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29 hrs post op! Sorry long detailed post.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery was delayed yesterday by about 3 hrs...something about being able to do nerve conduction studies during the operation. I'm a little fuzzy on the details cause they had already moved me from preop to the holding area (my sis stayed with me in pre op but it was patients only in OR holding)& had already given me versed, fentanyl, decadron & zofran. The anesthesiologist came to see me twice. The first time to ask questions & order the above mentioned meds & the second time just to see how I was doing with the delay & to offer me more drugs which I declined...I was very comfortable & had no anxiety. My surgeon also came twice..the first time to mark my neck & chat & the second time to apologize for the delay. Some girl came & spoke to me about the nerve conduction stuff but I really don't recall much of what she said. Too bad cause however they did it left me with really bad bruising & swelling from all the needles (about 7 on my hands & wrists). Everyone was VERY nice & comforting. They all felt bad that I had to wait in holding so long. I was awake when they put me on the OR table & while they were setting up the room a little. They put a mask on my face & said it's 100% oxygen. I felt a rush go up my arm & I asked if he had given me something but they said they had the iv wide open. Then the nurse started to say the medicine would burn a little & as she was saying it I felt the heat go up my arm. I got very sleepy & remember trying to fight it & that was it.

I think I was in the OR about 1 1/2 hrs. I woke up in recovery feeling really good except for pain in the back of my neck & upper back. They hooked me up with a Dilaudid PCA but gave me an extra shot of it cause it wasn't working fast enough. 10 minutes later I was in my very nice private room with great view. I did have a urinary catheter which I didn't expect but was grateful for all night & I woke up in a Miami J collar which I was fitted for before they took me to holding. My sis came in the room shortly after & helped me change into my jammies & thank God UNDERWEAR! I felt really hyper cause I didn't expect to feel so good. I scared my nurse by having my sis get me up & walk up the hall. I talked everyone's ear off cause I was so excited it was over & had gone so well.Even though the dilaudid made me groggy I had a lot of trouble sleeping. The nurse came in around 11 pm & told me I could sleep on my side with lots of pillows for support. That was the best news EVER. I hate sleeping on my back. I dozed a little for a couple of hrs but was up at 5am.

Sis helped me get washed up. Surgeon came at 6am, saw me in bathroom putting on moisturizer & said "hey if you're putting on makeup you can go home"!!! He told me everything had gone really well no surprises. I took out my catheter myself & walked down to my unit & the icu to visit my buddies. I walked, walked, walked & walked some more. The surgeon's PA came in & changed my dressing & took out my drain. That was hard..with the collar off I felt like my head was gonna fall off. I went home at 11 am. Have percocet & flexeril to take at home. I definitely overdid it this morning at the hospital & the nurse manager forced me into a wheelchair to go to the lobby. I was hurting bad when I got home but I had not gotten muscle relaxers at the hospital & the flexeril was good once it kicked in.

Sorry about so much detail but I know kattoo & others are soon going & I wanted to share what a great experience I had. Everyone is amazed at how well I feel & can move. I'm really tired but that's cause I was running around all day & didn't sleep last night. Overall, I am completely thrilled with my experience.

I'll keep updating on my progress but if anyone has a specific question they can pm me. Take care everyone!

ps The numbness & tingling in my legs & feet has disappeared! I still have it in my hands & arms but not as bad. No incision pain (except when she changed the dressing). Muscle spasms are really my only pain but flexeril is keeping those manageable. My throat is really sore & swollen but I had liquids in the hosp & had scrambled eggs & pudding tonight. Losenges really help & ice water is my best friend.


  • Sounds like things are going great. Don't over do. Follow your doctor's instructions. Will be praying for you

  • Good to hear you did so well. Now make sure you follow all the surgeons orders and rest alot. You may experience days you feel good and then bang the spasms set in. So don't over do it on the days you feel good. Time will pass fast and you will be back to all those things you loved doing. good luck and keep us posted on your recovery.
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  • I'm so glad to hear that your surgery went well. I can't beleive how much you were up and walking around right afterwards. I give you a ton of credit for taking your own cathetar out. I probably would've with mine if I knew how. I'm sure you just yank it but I didn't dare take a chance. Mine kept filling or the hose wasn't positioned correctly and someone the urine was going back up the hose and it was so uncomfortable.

    Isn't it funny how much you missed your panties? That was one of the very first things I wanted on when I woke up, however I had to wait until the next day when they took the cathetar out. I hated that thing. I just didn't feel right not being able to wear my panties =)) It was so comfortable when I was able to put on my own jammies and robe and panties. I was in the hospital for 4 days.

    You really need to take it easy and not overdo it so you can recover that much quicker.
  • I'm glad to hear that everything went ok. You sound very well and on that road to recovery!! Ice water was my favorite, too. Don't forget the bendy straws ha ha.
  • surgery is over and you did so well. Please take care and dont overdue it. You sound like you went through it so well, its amazing. Get your rest and take care. I hope tomm is another good day for you. :H
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  • I think I just slept for about 5 hrs straight! Woke up just in time to take flexeril...I'm trying to keep ahead of the muscle spasms. I am so thankful that I am able to sleep in a modified side lying position. I started to fall asleep on my back on the couch last night & kept waking up feeling like I was choking.

    As others have said, eating with a collar on is challenging. I wear a bib LOL! Had a chocolate chip cookie last night & managed to swallow it ok but feel safer with yogurt, pudding etc.

    It seems that the numbness in my hands is better tonight. Yea!!!! I will go easier on myself today. It is so easy to overdo it when you feel good but then you pay dearly for it. I am taking the percocet & flexeril regularly, benadryl cause all pain meds make me itch & xanax to help me sleep. I was not on anything but advil prior to surgery so I'm surprised I'm not completely zonked.

    Better try to get some more sleep now. Its hard to be on my laptop cause I'm too lazy to set it up properly I find I tilt my chin too far down.

    Thank you guys for your well wishes & hope evertone has a great day!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad that you're doing so well. Hope your recovery continues to go as well and that you're soon 100%. Take care and don't overdo it.
  • Congrats Joann. Isn't it just the greatest feeling to be back home? I couldn't sleep in the hospital either - it's a really crappy place to stay.

    Welcome home and I'm glad it went so well and that you're doing great. Like everyone said, it's so easy to overdo it, so follow doc's orders and take it easy. You're healing really depends on it!

    I'm sending you gentle hugs...
  • I would not have known the catheter was in if I had not seen it. I didn't feel it at all & had no urge to pee. I really didn't want one pre op but since they put it in while I was asleep it didn't bother me & I was getting so much iv fluids & drinking tons of water so I would have been up to the restroom every 1/2 hr.

    I slept more after I posted this am.I feel pretty rested now. I have some spasms in my back & I get this weird pain in the center of my chest...kinda from the front & the back but it only lasts a few seconds. It happen a lot when I drink. Throat is still sore & swollen but I'm gonna try to eat some breakfast now.
  • Hi Joann...

    Glad to hear that things went so well for you.

    I had an ACDF 9 days ago now. I am glad to hear that your experience was similar to mine. I felt so good right afterward. I actually felt really good for a couple of days. Then 3 days later, the muscle spasms hit hard. A steroid dose pack seems to have helped for the most part.

    I am feeling way better than I expected to feel. As a matter of fact, I am having trouble not overdoing it. When you have pain, it's a good reminder to back off and not do too much. But when you are feeling good, it's easy to push it a little.

    I hope you continue to feel good! Keep us posted!

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