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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #1 
In 6 hours, I leave for the hospital for a planned surgery.  It's an overnight stay then up to 6 weeks recovery.   I expect no real absence from the forum but it may happen.  In case it does - everything's more than likely OK, I'm probably just tired. [smile]  I'll check in once I think I'm coherent enough to make a little sense. 

This is a good thing.  I've been waiting, asking, begging for this for over 20 years.  It'll let me take my life back. I'm looking forward to it.  I'm mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for this. 

In less than 12 hours, the healing begins.

Jeanette mentioned that I hadn't said anything and let me know that some people might worry if I disappeared. So, in the words of Douglas Adams:

"(Mostly) Harmless."

No wait.  I meant "Don't Panic!"  or something like that.  [biggrin]

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think the scariest part of surgery is when they ask DNR? and such questions right before they put you on the gurney... I'm hoping you don't get Roller Derby Queen for a nurse after surgery or Agnes who screams all night for a room mate.... Or a technician who wants to look at a hangnail at 4am Peace - take deep breaths...
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thoughts and prayers for successful surgery and recovery.  It's nice you let us know. We're all one big family!
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Reply with quote  #4 
You must be on your way there right now because your post says "posted 6 hours ago" - so you likely won't see this until after the surgery but I'm thinking positive thoughts in your direction!

My last surgery was a total hip replacement, and I actually managed to have FUN while I was in the hospital!  I had a really good roommate and we stayed up all night talking, keeping each other and our nurses laughing, and I even got to have Bob the Basset Hound (therapy dog) accompany me on my shambling little walks up and down the hallways.  The food, shockingly, wasn't even bad!  [smile]  I hope you have a similarly awesome roommate and an easy hospital stay, and wish you a speedy recovery!

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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #5 
Keeping you and your needs in my heart, Tammi.  Prayers.  [love]
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Reply with quote  #6 
Congratulations!  My best friend has been suffering and finally got the OK to get surgery that should have been done long ago.  

My best wishes for a proper and speedy recovery!

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Christy

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thinking good thoughts for you today Tammi!
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Reply with quote  #8 
Good wishes for your recovery, Tammi.
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #9 
Tammi,

You know already because I've told you so -- you're in our thoughts and prayers.  I'm sure you're going to feel a lot better once you've recovered from surgery!


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Reply with quote  #10 
Prayers and (((hugs)))!
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sit. Stay. Heal! Be well soon!
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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thank you everyone for your well wishes!  I'm home (have been since 1pm yesterday but slept most of the time between then and now.) and resting.  Pain is not as bad as I'd anticipated and I'm already feeling the benefits of the surgery.  Now if the %@^@ CO2 they pump into your abdomen would go away, I'd probably not feel worse than maybe a little muscle over use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
I think the scariest part of surgery is when they ask DNR? and such questions right before they put you on the gurney... I'm hoping you don't get Roller Derby Queen for a nurse after surgery or Agnes who screams all night for a room mate.... Or a technician who wants to look at a hangnail at 4am Peace - take deep breaths...


Ha!  They didn't do that.  They asked at the pre-admission clinic if I had a personal directive but that's it.  They were really good before they put me under - asked me what they were doing (for security reasons) and double-checked with a trick question - no, I was pretty sure we'd decided to keep my gall bladder... and then I was out.  The nurses were great with the gurney!  I even watched one thread a pretty tight spot with barely a bump.  The 4 attempts to get a vein for the IV were probably the worst.  I look like I'm turning into some weird green/purple alien, one hand/wrist at a time.

I got a kick out of the nurse who came in to check my vitals who scared me awake then was a little surprised at my high heart rate and low BP.  Uh,... natural reaction - especially after surgery. [wink]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewnoma
You must be on your way there right now because your post says "posted 6 hours ago" - so you likely won't see this until after the surgery but I'm thinking positive thoughts in your direction!

My last surgery was a total hip replacement, and I actually managed to have FUN while I was in the hospital!  I had a really good roommate and we stayed up all night talking, keeping each other and our nurses laughing, and I even got to have Bob the Basset Hound (therapy dog) accompany me on my shambling little walks up and down the hallways.  The food, shockingly, wasn't even bad!  [smile]  I hope you have a similarly awesome roommate and an easy hospital stay, and wish you a speedy recovery!


Well, my stay wasn't as fun as yours but they were happy enough with my recovery that they sprung me less than 24hrs out of recovery.  I think we might have left a dust trail we left so fast... recovery is always easier at home if for no other reason than you can sleep deeper.   Thanks to my dietary restrictions (no eggs, no milk, no soy, no wheat) - I got plain pork and white rice for dinner and plain roast beast for lunch.  The roast beast was easier to swallow and I sure liked eating at home when we got here. [smile]

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
Congratulations!  My best friend has been suffering and finally got the OK to get surgery that should have been done long ago.  

