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Done with Lami/Fusion L3/4, hopefully home today

Hi fellow spineys.

Well, I had my surgery Tuesday and just talked to my doctor. (Isn't it amazing how te nurses say one thing and the doc another??) Anyway, First of all, I only had to have L3/4 Lami and fusion, although they sent probes down through my L4/5 fusion and above at L2/3 to open space for the nerves to stave off future stenosis, as those spaces were closing up and the scar tissue at L4/5 was growing.

They took out the hardware at L4/5 (and put in a bag in case I want it, why I do, I have no iea) and replaced it with longer rods to cover L3/4 and 4/5 and put in larger screws at L4/5 due to wear and tear.

So here's where the discepancy comes in between the docs and nurses - all the nurses, after seeing how good I walk and my fluid output, said going home today shouldn't be a problem. My doc (the surgeon's PA) comes in, we talk and he smiles that I'm doing so good and says well looks like you can go home tomorrow.

I said "WHAT??? PLEEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEE" let me go home this afteroon. Please, please." He said that with a second surgery, where they cut seems to heal slower so he'd like to give it one more day so I don't overdo and I swore to him I wouldn't, to please talk to the surgeon and get me out today. He said he would and could probably make it happen. Fingers are soooo crossed.

Then you have the hubby. He has church band practice tonight and told me not to make going home to late because he has band practice tonight and again, i' like "WHAT???? PRACTICEEEEE? Let's get our priorities straight - my going home comes before ANYTHING!!!" So I made sure to tell my doc that if he could make it at least late afternoon, I'd love him forever, however, I think he knows that.

So anyway, my little Wally has been extremely depressed having never spent a day away from me since he was just a puppy and he's almost 4 now, and I miss him just as much.

The good news is that all went well and only the next month will tell how soon I go back to work and how I'm doing. I'm in a lot of residual surgical site pain with still some pain down the back of my legs (all perfectly normal) and want to go home just taking my normal Norcos and Diazapam with Percs for extreme episodes. We had originally talked of my having a morpine-type med (not dilaudid, does nothing for me) for those extreme times, but I like to stay with what I'm used to and don't want to get into anything heavier than necessary. I can take some pain having been through all this a few times before, so as long as I can get the edge off, I'm ok. Plus my Wally, chair and yes. even huby.

So hang in there everyone. Anticipation is always worse that the surgery, maybe not long-term sometimes, but it does come and go. Just be sure to be honest with your doc and ifv you promise to be good, then be good!



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 12/20/2012 - 6:14 AM

    First thing, how do you feel after the surgery?

    Ok, with hospital stays, I know its so much in the hands of what the Insurance companies will pay. I know for several of my surgeries, the surgeon indicated that I could stay 3 days. I always stayed longer because:
    1 - I developed complications
    2 - My surgeon got creative and provided rationale to the Insurance companies for a longer stay.

    This is not about the Insurance companies providing coverage for you, its about the hospital NOT getting paid for a Hospital bed.. As long as the Insurance company is providing funds to the hospital, your extra stay should never be a problem.
    But if the insurance company says NO, and you stay longer, the hospital is losing out on that bed coverage for another patient.

    Sounds like a business with a Profit/Loss concern. Well, to an extent it us. So many hospitals are now being run as big business. They want to make a profit and at the same time provide the best possible medical care. Unfortunately, some times those two never meet.

    Good luck
    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

  • You are over on this side again!
    You are so right about the anxiety pre-surgery being worse than the surgery.
    This applies, even when we have had spine surgery before! Perhaps it is because we know what to expect!

    So the surgeon has done his bit, now it is over to you to do your bit.
    I hope that you do get home today, but if you do, make sure that you rest and relax, You know the score, and you know how easy it is to cause a flare of pain by overdoing it. Find a comfy spot and just cuddle up with Wally (and hubby too!)

    Take care, and keep us posted on how you are doing. xxx

  • To hear that your surgery is over, and you are on to recovery. Hope that you were able to get home to Wally, and are now resting comfortably.
    >: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
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    edited 12/21/2012 - 3:18 AM
    I'm glad to hear that surgery went well and you're home (hopefully). Now, you be good and listen to orders! Take care and keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you.
  • Hi Ron, Jelly and Karen.

