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How do I help my family understand the long process of recovery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
How do I make my family understand that for a while I will be unable to do much?I have a great husband and he is very understanding but I have had 7 :( surgeries , gangolin cyst removal,lumbar discectomy,fundlipaction and cyst removal, female surgery, lumbar discectomy redo,and hysterectomy,in the last years this will be my 8th and by far the worse. I bounce back really well from all my previous surgeries so my husband and son do not realize how long the recovey process is for spinal fusion.I have tried to explain this to them but they din't seem to be getting it.Anyone have ideas on getting them to understand? ~X(


  • Has your husband been with you to the doctor appointments? Let him hear about the process and hear directly from the doctors/hospital staff how long the process is and how careful you need to be. Hopefully your son will understand when you and your husband both tell him. Even if your family doesn't get it up front, you'll probably have to take it day by day and instance by instance to explain it to them. They will catch on as you progress. Whatever happens, protect yourself and take it slow, even if you feel pressure to be "normal" or speed things up. I wish you the best with your surgery and recovery.

  • Hello Ladybug,

    You are smart to think of these things that will help in your recovery. Before my fusion surgery my husband and I went out for dinner and that was when I prepared him for what to expect. I told him that I usually bounce back easily, but this time it may be different. I explained the seriousness of the surgery (he knew that already as he came with me to the OS's office for my pre-surgery discussion.) I told him that I may be a bitch, even more so than otherwise, but he should not take it seriously. Or I amy stop communicating, but it does not mean that he should ignore me. I asked him to be my advocate after surgery, raise hell with the nurses if I am in pain, and demand medication for me. I prepared him for a difficult time ahead. Well, after that my surgery went very well, but I am still glad we had that talk. Since you bounced back from your seven previous surgeries, maybe the same thing will happen now, but prepare your husband for a possibly very difficult time, ask for his understanding and support. I am sure he will be there for you, especially once he understand what you are facing. I don't know how old your kids are, but talk to them separately, just present the above in an age appropriate manner.

    Hope everything will go well with your surgery, but it is still a good idea to get all the support from your family that you can. And for that it is necessary that they understand your fears and concerns.

    Good luck,

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  • Thank you Kin and Haylie for you great answers. :D :D :D My husband has not went to any appointment yet because he was just promoted and can't miss any work now but he will be going with me to the pre-op appointment. I have tried to get him to have his family come over and help him when I had my previous surgeries but he has a hard time asking for help.My son is 22yrs old and lives with his wife and daughter.I won't him to come and give my husband a break through this but he's not understanding the recovery process. I don't want my husband to resent me because it has become to much for him.How do I get him to let his family help because my family all live in another state and can't come to releve him. His family will help if he lets them but he won't. :/ :/
  • 2 thoughts....

    1. first have your husband and older kids read the blogs kept by Dave and or Bruce. Each had very successful outcomes but certaunly faced their share of challenges along the way. As a care-giving spouse, I learned so much about what to expect from their stories.

    2. set a goal that you are all working towards....of course, it will be to get out of pain and resume you life....but try to think of it in terms of something you've all wanted to do together...like Bruce's goal of climbing the steps to the top of a mountain. I truly beleive that goals help keep everyone focused.

  • Good luck! The most help I had came from my 10-year-old granddaughter. My daughters,42 (and an RN) and 38 actually thought it was an out-patient procedure even though I had explained things to them. :''( My son, 22, came when I asked him to specifically do things for me. =)) My parents, my in-laws and my husband are all gone, but thank you God for my granddaughter!

    I would suggest that you personally talk to his family members when you have a chance to talk with them privately. Perhaps they will be more willing if it comes directly from you. Just a thought.

    You definitely will need help, especially for the first week. A friend who lives about an hour and a half from me came up and spent 3 days with me. What a joy! After that, I pretty much did for myself...got my own meals, got my meds, etc. One daughter lives with me and I did ask her to listen out for me when I took my first shower. Fortunately, I had no problem.

    I realize that I am a pretty independent person and am not used to asking for help. So I guess it's not really my kids' fault?

    Blessings to you!
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  • Before the surgical consult, I was confused as to what really happens during the surgery. I heard the word fusion and figured they go in and "shore up a few vertebrae". Once it was explained to me everything involved ....I realized why I needed the 6-8 weeks off work. It is going to take a lot of time to heal. I'm less than a week out of surgery and I have no pain really...a little stiffness and numbness but no actual pain so it's hard to remember that I can't do the things I want to do. That bone needs to fuse in order for it to heal properly. I think if its explained to your family what happens during the surgery and what needs to happen after...then it might make it easier for everyone.
  • I took my husband and daughter to my appointment the week before surgery, that way they could hear it directly from the surgeon. My hubby and kids (11 and 13) did really well for the first 4 weeks. They had a routine and helped me with what I needed.

    Now that I am less medicated and more awake at 8 weeks they are getting a little testy with me. They feel I should be doing more things since I am feeling a bit better. I explained the reasons why my restrictions are the same today as they were at day 1, and what can happen if I do the wrong things. Who knows if I got thru to them, I hope so. I dont see the doctor for another month. He wont consider lifting any restrictions or starting PT until my 12 week appointment.

    Take Care,
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