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Balancing surgery recover ywith parenting

BuelaBBuela Posts: 67
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm facing ACDF surgery for two herniated disks that are pressing into my spinal cord with evidence of myelomalacia. I'm also the primary parent for our 5yo and 15yo granddaughters, who we're raising.

The 5yo is a very active, boisterous, highly affectionate tomboy who is prone to doing things such as running over and jumping up on me when I pick her up from daycare, giving very hard hugs around my neck, etc. I'm also the "mom" who she's used to doing a lot of things with her (helping her in the bath, singing the bedtime songs, etc), plus she is just up my butt all the time -- "Abuela, come here!! Abuela, look at me!! AAAABUELLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAA!!!"

The 15yo is a great kid overall but is still well established in that typical high-drama teen world of thinking that the universe revolves around her and her needs, no matter what others' circumstances might be.

I'm worried about the 5yo accidentally hurting me, worried that I'm not going to be up to the attitude I'm likely to get from the teenager when I need her to take on more than her usual share of responsibility around the house (since it's nearly impossible to deal with the attitude just for what she's supposed to do normally!).

Any tips and tricks for navigating the wild and whacky world of parenting while recovering from back/neck surgery?


  • Hello Buela,

    My youngest is 13, the older kids are 20 & 22. Fortunately, my older kids are helping keep my 13 yr old son busy. First thing I would suggest it to have a sit down with both kids and explain the surgery, and what life will be like when you get home from the hospital to recover, so they know what to expect. Can you set up play dates for the younger one? This may be the time to ask a favor from everyone you know lol This will be a challenging time, but you could use this as an opportunity for the little one to be a "Big girl" showering by herself, helping YOU for a change, taking on some responsibility in the house. Trust the kids, when you let them know what you need they more often than not will rise to the occassion.

    good luck to you!
  • Hi Buela. I am about 6 weeks post ACDF and recovering nicely. I have a 1 and 5 yr old and a husband who works with the airlines so believe me I know what you fear. I had lots of help for the first 3 weeks as I was unable to lift more than 15 lbs. I had to wear a brace so that definitely helps people to remember that you are injured. I would recommend it.
    Jony is right. My almost 5 year old was very cognissant of the fact that I was hurt. She was and still is very careful. I just prepped her and she did great. My 1 year old was also very aware of the fact that he couldn't jump all over me. I also avoided getting on the floor where they could have the advantage. It will be fine. Just make sure that you are not the primary caregiver for the first 2 weeks at least. If you are... hire some temporary help. You need to heal. Best of luck
  • hi im a lone parent of an 11year old female teenager!she will help like hoover around the middle of the room lol empty the washing machine etc what i found was ask for the help before they're up and ready to BE off out!or do their thing.the little 1 if you speak to before you have surgery and explain should be fine the littler 1s often are and they will prob want to help more than the 15 year old lol.teach her to get out of the shower herself or how to fill bath etc b4 u go in.u will be surprised what they can do at 5 when they want to and when it makes them feel grown up.siblings sometimes will help each other so maybe the elder can organise baths etc food.u may well get attitude from the teenager i do from mine "oh my god bla bla" but she will stomp off think about it and come back apologise and then do whatever it was and more.i dont think they stop to think u may have needs b4 they go off on 1 but once they go they realise and come back lol.i hope its plain sailing for you.the 5 year old should enjoy the being grown up and u never know the 15 year old may also rise to the challenge.:)
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