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I am back! Now the healing begins!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone! The surgery went well, and I am home :)
It took forever to get released from the hospital! The doctor came in at 6:30 am, and told me I could go home. I didnt get out of there until 4:30 pm. I just wanted to go home! The beds were not very comfortable, and I just wanted my bed :W .

Anyhow, so far I have been walking around, and even sat downstairs for coffee in my computer chair! I am very sore from front to back. My front hurts from the inscion, and of course the back hurts because of the hardware, and such. I am using tons of pillows right now in bed to write to you guys. I find that walking does help. Now getting comfortable in bed is a different story!

After surgery my doctor asked me if my legs still hurt, and I said yes. I seem to be getting sharps pains on my upper legs, but it seemed like he was surprised my legs still hurt?! My left foot also got very swollen, it still is but now bad.

Here is the cookie, I was given morphine, and other stuff through IV afte surgery. I was also given oxycodone by mouth. I started with hives all over my face, and head. I had to get benadryl, and it seemed to help but I am still taking it because I still itch! I seem to be very sensative to codeine?! I am now taking morphine 15 mg, and a muscle relaxer. I was given hydrocodone by my pm doc before surgery, and some other med that had to be approved by comp. I will tell you guys the name of it when hubby picks it up.

I am also taking laxatives (excuse my spelling, hard to concentrate) to go #2. I hope that it starts to work. I was also given them in the hospital. I have to say that I hope, and pray this was a good thing to have done, and it takes a lot of pain away. Hubby is worried that the disk above the L5S1 will get bad, and I will need another surgery?!

I want to go back to school, have a career. I am of course looking into the future, and I always have :)

Anyhow besides trying to wipe without twisting, and the pain, I am doing well.

Thanks for all the support you guys have given, and will continue to give. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<


  • I have a brace that is great. It is black, and it has the velcroe(sp), and also has things that pull it tighter on the sides. It also doesnt so very far up! It is actually comfortable to wear when walking!
  • Welcome to the other side, and more importantly to coming home!! That's the best part of surgery mentally - going home! (G)

    Glad to hear you are doing pretty well over all. Your hubby sounds like he is there for you big time. You know the drill, rest, eat well, walk, walk, walk...and follow doctors orders to a "T"... :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • It all sounds very familiar Heidi. SOP so hang in there. WE will make it through this. My right leg swelled suddenly but has subsided mostly. My right leg is still a bit finicky but remember, the nerve has been set free and is probably still pissed off about the entrapment prior to freedom.
    Ditto on the dulcolax, nuff said ;).

    Hang in and check in as you can. You're hours behind me so tomorrow will be a much better day still. I promise.
  • I love being on the puter, I gives me sanity so I am just sooooooooooooo happy that we have everyone here :)
  • Heidi, welcome home!!! I'm so happy you're on the otherside, and you've started the recovery!!! You've been on my mind, big time! I hope your other levels behave themselves and nothing gets in the way of a speedy recovery!!! If insurance approves, I'll be in having the same surgery. In the mean time, I'll be praying for all my spiney brothers and sisters!!! Take care and many gentle hugs, Brenda C.
  • to the recovery side of things! Glad that everything went well and that you are home now, and are able to walk around. I too found that after surgery it takes time (and lots of pillows) to get comfy.

    Nerves really get shaken up and angry, so hopefully that will settle down soon for you. It can take some time, depending how long your nerve was compressed. Are you taking any nerve medication(lyrica, neurontin, cybalta)? I know for me, the best thing for constipation is Miralax. With all the narcotics that I take, I take it every day (after consulting with my doctor) and this is the only thing that helps me. Too bad about the reaction that you had with the meds, hopefully your new meds will help with the pain. The benedryl might help you sleep, so that is a bonus. I)

    Sounds like you have a great support system at home, and you have us here cheering you on.

    Wishing you a great recovery and solid fusion.

    >: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

  • Welcome home! <:P

    Doesn't it feel great to get back home again?

    It sounds like you are starting your recovery journey well.

    The nerves can sometimes be angry at having things disturbed, but hopefully they will settle down soon.

    Mind you don't over do it, especially sitting at the computer in the early days. Short and sweet is the best thing.

    The walking really does help and makes you feel like you are progressing. Little and often.

    Many if not most of us know the 'pain' literally, of needing laxatives after surgery. I hope that that will 'go' soon! Lol!

    You are now on your way to your better life. It will be a way down the road, and there are bumps ahead, but your journey has started.

    Isn't the relief of all that anxiety wonderful?

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Hooray for Heidi! Glad it all went well.
    Do you have drains?

