Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spinal Fusion : Part Two

Part 2 :

First of all ,a couple of things I forgot in my last post .

 After surgery , I also had a drain in my back. This weird thing was a long tube and a little round box of blood. It actually reminded me of a little boxy purse.
like this ,only with blood :)

I think ,after 3 nights ,one of the P.A's came and removed it and then tightened up a couple stitches which had been holding it in. This was actually pretty painful .

Apparently ,narcotic prescriptions can not be "called in" to the pharmacy .So we had to stop on the way home and drop off an actual "paper" prescription from the doctor . For oxycodone with tylenol and some Robaxin (a muscle relaxer). Hubby brought me home, got me up the stairs and then went back and picked up the actual meds.

For the most part , the first week ,I was ok as long as I didn't move . Changing positions was agonizing. I spent most of the week ,taking meds faithfully every 4 hours and napping. I was getting up to walk (barely) thru the house and using my nice old lady walker. I also had a shower chair in hubbys shower and a (not very) elevated toilet seat. Besides the 'reacher" which turned out to be a lifesaver.
This is the only equipment I had.

Hubbys back had gone out about 3 weeks BEFORE my surgery. Ahhh, what lovely timing. So, Here I am totally helpless and feeling pretty low mentally, and I'm wide awake at 4 a.m. because my meds have worn off and my sleep pattern does not even apply right now. So, it's 4 a.m . and what do I want ? I want some coffee. NOW. I ask my husband for some coffee and he say "wait a little while. "
I'm sorry. This is when I turn into a pity pot baby.

He finally gets up and he can barely even get out of bed himself ,due to the pain in his own back.
Woe is me. lol

Well ,the next day he woke up earlier and I watched him painfully get out of bed to go make coffee. I thought to myself "you are such a horrible you are on oxycodone, it's probably easier for YOU to get out of bed than it is for him. Go make your own damn coffee."

Ugh. Well anesthesia ,the meds ,the lack of sleep ,pain ,the surgery itself and the distance between my kids and friends and myself all conspired to make me a pretty sad and weepy patient.
One of my sons was able to drive up and spend the weekend with me .I can not tell you how good this was for my morale . And, he also did a list of work for me which neither hubby nor I could do. His visit basicly made me feel a lot less hopeless . Thank you so much Wes!

You can skip this next part if you care to , it's about "poo"
Well actually ,lack of poo. However ,this IS part of my recovery story so it's relevant.
Ok, my surgery was on the 16th. I had spent the week prior in Florida with my grandson Conrad. So , lets estimate that I probaly had a B.M. 2 or 3 days BEFORE surgery.
ok, AFTER surgery ,in the hospital (for 4 days) they gave me stool softeners, mirolax, ducolax, all kids of "laxes" . Nome of them did any thing at all.
So, once home, I continued to take overdoses of various laxatives. NOTHING. The days continue to pass, still nothing. I finally resort to the big guns ...magnesium citrate (the stuff they give you before a colonoscopy) I drink a whole bottle of it. I get sweaty ,nauseated. Cut out my pain pills. still NOTHING. The next day ,the joy of 2 enemas. still.......NOTHING. Well, it's been 2 entire weeks now and NOTHING. Obviously ,this situation has me feeling like crap. Stomach bloated, nauseated, ect.

I spoke to the doctors office (again) today about this situation and they said if I start vomiting ,get to the E.R.
So , coming up tomorrow.....more desperate attempts in the poo department.
Seven correctols since yesterday far ZIP. If nothing happens in the next few hours I guess I'm off to the E.R.  (insert cuss words here)

Other than that , I think everything is going pretty well. The pain is pretty manageable as long as I stay on top of taking meds when they are due. I have actually slept thru the early a.m. meds a couple times and BOY, can I feel  the difference. Turning over is the worst. Sometimes my stomach feels like I have jut done about 5,000 crunches. 

It's kind of hard to tell because I am still pretty inactive and also medicated,but so far it seems that most of my pre-surgery pain is gone. I have noticed a weird new pain on the outside of my knee ,but that is probably just the nerves still being swollen and such. They did monitor my nerves during the surgery .Oh yeah , another thing I forgot ,a day or two after surgery I noticed these scabs on my head . Apparently they attach some kind of electrodes all over you and also poke you with pins ,during the nerve monitoring process. 

I am able to do a little more every day . Today for example , I managed to do a load of laundry with the help of my handy dandy reacher tool. I also fixed the bed ,swept the back patio, washed a few dishes (by hand) I can not bend to use the dishwasher. I also walked 20 laps back and forth ,thru the house. I have not yet walked outside ,due to the "poo " problem and the stairs. I am back to showering in my own bathroom, up the spiral stairs. The main restrictions are what they call BLT's ,No bending, no lifting (over 8 pounds) and no twisting. This is actually more restrictive than one would think. I also have to wear my back brace if I am up for more than a few minutes.

I am still pretty grossed out by most food. I am constantly on the on the verge of nausea. I look absolutely homely as can be .Today is the first day I have worn real pants (because all the sweats and p.j.s were dirty) . My incision is kind of itchy ,but I try not to touch it. At first my entire back seemed swollen as tight as a dog tick. Luckily ,that feeling has lessened quite a bit. My back does feel really hard and lumpy. I'm trying to just ignore all that for now. How do I know what's normal? 

The cats have been my constant ...annoying pains in the butt....errrr I mean sweet loving companions.

I go back to the doctors on the 4th. First I will go get some X-rays and then see the doctor. I have no Idea how well ,or not well the bones are healing. I think it takes quite a while for them to know if the bones are fusing. I am pretty hopeful for a good outcome. I don't feel like anything dreadful is going on.

This was during surgery , with a drill and retractors shown on the x ray , those are now gone but the screws plus a couple rods (not pictured) will remain in place. Ouch!

                                     Please keep me (and hubby) in your prayers. 

   Have a great day peeps! love me


  1. I'm glad things are getting better. I'm sympathetic about the poo problem. I exploded finally today after 5 days. Very very painful. My Dr said take magnesium pills 2xs a day would do the job, but I think it was the prune juice that did it. You might be better off at the er. That stuff is dangerous. Love you! Aud

  2. I was told, after the fact, that black strap molasses from the health food store was the way to go