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Things I wish they'd told me

HaylieCatOwnerHHaylieCatOwner Posts: 117
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Was there anything about your surgery that was a surprise that you wish someone had told you about? Maybe this topic can help others who are about to have similar surgeries. Here are some of my things I wish someone had told me:

1. After surgery, it may be hard to pee the first time or two. No reason to worry--it's because of the anethesia.

2. Anesthesia may make you nauseous. Brace yourself for this, along with maybe some gas and bloating. Tell your nurse even in recovery because she can give you something to help. The symptoms can last even after you get home.

3. Your same numbness and tingling you had pre-op may continue after the surgery. So don't worry if you feel it when you wake up after surgery.

4. Don't worry if you are`depressed or weepy in the days right after surgery. They say this is normal. Surround yourself with caring, supportive people when you get home.

5. Some hospitals like mine give you a raised potty and walker to use at home after surgery. (I didn't know this!)

Any other tips? What do you wish they'd told you?



  • I wish that I was told how long it would really take to heal and that I would feel like I had been hit by a truck for a couple of months after surgery.
  • =))

    I was told that the gas and bloating was because they had to pump me with air during the operation (not spine surgery though)

    I always thought it was hard to pee because of all the pain medication,which I suppose anethesia is included in that as well.

    Hey,when I was laying on the table in the OR during one of my surgeries one of the nurses was reminding me that I was not allowed out of bed/recliner other than to go to the BR for 6 to 8 weeks,but I was drugged up and I heard her as saying 68 weeks! I sat bolt upright on the table and said really loud "68 weeks,holy sh*t,I cannot do that"~They all laughed and were commenting that my BP had gone up a bit..even the Dr/surgeon laughed and he is the serious type-never cracks a smile.I knew everything that was expected of me and the healing process before all of this,but when they give you all of those meds everything gets clouded and I really thought she said 68 wks.I had local anethesia for this operation.I always choose local if at all possible.I've had 13 operations and I've only had general anethesia(put to sleep)twice.

    I always ask my surgeon to let me watch him when he does my feet,but he says that he does'nt want me to learn how to do it myself..as if.I know the real reason is that if I actually see him grinding and chopping that my brain would feel the pain.

    I'm sorry you had more problems than expected~especailly with the sadness and depression.. :(
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  • I wish they had told me how much pain i would be in,i have never expeirenced pain like it in my life. That i wasnt allowed to sit up for no more than 20 minutues, which is impossible when you need the toilet or need a shower things like that. I wasnt told that i would have a drain in (im not good with blood at all ).When they took the drain out the nurse came along just pulled it out and never covered the hole. I recommended that i had a dressing over it when i took a shower, the last thing i needed was an infection .

    Angie x
  • When I woke up immediately after surgery, the pain did not seem too bad, and the pain pump seemed to work okay. However, by that evening, it was becoming difficult to manage the pain with the pump. They had me sit up in bed so I could move to my recliner and the pain made it extremely difficult to sit up.

    When I woke up the following morning, I was in so much pain that I could not hit the pain pump button enough. I actually used my call button to have a nurse check the pump to make sure it was working properly.

    By late morning, they took me off the pump and switched me to oral Percocet. Within an hour, the pain was back in control and sitting up in bed was very easy.

    I always thought Morphine was just about the "ultimate" pain medication and did not realize it only works for very short periods of time (explaining why you can press the pain pump button once every 6 minutes). I also did not know that the Morphine would seem to stop working within 24 hours. I really had no idea that an oral medication like Percocet would actually provide better pain control.

    I realize that they use the Morphine pump because it puts the medication directly into your blood stream for fast relief, I just wish I had better known what to expect about its effectiveness over time.

  • I wish I was told before my surgery that I was not allowed to have narcotics immediately after surgery due to my low 02 levels caused by my sleep apnea. I was only given IV Panadol[TYLENOL] the 1st 3 days after surgery. If I needed narcotics I would have to be put on a ventilator. I put up with the extreme pain which I thought would be better than on a ventilator.
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  • After my first surgery I needed Percocet, Morphine, AND Dilaudid within the first hour. I have an insane tolerance to meds. Dilaudid works WONDERS, though. It's 8 times more potent than Morphine. If you ever need IV pain meds again, possibly Dilaudid will work for you. They inject something else into you that enhances it, too. Forget what that was called...
  • I thought I would have a pain pump - no dice, got shots of morphine every 2-3 hours instead, that sucked, I don't like needles.

    I wish I had known what kind of brace to expect post surgery, but I guess since I didn't have to be fitted for a big one I should have guessed I would get a little stretchy tummy-tightener style.

    Now I just want to know if I'm fusing - I'm to go in for x-rays just before my NS apt on 10/1 and I'm dying to know how it's going.
  • ...is a total miracle. As Lo said, it's 8 times more effective than morphine & doesn't make you sick. I took Zofran b4, during &after surgery just to be sure (b/c I get sick from everyting) but this 3rd time, I didn't...the dilaudid was like an eraser...wow! Allowed me to get some rest, etc to start healing faster & even sleep a bit.

    I was in the hosp 5 nights, & had the dilaudid pump for 3 nights..then went to 2 mg's every 4-5 hrs...kept that until May (5 months later...) & I think it was the key to my pain control, which allowed me to heal, etc..

    I was titrated down when I stopped it, as it can leave you w/ some nasty withdrawl ... but my NS is very conservative & careful, so I had just a few discomforts for just a few days when I stopped it.

    It's a total miracle...memeber of the morphine family w/o the nausea or "weird" side-effect.

    And have a little pillow handy to shove along your lower back, when you're on your side in bed, even in the hosp...also one under your knee (bend your top knee, keep the lower leg straight) Helps keep your Foley line straight too! :)

    Just my 2 cents...I'm sure others can add to the list!


  • Wow, what country are you in? That is crazy. I have never seen IV tylenol and I have been an RN for 20 years. If your breathing was that bad, maybe you needed the ventilator and some pain meds. They could have given you an epidural infusion with a much lower dose of pain med to be effective. Or how about a CPAP machine to treat the apnea. You probably always have low O2 if you have sleep apnea and then you get in the hospital and it freaks them out. Did they give you oxygen? Did they try a CPAP machine? Crazy!!
  • someone had told me about the cafe in the hospital that made the best hot chocolate in the world! I didn't discover it till the day I was leaving :''(

    Seriously though I was pretty well informaed about everything. What the Surgeon didn't cover the anethistist did. The only thing I would have liked was to have a pre-op session like you do in the states. Here it is optional and my Dr didn't suggest it as the hospital was a 1 hrs drive from home. Still I think I would have prefered it, knowing that the blood, ECG, Chest x-ray etc were all done before the morning of surgery.

    Sara O:)
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