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Doreen1
09-22-2011, 04:12 PM
Hi Everyone,

We are staying in a cute bed and breakfast in St. Charles; however, the internet here is horrible. Unable to send emails today, but here are my updates.

Mission accomplished! Met with Dr. Lenke yesterday and he said he can help me and the earliest surgery date available was Aug 1. I'm on the cancellation list and feel good that the surgery date will be bumped up. I was able to meet with Heidi and Nancy from this forum who just so happened to have morning appointments with Dr. Lenke for their 1 year follow ups. Heidi & Nancy, thank you so much for spending time with me, it really helped pass the time and it was very comforting talking with you. Total time in Lenke's office 5 hours! I was told to expect 3 hour wait time when I scheduled my appointment last month.

Dr. Lenke said that I am very lucky my curves were right at his cut-off (70 degrees for new patients) otherwise, he would have referred me to someone else. It is interesting to see his recommendations compared to the Atlanta surgeon who canceled my surgery because of poor bone density (lumbar T score -2.4, thigh scores normal). Dr. Lenke was very pleased that I am on Forteo and said that even though I just started Forteo 3 weeks ago, that will not impact my wait time for surgery. He said if my date moves up, his will still operate regardless of how long I'm on Forteo. The Atlanta surgeon said to call her in 6 months after starting Forteo and she'll see where I am (obviously there is no need to make this phone call). Atlanta surgeon measured me at T72* and L58*, Lenke measured me at T70* and L68*.

Lenke gave me a choice of surgeries: Option #1 T4 - L4 and have to come back for additional surgery to replace L5 within 2, 5 or 10 years. Option #2 T4 - sacrum and no need for future surgery. My response, "To the sacrum will be great... I don't want to have to come back, no offense." Dr. Lenke and his team all chuckled at that. Lenke explained most patients opt for the sacrum.

He will do T4 - sacrum fusion, TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion - an anterior surgery from a posterior approach so no need for a second anterior surgery as the Atlanta surgeon recommended), about 5 to 8 Smith-Peterson osteotomies, and 2 cages at L5 with BMP (bone morphogentic protein to build a stronger fusion). He estimates the surgery to last 6 - 8 hours (the Atlanta surgeon suggested 8 - 10 hours for her posterior surgery and a 4 - 5 anterior surgery 3 months later). On Lenke's scale of challenging surgeries 1 - 10, he ranked me at 1.5 (1 being the least challenging, 10 being the most challenging). The Atlanta surgeon told me she ranked me as a 6 on her scale. The Atlanta surgeon turned out to be a bit more conservative for my needs and there is nothing wrong with that because it has ultimately led me to Lenke's care.

I am VERY relieved that I have a plan in place with Lenke.

Warmly,
Doreen

jrnyc
09-22-2011, 04:16 PM
that's great, Doreen
so happy for you that it will work out with Dr Lenke!

you mean August 1, 2012?
will you stay on the Forteo til then?

jess

Doreen1
09-22-2011, 04:42 PM
Hi Jess,

Yes, 8-1-2012, Lenke is a popular guy! I am on a 2-year cycle of Forteo.

I forgot to mention my Forteo experience at the Atlanta airport security check. I explained to a TSA agent I needed Forteo hand-checked (it cannot go through x-ray machines). While I'm waiting for the "hand check" agent to appear, another agent keeps telling me, "... just put your stuff in the cart and slide it through..." I explained to him why I couldn't and really didn't want everyone around me to have to hear what I needed to do with my special case. This guy insists I run it through the machine. At this point, my hubby and daughter are already through to the other side and are waiting for me. The special "hand-check" agent finally shows up, I explained what was in the case, please don't put it through the machine and he decides to be a funny guy and raise his voice making a bit of a scene. I was freaked out at this point and just wanted to be on my way. By the time he hands me the case back, he continues with a comment about, "... don't you trust your government employees to go a good job, blah blah." I get the Forteo case and turn to repack it into my purse and I am so upset I start crying. Poor hubby and daughter didn't know what was going on. I'm praying tomorrow morning experience at the airport goes more smoothly.

I also forgot to say that Dr. Lenke expects to get a 70% - 75% correction! I simply cannot fathom that. I will be over the moon when it happens.

Warmly,
Doreen

djkinkead
09-22-2011, 06:36 PM
Glad you finally met up with Dr. Lenke and the surgery is looking like a go!

Glad you decided to go with the one surgery...although Mercy Hospital was great, I'd like to keep surgery experiences to a minimum.

Congratulations again!

Dollie

Marina63
09-22-2011, 06:46 PM
Doreen this is such great news!! I am so glad everything has worked out for you. We need to meet for lunch soon here in Atlanta.
Your airport experience sounds horrendous! What a bunch of jerks. Hope your return goes better.
Take care and have a great trip back.

mabeckoff
09-22-2011, 07:01 PM
Glad that you have a surgeon now as well as a surgical date.Hope you will stay on the forum until you have surgery

Melissa

Mojo's Mom
09-22-2011, 08:38 PM
Doreen, this is exactly why you need to go to a top guy, even if it's out of town. Your experience with the different answers from Lenke and your local surgeon are almost line for line like what I experienced in my consult with Dr. O'Brien after getting my initial information from my local spine surgeon. You are now in a whole different world of expertise, and exactly where you need to be. Great news!

nanlo
09-22-2011, 09:07 PM
congrats, Doreen!!! We are SOOO happy for you! Hopefully the wait time will go quickly, and not too painfully. Hopefully, they will call you w/ a cancellation and you can go sooner. Tricky when you have to travel, but you are super motivated!
It was fun to meet your husband and daughter. We'll be in touch, and we are here for you when you have questions.
Hugs,
Nancy

Doodles
09-22-2011, 10:45 PM
Doreen--
I am so relieved and happy for you. You are now in the best hands possible. I hope your time goes fast and that you can get a cancellation earlier. This is great. Janet

titaniumed
09-22-2011, 11:34 PM
Doreen

Great news! Nice that you have been spared the anterior.

Be prepared for that call. I believe Rita ended up on the wait list and was called in much sooner....Cancellations do happen. She was one who was in MAJOR pain with huge curves, I believe they were in the 90ís, to no pain after surgery. Dr Lenke must have parameters based on curve type, and spine status.

It was probably a good thing that you started posting here and finally took the steps to finding the right surgeon. As one who was almost out of time myself, and having met rejected scoli patients,(Osteoperosis) Iím very happy for you.

There are many of us who waited who are in the same position, that need to address their spines with a scoliosis surgeon. Waiting or doing nothing about it, can lead to heartbreak and future pain.

Ed

jrnyc
09-23-2011, 09:39 AM
what kind of a "machine" is it...if i may ask...
i am ignorant of what the medication comes in...
i used to get IV antibiotics for Lyme, and they were in a round infusion container
that was hooked up to my IV line....
but it sounds like Forteo is very different....
?????

jess

kennedy
09-23-2011, 09:43 AM
Doreen i'm so happy you got a surgery date with Dr Lenke. those are some major curves.

Elisa
09-23-2011, 10:38 AM
Wonderful news Doreen!!

My son never did get that appointment with our 'local' pediatric surgeon so while we were waiting I got online here and it was suggested that I contact Shriners so I did, and we ended up travelling out of the country and down two states and at first I was so overwhelmed with the whole idea but it all worked out so well that I am SO GLAD now that we did it and everything worked out way better than I thought and I will continue to travel to see this surgeon in Portland and I cringe at the thought of what would have been if we actually got that appointment here in BC b/c the care my son needed was way beyond their scope I truly believe. Life is so funny sometimes.

golfnut
09-23-2011, 11:43 AM
Doreen,
I am so happy for you. I used my wait time for "training" (not that I didn't worry, too). I always liked to exercise, but having a surgery date gave me more incentive. If pain limits you, maybe you can find a water aerobics class. Your surgery sounds exactly like what I had-T4-sacrum, 2 cages, & the reach around approach to get to the anterior side of the spine. I believe that Dr. Lenke is teaching that method to other surgeons.

jeneemohler
09-23-2011, 01:53 PM
What a relief! You've been through a lot and were overdue for some good news. I am so glad you are finally on the right track and in the care of one of the great ones. We are talking about the rest of your life, here! And I would sure feel better with a doc who feels that the surgery is only a 1.5 for him, rather than with a surgeon who considers it difficult. Congrats!

JenniferG
09-23-2011, 04:37 PM
Wow! I've just caught up with your wonderful news. It's amazing - everything has changed for the better. How relieved you must be!

As others have said, this forum really is invaluable to those of us with Scoliosis. Perhaps we should all advertise it on our facebook pages in case there are some out there who might benefit from it.

loves to skate
09-23-2011, 06:36 PM
Doreen, I am so happy for you that you are all set with a top surgeon. Waiting is hard, but it will go faster than you think and wouldn't it be great if you get a cancellation call? I hope you do.
Sally

peachrush7
09-24-2011, 11:31 AM
What great news Doreen!!! So happy that you are in such capable hands. It's so amazing how God can just lead us to a place we never would have gotten if things had gone smoothly. =)

So excited for you!

Doreen1
09-24-2011, 01:59 PM
Glad that you have a surgeon now as well as a surgical date.Hope you will stay on the forum until you have surgery

Melissa

I will absolutely stay on the forum as it is the main source of inspiration/advice/support for me. How are you doing today, Melissa? Any improvements?

Doreen1
09-24-2011, 02:04 PM
Doreen

Great news! Nice that you have been spared the anterior.

Be prepared for that call. I believe Rita ended up on the wait list and was called in much sooner....Cancellations do happen. She was one who was in MAJOR pain with huge curves, I believe they were in the 90ís, to no pain after surgery. Dr Lenke must have parameters based on curve type, and spine status.

It was probably a good thing that you started posting here and finally took the steps to finding the right surgeon. As one who was almost out of time myself, and having met rejected scoli patients,(Osteoperosis) Iím very happy for you.

There are many of us who waited who are in the same position, that need to address their spines with a scoliosis surgeon. Waiting or doing nothing about it, can lead to heartbreak and future pain.

Ed

Hi Ed,
I've been speaking with Rita and she did mention her date was moved up a couple of different times. I am so incredibly thankful for this forum because without it, I wouldn't know what is possible to improve a scoli situation.

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
09-24-2011, 02:07 PM
what kind of a "machine" is it...if i may ask...
i am ignorant of what the medication comes in...
i used to get IV antibiotics for Lyme, and they were in a round infusion container
that was hooked up to my IV line....
but it sounds like Forteo is very different....
?????

jess

Hi Jess,
Forteo comes in a pen shaped (thick like a marker) dispenser (medication is preloaded into the pen) where I screw on a new needle every day for the injection. The travel case holds the "pen" and 7 needles. The travel case is packed into an insulated bag that holds two ice packs.

Doreen1
09-24-2011, 02:13 PM
Thank you so much for your comments, everyone! I must say, the hotel and the B&B beds were horrible for my back (way too soft). Thursday evening we went to bed early because we had to wake up at 3:45am to catch an early flight home. At 1am I woke up in pain and couldn't really fall back asleep. By the time we got back home at 10a, I was completely exhausted. I pushed through doing exercises and yoga, skipped a walk since I did a ton of walking in St. Louis, and ran some errands. I took a pain pill at 7:30p and slept so peacefully last night. What a difference solid sleep makes! Speaking of exercise, I need to do that now.

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
09-26-2011, 08:25 AM
Here are my before xrays

1073

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
09-26-2011, 12:09 PM
Here are my before xrays

1073

Warmly,
Doreen
Can't wait to see the 'after' x-rays. I wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your blog... write some more!

Doreen1
09-29-2011, 09:38 AM
I noticed for the past several evenings I'm having issues falling asleep. Everyday I exercise, do yoga and walk, and only have one cup of coffee in the morning. By the time I go to bed, I'm tired and fall asleep reading. When I turn off the light, I end up laying there wide awake for 2 - 3 hours. A few of those times I'm in pain in which I take a pain med, but more of those evening, the pain is not worse than it normally is. I don't want to take a pain pill to fall asleep if I'm not having higher amounts of pain. I'm allowed to take melatonin with Forteo but that hasn't helped at all either.

I have an appointment with my GP this afternoon to see what my options are. I've been experiencing muscle tightness/spasms during the day between my shoulder blades. I plan to ask if hydrocodone is a muscle relaxer; if not, do I need one to help with the spams?

Anyone experience sleeping issues? My endo said it is not related to Forteo, but the knee and ankle aches are a side effect of Forteo.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
09-29-2011, 10:27 AM
A few months before my son had surgery he had a lot of muscle ache in his upper back and the pharmacist suggested an over-the-counter medication that contained both a pain killer and a muscle relaxer and they seemed to work well and helped him get a good sleep. I can't remember the name of it but they are on the larger side, oval, white on one side and green on the other. I'll see if we still have the package around.

I used to take melatonin to help me sleep but last time I think I took too much and had nightmares all night along with the worst sleep ever so now I'm reluctant to take any. I do have an ongoing prescription for Ativan that on some nights I break a pill in half and it works wonders. Not all doctors will prescribe this type of drug though b/c it can be highly addictive. Mine are strictly for sleep or for the rare crazy anxious moments that I get sometimes but since I'm not dealing with BC Children's Hospital anymore, my anxiety is gone.

