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Recovery so far...

Tomorrow will be my one week mark of when I got my perm SCS. Here's a little update.

I slept all night last night and the night before without waking to take pain meds, so that's good :-)

I go to see my neuro in three weeks and then my PM on 1/2/12.

Other than when the rep programmed me in the hospital, I haven't used my stim. I want to let things settle down before I turn it on. I've heard a lot of people who have said the stim really irritated them right after surgery. I turned it on once the other day, I am terrified that it'll move, leads will break, etc... So far so good! :-)

I have to say, I was pretty worried about the incision in my butt, where the battery is, because I have heard a LOT of ppl say that it was the worst incision, but other than me actually knowing its there, it has hardly bothered me at all. Like I said, my neck is what's bothering me the most.

The incisions in my thoracic area, I have two, really burned and ached the first few days, now they just itch from healing.

They really didn't have to shave a lot of my hair. Maybe an inch high and two inches wide.

I know this is TMI, but it's a reality when you have surgery and are on pain meds. The constipation is horrendous! Since the day after surgery, I've been taking colace at night, miralax during the day, milk of magnesia twice, and eating prunes like its no ones business. Needless to say, when I actually get some "activity" it's gonna be baaaaddddddd! Moral=prepare yourself before surgery, so you are regular. Have things at home so that you can start taking it when you get home. I had all of this stuff and started taking it as soon as I got home and still have an issue with it. Oh, if you don't really like prunes a lot, they have prunes with orange essence, little tiny prunes (like the size of raisins).

So that's a little update right now. I'll add more later. :-)


  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 12/26/2012 - 11:11 AM
    Even though I was prepared with stuff at home and while in the hospital they gave me Ducolax and Senokot - it took about 4 weeks for me to become regular. I even bought some prune juice, but had not taken that. Finally, I did one day and man oh man - that evening - well - let's say - ever since, everything has been normal.

    I sensed it was more of a function of anesthesia moving out of my body. Since I wasn't on any pain meds (thankfully, I was in no pain), it would have been worse, to be sure.

    Good luck to you!
    This too shall pass. :)
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • I'm starting to go nuts just sitting around! I'm afraid to do too much, considering today is just the one week mark since surgery. I'm terrified of messing something up. I feel so much better tho!!! It's so hard to believe I'm only a week out. Having four posterior incisions and all, I expected the intense pain of recovery to be much longer...

    Others that have already gone thru the perm implant, what did you do one week out to keep from going insane? I've been reading, napping, playing monjong and other games on my iPad, watched a little tv (I'm not big on tv). I'm going nuts! I want to do laundry, get Christmas stuff put away, and clean! I just know that doing some of those things are a no no and I don't want. To compromise anything. I feel like a lazy bum sitting on the couch on my iPad all day!

    Suggestions, please :-)
  • I wish I could tell you to "just relax" but, when you are used to being active, it is difficult. I wish you calmness and peace :) Also, my now 86 year old mother, introduced me to "smooth move tea" many years ago. I do not use it every day but, it is there if needed and the taste is okay for me...no need to add anything. I now order it for me and for her through mail order to keep costs down. Best wishes, Eva
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 12/27/2012 - 7:27 AM
    Remember Kathy's post about 1 week out. I think she over did it. When can you bathe of some sort? It's duplicating everything. MEL, where or how are you able to sit and be comfy?
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 12/27/2012 - 7:24 AM
    Remember Kathy's post about 1 week out. I think she over did it. When can you bathe of some sort?
  • Mel
    Its important to take it easy, going for a walk (without a dog) is good. At the end of the next week you will probably feel normal again and will have to fight the erg to do things. Did you get glued or stitched? Neck brace or no brace.
    Yes TV sucks after just a few days. I got into documentaries on netflix. If you don't have netflix now is a good time for the 30 day free trial is there any chance you can get a hold of your books for the next classes and start reading? Just a thought. Anyway its good to hear your doing well. Milk it out and take it easy life will be back to the rat race soon enough.
  • MelWMMelW Posts: 427
    edited 12/28/2012 - 6:15 AM

    I woke up yesterday with a bit of a sore throat, and I noticed the outside of my throat hurt to touch. Really weird. I wake this morning and it still hurts. The sore throat isn't horrible, but the fact that it hurts so bad on the outside is really weird. It's the anterior, left side of my neck. It's really tender to touch. Anyone experience this after surgery? Could it have to do with anything from surgery, being a week post op? I know things can pop up a little later after a surgery.

    I don't even know what doctor to call!! Lol :-) Surgeon, PM, family physician?? I was hoping I'd wake this morning and it would be better. It's just weird that the outside hurts like it does.

