View Full Version : Jamie's Home!

Mary Lou
12-12-2004, 11:58 AM
Hello everyone and thank you all for your kind words, kind thoughts and prayers. They all helped.

Jamie's surgery was Tuesday and today is Sunday and she is home already! They were going to send her home yesterday, but her bowels hadn't moved yet, so they kept her until today. She went into surgery very calmly at 7:45 a.m. and they had trouble starting IV's and other lines so surgery didn't really get started until 10:15 a.m. She was in recovery by 5:00 p.m. She was very swollen and the nurses in recovery said she was 50% better than we she arrived in recovery and thankfully the swelling didn't last long at all, in fact you could almost watch it disappear. What surprised me the most was they had an IV, I guess you would call in her neck and worse yet was a tube down her nose and into her stomach. That one we didn't expect. Had to try three different pain meds until we found one that takes care of her pain. I was so amazed at how little pain she actually had. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst pain she only ever went up to about a 3 or 4. For the most part pain was always a 1 or 2. My concern is that they only gave her pain meds for one week and I've read on here that some people are on prescription meds for week.

Her numbers look great! Her Kyphosis went from about 73* to about 35* and her Scoliosis went from about 46* to maybe 15*. Her back looks wonderful! They did some osteotomies (hope I spelled that right) on her and used that bone for the fusion and some artificial bone material as well. She still has a slight hump but we can live with that. They ended up fusing from T3-L2 and original plan had been to fuse T2-L2. So things went pretty much as planned.

Thanks again for all your support.

Mary Lou

12-12-2004, 02:34 PM
Congragulations Mary Lou and Jamie! That is really good. I hope she continues to recover well!

12-12-2004, 06:07 PM
hi marylou,
i can't believe she is home already!!! That was very quick, she must have done really well. Well, the worrying about the surgery is over and you're on to recovery. It is amazing how quick it goes. I'm sure you're relived that part is over. What was the iv in her nose for and the tube down her nose into her stomach? My nicole didn't have that so i was curious. Well, we're here for you for any recovery questions and i'm so happy that everything went well and you are home now.


12-12-2004, 06:12 PM
Mary Lou,

So glad you guys are home and Jamie is doing well! Please let us know how recovery is coming.


12-12-2004, 07:49 PM
Thats a really good recovery, and I bet you're glad to be home, hopefully the recovery from now on continues to be smooth sailing

I don't mean to "answer" the question about but if I'm right, were the tubes in Jamie's nose and down into the stomach a naso-gastric tube (fluids and nurtients etc), I do sympathise with Jamie on that one, I found it gross and uncomfortable (I threw up into it a few times yuck) and you feel so much better once its taken out.

In case anyone's wondering, IV's are put in lots of different places, it can depend on lots of stuff such as what's going in it and where they can find the "best" vein to put it into. The neck (even though you feel like a vampire) is quite an "easy" place to put IV's, with you're pulse quite prominent (so to speak) the veins show up more. A Doc can sometimes also have a couple put in (ie one in the neck, one in the hand) but only use one and have one as a "back up" just in case more stuff has to be put into you.

My best wishes go to both you Mary Lou and Jamie, I bet its a big relief to be on the "other side" the post surgery side, and I bet you're very please with the doc's correction he managed to achieved, I know I would be :-)


Mary Lou
12-12-2004, 08:00 PM
Susanna and Jennifer,

Thanks for your support. I know I didn't explain everything in my original post, but that was my first time on-line since the surgery and I was in a hurry to update everyone on my buddy list. Sorry about that. They had trouble starting an IV in the prep room before surgery, so they waited until they got into the OR to do that; when they went to start some other line in her wrist, they couldn't get one started--poor kid both wrists have 5-6 needle sticks in them and she is black and blue from just in front of her wrist to about four inches toward her elbow on both sides so they ended up having to put that one in her groin; ouch, but thankfully she was asleep when that went in and when it came out; they had something like an IV in her neck to draw blood from and also that's where her IV and pain meds went; she had oxygen; an IV in her hand which they really didn't use, but kept it around just in case; the tube went up her nose and into her stomach to suck out the stomach acids. We were expecting that one and the doctor likes to do that so they don't end up vomiting which I guess would be very painful. That tube and the thing in her neck were the worst.

Mary Lou

12-12-2004, 09:55 PM
Mary Lou...

For the record, the line in the neck is a central line. I think just about everyone who has major surgery has one.

The tube in the nose is a nasogastric or nasal gastric (NG) tube. I've never figured out why some get the NG tube while others don't.


12-13-2004, 08:35 AM
hi marylou,
I know what you mean about the black and blues from the iv. Before we left the hospital nicole's wrist was so black and blue it was horrible looking, she wanted me to take a picture of it.
We are glad that you are home. So now update us on how she is feeling.
keep in touch

Mary Lou
12-13-2004, 12:05 PM

Thanks for correcting me on the central line. I know they told me what it was and I knew it was just an IV, because they used it for pain meds/IV fluid and also to draw blood (it had two different parts to it-one for blood and one for meds) but you know how it is, you can't remember everything in the first few days.

