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Spinal Surgery Tomorrow!

(76 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Tue 18-Jun-13 11:59:11

Yes it's me! Of course it is, who else goes on about their back problems as much as me wink

Just got a call from neurosurgeon's secretary - tomorrow! Pleased, as I didn't take the last offer. Nervous - as it's really really happening. Scared, as the children don't know and not much time to prepare them, and what if it goes wrong. Panicking as the bedroom is a mess, our new bed doesn't arrive til next week, no freshly cooked food in freezer as we planned! But, place isn't looking too horrendous, have offers of help with the children from lost of people, DH is not due to work til the weekend anyway, so possibly he can still do that if we can get someone around to look after them, if not, he is only going to miss a couple of days, then off monday, and kids in school/nursery all day til 5:30pm on tuesday and wednesday.

<panics> I feel all flustered.

What do I need to take with me? I am staying in overnight, but, as long as it all goes well, should be out thursday.

lightrain Wed 03-Jul-13 07:55:42

Hi Pavlov, resurrecting this thread to see how you're doing. How are you feeling?

Kurby Sun 30-Jun-13 18:50:08

Hi Pavlo. I am so happy your surgery is finally over. Take it easy for as long as you can!! I been following this conversation as I am booked for my MRI on the 03/07. Something about end plate sclerosis C5/6 and discogenic spondylosis sounds scary to me. This is all new to me so I hope to get some tips or advice from anyone. You take care and be pain free 'cause I know all about this pain. It's been 18mths already.

Matildathecat Thu 27-Jun-13 18:19:45

Hey, Pavlov was thinking of you and wondering how you're doing? Do hope you're making steady progress.

Have to say my second op was NHS and the post op care left me really traumatised. Very similar to yourself. I am a trained nurse and midwife of 25 years and if I had been running that ward I can tell you some heads would have rolled. Really upsetting but a few months on I am annoyed rather than distressed if that makes sense. Unfortunately my experience really validated the media concerns about poor standards of care. Full bedpans placed on patients table, then leaving said patient lying in soaked bedding because bedpan overflowed? Constant chewing of gum on duty? Very professional...

Anyhow, cathartic rant over!!

Hope you're taking it easy and doing well.

PavlovtheCat Sat 22-Jun-13 09:22:48

magso I did/do feel left with a feeling of unease at the inconsistencies of care. There were some amazing staff, and some really dodgy staff (like they were on a power trip). But, as downton said, that's all passed now and hopefully won't need to return again.
Post discharge - there is no more hospital involvement now until I return to see neuro in 6wks. Don't need stitches out, so no district nurse to visit, if I have any problems with wound I need to see the nurse at GP clinic. No physio which really surprises me, and when I asked about this the doc looked at me like this hmm and said 'if you need physio, you can ask your gp to refer you back to them'. I might just pay for some sessions through my local gym (Nuffield hospitals linked).

But, enough moaning! I am less stiff, walking more freely. A few painful twinges through my entire back which have caught my breath, and gone down into my buttocks, but, I had expected them before now so guess they are normal. My bladder is not so strong at the moment. As soon as I need to go, I need to go immediately and can't hold it, which is not great as toilet is downstairs! But, again, guessing in time that will return to normal?

Had a lovely evening last night, friends came to visit with dinner all prepared, I manage to sit perched on a hard chair for something to eat before returning to bed and my female friend who is pregnant came and lay with me and we googled baby things from Ikea and other places while watching the last of the Solstice sun through the skylights. Both my children had a sleepover so no bedtime routine, no being disturbed this morning and a relatively good nights sleep (woke for the toilet several times). I have spent more time away from them this week than I ever have and I am missing them now though, it feels odd not hearing their chatter. Or even DHs chatter if I'm in bed and he is talking to them!

Hope everyone is doing ok, especially those who have pain, hope today is a reduced pain day for you all.

magso Fri 21-Jun-13 19:46:59

You seem to be doing well for someone only just home. Good you have been sleeping. Its takes a couple of days to get the GA drugs etc out of your system. I usually feel quite teary too. Ds (autistic) reacted by being completely spitting mad and came out with some language I didn't know he knew!
I and my fellow inmates had some quite variable care whilst in hospital. It made me feel quite unsafe!! It was more than just being short staffed. One nurse was just plain nasty and spoke to an elderly lady who was very ill and a bit confused like she was a naughty child. We ( the rest of the ward - all on O2 and just out of ICU/HCU) did our best to help one another. Some of the visitors were brilliant.
Post discharge care is thin on the ground, so I hope you have good people and GP looking after you.
Hope your recovery continues smoothly.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Fri 21-Jun-13 16:18:29

Glad you are feeling happier than last posts Pav.

More flowers x

PavlovtheCat Fri 21-Jun-13 14:13:15

Afternoon all. Just slept for almost 12 hours ! Went to sleep at midnight woke to do dds hair and give the kids cuddles before school and nursery then back to sleep till midday! Dh said I was almost passing out as I said goodbye to kids so obviously needed that! Mood yesterday was def anesthetic / morphine related as feel fine now.

