Having a Hemilaminectomy & Discectomy on Monday morning!

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CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/9/2010 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone -

I've been meaning to post more since my initial introduction post, but I have been beyond busy! I'm having surgery on Monday morning for my back and I've been trying to take care of everything that needs to be done since I'll be having to take it easy and not do anything for quite a while. So I'm going in for 6:15am Monday morning for a Hemilaminectomy & Discectomy Procedure of the L5-S1 disc. I know I also have a bulge at L4-L5 but the doctor is all about only working on one spot at a time. As far as I know, he won't be putting anything in, just trimming the disc that's herniated.

I had my MRI done in October and the pain has gotten alot worse since, but I'm hoping that the problem inside hasn't gotten worse.

I'm pretty nervous about the surgery. I've been under a great deal of stress lately and I just don't like going into surgery with all this on my mind. This is my 8th surgery in 3 years. I'm not worried about the pain from being cut open - I just want to be sure I wake up from surgery!! And of course not be paralyzed or something like that. I'm a worrier, what can I say?!

I've got people coming to stay with me to help, but the one I really don't want help from (my Mom), is the one that's going to be here the most. She's the biggest stress in my life right now. My surgery was supposed to be on the 18th, which was perfect for me because my sis-n-law is flying in to help on the 20th. Well they called and moved surgery up a week to the 11th, so I ended up having to make changes and rely on my Mom to be here from the start.

My husband was able to get time off of work and not have to use all of his vacation up - he's working this weekend to save the time. I have a 3 year old so I'm hoping that she'll understand that Mommy has boo-boo's and needs her to be good for us. She's at this age where she's having tantrums left and right and wants everything her way. I can only hope that she will see that I'm "sick" and be a good girl.

So anyway... Who else has had this surgery done? Can you give me any feedback on your experience? Can you tell me anything that you wish you had known prior to surgery, or any special things you did that helped your healing be better to deal with?

Well I've got way too much to do yet this weekend.. I'll be trying to get back on here before surgery and then after to update on how it went. I'll be taking my computer with me to the hospital, mainly so the hubby has something to entertain himself with. He'll be spending the night with me at the hospital, thankfully! :)

spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 1/9/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
hello, I had a bi-lateral laminectomies, foraminotomies, with disc excission at L4,L5,S1 in 2002 and oct. 2009 had a posterior fusion with instrumentation L4, L5, S1. I had good results from the first operation but I was 23 and stupid and strain it too much working, fishing in the cheseapeke bay and things like it so I needed fusion at 30. It sounds to me like you have a good surgeon from him doing as little as he can and get the job done. If i knew then what i know now i would have taken a stool softener a few days prior to it. The second big thing is that the quicker you get on your feet and walk the better the chances you will have good results. Actually walking was the best thing for post-op pain relife and getting blood circulating through the scare tissue for better healing. The pain after surg. is like working too hard in the gym but it is located in your para-spinal muscles; which is weird. Whatever muscle relaxant works for you will lower pain and get you more mobIle. My first surgeon was big on a NSAID after the initial post-op period. You may great results from the small targeted surgery area, I bet you have a neurosurgeon from the sound of it but it dose not matter really. Don't be afraid of pain meds in the short term if you need them. I hope and pray you have a great lami.

Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/9/2010 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Best of luck on the surgery.

When you are up to it please let us know how it went and if you think it has done any good. Many here are looking at similar procedures and any insight, good or bad, is quite welcome.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 1/9/2010 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck!

Skeye

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11120
   Posted 1/9/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Best of luck to you and please do let us know how you are after surgery. Spinal Soldier gave you some good tips. I can tell you walking is the only form of exercise you will be allowed to do for quite awhile. It is the best exercise to help wake up the bowels after surgery and it will help you get your strength back. Let your helpers do the hard stuff thats why they are there to help you.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3248
   Posted 1/9/2010 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
CntThnkOfSN

This has already been mentioned, but I will mention it again as it is important, and I just has a Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion done the end of September, and I say this from experience, with any type of spinal surgery they don't want you straining, or bearing down, so make sure if you need it to ask for something to help you with waking up your bowels and getting things back to normal working order. This can and often does cause major problems with patients after this type of surgery! Unfortunately this is seldom talked about by allot of nurses during the patient stay or when doing patient discharge ! But it can cause you major problems, so you kind of have to be your own advocate on such matters! I wish you well with your surgery!

