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Post Op Day 2 I woke up with a horrendous headache. Think terrible wine hangover headache. It was splitting my skull before I even moved in bed. I got up and took my shower, again with someone in room, just in case. Once dressed, my head was hurting so bad it was frightening me. I called the surgery center and spoke with a nurse. I explained the situation and the first thing she asked was if the headache got better when lying down. I told her, no, this was not a spinal migraine. I had just experienced one of those so severe after the myelogram that I ended up having to have a blood patch. This was not the same. This hurt before I even got out of bed. I told her I had not taken any pain meds till 4pm the day before. She actually said, “you are paying the price for waiting so long before taking the pain meds.” Then went on to say if it was not a spinal migraine, there was nothing they could do for me. She told me to go see my general practice physician for the headache. This is Post Op day 2! I told her there was no way I could get in a car and go anywhere! Finally she said to drink caffeine and if necessary I could take one dose of Advil or Tylenol after the pain meds if I still had a headache in an hour or so. I felt extremely frustrated and upset with the answer and the way I was treated. These were the people I had been told to call if I had any questions at all, etc, etc.

I did drink a caffeinated beverage and put a heated pad around my neck and shoulders. We wondered if the headache could be coming from that area due to the strain of the way I was having to move and lay. The heat and caffeine did help relieve the headache. The pain meds didn’t seem to help it at all.

A different nurse called in an hour or so since we had missed their follow-up call the day before. I went over the same things with her. She was much nicer. She didn’t have a lot of additional info, but did not chastise me for waiting to take the pain meds. I could tell she thought I really should have taken them on the day of surgery or at the very least the morning after, but she didn’t say anything smartass about it.

I got the feeling that none of the nurses would have given the same council as I got from the anesthesiologist on pain meds. I think the nurses would definitely have recommended I try the pain meds much sooner. I also wish I had tried them no later then first thing the morning after surgery. That is definitely something I would have done differently. Even better would have been to get an Rx for one single Percocet the week before surgery and tried it to see if it made me sick or nauseated. I was in enough nerve pain that something for pain would have warranted anyway. That way I would have know I could take them and would not have waited until the pain had settled in so deep before attempting one.

As I had been doing every day including the day of surgery, I would go out and walk several times a day. I walked slowly and only on flat ground. I would walk as far as I felt I could and then back. Most of the time I would have to lay down and rest when I got back. This first week my mom was staying with me, so she walked with me which made the whole experience more pleasant. At first, I would only walk about 4-5 houses down and back. Every day I could add a couple of houses to the trip.

Clothing however, started to be a problem about Post Op Day 2. My incision is in my low back, running vertically. Every thing I put on had a waistband that went right across that area. Suddenly waist bands, even on workout pants with a wide flat band seemed to be hugely thick and felt like a cord grinding into my spine. I quickly realized that I should have gone out before surgery and bought several pair of drawstring waist pants in at least a size too large. Flat waistbands are a must, no super gathered elastic with wads of tags in the back!

(Disclaimer: These are my observations about my surgery and recovery only. I am not a medical professional. I do not in any way intend for these observations to be used as medical advice or guidance. Please discuss with your physicians any questions, concerns, etc you may have.)

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