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Single...how long will I need help at my home after disc replacement surgery?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello Good People

I've only been a member here for a little bit, but can't tell you how much I've learned from all of you, thanks! :)

Unfortunately (or fortnunately ;) ) I'm single and have been told I am a perfect candidate for disc replacement surgery. I am still waiting to have my initial visit with the surgeon (I've only seen Kaiser's spine specialist to date). Because I'm single, I need to ask my Mom to take care of me once again. Thank God for Mom! I'm pretty independent and hate to imposition anyone, especially her. From your experience, how long do you think she'll have to stay over or be with me for an extended period of time?

From my research, I see the average stay in the hospital is ~4 days, was this true in your case?

How long before you went back to work? I know it varies, depending on the type of work you do. I have a desk job for most of the day...

Thanks for your help!



  • There is a thread called pebbles home recovery,she is single,here is a link to her thread,it was on the old spine..-health. http://messageboard.spine-health.com/viewtopic.php?id=10831&p=1
  • Please do read this. I am not trying to scare you, but you better be thorough in investigating how long and how debilitating recoveries can be. Sure, some people have a successful surgery with minimal disruption in their lives.

    However, I was one of the ones who suffered severely from my surgery. I cannot imagine having to go through my 18 month recovery by myself. I couldn't even bath myself the first 6 weeks. I was in no shape at all to carry things, cook, clean, or even open a door the first 3 weeks.

    You should also check out Pebbles and her experiences on the aforementioned thread.

    Believe me, I have recovered and am once again pursuing my activities with full vigor. But, I would never wish spinal surgery upon any single person who has to look after themselves. There is some chance you will need significant assistance for a sustained period of time.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers, Mate
  • Hi Diana,

    I am a 38 year old woman and I am single as well. I don't have any children.

    I have been through a lot of different surgeries in the last 4 years or so. With the arm surgeries and female surgeries I only needed help for a short time. Your right about thank God for Moms. Mine has been there too help through every single one.

    Last year July 10, 2007 I was in a car accident and in Jan of 2008 I had my first neck surgery. Posterior Cervical foraminotomy. I am thankful that my Mom was able to stay for about 4 days after surgery, but I really needed her for a longer more continuous time. She lives about 2 1/2 hours from me and is a proffesional photographer and had clients to photograph and had to leave for a few days and then return.

    I did have a very good friend of mine who I am going to college with to become a nurse. She is already a CNA and she was out of work at the time and so was her husband. I paid her to come and do laundry and take me to doctors visits ect. My Mom had left for a few days and came back for another 4 or 5 but when she left again I could not take care of myself and mismanaged my pain because I had to conflicting directions on the medication bottles. I would up back in the hospital for a night or so.

    This is why I started to have help my my friend from school. She started out doing it because she is my friend, but with the gas prices on the rise even back then I started to pay her an hourly wage. She took me every I needed to go and helped me bathe abd do my hair and many many other things I just could not do alone.

    I also became a bit depressed after surgery. I would cry a lot and I was so sad. I was told that the surgery in Jan would only adddress some of my neck problems and I would need fusion later. Unfortunately we figured the NS and I were hoping it would be much later, but now we are prparing for an ACDF of 2 or 3 levels.

    My friend and her family are really good people. I never asked them to do this, they just showed up at my door one afternoon and dropped off food they had prepared for me. The things they brought were able to go into my freezer and be pulled out in individual serveings. They cooked about 10 or so individual meals.
    I just went to tears when they showed up with the food! For them to just come and bring the food without being aske was so nice of them I was a bit shocked and very very thankful because those meals allowed me to not have to prepare food for a while. Another time when I was sad their daughter made me cookies and on another occasion they surprised me with dinner and a movie with them and their kids.

    So the moral of my story is this....If you have no one in you life that can help you I strongly suggest going into a recovery center where you can receive the help you need.

    You just never know what it will be like after the surgery and everyone's body is different.

    You may be able to seek some support if you belong to a church or find a community outreach program to assist you for a while.

    I know I could not have done it without my Mom and my friends I have spoken of.

    Best of luck to you!!

