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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Dec 22, 2004
hello everyone! I am finally home from the hospital, and surgery went well, no issues. So, here is what went on during the six days I was gone.

Well, you know how things are the first day with surgery and what not and woke up in such pain Thursday morning, my first thought was "why in the heck did I do this to myself??????". PT got me up the first day. It was so painful. Sitting up killed my back incision and muscles, and lying down killed my abdomen incision and muscles. I literally grabbed on to my PT and had her get me down. I got up I think two more times that day. I was only able to make it to the door and back. I slept a lot with intense pain, I had my morphine pump but it did not a darn thing. So, I requested Demerol, which helps, but has a short life for pain relief. I of course had percocet and muscle relaxers plus a few other meds (the demerol was IV). I could barely move myself and no position worked. The worst things were the body spasms I would get when sleeping or when moved. My entire body would just spasm and it was literally the worst pain I have had. It is hard to explain. I never did sleep well, pain meds always wore off atleast an hour before I could have more. The demerol was about worthless-all it would do is knock me out and wear off two hours later. My back incision with staples hurt all the time-felt like I was lying on something all the time. My abdomen with steri strips burned. The second day, I was feeling much better and was able to walk out into the hall. Pain was still bad, heck, still bad today. I was on a liquid diet until Monday, gosh, I was so sick and tired of popscicles and broth I thought I'd die! Le'ts see, my roommates were fine, both very nice ladies so that was good. Hospital beds are hell on you though, the doc said they add to the pain I already had b/c there really was no support. I did love raising my feet up all the way though. By day three, I was pretty much able to move side to side, and learned to get up on the left side of the bed, it didn't hurt as much, never could get up or down on the right side. On day two or three, I had the nurse remove my foley (requested to have it left in). I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom using my IV pole for support. The first night though, I used a bedpan. Passing gas was horrible-my tummy was so rounded anyway from being swollen as it was, the added gas just made it worse. I had a central line in my neck as well as an IV in my hand that was never used. pretty soon, I was able to walk well, always needed something to hold on to though, it would be easy to lose my balance. I never did get dizzy though, a little shakey, but not dizzy. I went to a full diet Sunday night, that was great! I had my first bm Monday Night-that sucked. I had had an abdominal incision before for my appendectomy and one of course in my back for my previous surgery, but with having them at the same time, two to three times bigger was horrible. Literally kept asking if the pain was worth it. I did not have my normal pain though, that i could tell, and I knew it was worth it. My brace hurts b/c it presses on my staples, I kept taking the dressing off b/c I would sweat so bad and it made it worse. I did maintain a small fever for three days, but not too bad. I had four days of antibiotics and fluids til I left on Tuesday. I sure did not think I would be there for six days, that suprised me a bit, but it was needed. one thing I learned, don't push yourself, I did and paid for it. I would get up all the time to go use the toilet, day or night. I'd get up to wash my face and brush my teeth. I'd turn myself and scoot up in bed by myself and at night it was hell. I cried three nights in a row b/c the pain was so bad. I felt good during the day, but then my muscles would scream at me at night and meds never helped. I had so many different concoctions to get the right type of med: demerol, valium with percs, percs and benadryl etc... One night I wanted to wait to take my meds until later so I could possible sleep through the night-what a mistake. The nurse came in at seven fifteen to ask if I wanted them yet, I said, nah, I will wait until my bedtime meds, then maybe I will sleep better. BAD BAD. The night shift was short and the crap hit the fan-around nine, i started sweating really bad and my temp started to elevate, my pain was increasing by the second, then I had to cough and couldn't b/c of my tummy. I had to wait nearly two hours for my pain meds and another hour for the benadryl to knock me out (and to stop my staples from itching). My temp slowly kept rising, my pain was rising, I was sweating and just crying. I waited too long and b/c they were short had to wait even longer. Finally, I got my meds and fell asleep. I kept an ice pack on both incision sites. My second roommate had to have a fusion Monday night and they didn't start until one am Tuesday, so neither of us slept at all. LIke I said before, the spasms were the worst. If someone bumped the bed, I would scream and start crying and shaking and tense up, same thing if I jerked in my sleep. I'd say those were the worst.
I was told on Sunday that I would be going to Rehab, then on Monday, I was told I was declined but that I could have home health, but had no idea when I was going home. Then, tuesday, day of d/c, I was told I had been approved for in patient rehab. I declined. I just wanted to go home. I left at one pm Tuesday. I got mywalker just ten mins ago and will have home health. I got a reacher the first day, plus other occupational therapy devices: one to put socks on with, one for shoes, and of course the long handled sponge.hubby will get me a shower chair.
If there was anything I could pass on:
DEEP BREATHE when you hurt! For example, when I get up, i would breath OUT when sitting up, not in and that goes the same for lying back down. Breathe when you get a spasm.
Take your time to heal, don't push yourself.
Ice packs are great for swelling and benadryl not only helps with itching, but helps you fall asleep easier too.
the ride home sucked, I hadn't sat up yet, only walked. But the day of D/C I was walking fine w/o a walker. I will use it to get up from toilet and other seats, as well for longer distance walking. I don't need it to get around the apt though.
Hubby will not let me bathe by myself, so we will do that every night. He has thurs through mon off this week, and then fri through mon next week. By then, I should be okay. I really really doubt I will go to CA though, I can't even sit up, and lying down still hurts a lot. We'll see how it is after the staples are removed tomorrow though and when my abdominal incison heals. Though both are completely closed and not draining, the muscles still haven't healed. I woke up this am in agony b/c I didn't wake up at night to take pain meds, so now we will set the alarm at night for every four hours.
I didn't get my central line removed until right before discharge and the iv came out the day before only b/c I begged the nurse to remove it. It hurt anyway.
SO, I am in a lot of pain still, but getting there. I miss being able to put my feet up so watching TV in bed is harder, unless I lie on my side. I still take two pain pills every four hours with a relaxer if I need to. I know there is so much more I wanted to say, but can't remember. So, if you have any questions please ask!
Thank you all so very much for thinking of me and supporting me as well. I will check in later again. I am lying in bed right now as I type this, but I am getting sore. So, I will talk again later!

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