    Anyhow, just thought I'd see if anyone has experienced this. My husband told me I better call the doc, but I want to do a lil research first :-)
  • Maybe ask your rep.? Maybe those leads move a little as they heal or the tissues is inflamed? let us know
  • Call your Doctor. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • How long does it take for the paddle to scar in? Half of what the doc and I talked about, I don't remember. :-)
  • The scar tissue can take up to a year. This may be a good time to re read some older posts. They want that collar on you for a reason. How is it feeling today?
  • I feel pretty darn good really. I have to force myself not to do things because I feel good enough to do just about anything I normally do.
  • It sounds like your problem is in the neck, but they still put the stimulator in
    your butt area? My problem is the nerves in my left leg and they are putting
    mine in the same area. As I mentioned before, all I want to do is get off the
    meds due to they way they mess with my brain and my stomach, as well as other
    TMI problems. Three years is enough. I wish you luck with the outcome. My surgery
    is 1/10/2012. I am having mine done in the hospital with a stay overnite.
    Linda Collins
  • MelWMMelW Posts: 427
    edited 12/29/2012 - 1:33 PM
    No, they just put the battery in my butt. The actual stimulator is in my neck. :-)
  • Can you lean on pillows? Are you sitting up? In bed? on couch? with the tunneling down the spine and butt pack?
  • You're feeling so well so quickly. Keep us posted on how your pain levels fluctuate. I know for me who has resisted the spine stim for months is interested to know.

    Happy new year :)
  • MelWMMelW Posts: 427
    edited 01/04/2013 - 4:13 AM
    Terri-I haven't had any problems whatsoever with sitting. I've heard a lot of people say the battery in their rear was awful, but mine hasn't bothered me at all. I sit pretty much the same way I always have, no pillows, nothing.

    I have to say, the hardest thing right now is sticking to the restrictions. I feel pretty darn good, especially only being two weeks out. I thought with the extra incisions it'd be worse, but after the first week, I was pretty much good to go :-)

    I need to get some programming done. Other than that, not too bad :-)
  • SoftballmomSSoftballmom Posts: 52
    edited 01/05/2013 - 5:19 PM
    As hard as it is, just keep sticking with the restrictions. I felt so good after the first two weeks that I thought I could go ahead and do some of the things that I shouldn't have...like some cleaning, laundry, running errands and such. Well, I should have listened better because I didn't feel too well after that!! I learned the hard way that some things you just have to let go of for a while :-)
    I hope you continue to feel better so you will be ready to start your classes! Did you get everything figured out with your throat and neck pain? Did your doctor say why that was bothering you?
    Take care, Mel, and enjoy your "down time"!! Glad you're feeling well :-)
  • gliders1ggliders1 Posts: 62
    edited 01/07/2013 - 10:50 AM
    MelW said:
    Terri-I haven't had any problems whatsoever with sitting. I've heard a lot of people say the battery in their rear was awful, but mine hasn't bothered me at all. I sit pretty much the same way I always have, no pillows, nothing.

    I have to say, the hardest thing right now is sticking to the restrictions. I feel pretty darn good, especially only being two weeks out. I thought with the extra incisions it'd be worse, but after the first week, I was pretty much good to go :-)

    I need to get some programming done. Other than that, not too bad :-)
    Mel, so glad to know you're doing so well! I'm going to be doing some reprogramming as well. Stick to the restrictions, I am trying my hardest to, and I know it will pay off in the end. I will probably be getting a cervical one as well, since I have pain in my neck and arms which is getting worse. I have a ruptured disc in my neck as well as DDD throughout my spine and something akin to oteoporosis which is causing my bones in my spine to deteriorate, and arthritis throughout as well. Guess I'll be spending lots of time here in the forums haha!
  • Well, I had a little set back. Last night one of my incision (one of the ones in my thoracic area) came open partially. Now it's draining a bunch of fluid and some blood. I just called the surgeons office and told them and am waiting for them to call me back with an appointment. I don't have a fever, it's a little red, but not hot to the touch.

    I'll let y'all know what they say!
  • MelWMMelW Posts: 427
    edited 01/07/2013 - 5:08 AM
    Yep, it's infected. I put a bandage on it last night, because it was draining so much. Got up this morning, had my sons girlfriend take the bandage off, yep, a bunch of puss. Ugh. It was going so good too!

    Anyhow, I called the surgeon and am waiting for a return call on when he can get me in...

    Of course everything possible is going through my head right now... I haven't been sore for days now, until yesterday. My neck is sore and stiff, so of course I think it's from infection. Hopefully a round of antibiotics will do the trick and I can keep moving along in my recovery! :-)

    I'll let y'all know what happens.
  • Just got back from the docs office. He put me on some strong antibiotics and wants to see me back on Friday. Said it looks pretty nasty....

