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Surgery soon...pre-op hints/advice?

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    Surgery soon...pre-op hints/advice?

    I'm finally (FINALLY!) scheduled for the much-anticipated PLIF with rods, yada yada, on 12/29/08. I've been sticking with a pH-correct diet, keeping away from public places and little green noses, and have been blessed to not have contracted my usual case of "Thanksgiving Bronchitis."

    That being said, I'm seeking advice on both pre-surgery things I can do to make the process easier, and post-surgery tips for my husband and best friend who will be helping me recover. We have been rearranging the house to make room for me to maneuver, putting in tile and ripping up trip-hazard old carpeting (gee, my landlord is getting a nice upgrade for cheap). Still looking for shower seat (have a transfer seat that's useless due to size of bathrooms and toilet placement)

    I have a 4-5 day inpatient, don't know if rehab is inpatient or outpatient yet (pre-op appt next week, will find out then). What I DO know is:

    L/4-L5 PLIF w/titanium cages, bone morphing protien, pedicle screws, bone graft, rods L3-S1 (dunno if autologous bone will come from facets where doc prefers to harvest...I have degenerative facet disease so may come from hip or rib???)

    No sitting upright for 2 weeks except to shower & toilet w/walker

    6 weeks limited activity w/no driving (hopefully on cane .....)

    California brace 23hrs/day, for 6 mos.

    Doc said he wasn't sure if this would help the bowel/bladder, or if those might be separate issues.....Female, age 51, weigh 231 lbs (was 257 when we changed dietary habits 6 mos ago).

    I already have walker, cane, forearm crutches (which I've been using daily for the past several months as things have deteriorated rapidly) and reclining wheelchair (will be selling if anyone needs it after I'm done.....Invacare 9000XT w/extended seat parts and elevating leg rests/extened(higher)back. 20"w x 18"d seat, rims are beat up but it works great).

    I would love to go out and about after surgery w/chair.....obviously I won't be able to load/unload chair so I'd have to be accompanied by AB spouse or friend.

    I know I'll have to manage stepping into tub/shower somehow. Any advice on this or anything else I need to know?

    Thanks!!!! This site rocks!

    Merry Christmas
    Margie in Pensacola, FL
    Last edited by SeabeeMom; 6 Dec 2008, 11:49 AM. Reason: grammatical

    The best advice I can give you is to postpone the surgery until after New Years Day. There are fewer competent doctors available at hospitals and lower staffing over holidays.
    My opinion,


      I agree with carl, try to have surgery after the holidays, when there's less chaos. I'm gonna have surgery in January to remove what's left of my rectum (I had a colectomy done in Jan 08 and developed diversion colitis in the rectal stump that was left) and I specifically told the surgeon that I wanted the surgery done after the holidays.

      You might try looking on Ebay for a shower seat, because I've seen ones that fold up on there for low prices.
      As for boredom after surgery because of not being able to move around very much, get yourself a lot of those puzzle books they sell near the magazines at grocery stores. I did puzzles a lot as well as watched DVD's on my portable DVD Player when I was recovering from my colectomy and couldn't move around a lot (I had to stay on my left side a lot due to a drain tube in my right butt cheek for a peri-rectal abcess). Also, ask relatives to make stuff accessible for you within arms reach like the phone, a notepad and pen, water bottle, snacks, ect. This will help out a whole lot.