Hello my spiney friends!
I have been offline for 8 days and heavily medicated, LOL, recovering from my first surgery in my 360, the ALIF. Surgery went well. 4 hours total for two levels. About a 6 inch incision w/dissolving sutures and steri-strips.
I was on the PCA for two days. Spiked a fever for 3 so had a heavy 6 day course of Vanco that had to be stopped early due to loss of iv access. All my veins became fragile and wouldn't hold up for more than 12 hours from the Vanco. I think I ended up with somewhere between 12-22 IV sticks, I quit counting
They tried to get me up on day one but my blood pressure was 80/73 and I passed out. Unfortunately they didn't take my BP before standing me up, LOL. My Hgb was low, 8.3 after surgery and they contemplated transfusing me but opted for iron tabs instead and a daily double dose did the trick. It raised substantially each day and i'm feeling much better now.
Over all the surgery wasn't bad. Pre-op was a pain. Almost an hour late for surgery and the hospital has a policy unless you are in the OR they won't give you anything to relax you ahead of time. But, literally as they wheeled me into the OR and my anxiety was at it's peak they were pushing meds. I don't remember much after that.
They kept me heavily medicated. I think I was on 1 or 2 mg of Morphine q 15 min PCA with 2mg of Dilaudid every 2 hour PRN along with 20mg of Percocet. Eventually when they lost IV access they changed the Dilaudid to PO and sent me home with it.
I walked to the door of my room on day two, by day three I was walking to the main unit bathroom every time I had to go to the potty, which was A LOT
Pooping was horrible. The Vanco induced diarrhea and then constipation set in. Still dealing with the later.
I'm pretty mobile at this point. I have a hard brace I wear anytime i'm out of the bed, sitting, standing or walking. I'm using a walker. Still haven't showered and won't until after my first post op Thursday.
I think overall at this point this leg of the surgery was a success. My pain has been rough but it's different which I view as a positive. I have new radicular pain in my left leg along with total numbness to my left thigh, groin, buttocks and pubic area but they said it's too early to tell if it's permanent or not. When I woke up from surgery my right hand was TOTALLY numb. Scared the dickens out of me. It took two days for the feeling to return and now it's fine. No lasting effects thank God. I do have new weakness to the left leg and can't lift it without assistance but again, won't know if it's perm for about 6 months to a year or longer. My mom said they said the EMG showed nothing, not sure what that means and am not going to stress about it at this point since I am still walking and overall in a better place than I was.
So, at this point, this leg of the surgery has been successful as far as i'm concerned. May have developed a little hernia at the abdominal incision but that is minor compared to what i've dealt with the last year and it's fixable, not a big problem right now.
Just wanted to update everyone and give hope to those going through this. It is tough. NO doubt. It is painful, NO doubt. You will cry, you will laugh and you will be okay
I have always been a glass half full gal vs. a glass half empty and believe if you go into this surgery knowing it won't be a fix all and have a positive attitude that no matter what the end results, you can work through them and it will be okay
I have posted new video's on my YouTube page, feel free to check them out if you want too or to email if you have questions about the surgery or if I can answer any questions in general.
I'm going to close for now because i've written a chapter and need to medicate. One big thing i've learned since being home is the importance of staying on top of the pain. Take your meds as scheduled, don't try to be a super hero and fight through it because when the pain does hit after you purposefully missed a dose, your playing a catch up game that is hard to win.
Hugs to you all. Have a blessed night. Oh yeah, second surgery, PLIF will be on 12/17!