Questions before surgery

Monsi Hodgson monsihodgson@gmail.com

Posted 1999

I am preparing before surgery mentally and physically. I found a spine surgeon who told me that the pain I am experiencing is coming from an injured tail bone and that it will not go away. The alternative is removing the cause. I agreed to get this done. I have to schedule the surgery after I talk with my manager at work to get time off. I have a couple of problems. Maybe I can get some help or suggestions from those who had the surgery.

I have a very sensitive stomach which gets upset with medications, and I have history of ulcers. I am worried about this because I know after surgery I will need pain meds. I spoke with the surgeon about this, he suggested duragesic patches but this is really not good for post op treatment. Can anyone tell me of an effective pain killer which does not hurt the stomach. The diclofenac suppositories could be of help. I am trying to find out if they make them here in my town. Pharmacist is contacting people for me. Do this help with the post op pain?

Any suggestions will be appreciated. I am planning to ask for 4 weeks off work, I am praying that I can go back to work after that. I drive to work now 30 min. This is possible using a doughnut but after the ride I am very tender. I am thinking that I will feel tenderness after 4 weeks. I take Prilosec for ulcers almost always and carafate once in a while when the stomach is doing real bad. You can see that I will have to be extremely careful with what I take but I am sure not willing to put up with severe pain after surgery.,

Reply from Jon Miles:

The anesthetist who attended my operation told me that diclofenac was a good painkiller to take after this particular operation. As it is an NSAID, taking it for a long period can cause stomach ulcers in some people. You should ask your doctor about this, and maybe try to take it for a short time only. I have it under the brand name Voltarol, but when I searched on the internet I found a site with all the different brand names for diclofencac.

Reply from Rory Greenwell:

I would suggest anything with codeine in it. I found that Tylenol 3 worked well or even Tylenol 4. The Tylenol won't upset your tummy like NSAIDs and the codeine is very mild on the stomach too. The patches do work well, but won't do the incision any good at all. Once the incision is healed however I believe that the patches may just be the answer. Suppositories are probably your best bet for post-op.

Ask your boss for two months. .....you will be pushing it in only one. The first two weeks of this are excruciating, don't let anyone tell you that you'll be better in "no time ". Remember that you may not be able to drive for three months. Good luck!! I wish you all the best for a speedy and comfortable recovery.

Update from Monsi 1999-08-26, 3 months after surgery:

It has not been easy and, I am still suffering discomfort when I sit too long. I can drive my car for 30 min with a cushion under with no problem. The surgery was September 13, 1999. Almost three months in a few days.

My worst experience has been going back to work, and how the co-workers had responded to my coming back. I do not think I went back too soon because I was able to sit and stand whenever I need it to. I was able to do my work without difficulty. My co-workers try to get me sent back home because they accused me of not being able to do my work. This failed for them because it was proven to my boss that I was having no problem. I think that is sad how people react without sensitivities or compassion for others.

I have designed my own cushion for my driving. I can tell that if I had not done this I would not been able to drive to work. I have been working for the last six weeks back to full time work. It has been Ok. I know that I push myself to get well. I have been walking and swimming. I do laps. This is the best exercise that works for me. I love swimming and I been doing it for at least 20 years.

I am very thin and my doctor told me that it would help to gain some weight to pad my behind. I think this is funny because if you gain weight it may not go to your behind. I think for now I will use pillows.

I will be glad to help anyone with answering questions if I can regarding post surgery recovery. This will be from my own experience of course. This site has helped me so much and I am grateful that is there.

I still may take a Darvocet now and then if I get to hurting too much but is very seldom I do this. I have learned not to sit too long because this is what causes the discomfort. I went on a long trip for 4 hours and ignored the discomfort while sitting and I paid for it later on. I am still hurting some from that trip. I will not do it again. You can lie down when you travel.

Update, 2009-11-08

Since I last posted my update I had continued to have pain while sitting. I did use doughnut cushions for driving and some times found them helpful. For the past year this failed to help. Now I hurt all the time with chronic lower lumbar pain along with the sitting pain. It seems like my whole pelvic bone structure is broken because I hurt so much. The right side being worse than my left side.

I have been taking neurontin for a few years. Now they put me on Lyrica and have been using it for over a year. I am also taking ibuprofen when I needed or Hydrocodone when I can not tolerate the pain any more. I have been on diclofenac pills and baclofen for a few months and that seems to help the inflammation and the muscle spasms I get all over my sacral are. I am noticing that my hips are having problems also with pain like bursitis. I am getting older and the sitter pain is not the only one I deal with now.

I also use a TENS unit and that helps temporarily. I used to take amytriptiline at night but I found it to make me dizzy. I do not take as many medicines as before because I was having too many side effects, and not having good results.

I am seeking all kinds of medical help to see if they can take care of the pain. After 10 years and being 59 I have some problems with bulges in the L4-5 and L5-S1, facet Arthropathy, and bilateral L5 foraminal narrowing. All these may sound serious but appears to not be needing surgical corrections. I am grateful for this.

I am wondering if I should stop looking for a possible medical solution and just blame it all to the after effects of having my tailbone removed 10 years ago. I am of course in worse pain than before because my level of functioning has been greatly limited in this days. I am not working any more. I had to stop in 2002 related to health problems.

Monsi

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