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Third Time's A Charm!

Hi Everyone!

Going in for my back fusion tomorrow, so I may be offline for a few days.

I've had 2 back surgeries in the past 6 months, and I'm nervous as hell for this one. I would have thought I'd be used to the anticipation by now.

It's a "global" fusion. My surgeon and a vascular surgeon go through my stomach. They remove as much disc as possible, and fuse the front. Then they patch me up, roll me over, and go through my back, clean up the disc, bone spurs, scar tissue, whatever, fuse the back, and close me up. So it's two operations at the same time. Should take about 4 hours.

Thankfully, it's just a one night hospital stay.

Let's just say, I'm not a good hospital guest.

My first discectomy/laminectomy, I had to stay for a night. It is just so uncomfortable to know that you can't really just leave when you want. Being confined in a little space with someone else a curtain away from you. I wasn't given a PCA pump the first time, so the pain was terrible. Not one minute of sleep. Just lying there, asking myself why the hell I did this. Thank God I had the "John Adams" series on DVD and my lap-top. (And why don't they have wi-fi in hospitals?)

My roommate was a nightmare. Ear glued to his cell phone, or just really bizarre looking people coming to see him all day.

It was worse when he slept. His snoring could have tripped a Richter scale. I have NEVER heard a human make noises like that before. Not even on purpose.

Three months later, I had a second discectomy, since my disc re-herniated and it was worse than my initial herniation.

I almost had to stay overnight for that one, due to one missing signature which would have given me clearance to go home. After about 10 phone calls and, well, being persistent, to put it nicely, I was cleared.

This surgery pretty much requires at least a night's stay. If I pressed it, I probably could have gotten same-day discharge, but, even I think it is a good idea to stay and soak up the pain medication, as this is said to be a fairly painful procedure. They gave me hydromorphone (Dilaudid) last time I was in. Amazing stuff. I didn't feel all "googly" or happy like a nut like everyone else says they experience (I wish I did.), but the pain relief was incredible compared to my first operation. The PCA pump made all the difference.

Anyway, I just have to pack later. Clothes, toothbrush, deodorant, fiber tablets. I bought the book "No Country For Old Men," as I loved the movie, which I will also have. "John Adams," "Tombstone," "The Four Seasons," and some "Sopranos" should be enough movie time to help me through. My Mom is bringing a couple of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episodes, too. The hospital TVs are pitiful.

I also have the first addition of "Halo" (videogame) installed, so I can run through the campaign.

Two things I have learned to bring for surgery: Chap Stick, and throat lozenges, as the after-effects of the breathing tube are uncomfortable.

Some Colace, too, as this pain medication puts the breaks on my bowels, and you DON'T want want to have to strain to unload one in the chamber after you've had back surgery. It SUCKS.

I'm pretty bummed that I need to have another surgery. But, this is it, unless they sew a sponge in and need to get it out.

I just want this to be over. There really is no other surgery that can be performed for this, so I am looking at this as the beginning of the end. Whether it produces a successful outcome or I still have problems, at least I know that I tried everything possible, and I can accept it and move on.

Anyway, wish me luck!

I'll post as soon as I can.

Take care all!



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Comments (18)

Good luck and may this be Y... (Below threshold)

Good luck and may this be Your last hospital visit Shawn!

Good luck! When I had mine... (Below threshold)

Good luck! When I had mine done (mid 70's) I spent 10 days in the hospital. Consider yourself lucky.

Good luck Shawn.Keep... (Below threshold)

Good luck Shawn.
Keep us posted.

Keeping my fingers crossed ... (Below threshold)

Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Here's mud in yer eye ... or something. What's the normal thing to say when someone goes in the hospital?

You also have my best wishe... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

You also have my best wishes and prayers, Shawn. I pray for the day that the entire Wibang/Wizbang Pop crew will be entirely healthy.

I'd say break a *** but tha... (Below threshold)

I'd say break a *** but thats not PC for a hospital visit. Get well soon ... hopefully in 24 hours ...

Good luck! I hope you heal ... (Below threshold)

Good luck! I hope you heal quickly.

Get well soon! The wife an... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Get well soon! The wife and I will keep you in our prayers.

Just grab the doctor by the... (Below threshold)

Just grab the doctor by the balls, squeeze lightly while saying "Now we're not going to hurt one another, are we?"

Shawn,Best wishes ... (Below threshold)


Best wishes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Good luck, man. I just got ... (Below threshold)

Good luck, man. I just got the bad news about a potential back fusion myself.

And dilaudid is awesome stuff. Got it when I had the tip of my finger sewn back on. Hell of a drug.

Shawn, you might ask for oa... (Below threshold)

Shawn, you might ask for oatmeal when they start bringing you food. Quaker instant seems to be the best. I don't know if they serve this in hospitals, but it's easy on your stomach, doesn't mess up your blood sugar, and works wonders without any drama.

Best wishes.

Get well and post soon.... (Below threshold)

Get well and post soon.

Good luck Shawn! I'll be s... (Below threshold)

Good luck Shawn! I'll be saying a prayer for you. Be easy on the hospital staff, they do want to help you.

Get well and speedy recovery!

Shawn - you are in my praye... (Below threshold)
Vivien Hibbert:

Shawn - you are in my prayers. All the best for this surgery.

Good luck Shawn, and God bl... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Good luck Shawn, and God bless you.

Shawn Mallow:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
Stve Green:

Shawn Mallow:


Though Steve Green has written a few more posts (and Bruce Henry has decided to offer his hand to Steve in liberal kinship), Steve has refused to acknowledge his inexplicable purpose for the use of race in his aforementioned post.

Whether out of plain refusal, denial, or lack of a valid reasonable explanation, he just does not want to say why he made the conscious choice to interject the issue of race into a conversation where it was not merited.

By displaying this unwillingness to simply justify his use of Barack Obama's race in his post, he has revealed what is most likely just the tip of a bizarre iceberg.

From this point on, whatever he writes here, whether it contains valid substance or not, will be doubted not only for its honesty and motives, but its sincerity, as well.

Because King Mallow says so.

Well, believe it or not, I wish you the best of luck in our upcoming surgery. Hospitals suck, been there, got that scar. Hurry back.

When I had a discectomy the... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

When I had a discectomy the surgeon was kind enough to keep me in the hospital for a couple of nights hooked up to the PCA pump. I blew through over $3k worth of morphine in a little over 48 hours. Man, that was awesome.

And the throat thing from being tubed is a huge drag. I was powering down liquids (along with the morphine) trying to soothe my throat. The first time they came to empty my catheter the lady had to make four trips to the br to empty/measure the volume of pee I'd passed. Same thing again four hours later.

Good times...






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Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

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