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husband having decompression and fusion Oct 24, 2011

rdavis46rrdavis46 Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,
My husband is schedule to have his decompression and fusion on the L4-L5 he has degentative disc disease and a complete tear. He had try to donate his blood for his surgery they want 2 pints but only got one done because after wards he passed out where his eyes roll back in his head took awhile to get him to come around scared the crap out of me and the staff as well. They told him they are going to call his surgeron that they say it isnt' safe for him to donate blood a week later. His iron was only 11 that day to begin with. I start him on iron the next day..
He had his chest xray, ekg, blood work,urine last week. I look online to find out the results and found them the xray, urine and some of the blood work was normal. But looks like there is a problem with the kidneys he had this a few years ago while on metformin he was taken off it then it resolved itself then was put back on it a year ago or so and his creatine has been fine up until now. It isn't as high like it was back in 2007 when it got up to 2.4 and that is when he was sent to a kidney dr. Here are the abnormal labs that I see on the report:
Bun (blood urea nitrogen) 29 high
CL (chloride) 97 low
Creatine 1.65 high
Est GFR african american 57 low (weird he is white) hmm
Est GFR non african american 47 low
Glucose 150 high
Hematrocrit 32.7 low
Hemoglobin 11 low
RBC 3.66 low
I am concern these labs will keep him from getting the surgery? That they would cancel this surgery do to the labs showing some kidney problems which I believe the metformin is the problem again. Calling his primary dr tomorrow to see if he wants to discontinue the metformin and try something else. He sees his primary for pre op physical on Thursday. Just a few days before his surgery. Its a week from tomorrow and now I am getting worried he won't be able to get the surgery. He really needs it I had to catch him twice from falling to the floor. I had to come running from another room. He trys to walk with his walker says I am only walking to the bathroom or kitchen but he falls his legs just give out. Now the pain was just down his hip and legs now it is the hips, legs and now feet. He said the stingy type pain went away which would come and go and now its more severe pain from his back down his hips, legs and feet. I caught him this morning he had gotten up early this morning to go to the bathroom and he was struggling which getting out of bed is the worst time for him. And when he was making alot of noise in the kitchen I knew something was wrong. I yell are you ok he didn't answer so I ran and he was holding onto the counter he try to walk again and I could see he was going down and here I come running and catching his fall. But I can't always be home or see this happen. So when I Left this morning I put the walker in front of the bed he call me why did you do that. I said so you use it to get out of bed. He gets me mad when he dont' use it which was most of the day until later in the day when the pain gets so bad that he is struggling to walk. He has a cane but I think it doesn't help much I notice his posture is better with the walker it also has a seat so if he feels like he needs a break or his legs giving out he can sit.
well sorry for writing such a long post. Just got alot to vent about and hoping someone can give me advice about the blood work. Also his anxiety is high about having another surgery. He is afraid he is not going to make it thru it.
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Comments

  • Unfortunately I can't advise on your husband's blood test results, but see what his primary doctor has to say tomorrow.

    When I had my fusion, I was connected to a cell salvage machine - is that an option for your husband? Any blood lost is collected and filtered by this equipment. My surgeon said I didn't lose any blood. My surgery was done from the front (ALIF) and my understanding is that there isn't as much blood loss.

    With all his health problems, can understand your husband's (and your's) anxiety about the surgery.

    Let us know how he goes with his primary doctor.

