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Second spinal fusion Sept 6th... some weird things are happening...

Hi all. I hope this finds everyone feeling a little bit better tonight. As I am sure we would ALL love to be feeling just A LITTLE bit better. As per my subject line, I recently underwent my second spinal fusion last Thursday to add L3-L4 to my existing L4-S1 fusion with all the hardware, etc. The surgeon removed the hardware from the previous surgery and I was able to take it home, which I thought was pretty cool to see what was in my body. But anyways, here is my story. The hospital/surgeon was running really late on the surgeries and he was 2 hours late to do mine. Then during the surgery, he discovered that apparently there is an excessive amount of arthritic bone growth that he was not expecting, he told my husband afterwards that we both could use a diet to lose some weight to help with this. However, I haven't really gained much if any weight in the past 3 years since the last surgery. I will admit, I am overweight and could definitely stand to lose some. But then a couple of days later he came into my room at the hospital and told me the same thing about the excessive bone growth and this really is concerning me as since I am only 34...

Also, when I woke up in recovery, I am sure way to many of you all are to familiar with the OFF THE CHARTS pain you wake up in... I am not the type of person to say I am hurting a 10 on the pain scale because I know it can ALWAYS get worse. Well, when I made it to my patient room and the nurses got me all switched over to my bed and hooked up (as we all know this doesn't happen quickly or pain free). The nurse for my room came in to check on my pain level and for probably the first time EVER I told her it was a 10 because IT WAS TRULY THAT BAD!! She actually proceeded to have the oddisity to tell me because my face didn't match what the pain chart showed for a 10 that I couldn't be hurting that bad! I don't know about you guys, but I have been in pain that hurts to bad to cry, and this stupid chart shows a person crying at level 10! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Then she told me that I had been in my room for over an hour and it was pretty much my own fault for hurting that bad since I hadn't used my max yet on the morphine pump! I ended up turning her into the head nurse the morning I got released from the hospital, so she will hear about it, hopefully!!

Then this afternoon as per the dismissal papers, I decided to take my first shower since Thursday morning with my husband's help, of course. I had him put saran wrap on my back to keep my incision as dry as possible and pretty much just ended up sponging off and got out of the shower. Thank God for waterless shampoo, because I didn't even wash my hair. Anyway, I was out of the shower and he was lightly washing my back and changing my bandages when I got EXTREMELY nauseas. I had to sit on the toilet lid immediately and then it just got worse from there! He left the bathroom to get something, I presume, because for some unknown reason I got up off the toilet seat to leave the bathroom and he was right there catching me from hitting the ground because at that very second I passed out! I am now on bed rest as per the surgeon's office and am not allowed to take a shower for 2 weeks, they told me that I have to monitor myself all the time pretty much, I can't stand for ANY length of time and walking is VERY minimal at this point. So I have been laying in bed except an occassional restroom break for the past 12 hours with my ice machine on my back.

At the hospital, also when I checked in, they asked me what all medicines I am taking and I listed them all off... one of them being oxycontin 10mgs as well as SEVERAL others all for pain/muscle spasms, etc. Anyways, during my stay they kept me on the oxycontin, added percocet 10's (2 every 4 hours), robaxin 750's every 8 hours, valium every 4-6 hours, lidoderm patches, a steroid, after the morphine pump was take off I could have still gotten morphine shots every 2 hours, which I only asked for 1 almost 9 hours after they unhooked it. So when I left they told me that the only scripts they would give me was for the percocets, robaxin, and the steriod. She told me that I would have to get whatever else I would need for pain, if anything from my primary care doctor! I am not the type of person to go to several doctors to get pain pills or any kind of pills. I hate taking pills! So I went to my regular doctor today to see if could get a refill on my oxycontin that they originally prescribed me and also some valium, which the hospital put me on and now I feel like I am being treated like a drug abuser! WTH?!?!?

I know this is a long post and hopefully I haven't lost anyone who would like to or can help. Has anyone passed out after a shower or experienced anything like what I have listed? My husband is just beside himself trying to take care of me, especially since this is the first surgery he has ever had to help care for someone after. Our first wedding anniversary is in November. :) I hate putting him through this as I know it can't be easy for him. I also know I am not the easiest person to care for because I have a HUGE independent streak and want to do everything myself. I have an aunt coming to stay with me for a week tomorrow to help me so my husband can go back to work, which at this point, I am sure he is almost looking forward to it. :) We also have 4 cats who scare the CRAP out of me because they like to trip me, or at least that is how it feels when I am trying to walk and they bump into my legs! I am trying to get my husband to keep them in the basement so I don't have any of a higher risk of falling then normal while recovering from surgery, but this hasn't worked out to well. I also have 3 shih-tzus who have been through this with me before and so are pretty much on their best behavior since they know there is something wrong with mommy. Gotta love pain pills when it comes to rambling post surgery posts, huh?

Thanks again for listening...
2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times


  • Welcome home and to the other side of surgery. Wow, you brought all those post surgery feeling back for me. Can totally relate to the pain levels when you first wake after surgery. Hope that day by day you begin to feel better.

    I have not had the fainting that you mentioned, but have had the nausea that comes with pain. I know that showering was so hard post op, I had to have my husband help me for the first couple of weeks and remember crying while doing it.
    Sorry to hear that you have to be on bedrest now. Do you have a walker for when you do get up to help with balance? I used one for the first few weeks and then a cane.

    Glad that you have your husband to help and that your aunt will be with you all week.

    Wanted to wish you all the best, you will be in my thoughts and prayers for a great recovery and solid fusion.
    >: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. I would love to be able to log on tonight and say how everything is amazing and no pain at all. But we all know better. My left hip, which wasn't hurting presurgery is of course hurting not to mention all the other pain before is the same or worse. My family have all been completely amazing when it has come to trying to help me. I haven't had anymore fainting spells, which is always good! But I am still bevery concerned it happened at all.
    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
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