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Friday1 11-24-2018 10:33 PM

Back surgery
 
Went in the hospital on 10/10 for a lumbar laminectomy. Got out the next day. I was doing well until the fourth day out and the pain was unbearable. I think the doc didn't believe I was in pain but it was much worse than earlier in the summer when I passed four kidney stones. Went back in the hospital and they gave me heavy duty antibiotics thinking they could kill an infection. I was on Percocet and morphine and it didn't touch the pain at all. I had a migraine headache for sixteen day straight. Six days later they opened my back up again to clean out the infection. Had a major hemorrhoid problem from the narcotics and they operated on that too. The infectious disease doc kept promising to come and see me to release me but he never showed and I was in for 21 days. I decided I had to get out of there no matter what. Found the head of neurosurgery's phone number and I called him and left a message stating I was going home that day if I had to walk out with my butt showing out of my gown and the IV's dragging on the ground that afternoon. My surgeon showed up in my room in a five minutes and he gave me the OK but the Infectious Disease guy had the final say. The nurses wouldn't give me any info about when he would come. They said no body knows how to get ahold of him. I had a meltdown, not buying that BS! Everyone no matter who they are has a way to get hold of them and somebody is going to release me or I would do it myself. So they guy showed up in about an hour. They scheduled me for a PICC line in my arm to infuse vacomycin at home. Vacomycin is a heavy duty antibiotic that is used to kill MRSA or other infections. I got out about 530 that afternoon. I do the infusions at home now for a total of six weeks twice a day. Each infusion takes 2 1/2 hours but better than a minute longer in the hospital. I have a long road of recovery ahead but getting stronger every day. My wife is a saint, taking care of me and all the things I can't do around home yet. My best buddy came down from North Detroit today and got me out of the house for a trip to Tony Packo's for some Hunky food and I gave him the T-Town tour of my old neighborhood and the Fire Repair Shop where I worked for 30 years. I am so blessed with friends and relatives visiting and bringing food to give my wife a break. Today's trip tired me out and let me know just how far I have to go to a full recovery. Taking baby steps and going slow. Each time my wife leaves the house I sneak out to the shop and organize all the projects I have on hold and clean the shop a little bit. My hands have never been this clean in 60 years! On a bus forum all us old guys with back problems were thinking we should preach to all the young racers to take care of their backs so when they get old and get their first bus they will still have some pain free years to enjoy their bus hobby.

chiplamb 11-24-2018 10:43 PM

Get well soon, Rick - from a fellow back pain sufferer and a member of the bad shoulder club as well. We do what we can!

Randy Dupree 11-24-2018 10:48 PM

dangitman!
Thats really not good.
Hang in there.

catshreds 11-24-2018 10:50 PM

Vancomycin is nasty stuff. It is so strong, that it has a tendency to corrode veins. It does work on MRSA as that's what knocked it out of my system. The ID docs had gone through so many IV sites on me, that then failed, that a PICC line was the next best option for me. Hang in there my friend; it really is true: what doesn't kill us truly makes us stronger!

Mike Hohnstein 11-24-2018 10:52 PM

Had two, bottom 4 fused with rods in 1980 then a laminectomy 6 years ago. Took a couple years to get sort of normal both times, guess I was lucky, didn't get any of what you did. Sounds like they didn't wash to tools first.

Jon 1968 11-24-2018 10:53 PM

Rick,

Sent you a PM. Heal fast

Jon

birds_first 11-24-2018 11:11 PM

Ouch! Keep those hands clean.

Friday1 11-24-2018 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catshreds (Post 435523)
Vancomycin is nasty stuff. It is so strong, that it has a tendency to corrode veins. It does work on MRSA as that's what knocked it out of my system. The ID docs had gone through so many IV sites on me, that then failed, that a PICC line was the next best option for me. Hang in there my friend; it really is true: what doesn't kill us truly makes us stronger!

The room where they did the PICC line was cool. All kinds of X-ray cameras on linear actuators. I don't know how they put that PICC down the vein but they did. Yeah the nurse said Vacmycin is on of the "Big Guns" when they are not sure what is growing inside. It has to be infused slowly or you get Red Man's Syndrome of severe flushing and you feel like you skin is crawling over your bones and muscles. Only happened once when the nurse infused me too fast. Major creepy feeling! Infusion is not rocket science but you have to be careful and sanitary and pay attention. Can't wait for it to be over on 12/12. Rick in Ohio

Dieselbird01 11-24-2018 11:54 PM

Hi Rick,

Sorry to hear you've been going through so much pain but glad to hear you're getting better!

biobug 11-25-2018 12:12 AM

I just had my 3rd back surgery 2 weeks ago. A double Laminectomy and Disectomy. I really do feel your pain! I am lucky with no infection! I cut the Opioids out probably too early but a Margarita is taking the night pain out . My best to you! It is not fun! MRSA is very tough to deal with.I still use lots of alcohol (mostly external!!)

biobug 11-25-2018 12:22 AM

My thoughts are really with you!

ejallison1 11-25-2018 12:37 AM

Sorry to hear of the post-op complications and wishing/praying a speedy recovery from this point forward. It can seem an eternity but be patient-you will get better-.

