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Old 01-12-2015, 06:16 PM
Jules Jules is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 50
Smile 2 months post op

Hi there! Just an update on my case, I keep looking through the forum to check on other people's posts about how they are going during the recovery period so I thought I should share my experience as well.

I'm in my mid thirties, mum to a 4 year old, and I had my surgery at the beginning of October. I had an anterior approach T11-L3 spinal fusion in Melbourne.

Hospital stay: I stayed 12 days in hospital instead of the planned 7 days because I was having problems with blood pressure drops every time I tried to get up. It was like I was going to die pretty much... But I didn't and I managed not to faint either. I also have the veins of an elderly person apparently (those were the words of the anesthetist) so I had issues with my PCA and was put on oral meds sooner than what I would like. I was left battered and bruised (literally) from several attempts of trying to find good veins, it was not pretty. Lucky me also had a bladder infection which saw me having to get up 5 times a night to go to the toilet and that was not good! Not when you are struggling to get up! But I survived!!! Yay!

When I finally went home I had a lot of support from my parents who were staying with us to help out. I was quite useless during the first 1-2 weeks back home and couldn't really tolerate sitting/sanding/walking for long at all. I could sit for about 10-15 min and that was it, back to bed. I also needed help with showering and dressing. Slowly I started to do more things for myself and started spending less time in bed.

Now 2 months post of I spend most of the day out of bed BUT I have to pace myself very carefully. I plan my day so I get some things done and then I lie down to rest. I'm pretty much off all heavy pain meds (Targin is the last one) and I only take panadol when needed. I can drive, I can take care of my son (even though he is having to watch more movies and is spending more time on the iPad now that my parents are gone and I'm with him by myself). I can cook simple meals, I can do light cleaning. I stopped needing help with shower and dressing at around the 1 month mark. I'm not back a work yet due to the physical nature of my job but might be coming back at the beginning of next year. I can walk around 1.5-2km now, should be walking more I think but I haven't gone for walks much lately. Oh, I should say I still get pain, it has changed positions, instead of being right at the apex of my curve and down the left leg I now feel a dull ache right at the bottom of my lumbar spine on both sides. I also feel my scar pulling and the scar area is still tender. I'm still struggling to lie on my side comfortably to sleep, I can only do a bit at a time, but I'm finally being able to lie on the side of my operation for about 15 min which is just lovely! I was getting so tired of being on my back all the time.

I think those are the main things really. I hope it helps whoever reads this to have a better idea of what they might look like at around this time of their recovery. Just remember everybody recovers at different rates and that doesn't mean there is something "wrong" with you, it's just that we are all different.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:39 AM
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Smile Re: 2 months post op

Hi Jules,

Must say you recovered quicker than me I am 50 years old and had the exact op as you in March 2015.

My stay was 11 days in Melbourne hospital and also had complication, UTI, fluid on the lungs etc. everyone is different recovering mine was difficult.

I slept for nearly 3 months as I was always tired. I am still on meds for nerve pain and its been 8 months. I go to Hydrotherapy and that has helped me so much with movement. My ribs are still so tender and embrace myself when someone wants to hug me.

I went back to work behind a desk part time at 4 months and this had put structure back into my life.

I get better every day and your much younger so your recovery is a lot quicker.

Stay strong and positive
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