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Post Op complications

I had my spinal fusion (L4-L5) with multiple bone spurs removed on July 2nd. I plan to go back to work Oct. 2nd. I am a pretty positive person and thought I could overcome this in one month. No way! First my surgery was supposed to be 3 hours: it turned into an eight hour nightmare. Then my oxygen bottomed out and they found out I had multiple blood clots in both lungs and one blocking my pulmonary artery. Since I'm a registered nurse, I realize how serious and critical shape I was in. Fortunately for me, I didn't know about it at the time. I was out of it for the first two days. The only thing I really remember from my ten day stay is pain and lots of it. No matter how I turned or moved the back pain was horrible. The dilaudid they gave me made me crazy. My family considered an exorcism after my head started spinning. I take it I was not very nice to the nurses in the ICU. Plus the heparin drip that I had to be on required blood draws every 6 hours. I swelled up and gained 20 pounds of fluid. I was bruised from top to bottom. No one could access a vein for blood draws. Of course that didn't stop them from trying repeatedly.I think they finally brought the janitor up from the basement and he got it on the first stick. After ten days, I guess they had practiced on me all they wanted, so they shipped me to a nursing home that was also a "rehab center". The folks were great, but after two weeks all I wanted was to go home. Bless them for helping me achieve that goal. Now I am 3 months out and ready to go back to work. I walk every day. I have changed my diet and lost over twenty pounds, slowly.
Maggie Savage


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,706
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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