniated to the right, and it caused mid back pain that wrapped around my right side, just under my ribs. So anyway, tonight the pain started just in my back, and by the time I took my oxycodone, it was so bad that it was wrapping around my left side along my ribcage. I took the oxy, along with a muscle relaxant and a Motrin (for inflammation) and went to bed. It helped with the pain and right now I have very little pain, although it's starting to get worse as I'm just sitting here. My concern is this: when I was still in the hospital after the surgery, they did a CT scan because I was having a lot of pain the one night. I had leaned forward to pull my pants up when I was in the bathroom, and felt this terrible pain on my right side. They did the CT scan and all looked fine, except that another disc, T7-8, is herniated. It's been like that, but it hasn't been causing me any symptoms so he left it alone. The last CT scan I had done was the CT myelogram on May 12th. He said compared to that CT scan, it appears the herniation in T7-8 has gotten worse. I should also mention he said this disc is herniated to the left. So anyway, how do I distinguish between muscular pain, from just having had spine surgery, and pain that may be from that disc?

    This is the other reason that I likely will not return to bedside nursing. I'm so fearful of one wrong move and that other disc will end up causing me problems. He said as long as I'm not having symptoms from it, we'll just leave it alone. But if it were to become a problem, it would obviously mean another surgery (please Dear God, no!) The problem with this disc is that it is higher up. He said he'd still attempt to operate from the back, but that it's very possible he'd have to switch to an anterior method, which is the much riskier surgery, since it's the thoracic spine. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, and I'm just going to remain focused on recovering from this surgery. But knowing there's even a small possibility of having to have another surgery scares the crap out of me. I read these boards a lot and it seems like many of you have had multiple surgeries. I'm only 29 years old and I really do not want to have to go through this ever again.
  • Glad that your post op appointment went well. Good that he had a talk with you to reinforce the importance of the lifting restrictions. I am 16 days post op and still struggling with recovery, even though I am not doing any lifting. We have to give our bodies the best chance possible for recovery.

    Your thoughts on nursing really hit home for me. I too am in nursing and have had people asking me the same thing about returning to work.As much as I love my job, I really doubt that I will be going back to bedside nursing. That is how I was injured to begin with. Congrats on getting a desk job. I hope that I too will be able to find something like that, that let me stays in the nursing attmosphere without the risk of injury.

    All the best to you!

    >: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
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    that is the time you need to really follow all the limitations and restrictions that your doctor gave you.

    Kim, I can tell you from first hand experiences, that if you go 'beyond' what you are suppose to do, you are only inviting trouble.

    I can not tell you how many times I did things I shouldn't have only because I was feeling ok. I ignored all the restrictions and limitations placed on me. At the time, I was young (about your age) and thought I was invincible.

    Now some 40 years later, 6 additional spinal surgeries, several herniated thoracic discs, two complete shoulder replacements, I think I've paid the price.

    I am not saying that all what I've had is due to not adhering to doctor's orders, but I know that some of them could have been avoided.

    When you start to feel good, just think back to how you felt at your worse... Keep that in mind and also remember if you do what you are not suppose to, you might just go right back to that pain period.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Oh nevermind ie: (Just shut up Dave)

    Thank me for my concern .... now be silient!!


    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Kim...I'm glad your mom tattled on you.

    Why? Because it gave your doctor a chance to tell you what some of us learned the hard way. More is not better. It's tough, I know and I am sure you weren't doing it to 'break the rules'. You feel better, you do more...it seems logical. But with backs, that logic is wrong.

    I'm glad you are doing well.

    Just a note on 'feeling no pain'. You have back issues so even though you are doing well, you will find that from time-to-time you'll have moments of pain.

    Keep up with doctors orders and hug your Mom for looking out for you!
  • However, it concerned me a little that you said you are breastfeeding. I don't know specifically, but I imagine the meds you are taking are going through your milk to your baby. Have you talked to the doc or pharmacist about this? Could be dangerous!
  • I'm glad to see what all we are saying is finally being heard! It isn't worth it, it really isn't.

    "super mom and doing it all" is what I think I read. A lot of us where 'super something' and like you, had to grin and bare it to heal. It's hard to go from 100 to 10 on the activity scale after any surgery. Spine surgery though, it isn't like most any other surgeries out there. "Take this or that organ out, or fix it"...the body heals fairly fast. Spine adjustment of the body takes a lot, lot, lot longer.

    In your signature it states this whole mess started picking up a kid? Hummm....sound familiar? I'm glad all is sinking in. :)

    Mechanical pain vs nerve. With the thoracic (I am T8/9/10) it can be hard [I think] because the area is so rigid with the ribs and breast bone also under pressure. I would stick with the 'zap' 'burns' 'burning' 'electric' feelings vs the achy, stiff, painful maybe to the touch stuff for the mechanical. Additional, Oxy won't touch it, but will hopefully knock a notch or two of pain after a bit. If that helps...

    As for pain on the opposite side, that can be normal as your nerves rebound as they heal. They just went through a lot of shock with your surgery. If it really concerns you Kim, give your surgeon a shout. You pain him for that service!! :)

    Brenda...Hoping you feel better soon.
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    OHMYBACK .... addressed what I decided to edit ... I did some research that said that oxy while breastfeeding should be safe.

    As always it is best to check with your medical provider if there are any concerns!!

    Have a good day and I hope you are doing well!


    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I'm not concerned about the meds while breastfeeding. My daughter is 17 months old and isn't nursing a whole lot these days. It's not like I'm nursing a newborn. Also, most meds are fine to take while breastfeeding. There are very few meds that are not compatible. Even after general anesthesia, the doctors generally tell you to pump and dump for 24 hours afterwards, but even La Leche League says there is no need. Once you are awake enough from the anesthesia to be able to breastfeed, most of the medication is out of your system and very little is passed through the breastmilk.

    But even so, I'm not taking the oxycodone or muscle relaxants regularly, so it really shouldn't have an impact on breastfeeding. In any case, I appreciate your concern, and I thank you doing the research for me! Everyone here is so amazingly supportive. I'm glad to have found this place.
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