Doreen1
09-29-2011, 02:41 PM
Just returned from the doc and he said I have "sleep initiation issues" caused by the stress of everything I'm going through with the surgery journey. He prescribed Ambien which I've never taken before. Has anyone here taken Ambien? I'm really, really looking forward to sleeping early and soundly tonight. He also explained that while the hydrocodone I take for pain will help with muscle spasm pain, but will not stop the actual spasm. Doc won't prescribe x3 meds (pain, sleep and relaxant) for obvious issues and I certainly don't want to take this type of "cocktail." He did refer me to a different physical therapist because I told him my hubby and I didn't have a good feeling of confidence from the first PT he referred me to. He said deep tissue massage should provide some relief to the spasms but be sure to ask the new PT if there is scoli-specific techniques she can use.

It's nice to have the occasional fast in/out visit to the doc like I had today. Wish they could all be this quick.

Warmly,
Doreen

Jacque's Mom
09-29-2011, 03:42 PM
Doreen,

I was off all surgical pain meds since March but had to wean off Methadone that I was on for many years (am off now for two months!) When I was on the meds I slept great but now that I'm not on anything, I have terrible insomnia. I finally went to the doctor and she prescribed Ambien CR - there is also Ambien. I was taking it for almost three weeks but it didn't give me a restful sleep as I would wake up many times but fall back to sleep. After two weeks, my heart was pounding, had severe anxiety and not feeling myself, kind of down. It was side effects from the Ambien CR and I had to stop taking it. After about five days, I felt better but now I can't sleep again. You may do very well with the Ambien, but I thought I'd tell you in case you do experience some of the side effects I did. I hope not, and I wish you a good nights sleep! Lynn

Doodles
09-29-2011, 04:21 PM
Doreen--
I have had sleep issues since I was a little kid! The only time I didn't was when I was on the meds and hydrocodone for about a year--slowly, slowly cutting down. It was the best sleep I ever got. Everytime I cut back I'd have bad nights. When I was totally done it was quite a problem. Over the years I've tried it all and it's weird because some things literally make me more wide awake. The mildest but apparently very good one to use is Benadryl--not for me though just tried it again a couple months ago. My husband can take a half and is out like a light. Others I know find it helpful. I can relate to Ambien, melatonin doing nothing. On tough nights I usually end up with 2 or 3 tylenol PM which supposedly has about the same stuff in it. It finally works but takes a long time & makes you feel not so great the next day. I hope you find an answer. Sleepless nights are horrible. Janet

Elisa
09-29-2011, 05:22 PM
Hope the Ambien works for you. My son tried it a few times while in the hospital b/c he was having trouble sleeping with that halo/weights on his head so they gave him Ambien and it seemed to have the opposite effect on him and actually kept him awake! Maybe it has that effect on teens? Let us know how it works for you.

JenniferG
09-29-2011, 05:26 PM
Insomnia is horrible. I used to sleep like a log but since mid 40s, that changed. When I was in recovery, I slept incredibly well, and my feeling of well-being was high. I've since gone back to sleeping badly, though I drop off fairly quickly, I don't always stay asleep. On days I walk long distances, really fast, I am more likely to sleep through, but sometimes that's no guarantee. I hope the med. helps. I believe sleep is so important, it's worth taking a pill for, at least occasionally.

Elisa
09-29-2011, 07:58 PM
I pretty much wake up every single night for an hour or two and I've got into a routine of, first getting up to go to the bathroom, then making sure I have enough water in my glass (big glass), then I lie myself on my back with a pillow under my knees and two pillows under each arm. I also have about three soft pillows under my head and one tiny one over my eyes; all down. I pull up my favourite crocheted blanket over my arms and neck, take deep breaths and think happy thoughts, lol. I know, it sounds simplistic but it works most nights and when it doesn't I break a pill in half.

Confusedmom
09-29-2011, 08:52 PM
Doreen,

Just now reading your news. So glad Dr. Lenke gave you the answers you were looking for! You will be having basically the exact same surgery I am scheduled for. Except, my curves are somewhat larger, so he rated me a "3" on the difficulty scale. (Karen, I'm curious if have gave you a number?) Also, he told me 50% correction. I'm too rotated, I think.

Anyway, just wanted to chime in about the rescheduling. I have been offered to move up a couple of times. They have a lot of patients, and I think they keep forgetting that I want to wait until March. So, I doubt you will end up waiting until August. I have also been moved a couple of times within March. He's a busy man, I guess.

I have been working out a lot, and, like Karen said, "training" for surgery. The paradoxical thing about this is that it makes you feel better, and then you don't feel as much like you need surgery! But, my mom just retired for good so that she can help me when I have the surgery -- so there's no turning back this time! It is for the best, but I think I will always have doubts...

Anyway, good wishes, and keep in touch!

Evelyn

Doreen1
09-30-2011, 08:00 AM
Wow, what a great night's sleep! I took an Ambien at 9p and started to read. At 9:10p I turned off the light and woke this morning at 7:30a. My hubby, who was already awake downstairs, came up and peeked into our room. He saw that I was awake and asked, "Did you sleep well?" giggle I said, "What did I do? Why are you laughing?" He said I snored like crazy all night (I never snore)! LOL!

Evelyn, are you needing a two-day surgery or one-day? Do you recall how soon Kelly was offering you new surgery dates after you first met with Dr. Lenke?

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
09-30-2011, 06:11 PM
Doreen,
I'm sure you feel better after sleeping soundly.

Evelyn,
I didn't think to ask Dr. Lenke about rating the surgery, but that is a good question. He had estimated 8 hours for the surgery but it was closer to 10 hours. The day before my surgery I told Kelly to give him the message that I REALLY wanted the rib hump reduced as much as possible. He was very pleased with the results & told me he worked hard to please me. Maybe that is why it was an extra two hours.

loves to skate
10-01-2011, 08:58 PM
Doreen--
On tough nights I usually end up with 2 or 3 tylenol PM which supposedly has about the same stuff in it. It finally works but takes a long time & makes you feel not so great the next day. I hope you find an answer. Sleepless nights are horrible. Janet

Janet, Be very careful when taking tylenol PM that you don't overdose. You should never take more than 2 tylenol PM's at a time. Tylenol PM works great for me and usually I only need one to work. Prior to my surgery though, I was very anxious so my Primary care Doc gave me a prescription for Ambien and I was asleep before I knew it. It is addictive however Doreen, but I wouldn't worry about Ambien prior to a big surgery like this because of all the pain killers you will be on after the surgery.
Sleep tight everyone, Sally

Doreen1
10-01-2011, 09:22 PM
Thanks for everyone's insight on their Ambien experience. I slept well again last night and will probably take it a couple more evenings and then try to sleep on my own because I don't want to create a habit with it.

Tonite was supposed to be a "first" for my daughter and me, but because of the scoli pain, I had to ask a friend to take my place. Over the summer, Lizzie won three tickets to the Taylor Swift concert. Taylor got very sick and had to reschedule from July to this evening. Jeremy and I had a great date night by having an early dinner at a new restaurant and then came home to watch a movie (I'm no longer able to sit in a movie theater because it is too painful). So now that the movie's over, I'm laying in bed thinking about my girl and hoping she is having a great time with her friend and her friend's mom. She'll be spending the night with her friend so I'm eager to get all the concert details tomorrow. Lizzie was making a poster earlier for the concert and asked if I could help her cut out some letters. I was so eager to do my little part. I'm so bummed I couldn't be part of this special occasion.

I'm experiencing pretty bad lumbar "aches" beyond my normal pain. Two days ago I extended my daily walks a bit that happen to include a steep hill (we live in a very hilly neighborhood and this is the second largest hill). I'm thinking the new ache is a result from the extra walking and/or is a Forteo side effect. I talked with my endo's nurse last week and she said my knee/ankle aches are definitely caused by Forteo. I keep saying the aches are new bone forming. Sounds logical in my head anyway.

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
10-01-2011, 09:33 PM
Doreen,
I am so sorry you had to miss the Taylor Swift concert with your daughter. Hopefully,your wait for surgery can be moved up. Dr. Lenke will give you your life back!

Doreen1
10-03-2011, 01:56 PM
My daughter had an amazing time at the concert. Usher made a surprise appearance which thrilled my daughter. Despite my friend getting a flat tire in downtown Atlanta at 1a, they made it home safely by 2a.

My husband and I talked about my exercise routine recently and I realized I've been exercising every day since mid-July; talk about over-training! I decided to start taking Sunday's off from exercising to give my body a day of rest and boy did I feel crummy yesterday. My daughter and I just came back from a walk today and what glorious weather we have, sunny and high 60's. Lizzie asked me when my birthday is and I told her in a few weeks. She asked, "What would you like for your birthday?" I smiled, "A new surgery date!" She said, "No, I mean, something reasonable." I replied, "It's reasonable to me." We had a good laugh.

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
10-04-2011, 06:05 PM
Well, I decided to NOT take a sleeping pill last night because I don't want to get into the habit of taking one every evening. I got about 2 hours of sleep, just couldn't turn off my mind. Fortunately, I did exercises and yoga in addition to my daily walk today. I even walked a little bit farther today and am up to just over 1.5 miles. I almost walked the 2 mile loop in our neighborhood, but I forgot to bring water and I was in full sun and was really thirsty. Hoping to fall asleep fast from exhaustion tonite. Perhaps I should have an Oktoberfest brew, 'tis the season ;-)

Came across my insurance plan's full price for x1 Forteo pen on their website today $1300!!!! :-0 Yikes, that's steep, glad I don't have to pay that.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
10-04-2011, 06:19 PM
Doreen, you could try and break the sleeping pill into little pieces instead of taking the whole thing. I almost never take a whole of anything to help me sleep and find that works pretty well.

I would have slept great last night except Elias had/has a nasty cough and since his bedroom is next door, he's the one that kept me awake. Finally at around 1:00 am I dragged my butt out of bed and got him some cough medicine with codeine, as well as a couple of Ibuprofen and a fresh mug of water and after half an hour he was sleeping soundly without coughing. We'll see how is cough is tonight and if he's hacking again, I'm going to give him some more cough medicine.

Doreen1
10-04-2011, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the tip, Elisa. Don't you hate it when your kids are sick. I hope Elias sleeps better tonight.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
10-04-2011, 06:42 PM
This is the first time since Elias' surgery that he's had such a wicked cough. It seems so deep and I can't help thinking the straining will pull muscles and make his back sore but he hasn't complained of that so that's good. My older son who is much like my daughter and totally into a holistic approach, suggest peppermint for him but I don't have any so codeine it is. It's just that time of year again when the kids go back to school and bring home all kind of nasties.

Doreen1
10-05-2011, 07:48 AM
I finally fell asleep last night shortly after I laid down and slept the entire night through without taking a sleeping pill! Yipee! After taking my daughter to her science class this morning, I decided to track exactly how far I'm walking everyday by driving the route this morning and using the tripometer. I'm so tickled that I've been walking 2 miles and didn't event know it! The full loop around our neighborhood is 2 miles, but I've only been walking part way then turning around. I didn't realize that my turn around point is halfway of the full loop.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
10-05-2011, 10:06 AM
Yay for a good night's sleep without pills! I had the usual: fall asleep early, wide awake at 3:00 am, listen to rain until 4:30, toss around some more and then pop half a pill, fall asleep just after five and up at seven for three cups of coffee before I head off to work, bleh.

golfnut
10-05-2011, 11:05 AM
Congratulations on your long walks. I hope you can continue to get a good night's sleep.

JDM555
10-05-2011, 12:48 PM
Congrats on sleeping without pills. Great news. It's very hard to try to get a goodnight sleep for me. I always toss and turn and wake up with a headache or backache or just can't sleep.

And I think it's both great and crazy to have a surgery date that far into the future. I hope they can get cancellations or reschedule you up, because basically waiting a year for my surgery would drive me nuts if I was in discomfort/pain.

Doreen1
10-05-2011, 12:50 PM
And I think it's both great and crazy to have a surgery date that far into the future. I hope they can get cancellations or reschedule you up, because basically waiting a year for my surgery would drive me nuts if I was in discomfort/pain.

I'd much rather have a 5 week waiting period like you ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

JDM555
10-05-2011, 01:07 PM
I'd much rather have a 5 week waiting period like you ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

Haha I bet. Even with 5 weeks, I'm still waiting and it seems to be going by so slow. Just want to get it over with. Good luck on everything Doreen. And try to keep off the medication, it's hard, but worth it in the end. You're doing good so far. Take care. :D
John

Doreen1
10-16-2011, 06:47 PM
Today is my birthday and I'm quite excited to celebrate 44 years! Each year gets better and better, despite this year having a few challenges as far as my back is concerned. My daughter and I cooked our annual homemade applesauce today; such a big batch we need to finish tomorrow! Dinner at Maggiano's was oh so good! I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction before we headed out because every dress I tried on simply no longer fit around my torso. Since I've lost 3" in height this year, everything is being squished down and out in my abdomen. I no longer have a waist. My hubby said, "I'm so sorry," to which I replied, "It's ok, I'll have a waist for my next birthday!"

Since I was designated passenger today, I imbibed in a delightful dirty martini with Grey Goose topped with x3 blue cheese stuffed olives... PRICELESS!