  • Thanks to BigCat, Mate and Chrissy1311
    It's all so scarey! :( But it's better to know what I'm in for, rather than going in blind...gulp! :O

    Thanks again...
  • Norcal - let us know what the final word is - surgery or not.

    I too am very independent. I am really struggling with being forced to ask for help. I'm only temporarily single (DH in Iraq) but I am also faced with being alone for my fusion surgery.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • It's difficult enough dealing with all the stuff that comes with surgery. It's harder
    yet, when you're someone that doesn't normally ask for help!

    Hang in there. Fingers crossed for you!

    Thanks for your note...you keep us posted too, K?


  • A few members have posted their experiences, but I would like to just add that while one person may need a lot of help, another may be able to handle things alone after a few days. I would suggest that if you end up needing surgery, ask your doctor for his realistic opinion on how long you should need help. Prepare your house before the big day. Put lots of meals in the freezer, and hire someone to come in and straighten up for you a couple of times a week.

    Spine surgery is a big deal, and there is a big unknown as to how each individual person will respond. It stinks that some of us have had bad outcomes, but there are a lot of good outcomes too. Try to stay positive, and just do teh best you can do. Things will all work out in the end.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • This is all so new for me (the possibility of surgery) and it does get a bit daunting with some of the stories I've read about surgeries not going so good. I do realize though, that I've read success stories too.
    I really, really want to golf and have been so inspired by those who say they've hit that white ball again after disc replacement surgery. I'll keep my fingers crossed and thanks for reminding me to stay positive. That goes a long way!!


    Thanks again....

    Diana (Norcal_Gal)
  • I am an "older" single. My daughter lives about a mile away and works about 2 miles away and has VERY understanding bosses. In fact, one of them just had neck surgery. So they let her take me to the dr. and pick me up without docking her pay. Now when we go to see the surgeon she will take 1/2 of a vacation day.
    After my surgery I went to a rehab center and it was the best thing I could do. They showed me how to handle those things I was most worried about so that when I got home I could get around inside the house OK. I did use my walker for a few weeks and now I use a cane. As I have said in other places have a few other issues with heart and blood and NOBODY wants me to fall AGAIN.
    Anyway I also have an aide and home health nurse that come by to help me and that is good. At first the aide would help me to bath (loved the back scrubbing) and now they help me with dishes, laundry and will vacumn. My daughter tends to my supper - will bring anything I want her to buy.
    So plan on have all the help you can get.
  • Sorry about you needing surgery. I have a friend who is single and she had a 4 level fusion, and she went to a rehab facility. She expected to be there longer that she actually ended up needing to be there, which was great. She loved how they showed her how to do things on her own. Something to think about.

    I am 46 years young, and a golfer, too. My surgery is July 30th. The level is L/3-L/4 for my fusion, which my NS said is the golfing level. He said it is the area that is affected when you swing. Looking forward to being able to play again, not just drive the cart. I am happily married and have 4 kids, so you'd think I would have plenty of help, but since the older three teenagers are boys, the only one who will really help is my daughter,Caity, who is only 11. Honestly, she is so helpful I might prefer her help over Hubby.

    Anyway, I will be praying for a quick decision for your surgery. Hang in there!
  • just checking in with you Norca-gal, seeing how you are doing on your possbile surgery and all.

    I am still hospitalized and have no idea if I will be going to a rehab center before home. I really really hope so.

    I think I am recovering very well - I can walk 2x around the nurses station 2x a day. I can (SLOWLY) get up and go to the bathroom and take care (CAREFULLY) of those needs. I am more worried about the home situation - getting food, taking care of my 6 year old once there and all the stairs.

    It's daunting just thinking about getting in and out of bed let alone getting a drink of water from downstairs!

    My daughter in law will be around, but only at night and I have a really hard time asking her to help me - particularly with bathing and just simple needs - that cursed independence. I'll have to work on it.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • evanvlackeevanvlack Newark DEPosts: 1
    Hello - I'm 51 and having 4 vertebrae fused in my neck. I'm single and terrified! Who here has done this single? Did you use home health aides or a rehab center? 
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