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View Full Version : Jen M's June 8th surgery with Dr. Boachie



JenM
06-19-2010, 05:43 PM
Hi Everyone!!!!!! I'm back!!!!! I'm in shock and still can't believe I did have the surgery and didn't chicken out. I owe this all to you. I have met sooo many friends on this forum. You all feel like family to me!

Well, it's now June 19 (11 days after my surgery) and I am finally able to sit and write a long response explaining my long and painful journey. I have to say that the hardest part of this journey was the pre-Op waiting stage from November 2009 to June 7, 2010. That was a very anxious time in my life. I was so nervous during these 7 months that I decided I needed to put this nervous energy into good use. So one day in November I decided I was going to do the treadmill 5 days a week and eat healthy and chart/measure my weight every day. I didn't put alot of pressure on myself. I started to watch Dr. Oz and picked up some great points from his show. I was going to use this time for myself to concentrate on myself (for the first time in a LONG time since I have young kids). I pretended I was going to treat this as being an athlete in a marathon (and for me this was a far-fetched goal). I needed 50 pounds to lose. I have a 2 year old and never really lost the baby weight.

Tracking my weight on an excel spreadsheet was the best thing I have ever done for myself. At first, I lost 3 pounds the 1st month, then lost 5 pounds the second month, then 7 pounds, etc. Every month I lost weight. This gave me alot of confidence and made me actually excited for the surgery! Mentally, the exersice was great for me and "pumped" me up for the surgery. So from November to July 7, I lost about 40 pounds and felt like I fine tuned athlete. I really don't think I would have ever been able to lose this weight if it wasn't for me making the decision to have the scoliosis surgery.

Ok, so the morning of my surgery, June 8th, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I went to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City at 6am and felt a sense of calm. I met Dr. Boachie in the pre-op area and he made me feel sooo calm. He has a way about him...he doesn't say too much but as soon as he gave me this comforting look I know I would be in great hands. From the day I met him I had so much confidence in him compared to any doctor I ever went to. Then the anesthesilogist came in and answered all my questions. I didn't end up needed a chest tube. Then they gave me the "happy Juice" and I was wheeled into the OR room. I said goodbye to my husband and told him to take care of my son and daughter.

I never counted backwards or anything. THen it felt like a minute later I woke up. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 my pain was a 5 when I woke up from surgery. I spent the night in the PACU and was totally comfortable. I basically had no pain and kept telling everyone this!!! The next morning I was moved to my regular room. THis is where the pain began to intensify. I am going to cut alot of the details out here, but from June 11 to June 15 the pain was horrible!!!! On June 14 I started having muscle spasms which went up and down into the back part of the shoulder. I was literally screaming in the hospital. THe pain management dr came to see me to assess the pain. He gave me flexeril for the spasms but that didn't touch the pain. I was screaming so loudly that teams of doctors were running to see me as if it were a major emergency or something, Flexeral didn't touch the pain for spasms but the valium did. I have to say, the muscle spasm in the back of my left shoulder and the gas pains from constipation were the worst types of pain I experienced. I rarely had any back pain at all.

I ended up leaving the hospital on Wednesday, June 16. I couldn't wait to go home into my own bed!! I have to say, the first 3 days after the surgery I really regretted it, but on day 4 i measured to be 5 foot 6 inches (i was 5 feet 3 1/4. That makes me soooo happy and I was stand up so tall!!!!!!!!!!! I felt like a new person!!!!

I actually have to run as my doorbell just rang. I will type more tonight. I am soooo glad to be back! I have lots more questions for all of you!!!!

Joyful, Janet, JennyRN - i thought and prayed for you the entire time. Every day gets better and better!!

Thanks so much for everything. Debbe-thanks for posting on June 8th for me.

Talk soon.