    Yep, I'm on the other side again and glad to have gotten home last evening. My hubby cancelled his band practice and even took today off so that he could take care of me and I'm to do nothing. He's been a huge blessing.

    The welcome home from Wally was amazing and he kissed me like never before. He's following me around, but he's so short it's tough to reach down to pet him. Luckily I can squat and I have the couch to snuggle on later. My recliner is once again (or still) my best friend.

    I slept for 6 whole hours in bed last night, without a wedge. I haven't slept more than an hour or two for ages and it felt so good. Unfortunately, was up at 4 am and hubby of course came down with me to get me coffee, get me settled in my chair, get me my meds, etc.

    I've got some pretty good post-op pain happening here with surgical site pain (the back brace doesn't help, but doc said I could keep the turtle shell out until later when it feels better) and nerve pain in my butt, hips and legs. All normal and can get around ok with the walker.

    Ron, I understand what you're saying about the hospital and insurance. In my case, the hospital I was in had an ortho floor where I was to have a room, but when I was straight out of surgery, they told my hubby that they might have to put me in ICU because they couldn't get people out of the ortho rooms. Luckily they did and I got a room there. They were booked! So anyway, my PA talked to my surgeon and he said I could leave and as they were checking things before I left I noticed blood all over my patch over my incision. I showed the nurse and he said, "Uh, oh, not good. We need to get the surgeon in here". Of course I thought that I would have to stay another day, but the surgeon took the big pad off and noticed the little patches that were over the incision came off and said it wasn't a big deal. He put more on with the big patch over those and not more bleeding. So he said it was ok for me to go home with some of the steri-strips in case they came off again and of course large bandages for changing.

    The cool thing was that I've never seen my surgeon so animated. I've said on here before that he never really has had a great bedside manner, although his PA always has. But he was all smiles at me and said that he couldn't believe how well I was doing so soon after this surgery. He said this is the best he's seen me after surgery before and like I said, was all smiles. I have a renewed feeling for him, although I've always trusted him, but now know he's capable of being a human being as well. LOL

    So that's it in a nutshell. I'm on to recovery, on the other side again and so happy about that. Knowing it's all in your hands now is liberating, but I have promised everyone and mostly myself that I'm going to follow all rules for the duration. This will be my last surgery for many years and my surgeon thinks so also having fixed the one problem and staved off he others. There's nothing like trusting a good surgeon, never take them for granted when find them.

    Take care all and will keep you posted. In the meantime I'll see if I can reach out to some others.
    :-) Cathie
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 12/21/2012 - 3:50 AM
    I am glad to see your home, wishing you a good and speedy recovery

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thanks for the good wishes. Dang, it's so good to be on the other side again. Hope you both are doing good - anything new with ya'll?

    Debbie, watch for my email today, ok?
  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 12/21/2012 - 5:32 AM

    Congrats on the progress thus far. Remember sometimes we get home and take a step or two backwards once the internal meds wear off, but you know that been there done that. But don't let it get you down, of course, as you know you need to dig a little deeper for those times, of course. I am with your surgeon hopefully this is your last surgery for sometime to come, now don't do anything stupid like walk outside on ice or anything like that. We all do the I think I can do that, and we know how it ends up, rofl. I never have wanted a surgery in winter as being inside drives me nuts, but being in the cold makes it worse, but then it gets boring lapping your own home. By the way stay off the steps missy, I doubt those are part of your restrictions, JK. Be sure you don't stay in one position to long other than sleeping as we know that is what makes us stiffen up some.

    But congrats on your recovery so far, keep going and hopefully soon you will be back out walking wally and this will be something of the distant past.
  • Thanks for the congats. Yes, I know about the ice and winter thing. Luckily for me, I'm ok being inside and hopefully out mild winter will continue and I'll be able to go outside for walks without the fear of ice However, I do look forward to hopefully sometime watching the morning news and seeing all those poor folks trying to drive to work in a major snow storm. LOL JK

    The cold is tough, so why the heck has every one of my surgeries been in winter? Only one answer to that - money. The deductible and out of pocket max is at its lowest, thus the best time - plus the paid time off from work is at its max as well.

    Thanks for the good wishes Tam. Hope you're doing well. I'll be sure to not overdo - like you said, been there done that and have even preached to the choir on that one. :-)

    Take care my friend and nice to hear from you.

