View Full Version : Surgery successful!

05-03-2011, 05:11 PM
hi guys! I am back home. The surgery went pretty much as planned. Dr. Boachie said my bones were SO strong he literally needed extra time to do the procedure. I was under the knife for about 8 hours. I am fused T3-L3 and so far I am walking around without my walker, using the bathroom by myself, and getting in.out of bed by myself, going up/.down stairs etc. the pain is not terrible but obviously it is pretty intense. I am on 2 hydro pills every 4-6 hours and the pain is ok. Im off all IVs and stuff now and I have a HUGE appetite. Dont have a ton of energy now so I will write you later, but just letting you know that the surgery was a total success, now just time to heal. Dr. Boachie visited me in recovery the day after and said my bones were (hard as bricks) LOL. First night was tough, as I lost 1500ml of blood during the surgery which made me very very weak. combined with all of the meds and the push to get me up, it was hard.. I actually fainted the first night ! Luckily the nurses rushed to help me and my vital signs were fine but my heart rate was just out of control..like 220bpm. But I was very nervous. They assured me I was fine it was just because of blood loss and that the blood just basically left my brain so quick when I stood up, I passed out..like a fighter pilot (they wear G-suits for this reason)

Dr B is a genius in my eyes..I am in pain now and it is not comfortable but I feel that considering surgery was 5 days ago I am doing very well!! I have no tinglying or weird nerve effects besides my back. It is like totally numb! That will pass in time I am told. Very cool to be able to sit for hours on end! Even today!

The worst past was probably the bowels, and even now they are not 100%. Dr. Issac who works with Dr. Boachie said that is VERY common with anesthesia and even more common with back surgery..all of the physics of the correction are going right to your belly. he says it can take like two weeks to get back to normal. Luckily I am pretty good now. Not too bad

By the way my curve went from about 73 degrees to 44. I grew about 2 inches in height

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/223086_10150153276893344_602283343_6622218_5386934 _n.jpg

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/229730_10150153263838344_602283343_6621838_7474191 _n.jpg

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/228280_10150153346438344_602283343_6623416_3948092 _n.jpg

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/226914_10150153345678344_602283343_6623401_2768657 _n.jpg

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/229507_1825225154768_1364430011_31886203_2363275_n .jpg

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/226523_1831096821556_1364430011_31897137_5835686_n .jpg

05-03-2011, 05:26 PM
Congratulations!! I am so happy for you. You must be so relieved to have this over with, and to be back at home. Your recovery, thus far, sounds amazing. When you feel up to it, I would love to hear more about your experience at Hss, but for now, rest and heal. Hooray for Dr. B.!!

05-03-2011, 05:28 PM
That's great that everything went so well and you look like you're recovering nicely too; rosy cheeks and all!

05-03-2011, 05:33 PM

05-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Congratulations! It sounds like you are doing fantastic!

05-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Wonderful news! Congratulations, you're doing great! The ravenous appetite will have you strong again in very short time - your body will be flat out replenishing the blood lost so eat healthily and drink plenty of water. Walk a little every day - and enjoy all the loving and pampering you look like you're getting!

05-03-2011, 06:22 PM
That's great news.

Easy on that rouge, okay? :-)

05-03-2011, 06:32 PM
Congrats to you!!!! You look great. Thanks for posting.

05-03-2011, 06:55 PM
Good to see you on the post surgery side! Thank you for the words of encouragement as there are people like me who still need to make the trek.

05-03-2011, 07:35 PM
Welcome to "the other side"!! Your spine looks AMAZING!!!! (All the people in the photos are looking good, too. . .and everyone looks so relaxed!)

For 5 days out, you're doing great. Congrats on a successful outcome.

05-03-2011, 09:08 PM
You made it! Congratulations.

I looked at your coronal and thought wow, he is straight as an arrow, then realized you’re a kypho. Duh!

We scolis are jealous of your (kyphosis patients) coronal x-ray’s. Straight, and no rotation at all.

I think your timing was perfect.