JenM

jrnyc
06-19-2010, 05:54 PM
hey Jen
so glad to hear the surgery is over and you are in the healing process...i hope things get better every day...
congratulations on your bravery and your new, straight spine!

jess

rohrer01
06-19-2010, 06:01 PM
It's so good to hear that it is over with and you are doing well. I'm so thankful for all of you that post your stories. You are sooooo brave!!!!

jsully
06-19-2010, 09:21 PM
Jen
Read my post op post about pain. The nurses managed it horribly but I've been doing great doing it on my own since being home. I got out the 16th.
Janet

LynetteG
06-19-2010, 09:27 PM
Great news JenM - wow you ARE tall now - I'm so happy for you. I wish you a wonderful smooth recovery, and like I said to Janet S - it just gets better and better each and every day from here on in. I remember the time leading up to the surgery also being the worst part of the whole process, it's so scary prior to surgery worrying about everything, but once it's done it gets better and better. Glad you're home now!

jsully
06-19-2010, 09:33 PM
Oh, by the way my husband just measred me and I only gained 1 in. But I still don't feel real straight yet.
Janet

Confusedmom
06-19-2010, 09:35 PM
Wow! Congratulations. What a wonderful feeling it must be to be 3 inches taller! Glad you're home and starting to recover. How are the kids? Did they do okay without you? Congrats, too, on the weight loss. You must feel like you have a new body all around!!!

Evelyn

Back-out
06-19-2010, 10:43 PM
Congratulations, newly straight sisters! You are brave, indeed.

About the issue of pain management, there's a good reason this is one of the main issues the govt. hospital comparisons focus on! It will certainly be an issue I examine in making my choice especially as I may not have a family advocate with me. (Prefer not to discuss now) Facilities vary greatly.

Sorry you suffered so, jsully!

foofer
06-20-2010, 12:28 AM
hey there, Jen...

Great descriptive rundown of your operative experience. Sure seems like this operation does bring on the weirdest assortment of post-op pain and strange body "events"! I would not be a bit surprised if someone got in here and said their pinkie fingernails hurt and did anyone have this?

I can hear some energy in your "voice" and that's great to hear! Glad to hear also that you felt so good about your surgeon and his expertise. I am jealous of your new height being that I am now 5'3" and I used to be 5'4 1/2 but should have been anywhere up to 5'8", according to Linda's test. I want my rightful stature! Would love to have a few inches back.

Keep healing, keep posting.

Janet Sully: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Your scoli sister,


Amy

jsully
06-20-2010, 02:20 AM
Thanks Foofer. Where is the height test?

JenniferG
06-20-2010, 04:58 AM
Welcome back Jen. First of all, congratulations on taking the decision to get fit and lose weight. The benefits are so worthwhile, mainly the confidence it gives you that you can face anything and the calm it brings, apart from any physical benefits. The best I ever felt in my life was just prior to my surgery, for the same reasons. So I understand exactly what you're saying.

Secondly, congrats for having jumped this major life-hurdle. Sorry you suffered so much for those days. But glad you're doing much better now.

And I'm amazed at your height-gain! You must feel like you're walking round in 70's platform shoes! Great news.

ADMoul
06-20-2010, 10:55 AM
Wonderful news, Jen. It sounds like you're over the worst of the post-op pd. With the weight loss and being taller, you will have so much fun shopping for new clothes!! Congratulations on that weight loss regimen. Sounds like you have the right mind-set for recovery. Hope you continue to feel better each day!

Doodles
06-20-2010, 11:17 AM
Jen--Congrats on your new body in all ways! Losing weight is so difficult; I know! You have done so well on all fronts (& backs!). You can be so proud of yourself. You should be through the worst and on to healing. 3 inches--wow! Janet

jsully
06-20-2010, 01:00 PM
I've gained 10 lbs since surgery! Not sure how, I am eating MUCH less?

JenM
06-20-2010, 01:42 PM
Janet-

I'm sooo glad you mentioned that!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it either! I didn't eat anything at the hospital since I was so nauseous. I for sure thought I lost about 10 pounds after my surgery but when I got home and weighed myself I gained 10 pounds!!!! I couldn't belive it!!!! Janet, did you get any blood transfusions? I received 2 units back of my own blood and I think this might count for some of the weight gain. My belly looked like I was preggo! I thought most people lost about 20 pounds after this surgery!!!!!!

Does anyone know why you gain weight?

Thanks,
Jen M

JamieAnn
06-20-2010, 02:24 PM
Very strange about the weight gain!

