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View Full Version : 2 month post op xrays and pics...



jeneemohler
03-04-2011, 05:29 PM
Well, here they are! I am very happy with my outcome. It doesn't even look like I have scoliosis, even with two, 35 degree curves left in there! Hard to believe I had 70 degree curves. Because my bones are so dense, (lots of weight lifting over the years) she was able to use smaller pelvic fixation screws. Because of the smaller size, they don't extend across my SI joint. Apparently, that joint can still move after fixation, and can cause pain and issues. I have been so fortunate throughout this whole ordeal! All my outcomes have been better than expected, or I have been able to take the lesser of two evils. I sure feel for you guys with complications. It is hard enough to deal with scoliosis, surgery and recovery without them...
I am so glad to be driving. There is something about being confined to the house without transportation-it's a trapped feeling. Even if I don't go anywhere, just the fact that I CAN is so liberating. I get to start therapy soon- about 4 more weeks, and I plan on swimming, too. I will also be out of my brace at that time. I wasn't very thrilled about wearing a brace, but have actually been thankful for the reminder to NOT do some things I may have done without it. A couple nights ago, I had taken it off to go to bed, and was brushing my teeth. I bent over to rinse out my mouth and get water from the faucet. It was definitely an "oh crap" moment-what did I just do??? What was most amazing is the fact that I was actually doing it. The brace has also helped support my back when I have been tired and had to be out for long hours to go to town.
For those of you worrying about flexibility afterwards, it is nothing like I imagined. It is so much less confining than I thought it would be. I am not lifting or twisting, and even so early, I haven't found anything I can't do. Sometimes slower, or sometimes with a little body adjustment, but I am still amazed at how much better I am than I truly feared I would be. We tend to dwell on our worries and they get blown out of proportion. Mine was all for nothing... I can't wait to see how it is when my fusion is complete and I won't have to worry about accidently twisting or bending.

Here are some before and after xrays and pics. They were just papers that were run off for me, and I took pics of those to post, so they are a little fuzzy...

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Lorz
03-04-2011, 06:16 PM
What an amazing recovery you have had, thus far! You give me great hope. My fusion is set for the same levels that you had done, and I am very worried about flexibility. Thank you for your post, it helped a lot. I hope you continue with an uneventful recovery! Regards, Lori

cathydrew
03-04-2011, 06:37 PM
Those pictures are soooooo gorgeous, I am happy for you and kinda jealous too...you know? I wish I was where you are. I really think your positive outlook has a LOT to do with your great success and fantastic recovery...keep it up and you'll be 100% before you know it!! Congratulations and God bless Jenee'..... Xoxoxo

jeneemohler
03-04-2011, 08:39 PM
Lori and Cathy- our curves are almost the same, similar/same fusion levels, our ages almost the same, worries the same!!! So I have no doubt that your outcomes will also be the same. I believe 100% that attitude and thankfulness for what I DO have is more than half the battle. I could be jealous of the younger set with their huge corrections, and wish I had more than 50% correction, but why?? I am ecstatic for what WAS accomplished. Especially for my age. I feel so much better than I have in years. Perfect? No. But darn near. I will never be 20 years old with a healthy back, so why would I expect that? I am a realist. It never pans out to be greedy or ungrateful. Karma, baby!!! It was the coolest feeling in the world yesterday when my doc and I hugged, I thanked her for fixing me, and she had tears in her eyes. Pretty powerful stuff... She has been wanting to send people to me to help them and give them some insight. I wholeheartedly agreed, so now she is helping me set up a support group through the hospital. I am so dang excited to get it started.
Lori, I really did fret over flexibility for years. Try not to worry too much. I know-easier said than done! People told me the same thing, and I still worried. It is human nature. It is what it is, and you will be surprised at what a huge improvement you will have. Sometimes the road to recovery is longer for some than others, but most of us make it to a good place, eventually. Cathy, you will be here before you know it. It's a bummer you had to put it off, but things happen for a reason. Tackle that new school, and kick some butt!! You are so much like me in attitude and spunk-you will do great!!

mgs
03-04-2011, 08:50 PM
Jenee, your new back is beautiful!!!
I'm glad that your recovery has gone well, and that you can drive again. Little by little, you'll have your life back, only better!!

titaniumed
03-04-2011, 09:48 PM
Jenee

You have done well! And have you noticed that cell phone reception has improved? Another full fusion benefit! LOL

Now if there was some way we could suck on a USB and get free Wi-fi, that would be great!
Ed

LisaB
03-05-2011, 10:11 AM
Jenee - Great that your doing so well and your back looks great!

jeneemohler
03-05-2011, 12:52 PM
Jenee, your new back is beautiful!!!
I'm glad that your recovery has gone well, and that you can drive again. Little by little, you'll have your life back, only better!!