05-03-2011, 11:14 PM
Wow, that's amazing and your pictures look fantastic! Congrats on such a great result. Take your time to heal though! Janet

05-04-2011, 07:20 AM
Wow congrats to you! I told you about the bowel thing...be very careful i ended up with an obstruction. So glad that you are feeling hungry, and positive! Keep us posted

05-04-2011, 07:35 AM
Thanks guys. My surgery was exactly a week ago. Right now I was being wheeled into the operating room. I met with the anesthesiologist, and he told me what he was going to give me. He actually chose to give me methodone (!) for pain, as he said that was a good baseline, and then add Dilaudid to it with my pump. I kissed my parents goodbye and said my last prayer in my head. They gave me really warm blankets. I thought about my friends and girlfriend and things, and then when all the people looking at me said 'good luck' as I was being wheeled into the room I felt very calm. it was exciting. Then we entered the OR, and it was HUGE. There were 10 people in there who were all going to be working on me. They helped move me onto a flat table...and then the anesthesiologist said 'im going to give you something to help you relax now' and asked if I was ready and I said yes. Then he injected something into my IV...he immediately began asking me questions about my education and stuff..'so do you have a girlfriend?' 'how is albany?' and then I felt this weird cold sensation up my whole arm! It was cool. Then the room started spinning..faster and faster...and I felt so calm..and then boom, next thing I remember 12 hours had gone by and I woke up in the post-op area.

This is my second day home. I walked down the street a few times yesterday. It felt pretty good, nothing unexpected. In the past day or two I have started to get pretty intense itching all over my back, which I am told is the healing process beginning. It is surely annoying but better than pain LOL. It is pretty strange where my backs nerve damage is. Seems that there is only one 'patch' that is totally numb. It is not surprisingly the site of my old apex, which I assume was where the surgeon spent the most time. Recovery is going well. I have a good appetite and energy. I am pretty much 100% independent at this point (i can get dressed, bathroom, stairs, sit, stand, eat, shower etc), but it is good to have someone home with me. I am very very stiff. In fact the pain seems to be shifting into stiffness. This is very normal. The nurses at the HSS say 'NO BLTs! NO BLTs!' bending lifting or twisting..cant do that for a few months. However, I DO know my flexibility is coming back. Even one week post-op! I am fused in areas that will not really affect my flexiblity. My hips and neck etc all move fine. It just feels like I have a cutting board inside my body right now LOL. My body is impressing the hell out of me. I had no idea I would be doing this well so soon.

However it also is important to rest. If I get ahead of my pain curve, it can be pretty miserable. The pain IS intense. But the meds help. You just cant overdo it.

So as for the HSS the experience was very positive. The nursing staff was like 98% impressive. They give you a call button, and the nurses and assistant assigned to you have these little transponders. so it's like a mini dispatch center, you press the button if you need help, someone answers, and then they tell your nurse what you need. It never took more than 30 seconds for someone to come to help me. I always asked for help for everything even if I could do it myself.

The most difficult part of the surgery is getting up for the first time. It is just so miserable. I can't really describe it, but picture the worst hangover in the world + getting hit by a bus the night before + 10 wires + beeping noises everywhere..pretty much something like that. The world might be spinning. You have been lying down for 18+ hours or whatever, and your blood is lower. Not to mention you are on some heavy drugs. The nurses will reportedly ask you how you are feeling, and just be honest. I tried to be a hero the first night and that is why I passed out. Just listen to you body.

Getting out of bed is very painful. You're going to want to do it the way you always have but then you realize you simply cant! You have to 'log roll' which basically just means rolling your whole body. It is kind of funny. It gets easier though. But just be prepared, getting up for the first time is unlike any experience. It is like the worst pain + the worst drug experience combined. LOL

Recovery got easier and easier. dont be embarassed by anything. I am 23 years old and needed an enema and a bed pan at least once. Thats how bad my constipation was! But within 48 hours I was getting back to normal slowly. I was detached from my catheter and drain I think 2 days after surgery. When they come out, it's a big step at becoming more independent. By the 4th day I was able to get up by myself and use the bathroom etc. Pulling your pants up is difficult. I had to call Bari (my favorite assistant) a bunch of times into the bathroom to help me get my pants back on. These guys see it all the time! Now I can do it. I will also be honest, when you use the toilet wiping is hell on earth for the first few times. It is just that twisting action. My shoulder KILLED me. So I just asked for help. And of course my mom was there. Hell, she did it 23 years ago, why not again? LOL but I am sure you are glad to know now I am fine with in.

If you have any questions let me know and I will answer them

here are a few more pictures of me in the hospital

05-04-2011, 07:45 AM
Congratulations on what sounds like a very successful surgery. Yes, Dr. B really knows what he's doing!