Friday1 11-25-2018 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biobug (Post 435535)
I just had my 3rd back surgery 2 weeks ago. A double Laminectomy and Disectomy. I really do feel your pain! I am lucky with no infection! I cut the Opioids out probably too early but a Margarita is taking the night pain out . My best to you! It is not fun! MRSA is very tough to deal with.I still use lots of alcohol (mostly external!!)

WOW, John. You are the man! I was taking Percocet and morphine at the same time and it never touched the pain. But it made me super depressed and each day it was harder to put on a happy face for my wife when she visited. The last night I knew I had to get out of there or else. I knew they were wharehousing me and might have been there another two weeks if I didn't have a full meltdown.

Get well and get healed up. Follow the doc's orders. Get some therapy. I want to do water therapy when my incision is healed. One of the biggest disappointments was going nowhere in our bus last summer. We were a week away from taking off for Colorado and sat down and honestly looked at how it could turn out with back pain, sciatica, an antique bus 2,000 miles from home and 50 miles from a real hospital on mountain roads....so we cancelled. It's still all ready to go. Having goals in recovery is a good thing.


Rick in Ohio

Nancy Brookshire 11-25-2018 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biobug (Post 435535)
I just had my 3rd back surgery 2 weeks ago. A double Laminectomy and Disectomy. I really do feel your pain! )

John Alley has been keeping us quite entertained, over on FB, with his stories of healing! Thank you!

Our healing thoughts are motoring to you, Rick. Glad you have a goal to keep you moving forward!

Rick 11-25-2018 08:21 AM

got to heal Rick. Too many unfinished projects to leave laying about. Your a tough nut. You can do it.

isp2952 11-25-2018 09:04 AM

Rick, It is wrong when you go to the doctor to get fixed and they make you worse than you were before they touched you:mad: I have had my issues with back problems most of my life, but evidently not as bad as you and many others, who have had to go under the knife. I just hate doctors and hospitals bad enough to put up with it:( I do the "crab walk" about every morning for a couple of hours and some "medicinal alcohol" to let me sleep better at night. It sounds like you might be on the mend and hope you get back up to speed so you can enjoy life as it should be enjoyed in retirement. Hopefully your Christmas will be better than your Thanksgiving was. Call me if you need to get out of the house.

Bill Pape 11-25-2018 10:36 AM

Holy C--p had no idea things could deteriorate so badly,
Now I know why I didn't see you in Oct. when passing through Toledo.
Sending positive healing thoughts, get well soon.
Eat more of that local natural bee honey.

exxis 11-25-2018 11:27 AM

Wow, sure hope things improve. It amazes me that we can be held against our will and then sent a bill to pay for it. My daughter was on that antibiotic for 2 months around the clock via a picc line. She had pressurized pucks in her back pack feeding the picc line so she cold go to school.

Friday1 11-25-2018 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by exxis (Post 435570)
Wow, sure hope things improve. It amazes me that we can be held against our will and then sent a bill to pay for it. My daughter was on that antibiotic for 2 months around the clock via a picc line. She had pressurized pucks in her back pack feeding the picc line so she cold go to school.

The pressurized pucks were an option. We went with the cheaper of the two, the gravity feed bag and it is $82 per day times six weeks. An expense we didn't figure on. When all the bills are in we will be seeing a bigger surprise. We are just now getting hernia surgery bills from back in April. Medically, this has been a tough summer. It will pass though. Feeling stronger every day. Hope your daughter is on the mend.


Rick in Ohio

78bbird 11-25-2018 02:21 PM

Rick I hope all goes well and you get better soon!
I am going on 10 years when I had T12 removed and ladder bars from T9 to L3. Just this spring I went to one of the top 4 N/S in the U.S. and found out that 5 nerve roots and everything on my left side were cut to install the cage and bars. I just got back from UCSF for a temp nerve block and it looks like I will have some nerves killed soon to block the pain. Keep moving and take care of yourself!

4-Liberty 11-25-2018 07:01 PM

Rick, keep in mind Vancomycin is a very nephro toxic drug, drink plenty of water to wash out the metabolites. Also, can have a profoundly negative effect on your gut flora leading to c-diff a terrible form of infectious diarrhea. That happens as a result of the drug killing and changing the the normal ratios of bacteria in your gut. C-diff is always present in the gut but when it is not kept in proper numbers it becomes a big problem. Using lactobacillus and Greek yogurts with live cultures can help your gut to weather the storm as well. 80% of our immunity they are finding is mediated through the gut and what is called the microbiome.