I've been on my feet all day cooking the applesauce and missed out on my afternoon lay-down time on the heating pad. I'm really starting to feel it now. I've had the most restful sleep the past two evenings (without sleeping pills)... DOUBLE PRICELESS!

JDM555
10-16-2011, 07:04 PM
Happy Birthday! I'm glad you're having a good time. Surgery really does affect your waist/torso lol.

golfnut
10-16-2011, 07:06 PM
Doreen,
Hqppy Birthday! I just read your blog on a different thread. I seem to miss them when they're in the "signature." Trust me on this . . . after your surgery, you will me amazed at the improvement in your figure. Not that that is why anyone would put themselves through this surgery, but it sure is a plus. Dr. Lenke can work magic on the back. I'm still hoping you can get a cancellation and get some relief from your pain.

golfnut
10-16-2011, 07:08 PM
Doreen,
I'll treat you to a dirty martini in St. Louis when you are there for a post-op appointment for a celebration!

boomergal
10-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Happy Birthday, Doreen! Sounds like you had a good one. Glad you're getting some restful nights, too.

Mary, age 54
Fused T2-T12 on 7/5/11, Dr. Boachie
Fusion extended to L4 on 9/21/11

Doreen1
10-16-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks, John and Mary!

Karen - I'll take you up on that for sure! ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

mabeckoff
10-16-2011, 08:37 PM
Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had fun

Mojo's Mom
10-16-2011, 09:36 PM
Happy Birthday, Doreen! I know just what you mean about the dress. I'm in a wedding in November. When my bridesmaid dress came in a size six, which I thought would be too big, I couldn't get it zipped and was horrified! It was my waist, which has squished just like yours. I've avoided anything with a waist for years now, but after the bridesmaid dress had me in tears I measured myself just to see how bad things were...I've gone from 34-26-34 to 36 (hump, not boobs)-29-34. Yikes.

Here's to getting our waists back for our next birthdays! Cheers to THAT!

JenniferG
10-17-2011, 02:25 AM
Happy birthday Doreen! Ladies, you're going to be stunned at your new waists! You won't believe it until you see it. :D

Marina63
10-17-2011, 05:42 AM
Happy belated birthday, Doreen! Sounds like you are doing great! Hang in there : ))))

BendyBill
10-17-2011, 07:06 AM
Belated birthday wishes! Seems like you're on track and getting your priorities right :)

B

Doreen1
10-17-2011, 06:17 PM
Thanks so much, everyone, for the birthday wishes!

I talked with one of Dr. Lenke's patients today who received her special phone call last year, "... we have cancellation, can you be here for surgery in 1 1/2 weeks?" I had no idea a cancellation could occur so quickly. I shared this info with Jeremy and we decided now is the time to make some tentative plans for where Lizzie will go during my time in St. Louis. Our dear friends gladly offered to have Lizzie stay with them for 2 weeks (if indeed, I'm gone that long, hopefully not though). Since there are unknowns at this stage: possible change in surgery date, unsure of how long I will be in St. Louis, etc., we've figured we've got the following options:

Plan A: Regardless of surgery date, friends are in town and available for Lizzie to stay with them for 2 weeks

Plan B: Regardless of surgery date, friends are in town, Lizzie stays with them for 2 weeks, but I need to stay in St. Louis longer, my folks will come to GA early (their original plan is to come help me when I come home), bring Lizzie home and wait for me to come home

Plan C: Regardless of surgery date, friends are not in town, Lizzie comes with us to St. Louis

Lenke's patient explained that I want to be ready for that cancellation phone call. The last thing I want to do is be scrambling at the last minute because of a sudden new surgery date and be stressed about making arrangements for Lizzie. I'm very relieved I opened the dialog with our friends today and have options.

Today was a productive day.

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
10-17-2011, 07:06 PM
Doreen,
I think you are wise to be prepared for the call. I hope you get it way before your scheduled date.

Kayde
10-17-2011, 09:14 PM
Oh Doreen I just was able to read all your thread and I am sorry I missed your birthday. You got great news for your birthday and you will have the results next year for your birthday. I'm sure you will get to have it done before August. I completely understand the waist issues and the inability to function with your family like you want. I so happy for you that you found someone who could help you get to the next level where you need to be and hopefully all your pain will be gone soon. :)

judyat60
10-17-2011, 09:14 PM
a belated happy birthday, Doreen.
I like your taste in martini's!
Judy

Mojo's Mom
10-17-2011, 09:17 PM
Doreen, I'm sure you've mentioned Lizzie before, but is Lizzie a dog, child, cat, what?

Doreen1
10-18-2011, 07:04 AM
Doreen, I'm sure you've mentioned Lizzie before, but is Lizzie a dog, child, cat, what?

LOL! Sorry about that, Stephanie ;-) My crew:
Jeremy - hubby
Lizzie - 11 year old daughter
Gordon - 23 year old son
Lizzie Girl - dog
Ollie - dog
Pierre - parrot

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
10-19-2011, 11:48 AM
Both sets of ribs have been hurting considerably more so over the past several days, a Forteo side effect. While I've been able to fall asleep fairly quickly, the past two nights I've woken up in pain from my ribs. It's so draining to have constant pain throughout my body. I've been up since 3a and the thought of doing a 2 mile walk is not appealing to me at the moment. *sigh*

Warmly,
Doreen

Marina63
10-19-2011, 12:34 PM
Sometimes just getting some fresh air helps you feel better. Why not just try a 1/2 mile walk and see how that feels?

Doreen1
10-21-2011, 05:35 PM
At dinner this evening, our daughter was chatting about Halloween. She said, "Dad, you need to get a costume this year. Mom, I've got the perfect costume for you! You can be the hunchback!" I said, "Yup, and this will be the last year I can be one."

Does anyone else have humorous moments like this?

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
11-14-2011, 01:21 PM
but I got DISCONNECTED!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I called Kelly back right away and left a voicemail. I would really, really, really love to hear Kelly say she has a new date for me. Trying to stay calm until I hear back from Kelly.... hard to do since I'm not so patient. ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

Marina63
11-14-2011, 01:37 PM
What????? Oh, that stinks!!!
Why can't she just call right back??
Keep us posted. I know you will!

Elisa
11-14-2011, 06:15 PM
Ugggg, that would make me CrAzY! Keep us posted.

loves to skate
11-14-2011, 09:09 PM
but I got DISCONNECTED!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I called Kelly back right away and left a voicemail. I would really, really, really love to hear Kelly say she has a new date for me. Trying to stay calm until I hear back from Kelly.... hard to do since I'm not so patient. ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen, How frustrating! This journey of yours will teach you patients. Everything will work out just fine.
Sally

Doreen1
11-15-2011, 12:44 PM
I talked with Kelly (Dr. Lenke's nurse) today who explained that there will be one of two new surgery dates available for me. She should know either later today or by tomorrow which date will be confirmed for me.

First date is Nov 28: pre-op tests on Wed, Nov 23 and have the central line put in on Fri, Nov 25, surgery Mon, Nov 28.

Second date is Jan 4: pre-op tests on Wed, Dec 8 and back on Tues, Jan 3 for the central line, surgery Wed, Jan 4.

I am SO, SO excited about either date!!!!!!!! Will keep you posted.

Warmly,
Doreen

mabeckoff
11-15-2011, 01:12 PM
Doreen

I am very happy for you

Please keep us posted

walkingmom
11-15-2011, 01:57 PM
Hi Doreen,

Wow - either one of those dates is just around the corner! That is definitely good news for you because time just seems to stop when you have to wait for your surgery date to arrive. Whichever date it is will turn out to be the perfect one for you.
Donna

golfnut
11-15-2011, 02:10 PM
Doreen,
Great news!!!!!! I'm so glad you got the call you have been hoping for!

Doodles
11-15-2011, 02:28 PM
Doreen--
That is awesome! I am so happy for you. You will be in very good hands with Dr. Lenke. Janet

Mojo's Mom
11-15-2011, 04:14 PM
Wow, Doreen, that's great news.

Elisa
11-15-2011, 04:25 PM
Well, you wanted an earlier date and now you've got two! I think I'd opt for the early January appointment myself so you could 'do' the holidays so to speak before your surgery... new year new woman, lol.

JenniferG
11-15-2011, 08:27 PM
Wonderful news! Either way, not long now.

LaurieAnne
11-15-2011, 08:53 PM
I talked with Kelly (Dr. Lenke's nurse) today who explained that there will be one of two new surgery dates available for me. She should know either later today or by tomorrow which date will be confirmed for me.

First date is Nov 28: pre-op tests on Wed, Nov 23 and have the central line put in on Fri, Nov 25, surgery Mon, Nov 28.

Second date is Jan 4: pre-op tests on Wed, Dec 8 and back on Tues, Jan 3 for the central line, surgery Wed, Jan 4.

I am SO, SO excited about either date!!!!!!!! Will keep you posted.

Warmly,
Doreen

Hi Doreen,

I too had surgery with Lenke and Kelly told me the earlier in the week you get your surgery is usually better because you get more help with phys ther while you are there as they typically come in on the 3rd or 4th day and if your surgery is Wednesday than that will be Saturday for P/T. But I totally understand any concern with the holidays approaching. Personally I had mine done Dec 13th and it didn't bother me to have it over the holidays but then again I have a lot of family who were great and were able to do a lot for me. Anyway, I hope you do what's best for you ~ Dr. Lenke is an EXCELLENT surgeon. Just remember to call and ask questions both before and after surgery. Take care and keep us posted which date you choose so we can say a prayer!

titaniumed
11-15-2011, 09:35 PM
Good news Doreen,

You didnít have to wait long at all. Just a few months, not too bad.

It sounds like you are ready, finally your day is coming!

We know that feeling.
Ed

SpineTime
11-15-2011, 09:38 PM
That's fantastic news, Doreen! So happy for you. The November date isn't far off at all. Even January isn't that far off!

Lisa

Marina63
11-16-2011, 05:37 AM
Hi Doreen!
That is so exciting! I'm with Elisa on the January date but would take whatever is offered : )
Hope you hear something soon.
Best,
Marina

Kayde
11-16-2011, 09:17 AM
That is fantastic news. Hopefully you can get the November date and get an early christmas present and start the new year with a new you. Looking forward to hearing the news

djkinkead
11-16-2011, 10:00 AM
I agree with most, wait for after the Holidays--you're going to miss the first month after the surgery due to the drugs. I still have no idea where September went. :-)

Doreen1
11-16-2011, 02:53 PM
It's official, surgery date is Nov 28, need to be in St. Louis for MRI Nov 22, pre-op Nov 23, central line Nov 25. WOWZA!!! Have I got a lot to do before Tuesday!

Back to making phone calls...

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
11-16-2011, 03:02 PM
Great! This cuts down on time to strss before the surgery. Dr. Lenke will do wonders for you.

JenniferG
11-16-2011, 03:54 PM
Congratulations! So glad you don't have to endure that wait for very long!

walkingmom
11-16-2011, 03:56 PM
Doreen,

Little did you know that all of that early planning would come into play so quickly. After all of your prayers, how appropriate for you to be awaiting surgery in St. Louis on Thanksgiving. I will be praying for you and your family.
Donna

BTW- I will be in St. Louis for my 7 mos. post-op appt. on the morning of your surgery.

mabeckoff
11-16-2011, 03:58 PM
Glad to hear how quickly you have a surgical date
What a happy thanksgiving you will have

nanlo
11-16-2011, 04:58 PM
WOW, Doreen!!! HAPPY HAPPY Thanksgiving! We are giving thanks big time!!! I am very excited... git 'er done!
Nancy

Elisa
11-16-2011, 05:50 PM
Eeeek, that's so soon!! Well, not much time to stress I guess, lol.

Kayde
11-16-2011, 06:43 PM
That is really great news! I'm sooo happy you got the nov date! Won't be long now before you are on your way to a better future.

Marina63
11-16-2011, 06:54 PM
So happy to hear you got the surgery date set!!

jrnyc
11-17-2011, 02:23 AM
congratulations on getting the date so soon...i thought it would be next August...
i am glad you can have the surgery now and not have to wait a year on the Forteo.

i hope this Thanksgiving will turn out to be the best ever!
wishing you a smooth operation and uneventful healing....

jess

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 06:41 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words of encouragement! Thanksgiving will be incredibly more meaningful this year. Once we get settled in next week, we'll have to find a nice place to have Thanksgiving dinner.

Warmly,
Doreen

debbei
11-17-2011, 06:49 AM
Congratulations! Everything is falling into place for you. You sound like you are in great spirits, and that is very important too.

mabeckoff
11-17-2011, 09:01 AM
Will you be taking your daughter with you?

loves to skate
11-17-2011, 10:12 AM
Doreen,
So glad to hear your long wait is almost over. Best wishes for a successful surgery.
Sally

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 10:47 AM
Will you be taking your daughter with you?

Hi Melissa,
No, my daughter will spend part of the time with friends and part of the time with my folks. Kind of crazy planning for not only myself, but for my daughter, her last two weeks of school, arrangements for the pets. I think I'll be relieved when we hit the road Monday because I'm scrambling a bit right now in preparation of everything that needs to be before Monday.

How are you feeling today?