Good Luck to You!

White Beard

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/10/2010 3:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I also want to wish you the best of luck. After my double lumbar fusion, I was home alone, but I did have community nurses come in once/day for awhile and then a couple of times a week. If you have any home services like that it may help you a bit. Also - get things like a high hat toilet seat, and shower chair. It's best if you can to have your doctor order them before you leave the hospital, as it's easier to get insurance to pay for them. If you need help, ask for the hospital social worker to come talk to you while you're an inpatient.

Also, get whatever help you need with your 3 year old. No, she's not going to understand in the way you'd like her to, and if she's throwing tantrums now it may be because she's picking up on the stress, and also wanting more attention than you're able to give her. Perhaps your mother can focus on being with your daughter and you can get help from others.

And as others have said, do take it easy! Overdoing it is a sure way to cause problems with your healing.

Take care!

PaLady

Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1711
   Posted 1/10/2010 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck. I had this exact surgery thirty years ago. It was extremely successful and I know you will do well. Please let us know how it goes.

Lindaloo
Co-Moderator Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Forums
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11120
   Posted 1/10/2010 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Whatever you do do please do not try to pick yur daughter up or pull her onto your lay or the bed. Someone must place her where she needs to sit if she is wanting to sit next to you. Just remembered this one.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 1/10/2010 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope all goes well with the surgery. I don't have anything to add but I just wanted to wish you well, golitho

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/10/2010 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone. I'm trying to remain as calm as I can today.. it's not working too well though!! I'm looking forward to getting the relaxing drugs at the hospital so I can calm down. I just hate having this bad feeling running through my mind. I know that all the stress I've been under lately is not helping at all. I've taken half of an Ativan earlier today trying to ease my mind. I may need the other half here pretty soon. I'm trying to eat some mild food and just kick back and watch tv.

Although I've got a couple phone calls to make yet tonight.

I definitely will not be picking my daughter up at all. I know that would just totally destroy my recovery. I'm going to rely on everyone else to help me and help take care of her.

I will try and update here to let everyone know how surgery went.. and if I don't, I'll ask my husband to do it for me.

I'm hoping I will get some good sleep tonight and wake up accepting whatever will be will be. I can't help but worry either way.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11120
   Posted 1/10/2010 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Wishing you the very best tomorrow and please have hubby inform us if he has a moment. Take care of yourself above all.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Stella Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 1/10/2010 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Our thoughts and prayers are with you .......
 
You have had some great advice from some of the HW family that have been there. 
 
Keep us posted when you are up to it.

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.

 

 


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3248
   Posted 1/10/2010 11:38 PM (GMT -6)   
CntThnkOfSN


Sending you Good Healing Vibes and your in my Prayers,!!!!



Wishing you all the best!



Good Luck tomorrow!



White Beard

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/11/2010 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
hey everyone -

just wanted to update - i'm in the hospital, obviously.. :) surgery went well. i don't know what all the doctor did at this point because he said he would see me tomorrow. he said that i wouldn't remember anything he told me today so he figured he'd just see me tomorrow. i think he did what he planned with just removing the herniated disc. i'm in quite a bit of pain tonight - it feels like it's burning down by my incision. probably because i've not been allowed to walk yet and won't be til tomorrow. oh boy, they tried to get me to go potty on a bedpan right out of surgery - no way!! it would not work even though i gave my best and tried. after a few options and procedures done to just get me relief then, i was finally allowed to get a bedside commode for the rest of the day. But I'm having problems going. They are going to have a urologist come see me tomorrow probably to find out what the problem is. i'm hoping it's not my kidneys. it's been like this for 1.5 years at least! Anyone else have problems like this??

i just got my pain medicine so hopefully it will take affect soon and knock me out! :lol: i've not really slept much since waking up at 5 this morning after going to bed at 2.

thank you all for your all well wishes! Keep the prayers coming

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 1/11/2010 11:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Cnt,

Thanks for the update. I'm so glad to hear that the surgery went well! Best wishes for a speedy and painless recovery! I'll be keeping you in my thoughts & prayers.

hugs,
Skeye

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/12/2010 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
That is one of my pet peeves about surgery.

Every surgery I have had they had me empty my bladder before giving me any sedatives. Then once in the OR they knock me out and stick a catheter in for the duration of the surgery. Once they are done and turn off the knock out gas the remove the thing and send to recovery where they expect you to go 10 minutes after waking up.