Walked to bathroom and back several times which is downstairs still slow but not pigeon steps which feels like progress. Just also gone down to day hello to friend who popped in. That's me done for a while now as feeling a little sore and tired again.

Both children having a sleepover tonight with good friend (the one who brought me home!) which was already planned before surgery offered, timing eh ? I almost don't want them to go though as they are out all day. Missing them!

Good news about MRI date lightrain small step closer to finding out what's going on.

lightrain Fri 21-Jun-13 12:28:39

Hope you're feeling a bit more chipper since your last post and now you're home and settled Pavlov. Try to put the horrible nurses behind you - it sounds awful and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. BUT - you're home, surgery done, recovering with your DH and DCs and its going to be okay. You've been through a lot these last few days so no wonder you're all over the place with emotions!

I have my MRI appointment date through, for a weeks time. I'm still in a lot of pain but have been back to the GP twice this week and have now been given gabapentin to try (amitriptyline doesn't seem to be doing anything). Fingers firmly crossed - this is hideous.

grimbletart Thu 20-Jun-13 21:29:30

Sorry about the puking episode Pavlov and the lousy nurse. You wonder why some people choose nursing...

Morphine is a bugger for making you puke. About 10 per cent are intolerant of it. I am. My op meant I had to spend the first three days lying on my back without moving and there is nothing worse than trying not to throw up when you physically cannot move off your back. In the end I told the nurses to turn off the morphine pump as I would rather have the pain than horizontal puking. After three days the physios came along and lifted me from lying to standing (was not allowed to sit for 10 days) so had to eat standing up as trying to scoff cauliflower cheese when you are horizontal means most of it goes in your ear.

Anyway, it was the best thing I ever did after 17 years of crippling back pain and sciatica, so I hope it works well for you too. It makes me wonder why anyone would go to such lengths to avoid surgery for these particular conditions when physic, osteo, chiro at best give only temporary relief, or not all in my case - though my purse was considerably lighter......

DowntonTrout Thu 20-Jun-13 20:58:46

My dear dad, before he died, was on morphine. I used to administer it every night. He loved it, said it made him feel all nice!

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 20:37:47

yes you are right downton I did have a lot of morphine, not had that before (other than normal opiate conversions) so is going to be that. I shall put my experience with the nurse as just bad luck. My good friend is a district nurse and she said that unfortunately there are some nurses around who meet her description exactly, who are just waiting to retire/been there too long and are jaded. She said straight away when she met the nice nurse that 'she can't be more than 3-4 years qualified'! And she was right! 3 yrs! That's why she was nice, still loved her job!

DowntonTrout Thu 20-Jun-13 20:28:03

Glad you are home Pavlov. I think it's usual to feel a bit low after a GA. all those nice drugs are leaving your system and making you feel a bit flat.

Your experience at the hospital with the nurse was awful- no wonder youre down. Hope you get a good nights sleep and start to pick up a bit tomorrow. Things can only get better for you now <hopeful>!

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 20:21:18

grimble funny you say about muscle spasms, had a couple of them today, quite mild, but just like mild labour pain, made me stop in my tracks and say to my friend who brought me home 'my muscles appear to be working when I am still!' that's what it felt like anyway, maybe it's them knitting together after being cut? like a caesarean I guess.

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 20:19:49

thank you grumble. I feel a little low at the moment. Not sure why, is that normal after GA? I don't remember feeling this way last GA I had? Or is it morphine comedown as I had a lot from yesterday to lunch time today, then replaced with codeine?

I also had a rather inconsistent experience of NHS care, some of which left me in tears, and some of which made me want to hug the nurse for actually giving a toss and being nice. The level of aftercare was shocking and inconsistent enough to make me feel that, should I find myself in need of fusion in the future, I will prefer to pay for private care. I could not fault the care of the pre and recovery team and the anaesthetists, even the registrar before was kind and gentle in his manner. But, the aftercare, well, the nurse and HCAs that were lovely seemed to be the few not the most. I felt at times (much of the time) that I was in the way - I was not on neuro ward as no space, was on ortho ward so lots of people sicker than me there, as it was pointed it out as I had sick dripping from my nose down my chin, crying as no-one answered my call bell - I just wanted a tissue and to check my anti-sickness drugs had been asked for. I actually got told off when the nurse eventually stomped in asking who was buzzing and what did I want? for being upset that I had been left puking after being left to walk back from toilet on my own, the first time I walked properly and I needed to realise they have other things to do, not waiting around for me to buzz them. Or earlier being asked told to wait 5 mins or so to have the commode as she was doing the medicine round and was not meant to stop doing it, I had to wait for the HCA to finish doing someone's dressing 'well? can you wait or not?'.

