You will be scared to walk but take it slow & steady, may have physical therapy help you. Breathing may be hard and weird with tube but necessary to reinflate lung they have to deflate to do surgery. It is okay but will be hard to cough (do the breathing exercises), ASK questions when you have them! Don't tolerate unbelievable pain. You may have urinary catheter draining bladder-normal for first couple days. Eat when you feel up to it, helps healing. Sleep! When you go home after 4-6 days it will be scary, won't trust yourself, it gets better over next 2 weeks. Move slow, use help if you have it. Take pain meds religiously @ first, don't just chase pain. Rest. Recovery is slow. Expect to be very tired, normal too. Can last for weeks, i still am @ times. Prayers Kathy
I know what place you are in, I also did not ask a lot prior to and I should have known better being a nurse but hey, I have learned a lot after. I also had a chest tube for 3 days-honestly that site hurts more than incision for actual sugery b/c I am still very numb over my incision. Your surgery sounds very similar. My incision is about 7-8 longs on my left side to back. My 10th rib was removed to grind up and place in titanium cage which takes the places of my now missing disc to act as support- it is fused there and I have screws holding in place too. The cage is ~ 2 inches long. A lot of muscle will be cut & is still sore. You will have a lot off pain meds( thankfully) maybe and epidural too (ask for it). Rest and take it easy in hospital, they will walk you before you leave. Kathy
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