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 10:49 AM
What do you recommend I wear for bottoms after discharge from hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

Jacque's Mom
11-17-2011, 11:21 AM
You'll need loose fitting clothes - sweatpants or dance pants and a button down shirt. NO jeans! Comfort is the key. I wish you ALL THE BEST! I'm happy you are having it done soon. My surgery will be a year December 7th, and I didn't mind at all not celebrating the holidays - getting my back better was the BEST gift there is. GOOD LUCK! LYNN

mabeckoff
11-17-2011, 11:38 AM
Hi Melissa,
No, my daughter will spend part of the time with friends and part of the time with my folks. Kind of crazy planning for not only myself, but for my daughter, her last two weeks of school, arrangements for the pets. I think I'll be relieved when we hit the road Monday because I'm scrambling a bit right now in preparation of everything that needs to be before Monday.

How are you feeling today?

Warmly,
Doreen

I know how you feel about planning. I had to get my son settled for the two weeks I was away, with rides to & From school, as well as dinners.

I am doing slightly better. I am going home tomorrow even tho I feel that I could get so much better here.Thanks for asking and I will keep on praying for you

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 11:38 AM
You'll need loose fitting clothes - sweatpants or dance pants and a button down shirt. NO jeans! Comfort is the key. I wish you ALL THE BEST! I'm happy you are having it done soon. My surgery will be a year December 7th, and I didn't mind at all not celebrating the holidays - getting my back better was the BEST gift there is. GOOD LUCK! LYNN

Looks like I have some shopping to do! I also have a note to myself, that according to TiEd a bottle of magnesium citrate is a must have. Ed, how soon do I start taking that stuff? Is it pill, powder, liquid?

Warmly,
Doreen

Mojo's Mom
11-17-2011, 12:31 PM
That is fantastic news. Hopefully you can get the November date and get an early christmas present and start the new year with a new you. Looking forward to hearing the news

Kayde, I'm going to take that perspective as an indication that you are feeling a lot better!

Another advantage to the November date is it means you have hardly any time to worry and start freaking out.

golfnut
11-17-2011, 02:42 PM
Doreen,
I was able to put shirts on over my head from the very beginning, but it wouldn't hurt to have a couple of button down the front tops just in case. I bought Sketcher slip on tennis shoes that I wore with jogging suits every day until we started going out to lunch or dinner. The Ketchers worked great for walking and no one had to tie my shoes for me. They were not the the ones without a heel where you could slip out of but ones that didn't have shoestrings.

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 04:32 PM
Just got back from Walmart and picked up several jogging/yoga pants. I also got the special juice TiEd recommended. The pharmacist suggested I mix it with a sprite to be a tad bit tastier. I also picked up several food things that we like (bars, peanut butter, squeezable applesauce, etc.).

Kelly called from Lenke's office and said that the hospital (as far as getting tests done) is running on a half day schedule for Wednesday. All my pre-op will be Tuesday and final meeting with Lenke Wed morning. I'm a ninny when it comes to needles so Kelly said I'll get a special cocktail for when the central line gets put in Friday. I'll be sure to pack my Skecher slipons and my new slippers.

One of the docs called me today because I'm participating in the Lenke/Bridwell study. I need to do a treadmill test Tuesday. He said they like to see patients walk one mile in one hour. I told him no problem because I've been walking 3 miles in one hour. He said this will be a nice easy walk for me.

Off to sushi dinner with my daughter and then to pick up hubby from airport.

Warmly,
Doreen

Marina63
11-17-2011, 04:48 PM
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but you won't be able to wear a bra for a while. I was about 2 months post op before I could wear one. Had to go to a job interview at 6 weeks but fortunately had a loose shirt. I wore tank tops underneath my clothes and that helped. I was home most of the time those first six weeks but once I started working, tanks with a loose blouse over.

I read somewhere on the forum that someone wore tube tops. Never thought of that one. May be something to consider.

TwinmomTN
11-17-2011, 05:22 PM
Don't forget about raised potty seat. That is not provided from what
I've read here. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Doreen1
11-17-2011, 05:39 PM
Don't forget about raised potty seat. That is not provided from what
I've read here. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes, I just ordered one and got it last week. ;-)

Warmly,
Doreen

Mojo's Mom
11-17-2011, 08:15 PM
One mile in one hour? Are you serious? Wow, I would hope we could all do that, and if not, I would wonder how we would fare with the surgery.

Of course, after walking one mile my left leg is screaming and my foot is tingly bordering on numb...but that's got nothing to do with my endurance, and I'm done in 15 minutes with stops for the dog to pee and sniff, etc....thank goodness for my elliptical trainer, my bike and my pool.

Doreen1
11-18-2011, 07:57 PM
I've had an extremely busy day today; up since 5:30a, my daughter did an event with the Atlanta Falcons this morning, pulmonary function test, had to get keys copied, back to Walmart to buy button down shirts, pick up Rx, got car cleaned, daughter's French project wouldn't transmit to teacher, etc.

Pulmonary test results are within normal range. :-) Unfortunately, I've shrunk some more since I saw Dr. Lenke in September. I'm now 5'6", 4" loss this year. The woman who did the test had me stretch my arms out on each side and she measured me fingertip to fingertip which measured exactly 5'10".

I'm physically/mentally wiped out this evening. Hubby bought some wine which is quite delightful at the moment.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
11-18-2011, 08:12 PM
A four inch loss in height eh? That is quite substantial. My son gained four inches in height after his second surgery and I wonder if you will do the same? When we were at Elias' six month checkup at the end of October, he'd gained an inch and so now he's six feet tall. Just for fun I got her to measure my height and I've gone from 5'9" to 5'8" and I don't have scoliosis! It's age related apparently, lol.

titaniumed
11-18-2011, 08:42 PM
Doreen

You keep Magnesium Citrate around handy like Clint Eastwood did dynamite....When need be, he would throw a stick for effect. lol Itís a little slower, instead of 5 seconds it takes about 3 hours. It will save an embarrassing trip to the emergency room.

Itís a liquid sold over the counter that comes in different flavors, sold in a bottle that looks like a soda. Look in the laxative section. About $1.20 per bottle.

Wiki has a list of foods that will help in this matter. Sip on water all the time....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxative

Opoid constipation is extremely painful. It seems that anyone that takes meds ultimately ends up with this problem to some degree or another. You can go every day and still get constipated.

One thing that happens when taking meds is you build up an immunity. After a while, its seems they donít work as well anymore. I donít know if this happens with Colace, but it sure seemed like that happened to me. I was told never to take x-lax.

If you use the Mag Citrate, you will drain your system of electrolytes and you will feel pretty bad. I used pedialyte to replenish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedialyte

Ed

golfnut
11-18-2011, 09:30 PM
Doreen,
Losing 4 inches is enough to tell you that you are making the right decision! I hope you enjoyed your wine!

Doreen1
11-19-2011, 10:00 AM
Doreen

You keep Magnesium Citrate around handy like Clint Eastwood did dynamite....When need be, he would throw a stick for effect. lol Itís a little slower, instead of 5 seconds it takes about 3 hours. It will save an embarrassing trip to the emergency room.

Itís a liquid sold over the counter that comes in different flavors, sold in a bottle that looks like a soda. Look in the laxative section. About $1.20 per bottle.

Wiki has a list of foods that will help in this matter. Sip on water all the time....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxative

Opoid constipation is extremely painful. It seems that anyone that takes meds ultimately ends up with this problem to some degree or another. You can go every day and still get constipated.

One thing that happens when taking meds is you build up an immunity. After a while, its seems they donít work as well anymore. I donít know if this happens with Colace, but it sure seemed like that happened to me. I was told never to take x-lax.

If you use the Mag Citrate, you will drain your system of electrolytes and you will feel pretty bad. I used pedialyte to replenish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedialyte

Ed

Is one serving the entire bottle? When should I drink it; while still in the hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

walkingmom
11-19-2011, 10:31 AM
Is one serving the entire bottle? When should I drink it; while still in the hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

Hi Doreen,
That magnesium citrate is some potent stuff! I'm not sure when others used it, but I used it after being home for a few days when I found that MiraLax, Senna & other stool softeners weren't as effective. I believe the instructions state to drink 1/2 to a full bottle at one time. I was only able to drink 1/2 of the bottle and then the other half a few hours later. After it works, be sure to increase your daily liquid intake and watch your diet because those narcotics are tough on the system. Best of luck to you!
Donna

leahdragonfly
11-19-2011, 10:41 AM
Hi Doreen,

Congratulations on getting your date moved up--you will be on the road to recovery that much sooner.

Try not to get too stressed out about the last-minute preparations. You don't need to bring much AT ALL to the hospital (I used my toothbrush and my own undies/pads since I got my period right after surgery). Other than that you don't need much. Oh, bring some easy to slip on and off slippers or house shoes.

There is a long thread about bowel management post-op, you can find it if you search for constipation. It is definitely no fun. As soon as I got home I started Colace, Senokot and Miralax. I still ended up painfully constipated and needed mag citrate ("the bomb"). I stayed on all these laxatives for several weeks, then Miralax alone for several months.

I would also strongly recommend that your family get your discharge prescriptions filled the day before you go home, so that your meds will be available as soon as you leave the hospital, when you need them. My husband was given my discharge prescriptions but the mean hospital pharmacist didn't want to fill them because we live 2 hours from the hospital and the hospital pharmacy is out of network, so he would have had to pay cash for the scripts. Unfortunately my husband is not pushy enough in those situations, so we left Portland with no meds in hand, 2 hours since my last meds and 2 hours from home. I suffered extreme pain on the car ride home, so bad that my husband dropped me off at home to go to bed (my inlaws were there caring for me also). He went directly to the local Safeway pharmacy, but they balked at filling such large quantities of pain meds, and told him he should go back to Portland to fill the scripts! Then he went to our local hospital pharmacy where they filled the scripts partially, but by the time he got home with the meds my pain was extremely out of control and I was shaking uncontrollably and felt horrible. Just make sure you have plenty of meds in hand when you leave the hospital.

Good luck, and thanks for keeping us updated.

scooter950
11-19-2011, 10:59 AM
Adding my two cents: you can also take fiber capsules. If you haven't tried this before, please consider this. Fiber capsules were recommended to me and now I take them DAILY. Walmart sells Fibercon - generic brand of metamucil- take two capsules daily, it may take a day or so before you notice the difference. One caveat: fiber may interfere with medication absorption, so I try to take the fiber in between regular prescription meds.

sending prayers for a safe and successful surgery! hope to see u back here soon!

djkinkead
11-19-2011, 07:55 PM
You should also bring a robe with you to the hospital--something the length to your knees and that you can close (zipper or buttons). It helps keep you warm as you will be going to PT probably by your third day in the hospital.

Will be saying lots of prayers!

nanlo
11-19-2011, 09:18 PM
"I would also strongly recommend that your family get your discharge prescriptions filled the day before you go home, so that your meds will be available as soon as you leave the hospital, when you need them."

HI DOREEN!!!
This happened to us as well! We were still in St Louis at the hotel, but getting these pain meds filled at a regular pharmacy is tricky.
Re the constipation... I took miralax every day as soon as I could. I still had problems and had to resort to an enema the first day at home. But it worked...
Thinking of you lots. You must be insanely busy now, then, just think - as soon as your pre op tests are done, you will be in a hotel w/ not much to do at all!! You seem so centered - we are all sending lots of love and good thoughts.
Nancy

Doreen1
11-19-2011, 10:20 PM
I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the great advice, tips, suggestions! Yes, today was equally hectic as yesterday, but my suitcase is 80% packed. Things are falling into place very quickly. My excitement is building and I hope it doesn't turn into last minute nervousness. Our poor dogs sense something is going on because they are shadowing us in a way that they normally don't behave.

Only 15 things to check off for tomorrow's To Do list. My goal is to wrap up just about everything before we have a celebratory dinner tomorrow so that when we come home, there is minimal things to do.

Am I dreaming... in less than 48 hours I'll be in St. Louis?!?! :-) Am I crazy to be this ecstatic?

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
11-19-2011, 10:38 PM
It's all happened so fast for you Doreen, just hours away now. Can't help but sing this tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JARDvdrAxk

mabeckoff
11-20-2011, 12:07 AM
Doreen,

You are in my prayers and I hope that everything goes well for you

God bless

Melissa

djkinkead
11-20-2011, 07:59 AM
Amy saying prayers too Doreen!

Just remember when you wake up after the surgery that everyday it will get better....absolutely.

Be sure your family members who are present be your advocates in pain relief. Make sure you get them on time. You will not be hungry, but try to drink a lot of fluid...Ensures (ice cold) will really help for nutrician. Chocolate Ensures are almost comforting :-) Every woman needs chocolate.

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 08:08 AM
It's all happened so fast for you Doreen, just hours away now. Can't help but sing this tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JARDvdrAxk

LOL! How perfect!

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 08:09 AM
Silly question, how soon will I be able to have a cup of coffee post-op?

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 08:14 AM
Amy saying prayers too Doreen!

Just remember when you wake up after the surgery that everyday it will get better....absolutely.

Be sure your family members who are present be your advocates in pain relief. Make sure you get them on time. You will not be hungry, but try to drink a lot of fluid...Ensures (ice cold) will really help for nutrician. Chocolate Ensures are almost comforting :-) Every woman needs chocolate.

Hi Dollie,

I saw your post to Kayde where you mentioned the importance of eating a lot of protein. We are packing chocolate protein powder so that will kill two birds with one stone: chocolate & protein.