As for the NG tube, I never heard of anyone having one after Scoliosis surgery. I guess each doctor is different. I will try and remember to ask Jamie's doctor on the 22nd. If was one of the most uncomfortable parts for her, but if it kept her from getting sick, it was great.

Mary Lou

12-13-2004, 02:13 PM
i can't believe they only gave you pain meds for one week. Someone else was on here i forget who it was and she was saying that her daughter just had surgery and was in pain at home and was not on the meds either and everyone told her to call the dr and get some, the poor kid wasn't sleeping well at night, etc.. and she did call and got them, so if i were you once you run out and if she is still in pain i would definitely put a call into the dr and demand some. There was one day when nicole was about 2 weeks post op and i ran out of pills and i tried tylenol and it did not last the four hours and she was in some considerable amount of pain, i ran i got the prescription filled. She is almost 6 weeks and still taking 1 in the morning and 1 at night and sometimes even 1 during the day and the dr. said she could absolutely still be on them. They just gave me a refill. There is no reason that i could think of that your daughter should be off them so early. This is "major" surgery.

12-13-2004, 02:41 PM
Mary Lou - Congratulations on the surgery. Sounds like everything went very well. I'm so happy to hear that.

The NG tube may be a surgeon preference. When Braydon had his rod implant surgery, he had one too. The NG tube made giving him meds easier (oral meds) and they were also able to suction out the contents of his stomach if he got nauseated. He was intubated (had a breathing tube) for 48 hours, so being heavily sedated for 2 full days meant making life as easy for the staff as possible was a good thing. I also think that her smooth recovery in the hospital will play a big part in how well the rest of her recovery goes. I hope her recovery continues to be great. Keep us posted.

12-13-2004, 04:59 PM
Wow, I'm so happy to hear you're out of the hospital. That one week for us was the most roller-coaster up and down emotional week. Between respiratory failure (too much morphine!) and then not enough (#9 on the pain scale). But it's over for you, that's wonderful.

My Jamie also had the NG tube, interesting . . . some do, some don't.

Thanks for posting, we were wondering how things went.


Mary Lou
12-14-2004, 07:19 AM
The surgeon's nurse called yesterday and I asked her about the pain meds. She said they don't like to keep kids on Percocet for too long. She did say they will call in a prescription for Tylenol 3 with codeine for us before we run out of meds. That was a relief!

Mary Lou

12-14-2004, 07:10 PM
hi marylou,
Nicole was on percocet for the first 3 1/2 weeks until we went for our first check up and then he switched her off them. I'm glad they gave you something so she doesn't have to suffer. How are things going??

12-15-2004, 02:30 AM
Nice to see such a good correction and succesful surgery for us kyphoscoliosis people.
Mary Lou, one thing i'll advise your daughter is to perhaps change the pain medications to like a safer not that much side-effect. I learned in my psychology class codeine and morphine have like effects that can tamper with a person's moodswings, and like make your daughter more constipated, etc.

12-15-2004, 08:38 AM

Percocet was the pain med our doctor gave Jamie, she was probably on it for a week and 1/2, then she went down to OTC Motrin for maybe another few days.


Mary Lou
12-15-2004, 03:19 PM
Thanks again to all of you for responding. I called the nurse in the surgeon's office today and asked if they could call in a prescription for Tylenol 3. Jamie really doesn't have any pain, just discomfort. She went for over seven hours today without asking for a pain pill! I'm so amazed at her progress! Our main problem is that we can't get any sleep. She needs to change positions pretty often throughout the night and usually asks me to change the pillow from between her knees to under her knees, etc. I was hoping to maybe switch her off to Tylenol during the day and use the Tylenol 3 just at night. Her not sleeping at night is starting to catch up with her. She took a nap today and hasn't done that since Thursday while still in the hospital.

Does anyone make donations to the Scoliosis Foundation and receive the newsletter "BackTalk?" We send donations through the United Way and we received our first newsletter while in the hospital. I just got around to reading it yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to read about the exact procudure that was done on Jamie! This procedure is for Kyphois and they perform a Smith-Peterson osteotomy before installing the rods and between using the bone from that and some synthetic bone mixed with Jamie's blood, that's where they got the bone for fusion. No need to remove ribs or bone from the hip. If anyone's interested in hearing more about this procedure, let me know.

Mary Lou

12-15-2004, 06:28 PM
wow, seven hours without a pill!! That is awesome! How long are you home now for? Nicole didn't sleep through the night for the first week home and then after that she did. She still stays in one position all night long since the surgery. I know in the hospital when they used to roll her from one side to another at the beginning she hated it but after a few days she would wake up and be very uncomfortable and want to change positions.
Well, hope you guys get some sleep soon. Sounds like she is doing great though!! Keep us posted on her progress.