Friday, June 10, 2011

Post-op day 11 (from my parents)

Here is a destription of the surgeries I had done in my lumbar spine: - laminotomy (removal of bone from each side of the lamina covering the spinal cord and decompress the nerve roots) which where scarred together from previous LP shunting surgeries, previous Lumbar punctures and very little CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) getting past the shunt due to it's system of draining into side and stomach compontents) - Lumbar peritoneal shunt ( for communicating hydrocephalus)

Lumbar laminotomy

Lumbar laminotomy: A lumbar laminotomy is surgery to remove parts of bone and/or disc to widen the spinal canal in a region where there is pressure on the nerves from compressed vertebrae
Ive been home since tuesday night and has been up and down as far as symptoms and pain level goes - I am actually still amazed by how much swelling, black and blueness (is that a word!?!?) and irritation there is at the shunt and back surgery scar levels and down to my buttocks all the way down my leg. The incicions itself looks really good - far bigger than any of my other shunt scars but that is more because of the back surgery/decompression and nerve root repair than it is about the shunt itself. The stitches are all dissolvalbe - the ones on my side are still covered in steri-strips and the ones on my back from what I understand from my Nrsgn will dissolve on their own but from where placed from under the skin (im not sure how that works) vs closing it from the outside. This has to be covered with a large tegaderm when I shower. I am still having to self-cath about 50% of the time - the 1st full day I was home and yesterday I ended up more but this correlates signiticantly with the swelling/irritation - when this is improved then the bathroom issues are also improved. Walking conts to be up and down with the same thing when I am on my feet more it hurts more and thus gets more swollen and irritated but at the same time if I sit for long periods it also gets really sore. I had actually gotten approval from my GC to make up one of my ERT infusions yesterday (thurs) due to having missed the past 2 weeks and it takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there from my parents house where I am staying and then another 4 1/2-5 hours of sitting there for the infusion which itself is about 4 hours. Needless by the end of the infusion I was feeling a whole ton of neuropathic pain in my low back, buttocks and leg and even ice was only doing so much. I cont to take pain meds (the different ones than before) and this has been ok - dealing with the side effects of these but working to sort that out as well. ) which  dp help quite a bit. Once this healing gets done I will go back to what I was on before and through my Pain mngmt dr. The irony of my having been in pain mngmt before this shunt revision (ive had 3 others but the headaches have been going on for years for those unfamiliar bc I have so many providers and so many just couldnt decide if it 'was' or 'wasnt' the shunt and needlessa as we see now it 'was' the shunt.) but my Pain mngmt dr and I could never find a medication (and believe me we tried - kudos to my dr bc she is fantastic at her work!) that worked for the headaches but we found meds that atleast helped my back pain and joint pain so I could function and cont to stretch out and try to keep my body in a semblance of shape while having a life despite on-going pain. (,my middle back has some issues and all the stress from my cervical spine surgery and instrumentation goes directly onto my thoracic spine region) . So when I go back to her I will probably not be on any less pain meds but at the same time once this spine surgery heals and I am back in PT for a couple months maybe we will get to a point of lowering meds some??? I would never rule it out!)

I am going to look at new camera today (mine was stolen along with my GPS from my car wen I had left it unlocked) and I had bought a new phone which I hated so when I returned that I figured id look at new cameras or a new portable DVD player (broke it to a point even my brother couldnt fix!)  - I am pretty excited!! I also am going to look for a cane bc I think I am to a point where I can walk with that for support on my L side vs the walker. I also am thrilled about this - the PT's at the hosptial when I asked how I would know when I could switch just said they where pretty sure I would know and I think they are right. I imagine I might use the walker from time to time but think the cane would be easier.

For follow up appts I go back next thursday to see my neurosurgeon at UW I suppose to check the 3 incusions, check my residual functions post-surgery and into recovery ie the weakness/swelling/numbess/pain
and just overall evaluate. The following week I follow up with Urology although that clinic has been fantastic and is trying to get it coordianted sooner. Other appts will probably be rescheduled for now that I have. (Pain mngmt, PMnR, Ortho, etc)

I will try to update again soon,


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