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
11-20-2011, 09:01 AM
Doreen,
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know you'll do great! It still is amazing to me to look and see my straight back! I hope I never get over the thrill of it! You will soon be in the "Straight Back Club" as well.

Marina63
11-20-2011, 11:05 AM
Silly question, how soon will I be able to have a cup of coffee post-op?

Warmly,
Doreen

As soon as you feel up for it. I think I had a cup day 3.

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 11:47 AM
Making progress today, just baked pumpkin muffins for the road. My daughter's laptop just crashed, slight hiccup in our plans, huh? Since she does most of her school online, this would have been a bit of an issue. Fortunately, we bought her a new laptop a few weeks ago for her Christmas present. She was shocked when hubby handed it her just now and said, "Merry early Christmas!" Thank God this happened today and not while we were gone.

Finishing up a few loads of laundry and staging everything that is ready to be loaded in car.

Warmly,
Doreen

mabeckoff
11-20-2011, 12:01 PM
When are you leaving?

Are you driving? I thought you had said you were flying

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 12:13 PM
When are you leaving?

Are you driving? I thought you had said you were flying

Our original plan was to fly, but that was before the date changed so quickly. Airfare prices were getting a bit steep because of the holiday and since we decided it would be better to have the flexibility of having our car in case I'm discharged early. Since my pre-op is now scheduled for Tuesday, Lenke wants me in St. Louis until Dec 10th.

It's working out for the better because I'm loading up with pillows, comforters and a bunch of other items I want with me.

My daughter selected some of my favorite movies: Bride Wars, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Gladiator, Meet the Parents and Iron Man. I rounded out the selection with the Godfather collection.

Warmly,
Doreen

titaniumed
11-20-2011, 01:55 PM
Doreen

Its 555 miles from Atlanta to St Louis. Not awfully bad, you can always stop in motels coming back if need be.

I like the Godfather selection. Just fast forward through the rub-out scenes. LOL
Godfather 2 was filmed at Lake Tahoe.....At Fleur du Lac on west shore. I used to live a few miles away....from the boat ride scene when Fredo gets it. (Very Heavy!) I never fish Tahoe for that reason. LOL

The Lake Tahoe house and grounds portrayed in the film are Fleur du Lac, the summer estate of Henry J. Kaiser on the California side of the lake. The only structures used in the movie that still remain are the complex of old native stone boathouses with their wrought iron gates. Although Fleur du Lac is private property and no one is allowed ashore there, the boathouses and multi-million dollar condominiums may be viewed from the lake.

I quit coffee before my surgeries since I didnít want to deal with caffeine withdrawl in my recovery....

Have a safe trip and post when you can.
Ed

JenniferG
11-20-2011, 03:35 PM
Agree with Karen. Your new straight back will amaze and thrill you!

Sounds like you're heading off soon. Just wanted to wish you a hugely successful surgery and a smooth road to recovery. You can do this! And you'll be so glad you did. I'll be looking out for your news.

Doreen1
11-20-2011, 07:52 PM
Embarrassed to ask, but when should I expect that I'll be able to take care of my bathroom duties independently post-op?

Warmly,
Doreen

jrnyc
11-20-2011, 08:04 PM
wishing you a successful procedure and uneventful and smooth recovery....
i hope all goes well from start to finish!

sometimes when i am not hungry, i can eat a protein bar...if you have access to a health food
store, you might want to think of picking some up, or ask family to get some for you...
there are some protein bars that have a lot of nutrition in them, and they taste pretty good....

jess

golfnut
11-20-2011, 08:04 PM
Don't be embarrassed. We can ask just about anything on this forum. I didn't need help, but had to use the tongs provided in the spine kit for wiping so that I didn't have to reach or twist. Definitely get flushable wipes.

titaniumed
11-20-2011, 08:07 PM
A very important question!

I never had any problems from the start.....

They also get you up right away. A little scary, but ok. You will feel so tall.
Ed

rohrer01
11-20-2011, 11:15 PM
It's all happened so fast for you Doreen, just hours away now. Can't help but sing this tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JARDvdrAxk

Cute!

Have a safe trip, Doreen, and a successful surgery!

backissues
11-21-2011, 03:59 PM
Wishing you a safe trip and a successful surgery! You are going to love your new shape.

I had no trouble with "toileting" from the start but that was a concern I had had prior to surgery. Everyone is built differently. There are work arounds if you do and some of the initial difficulties go away with time.

Sending positive thoughts your way!

Irene

Doreen1
11-22-2011, 04:51 PM
Insurance denied surgery. Pre-op tests were going great this morning. I'm a bit speechless/shocked/stunned. We are getting conflicting stories from insurance. They told hubby and me they are missing docs; however, they told Dr. Lenke's nurse that they feel the surgery will not benefit me. I was also surprised when I had to lay on my stomach for the last x-ray and two people pushed my spine straight. The stress of they day has finally hit home. I am so numb. :-( Will post more when I get updates.

Warmly,
Doreen

debbei
11-22-2011, 04:57 PM
OMG how can this be? I am hoping that the dr's office can get this worked out for you.

((Hugs)) and may that person who pushed your spine straight go home and stub their big toe!

Elisa
11-22-2011, 05:13 PM
Oh no!! Hopefully everything will work itself out. I feel terrible for you Doreen, what a rough day you've had. I don't understand US medical insurance, but how can they approve you for something and then suddenly change their minds like that?! O_O

Kayde
11-22-2011, 05:29 PM
Most insurance say no. When I had united they denied a lot and it was a fight. Moved to humana HMO and was good. Don't give up. The dr's office have people who can contest these things quickly. Praying for you-you have had a long hard journey.

JenniferG
11-22-2011, 05:34 PM
Oh no! I can't believe it. This is just too cruel.
Hugs,
Jen

golfnut
11-22-2011, 06:22 PM
Surely, this will get resolved quickly. I feel so bad that you have this added worry.

Pooka1
11-22-2011, 06:37 PM
That's just beyond incredible. Forty-four years old with ~70* double major.

I can almost see them trying to deny it if there is no recent progression. Is that the case? Do you have pain? They may suggest that absent progression, surgery is not guaranteed to solve the pain and that is technically true.

I'm still shocked. I bet they come around very soon.

Don't get discouraged. Maybe Dr. Lenke's office can help.

Good luck.

mabeckoff
11-22-2011, 07:08 PM
I am so sorry to hear that news. I hope things can get worked out quickly

KathK
11-22-2011, 07:13 PM
Doreen,
I was just getting caught up on your thread. I was sharing your excitement about your November surgery date and then was crushed to read your last post.

However, I am confident that Dr. Lenke's office will be able to get your surgery approved. You are in pain. You have documented progression. Surgery can and will help in your situation. Let them go to bat for you. I'm sure that they have fought this battle before and that they know what to do!

Sorry that you were not forewarned about the bending x-ray. It's no fun. I was surprised that Kelly herself was the one to push on my side. That somehow made it a little better.

Good Luck. I know it will work out and you'll be on the 7th floor of Barnes Jewish in no time recovering!
Kathy

p.s. Have you found the Starbuck 's in the Barnes and Noble between the CAM and the hospital?

LindaRacine
11-22-2011, 08:16 PM
I was also surprised when I had to lay on my stomach for the last x-ray and two people pushed my spine straight.

That was in Lenke's office? I've never heard of an X-ray being done that way, and would love to know more if you get to discuss it with him.

Sorry about the insurance issue. In the last few months, it seems that insurance companies have really tightened down, and more and more surgeries are being denied. I don't remember that any of our scoliosis surgeries are getting denied, but I'm sure that will happen eventually. I know that they're pushing for patients to go through at least 8 weeks of physical therapy, followed by an injection if necessary, before agreeing to surgery. I'm guessing it's because they're facing a lot of opposition to rate hikes, and they need to make their ridiculous profits one way or the other. I don't know if you can afford it, but usually a letter from an attorney will turn the insurance company around quickly. Unfortunately, they may give your surgery date away quickly, as Dr. Lenke won't want to be idol during that time.

Hope you get this worked out soon.

--Linda

mabeckoff
11-22-2011, 08:24 PM
[QUOTE=Doreen1;129434 I was also surprised when I had to lay on my stomach for the last x-ray and two people pushed my spine straight.
Doreen[/QUOTE]

I have never had to have a xray done like that. Neither with my NC surgeon or with Dr Bederman. What are they looking for in an xray like that?

LSKOCH5
11-22-2011, 08:27 PM
Doreen, I'm so sorry for this being sprung on you at the last minute & I pray that everything gets resolved quickly so that you can get to a better quality of life w your back.

KathK
11-22-2011, 08:27 PM
Linda,
I've had two x-rays done like that, one at Dr. Lenke's request and one when I had a consult with Dr. Boachie back in '08. I thought they were fairly standard and were called bending x-rays.
No?
Kathy

walkingmom
11-22-2011, 08:52 PM
Doreen,
I am praying that this insurance issue can be quickly resolved for you.
Donna

Mojo's Mom
11-22-2011, 09:20 PM
Doreen, I can't imagine that this won't be worked out...what insurance do you have?

titaniumed
11-22-2011, 09:37 PM
Doreen

Try not to panic. Let Dr Lenke explain things to the insurance company first.....the doctors are experts at it.

Halting progression of large curves is important.

I think your insurance company will approve....

Ed

Doodles
11-22-2011, 09:45 PM
Doreen--
I'm with Ed. This is awful but if anyone can get the insurance company to understand the necessity of your surgery, it's Dr. Lenke. Good luck--hang in there. Janet

nanlo
11-22-2011, 10:05 PM
Doreen,
this is unacceptable! We are pulling for you... I agree that Dr Lenke and his staff must have dealt w/ this before - I just cannot believe that they will ultimately deny the surgery.
Hope you can find some peace while you are waiting.
Nancy

jrnyc
11-22-2011, 11:19 PM
not any bending x rays i ever heard of!!
i had bending X rays with Dr Lonner..
on my back...i just had to try to bend to each side while laying down on the table...it is to see how flexible you are
without the help of gravity that helps you when you bend to the side while standing up...
i was really shocked at how UNflexible i am without the help of gravity!! pretty scary!
but i never heard of the X rays on one's stomach while anyone is pushing on any part of the spine...
sounds miserable....

Doreen, i hope the insurance company can be told that you need the surgery for all kinds of
reasons having nothing to do with pain, as they can always claim that no surgeon will guaantee pain reduction from
the surgery, though the surgeon may expect pain reduction....they just cannot guarantee it, and i am sure insurance
companies know that....
especially if you have any other things besides the scoli...like bad discs...? or your spine collapsing with listheiis?
or obvious hypokyphosis...? or stenosis...?
but then i am sure Lenke's office knows what to tell the insurance people...

best of luck with getting it approved!

jess

LindaRacine
11-22-2011, 11:40 PM
My bending x-rays were also on my back. I just looked up bending x-rays in the Radiograph Measurement Manual for the Spinal Deformity Study Group, and it states that bending x-rays are supposed to be taken supine (face up). I'll ask around and see if I can find out what they're doing.

Doreen1
11-23-2011, 11:55 AM
I met with Dr. Lenke this morning and he said, "I have NEVER had this problem with an insurance company before..." It seems there are 3 different versions of what the insurance company is telling everyone, but now it boils down to this. They are denying the entire surgery because Lenke plans to use BMP. They aren't denying the just BMP portion but the entire kitnkaboodle (sp?). Lenke told me back in September to expect our insurance to deny the BMP portion because most insurance companies won't pay for it, so I was prepared for that, but I certainly was not prepared for this.

We have literally 4.5 hours to find out if Lenke can change their mind and obtain approval for the surgery without BMP. Due to the holiday tomorrow and Lenke's office being closed on Friday, if we don't receive the approval by 5p today, we go home tomorrow. Dear hubby has escalated as far as he can, but now everything is waiting at the peer-to-peer level. Since this is still in the "review" process with the insurance company, we cannot appeal until the final decision is made. The appeal process is 10 days. So if we get to this stage, I'm back on a waiting list for a new surgery date.

I asked Dr. Lenke today about the pushing x-rays. I did do bending x-rays laying on my back, but the pushing x-rays (two people pushed against both curves) was to give him an idea of how much flexibility I have. So my thoracic 70* was pushed to 40*. He said I have good flexibility.

Warmly,
Doreen

Doreen1
11-23-2011, 02:13 PM
INSURANCE APPROVED SURGERY! Dr. Lenke's office just called and said the insurance changed their stance, approved the surgery and denied the BMP. Dr. Lenke will move forward and use BMP as planned. Can I relax now? :-)

Warmly,
Doreen

rohrer01
11-23-2011, 02:31 PM
Good news! I'm happy for you. Are you paying for the BMP or is Lenke going to find a "reason" that he HAD to use it so the insurance will have to pay? What a horrible thing to have to go through as if the surgery itself wasn't stressful enough! BREATHE....

Mojo's Mom
11-23-2011, 02:44 PM
Whew! What a relief. Now you can go back to being thankful for surgery just around the corner. Happy Thanksgiving, Doreen!

JenniferG
11-23-2011, 03:35 PM
What a roller coaster for your Doreen. Following your progress daily and plugging for you! I hope you don't have to cover the cost of BMP. Wishing you the very best of luck!

