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Thread: thinking about cancelling back surgery...

  1. #1
    Bronze Member kalikat's Avatar
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    thinking about cancelling back surgery...

    Many years ago, I injured my back. Actually, I fractured it. And have been living with pain ever since.
    I finally got approval from insurance for surgery.
    But surgery for this is not easy. Doctor says it takes about 5 to 6 hours. They start with an incision in the front, and end with another incision in back to install rods & screws.

    This is something I'd been wanting for years - to finally live without pain! But the closer the surgery gets, the more I am freakimg out.
    Here's why:

    I don't have much family or friends, but I need to have someone who will not only take me to the hospital the day of surgery, but also someone to stay with me for at least the 1st 24 to 48 hours after.
    Beyond that, I will need help on a daily basis for at least 4 to 6 weeks. With this type of surgery, I can not bend at the waist or twist in any direction (to give the spine a chance to heal).
    I will need a walker, a toilet seat booster. I won be able to care for myself, my house, or my dogs.
    I have one cousin that I am close with, but she lives over 500 miles away and is dealing with her husbands illness, so she is not available for me.

    Which means I must hire a total stranger to help me out. And I'm not very comfortable with that.
    There is also the Covid factor - and how safe is it really to go into a hospital/ have an operation these days??
    Help me out here - tell me what you think TIA

    Would also love to hear from any of you that have had back surgery - what was the recovery like for you...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Can the hospital recommend people who can help you during recovery?

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    Platinum Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    There are rehab facilities that cater to people who don't have a support system. Surely someone from the doctor's office can point you in that direction.

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    Platinum Member lostandhurt's Avatar
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    Talk to you insurance about them providing a home health nurse. They may pay for someone to come to your house for a few hours each day. As far as daily chores you will need to cover that on your own. There are services for that as well.

    Entering a hospital for surgery may be safer now then before the pandemic as they are screening very heavily, not allowing visitors and going overboard on cleaning. One of the guys that works for me just had two separate eye surgeries a week apart and said they took the pandemic very seriously and protected him at every step.

    Now on to the back surgery itself. I am a firm believer in back surgery as the very last resort. Strength training, yoga, stretching and therapy should all have been tried for a long time BEFORE considering surgery. Assuming you have tried that route and have lived with pain for this long surgery is the next logical step. They should have explained to you the restrictions you will have for the rest of your life and that it will put more stress on the vertebrae above and below the fusion. This means you need to strengthen you back muscles to stabilize your spine.

    If you think about it this way. When would you have enough of a support system to have the surgery? Reach out to some friends and ask them if they would be willing to pick up groceries or take your dogs for a walk once in a while. Before the surgery stock up on anything and everything you can think of you will need while you recover.

    There should be therapy scheduled after the surgery so look into that as well. Will it be home visit or do they expect you to go to an office.

    If your insurance will pay for a rehab facility (which I doubt) I would be more concerned about covid there than anywhere else.

    Weigh your options and what the insurance will cover and what you can afford and then decide. Back surgery can be tough (spasms are the worst part) but it is worth it in the end.

    Lost

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    The advice above is spot on. My mom has had more than one back surgery...she had one at 79 years old! and yes exercising, strength training is the most beneficial thing you can do before surgery.

    The walker and commode chair can be obtained from the Red Cross for free or a small rental fee. Your doctor can refer you to social services for help, or the hospital can recommend a proper service. Cabs are insured and can be used for medical transport. Groceries, prescriptions can be delivered. There are also services that can deliver prepared meals that is affordable because it's run by volunteers. Ask a neighbor kid to walk your dog for a small fee. Ask coworkers, friends if they can help.....you would be surprised what you can receive if you simply just ask.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    My neighbor just gave birth and she said the hospital is scrupulous with sanitation, cleanliness, PPEs (personal protective equipment) and precautions.

    I agree with others. Hospitals have a wealth of information regarding post-op care, rehab centers and asking for help.

    Hope your back gets repaired and that you'll feel better soon.

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    Up to you if you want to proceed with it. We donít know though how long covid is going to continue for. Not trying to be negative but maybe very long. We have a dire situation with it in my state here in Australia and we are completely locked down. If you're in really bad pain you might want to just get it over and done with. Regarding hiring someone as a carer. I understand it can be confronting to let someone into your home and take care of you. However some people who work as nurses or carers are genuinely nice people and they are also very experienced. I work as a disability support worker for seven years now. I help people with personal care and so on. I genuinely enjoy my job and care about my clients. It may not turn out as bad as you think. All the best to you, whatever you decide to do.

  9. #8
    Bronze Member kalikat's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas. Really gives me things to consider. Yes, I have done everything possible up to now, but because of the nature of the fracture, surgery is really the only possibility of being pain-free. Trust me, i have been living with this for over 10 years. Enough is enough, right?


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