When I had my appendix removed a couple of years ago the surgeon order a catheter to be reinserted if I did not go within 2 hours of waking up. Of course I hadn't had any liquids for 6 hours prior to the surgery and wasn't allowed any for 4 hour post surgery. Combine that with the catheter and I was expected to go in 2 hours....yeah right. The nurse even thought that was stupid but said if I didn't go in 3 hours she would have no choice. I told she was right, she didn't have a choice because I was not going to allow it to happen and it was my legal right to refuse any procedure and if they tried to physically force one on me that was battery and everyone involved could and would be brought up on charges, not to mention I was sure there would be several visits to the ER in the process.

Never did hear another word about it. LOL.

And 2 hours after I was allowed liquids again I went just fine.

Imagine that.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.


bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 1/12/2010 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a good idea to see a urologist if you've been having issues with urinating for 1.5 yrs.

I'm surprised the surgeon didn't speak with your husband or whoever you had with you during your surgery about how the procedure went. Let us know what you find out!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 1/12/2010 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Jim1969, that it one of the best solutions for that problem I have ever heard. I

spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 1/12/2010 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry I had a muscle spasm and hit something. I was saying I wish I had thought of that. i had a traumatic exp.. Don't worry yet CnTnofSN, this is pretty common after this type of surgery. I actually would have talked about it but since your not a man I didn't; I have never known of a ladie to have had this problem. The decompression surgery they did is right where the exiting nerves to the bladder are if not real close; not to mention It's a traumatic exp., It's not every day that someone digs around the bottom of your spinal cord. That area is now highly inflammed and not operating normally. Also the opiate pain meds they are giving you relax smooth muscle tissues like the bladder, urinary tract, and GI tract. Things should return to normal soon enough. bsjaguar is right about if you have had ongoing problems to get with the Urologist. It could be related to your chronic lumbar problems or any opioid meds, or certain muscle relaxants such as flexeril which has a anti-cholenergic effect. Men; I don't know about women can pretreat this inconvenience by taking Flomax for a couple days prior to surgery. All the surgeons I know usually leave the cath. in 24hrs. after the op before it's taken out.

I'm happy to hear your doing good. Your pain should start to subside in 72 hours or so.

still praying.

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/13/2010 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I'm home - got out yesterday around 4. This is going to be a rough recovery. I probably should have tried to wait til it was warmer out so that I could walk more outside. My apartment is way too small to do laps in to help me get moving. It feels like my spine is disconnected and it's hard to support it. Sitting up is even difficult to do. But I'm trying! And since I've lost so much weight, my body aches from laying if I've laid on my sides too long - no fat or meat on my bones for cushioning!

I start physical therapy today at home.. waiting for the woman to come out. I'm pretty stiff, so hopefully she won't hurt me too much. :) I've had to moved some appts around because there is no way I'm going to be leaving the apt. anytime soon.

I'm really disappointed with my Mom right now - she was supposed to be helping me and all she's been doing is being a problem. Yesterday she was asking my husband to come home from the hospital just so she could run get her mail - she has a car seat in her truck.. seriously? She's supposed to be here at all times to help me. This is what I was worried about - that she would tell me she's got to run home to check stuff, blah blah blah.. and literally leave me stranded. I'm so irritated I'm going to blow. And she's nagging me about work stuff (I work from home for her). I'm not even home 24 hours and she's on my butt about stuff.

I wish that I could have just had surgery next week - my sis-n-law will be here on Weds and that would have worked out perfectly.

As for the bladder stuff - when I got up the next day, I was back to normal.. well normal for me at least. Maybe there was some issue in my spine causing the problem. I hope it's going to get back to normal. I have a urologist and asked them to bring him in to see me, but they never did. I'll definitely go see him if the problems come back.

I called my PM doc and he increased my med from 4x a day to 5x a day for now and then I'll go see him next week on Tues.

