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What the !!!!



  • Erica, I had to respond...when I had a multi-level fusion and lami last summer, I was on the OR table for 7 and 1/2 hours. I can tell you that - beyond the pain, spasm, other back/leg symptoms - I was completely confused, overreacted to really stupid and simple stuff (not my usual)....I attribute my emotion and confused behaviors to post-anesthesia "fog"...when you bring this issue into the complex mind-body recovery process, it is all made so much more complicated. And in my case, the "fog" lasted at least 5-6 weeks - memory problems, periods of confusion, inability to concentrate, etc, etc.

    What you really need to do is to pay attention to pain and recovery. I assure you that things WILL improve - I know it doesn't seem like it today, but it's true. I've been there and done that - and BTW, you're NOT whining...people who have not experienced such a significant surgery have NO CLUE as to the physical and emotional challenges that come with such an invasive surgery.

    Hang in there, watch TV, read a book...don't push things too will all come together in time - you'll see!



  • anesthia fog...(spelling not a strong point for me haha) This is not something that I have thought of or heard of until today.

    Lo, thank you for understanding the need to vent this all out at times at that none of you have judged me for it >:D<
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  • post-anesthesia "fog" is my own term...

    but i have read about it in various places....e.g:

    ...empirically, i've lived it!

  • and I dont seem to fit the symptoms. I am not having memory problems, speech or slowed mental process. I dont know...still having to figure out my little kink here. There are a hundred possibilities. Maybe PT people can give a suggestion after reviewing my case today. Lets hope! Thanks for that link
  • Hi Erica, your symptoms just reminded me of some of mine post fusion. I got the hot/cold/sweats post-op while on skelaxin, a muscle relaxer. I then switched to soma and that one gives me a major head rush and vertigo for about 30 minutes, then settles down. Sounds like your symptoms are pre-meds, so not sure about that. Is the percocet scored? Can you break it? Perhaps take a half twice a day instead of a whole one at bedtime to see if this makes a difference. And don't be surprised if PT brings more pain and need for more meds. This is really common, as you will be moving more and exercising weak muscles.

    As for going stir crazy, just remember you have a full time job right now, it is called healing. So focus on rest, nutrition, walking, and of course Spine Health. I know I was feeling really down at 2-3 weeks, then I started driving, and that really helped to be able to go places, even though I only tolerated short trips. Then at 4 weeks I started going to the pool at the YMCA, and just having somewhere to go, with a goal each day, helps so much. I went to regular PT starting at 8 weeks, and besides helping my body, it helped my mind. These little accomplishments and human interaction were vital to my recovery. I am single with teenagers, so being at home got so lonely.

    Now I have been back to work for one month, and I can't believe how fast it all went. I wish I could have enjoyed it more instead of feeling down so much. Back to the grind now with too much to do and not enough time to do it. Hang in there and try to find some things you enjoy to do, read, watch movies, catch up with old friends, organize photos, etc. You will feel accomplished just to do a few fun things.

    Follow those surgeons rules, and remember, the grabber is a Spineys best friend. You will gradually be able to do more safely. Take care and keep coming back here. It is a great place as you know. >:D< Cali-Sue
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  • Hey there,

    I am at 6 weeks today and it seems that every day is a new challenge. I think every weak link in my body is using this surgery as an excuse to act up. First it was my tight hamstrings. I literally couldn't stand in one place--still have problems--or it would feel like my hamstrings were being stretched to oblivion. It was like my hamstrings said, "enough!!" Today it is my calf muscle. I cannot walk on it right out of bed--it feels like I had a charlie horse--which I have gotten in this calf before because it is so tight. My back actually isn't that bad today--but now I have the calf thing going.

    I have found that eating really helps. Honestly, I am craving a meal number 3 from McDonald's today--so I think I will have it. I need it. Food has really been a great source of comfort (just kidding). I had the same wierd sensations that you are talking about--there were a couple of times I had to take a knee because I would have gone down by fainting. I've had strange feelings in my legs, almost like restless leg stuff--but now at 6 weeks, I feel like some of those things are going away. Also, the drugs are killing us. I am on so many drugs right now and I wonder whether or not I would do better to just feel the pain.

    I have also learned to live in the moment. I am very spiritual, I know not everyone is and I respect that--I am a Christian (probably a different kind then you are used to) and also have a doctorate in theology. One of the things that has helped me is to have a strong theology of time--it is actually a very interesting thing to study. In short, a theology of time forces one to live in the present second. Basically, my first paragraph is now a past event. The present is oh so fleeting. At this second, I feel pretty good. I have a twinge of pain in my leg, and my back is sore, but I'm not crying out in pain like I have in the past, and I can hear my dear little children playing downstairs--so life is good in this present time. Those of us in pain tend to either live in the past or in the future when we need to live in the moment--in the second--the past and the future are a vast ocean--while the present is a blink. The past and the future overwhelm us--but the present is doable. We live in the future by hoping we will get better, by lamenting that we can never live a whole life in this kind of pain. We live in the past by remembering our past pain and how bad it was.

    All that said (|: --I totally hear sucks to be us right now. Time is our friend--the weeks go by, then months, then years, and we will be better.

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