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RN, heading to the OR and FREAKING OUT!

Hello, My name is Dixie and I too have a back problem. (kind of feels like an AA meeting huh?) I am new to online forums however it seems there are lots of people out there who are going through the same issues I am, so here we go. I will be having a double fusion at L4/5 and L5/S1 in 17 days and needless to say, I am freaking out. My broken pars are due to falling from a zipline when I was 12, the spinal instability wasn't really an issue until I started walking the floors of a hospital and tugging on sometimes very large patients. My pain is not unbearable, I've had 20+ years to get used to it and compensate, so the potential post op relief from chronic pain is not my reason for proceeding with the fusion. Apparently if I want to walk, it is necessary due to the introduction of drop foot which occurs spontaneously throughout my day. My apprehension is valid, I've seen the other side of things, I understand the pain and the rehabilitation that is ahead of me. As of right now, I will be on leave from the hospital for 10 week as there is no light duty for a nurse. I was wondering if any of you post op people out there have any tips you'd like to share on how to get mentally prepared for surgery.


  • Welcome to this site . If you talk about your fears on here ,you will find your answers. I had the same surgery march 13th. I am in recovery at home. My surgery is slow because I was cut in belly and in back. I was told it is a long recovery. There is a list on here that will deffenatly prepare you when you get home.It helped me a lot. I got everything done and when I got home it made my recovery much easier. You will need someone to stay with you for at least 2 wks.You are a nurse and I know it will be hard for you to have someone take care of you.If you have questions you can pm me if you want.Stay strong and just know this site will relax your mind because we all care about each other.good luck kathy
    Kathy B
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    Hi Dixie,
    You should check out the back surgery forums, there are tips for things that you might want to get for the immediate post op period, once you are home, and you can talk to many others who have all gone through or are going through surgery as well.
    Mentally, it was difficult both times for me, knowing what I was facing but try to think of it as a marathon not a sprint. Slow, steady pacing of yourself works far better than trying to push too hard, too fast. Make sure to follow any suggestions by your surgeon , and don't push yourself to try to speed up the recovery. Fusion can take up to a year to heal, so it is best to prepare yourself for that, rather than thinking that you will be ready to return to your normal routine in a few short weeks.
    Good luck to you,
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