    Hopefully these antibiotics will kick this infections butt!
  • gliders1ggliders1 Posts: 62
    edited 01/07/2013 - 10:52 AM
    Ugh Mel! Sorry to hear about the infection! Hoping all is better soon and you can get back to your recovery...
  • Hi, I saw you just saw that thread so I left a question or 2 in that earlier thread. IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!
  • You had stitches there correct? Keep us informed. Take it easy okay
  • I feel your pain, Mel! I had that problem 3 times! I hope the antibiotics are helping (and that they don't make you sick like they did me!). Other than the infection, how are you feeling? Also, how did the shaved part of your hairline turn out? Mine is finally growing back and you can't tell at all anymore when I wear my hair in a ponytail--and I always wear my hair in a ponytail! Men laugh at me for being self-conscious with the shaved part of my hair but girls sympathize because they know how important our hair is to us! LOL! I just wore very low ponytails for a while ;-). My scar where the paddle was placed is also noticeable above my shirt collars--how high is your top incision?
    Hope you are feeling better! Been thinking about you!
  • Softballmom - they didn't shave too much. It ended up being maybe an inch from my hairline up and about two-three inches wide. I wear my hair in a ponytail all the time too! Yes, you can see the incision. It shows above my shirt, but it really doesn't bother me. I just can't wait until its programmed better so I can use the darn this.

    It's still not healing... I go back to the surgeon tomorrow. It looks weird. There are two hole that are just opened. It's had puss coming out all week, I know, TMI. It's freaking me out! I'm really glad it's on my back outta site from me. If I could see it, all the time, I'd end up making it worse.

    Other than that, all my other incisions are perfectly fine. I'm getting some programming done tomorrow too. I really haven't been able to use my stim a whole lot because its way off, so I'm ready for it to be done better so I can use it.

    I woke up this morning with the beginnings of a cold, yay. It never fails! The week before classes are back in, you can pretty much guarantee ill have a sinus infection or a cold. I think my body is screaming "no more school, no more school!!" Lol.

    This semester is gonna be rough... I'm so hoping my body just behaves. I'm taking my hardest three classes this semester. And I have to get good grades! This semester will determine my eligibility of getting into the nursing program. I really don't care if I end up with freaking sepsis! I'll be damned if I fail this semester. I've worked way to hard to keep a good GPA to let it go now.

    So, in summary :), I have a cold, classes start Monday, I have a gross infection in my back, and I see the doc tomorrow! Oh, I still have to figure where in the heck all my classes are because I transferred to a different school this semester, and have to get books! Yay me :[

    I'll update when I get back from the doc! I have no clue what he'll do with the incision. It's like it's healing opened. I'd imagine he will cut it open and reclose it... I really don't know how else it'll heal right.

    I've been taking pictures, well my husband has for me, of my incisions as they've healed, so anyone interested in seeing them, PM me and I'll be happy to email them to ya :-) as long as you don't mind seeng my butt! ;)

    Take care all! I'm off the watch Adam on Man vs. Food eat a massive burger :-)
  • MelWMMelW Posts: 427
    edited 01/10/2013 - 2:07 PM
    TerriP said:
    You had stitches there correct? Keep us informed. Take it easy okay
    Hey Terri. I have internal stitches for all of my incisions, but not external. He used steri strips and medical grade glue outside. So no, none on the outside.

    I'll let ya know what happens at my appt tomorrow. I go in at 3 p.m.
  • SoftballmomSSoftballmom Posts: 52
    edited 01/10/2013 - 5:44 PM
    I felt that my immune system was/is shot after everything it's been through! I got my flu shot a few months back but still feel every once in a while a cold coming on! I've always been terrible about taking vitamins (except when I was pregnant) but now I take them religiously along with those Vitamin C packets that you add to drinks. I hear ya though about getting sick at the very worst times! Get a lot of rest so you're feeling healthy as you start your new classes and new college--you sound driven so I'm sure you'll do great!
    My body rejected the internal stitches which is why I kept getting infections. However, the incisions look good now so hopefully yours will too soon. One nurse told me to check the fluid oozing because it may be pushing out the stitches. Then If I did see a stitch I was supposed to just pull it out! Yuck and no thank you! LOL!
    I'm going to start a new blog because my pain mgmt. people have told me that they can't do anything more for my hand pain and that they are going to discontinue treatment with me. They want me to find someone to do biofeedback and get counseling to deal with my pain! I'm so angry and depressed after hearing this today. Well, you have yourself to worry about so no more about me! :-)
    I'm anxious to hear about your appt. tomorrow! Good luck! You're in my prayers :-). A
  • Dang everything was going so well I took a few days off to play with a couple of kidney stones and then come back and you have a infection. This is not good I hope to hell the antibiotics handle it quick. I wish you well on that.
    If your changing schools remember to ask ahead if the have a more comfortable chair for you they offered me a recliner but I passed. I did not think it would go over well with 30 guys on my case so I stuck it out and stood has much as I could which helped me plus I could call and get a golf cart ride to my car if i was parked very far from my class. I have to hand it to them they did many things for me to help and it did make it easier for me.
    Well good luck and I hope to see a change for you this week in the positive. I am shocked you have a infection when they used he glue its sopossed to be one benifit of glue.

    Catch you later be good
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