My best wishes for a proper and speedy recovery!


I hope his goes as well as this did.  I honestly think when you're past ready for it, your body is willing to heal really well too after the surgery.  Other than low hemoglobin (so dizziness, short of breath, etc) - I feel like I ran a marathon, then consumed some soy and am paying for both.  

The biggest problem I foresee now is I'm going to be doing a lot of stupid stuff if I'm not careful because I feel fairly good already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
Sit. Stay. Heal! Be well soon!


LOL!  For once, my dog can teach me to be good. [smile]

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Margaret

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hey, Tammi - probably TMI for some people, but - try lying on your stomach to get rid of the gas...if that isn't enough, put a pillow down and lie on your tummy on the pillow. That's what worked for me! If you can lie on your stomach, of course. A warm heating pad or hot water bottle can help with the discomfort. Best of luck on your healing!

Don't ask me how I know these things...

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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #14 
Tammi,

I am amazed that you are up and around so quickly.  All I can say is, just don't overdo it.  It's really easy to overdo -- and you don't have to ask me to know why I say that.  I admit I've made some stupid mistakes!  But, these days, if I don't feel very well, I can pamper myself a little with an extra nap or whatever. 

I am very happy that you're doing as well as you are!  Truthfully, I felt worse after having an exploratory procedure than I did with the real surgery!   The funny thing -- on the exploratory, I was admitted to the hospital the night before and, of course, I had a room mate, who was more than a little whacky!  She kept saying she smelled something burning (I didn't), but I had some cream sachet  and I got up and held it out to her.  The side rails were already up, and I had been given a sleeping pill and some other meds (I don't remember what).  But my doctor walked in the door, and asked me "Jeanette, what in the hell are you doing out of bed?"   So,  I finally got to sleep, and the room mate just kept on with her whacky notions, turned the TV up much too loud.  When I had to go to the nurse's station and ask for another sleeping pill, she was moved!  All the nurses asked me why I hadn't complained earlier -- I really don't like to complain about other people.  The doctor kept me in the hospital for a total of ten days!  It's amazing to me that I was kept that long, but it was back in 1968.

I'm so glad your surgery is over and you're recovering very well, it seems.  I knew you would!

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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #15 
Glad to hear your surgery went well and recovery process going well.  Don't overdo!
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Reply with quote  #16 

Yay, you're home!  Glad to hear it went well and you're already feeling better!  Three cheers for modern medicine!  (It's not perfect, but sure beats living in misery, or worse!)

Now the hard part is going to be to not let your mind trick you into overdoing things...that might have been the hardest part after my hip surgery.  I felt SO MUCH BETTER, it was hard not to push my recovery in order to do all of these things I'd been wanting to do for so long.

I hope you've scheduled yourself some time off, and stocked up on good books. Time to indulge in some laziness! [smile]


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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret
Hey, Tammi - probably TMI for some people, but - try lying on your stomach to get rid of the gas...if that isn't enough, put a pillow down and lie on your tummy on the pillow. That's what worked for me! If you can lie on your stomach, of course. A warm heating pad or hot water bottle can help with the discomfort. Best of luck on your healing! Don't ask me how I know these things...


Millions of toddlers can't be wrong!  How many times do you find them on their tummies with their knees folded under when things aren't moving quite right? [smile]

I tried lying on the pillow or on my belly but it pulls on my incisions too much.  I've just started having a throw pillow as my huggable best friend instead.  I know this part is temporary but it's the most painful part so obviously I'm focused on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz
Tammi,

I am amazed that you are up and around so quickly.  All I can say is, just don't overdo it.  It's really easy to overdo -- and you don't have to ask me to know why I say that.  I admit I've made some stupid mistakes!  But, these days, if I don't feel very well, I can pamper myself a little with an extra nap or whatever. 

I am very happy that you're doing as well as you are!  Truthfully, I felt worse after having an exploratory procedure than I did with the real surgery!   The funny thing -- on the exploratory, I was admitted to the hospital the night before and, of course, I had a room mate, who was more than a little whacky!  She kept saying she smelled something burning (I didn't), but I had some cream sachet  and I got up and held it out to her.  The side rails were already up, and I had been given a sleeping pill and some other meds (I don't remember what).  But my doctor walked in the door, and asked me "Jeanette, what in the hell are you doing out of bed?"   So,  I finally got to sleep, and the room mate just kept on with her whacky notions, turned the TV up much too loud.  When I had to go to the nurse's station and ask for another sleeping pill, she was moved!  All the nurses asked me why I hadn't complained earlier -- I really don't like to complain about other people.  The doctor kept me in the hospital for a total of ten days!  It's amazing to me that I was kept that long, but it was back in 1968.

