Teed up for surgery

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CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 5/6/2008 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I am scheduled for C-spine fusion next week, C4-7. I am terrified but also a bit excited. I'm so hoping to get some relief from my pain, it would be awesome if I get even some relief. This will be my first surgery ever and I have no idea what to expect. I'm hoping some of you can offer me some encouragement and help reduce my anxiety. I know there's lots of experience here, please help me with ideas to prepare and that might help with post op. I've already started a list of things I need like pj's, tissues, water bottle, books. All good ideas or suggetions welcome. Dr, is calling in prescription for 2 braces and I've already been told I will be given 6 week of pain medication & then that's it!
 
Thanks so much, Cary   

lassieluv
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cary. I had a c-spine fusion about 7yrs ago. I had great success. You definitely won't be driving for at least 6 weeks and shouldn't be a passenger unless you have to - any little bump is painful especially at first. You will need someone to help you wash your hair. Get used to looking straight ahead as you don't want to twist your neck. I even found talking on the phone a little difficult, but I was used to cradling the phone between my head & shoulder. You will definitely need someone to help around the house. It's kind of like trial & error with what you can do but follow your Dr's instructions carefully.

As for the pain meds, I took them a little longer but everyone's needs are different.

I hope I haven't scared you. I'm sure you will do just fine. And I hope you get instant pain relief and have as much success as I did!
Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.  (Hebrews 13:2)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Cary,
I've had lumbar fusion surgery, not cervical, but I wondered do you have someone staying with you to help? I live alone, so although I had family helping, I stayed alone as soon as I returned from the hospital. It was doable, but if i did it again i'd ask someone to stay with me for a night or two. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom when you're on pain meds and all alone is not what I'd recommend! Remember how immobilized your neck will be and try to think of how to position the tv, etc. And have clothes you can button on rather than pull over your head. I bought a lot of things at the dollar store - the easiest clothes I could think of to put on, even though not the most stylish!

Good luck!
PaLady

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks lassie & PA,

Your suggestions are great & I will write them all down. I have a sister that is going to help me, I'll sk her to stay a few nights. The button up clothes are a wonderful idea, I could care less about fashion, just recovery! Thanks again, your stories have given me alot of hope! Would you recommend one of those foam back rests for sitting up in bed reading or watching TV? If yes, Where do I get one?

Best, Cary

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 5/6/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I think a well stocked WalMart might have that foam back rest. Also Amazon carries lots of medical supplies including heat pads, etc. This one does everything short of cooking dinner...lol. http://www.amazon.com/Tranquilty-Zone-Ultimate-Relaxation-Bedrest/dp/B000ECIJ1G/ref=pd_bbs_4?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1210130103&sr=8-4

Best of luck,
Chutzie
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/6/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
One of the things I was told was that if I needed some home equipment (I needed a raised toilet seat and a shower chair) to get them ordered while I was in the hospital and that would increase the likelihood insurance would pay. Course, later on my insurance denied these things and classified them as "comfort items". I would have never survived without them and still use the shower chair. So some of the supplies you may be able to get via your insurance. Ask when you're in the hospital to have an evaluation from probably the physical therapy or rehab people and they may be able to help you see what items you may need.

If I think of other things I'll add them on!

Good luck!
PaLady

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 5/7/2008 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again for your great suggestions, never thought of the "comfort item" insurance issue but will get all the supplies I can think of.
One question Chutz - is this the big heating pad you're recommending? Also I've ben off ibubrofen or any other anti-inflammatory blood thinners but assume they're OK after surgery? Did either of you give a unit of your own blood before surgery?

Just trying to be as prepared as possible.

Thanks again, Cary

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13478
   Posted 5/7/2008 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, it is normal to give a unit of blood before surgery, but I have never know of it being needed. I had to do the same when I had a hysterectomy, so don't let that scare you. Try to relax as much as possible during your recovery. Baby yourself and above all let people help you. Follow your drs directions to the letter and you should do fine. Also, don't get caught up in the trap of feeling really good one day and overdo, you will pay for that screw-up dearly. Good luck, Susie


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/7/2008 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Cary,
You may have to stay off of ibuprofen, aspirin & related products for a few months. In my case with the lumbar fusion, the doctor said they could interfere with the fusion process, so I couldn't take any of those for 3 months. Also, smoking will impede the fusion - I'm an ex-smoker so that wasn't an issue. Don't know if it's an issue for you. Your doc will give you specific instructions.

Muzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 5/7/2008 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
good luck with your surgery, Cary and God bless. I've not had fusion surgery but have had laminectomy and my main piece of advice has already been mentioned......DO NOT OVER DO, you will pay. It's so easy to do while u are on the pain meds but in the long run, it will impede your recovery. I'm not saying that u should be an invalid, but DO follow doc's instructions.
I am not my pain, it does not own me.

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