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After surgery helper/nurse?

It looks like I'll be having a lumbar fusion in September. Ugh, I haven't committed the exact procedure name to memory, but it's something like Anterior Lumbar Interbody fusion and a minimally invasive instrumented posterior fusion. Ugh, yeah, that, at L5/S1.

I want to ask if there are any independent single folk out there who may have had a big surgery, and how they got by immediately after.
I don't have family in the area, I am reluctant to ask friends to play nursemaid, and I am forbidding my boyfriend from coming anywhere near me until I'm at least somewhat human after the surgery.

I'm relatively young, otherwise very healthy and in good shape, all my doctors think recovery will be easy. But I know I probably shouldn't be along for long periods of time right after leaving the hospital. Anyone hired a helper, or have any insight?


  • I am lucky enough to have had a home health nurse come see me once a week. I live by myself since my hubby drives a truck and is gone most of the time. I feel fortunate enough that i have insurance that paid for it.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Hi LA runner chick, I am not a single girl but wanted to let you know I will be thinking about you and I hope you will reconsider and let the ones who love you take care of you. Any surgery is tough to get through but I can"t imagine trying to recover without help. I had a microdiscectomy on May 24 and the first 72 hrs. were hell. It was like my body just could not get the amount of pain meds needed to help the pain. I could barely get up and move to go to the restroom and sit up and eat. So cooking for myself and such was impossible. my hubby and grown children got me though those awful days and when I felt I could start doing for myself they still wanted to do it for me:) After the first week I was still having tremendous pain but was able to make myself get up and fix my own cereal and go on walks by myself which made me feel better mentally. Well I just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking of you and hope all goes well in your surgery. Please keep us informed:)

  • is a massive operation .allow many months to recover .i speak from painful experience ..i am 8 months post op and just about able to get through the day with little assistance ..this doesn't mean i am anywhere near right .i am still loaded on pain killers and in pain 24/7 i spend most of the day on my recliner and only sleep for 2 hours a night .due to pain .i am a bad example and its my third operation .you may be lucky .good luck
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Hi there,
    I had a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with rods and screws on July 9 this year. I was in the hospital for one night only. One of MY major concerns was the fact that I live on my own (widowed). At the pre-op appointment, my surgeon said that I should try to find someone to come stay with me for the first 24 hrs that I would be home. I asked a friend to come stay, and she was actually here for just over 3 days. You may be surprised how much you CAN actually do for yourself when you're home.
    I did also have the benefit of having many people from my church making meals for me...they even developed a schedule of who would bring what, and when. I'm not saying that this will work for everyone, but if you have people from work, for example, that might be able to provide food, that would be really helpful...you'll be amazed how much people actually do want to help (or in my case, just try stopping them...it does help that I'm actually the pastor!)

    Good Luck with the surgery!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,868
    LA .....
    One thing you should make sure of, is to have all the things you need so that when you come home from surgery, it will be easy for you. That would include:
    - Foods that are made and easy to eat
    - Comfortable Chair/Recliner/Couch so that you can be comfortable
    - Easy access to TV and Computers
    - Having a phone right next to you
    - Comfortable, lay back clothes, slippers, etc
    - List of phone numbers, Doctor, Hospital if needed

    There is a good amount that you can do by yourself. I will add that try to minimize your pride and allow your boyfriend to help you. He should love you the way you are, the condition you are in, and to be part of what the following weeks after surgery will be for you.

    You will do just fine.
    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
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