I'm so glad your surgery is over and you're recovering very well, it seems.  I knew you would!


Yep, so far my biggest mistake has been timing the meds wrong and letting them wear off in the middle of the night.  Getting out of bed in that kind of pain is not the easiest - still, it's the sharp pain from the incision sites and muscle pain, it's not like it's severe - I just think tolerance is lower when you're woken up with it and of course rolling over to get out of bed when your core is screaming at you.

My roomie was OK-ish.  I just would have preferred if she'd mind her own business.  When I'm answering the nurses questions, I don't necessarily need a play by play commentary.  That said, she's probably a little lonely and bored and it's not like we knew each other so she could spread information around to people.  It was less than 24 hours in my case anyway - so I was even able to tolerate the beeping machines without losing my mind. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewnoma

Yay, you're home!  Glad to hear it went well and you're already feeling better!  Three cheers for modern medicine!  (It's not perfect, but sure beats living in misery, or worse!)

Now the hard part is going to be to not let your mind trick you into overdoing things...that might have been the hardest part after my hip surgery.  I felt SO MUCH BETTER, it was hard not to push my recovery in order to do all of these things I'd been wanting to do for so long.

I hope you've scheduled yourself some time off, and stocked up on good books. Time to indulge in some laziness! [smile]



I agree modern medicine has definitely come a long way.  There are things that are certainly worth letting the docs take care of.

You're right, I'm trying to make sure I stay quiet and out of trouble.  That's easier this week with DH home because he busts me on things like bending down to pick up the cat which never occurred to me that it would be a real problem (she's 5lbs 10ozs after all!) but it's not the weight that's the issue. Next week will be a little harder when I'm on my own but I have the "walker" out, and it will help me remember not to try to lift things.

I've got tons of magazines on my iPad, books on my reader, and knitting.  I also am planning to use my newly rebuilt spinning wheel for some gentle movement and sanity control. I think that should cover me at least 2 weeks.  The doc says I'll be up and about by then - in fact, he expects me to drive to my 1 week followup for stitch removal.

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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #18 
Yes, Tammi, timing of your meds will be important until the pain from surgery is gone.  It takes different lengths of time for different folks.  Just remember, though, you're at your weakest in the evening and night time hours, so that's when you'll probably need your meds the worst!  Please don't ask me how I know -- that's supposed to be funny!  LOL! 

Seriously, you've already gotten through the worst part.  It sounds to me like you're doing great!  Yeah, those BLT's are prohibited and we're not talking about a sandwich, here -- I had a hard time not bending.  But, No Bending, No Lifting, No Twisting! LOL!  Five pounds wouldn't hurt you, but you don't want to bend, or anything else your doctor tells you not to do!  I'm sorry -- I don't mean to sound like a mother hen!

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Reply with quote  #19 
I suppose on some level I knew I was weakest at night - it's when my back gives me the most trouble too - so it wasn't the smartest thing I've done to "time" the meds to wear off at 4am.  I did better last night.  Took them at midnight and they seem to be lasting about 12 hours now instead of 8.  Of course as the pain wanes, it's easier to time things because you can just let them wear off an extra hour here or there to get to a good time.

Since it's thawing here and there are lots of slippery spots outside, I plan to go walk slowly on the treadmill today to help "right" all of my systems.    There are just so many laps you can do of the living room!

You're right, the BLTs are tough!  I'm not sore enough to not try things then get a reminder mid-movement!
In a couple of days, I'm going to see if I can do some small quilting on Lucey - she already has a quilt loaded which will limit the twisting part - it's the bringing her to a stop part that I'm concerned about.  I will have to put off toying with machines for a bit though - I am limited to 10lbs for a couple of weeks.

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Reply with quote  #20 
Tammy , I'm glad everything is going well for you. I spent the weekend with you while working on sewing pedals. Then tensions, I feel like we are friends after that. Love your very well don tuts.
I'm finally getting back into the swing after a bad couple of years, my knee replacement replacement was the least of it.

HelenAnn.

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenAnn
Tammy , I'm glad everything is going well for you. I spent the weekend with you while working on sewing pedals. Then tensions, I feel like we are friends after that. Love your very well don tuts.
I'm finally getting back into the swing after a bad couple of years, my knee replacement replacement was the least of it.

