View Full Version : New Dr. Lenke Patient

07-19-2012, 12:01 AM
i was to have a Thoracic and Lumbar CT Myelogram done yesterday. (Myelegram: draw spinal fluid from spine to make sure they are in correct place, then dye is injected and pictures of the spinal canal are then taken using the CT scan.) But, after the radialogist failed to retrieve spinal fluid from my spinal cord on the 3rd try with no sedation for me, I said "That's enough, three try's is all you get!" Then the he tells me, it's the worst back he as ever seen and he was having a hard time getting to the right spot because of the severity of my scoliosis. DAH! After a call to Dr. Lenke's office, a decision was made to have the test done in St. Louis when I arrive for my surgery and it will be under sedation with I believe doctors who will be more qualified at dealing with my condition. Hurraayy!!
My surgery is sceduled for Monday August 13th; but arriving now Thursday, August 9th for the Myelogram, Friday,10th-Central Line and meet with Anesthesia staff, final bloodwork,etc. and then what to do the rest of the week-end. We are staying at the Drury Hotel & Suites St. Louis Near Forst Park 1-800-378-7946, Love this place, FYI pools in and out, free Hot Quickstart breakfast- and a free 5:30pm kickback Hot food and cold beverage everynite which usually more food than we can eat. And much more affordable than some of the other places attached to the hospital. (it is only minutes away)
Just trying to get everything prepare at home. I have no idea what to bring with me. Perhaps someone help with suggestions. I do know that I will probaly be there for awhile. Dr.L said my surgery now my go into 2 days, won't know until he open up and gets started. Whatever it takes doc. Wouldn't want him to get too tired standing on his feet! Looking forward to the support from my fellow sisterfriends. god bless,Laurie

07-19-2012, 12:45 AM
Hey Sister

Just want to say hi, and welcome. There are many Lenke folks here for sure....they should chime in.

I am a fan of Lindaís web page. A valuable resource for all scolis.....

I didnít prepare much....ok the truth, I didnít prepare at all. So that means you will make it. LOL

Iím a big fan of foam....itís a must for sleeping. Latex topper, 4 inches thick for your bed. I learned the hard way, there are many threads here on this subject, just search ďfoam topperĒ.

How long have you waited?

07-19-2012, 07:19 AM
I am having surgery with Dr. Lenke on Oct.12th. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? What are your curves? How much of your back will be fused?
As far as preparing, I have bought grabbers, memory foam mattress and pillows, had a comfort height toilet installed, freezing meals, bought airline tickets, booked hotel, childcare action plan, after care help, had myself added to our prayer list at church, bought 2 piece pajamas with button down shirt, bought stretch pants, socks with grippers and front closure bras. I have also bought thank you and birthday cards for about 3 months. I also bought my children (I have 3) a gift to open up for everyday that I am going to be gone. Not that this is a must, but for me it is sentimental, I am also having a quilt made out of my husband's and children's T-shirts to bring with me to St. Louis. Oh, I also plan on getting my legs waxed! I have been exercising on a regular basis and trying to get as fit as possible. I have seen my doctors here that will help me with my after care for pain meds or God forbid something bad happen like a fall.
I think the most important part of preparing is to do as much or as little that makes you feel comfortable. I find that the more I prepare the less anxious I feel.
Don't know if this helps you! Best of Luck and praying that you have a successful surgery and a peaceful recovery.
Warmest Regards,

07-19-2012, 09:02 AM
Hi guys,

Good Luck with your surgeries!

Heidi, you are so prepared. My surgery is on 26th July 2012 and I'm not that prepared. I am based in the UK and have been told the hospital will supply me with grabbers and toilet adjuster etc and I have a memory foam mattress but I am sorting my waxing, buying front fastening bra's and a portable dvd player this wkend.