When the surgeon came in to check on me, he literally pushed me over on my side and ripped my bandage off. He was quite rough with me. I was surprised how rough honestly. Especially since I woke up that morning screaming in pain! I haven't even mentioned that yet. I woke at 5am to my entire right leg in intense pain. On a scale of 10 I was at 15!! I was crying and everything. I don't know why it hurt as much as it did.. maybe because I'm so tall (5'10) and was laying in a short bed or maybe it was inflamed in there, but it was horrible. Worse than any of the pain I'd ever felt in my leg before. The doctor said maybe it was inflammation and gave me an IV of steroids which I really was not supposed to have because of the gastric bypass surgery. But he said it would be ok. They gave me an injection of morphine in my leg which brought the pain to a 12. But they were refusing to give me my pain medicine til I reached 12 hours - I don't know why!??! I'm on a 6 hour schedule, so I didn't understand it. Especially after screaming in pain like that. It took an hour and a half and they finally gave me my medicine. Which still didn't help.

So now I'm home and I'm walking like a grandma, hunched over. I'm stiff, my butt hurts from sitting and my shoulders & hips hurt from laying. My right hip is surprisingly in quite a bit of pain - not sure why. Just glad I see my PM doc who specializes in the spine next week.

So this road is going to be a rough bumpy one..! PT is here now, so I better go!

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 1/13/2010 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd have told that Dr off in a heartbeat.That's no reason to treat you that way.....Dirt bag..
SnowyLynne


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/13/2010 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Cnt,
I'm so surprised that your pain and urologist issues weren't managed better post-surgically. I had my cath left in for a good 24 hrs after my surgery, and had a morphine pump for the first day or so, then went to oral meds. Your post-surgical pain should have been managed.

This is just my opinion, and I'm not a doctor, but I'm surprised they've got PT coming in so soon. Be careful they don't push you too much too fast - and that you don't do the same to yourself. Yes, being up and moving around in bits and pieces (use a cane or a walker if you need to, as you don't want to fall!) but don't need to be walking around the block just yet. And you may have to do most of your walking around your apt. if it's icy or snowy outside - at least until you can get to a mall or to your PT's office. Don't be afraid to assert yourself if you feel your needs aren't being met properly. Sounds like you may need to do that with your mother, too, although I know that's always a challenge! She may need to hear it clearly from you that YOU'RE the one with needs now.

Take care of yourself - and remember not to push it! Oh, one thought I had is you may be sore in some areas because of the position they had you in during surgery. They're pretty rough on our body's once we're out of it!

PaLady

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/13/2010 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Snow - I was surprised at his roughness.. but he was decent in my meetings with him prior. And he was recommended by PM doc as being the best around, so I went with him. I may very well use someone else when it comes to my neck. I'll be sure to tell my PM doc about my experience.

Pa - I was surprised too. They didn't seem alarmed that I couldn't go. They checked me with a bladder ultrasound a couple times actually. I've mentioned this to several docs in the past and no one seemed concerned. The PT isn't exactly PT just yet - they taught me simple exercises - foot pulls, butt clenches and knee tightening.. all designed to help prevent blood clots. She taught me how to get up, how to get into bed, log roll once in there and she checked on all my equipment - walker, raised toilet, shower stool. It went very well. She actually noticed I have a bit of scoliosis and my one leg is longer than the other. When laying flat, you can see my one knee is significantly higher than the other. When standing you can see that there's a noticeable difference and when she put a magazine under my left foot, it came up to almost even.

I'm definitely going to do something about my Mom. My husband can't take every day off and I need to be able to rely on her. I can not do anything! She doesn't seem to understand that. So tonight - she just got back here at 9pm after being gone ALL day, I'm going to talk to her.

If you read a bit of my introduction post here, you know there's been some issues with my brother and the addiction he has to pain pills. My Mom has been dropping everything on me and basically crawling up his butt even though he's constantly knocking her down. Well he's finally going into rehab.. or so he's talking about it. I truly don't care about what he does anymore. If my Mom can't be here for me but can for him, well then I'm just going to have to do it without her. I don't need this stress.

Anyway!!! I'm going to go watch some tv. My husband is going to work tomorrow half the day and same thing on Friday. Wish he was able to be here, but I'll figure it out. I had to have my neighbor come over to help me so he could go to the store, all because my Mom couldn't come back to the house for a lil bit. I can rely on strangers better than my own family. Maybe that's a good thing!

I hope everyone is well!

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/13/2010 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
A little counter point on the post surgery pain meds. I can understand why the doctors didn't want you to have any for a while. It was to see how bad your pain really is and where it really is coming from. If you are heavily medicated that could be problematic.

No excuse though for being manhandled though.


Keep us updated though. I, in particular, want to know how your recovery goes since I have the same problem you have (or hopefully had) with bad discs in the same location and the doctors are pushing for surgery.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

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