JDM555
11-23-2011, 04:08 PM
So glad everything worked out. I too was worried my surgeries wouldn't be approved. Luckily, I had changed insurance between my first surgeries in 09 and now. I'm not sure if my surgeon asked insurance to approve BMP or did it on his own. I'm sure since I've already had pseudarthrosis, and tried PT, injections, meds, external bone stimulator, etc. they had no excuse to deny LOL.

But I'm glad it was approved, I got BMP, and was able to stay 9 days in the hospital when my insurance wanted me out in 5. Like Linda said, they are really cracking down on surgeries, and I'm super glad you got approved. The wait is more stressful than the damn surgery! Haha

Good luck, and I'll keep you in my prayers till your big day.

jrnyc
11-23-2011, 04:16 PM
congratulations on the good news, Doreen...

jess

mabeckoff
11-23-2011, 04:18 PM
Glad to hear that your surgery was approved. You are in my prayers

loves to skate
11-23-2011, 04:25 PM
Doreen,
What a roller coaster ride you have been on. So glad to hear you are approved for the surgery finally. My guess about the BMP is that the hospital will eat the cost. It's only a guess, so don't quote me. Anyway, you have lots of good folks on here rooting you on.
Sally

golfnut
11-23-2011, 05:32 PM
I think these insurance companies like to keep us on edge. I received a letter from Healthlink denying BMP, but Dr. Lenke had Barnes "absorb the cost.". Kelly said he wouldn't do the surgery without it. I am glad itbis all working out for you.

djkinkead
11-23-2011, 05:42 PM
Great news! That insurance company sure didn't treat you very well. It sounds like too many insurance lackeys were involved in the decision making process.

Elisa
11-23-2011, 06:13 PM
I've been thinking about you today Doreen and am thrilled that things are moving ahead as scheduled. Phew! You don't need that kind of stress at the moment, that's for sure.

TwinmomTN
11-23-2011, 08:37 PM
I am so happy for Doreen. The insurance companies are so difficult to deal with. I never did get my insurance to approve the Forteo but the pharmaceutical rep has provided samples so far. Now you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

LindaRacine
11-23-2011, 08:42 PM
Great news. Although you probably lost a few years off your life from all the stress, the outcome was a good one. :)

The x-ray you mentioned is a Push Prone X-ray. I asked Dr. Hu about it today. I'm surprised that you got both a Push Prone and side bending films...


Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2000 Jan;25(1):76-81.
Comparison of push-prone and lateral-bending radiographs for predicting postoperative coronal alignment in thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliotic curves.
Vedantam R, Lenke LG, Bridwell KH, Linville DL.
Source
Midwest Orthopedic Institute, Richmond, Indiana, USA.
Abstract
STUDY DESIGN:
A comparative evaluation of supine right and left lateral-bending radiographs and push-prone radiographs in patients with thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis to determine postoperative correction of the curve.

OBJECTIVES:
To determine the difference in the ability of the push-prone radiograph and the supine lateral-bending radiograph to predict postoperative coronal alignment for primary thoracolumbar and lumbar curves managed with an anterior spinal instrumentation and fusion.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:
Right and left supine side-bending radiographs are the standard means of evaluating curve flexibility before surgery in idiopathic scoliosis. A push-prone radiograph also has been obtained at the authors' institution as a single dynamic radiographic assessment of forced correction of the primary curve and resultant effects on compensatory curves above and below the fusion.

METHODS:
Preoperative standing, supine right and left lateral-bending, and push-prone radiographs were performed in 40 patients who underwent anterior spinal instrumentation and fusion. Postoperative standing radiographs of the spine were obtained at 3 months after surgery. Measurements on all the radiographs included the coronal Cobb angle, the angle of the lowest instrumented vertebra to the horizontal, the rotation of the lowest instrumented vertebra, and the distance of the midpoint of the lowest instrumented vertebra from the center sacral line.

RESULTS:
The lateral-bending and the push-prone radiographs predicted less correction of the Cobb angle and the angle of the lowest instrumented vertebra to the horizontal than was achieved after surgery. However, the push-prone radiograph was superior to the lateral-bending radiograph in accurately predicting the postoperative correction of the rotation of the lowest instrumented vertebra as well as the translation of the lowest instrumented vertebra from the center sacral line.

CONCLUSIONS:
The push-prone and lateral-bending radiographs are similar in predicting less correction of the Cobb angle after anterior spinal surgery. The push-prone radiograph helps in determining the effects that correction of the primary curve has on the curves above and below the level of fusion by better predicting the translational correction of the lowest instrumented vertebra and the rotation of the lowest instrumented vertebra.

jrnyc
11-23-2011, 08:55 PM
i am really surprised that in this age of technology, a push/prone thingy is the best they can come up with!
do they not have something a little more sophisticated...??!

jess

Confusedmom
11-23-2011, 09:12 PM
Hi Doreen --

Just getting caught up on everything. Best wishes to you! I can't believe it is coming up this soon. Be sure to have someone post on the forum for you ASAP after the surgery. We will all be thinking about you.

Weird about the "push prone." Dr. Lenke's staff must have done a "pull prone" or something on me. I was on my back and they had two residents pull my feet and jaw in opposite directions to see how far they could stretch me out.

Anyway, good luck with everything. I'm glad the insurance issue got resolved. Which company is it, by the way?

:),
Evelyn

LindaRacine
11-23-2011, 09:24 PM
Hi Doreen --

Weird about the "push prone." Dr. Lenke's staff must have done a "pull prone" or something on me. I was on my back and they had two residents pull my feet and jaw in opposite directions to see how far they could stretch me out.


Sounds like the normal bending x-rays that most of us have been through. The one Doreen mention is done face down.

backissues
11-23-2011, 10:20 PM
Doreen,
Sorry to hear about all the extra stress. Glad you are on your way to a "new" you and the "other side."

Good luck with the surgery. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please have someone post for you. There is a whole team out here cheering you on.

Irene

debbei
11-24-2011, 05:24 AM
Thank goodness surgery was approved--now that is something to be thankful for.

I don't know if my insurance paid for the BMP, and no one asked me to pay for it. I just picked p my surgical report at my last appt which says they used 5 large packages of BMP.

Good luck to you Doreen, and I can't wait to read a good report on your surgery!

rohrer01
11-24-2011, 07:39 AM
I think these insurance companies like to keep us on edge. I received a letter from Healthlink denying BMP, but Dr. Lenke had Barnes "absorb the cost.". Kelly said he wouldn't do the surgery without it. I am glad itbis all working out for you.

This statement right here relieves a lot of stress. Best wishes with your surgery, as if that hasn't been said over and over. See how many people care? And to think you don't even "know" most of us. Will be looking forward to hearing a report (from someone) that you are out of surgery and doing well.

Doreen1
11-24-2011, 08:29 AM
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!!! I've read everyone's comments and appreciate all of you. My insurance is United Healthcare and up until Tuesday, they have been the best insurance, aside from this recent hiccup. Hubby and I decided to go out last night and we walked to a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant and had the best bowl of Pho ever. It must have been my lucky night because I was served x4 olives in my dirty martini! :-)

1128

During the time that we didn't know what was going to happen with the insurance coverage, we felt as if we were holding our breath for 24 hours. It feels wonderful to breathe again. I actually laughed during out date last night and it felt so good. I haven't laughed since Monday when we took our girl to breakfast before we hit the road.

Hubby, Jeremy, will take over posting on Monday and he'll also be posting regular updates to my blog; the link is in my signature line.

Off to have some breakfast. Have a wonderful Turkey Day!

Warmly,
Doreen

Doodles
11-24-2011, 08:15 PM
Doreen--
So glad to hear the approval went through and you are set to go. Also that you had a chance to relax, go out, and have a martini--what a cute picture of you. Very best wishes to you--lots of prayers and positive thoughts coming your way!! Janet

scooter950
11-24-2011, 11:37 PM
just now read about your tur,oil w/ insurance companies! Bleah! when my neck surgery was approved, and i received the letter in the mail- it was an affirmation that this surgery is necessary... sort of cold breath of reality momemnt. well thankfully it is approved, i pray you are able to rest over the weekend, and my advice: use ur pain pump! :-) God bless, hope to hear from ur hubby soon ~ Jamie in Texas

JenniferG
11-25-2011, 02:50 AM
I'm very glad to hear your news Doreen. Not long to wait now then you'll be on your way to your new life. Looking forward to great news from your husband next week!

Doreen1
11-25-2011, 11:20 AM
The central line is in and I'm SO glad that's done! It feels so odd and it hurts, but not like stabbing pain. I was nervous about the line because I knew I would be awake during the procedure and hear what the doctor was saying. When it comes to doctors, I'm the type of person that I don't want to hear the details, just do whatcha need to do. Hearing the doc tell the intern, "... push it in to there... pull it back a bit... watch out for that..." I didn't need to hear all that. I know, I know, I'm a ninny. My hubby said, "Look at it this way, now all you need to do is show up Monday, go to sleep and let Dr. Lenke take care of the rest." I can do that! :-)

Our plan is to get out for a bit today since it is another sunny day. Rain sets in tomorrow so we'll enjoy the movies we brought with us.

Warmly,
Doreen

jrnyc
11-25-2011, 11:31 AM
Doreen, if i may ask, did they put the central line in the middle of your chest?
i had one for a long time for IV for Lyme...
i got used to it, forgot it was there...
you probably won't need it for very long...

hope the pain goes away...it usually does....
just keep the area clean...
good luck next week...

jess

LindaRacine
11-25-2011, 11:57 AM
I think that central lines usually (always?) go into the neck and PICC lines usually go into the arm, but can go into various spots on the torso.

mabeckoff
11-25-2011, 03:49 PM
why do some surgeons put the central line in before surgery and others do it at the beginning of surgery?

Doreen1
11-25-2011, 04:47 PM
My line is located just below my right clavicle. Not sure why some surgeons put it in place days before vs. morning of surgery. Hubby and I had a lovely walk through a gorgeous neighborhood today. Stopped by a great bookstore and found a couple of treasures. Received an email from our daughter after we got back to the room, "... having lots of fun, except when I fell out of the tree... I'm okay it was a short fall." We called her and she said she only fell on part of her face. Good grief!

Hubby is such a sport because he watched Bride Wars with me. It's a cute lil flick. Hubby is off for a jog since it is still warm 65 and dry. We are both looking forward to not setting a wake-up alarm in the morning and Sunday.

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
11-25-2011, 07:21 PM
Thank goodness your daughter is okay. At least with my central line, I had less than 24 hours to think about how odd it was to have something foreign in my body. Now, I try not to think about the rods and screws in my body. I will be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way on Mon. I'm only about 24 miles from Barnes (Waterloo, IL) I am calling a friend of mine (Julie Novack) who works with the surgical teams of the orthopedic dept. at Barnes to see if she will be there on Mon. I'll ask her to say hi from me. She is from Waterloo, too. Dr. Lenke is a great surgeon as you know. I am sure you will be thrilled with the results and happy to be on your way to recovery!

JenniferG
11-25-2011, 08:36 PM
I am a ninny too Doreen. Thank goodness though, I had no tests whatsoever until I was asleep on the table. In fact I was asleep before I got there thanks to a pre-op med. The central line, blood tests and xrays, were all done once I was asleep which was more than I could have hoped for.

Enjoy a couple of days of relaxation (as much as possible) before your big day. Your husband is absolutely correct. All you have to do now, is lie there and sleep, it's all going to be taken care of by experts.

scooter950
11-27-2011, 02:50 PM
praying that all goes well, and you'll be back posting soon! be at peace, you will soon be thru the worst part... God bess you! Jamie in Texas!

mabeckoff
11-27-2011, 03:13 PM
you are in my prayer that all will go well tomorrow and that your recovery goes well

KathK
11-27-2011, 04:38 PM
Doreen,
I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, although I won't be up as bright and early as you will be! You are in good hands. Everything will be fine! I just remember waking up in recovery and asking for a Diet Coke!!! Can't wait to hear that you are on the other side!!
Kathy


P.S. I also had my central line put in on a Friday for Monday surgery, so I know what you are dealing with. As I understand it, Dr. Lenke likes to have the central line put in under floroscopy down in the x-ray department.

SpineTime
11-27-2011, 05:50 PM
Hi Doreen,

I just wanted to add that I'll be thinking of you too, and hoping all goes smoothly and according to plan. You'll do great, I'm sure! You have a wonderful, positive attitude and many of us here rooting for you!

Take care,

Lisa

Doreen1
11-27-2011, 06:49 PM
THANK YOU EVERYONE! :-) I am so thankful for this group and the comfort/insight/experiences shared by everyone. I've been posting a lot in my blog in hopes that my journey may be of help/comfort to someone in the future. I made a big mistake this morning when hubby was trying to help me put a shirt on and I suddenly learned that I cannot raise my right arm above shoulder height due to the central line. That was a bit painful to say the least. I'm getting antsy and just want this over and done, tired of waiting, and tired of being in pain.

Since I have hypoglycemia, the anesthesiology nurse told me to eat a sandwich tonite at 10p with a lot of meat to help stabilize my blood sugar during the evening. Hubby is such a sweetheart because he just ate a small snack so he can eat his dinner with me at 10p. I've got to take a shower tonite and in the morning with the special soap I was given. It is so hard to comprehend that at this time tomorrow I'll be on the other side.

