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carolmr
05-12-2012, 04:13 PM
I have had scoliosis since I was a teen. I am now 57. I have been seriously thinking about surgery, but it terrifies me. I have read a lot on this forum about everyone's recovery period and I wonder if it is possible to even consider surgery if, like me, you live alone? I have a sister who lives about 15 minutes away by car, but she works full-time. Is it possible to go through the recovery period by yourself? I have to walk up a flight of stairs to my apartment and my apartment is a two-floor set-up. My bedroom and only bathroom are on the second floor. More steps. Even getting my mail would mean walking way across my apartment development to the mail box area outside. There are no stores that I can walk to. Driving is a necessity. Should I even be considering surgery?

LindaRacine
05-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Hi...

You definitely won't be able to drive for the first month or two, unless you go without narcotic medication, which is a pretty unrealistic goal. Walking, and climbing stairs should not be a problem. I live alone, and after a few days when I stayed at a friend's house, I came home. I ordered most of what I needed from places like Drugstore.com and Amazon, and was able to order groceries online and and have them delivered. I called friends or used peritransit to get where I needed to go by car.

So, it's not impossible, but there are definitely some challenges.

Regards,
Linda

susancook
05-12-2012, 10:56 PM
I have had scoliosis since I was a teen. I am now 57. I have been seriously thinking about surgery, but it terrifies me. I have read a lot on this forum about everyone's recovery period and I wonder if it is possible to even consider surgery if, like me, you live alone? I have a sister who lives about 15 minutes away by car, but she works full-time. Is it possible to go through the recovery period by yourself? I have to walk up a flight of stairs to my apartment and my apartment is a two-floor set-up. My bedroom and only bathroom are on the second floor. More steps. Even getting my mail would mean walking way across my apartment development to the mail box area outside. There are no stores that I can walk to. Driving is a necessity. Should I even be considering surgery?

I have not had surgery...yet. My surgeon mentioned going to a rehab facility/nursing home or something like that after the week in the hospital. Might be an option, depending on your health coverage.

Also, friends? Especially retired ones that might help you to spend the night w/ you in your home or you could go to their home?

Susan

rohrer01
05-13-2012, 01:00 AM
Welcome, Carol!

You might even be able to stay with your sister for a while even though she works full time. She could be a real asset to helping with meals, getting your meds for you and all the little what nots that come up after someone has surgery. It's just a thought.

Best Wishes,
Rohrer01

carolmr
05-13-2012, 08:47 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I just moved here to Colorado and don't really have any friends. If I decide to have surgery, I think I will loo into a rehab center and/or ask my sister if I can stay with her for a while.

jrnyc
05-13-2012, 10:07 PM
suggest you just check with your insurance company to be sure they will cover the rehab...

jess

susancook
05-14-2012, 01:35 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I just moved here to Colorado and don't really have any friends. If I decide to have surgery, I think I will loo into a rehab center and/or ask my sister if I can stay with her for a while.

Your sister could take maybe a few days off right after you come home and then be available when she comes home from work and at night. That would be the worst part might be being alone at night and falling and have nobody to help you. At least she could cook for you and have food in the refig during the day. Good luck.
Susan

titaniumed
05-14-2012, 07:55 AM
Hi Carol

There are a few of us here that have done our recoveries alone and its totally possible. They wanted me to stay at a rehab facility for a month after my surgeries but didnít. My roommate had the 10 person support team coming in every day making all sorts of noise. I had to bite my tongue and just ran out right after the hoses were pulled. Having a private room is a nice thing. So is silence.

I am one who likes to lick his wounds alone....I think that doing a solo recovery is fine for some, but not for all. Having a good understanding of whatís happening helps. Having your sister there will be a big help.

Did your doctor ever mention your Cobb angles to you? Iím wondering how bad your curves are?

How is your pain?

Ed

mabeckoff
05-14-2012, 08:23 AM
Is having your surgery in a town where you could go to someone's home to recuperate?

Since you said you just moved to CO , I figured that you do not have a surgeon yet

carolmr
05-18-2012, 07:06 PM
I didnt' mean to mislead anyone. I'm not scheduled for surgery. I just moved to Colorado and am searching for a surgeon. I haven't been examined by doctor for scoliosis in 15 years. My curve is getting worse, though. I can tell by the way my clothes fit (or DON'T fit) me. I choose loose, flowy tops because my right shoulder blade is protruding more and more. I have some pain but, to be honest, it's not that bad. It's mainly for vanity reasons that I am thinking about surgery and all the questions, like recovery, that go along with surgery. My dad had scoliosis. When he died at age 85 it was pretty bad. I could see over the years that it got worse and worse. He also had kyphosis. I wish I had my dad's courage and spirit (he was a veteran of Iwo Jima and received the Purple Heart), but I don't want my scoliosis to become as bad as his became. When he was 85 my dad needed (another) open-heart surgery to replace a valve. His doctors were very concerned about his kypho-scoliosis due to the respiratory problems involved during surgery. But my dad came through his surgery like the trooper that he is. Unfortunately, he died of MRSA which he contracted in the hospital during his recovery. So even in cases where there is not that much pain, like mine and my dad's, scoliosis can cause other problems. I'd like to avoid those problems and have a straighter spine and body in the process. But there's a lot to think about. I wish my orthopedic doctor had opted for surgery when I was a teenager. Didn't he realize that my problem would only get worse with age?

