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I really had no idea...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello all,

I have been home since Sunday afternoon after my alf/plf 360 fusion.
Boy, its been a trip. I guess I can say I have a wonderful NS who was right when he didnt want me to go home. I have found ways to go to the BR, but as far as sleeping, I dont do much of that. I dont have too much of help.. my 16yo has halped when he can, but the future ex hasnt been any help to me. I havent eaten since I got home, just drinking water and juice, The ol man I have to live with still doesnt think there isnt anything wrong, I have incicions front and back. Man, I have never known pain till now. I have eaten some prunes, since I have as of yet to have a bm. That is a source of pain, whew let me tell ya. So many things happening so fast, and I cant keep up. I have no bed to sleep in, the couches i have tried to build up so that ro makw some sort of makeshift bedm no luck. I have a nurse coming from home health to change my dressings,but thats a one time deal. Ins is in his name and that runs out for me 9/30/08 at 1159pm. I dont know who else to turn to. Surely my state wont let me sleep outside?
Any ideas? I had to call a distant cousin to put my ted hose on, extremely swollen with pain in my calf.
Thank you.


  • I'm sorry to hear your story, not what you need after major surgery. Live in UK so can't give advice about the state's resources and how it all works - just wanted to say hi and to let you know people are thinking of you

  • OMG I cant believe you are going through this alone, well pretty much alone.
    A few things you have to do. YOu have had MAJOR surgery and you son needs to be made aware of this, I am sure he would help more if he really understood what you are going through.
    Why dont you have a bed? Does your son have a bed? If so then take his as it is far more important that you look after yourself or you will end up back in hospital. It is so important to get sleep and nutrition so if you aren't eating then a protien shake or even a smoothy can substitute.
    I wish I understood your circumstances better but I am in OZ so like Snoopy I dont know how your care systems work.

    Are you walking? This is something you really need to do and it also helps the bowels.
    With your stockings- if you have a plastic shopping bad then cut out the bottom of it so you could put your arm through. Then get the handles and make them longer by tying string, ribbon etc to lengthen the handles.
    You can now scrumch this together (side to side not top to bottom) and slide it inside your stockings. Then use your grabbers and holding it open put your foot inside the plastic bag and gently ease up. This should bring the stocking up your leg till you can grab it. The pull the bag out and drop it off your foot. It takes a bit of practice but I had to wear thigh high stockings for 3 months and I live on my own. This was the only way I could get them on.
    PM me if you dont understand.

    Now your calf- keep a good eye on it as you want to make sure it does not get hot and red as that is a sign of a DVT. The calf pain could very well be due to your surgery so dont be concerned unless it gets worse or hot and red.
    If it does call Dr ASAP. Also get the nurse to check it when she comes.

    I wish there was something I could do to help you but please try to get it through to your family (including your ex) that you need help! Dont try to muddle through on your own as we all need support.
    I will be sending blessings to you.
    Sara O:)
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  • shadowchaser360 said:
    ...extremely swollen with pain in my calf.
    That is not a good thing! When the nurse comes to change your bandages please have her look at that. You may even want to put a call into the doc's office.

  • I really hate to hear of your situation. You deserve much better. Especially the first few weeks after your surgery you need all the extra help and assistance you can get. Sept 25, 2007 I had a TLIF and was very greatful to have my mother-in-law around for the extra help when I needed it. For me getting out of bed seemed the hardest. Learning the log roll technique for some reason was hard for me to get the hang of. (must have been the old dog new tricks thing :B )

    My fusion failed and never started so my doctor is recommending a 2nd operation. On November 4th I am scheduled for a 360 as you have had.(I've already voted via mail). My doc insists the 360 is a more successful procedure than a TLIF or PLIF alone. He also insists that in his experience the recovery time is less than one of the single procedures. I know the pain must be intense, but I'm going to go for it.

    Once again my mother-in-law is flying to TX from FL to help out for a couple of weeks. Even though we do not see eye to eye on many things, she has been a god send.
  • I am so sorry you are going thru all of this!

    Just a thought to consider. In regards to insurance, if you are being removed, arent they required to offer a Cobra plan (same plan but you pay directly, it was offered for up to 36 months last time I checked). I am most familiar with this for when you leave a job so it may make no sense in your situation. Of course then you needs to have the extra $$ to cover it.

    What about old friends, your sons friends parents, neighbors, etc.... I know you dont want to impose on people, but you do need help for some things. You would be surprised who will help if you just ask. Maybe someone wouldnt mind running to the store for you to pick up some microwave meals, soups, etc.... I went for groceries today and regret it now and I at at 6 weeks after my fusion.

