View Full Version : Just over 5 weeks post-op!

06-20-2010, 03:59 AM
I am 5 weeks post-op as of Friday (18/06/10), and though Iím still recovering, I can definitely say I feel better than I did 1 or 2 weeks post-op! Before my surgery on the 14th of May, I really only observed the posts on this forum since September last year, and I really do regret not posting all the questions I could have asked to help guide me, even though everyoneís surgery and outcomes are different. Everyone on here is beyond helpful and goes out of their way to give their wisdom, guidance and answers to others, and I found this was incredibly helpful for me before surgery as I gained much needed knowledge! So now that I am on the other side of my surgery, I will definitely be contributing to the forum more often :)

I had surgery for double major curved AIS which was diagnosed last year. I had an 8 month waiting period in between my first appointment and the day of my surgery (was very anxious throughout those months!). In this time, my thoracic curve (T4-T10) went from 55* to 65*, and my lumbar curve (T11-L4) went from 60* to 65* as well. I had an MRI done which showed no other problems, and some bending x-rays which showed good flexibility.

Going into surgery, my doctor only wanted to fuse to L3, but once he began to operate, he realised to get the desirable correction and a sustainable one, he would need to go to L4 (which most of you know means a loss of more flexibility!). My surgery went for 6 and a half hours, and after spending the afternoon in the recovery ward followed by the night in ICU, I was moved to a ward the next day. That night I had some big problems. My wound oozed and bleed, my temperate went to 37.8*Celsius, my oxygen saturation was down to 75% instead of 100% and I had to have an oxygen mask to help me breathe. I donít remember most of this, but I do remember having a terrible headache and horrible stomach pains (I reacted badly to the morphine).

Though at first I recovered slowly (catheter and last drips werenít taken out until 5 days after surgery), I was released at day 6 as I was walking unsupported (though tilted to the left, which is now no longer a problem), was able to shower and dress myself, was eating properly and just in general I rebounded really quickly after a horrible first 3-4 days in hospital which were spent fairly out of it.

Of course, the weeks at home havenít been easy, with bowel problems, stomach aches, headaches, back pains, muscle spasms, catheter infection, numbness in the lower back, shingles and horrible neck cramps. However, Iím sure most of you also experienced all of these, but I have to say through it all I have smiled and laughed as I am just so grateful that I was given such a great surgeon who could ultimately give me the gift of a better life! I am also completely grateful for the nurses who helped me in hospital as they were so amazing, caring and I definitely wonít forget them, and my nurse Ďmumí has also been incredible in helping me with everything :) Each week I am noticing little improvements, and at the end of the day, this is what keeps me going! I am just holding out for the day I can really say that I feel better than I ever have before!

I just wanted to say to those who have had the surgery; I hope you have all recovered/are recovering extremely well and live very happy, healthy and productive lives! To those waiting for their surgery day to come around; I wish you all the best and with faith and confidence in yourself, your surgeon and those around you, you will most certainly make it to the other side.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to get to know you all soon :)

06-20-2010, 04:40 AM
Welcome ShortEb,

Sounds like your surgery went well and you're happy with the results. Have you grown much taller? Perhaps you should change your name to TallEb in celebration?;)

Thanks for telling us your story and good luck for a smooth recovery and a much brighter future!

06-20-2010, 04:44 AM
So sorry to hear you had the shingles after surgery, I know how painful that is and then to have that right after surgery and dealing with all the post surgical problems - that must have been very rough. I remember when I hit 9 weeks post op I suddenly felt vastly better, and each day will get better and better for you. Well done for going through the surgery, the rewards are so great to having a straighter spine :)

06-20-2010, 04:51 AM
Hi ShortEb, Welcome. My worst nightmare was the fact of possibly getting shingles. Don't know why i had thought of that at the time! Anyway, its great to read that you are doing nicely now. Dont try to 'push' along your recovery, instead, just try and enjoy it, no matter how boring it can sometimes be. Best wishes.

06-20-2010, 06:56 AM
Thanks for all of your lovely replies!

JenniferG - My surgery did go pretty well and I am incredibly happy with the results! Being young and having the pain I had before the surgery was something I didn't want to have to deal with for the rest of my life, and I can most certainly say I am glad I went ahead with the surgery! I was under 5 foot before, and now I am just over! I was about 146cms previously and now measure at 152cms and my legs still have some growing to do :) I really do want to change my name to TallEb (even though I am not 'tall,' gaining the height I did was lovely as I have been rather short my entire life :D). Do you know how I would do that? Thank you so much! Best wishes to you too!

LynetteG - Lucky for me with the shingles we caught it within 48 hours and went straight to the doctors and were prescribed tablets, so they are starting to clear away nicely! I did have some pain in the area they were located, and the most irritable itchiness that I couldn't scratch (let alone reach!). However, I barely realise the fact that I still have shingles anymore! I am already so thankful to have a straight spine, when I look at it in the mirror I am just amazed and so grateful that I was blessed with a great surgeon who could do such a wonderful job! Even my surgeon said he got it as close to 'perfect' as he possibly could, and for that I am happy :) Thanks!

Vali - Before I got shingles I really didn't know much about them, but I am just glad I had them checked out before letting them getting worse! I am enjoying my recovery actually, it is great to have a break from school :) Everyone thinks I must be getting bored, but I am just enjoying relaxing before my life will become crazy with my last year of high school coming up next year. Thank you! :D

06-24-2010, 04:31 PM
Good work shorteb... I'm
nearly at 5 weeks too! Yay for us. I hope ur recovery keeps getting better. Good luck

06-24-2010, 05:29 PM
Thanks for your detailed report on your surgery, and congratulations for your grit in going through with it all and filling us in.

I can tell you I'm one of what will probably be many who have been MEANING to get the shingles vaccine (I'm "old enough"), but probably wouldn't have gotten around to it without reading your story. It IS pretty complicated to arrange, not cheap and unreimbursed.

I figure we're all immuno-compromised after this major operation, and whatever we can do to reduce the risk of complications is all to the good. Still, I hadn't prioritized it. Hearing from you about it will push me into action. Thank you!

Keep mending and metaphorically, at least, giving yourself a well deserved pat on the back!