February 2019 Surgery Buddies



  • Hi everyone! I am 8 days out from my L5/S1 laminectomy & TLIF. The surgeon said that surgery went very well. It was 6 hours long. He encountered a lot of scar tissue from my last surgery 4 months ago. He also said that he had to retract those same muscles again, which accounted to my severe post op pain. The pain was unbearable at times and I actually felt like I wanted to die at one point. They started me on Diluded 1% IV with oxycodone and Valium by mouth. As the pain increased, they upped the Diluded to 2% every 3 hours, but it only lasted for about 45 minutes. I’ve never seen a clock move slower in my life! On Friday (my scheduled discharge date) I still had not even gotten out of bed and still had a catheter. My husband went ballistic and said NO way was I leaving. They agreed and that was a good thing. Very early Saturday morning (2AM) my BP tanked (72/37) and developed a high fever (103.4). Believe it or not, there were no orders for Tylenol in my chart! They had to call the surgeon at 3:30AM for Tylenol. After Diluded, Valium and Tylenol, I was able to sleep for 2 hours and woke up drenched. Fever broke! Late Saturday morning I was able to get up and go to the bathroom. I left late Saturday afternoon and it was good to be home. The pain is still immense, but different. They say my nerves have been so bundled and twisted, they are trying to find there way back to “normal “. Also have been getting quite a bit of bloody discharge from my incision site. I’ve been reading from others, and agree that mornings are the worst. Almost afraid to go to bed because I know I’ll need to get up! I still have horrible lower back pain (where the “work” was done, so I’m still taking pain meds in addition to Gabapentin & Valium. I need to stay on my meds and on schedule. I hope that I can turn the corner soon and not dread moving.Took a shower and washed/dried my hair this morning to feel more human!! I am walking as much as I can and my husband is my hero. Without him, I don’t know what I’d do!

    Reading this forum has given me such hope that this is just a big bump in my road. I can’t let myself dwell on the fact that in about 6-7 months I’ll need another surgery to remove the device that first surgeon put in along with double fusion!

    I know this is VERY long but I need to vent! Thanks all for listening!

  • Hi Fi, have been wondering about you since I recalled our surgery dates were similar. My three week mark is today. Glad to hear your update. It is bumpy, and you are so right we should take care of ourselves! 

     I too am coping with a lot of tiredness and weakness. I am off tramadol and instead using cannabis once a day and at night. It still hurts, but it’s bearable. I am icing, and take gabapentin and muscle relaxer. I had such a terrible experience w withrawal from the narcotic last time that I just wanted to get off ASAP. I am definitely feeling more realistic about my recovery off tramadol. I think its good to feel some pain. I really got to where I barely had any on it. 

    Meg, I am so sorry things have been rough. Definitely vent. I hear you! I had a long revision surgery too. My Dr. said it was “a mess in there”, referring to tons of scar tissue he “cleaned out” from my previous fusion 3 years ago. It is terrible to be in the hospital and not have your pain controlled. It’s behind you now, I found my first week home still pretty unbearable— but week two at home really turned a corner. 

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  • Thanks for sharing the info on the nausea, dizziness, etc...I had spinal fusion surgery  7 weeks ago and I have also been experiencing constant lightheadedness while I was in the hospital and since being home. It has made it hard to transition off the walker. No idea if my Dura is associated with this.  my physical therapist think so.  I also think it could be coming from just everything that my body has been through

  • Hi everyone! I hope everybody is having a good Saturday. I can really identify with just about everything you guys are saying. This crazy unexpected nerve pain is really bothering me. I spoke to my surgeons office yesterday and was told it’s normal. The nerves are trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Even when I bend my neck down, the shooting pain travels down all my right side. Gabapentin does seem to help. Fortunately it does not make me dizzy/tired. Appetite is not good. Yogurt w/fruit and a wee bit of soup is all I can handle. I can walk 4 times around my pool lanai ( live in FL) Just nice to be outside. I have no energy which is bad. Need to write notes for food/gifts from friends but that’s not happening. Anyone else have that unexplained nerve pain? It really hurts!  Thanks for listening and I love being kept in the loop with you guys. Hugs! Meg

