hi friends! happy friday! Welcome back to the blog! today’s post contains lots of spinal fusion advice! if you or someone you know is having spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis, here is some advice, from someone who went through it!
Pre-op! The morning of your surgery will include LOTS of questions, vitals, and getting ready for your surgery. Once you are in your gown and socks, you will go to “holding” where you get your iv and start your meds. They will take you to the operating room from there! (this is my surgery vlog where i talked all about this process!)
After! After your surgery you will be brought to a recovery room and woken up, you will be monitored and given pain medication. This is when your parents will most likely be able to come to see you. I had a wonderful nurse named Chris who took great care of me! I vividly remember joking with him lol
Use lots of pillows! in the hospital you'll want pillows around you to support your body. in the hospital, i LOVED to have a pillow under each arm. I’m not sure why but it helped my body rest and kept some pressure off of my back! and when laying down at home, if on your back, a pillow under your knees is good to help the pressure on your back. if you are laying on your side, a pillow between your knees is a good idea!
Get a clip-on fan! After surgery, you will either be soooo cold or soooo hot! I was cold in the hospital and hot at home so I had a clip-on fan on my bed and it was so helpful! Also, the white noise from it helped me sleep! this is the one i had.
Drains! In the hospital, you will most likely have a drain. A drain prevents fluid accumulation at the incision site and is routine. Most patients have a drain in their back or side for two to three days after surgery. I had one in my back for a little over 24 hours and when my doctor changed my dressing he also pulled my drain. It was SO NICE to finally be free of the drain! You will also have a catheter. Once you are up and walking, they will take out your catheter!
Car ride home! It is best to travel home with the car seat reclined. It is a good idea to have a pillow to help cushion your back when you go over bumps.
Sitting! This is the hardest part of recovery, at least for me. Some people find sitting easier than others do. Your back will tell you whether sitting is good or bad. In the hospital, i could sit for about an hour before i wanted to go back to my bed. At home, I could sit long enough to eat but not long enough to watch a movie or do school work.
Get an incline pillow! After surgery, you will spend a lot of time at home and in bed but sometimes lying flat isn’t the most comfortable so an incline pillow can be so helpful during your recovery! this is the one I had!
Get a shower chair! standing for longer than a few minutes is hard after surgery and can leave you pretty sore so a shower chair is a good idea for showers! my grandma had one (here is a similar one) so we borrowed that and my mom basically hosed me off and washed my hair in her walk-in shower. she helped me shower for about two weeks and then I was able to shower still sitting down on my own! I was allowed to shower 7 days after my surgery and I made sure to keep my incision clean to prevent infections!
walk, walk, walk. When you’re uncomfortable and/or in pain, walk it out. I promise it will help! walking around the house for two minutes will loosen everything up and help in the long run!
Keep a sheet or towel underneath you! when rolling over, someone may need to help you so using a sheet to roll you! in the hospital, I had a waterproof kind of thing under my back that the nurse use to turn me without twisting my back!
Switch to Tylenol asap! Narcotics can really help your pain but they can make you feel so sick so try to get off of them asap! I stopped taking narcotics on day 4 and took Tylenol until day 12! After that, I could pretty much manage my pain with stretching and resting. I did keep taking my muscle relaxer before I went to bed just so I was able to truly rest!
Sleep downstairs! My bedroom is upstairs so we moved my bed into our living room so my mom was able to sleep on the couch to be near me. Also, I didn’t need to go all the way upstairs and I was able to be with my family and watch tv in my bed!
you will most likely have steri-strips on your incision under your dressing and when those are coming off, they may leave your back SO sticky. to get the sticky off we used alcohol wipes. this may seem so minor but it was very annoying when your shirt would be stuck to your back.
take your time! everyone's recovery is different and there is no correct timeline to follow! Your recovery is YOURS so listen to your body and do what feels right to you!
Thanks for tuning in to today’s post! I hope it was helpful! Much love ♡