I'm really looking forward to taking my "special" nap tomorrow while Dr. Lenke works his magic. Dr. Lenke gave me a valium for this evening.

Warmly,
Doreen

jrnyc
11-27-2011, 07:03 PM
good luck tomorrow, Doreen
i hope the valium relaxes you tonite...
wishing you smooth procedures tomorrow...
and an uneventful recovery afterwards....

jess

loves to skate
11-27-2011, 09:40 PM
Wishing you a speedy recovery Doreen and a pain free future.
Sally

titaniumed
11-27-2011, 11:54 PM
Wishing you the best tomorrow

Post when you can
Ed

Doodles
11-28-2011, 02:15 AM
You'll join us on the other side tomorrow and then on to a smooth recovery. Best wishes and prayers for success!! Janet

JenniferG
11-28-2011, 03:01 AM
Best wishes for a great success and an uneventful recovery, Doreen! I'll be looking out for news.

Marina63
11-28-2011, 05:48 AM
All the best, Doreen! My thoughts will be with you today.

Kayde
11-28-2011, 08:25 AM
By the time you read this you will be on the other side :). Praying for you Doreen. Btw I agree with you in the details from dr's. I had an icv filter and I was awake which was a surprise- didnt need that. Also didn't need to hear they have to go in thru my neck to remove it- all I can think about now. Some details r too much-You are not a ninny. :). Happy eary Christmas! I'm so happy for you.

CHRIS WBS
11-28-2011, 03:04 PM
In the last few months, it seems that insurance companies have really tightened down, and more and more surgeries are being denied. I don't remember that any of our scoliosis surgeries are getting denied, but I'm sure that will happen eventually. --Linda

Welcome to Obamacare!
http://www.ispine.org/forum/13439-post13.html

And unless thereís a regime change in Washington next year, I suspect many scoli surgeons will find themselves performing fewer and fewer surgeries when government run health care is in full swing. Iím sure glad I had my surgery when I did.

Doreen, wishing you a most successful surgery.

LindaRacine
11-28-2011, 04:30 PM
Welcome to Obamacare!
http://www.ispine.org/forum/13439-post13.html

And unless thereís a regime change in Washington next year, I suspect many scoli surgeons will find themselves performing fewer and fewer surgeries when government run health care is in full swing. Iím sure glad I had my surgery when I did.

Doreen, wishing you a most successful surgery.
This post was reported as being offensive. Before this thread gets hijacked, I would like to remind everyone that politics, like religion, has no place on these forums. You can talk about healthcare without politicizing it.

Doreen1
11-28-2011, 04:36 PM
Hello, everyone. This is Jeremy, Doreen's husband. Just wanted to let you know that despite today being a long day, Doreen came in with great spirits and has done well. The surgery so far has gone as expected and my last update was that they are closing her up, waking her up, and moving her to recovery. I'll post again when I receive the final updates.

I've also been recording the day in detail on her blog (not published yet) and will make it public once I have the final update. I'll post the contents here as well so you can read about it. Thanks everyone!

Jeremy

jrnyc
11-28-2011, 05:11 PM
Linda, just a heads up....your mailbox is full...

wonderful to hear that Doreen is done with surgery and the healing can begin...

jess

Susie*Bee
11-28-2011, 05:49 PM
Thanks so much for the update, Jeremy. We know this is a difficult time for you as well. Prayers for you both.

Doreen1
11-28-2011, 07:00 PM
This is posted to her blog but sharing it here as well:

Hello, everyone.

It is my honor to write this as Doreen's "guest blogger" while she is unable to post herself - I am her husband, Jeremy. This is one post but I have been writing it throughout the course of the day so the thoughts are fresh in my mind.

This morning went very smoothly. We both slept well last night (so nice when you place your trust in Him, as His yolk truly is easy) and woke up to the alarm and jumped into action. We already had things packed - Doreen had a bag with bathroom items and some clothes with lots of space for me to take her clothes back. I packed my laptop, a book, several protein bars and a bottle of water. I had a protein shake for breakfast (fast and easy) and we got dressed then called security to give us a ride to the hospital.

Security was there in a flash - the place we are staying (the Barnes Lodge) is truly a blessing. Friendly people, attentive staff, and very easy to move around the campus. We got in early and waited for the registration to open and were second up. It was straight from there to our "module" which was where s he was prepped. They hooked her up and took some blood (which was nice, because it could be drawn from her central line instead of having to stick her again) and then we waited. We met the team and they were all friendly and helpful. The fellow was a little late with the consent form but that was all in order and they administered the first pass of anesthesiology.

That was funny - I gave Doreen a kiss, she gave me a smile and her glasses, then the anesthesiologist asked her if she felt anything yet. She said "no" but then immediately her eyes started drooping and she was telling them how she did not want to be awake being rolled into the operating room. They told her she would be going under and may see a bit but probably wouldn't remember it. They had her do her wake up tests (squeezing a hand, moving feet, etc.) and rolled her away.

I was told my first update would come at 9:00am so I headed to breakfast. I had just loaded a plate when the beeper went off. I just set the plate aside and rushed back to the head desk wondering why I was being paged so early. It turned out they just wanted to get the pager back because I would be moving to the 7th floor waiting area and would receive phone calls or visits instead. So I dropped it off, headed back, found my plate and paid for it and enjoyed a nice breakfast. After that it was easy to find the waiting room.

It's very cozy here - no one else is waiting so I've got the room to myself. The wireless is good so I'm "dug in" and looking forward to the updates which I will share here. I'm actually surprised I'm far more calm than I imagined I would be ... but I've truly approached this in prayer and with the knowledge it is in His hands, and that has been more comforting than you may believe.

9:00AM Update

Received the first call. Just started surgery but everything is going well so far. Feeling good and making friends with ... the wireless (great connection here) and the coffee machine (great coffee).

11:00AM Update

Received the second call. Everything is going great. They are putting the screws in now and said it's moving along as expected. I'll call a few people with updates and then go get some lunch in the cafeteria.


Lunch was good - someone told me the South cafeteria is better than the North one and I have to agree. I got a spicy chicken sandwich. After that I realized it would be a few hours until my next update so I decided to walk back to the Lodge - it's only 5 minutes away - to drop off Doreen's items. It was a nice walk (yes, it is cold here but not raining) and felt great to get outside. I just dropped off what I needed and walked back then got settled again in the waiting room.


1:30pm Update

Thank goodness I feel relaxed and know Doreen is in great hands, so I was not anxious when 1:00pm came and went as I knew they would call when ready, and sure enough the phone range right at 1:30. Surgery is still going on as expected. Expecting another update in a few hours followed by a visit from Dr. Lenke after the surgery is done. Praise Jesus!


3:30pm Update

Received another call. They are closing her up, waking her up, and taking her to the recovery room. I should hear final updates and next steps in the next 1 - 2 hours. It's been a long day but so far everything has gone well. I'm looking forward to hearing the final updates and seeing her.

Thank goodness for books. Been relaxing and reading to pass the time when I'm not sharing updates on the phone or email.

4:45pm Update

Saw Dr. Lenke and he told me the surgery went really well - straightened her up quite a bit and she came out well as well. She is being moved to ICU and I can visit in about an hour.

6:00pm Update - We're Done! (Or, Just Beginning...)

We're done ... I got to see her. Obviously looking rough after a full day under and on her stomach, but she was lucid and could speak softly. She got to hear her mom and dad and daughter. The only hitch I know of is that she was feeling a lot of pain after the surgery. They didn't have the push-button administered yet and were working on it. I hope they can manage it but we also know it will get a little rougher before it gets better and are ready for the road ahead.

I left due to the shift change to grab a bite and update this. I'll go back to see her tonight and then visit in the morning. The surgical team will meet with her then and determine if she can be moved to a hospital room or needs to stay in ICU longer.

Thanks everyone, been a day ...

Jeremy

mabeckoff
11-28-2011, 07:18 PM
Glad to hear that things are doing OK

jrnyc
11-28-2011, 07:18 PM
thanks for all the updates...
so kind of you to include forum!
glad Doreen is doing well...
i hope they get the pain under control fast...

jess

boomergal
11-28-2011, 07:51 PM
Doreen,
It's great to hear that your surgery went successfully. I hope your hospital
stay and recovery go smoothly and quickly. Sending lots of good wishes!

Mary
Fused T2-T12 on 7/5/11 at age 54 by Dr. Boachie
Fusion extended to L4 on 9/21/11

LindaRacine
11-28-2011, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the update Jeremy. Hope all goes smoothly for the rest of your journey.

JenniferG
11-28-2011, 09:30 PM
Great to hear this news. Sounds like all went well in surgery. Now, once they get her pain controlled, it's just a matter of getting through each day, following orders and resting. Before long the days will turn into weeks and you'll look back and be amazed at how far Doreen's come.

Good to hear you're looking after yourself, eating regularly and hopefully, getting plenty of sleep. It's a stressful time for everyone but it will be well worth it in the long run!

golfnut
11-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Jeremy,
Thanks for posting for Doreen. I thought about her all day but knew she was in good hands. Hopefully, they have the pump for her so that her pain can be managed better.

Mojo's Mom
11-28-2011, 09:44 PM
Thank you, Jeremy, your blog is wonderful and I imagine it is therapeutic for you as well...I have been thinking about Doreen all day and sending her well wishes.

JDM555
11-28-2011, 10:46 PM
Great update. I'm glad her surgery got pushed up this far! I'm sure she'll do great and before you know it, she'll be on her way home for a solid recovery. Will keep her in my prayers again tonight for a solid recovery. Take care.

Doodles
11-28-2011, 11:32 PM
Jeremy--
So glad to hear she is out of surgery and doing well. Thanks so much for your detailed update. I hope they control her pain as much as possible the next few days. Best wishes to you both. Janet

babyboomer16
11-28-2011, 11:41 PM
Sounds as though they did great. That first twenty-four hrs. can be tricky as far as pain. I don't care how well you took care of yourself before this surgery, the surgeon just woke up every nerve and muscle in your body! Each one screaming because they have been disturbed!! And they'er not happy at all~~~so time is what it takes, and the right pain cocktail to calm things down. Slowly but surely, it all starts to feel better than the day before, and so on and so forth. She's in my prayers tonight as always. You too Jeremy. God Bless~~Linda

Kayde
11-29-2011, 03:55 AM
Thank God she is doing well and I suspect she will come out of ice quickly. She has had much divine intervention. Just made sure she gets her pain meds right on time and the nurses won't let her sleep thru the next dosage time. I know it's hard to wake up a person in pain but the morphine drip only works if you are awake to push the button every half hour. Paiin and bowel control will be key to her smooth recovery. My nurses had a hospital corporate policy not to wake a person even if it was time for pain meds the dr prescribed. I didn't get my pain control under control till I came home really and by week 3 I was able to get off them. This isbsuch a stressful time for you and your family as it's hard to know what to do for a person during the next few weeks. Praying God will give you wisdom and strength during this time. I'm so excited for you both.

rohrer01
11-29-2011, 04:20 AM
Thank you, Jeremy, for the detailed update. I almost felt as if I were right there in the waiting room! I'm glad she's doing okay. You are both in my thoughts. Take care!

walkingmom
11-29-2011, 09:27 AM
Jeremy,
Thanks for the update. My thoughts and prayers were with you both especially as we there on the Barnes campus yesterday for my 7 mos. post-op appt. As we drove by the towers knowing that she was still in surgery and you were waiting on the orthopaedic floor, I couldn't help but flash back to my own hospital stay. May God continue to lead you both as you enter her first full post-op day! Please let Doreen know that we are cheering for her!
Donna

Doreen1
11-29-2011, 05:01 PM
Wow, what a second day!

I left last night around 10:00pm and caught up on sleep. I walked in this morning (33 degrees, was what I would call a "brisk walk") and had breakfast then came up to see Doreen.

First thing for me was amazement at how much better she was today than last night. She was far more lucid and speaking very well. I was told she had a blood pressure drop in the evening but she has normally low blood pressure so it wasn't a big concern. I was glad to be there with her, the pain was still bothering her a bit but was better with an increased dose and she was mostly thirsty. All vitals were great. The surgeon team had visited her earlier in the morning and cleared her to leave ICU.

Physical therapy came in and the first leap forward happened shortly thereafter. Doreen "log rolled" to her side, then sat up at the edge of the bed and then used her arms to push herself up and stand. She did it pretty much on her own with us standing by to make sure she didn't fall. She then turned and lowered herself into a chair. Her heart rate jumped quite a bit but blood pressure remained stable. She was nauseous but it passed eventually and she sat for a full hour before getting up again and back into the bed.

I knew the instant she sat up how wonderful the surgery had gone, she was so straight and I could not see the prominent rib hump she's had nor the diagonal crease from how her waist had been twisted. Then she stood and it literally took my breath away.

I moved to Atlanta in 1996 and was at a social gathering to meet people in the local area (just friends, not a dating scene and in fact had convinced myself I was done with dating for awhile) when she stepped into the restauarant. I still remember how we locked eyes and I knew this would be the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She looked back and as she approached I remember thinking how tall she was. Before the surgery, she had dropped from her former 5'10" at the time we met down to 5'6" and was looking up at me. Not today! When she stood, I have to imagine she gained every inch back because I was looking up again.
She was doing great after that and felt much better getting back into bed than out. I think the therapy wore her out because she started to drift off, so I left for lunch. I walked back to the lodge, ate some food there and came back. I was amazed at how much better she looked even after just an hour away. She was awake again and feeling great.