I'm curious how you feel pain-wise on a scale of 1-10 now, Jen (and the others who had surgery last week). Has it gone down drastically? What can and can't you do at this point?

JenniferG
06-20-2010, 03:41 PM
From reading this forum, I think the weight issue is another area where we differ enormously. I didn't lose a gram, but my extra 2 inches stretched me out and I *looked* a lot slimmer. Best of all, I got rid of a groove at my waist on my right side, where I was "wedged in".

It's amazing how we are all so different.

jsully
06-20-2010, 05:25 PM
I did get 2 units, also got Lasix and look bloated. Don't feel bloated but am taking laxitive tonight. I have only gone once since surgery. Also only in hieght gain.

Doodles
06-20-2010, 06:10 PM
The gain is probably due to swelling. In rehab they weighed me and I'd gained 20 pounds! I couldn't figure out how it was possible having had very little food for about 12 days! That will probably go away relatively fast. Janet

debbei
06-20-2010, 09:09 PM
Jen,

you sound like a different person than I talked to last Wednesday. I'm so glad you have come around the bend. Just know that you will continue to improve; it takes a while but you will get there.

Call me whenever you need to.

debbei
06-20-2010, 09:10 PM
Janet-

I'm sooo glad you mentioned that!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it either! I didn't eat anything at the hospital since I was so nauseous. I for sure thought I lost about 10 pounds after my surgery but when I got home and weighed myself I gained 10 pounds!!!! I couldn't belive it!!!! Janet, did you get any blood transfusions? I received 2 units back of my own blood and I think this might count for some of the weight gain. My belly looked like I was preggo! I thought most people lost about 20 pounds after this surgery!!!!!!

Does anyone know why you gain weight?

Thanks,
Jen M

Jen,
the same thing happened to me. I came home, and although I looked slimmer, the scale showed 10 lbs heavier. Over the next month, I lost that 10 lbs and more. I think it was water weight.

Confusedmom
06-22-2010, 03:34 PM
Just guessing...weight gain could be caused by combo of swelling, all the liquid they pump into you in the hospital, possible water retention from meds, constipation and (of course) the hardware. The books suggest you will probably lose weight when all is said and done. I'd give it a few weeks.

Evelyn

LynetteG
06-22-2010, 04:29 PM
I had come home heavier from the hospital too, I looked 6 months pregnant, but thankfully the swelling does go down, and as you start to wean off the meds, your bowels start to function more normally too. Unfortunately the meds keep us blocked up!

JenM
06-22-2010, 05:05 PM
My surgery was 6/8 and I left the hospital on 6/16 weighing 10 pounds heavier and barely ate anything at the hospital. This morning I hopped on the scale and lost that 10 pounds plus an additional 2 pounds. I'll explain what happened to me in another thread last night as to why I lost the weight so fast. Have to say it was the scariest night of my life!!!!! I am still terrified by it!

JenM

Back-out
06-22-2010, 05:34 PM
Looking forward to hearing your experience Jen, and glad it ended happily (it did, right?? )

I wonder how all that water retention affects ones bathroom calls at night after the surgery. My guess is post surgically (for a month or two), you have to get up numerous times at night to pee - during the day too, but it's those "Night Calls" that concern me as I am wobbly at that time. Doesn't help that after two bladder ops plus cord damage, I have various kinds of incontinence. (Just finished a big URO work-up to try to come up with a differential dx) .

*Sigh* But forewarned is forearmed. I KNOW I need something steady to grip as soon as I stand up from sleep - meaning, already now, much less later!

ADMoul
06-23-2010, 10:45 AM
I gained weight after surgery, too, mostly due to fluids from blood transfusions and eating really well once I got home. Yes, I had to get up a lot at night to pee. The narcotics made me thirsty, so I would drink, and then have to go again. That was one of the worst aspects of being in the hospital. The nurses would have to come in to get me up since I couldn't get those compression stockings off by myself. I felt like I no sooner went, then I had to go again. I still have to watch my salt intake/fluid retention but the more I walk and swim, the better I feel. I still keep my elevated toilet seat at my upstairs bathroom, just to give me a little more security when I get up at night and am very stiff. That's getting better, though.