  • Hi Meg,

    I had horrible nerve pain days 5-9 and finally called the surgeon. I was told this was normal as well. It does not make it any easier to deal with. I had been very against the Gabapentin due to the side effects but I decided I had to give it a try. I will be at 5 weeks post op on Tuesday and on the Gabapentin for almost 3 weeks. It really seems to be helping. I had my first follow up last Wednesday and the PA has increased the night dose. Thank God not noticing any side effects yet. Fingers crossed. Are you wearing compression stockings at all? This may help with the dizziness. I ordered a pair of Jobst knee highs as I did not want to wear thigh high TED hose. Also, make sure you are staying hydrated with water. Dehydration can also cause dizziness. My endurance is still not back to normal despite wanting to do things. I’m just still slow and energy is zapped quick. It will get better. Each week seems to improve. Good Luck! 


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  • Almost through my third week...and it sounds like we're all experiencing much the same. I'm glad we have this forum, because I certainly wasn't prepared for the tiredness, and would have been afraid this wasn't normal.  I do almost nothing all day and am tired. I'm walking the prescribed amount, 20 min 3x a day, and manage my self care. But that's all I can manage. I was sure by this point I'd be impatient to start doing things. When the opposite is true. Hoping to turn the corner on the fatigue. I've managed the pain, taking only a little medication in the evening. Around 6pm my rib and side pain from the corset gets a little unbearable, and if I'm going to get muscle spasms, that's usually the magic hour for those as well. Take gentle care, everyone.

  • Hi guys! Nikki, no I don’t wear compression stockings but I think it’s a good idea (husband thinks so as well) Found the Jobst knee highs on Amazon and think I’ll order a pair. The horrible wacky nerve pain seems a wee bit better today, which gives me hope. My follow up appointment is not until the 23rd, but see my pain management doc on the 19th. Still am very tired and have no energy. My 16 month old grandson came by today, awesome to see him, but he wore me out! Azcoolmom, I’m very impressed by you walking 20min 3 times a day! Just the thought makes me exhausted. Good work. I am having major pain issues with my incision (it’s 6.5 inches long). Anyone have that? Also a lot of pain in my lower back where work was done. Excruciating at times, so I am still taking my pain meds for that ( they told me to!) Enough from me! I’m binge watching The Crown on Nexflix which is helping!

    Have a great rest of your Sunday everyone! Hugs, Meg  :)

  • Hey all. It is my four weekaversary today, and I caught my kids’ cold. Boohoo! Otherwise doing well. The sciatica seems gone (culminated in a wierd numbness I’d never felt before that Dr. said not to worry about either- only lasted a day). The vertigo is improving. Still limited energy, but that I expect. 

    Lately my shoulders and arms hurt. ?! My fusion was L4-S1, so this is really wierd. I have not been lifting or pulling anything so can see no reason for this. Stretching doesnt help. Of course my mind goes to radiculopathy, or I need shoulders replaced. Both very unlikely for this otherwise healthy 45 year old. So I am going to try not to worry!

    Yesterday I picked my kids up from school for the first time in many months. Also my appetite is finally coming back. I am weaning off gabapentin (the last one). Made my outpatient PT appt. for April 1.  All good milestones. 

    I am reading everyone else’s updates so I feel in good company. I watched four seasons of Schitt’s Creek since my surgery — highly recommend. Good to laugh while waiting for pain/time to pass. Mybe I’ll try The Crown next. 

  • 4 weeks out and starting to feel better. Still get tired, still not super mobile, but can definitely do more than a week ago. Momdown, I'm having that upper body pain too. Kind of wondering if it's because I'm depending on my upper body more than usual...but it's crummy. I have bursitis in one shoulder and I'd really just like to be able to focus on my spine. Not being able to take NSAIDs is crummy. 2 weeks till my follow up. Anxious to see how bone grafts are doing. I hope you're all doing well. Think of you all, daily!

  • Hello--Just past the 5 week mark.  Had to go in to see the nurse to check out the bulge at the bottom of my incision.  She contributed it to raising my hands over my head (I guess that's still a no-no) and inflmmation from that...because I'm thin it's more noticable.  Put me on a rapid steroid pack for the week and keep icing it.  Also need to lie flat w/o brace and ice the area.  Headaches were gone but are starting back up again.  :(

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