Very important to keep that infection from entering the bone.

Curious whether the approach for your surgery was done with a limited incision approach or open.

Best to you in healing.:)

Friday1 11-25-2018 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78bbird (Post 435589)
Rick I hope all goes well and you get better soon!
I am going on 10 years when I had T12 removed and ladder bars from T9 to L3. Just this spring I went to one of the top 4 N/S in the U.S. and found out that 5 nerve roots and everything on my left side were cut to install the cage and bars. I just got back from UCSF for a temp nerve block and it looks like I will have some nerves killed soon to block the pain. Keep moving and take care of yourself!

WOW! Hope it goes good for you , Mark.

Friday1 11-25-2018 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4-Liberty (Post 435623)
Rick, keep in mind Vancomycin is a very nephro toxic drug, drink plenty of water to wash out the metabolites. Also, can have a profoundly negative effect on your gut flora leading to c-diff a terrible form of infectious diarrhea. That happens as a result of the drug killing and changing the the normal ratios of bacteria in your gut. C-diff is always present in the gut but when it is not kept in proper numbers it becomes a big problem. Using lactobacillus and Greek yogurts with live cultures can help your gut to weather the storm as well. 80% of our immunity they are finding is mediated through the gut and what is called the microbiome.

Very important to keep that infection from entering the bone.

Curious whether the approach for your surgery was done with a limited incision approach or open.

Best to you in healing.:)


I do drink a lot of water. Up every two hours at night to pee. I have yogurt every morning with old fashioned oatmeal. I think open on the incision. It is about 9" long. When the back was infected, the incision was HOT and very painful. I could feel the heat 3 inches away from my back. This surgeon has a very good rep for no problems after surgery. Somebody had to be the exception to the rule. The back just feels fatigued now from walking every day and PT exercises. Have an appointment with surgeon tomorrow. Hope he will allow me to drive, run the lawn tractor and shoot a *****. My short three item bucket list! :D


Rick in Ohio

bubblerboy64 11-26-2018 04:47 PM

Sorry to read this Rick. You go in for one problem and end up with worse. This is not all that uncommon. You were lucky to get out of there with a pulse.

You were not treated well my friend.

Friday1 12-14-2018 10:46 AM

Finally
 
I am out of the infusion business. I won't miss six hours a day sitting still thinking about projects stacking up in the shop. We went to see the infectious disease doc and he removed the PICC line and the nurse came yesterday to give me the release and final exam. Without the vacomycin I feel 100% better. My digestive system is getting back to normal and I feel more energy. I slept for 6.5 hours night before last. On the road to recovery.


Rick in Ohio

isp2952 12-14-2018 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Friday1 (Post 437371)
I am out of the infusion business. I won't miss six hours a day sitting still thinking about projects stacking up in the shop. We went to see the infectious disease doc and he removed the PICC line and the nurse came yesterday to give me the release and final exam. Without the vacomycin I feel 100% better. My digestive system is getting back to normal and I feel more energy. I slept for 6.5 hours night before last. On the road to recovery.


Rick in Ohio

Good news Rick. Nothing worse than feeling bad unless it is around Christmas. So, hope you enjoy your Christmas and have a Happy New Year

Randy Dupree 12-14-2018 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Friday1 (Post 437371)
I am out of the infusion business. I won't miss six hours a day sitting still thinking about projects stacking up in the shop. We went to see the infectious disease doc and he removed the PICC line and the nurse came yesterday to give me the release and final exam. Without the vacomycin I feel 100% better. My digestive system is getting back to normal and I feel more energy. I slept for 6.5 hours night before last. On the road to recovery.


Rick in Ohio


Good news Rick.
Be well.

Bill Pape 12-14-2018 01:29 PM

THanks for the update, this is better news

78bbird 12-14-2018 01:36 PM

Great news Rick!! Keep on going & looking forward to more projects. I have some I need to finish this year!

biobug 12-14-2018 02:05 PM

That is great news! Keep on healing!

Friday1 12-14-2018 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78bbird (Post 437386)
Great news Rick!! Keep on going & looking forward to more projects. I have some I need to finish this year!


First thing to do is clean up. Many projects and tools just got shoved inside the door and not put away. What a mess! There are several batteries none of which will fit my super clean 2006 Crown Vic Interceptor I bought the day before the first surgery. My "easy flip" car that is nickle and diming me into the non-profit zone. Not a good time to sell a car anyhow. Income tax time will be better. Now it needs a ABS module. Cars and buses somehow know you have a few extra bucks.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words.



Rick in Ohio

brhodes 12-14-2018 07:27 PM

Good news Rick, don't rush anything.

rwoody 12-14-2018 10:38 PM

get er dun Friday no quit in you!


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