View Full Version : Four weeks away!

12-12-2011, 02:51 PM
Although I've been reading these helpful forums for a long time, this is my first time to post. My surgery is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2012, with Dr. Whitaker in Wichita, KS. He is planning to do the following: "T4 - S1 and iliac wing fixation, posterior spinal fusion and instrumentation, possible decompression, possible osteotomies." What has been so helpful to me is to see the number of people that have come through this type of surgery and are now "on the other side." Being on this side -- the anticipating/dreading/fearing/wanna just get it over with side --- is not fun at all. Today has been a tough day as I've struggled with lots of fears and wondering what the recovery will really be like. I do know that I will be sent home with a brace following the surgery. I am 55 years old, have a wonderful supportive husband, two married kids, no grandkids yet (wanna get this done so I can be a grandma someday), have lots of friends that are very supportive, have a all-powerful God that I serve, but still struggling with fears. Would appreciate your prayers and any words of encouragement you could offer, especially those that have been thru this surgery and are either recovered or in the recovery process. I have been a firm believer in exercising so have continued to do that thru this "waiting period."

I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 18 yrs old and was told that I was finished growing and that there was nothing that could be done at this point and the scoliosis would probably just stay where it was. I have had different follow-up visits in the last 25 years and it's only been in the last several years that my curvature has gotten worse. I have very little pain, just when I clean my house!! The reason I am going ahead with this surgery is that my curves are continuing to increase and it's "time to face it", have the surgery, and move on with my life.

Thanks for listening to this mumble/jumbled rambling. Thanks in advance for any advice/support, encouragement you can offer.

12-12-2011, 03:48 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Your story is very similar to mine. I was 57, almost 58 when I had surgery and my thoracic curve was 68. It had progressed rapidly since age 50. I'm fused T4 - Sacrum with pelvic fixation, same as your plan. My surgery went well. I took it very easy during recovery, doing little other than walking, eating, sleeping for several months. I took a real holiday from responsibility, putting myself first, for the first time in my adult life. I actually enjoyed it (barring the dizziness I had getting off the Oxycontin!)

I was quite fit when I had surgery and I do feel it helped. Nothing complicated, just fast walking and kayaking, but by the time surgery came around, I felt strong and able to face anything.

If you have any questions, please just ask, or PM me if you prefer. Best of luck! Jen

12-12-2011, 03:52 PM
I offer you my prayers & wishes for a fast, successful recovery, and I'll ask the same of you for my son's scoli surgery Jan 3 in FL. I ask for calm & peace for you, & just keep Phil 4:2 in mind. All positive expectations. Glad you posted; there are so many great people on here whose experiences help us learn what's to come, what to avoid, & just feel like a safety net.

12-12-2011, 04:17 PM
That will be my one year anniversary...you picked a good day to have surgery!

Everything you are describing is normal... We have all felt it. Keep thinking positive and you will do fine.

Dreading having surgery is like facing childbirth for the first time. You read all about it, and know the mechanics of it, but still have this big unknown picture of it- knowing you have to face it, can't control it, and that there is no turning back. But just like childbirth, you get through it. And time eases the memories of those first days of recovery. Yes, it is tough, I'm not going to paint a rosy picture, but it is tolerable. Being fortunate enough to have a great support system is more than half the battle. I was also blessed with a wonderful, understanding husband who helped me so much through those first few weeks. And still to this day. Now I have a much better quality of life than I had before surgery. It was all worth it.

Soon you will be having YOUR anniversary and hopefully encouraging others!

12-12-2011, 07:45 PM
I had my surgery almost a year ago at age 60. I had to almost laugh when you said your back didn't bother you much unless you were cleaning. I seldom experienced pain when I was doing things I enjoyed, but I would wear out cleaning the house or standing for long periods of time. Spring, from the forum, also has her surgery on Jan. 10th, so you will both be in my prayers on that day. The pre-surgery period is the toughest. (at least it was for me, but I tend to be a worrier)

12-12-2011, 08:29 PM
Not sure if the first little while after surgery is similar for adults as teens, but my son's pain was so well managed that the evening after his first surgery and his halo on, he was watching a suspense/thriller show and enjoying it. He'd watch for a while and then doze off and watch a bit more and was thirsty and talked fine and on and on it went. He didn't seem to feel much if any pain at all. Maybe they just give better/more drugs in kids hospitals to quieten them up, lol.

12-13-2011, 03:21 PM
Will be saying prayers for you! Glad you are on the forum and are learning how to be prepared for the surgery and for the recovery. It really helped me--I am almost four months post op.

12-13-2011, 06:40 PM
Hello Scoli friend,

My surgery is on January 9th (close Karen) :) having the same length fusion as you...good to have someone 'waiting in the wings' with me. We will be on the otherside before we know it!

12-13-2011, 09:17 PM
It is so nice to touch base with others at the same stage, but I know we have to remember that everyone heals at a different rate. You can get through the rough times together and the milestones, as well. What would we all do without this forum?

12-13-2011, 09:56 PM
It is so nice to touch base with others at the same stage, but I know we have to remember that everyone heals at a different rate. You can get through the rough times together and the milestones, as well. What would we all do without this forum?

I love the forum. But it is true , that we have to remember that we all heal at different rates. We will get to the end of the trip just at different rates

12-19-2011, 07:17 PM
This forum is one of the best things to happen to me in 2011--not sure how I would have gotten the bravery to go through the surgery and to know what to prepare for on the other side of the surgery.

It is absolutely true that it does get better everyday.

Will be saying prayers and for Spring 72!

12-19-2011, 08:12 PM
Thank you all soooo very much for your encouraging words re: upcoming surgery. The countdown continues -- tomorrow is 3 weeks! Got a call from the surgeon's office today to set up an appointment to pick up my brace and go in for sight-markings (whatever that is). Last evening was a tough time as I was struggling once again with waves of fears, but today I was filled with peace and didn't even lose it as I had to make that call to set up the appointment for Jan. 9, the day before my surgery! This last week has been rather tough as my husband fell off the ladder putting up our Christmas lights and has fractured his fibula and is in a boot --- thankfully, not a cast, at least not at this point. I have had a tough time dealing with his injury and thinking that in a few weeks that will be me, but much worse. It seems that all of us struggle with many fears and worries prior to surgery, fear of not knowing what it will really be like, how much pain we'll be in, will we be able to poop, etc. Yikes. Time to stop those fears NOW!

Once again, thanks so much for all your encouragements! Keep 'em coming!!!

12-19-2011, 10:10 PM
Hope all goes well. You will be in my prayers

12-20-2011, 10:09 PM
Hi Time

Welcome to the forum, its good that you have been reading.

Just in case, here is Lindaís list.


You donít really have to buy too many items, just ask. I highly recommend a foam topper 2-4 inches thick for your bed, and 1-2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate just in case.