  • I am in agreement that winter is not a good time to be home recovering from spinal surgery!
    Next time I'll arrange it in the spring again!!! (Joking, hopefully there won't be a next time!)

    My lumbar fusion was in the spring time and the weather was great for walking, there was life all around, birds singing, sun shining. Very uplifting and cheering. Then the weather imrpoved and I could potter around the garden and even sit in the sunshine (in a very comfortable recliner) and read. I had a nice tan at the end of the summer when I returned to work.

    Now my ACDF was on 5th November. Here in the UK we have had a very wet autumn, even by our standards. There is flooding all over the country. It gets dark at 4.30, is cold and we have already had some snow and several icy mornings. Christmas should be good at cheering me up, but it has just been frustrating that I can't do the usual preparations. There is a sickness bug and a nasty throat and cough with fever around which is stopping some of my friends from visiting.

    I'd recommend spring as a much better time to be home recovering. What we can say though, is that by the spring time we should be pretty much ready to get out and off to have fun and be active!

  • So happy you're home now and back with hubby and Wally - what would we do without our furbabies, and of course hubby !

    My last surgery was 3 years ago (in the Spring) and I couldn't wait to get home to my two Labradors. Here in Western Australia, we generally have mild winters and hot summers (like now).

    Keep getting better just a little bit day by day.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I'm finding that today is worse than yesterday. I was told it would get worse before it would get better, but of course, not me. I'll be up and at 'em in a week. Sure. :-)

    It would be nice to get out in the warm weather to walk, but it always has seemed that late in the year is best financially and for time off for recovery reasons. It also worked well with my work schedule, so I didn't have any choice really. But it's all good.

    Except poor Wally is so short (he's a Corgi) that it's very hard for me to reach him for petting. I do sit on the floor with him for short periods and we get on the couch for a movie or a show when we can. But my recliner is very much my best friend during recovery. Luckily not sleeping in it, just being in it during the day.

    Well, have a happy Christmas and Holiday season all. I hope the beast gives you a break, if only for a short period of blessed time.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 12/22/2012 - 12:33 PM
    Cathie, I now have an image of you, like our Queen, walking with Wally (your Corgi) at your side.

    Perhaps you could design a petting station where you have a ramp and a platform at the correct height for petting him! LOL!

    Keep resting and healing and have a wonderful Christmas.
    Jelly xxx
  • Yeah, Jelly, we figured when we got him that since he's really of royalty, he needed a proper name. His full name is Sir Wallace Montague Harrison Esquire. LOL

    That little petting station sounds awesome! What a great idea... wish I could make it happen. At least I can stoop and he's smart enough to know that we can't go for walks regularly like we used to. We'd go every morning when I didn't work and every evening after work, so now he's reliant on daddy. But he doesn't bug me - he knows I'm hurting and there's no way in heck I can even get to the end of the driveway right now. Poor baby, but we'll be up and at 'em again.

    Thanks and have a great Christmas too, Jelly and friends.

  • I now have an image of Wally crouched down at your feet, you using your cane (if you have one) to tap him on each 'shoulder' and saying 'arise Sir Wallace Montague Harrison Esquire' and then he runs up the ramp to the higher level where you can reach him to pet him!!!

    Take care and rest xxx
  • trishdownunderttrishdownunder Posts: 971
    edited 12/23/2012 - 11:35 PM
    Brilliant name Cathie ! Is that his pedigree name or your's for him? My Molly's name isn't as Royal as that (Oldmill Calypso Sky). I had two Labbies when I had my surgery, and they just knew that they couldn't jump on me or could go out for walks (I'm on my own). When I started to get better, they upped the activity. What would we do without them.

    Keep resting


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Well, Sir Wally has to deal with my walker right now, as a cane isn't good enough. So I can't tap him on each shoulder and he's terrified of the walker. LOL Sir Chicken Wallace Montague Harrison Esquire is more like it.

    Trish, it's not his pedigree name, although he is registered, just a name we gave him. He really looks like a "Wally" so we had to build around that. He's a good boy and knows he has to be careful with me. He hasn't been bugging me for walks either, like I said - just a special little fella.

    Oh, I'm resting, not much else to do - everything hurts right now. Thanks!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 12/24/2012 - 1:07 PM

    No, don't try to tap him on each shoulder with your walker!!
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