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Post Spinal Surgery Pain

I had a Laminectomy operation on Thursday, September 11. I have had low back pain for some 15 years or more with it getting constantly worse. I also have COPD and asthma and the low back pain was keeping me from excercising like I needed to help my COPD. I chose to have the spinal surgery. It was called an "outpatient surgery". When I went in, I had NO idea of what was facing me. I was dismissed on Saturday morning.

My wife managed to get a hospital bed, walker and commode delivered just as we arrived home. This was real God Send as we had no facilities to cope with my recovery. However, I had no idea whatsoever about the pain and anguish. That I would be facing. I had intense pain for 11 days after the surgery. I took pain medication and had to maintain a rigid discipline of use of my nebulizer and breathing exercises to keep my respiratory system from crashing on me. I could not take the prednisone that I usually took when my lungs began to fill with fluids.

The intense pain (most often at a 7-8 level) kept me from sleeping for any more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Over the next week I became exhausted. The combination of the pain and lack of sleep gave me a dire and hopeless frame of mind. The only thing that helped me cope was the knowledge that I, one day, may be able to walk and move without the constant low back pain that I had for some 15 years or more. It was a most depressing situation. Only the constant care and support of my wife kept me going. Without that, I would have felt hopeless.

So, I know well the extreme depression and difficulty in coping with a constant, intense pain and difficult psychological stress that puts on the surgery recovery. On Sunday, September 14th, I finally had my first relief from the constant pain. I was able to walk without my walker around my home in relatively painfree way.. It turns out the walker may have been contributing to the ongoing pain. After I quit using it, my pain lessened. Now, 14 days later, I am able to sleep for several hours at a time and,although the constant pain is still there, it is less intense. I see the doctor on Friday, Sept.26 for my first post surgical appointment.

If I had known the amount of pain that I was to have from this "outpatient surgery" I might have well walked out of the hospital. I didn't and I had the surgery. I am now praying the results will be worth the price I paid for it.
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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I think pre-op clinics need to do a better job preparing people for what is ahead of them when they have back surgery. I had a fusion of l4l5 on Aug.21 and though I had done lots of reading and asked lots of questions I still wasn't really prepared for all that came after. I too have asthma and ended up with pleurisy post-op. I will be 5 weeks post-op tomorrow and am doing well able to walk for close to two hours. There is still discomfort, but of a different type than before and less intense. Follow you discharge directions and hopefully things will look better soon.
    LindaMac
  • LindaMac said:
    I think pre-op clinics need to do a better job preparing people for what is ahead of them when they have back surgery. I had a fusion of l4l5 on Aug.21 and though I had done lots of reading and asked lots of questions I still wasn't really prepared for all that came after. I too have asthma and ended up with pleurisy post-op. I will be 5 weeks post-op tomorrow and am doing well able to walk for close to two hours. There is still discomfort, but of a different type than before and less intense. Follow you discharge directions and hopefully things will look better soon.
    I had a totally different surgery than you. I had ACDFI to remove a herniated disc that was compressing on my spinal cord at C5/C6. The Docs and other people kept telling me "You are going to feel like a brand new person. You will be almost pain free." Holy Batman that was so far from the truth. I felt worse afterwards for days than before I went in for surgery. The pain was horrid. They were pushing me to check out of the hospital the same night. Everything calmed down mostly but I am not pain free. I choke a lot and I still get shooting pain down my arms as well as some tremor issues in my left arm that wasn't there before surgery. They really need to be more realistic. Or maybe I am just a wimp. I base my pain level against labor. Labor being the worst pain there ever was being a 10. I was pretty close to that.lol
    Tracie C
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