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I didnt have a drain at all for my stomach. I have to go back in 2 weeks to have the stitches to come out. If was funny at the hospital they kept asking to see it!
    It seems like they didnt see a lot of ALI'S there! lol.
    I am falling asleep riht no, so i will be back on later :0)
  • Okay I don't get it why my right side where I get in, and out of bed hurts so much? All I can say is, holy crap, I never thought it would hurt so much :/

    I did take stuff to make me go #2, and my gosh does it ever hurt to go!!!!!

    Yes, I waited a long time for surgery. I had a discetomy first, then the fusion. I was actually doctor shopping, I wanted to find the best doc I could. My nerves have been pinched for a very long time :''( .

    This does take a emotional toll on you, you just dont expect it to do that. I am so very glad that I can come here. Many of you guys have went through it all! I just took meds, I am hurting very badly. I am on meds for muscle spasms. I also got a med called NUCYNTA. Have anyone here taken it?
  • I read your statement about the pain meds and your reaction - I had a similiar one - lockjaw! It was terrible, grinding teeth and drooling. It took several benadryl shots to stop it all! I also was on the morphine after my 3 level ACDF late August. It was the only thing that helped. As to the #2, just keep taking the stool softener every day as often as it allows. I think I was day #4 when things finally worked. I continued them for the whole time I was on pain meds, too afraid of what would happen if I didn't!

    For the cervical ACDF, I had arm pain vs leg. I've called the neuro several times, and was told it takes time for the nerves to understand the changes, and it happens gradually. When I get bad arm pain I wrap a heating pad around it and amazingly it helps so much!

    Hope that helps you a bit - so glad you are home and doing well.

  • I absolutely understand your pain Heidi. The #2 situation is indeed a pain in the xss! Literally!
    I too am taking an abundance of softeners in the hopes of not having a repeat of the work stoppage my internal labor union participated in after I came home form the hospital.

    I continue to experience some random leg pain and nerve "stuff" in both legs but as stated earlier, the nerves are acclimating to their newfound freedom and I the spine is also finding it's own equilibrium as a result of the gravity that helps settle it as we walk walk walk to recovery.

    Do not lose sight of how long we have been in disrepair and dont forget that we didnt get screwed up in one day and we wont get healed in one day either. But we WILL get healed. Do NOT lose your hope Heidi, it's all we have.

    By the way, my daughter is named Jessica Heidi. A beautiful name if I must say so myself :).

    Hopefully the husband is taking good care of you, as my wonderful wife is doing for me. God bless our loved ones who put up with and love us in spite of our weakness and illness.
  • Isn't it so nice to be back in your own bed !!

    Terrific that your surgery went well, but so distressing to come out in hives. Hope the itching goes away soon.

    You'll probably need to keep taking the Dulcolax for a while. I remember eating heaps of prunes and that helped as well. Lots of short walks should help too.

    I was given Gabapentin (Neurontin) for the nerve pain, but it was pretty mild in comparison to what I had pre-surgery. It took about 3 months for most of the nerve pain to go away.

    It's possible that later on you could have problems with the adjacent level, but you're young and later on when you can do more, you'll be able to strengthen your muscles, which in turn will give support to your spine. I found walking was the best exercise for me.

    Keep taking things steadily and accepting all the help family and friends can give you. This is your time to get well again.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008

  • I hope that you are starting to feel a bit better today.

    Be prepared for this recovery to be long and slow. Look at your progress weekly rather than daily or you will be disappointed. It is very common to have days when you feel that you are going backwards.

    Eventually, your nerves and everything else should settle down and then you will be aware that things are feeling better.


  • I got up, and walked up and down the stairs. I took a shower, my daughter helped me clean up my room, and such.
    I sat at the kitchen table for a bit in the computer chair, went outside in the driveway for a bit to get some fresh air ( was dizzy so didnt stay out long). I finally had to get back in my bed because I hurt so much. I go to the doctors for post op on the 17th. That is another long drive! I wonder why so early?!

    I am hurting a lot from the inscion on my belly, and like most of you said the pain coming from my upper legs and such is from nerves. It is very ODD that the pain is on my right side the most when it was always on the left side!!!

    Where do I post to continue about my progress? Do i go to post op on the forum?

  • Probably the best place to post how you are doing is in the Recovery from Surgery section.

    Does sound like you have done a lot today. Getting back into bed when you hurt is a good idea. I had to keep lying down on my bed to relax several times a day for quite a while. I found that if I sat for long, I would start to have pain. Lying was much better.

    I wonder if it is possible that the pain you have on the right side now is due to swelling from the surgery. People who have had an ALIF do seem to have swelling afterwards. (I have often read about it - no experience myself as I had a PLIF.)

    Keep healing :-)

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