I feel a little like a drama queen that didn't really have anything major done, like I have made too much of a fuss asking for help. Maybe I am over-reacting. It's not a big deal puking is it? I actually sat there chucking up with tears running down my face as if I were at home, DH would be able to take the almost full bowl away and give me some tissues. I felt that I was expecting too much - they are busy, they said, got other patients, they said, not just me. It's not just me that needs care and so I just have to wait sometimes.

I wonder how much of this leaving me feeling down, or, once I am over the next day or so, I will put it all into perspective and realise that they were just doing there job and I was wrong to expect a higher level of care. I mean, they are not my mum or my husband are they?

But, there was one nurse who said that for example stomping to the edge of the ward when the curtains were drawn around some beds and barking 'who's buzzing? what do you want?' was not ok. And she looked after me last evening, and another nice nurse through the night. And same nice nurse for the last of my stay. She was lovely, and I felt so grateful for her kindness, that she actually gave a toss.

But, as I said, it's just blues right? like baby blues maybe? anticlimax after such a long long long wait. Just another person in the system, in, out, done and be grateful. And, also i guess the most important people to be doing their job perfectly is the ones with the knife/laser right?

grimbletart Thu 20-Jun-13 18:14:09

You are doing really well Pavlov. Just a thought...don't be alarmed if you get muscle spasms in your back (like labour pains but at the back). I had these for about three weeks afterwards and it's just a case of breathing through the contraction.

But I think my op was somewhat more complicated than yours so it may well not happen to you. I hope not anyway.

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 18:02:37

Wow I used a lot of '!' there didn't I? Can you tell I glad to be home and relatively pain free compared to normal?

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 18:00:58

Hi all, quick message as just had dinner and going to have a sleep. I am home! Feel good! But tired.

Yep have booklet with exercises in, practiced with physio this morning, done them once, she said 5 reps of each exercise 3 times throughout the day is good today, try to do 5 reps 3-5 times tomorrow depending on how I feel, with view to doing 5 reps if each exercise 5 times a day. if I can from then on. So, 3 different exercises x 5 x 3! I know what I mean...grin

I also have a medical loo seat! How cool and trendy am I? No having to bend down too far as its bum height pretty much grin.

Scar is tiny ! As the did microdiscteomy after all!

In my bedroom with beautifully smelling flowers ! Lovely change from clinical hospital! And just had sausage casserole with home made buttery mash, proper vegetables on the side! Being looked after well by DH and one of my bestest ever friends, who brought me home and is helping with dinner, kids and me! I am going to buy her something special for being so fab.

Ohwooisme Thu 20-Jun-13 14:50:15

Agree with grimble - knees higher than hips is a disaster for me too - I'm always the one sitting on a hard straight chair now! Take it easy Pavlov and do your exercises! Have you got a sheet of them from the physio?

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 13:40:38

Thank you grimblechart that's good advice as I have one of those sofas! I. Also have a poang chair which does the same but its fine as I have another sofa that doesn't eat me and the poang footstall which I can perch on.

grimbletart Thu 20-Jun-13 13:26:19

Glad you're OK Pavlov. Don't know if this helps, but 20 years ago I had open back surgery for low back disc prolapses. Best thing ever after wasting oodles of cash on physic and osteo. But I digress.

One thing to really avoid I've found is sitting with your bum lower than your knees iyswim. i.e. avoid those squashing sofas where you sink in and your thighs make an upwards angle. flowers

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 13:04:05

Thanks matilda really good t know. Esp about weeping feelibg. It did remind me of those 3 day blues after babies! Crying for no reason those times. Very odd feeling!

I do have pillows under knees too as my back feels better with knees up a little. Glad I can still do that!

Matildathecat Thu 20-Jun-13 12:48:22

Hi, glad it's all gone well. That's quick to be going home so straight to bed and do base yourself there for a few days. Too much up and down stairs is a killer. Do you sleep with a pillow under your knees? For me that's great.

Btw the anaesthetic drugs make you weepy and also disrupt your sleep pattern so just go easy and rest, potter and rest.

Best of luck and hope you can start reducing the painkillers in a week or two.

PavlovtheCat Thu 20-Jun-13 12:36:55

I was !dvised osteopath over chiropractor too.

I walked twice. But apparantly walking to the loo fling my business and back again was too much as I promptly threw up! All that lovely breakfast I finally got! Now. Waiting for meds (tta see know the lingo now!) And physio to walk me up and down stairs then home. I hope soon as want to get back before dd gets home from school.

Feeling tearful. Partly some 'stag bedside manner' issues and partly I guess the drugs and post op relief. Had no chance to think about it all and what had just been done to me! Oh and v tired!

mouldyironingboard Thu 20-Jun-13 11:59:27

Hope you are taking things easy, Pavlov and I'm glad to hear that your surgery has finally gone ahead.

I want toast for lunch after reading this thread!

Sounds good Pavlov!

Make sure you don't try to do too much when you go home.

You have made me want toast now! Which isn't allowed on low carb bootcamp.

Light train - fair enough. I hope it gets sorted for you. Back pain is so debilitating.

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