More importantly, how are YOU doing? You aren't very far along... I sure hope this go 'round has solved the problem!

jeneemohler
03-05-2011, 12:54 PM
Jenee

You have done well! And have you noticed that cell phone reception has improved? Another full fusion benefit! LOL

Now if there was some way we could suck on a USB and get free Wi-fi, that would be great!
Ed

I didn't think to ask...
You would think with all this modern technology and a quarter million dollars in doctor and hospital bills, I could have had one implanted, dontcha think???

JenniferG
03-05-2011, 02:13 PM
Hi Jenee`, it's great to hear you doing so well. Your back looks amazing. Your fusion is the same as mine yet there's always that shock to see such a long incision, especially early after surgery, but what a difference it has made to your back. You'd think you were totally straight inside. You must be so happy!

mgs
03-05-2011, 02:31 PM
More importantly, how are YOU doing? You aren't very far along... I sure hope this go 'round has solved the problem!

I'm not so sure about "More importantly. . ." . . .but I'm moving right along with this recovery thing. Tues will be 2 weeks since my revision surgery, and I am still smiling about how wonderful it feels to stand up straight and no longer have bone pain. Who would think that a little phrase like "sagittal imbalance" could wreak such havoc with a person's life (and mine was mild). . .and if/whenever I hear that someone is experiencing bone pain, my heart will go out to them and I will understand what they are going through in a way I could not have 4 mos ago. The post-op pain is still well controlled by oxycodone, Flexaril and Tylenol, and I've been able to stretch out the intervals between doses, and I sometimes take 2 or 3 oxycodones rather than 4. I would like to start walking more - I don't feel like my around-the-house walking is enough, but it's too cold and wet outside, and the healthclub I belong to would require a drive (so that's not an option for a few more weeks).
Jenee - your doc could not have found a better person to set up a support group - what a great idea!

golfnut
03-05-2011, 05:09 PM
Jenee',
Your postop pictures look great. You will be a fantastic leader for a support group as you have had a wonderful, positive attitude before and after surgery. As you know, we are only a week apart and have the same vertebrae fused. I, too, am excited about having a straight back and have been complimented so much by people who see me for the first time. I have been fortunate to have had a smooth recovery so far . . . no pain meds after 4 weeks, driving at 6 weeks, and only mild aches that come and go. I don't see Dr. Lenke until my 10 week point (March 16) and hope to get a good report. Well, enough about me. I just want to let those waiting for surgery know that for many of us, it's not half as rough as I feared. Having a lot of faith in your surgeon sure helps with a positive attitude for a good outcome.

Elisa
03-05-2011, 05:44 PM
Everything looks great Jenee' and it's good to hear your recovery is going well too. You too Karen. This makes me feel more confident with my son's recovery b/c he's only fourteen.

debbei
03-05-2011, 05:59 PM
the pics and xrays look fantastic! Your back photo before looked much like mine did before surgery. I still find myself amazed that we get such great results from this surgery!

Congratulations!!!

sarahcant
03-05-2011, 07:09 PM
Hi Jenee'
you look great! thanks for the info that seems to be what everyone is saying is that whats in your head is worse than the reality. I too will be fused top to bottom. I do have a question. How do you wash your hair in the shower? You're not allowed to raise your arms, right? Thanks for all of the encouraging words.