HelenAnn.


Hey! That's great to hear!  Are you up and running then?

I'm doing really well.  Sneezes suck but other than that, I'm even advil free so far today.

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Reply with quote  #22 
Tammi,  I am glad the surgery went well.  Seeing the end of years of pain and problems in your rear view mirror is definitely worth even a long recovery time.  Even if the doctor says you can go back to normal
occupations, he may not know you lug around anchor weight machines.  He probably thinks you just flip buttons and fold half filled laundry baskets.  Sewing already cut quilt pieces and pressing is about as strenous as you should get. 
You take care of yourself and let us know when you are able to eat something you have not had in years.
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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks Karen!  I'm definitely well positioned to deal with the recovery discomfort.  I look at it that I'm already ahead in that I'm pretty close to pain free already about 10 days in.  This problem had basically partially medically retired me.  I'm even considering taking a new contract in a few months.  Of course, that horrified one of my sewing machine gals.  She doesn't want me to go back to I.T. and leave her.

I did mention to my doctor that I work on sewing machines but I doubt he "got" what I meant.  I'll limit myself to featherweights and plastic fantastics for the short term.  Maybe a 301 in a week or so.  

Ha!  This surgery isn't going to help my digestive system - though the CO2 is gone now and I can breathe again thanks to that - but it's sure helping my lower back out along with the original intent of the fix. 

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane


Hey! That's great to hear!  Are you up and running then?

I'm doing really well.  Sneezes suck but other than that, I'm even advil free so far today.

Tammy glad everything went well for you.
My third knee replacement kept from doing much pheasant hunting but otherwise all is well with the knees.

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #25 
I look at it this way:  Just like with your knee replacement - One season missed in the grand scheme of things is so small compared to the relief that comes from better healing and the better quality of life thanks to the surgery.   Yes, I'm slightly overdoing it most days but not enough - I think - to compromise the surgery.   It helps that it's winter too.  I'm less likely to do too much because I'm not trying to throw motorcycles around, golf, hike in the mountains or something.

The doctor told me verbally that after 2 weeks, I won't be able to undo his work.  Of course the discharge says 6 weeks no lifting. :-/
I'll probably split the difference and give it at least 4 before I try to lift a 201 or something.

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Reply with quote  #26 
My mom pulled up on me at 4 weeks and undid my surgery. 100 lbs of lifting did me in... Be careful.
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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
My mom pulled up on me at 4 weeks and undid my surgery. 100 lbs of lifting did me in... Be careful.


Uhhhhg!  Thanks to constant anemia, I don't think I can get close to 100lbs anymore.  That will take time to fix but I have to if I want to get back to the bikes. 

It's interesting that it can be done with sneezing and coughing in the first couple of weeks then 100lbs will do it at 4 weeks.

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Reply with quote  #28 
Tammi,
Please remember at the end of it all and you are healed, that scar tissue is never as strong as what you started with.  I am truly pleased to see you recovering so nicely!  [smile]
Patty

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #29 
This is a good point.  It's not as flexible either! 

All in all, I'm really happy too with the recovery.  All that's really left now is the drying scabs over the incisions making me a little nuts with their itching. [smile]  OK, a little more nuts.

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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #30 
Topically applied vitamin E is good for incisions.  Calms itching and reduces the formation of scars.
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Margaret

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Reply with quote  #31 
Massage is extremely helpful after surgery, once you are healed enough. The practitioner can get out all the knots caused by your moving differently, and they can decrease the amount of scar tissue that forms. I have had 10 or so surgeries and found that massage works better than PT for me.
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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriciaPf
Topically applied vitamin E is good for incisions.  Calms itching and reduces the formation of scars.


Oh wow.  How did I forget that?  Thanks for the reminder.   I used it on a really bad burn years ago and while it's still scarred, it's nothing like it would have been.   DH is bringing some home tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret
Massage is extremely helpful after surgery, once you are healed enough. The practitioner can get out all the knots caused by your moving differently, and they can decrease the amount of scar tissue that forms. I have had 10 or so surgeries and found that massage works better than PT for me.


That makes sense.  I'm actually really surprised I don't have more back pain.  Usually planting my behind on the couch for 2 weeks would do me in completely - so I get what you mean about moving differently.   My chiropractor does A.R.T. (Active release therapy) as well.  Once I'm healed enough, he may be able to break up some of the scar tissue that way too. I also believe that movement in general helps the scar tissue stay as supple as possible so I'm looking forward to being allowed to swim again in about 11 days. [smile]

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