    Trish











    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi, My husband had 2 back surgeries already both were the L5-S1 this last one in 2005 was done thru the front and they nick his main artery to his heart so instead of a 2 hour surgery it was a 7 hour surgery. Nobody call me on the waiting room phone until they were closing him back up. I was losing my mind that day. Sitting there all alone for 7 hours. They had to mend his artery back together like darning a sock they said. They could of lost my husband that day. So that is why he is so scared to have this surgery. He thinks he is going to die when he going to have this surgery. The neurosurgeon said he would never go thru his stomach especially after that incident his old orthopedic surgeon but that also was done by a general surgeon as well who open him up to move the organs out of the way for the orthopedic surgeon to do his work. They could of had someone tell me right away this happen so I wouldn't be freaking out why it was taking so long. Yea I am scared to but knowing that he has a good surgeon. And the surgeon ask that his primary take care of his pain meds during inpatient and outpatient and to also do his medical care in the hospital due to his diabetes and other medical issues. so find out Thursday if he agrees to this. I know this will make my hubby feel more at ease having his primary doctor as part of the time. He has been with him for 7 yrs. And we go monthly to see him for pain meds and every couple of months he checks his diabetes. so he has good rapport with his primary. We only known his neurosurgeon since end of June. Which it took all summer to do all these test. And he still didn't want to do surgery so I said we can't keep putting a bandaid on his problem. He want the pain dr to put a electric stim in his back so he wrote an order for pain dr to do either a electric stim vs a discogram. A week later we got the call to come have a discogram. They did 4 levels and when they hit the L4-L5 they could only go about 40 percent they had to stop it after that because the pain was over a 10 it was unbearable the pain went down his hip and legs too. Now his pain is getting worst he says he han'nt had any stingy type pain that comes and goes its more pain with the inability to walk at times or losing the control to walk if that makes sense. He is so miserable this is why is so vital he has this surgery done. It seems like his family is trying to talk him out of it. One family member call me and said your husband don't want to do the surgery. So I ask my husband and he said he never said that. he told them he was scared and sometimes he feels like not having the surgery but he knows he has to he don't want end up in a wheel chair the rest of his life like his dad did. I never met his dad but heard he was a very mean person. We will be married for 25 yrs on Dec 18th and been together 2 half years before that which we lived together before we got married. We have 2 specical needs teens ages 14 and 17 both with autism, bipolar, cognitive disabilities so I got alot on my plate plus taking care of him. I don't have time to work because there is so much demand on me and getting call from work to come get the kids from school or hubby couldn't handle the kids when they were smaller. So alot I had to deal with many years.
  • Hi, My husband had 2 back surgeries already both were the L5-S1 this last one in 2005 was done thru the front and they nick his main artery to his heart so instead of a 2 hour surgery it was a 7 hour surgery. Nobody call me on the waiting room phone until they were closing him back up. I was losing my mind that day. Sitting there all alone for 7 hours. They had to mend his artery back together like darning a sock they said. They could of lost my husband that day. So that is why he is so scared to have this surgery. He thinks he is going to die when he going to have this surgery. The neurosurgeon said he would never go thru his stomach especially after that incident his old orthopedic surgeon but that also was done by a general surgeon as well who open him up to move the organs out of the way for the orthopedic surgeon to do his work. They could of had someone tell me right away this happen so I wouldn't be freaking out why it was taking so long. Yea I am scared to but knowing that he has a good surgeon. And the surgeon ask that his primary take care of his pain meds during inpatient and outpatient and to also do his medical care in the hospital due to his diabetes and other medical issues. so find out Thursday if he agrees to this. I know this will make my hubby feel more at ease having his primary doctor as part of the time. He has been with him for 7 yrs. And we go monthly to see him for pain meds and every couple of months he checks his diabetes. so he has good rapport with his primary. We only known his neurosurgeon since end of June. Which it took all summer to do all these test. And he still didn't want to do surgery so I said we can't keep putting a bandaid on his problem. He want the pain dr to put a electric stim in his back so he wrote an order for pain dr to do either a electric stim vs a discogram. A week later we got the call to come have a discogram. They did 4 levels and when they hit the L4-L5 they could only go about 40 percent they had to stop it after that because the pain was over a 10 it was unbearable the pain went down his hip and legs too. Now his pain is getting worst he says he han'nt had any stingy type pain that comes and goes its more pain with the inability to walk at times or losing the control to walk if that makes sense. He is so miserable this is why is so vital he has this surgery done. It seems like his family is trying to talk him out of it. One family member call me and said your husband don't want to do the surgery. So I ask my husband and he said he never said that. he told them he was scared and sometimes he feels like not having the surgery but he knows he has to he don't want end up in a wheel chair the rest of his life like his dad did. I never met his dad but heard he was a very mean person. We will be married for 25 yrs on Dec 18th and been together 2 half years before that which we lived together before we got married. We have 2 specical needs teens ages 14 and 17 both with autism, bipolar, cognitive disabilities so I got alot on my plate plus taking care of him. I don't have time to work because there is so much demand on me and getting call from work to come get the kids from school or hubby couldn't handle the kids when they were smaller. So alot I had to deal with many years.
  • Hi Robin