Sarah Cantore
T 40 L 70
Surgery March 15
Dr. Errico/NYU
T3-S1

golfnut
03-06-2011, 11:10 AM
I was never told not to raise my arms (Gee, I hope I didn't miss that instruction) and had no pain at all when washing my hair or putting on a turtle neck. I thought I'd have to wear only tops that button in front, but that wasn't the case.

asccbodypro
03-06-2011, 12:44 PM
Congratulations on such a successful surgery! As Jennifer said though, seeing a scar post op never stops shocking me either. It's amazing what our bodies have actually fone through. My husband was speechless yet teary eyed when he saw mine for the first time. You sound like your on the road to recovry at full speed. I wish you smooth sailing along your journey! Take care

golfnut
03-06-2011, 01:36 PM
I had told my husband how long my incision would be, but he was still queasy when he saw it the first time. He went to the pharmacy a couple of days ago to get Vitamin E oil to put on my scar. It was about 1 oz. for $8 and the pharmacist said that it would last a long time. Then he said, "Is her scar a couple of inches?" John said, "No, closer to 26 inches." I wore a swimming suit last week for the first time and decided the scar is my "badge of courage."

asccbodypro
03-06-2011, 02:22 PM
I had told my husband how long my incision would be, but he was still queasy when he saw it the first time. He went to the pharmacy a couple of days ago to get Vitamin E oil to put on my scar. It was about 1 oz. for $8 and the pharmacist said that it would last a long time. Then he said, "Is her scar a couple of inches?" John said, "No, closer to 26 inches." I wore a swimming suit last week for the first time and decided the scar is my "badge of courage."

Did you come home from the hospital with the tape on? My doc tore it off the day after my surgery, he claimed it would heal better. My scar did heal perfectly and nice and straight :O) I feel that it is my badge of honor as well. I was asked by a few family members if I wouldn't wear certain articles of cothing if it would show the scar. What a silly question to ask. As far as I am concerned there are not many people who can withstand what we have gone threw and I wear it proudly. My massage therapist asked if I would consider putting a tatu over it to hind it and I just laughed at him and said "NEVER". I think when people realize that you have literally been sliced wide open with almost your entire spine exposed for 15 hours in my case, they have a new found respect for what we have gone through. I have to say, and think most of you would agree, that my surgery did not just effect me but my entire family and I think we grew closer as a result.

My boys learned that it's not always about them and they learned to step up and take care of things without being asked. My 17 year old is like a second dad now to his two younger brothers and loves to cook when his dad is underway (I love this one!) My 11 year old still hasn't stopped asking if I'm ok and can he get me anything. And my husband, well there are not enough words to describe how well he cared for me during my recovery and still does to this day. When I am feeling down, my 11 year old never fails to remind me of the things I can now do BECAUSE of my surgery vs. the things I wouldn't be doing had I not had the surgery. All good things :O)

golfnut
03-06-2011, 02:29 PM
What nice comments about your family! Yes, I think family members do step to the plate when needed. I also found out who my really good friends are who didn't just say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do" but did sweet things for us without asking.
Karen

golfnut
03-06-2011, 02:47 PM
I was sent home with the steri-strips on my incision. Most fell off on their own. When I was allowed to shower at 2 weeks, a nurse friend of mine gently pulled off the rest of them.

Doodles
03-06-2011, 03:04 PM
Jenee--
What wonderful pictures. You must be thrilled with the outcome. Congrats on your new back! Janet

JenniferG
03-06-2011, 03:06 PM
I think everyone's different, but I had no concerns raising my arms. I washed my own hair in hospital, though which day it was, is blurry now - Day 4? They uncovered my incision a few days post-op, to the horror of my family. But it gave me no problems. I didn't have stitches, I had glue.

jeneemohler
03-07-2011, 12:51 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments, friends! I am just so thrilled with the outcome...

I was sent home with a glued incision and steri-strips, also. I showered in the hospital, and also was never told that I couldn't raise my arms. Maybe our fusions weren't as high up in the thoracic/cervical area as some others... That being said, I did use a shower chair and a hand held shower for a little while- just to play it safe. Especially when my hubby went back to work, and I showered alone.

We stayed overnight in a motel Saturday night, and I couldn't wait to get to the pool and hot tub. It felt sooo good. I wore a bikini, and am not ashamed to say that I am proud of my scar. Sure beats a crooked back!! It is completely healed and looks great. We do go through a lot, and it truly is a badge of courage. (So why don't I feel quite as content with my stretch marks??? LOL)

Confusedmom
03-08-2011, 09:10 PM
Your photos look awesome! Something to aspire to...

On another note, I saw a woman at King's Island (amusement park) last summer in a short tank top with a scar going from the top of her back down into her shorts. I just thought -- "good for you!" She was out and about, tan, having fun, and not worrying about that scar!

:),
Evelyn