    I like angelbacks' idea for a ted donner. I made one years ago by cutting a half gallon milk container in half(make sure there are no rough edges), attach ropes to the top. Then you put the sock over the bottom and go fishing for your foot, pull up and there you go. OK, its hard to get it from that description, lol. Google for sock or ted donner and you can get an idea of what I am talk about.

    Can you talk with your son and give him insentives for helping. OK, yes, it's bribery. I hate to say it, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    I hope that the next few days and weeks go alittle better for you. Wish I could help you out someway.

    Take Care,

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  • shadow- wow, sorry to hear of all this going on at one time..I don't know if this applies or not, but I had some free visits with my NS post-op..And I don't know if this will help or not, but I used a suppository-dulcolax- and drank black tea with honey/lemon to help get my bowel system moving. And walking helped some as well.

    The calf issue is something else to watch. I did not know the symptoms but I had calf cramping like a charleyhorse that would not stop for 5 days, not sure, maybe a week??.. I had a small red dot there that eventually encircled my calf with a small increase in ankle size. Only I could see the difference. It was a DVT with a PE. I was not told by anyone what to look for. I am not saying it is this but something to keep an eye on and see the dr if needed....jade
  • I am not familar with your situation either. You say the ol man your living with??? As in boyfriend or just someone you moved in with to have housing?????
    Yes the nurse needs to educate both of them on your condition. Will they both be there tomorrow??? Son probably has school though.
    You need a bed formost. That is the IMPORTANT THING. Especially with your procedure. So I would take your son's bed and make him sleep on the couch.
    Sorry about the insurance. If you do not work then mabye you qualify for medicade????? Or any type of assistance as in social services, food stamps anything?? Just make a phone call hun. Plus your taking care of a underaged child.
    It would most likely be considered a emergency, but the again depending on the state might also be considered a pre exsisting condition.

    The nurse may be able to help you with several suggestions.
    Yes you need laxatives in you due to the pain meds. Any over the counter one will work. Plus a fiber supplement.
    You need to eat hun.
    Can a neighbor or your son go out for you and get soups and so forth???
    There has to be a least one person. But like I said not familair with your current situation. Just trying to give you ideas.

    Watch that leg to like the others said. Do NOT forget to tell the nurse tomorrow.

    I wish you all the best of luck and you are in my thoughts.
    Terri >:D< O:) >:D< O:)
  • Shadow, I am so sorry to hear of your situation. Please try to apply for public assistance. Do you have a church you could ask for help? I was also wondering if perhaps your post-op followup is included in your surgical fees as I believe mine is. It wouldn't hurt to ask. If your ex is employed and insured he can keep you on his plan until your divorce is final as you are still legally married. I know I insured my ex up until we were officially split by law. I hope you find a way to get this situation headed in the right direction. Please take care of yourself, >:D< Sue
  • Just wanting to see how things are going for you.
    Please let us know.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Sorry I havnt posted much. Pain as well as the other things have been occupying my mind.
    I only qualified for one nurse visit after I came home from the hosptal. She showed me how to change my front dressing and i got my daughter (hopefully) to come by and change the back dressing as I cant see it very well to change it. I still dont have abed.. sons is upstairs and I cannot manage the steep stairs at this point. I was going to try and sleep in the dear dh bed but he went to bed on the side facingout and there wasnt anyway i could crawl into the other side withoutjepordizing my spine; the smirk on his face was unlike any other I have ever seen in my life. So back to the recliner I went. Im awake most nights, I find myself cat napping. I tripped over a cord today, that has set me back by trying to just get comfortable Im not sure there is such a thing as comfortable. Nurse said yesterday that I have 3+ in bilat feet/ankles. She also said didnt appear to be DVT. Still have no appetite, but YEA the bowels moved.. used the ole trick of warm prune juice and mom. Yuck, I know, but hey, it worked!!As far as the insurance, I cannot afford the COBRA as Im not working and this ins is thru the dh. I know some are prolly wondering why... well my only option was to have surgery and get back on my feet. Monday night I guess they fixed supper and didnt even offer me anything, I had fallen asleep and when I woke and smelled something good, everything was put up high out of reach. The dh basically said tough s%$t and went back to bed.
    Please continue to pray for me as I h ave no one I can ask around me. As far as his mom/dad. they are retired with money and when I was having surgery they drove 5 hours to babysit for there real grandkids. They have not called me to ask if I need anything. They think nothing is wrong I suppose. They travel monthly to there timeshares like Mexico, hilton head etc. If she wants to know someting about me she will call her son. I have done nothing to this person, and I remember when we first got together "i was the best thing for her son." Guess that no longer applies. My mom is disabled, and is unable to help. The hospital was a lonely time. At least I had very good staff and doctors. I am very thankful for that.
    Sorry for the novel. It helps to have others listen even if you dont know them. May god bless you!
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