You described the joys of getting up for the first time post-op VERY well. Once you get past that hurdle, things start to ease up. Best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Jacque's Mom
05-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Walking with the PT without a walker.... I'm impressed! My walker was my BFF for at least the first two weeks or so, then graduated to the cane. You sound like you are doing really well. Congratulations and continue to heal as your body allows, slow and steady. Once again, thumbs up for Dr. Boachie! Take care, LYNN

05-04-2011, 02:40 PM
I put together some video footage from the HSS

05-04-2011, 03:14 PM
Loved the video! What a caring family you have!

05-04-2011, 04:31 PM
It's great to hear that your surgery went well. You are looking amazing!

Thanks for posting the photos and video--they're giving me a better idea of what to expect in the way of IV's, tubes, drains, bags, wires, masks, etc. (Yowie!) It also helps just seeing what the hospital room looks like. It's very encouraging to hear that you didn't have to wait long to get nursing help during your stay at HSS.

Congratulations and may your recovery continue to go smoothly.

54 years old
T57, L43
surgery scheduled with Dr. Boachie 7/05/11

05-04-2011, 06:04 PM
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/225621_1833079631125_1364430011_31899553_7522842_n .jpg

my pants wont stay on anymore!! my lordosis is gone..in the first pic i am really struggling to hold myself upright..in the second I am not thinking about it at all..very cool..I am not allowed to bend yet but that will really show it well.6-8 weeks

05-04-2011, 07:34 PM
That video is excellent. It is a great overview of the hospital stay.

Thanks to your family and you for making it.

05-04-2011, 07:37 PM
I enjoyed watching your video and all is so fresh in my mind b/c my son just went through that a couple of weeks ago... twice actually, lol.

It's interesting that you felt the counter tops and things in general were lower down as you've gained some height. My son gained 4" and he seems 'off' with his judgment but is getting more used to things around the house.

Yes, you do seem to have a very loving family. Your mom sounds like she'd be fun to be around. ;-)

05-05-2011, 09:39 AM
Thank you so much for posting the video of your experience. I can't believe how you just "shot" out of bed! You look terrific! The video did a lot, to help allay my fears. I did notice the quick response time, when you called the nurse. Would you say, that was your experience, overall? If I do half as well as you did, I will be happy. Ah, to be 30 years younger.....! I am so happy for you.

05-05-2011, 04:06 PM
I had to stop watching and get some tissues. Thank you for such an awesome, inspiring video clip. This should be compulsory viewing for all facing this surgery.

I hope the remainder of your recovery goes smoothly. Going by this video, I am sure it will.

05-06-2011, 07:55 AM
Thank you so much for posting the video of your experience. I can't believe how you just "shot" out of bed! You look terrific! The video did a lot, to help allay my fears. I did notice the quick response time, when you called the nurse. Would you say, that was your experience, overall? If I do half as well as you did, I will be happy. Ah, to be 30 years younger.....! I am so happy for you.

Hi Lorz, I found the HSS response times were incredibly fast, especially at night. The hospital uses a different paradigm for their nurses station..each nurse or assistant is paged immediately when they're on the floor. So I think it never took more than like 30 seconds to get to my room..i know of some hospitals when you have to keep pressing just to talk to someone!

05-06-2011, 09:36 AM
Congratulations!! You look great in photos and video. The video should be so helpful for those people contemplating or scheduled for surgery. You tell it like it is.

You are doing so well. You moved along so quickly after surgery. It is great! Wishing you a continued, smooth recovery. You are strong and it also helps to be young.

Enjoy your "new" body.


05-06-2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks for your response. All of your posts have been extremely helpful to me. I couldn't decide about hiring a private duty nurse, but after hearing your experience, I feel confident with the nursing care. I hope you continue to have an uneventful recovery. You are an inspiration!

05-07-2011, 05:40 AM
No problem. You will be fine....I am glad this helped!

05-07-2011, 08:20 AM
Congrats on your successful surgery!! Just finished watching your video - thank you so much for linking it here. Your Mom brought me right back to a little over a year ago when my youngest DD had her surgery. Please thank your Mom for this - it's great and will help lot's of others about to face surgery.

You correction is great! Enjoy your new height!

Heal Well!

05-10-2011, 04:41 PM
Thank you for sharing your story! It's really given me the push I need to think 'Yes, I can', I also have kyphosis and also scoliosis and it gives me so much hope to see how straight you are and how quickly you've recovered! Wishing you a speedy and uneventful recovery from the UK! Kate