View Full Version : Another update on me

07-08-2010, 01:27 PM
I had my first surgery 6-17 with a posterior spinal fusion from T3to L3. A week later, I was home, but had horrible pain and drainage when I was sitting. After a few days, the drainage had a little bit of an odor and I went back to the doctor (laying in the back seat of the car.)

He admitted me that evening 6-29 and reopened my incision, cultured it to determine if there was an infection, and removed my bone graft to reduce the risk of infection. The culture closest to the skin did show a possibility of infection but also could have had normal skin bacteria in it. The doctor decided he wasn't taking any chances.

He had a PICC line (long term iv) inserted in my arm so that I could have 6 weeks worth of antibiotics just to be sure. There was also a part of a muscle that had died and that was where most of the drainage was coming from. He also inserted a drain so that we could measure the drainage this time. It made a huge difference immediately in sitting up. I was discharged after 4 days.

Now, I'm able to walk with my walker and sit without much difficulty. I got my drain removed two days ago. I'm sleeping alot and the high doses of antibiotics make me ache all over like I have the flu. I'm slowly able to wean down on my pain meds. The doctor is hoping to go back in to replace my bone graft in another 3-4 weeks. I will have to continue my antibiotics afterwards. I feel like that will put me back close to square one. After that surgery, I HOPE to be on a road to complete (and normal) recovery.

On a good note, my top curve went from a 70 degree (increased 5 degrees in the last few months) curve to 26. And my bottom curve went from 55 degrees down to 24 degrees. My shoulders are even. Most of my rib hump is gone. I gained an inch - still didn't hit the 5 foot mark. And best of all, I can take a deep breath without that restricted feeling on my right side!

07-08-2010, 01:53 PM
Wow, sorry to hear of all your complications. The good news is that you caught it before it became a full blown infection! It must be nice to be able to breathe, a major plus I would say. :D Hang in there and let your body heal and strengthen for what is to come. Gentle ((((hugs))))

07-08-2010, 02:10 PM
Jenny-- thank you so much for letting us know what's going on with you. I'm so sorry you've been having such problems! The surgery itself is enough to have to deal with! :eek: It sounds like your surgeon has you on a good course to solve the issues, and hopefully you are not feeling too discouraged about it all. (Although it would be hard not to feel disappointed about having those complications, of course.) How wonderful that you have such a great correction and that you can breathe so much better now! It sounds like your life is heading in the right direction! I'll look forward to hearing about your progress.

07-08-2010, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the update - I was thinking of you. Sounds like you're doing well, all things considered and your doctor is not taking any chances. You're doing it the hard way, but you're most certainly going in the right direction.

Hope the 3-4 weeks flies for you. Meantime, take care of your diet. Are you allowed to walk?

07-08-2010, 03:10 PM
Joining the encouraging chorus.

It's a shame you have extra hardship, but it sounds like a finite problem. Kudos for you for your dedication to returning to work. I remember how much you said you love it (Neonatal nursing, right? That DOES sound like fun, and nice, lightweight patients!)

Hoping the worst is all behind you. :)

07-08-2010, 09:21 PM
Thank you all for the encouragement. I don't think I realized until today just how frustrated I was becoming at my setbacks. I have my mother or mother-in-law here to help with me and the children. My husband and I don't know what we would do without them. I'm very thankful for them, but I'm ready to have some privacy in my house again!

Jennifer, I don't have any walking restrictions, just the normal weight restrictions. But for the last month, I've only been to the hospital, doctor's office, and I've walked to my grandparent's house next door twice. I'm starting to feel like a prisoner in my own home.

It's nice to have this forum to be able to share this experience with people that are in the same boat as me! Thanks so much for being there!

07-08-2010, 10:43 PM
Hope you get to feeling better real soon. Sorry about the complications.

07-09-2010, 10:05 AM
I am sorry for the set backs but it sounds like you're in the right direction! Hope you start to feel better soon!;)

07-09-2010, 05:55 PM
Thanks for the update. I'm sorry you had complications and a delay in your recovery, but it sounds like your going to be doing fine with this behind you now. Good luck with a smooth recovery from here on.

07-09-2010, 11:47 PM

Thank you for posting this. I'm really sorry you have to go through all of this. I'm sure like most of us you had a plan in mind for when you would recover, etc., and this disrupts that. But still you got a great correx, and you will be much better off in the long run!

It's a good thing you are a nurse, because I don't think everyone would have recognized that as a possible infection. Good you were able to catch it before it got worse.

Keep us posted & we will keep cheering for you!


07-09-2010, 11:51 PM
I hope you feel better soon!

07-11-2010, 07:03 AM
Wow Jenny - you have certainly been through the mill. Thank goodness you are now truly on the road to recovery, and things will only get better from hereon in. You sound like a strong positive person, which is great, that will get you through this setback. I wish you all the very best.