We were just getting ready to do another one of her breathing exercises (I've been making sure she does these on the hour every hour as needed, along with pushing her pain pump) when the occupational therapist came in and informed us she'd be standing and sitting again.

Everything was cleared and configured for this when Kelly from Dr. Lenke's team came in with X-Rays. This put smiles on our faces because her spine looks so straight. Literally from a pronounced "S-curve" with 70 degrees in the worse case to something that to me looked straight. It hadn't been measured but estimation was no more than 10 degrees.

We were elated and then went on to have Doreen stand up again and move to her chair. This raised her heart rate again and she felt nauseous again, but was also due for another dose of her anti-nausea medication. I asked her if she wanted to get back into bed but she insisted on sitting for another hour.

I then grabbed a nurse and we helped her back and she it pretty much completely on her own - we just held cables out of the way and were there to support her in case she lost balance. This exahusted her again and she started drifting off, so I took a short break and walked to a cafe to grab a drink (a caffeinated one, not a stiff one). When I walked back the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining - a nice heat wave at 42 degrees F.

Now she is just resting and relaxing while we wait to hear about moving to a room. It's been an awesome day and God is truly great. Thanks everyone.

Jeremy

jrnyc
11-29-2011, 05:12 PM
what terrific news...so good to hear it!
i hope she improves every day...
please let her know i am sending her thougths and prayers, as many on forum are doing as well...
please send us more updates when you have them....
and remember to take care of yourself as well...you need to be strong to help her....so you need to rest, too...

thanks again for the updates...
jess

LindaRacine
11-29-2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks for the update Jeremy. Doreen is very luck to have found a great doctor, and a really great husband. I'm delighted that she's doing so well.

Mojo's Mom
11-29-2011, 05:37 PM
Thank you Jeremy, this is great. Both to hear such positive news about Doreen (while realizing she has a hugely tough recovery ahead no matter what) and to have such a detailed look into what these days are like for the caregiver (you). I'm going to have my husband read your blogs so that he has some idea what to expect. I only hope I will be that straight!

TwinmomTN
11-29-2011, 07:06 PM
Doreen, I am so happy that you are doing so well and have such
a fabulous correction. I have been thinking of you and have been anxiously awaiting reading
Jeremy's posts on your blog. I hope your recovery continues to progress and you are feeling like
posting soon.

golfnut
11-29-2011, 08:03 PM
What a nice report! Although the early days are rough, the amazement of standing straight and tall (really tall) again gets one through it. I'm sure Doreen will eventually be relieved of her former pain, which is even more important.
I loved the story about how you met. So sweet!
Thanks for the updates!

debbei
11-29-2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the wonderful updates Jeremy. I'm so glad she's doing well.

KathK
11-29-2011, 10:46 PM
Sounds like Doreen is doing GREAT! So glad to hear it! Those first few days (actually weeks) are rough, but it sounds like she is off to a great start and has a great support system in place! Looking forward to continued posts on her progress.

Kathy

titaniumed
11-29-2011, 11:02 PM
Jeremy

Thx for posting. Glad to see Doreen doing so well. I cant wait to see her x-rays as we had very similar curves.....

Ed

scooter950
11-29-2011, 11:11 PM
oh this is so good to read about Doreen's recovery! You are doing a great job keeping us posted, thank you,a nd yes, God is GOOD! Praise Him!

mabeckoff
11-29-2011, 11:19 PM
Glad to hear that she is doing so well and thanks for the updates

rohrer01
11-30-2011, 12:26 AM
Jeremy, that was awesome to hear. You may be looking UP at her, but I'm quite positive that she will never look DOWN at you! You are a very good support for her. :-)

JDM555
11-30-2011, 01:05 AM
Nicely put Rohrer lol. That's awesome she gained that many inches! I'm so glad my surgeries didn't give me 3-4 inches lol. Glad to hear she is doing great. Can't wait to hear from her when she gets better.

walid
11-30-2011, 01:14 AM
So glad to hear the news Jeremy ... looking forward to more information. Let Doreen know lots of love from Walid and his mom!!

JenniferG
11-30-2011, 03:15 AM
Wonderful news! Thank you so much for the great reports, Jeremy. Take care both of you.

Marina63
11-30-2011, 08:23 AM
Doreen is making amazing progress! I couldn't stand until the second day after surgery.
Wishing you all the best and a continued speedy recovery!

backissues
11-30-2011, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the update. I'm so happy Doreen is doing well and had such a wonderful correction. It is great that you are there for her. I couldn't have recovered without the help of my husband, both physically and mentally. The recovery isn't easy but it sounds like she has great medical and family support.

Best wishes for continued improvement!

Irene

LSKOCH5
11-30-2011, 02:20 PM
Congratulations on what seems to be an excellent surgery & will hopefully continue to be a great recovery. We've ridden the emotional rollercoaster of your journey via your post and have been rooting for you - we all wish you the very best! You're both so positive & blessed.

Doreen1
11-30-2011, 05:11 PM
Last night I went to ICU hoping for an early room assignment. I was kicked out at 6:00pm for the shift change and returned at 8:00pm. They had not yet heard of a room but the nurses were kind enough to bring me a recliner with sheets so I could rest. I decided to stay the night with Doreen in case she got a later room assignment.


The room assignment came at around 10:00pm. I was reclined next to Doreen and the nurses got a laugh when I showed them how I could easily access the swabs (for water) and tissues that Doreen needed. They told me she had me trained well and asked that she share her secrets when she was feeling better.


At around 11:30pm we were moved to the new room. Unfortunately it was a shared room. That meant almost zero room for me, so I got Doreen settled and headed back to the lodge. I stopped by the cafeteria first to grab some food and brought it back with me to eat, then pretty much passed out.


I had promised to return to see Doreen at 8:00am and overslept a bit so instead of cooking breakfast at the lodge, ended up going in to see her first. It was a nice, warm 24 degrees Fahrenheit as I came in. Fortunately I had remembered to bring my bandanna so I could cover my bald head and ears, otherwise I might have lost them on the way. I also brought in her spine kit and other items. She was doing well and I stepped out to have my breakfast. She was already moving to solid medications and taking her first swallows of water. She had really bad stomach cramps but we were told that is normal as the digestive wakes up, and actually a good sign that she'd be moving to more solid foods soon.


I was able to get a chair squeezed in with a power cord so I can at least do some catching up by her side while she rests. She won't be getting much today as Occupational Therapy was already in. She not only stood this time but actually walked about 10 steps! It was great. She felt really dizzy and nauseous and had to sit. We think it's the morphine doing it so this afternoon they are planning to return after she has her pill-form pain killers so she doesn't have to use the morphine and hopefully won't get as dizzy. The plan is for her to walk some more.


She also learned more about her "spine kit" which is a bunch of instruments provided to help her with doing things without bending or twisting. She was able to take off a sock and put it back on by herself using the tools.




Her friend Karen sent a beautiful arrangement of balloons. It was a nice surprise and helps to brighten the room.




I've also been diligent with helping her do her breathing exercises. The device is pictured here (ignore the goal setting, she's been hitting 1500, I noticed after I took the picture I hadn't set it). She has to inhale and try to get the ball inside to reach a specific level. She's been doing really well but I noticed right after pain medication her lung strength is far less than without it.




I'm going to head to lunch and will share other updates as I can!


Lunch was good, I had a huge salad. I came back and Doreen was getting a little tired. The nurse gave her some anti-nausea medication and some valium to help with nerves and sleep. The therapist came and Doreen sat up and felt dizzy and had a headache. She got a little sick but the good news is her digestive system is definitely awake now so she is cleared to start on clear foods tonight - jello, juice, popsicles, etc.


She sat a bit and then was ready to walk. She stood up and amazed us all by walking all the way out of the room and into the hall. She then turned around and walked back to the bedside, then sat in the wheel chair. She sat there for about a half hour before she told me she was ready to get back into bed. The wheel chair wasn't collapsing properly so she had to walk a bit so I could wheel it out and then sat down. She did great - so two times walking today and cleared for foods.


She is absolutely exhausted now. I am letting her rest and let her know if she was sleeping when I left for dinner, I'd just let her stay asleep. I'm going to relax a bit myself now and will check in again tomorrow.

JenniferG
11-30-2011, 06:57 PM
Doreen is doing great! I would imagine that some food in her stomach will make her feel even stronger.

Take good care of yourself, and thank you for keeping us updated on Doreen's progress.

loves to skate
11-30-2011, 06:59 PM
I have been out of touch for two days, so I just read up on all of the updates. Thanks Jeremy for all of the good news about Doreen. They certainly brought back memories of my own surgery almost four years ago. Doreen is blessed to have a good Christian man beside her. I hope and pray that Doreen continues to have an uneventful speedy recovery.
Sally

Doreen1
12-01-2011, 07:36 PM
This may be the last guest post for me ... I'm bringing Doreen's laptop and she may be ready to start hammering out her own updates tomorrow. We'll see!

Last night was exciting as Doreen moved to her first "clear" foods and was drinking some apple juice and all-natural soda (carbonated water and fruit). I waited to have "dinner" with her and then returned to the lodge, where I had my own dinner (organic burrito, organic corn chips, and an orange).

This morning was 28 degrees but sunny and beautiful. It really felt like the days I started dating Doreen and would get so excited to see her. I just get a lump in my throat and feel more and more excited with every step and the elevator seems to take ages to her floor. Then the highlight of my day is walking in and seeing her.

She was something else today. Had her glasses on, was sitting upright eating jello and drinking water directly. No more ice chips or sponges/swabs. In fact she got cleared for solids and we ordered her lunch ... hasn't come yet but it's a salad which she likely won't eat and some beef stew which we are hoping she can enjoy the broth. She ate more jello and had plenty to drink.

Physical thereapy came and she did better than any other day with sitting up and then walking. She walked 10 feet the first time yesterday and about 30 feet the second time. Today she walked 80 feet. She then came and sat in the wheel chair.

We had a little bit of concern because the nurse mentioned that transport was coming to take her for X-rays. We decided she should stay in the wheel chair and get transported that way. After about 40 minutes though they were not in sight so I paged the nurse again. My concern was getting her back into the bed and then having to turn around and get her out again. The nurse checked and it turns out the X-rays are scheduled for tomorrow morning. I'll check what time to make sure I'm here to help when it happens.

She got back into bed and that was it - the walk and sitting had totally exhausted her. She passed out and this is the first time I've seen her truly sleep since I've been at her side. It was great ... it's getting close to lunch so I'll wait for her food and eat with her and then go to the cafeteria myself.

Her food came and she had a little bit of broth, some nibbles of crackers and some jello. It's a start. I ate and came back and she was sleeping. She woke up and had some grape juice. Then she fell asleep again for several hours. She hasn't been sleeping at night because her roommate was so loud, but they just moved out ... hopefully we'll have a quieter "neighbor."

She was sleeping so deeply that when physical therapy came, we had trouble waking her up. The nurse came in and forcibly woke her to ensure the medications weren't overdone, and now she is relaxing and waiting for her session. We're going to try to walk farther of course.

She is due to have catheter and IV out tomorrow. She is also scheduled for x-rays. If that checks out and she does some pre-requisites like going 1 and 2 on her own, then we may be cleared to check her out on Saturday!

We finally got to physical therapy. She did a fantastic job standing up and walking a good distance, then sat for awhile in her chair. I think the first walk wore her out, so we transferred her back to bed and her food came. She is eating far better and had some potato soup and several grapes. Always tough to leave her but decided to head home, get some food and rest and focus on another great day tomorrow!

JenniferG
12-01-2011, 10:03 PM
What a great job you have done keeping us up to date. The detail has brought many of us back to our own surgeries, I bet, I know it did mine. You two have done very well and I'm so glad to hear Doreen's walking, sitting and eating without too much difficulty. Once the catheter is out, she'll really feel like she's on her way. Best of luck with the BMs and the last few days in hospital!

jrnyc
12-01-2011, 10:30 PM
thanks so much for the latest updates...
so wonderful to hear that her recovery seems to continue with
small steps at a steady pace...i hope progress builds in that manner...
i did not see very much in the writing about excruciating pain....so i am hoping
the pain is not so severe or that it is well controlled with medication...

it will be nice when Doreen is feeling up to being on the computer herself....
but you have done a TERRIFIC job in letting us all know what's been
happening, minute to minute...great reporting!
thanks again.....

jess

walkingmom
12-02-2011, 09:32 AM
Hey Jeremy,

You may not realize it but with your guest postings, you are giving such a wonderful gift for your wife. Throughout my hospital stay, my husband wrote a daily journal and then sent it to friends and family. A few weeks later, it was nice for me to read them and go down memory lane because I wasn't able to recall my hospital stay without some prompting that was reflected in his journals. It was nice to see how far I had come since those early days. Plus, I am sure your writings, like my husband's, had such an impact on those who read them. Hopefully, other spouses and family members will be inspired to do the same for those on this forum who are facing upcoming surgeries. Tell Doreen that she is doing awesome!
Donna