titaniumed
05-19-2012, 04:52 PM
Carol

You cannot look back. You canít place blame on your surgeon when you were a teen. That was back in the dark ages when scoliosis surgery was extreme....many had no training in scoliosis and much of it was trial and error. They were all pioneers.....Scoliosis surgery is still extreme, but we know and have so much more now....Technology has grown leaps and bounds since then.

For years I blamed my family doctor back in the 60ís. I donít feel this way anymore knowing what they were up against.

Always look forward.....

I would see a scoliosis surgeon and get checked out......it doesnít mean you have to commit to surgery. 15 years is too long, scoliosis can progress like a wildfire. Knowing the truth is essential.

Ed

jrnyc
05-19-2012, 05:54 PM
carol...
you mentioned that you expect your scoliosis will get worse in the future...
i thought that was your reason for seeking out a surgeon....
i cannot see vanity as a reason...
i never heard of a surgeon discussing cosmetic reasons as a basis for doing the surgery....
i am not saying i do not understand not liking the way the scoli can change the way you look....
i am saying it is a HUGE surgery to undertake for any reason like vanity....
the side effect of physically looking better would be a nice side effect....
but as a main reason....sounds unrealistic to me...
results are never guaranteed...there is still a small chance a patient can end up in
more pain after healing than they were in before...
also, Linda says that studies show that patitents who are not in pain before surgery are the least
satisfied with post surgery results....
something to think about...

jess

golfnut
05-19-2012, 08:07 PM
Carol,
I had surgery at age 60 due to a poor prognosis if I didn't have surgery, according to Dr. Lenke. If one has a curve that is progressing, even though in little pain, it makes sense to me to consider surgery. Because I had little pain, I was able to be in excellent physical shape which attributed to my smooth recovery along with having one of the best surgeons in the country. If I had waited until the pain was unbearable, I doubt that I would have been able to exercise to the degree that I did. I am not a vain person, however, I was becoming so self conscious of my crooked spine and rib hump, that I became excited about the possibility of looking better following surgery. I can now buy clothing that is not loose fitting. I don't even mind my scar in a bathing suit because my back is straight. The cosmetic outcome has been uplifting to me as I still receive compliments weekly even though it has been over a year since my surgery. I am proud of myself that I had the guts to elect to have this major surgery. Yes, there are no guarantees, but I think the odds were in my favor to have the surgery. It is my hope tha my fused spine will give me a better chance for an active life in my 70's, 80's and 90's. My dad is still playing golf at age 91 and I hope that I will be too, thanks to Dr. Lenke. I agree with Jess that one shouldn't have surgery for cosmetic reasons, however, if one looks slightly deformed, chances are that his/her spine has pretty severe curves regardless of having pain or not. I would imagine that without surgery, I would have eventually have had increased pain.

Marina63
05-20-2012, 06:48 AM
You cannot look back. You can’t place blame on your surgeon when you were a teen. That was back in the dark ages when scoliosis surgery was extreme....many had no training in scoliosis and much of it was trial and error. They were all pioneers.....Scoliosis surgery is still extreme, but we know and have so much more now....Technology has grown leaps and bounds since then.

I agree with you Ed. My doctor in the 70s told me I should have surgery because I would look better. Even at 16 I thought that statement was completely nuts. My curve was only 30-35ļ! Sit in a body cast for 6 mos to look better?? But there was no way that he would have known my curve would get worse. I believe that the time for the surgery was meant to be now. I have the support of my almost grown daughter, husband and a young enough body to recuperate.

Irina
05-20-2012, 09:07 PM
Hi Carol,

I think that one more important consideration if living along is financial. I have not had the surgery yet, and donít know if I ever will, but from reading many posts here it sounds like recovery could be a long process. Itís great if things go as planned, but what if there are some complications and recovery takes much longer than anticipated? Would you have to go back to work after the surgery or you can take all the time you need without worrying about the money?

Coming from financial background, I may sound dry, but this is one of the things I consider for myself Ė would we be able to live on my hubbyís salary if things go south and I have to stay home for a couple of years and pay medical bills, for trips to the hospital, hired help etc.