    Can understand the anxiety you and your husband are going through after his having the main heart artery nicked during the ALIF surgery. My surgeon made me aware of this risk, but as he'd successfully performed over 200 anterior lumbar surgeries, I was prepared to go ahead because I couldn't live with the pain.

    Sounds like his current neurosurgeon is very caring and wanting your husband's pain and medical care supervised by his primary care doctor.

    It's good that your husband's family are concerned for him, but when one lives with 24/7 nerve pain or the inability to walk, it makes you desperate for relief. We all get scared before surgery, and I'm presuming that this surgery will be from the back.

    It must be so hard for you trying to cope with your special needs children and now your husband's surgery. I've never been through anything like that. I can only say keep positive and see what your primary doctor says tomorrow.

    >:D<

    Trish













    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • thanks! I been calling is primary since Monday with no response they said they sent the message to him but he must be really busy or he is going to wait to tomorrow and discuss it. But I would think if he was really concern about the labs he would of call since his surgery is only 5 days way. I know hubby is scared last night out of the blue he said he don't want to go thru the surgery. But he gets like this every time he has surgery. You would think going thru the ones before would help him thru this. He has bipolar, anxiety and ocd. His OCD is cleaning our home. And it drives him crazy that he can barely can do it anymore. He is tired of watching his 23 yr nephew doing the work.So yesterday he help him because he don't think it is fair to sit there and do nothing. I told him he dont pay rent he just start a job so he owes us and this is a way he can repay us by keeping up the house, yard work and making sure the kids get off to school and helping out with the 2 golden retrievers we have. They listen better to hubby and nephew then they do I. Its going to be a very long day at the hospital so nephew has off that day and I will be at the hospital so he will make sure the kids get ready for school and on the bus and make sure he is home to let them in after school. Bringing my ipad2 as i know it is going to be a long time waiting to keep myself busy. I know his family will not be there to sit with me. They never were before either..
  • Hi Robin

    Your nephew sounds like he's a really good lad helping out while he was looking for work, and in turn, you've done the right thing by him. Good too that he's been able to get the day off to be there for the children.

    Once you've been through spine surgeries, knowing the restrictions that will be in place for months causes stress.

    With a different surgeon and procedure, I hope all will go well for him.

    Trish











    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thanks he actually got the first 3 days off that he is in the hospital he didn't even ask for them off just happen that way which is great for us. And the the last 2 days he dont have to be to work until 5. Kids get home at 4 so I would need to be home before 4 those days to make sure I am home before the kids get home and he would be able to get to work on time. He is only working part time all he could find has had trouble finding a job and pretty much was homeless. But since hubby and I have a heart of gold we let him stay with us. So we help him out and he helps us out. Except hubby don't like to ask for help or can't stand watching others do his work. He has ocd when it comes to cleaning the house. He drives me crazy with his ocd and everything has to go back in his place. Also he likes to rearrange things too so one day he will have it this way and week later its in another. Guess it helps him get his mind off his pain but as soon as he relaxes the pain gets worst or if he did to much. He has to take constant breaks but lately he can barely do anything because I keep telling him he has to learn to relax and let others help him.
    He says he is scared one minute he wants it the next minute he doesn't. Its the anxiety with it coming so soon now. So I hope they will give him something when we walk in. He will need it that is for sure. I know my hubby I remember when he was going to back out at the last minute but he did go thru it I just told the nurse he needs something fast that he want his clothes back and leave. Of course I wouldn't give them to him because I knew if he didn't he wouldn't get any better. I know it is hard for him after the last one but he has to stay strong and stay positive. I will be there the whole time waiting on him to come to recovery like I do all the time.
    He was clear for surgery yesterday after his primary dr did his phsyical and then he gave us the letter that he agrees to control his pain meds and manage his medical care and if they need to consult with him. So mainly the surgeon is only doing the surgery and his primary is going to make sure everything goes smoothly. He knows my hubby well work with him for over 7 yrs now. He knows of all his medical problems. He did take him off his metformin due to the high creatine and said he may need a transfusion due to he anemia if the iron gets to low. He also will make sure he stays well hydrated and that everything goes well he said that he will put him on insulin in the hospital to not to worry about the diabetes right now better for him to be off the metformin they were going to have him stop it before surgery anyways. Suprise no one has call to go over things for his surgery maybe they will call this weekend like the anthesia person usually calls don't they before surgery?
  • tomorrow is my husband surgery day got to be there at 5 am surgery at 730 am he will be there for 3 to 5 days then has a long recovery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    It sounds very complicated, but the docs are experienced with variety of issues.
    You and your family in my prayers. Hopefully your husband will get reassurance from doc and go into surgery more relaxed.

    You sound like a strong family despite all the obstacles.

    God bless!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • This is his 3rd back surgery hope this is his last one I literally have to run to him to catch him from falling his legs just collapse on him.
    I had to help hubby to bed last night he couldn't even get off the couch and then his legs were like jello I had to hold him up again. And then got him to the bed and he barely could put his body straight the pain is so bad poor guy is so miserable told him this is why you need it. your body can't take the stress anymore need to relieve the stress on the nerve before you have severe nerve damage and wont' be able to walk.

    well I been up since 230 am woke just before the alarm sounded because hubby was trying to get up out of bed but heard him moaning. So I help him get up and grab his walker his legs were like jello. He is sleeping still but could tell that he was in severe pain night all long. Getting harder and harder for him to get up and stay up to even walk seem to get worst last night. He goes to me why did you wake me up so early its only 230 am said nope i didn't you woke me up. Then alarm went off 1 minute later. I already had my shower lunches packed, breakfast ready and made my stuff for the hospital and having my breakfast very early this morning. Trying to stay awake when it was almost 11 when I went to asleep going to be a very long day for me. Have to be at the hospital at 5 am and surgery at 730.
  • of you and your hubby today! Pretty soon it will all be over and recovery can begin.

    You are a very supportive and caring wife, it will be very helpful to your husband during his recovery. Remember to also take care of you. Hopefully you will be able to relax and destress once the surgery is over. Great that you have your nephew staying with you, that will be a great help for when your husband comes home. He can concentrate on healing.

    Big supportive >:D< coming your way.

    >: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
  • Thanks husband been in surgery for 3 hours now but haven't heard a word yet. They said depends on how much scar tissue from previous surgeries so couldn't really give me a time so just sitting in waiting room to hear afraid to leave to go to the bathroom
  • Just checking in to see how everything went. Hopefully now your hubby is resting comfortably. Hope that meds are helping with the pain.

    On to the other side of surgery,and now the important part...recovery. You both continue to be in my thoughts.

    >: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
  • He been sleeping all day surgery was 4 hours he on a pump and has pain med going directly in his back that one running continuously but got to remind to push button for more pain meds they said it is set for every 10 min he is still at a 10 for pain but continues to fall asleep they won't go higher because his eyes were dilated and still out of it just been sitting here watching him sleep been here since 5 they took him after 7 surgeon came out after 11 said all went well decompress and fused l4/l5 and removed old screws and hardware from l5/s1 and replace them with new longer ones been very long day for me been up since 2:30 went to bed at 11 at hospital since 5
  • I hope your husband's pain becomes managable and he has a successful recovery.

    Hang in there. It's hard taking care of somebody else. Remember to take care of yourself, too. Eat well, sleep as well as you can, and take breaks for your own sanity. Don't neglect your own health while caring for your husbands.

    You both are in my prayers.
  • You must be so relieved that your husband's surgery is over.

    I hope they can control his pain very soon. Good that he has been sleeping. Now time for you to get some sleep too.

    Keep us updated and hoping that his recovery goes relatively smoothly.

    Trish











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