Luckily I don't have children yet but I've bought gifts and card for birthdays a few months in advance. Anything else I'm sure I can sort before Thu :-) x

07-19-2012, 01:34 PM
Whoa, Heidi! That's preparation. Welcome to you Laurie! I know I fussed about all the preps and I think the most important one was exercising as much as possible. Promotes better healing after I think if you are in good shape. Not always possible I know. I bought a few of the things Heidi listed but check with Dr. Lenke's office about the "kit" you get/buy?, can't remember. But we came home with stuff and had Rx for some of the things. Perhaps insurance covered it. You might not really know your needs until after. But I agree the planning/preparing process makes us feel more in control. And keeps our brains from driving us crazy. I know I worried over what to bring to the hospital. I think the only thing I used in the 2 weeks there was a robe and an I-pod that my husband would set up for me to listen too and I'd just go to sleep. Good luck to everyone and their preparations for surgery. Janet

07-19-2012, 07:30 PM
Welcome to the forum. I don't have anything to add to what others have said. The link Ed gave you for preparing for surgery is good. Have you read David Wolpert's book? I bought lots of grabbers so that I had one in almost every room. I also had a disposable razor taped to a long handle which worked great.

07-19-2012, 08:03 PM
I have talked with several people who have had surgery and almost all of them have mentioned the need for chapstick. So you may want to bring that along as well.

07-19-2012, 08:58 PM
I have talked with several people who have had surgery and almost all of them have mentioned the need for chapstick. So you may want to bring that along as well.

What did they use chap stick for?

07-20-2012, 06:51 AM
Apparently, your lips get really dry...

07-20-2012, 10:31 AM
We will hopefully get to meet each other as I am 4 days later, surgery by Dr Bridwell. I know that we will be in the same floors (apparently there are 2 floors for orthopedic).

Vaseline for the lips and socks would be a priority. Body lotion because we might get dry skin and a robe to hide your behind. Forget about a hand mirror, not interested in seeing how horrific we will look but maybe some lipsticks.

I keep forgetting what exactly is provided for you prior to admission. Dr B office said that when I go in the day before for a mtg with the anesthesiologist and getting an insert that I will get a package to take back the next day at check-in. Check-in time: one might request a private room if they have it because that is the only way someone can stay with you. I would hate to be moaning and groaning when I have someone next to me or vice versa.

Do you get a toilet riser?

I am looking for a chair for the first several months because there is nothing in my daughter's apt with arms. I understand that it is important to be able sit and get up. I have tried so many chairs (expensive ones that don't work for one or another reason). I think I need a cheap waiting room chair with small handles that I can grab with my hands and not only using my palms - any comments????


gardenia (Oct 16th - St Louis) party!!!

I am having surgery with Dr. Lenke on Oct.12th. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

07-20-2012, 06:15 PM
Definitely request a private room. My insurance paid for it, which was nice, but I would have requested one anyway. My husband stayed in the room the 2nd & 3rd night. You will be in ICU the first night. I hired a private nurse from my home town (30 miles away) for the 4th night, but it seemed to be the night that I received the most attention from a fantastic nurse and an aide. The 5th night I didn't have anyone with me and didn't have the attention I had the night before. I went home the next day.

07-20-2012, 08:08 PM
Karen is right!

If you can afford it, get a private room....My neighbor had very noisy visitors, many came everyday. Troops of people, and changing the channels on the TV set all day long.....And the same commercials repeated and repeated again and again. Isnít television wonderful? I can understand why Elvis shot at his televisions. Drugs, guns, and television should not be mixed. LOL

I ran out after my hoses were pulled, and wasnít weaned to oralís yet....oh, boy. A learning curve that I would never repeat. Make sure you are weaned to orals before you leave the hospital.

I guess somebody has to do it. (smiley face)


07-21-2012, 05:27 PM
When you are ill, the last thing you want to be bothered by someone else's moans and their traffic. On the other hand, I could not moan and make my own noises.

jane d
07-21-2012, 08:59 PM
Hi. I am in St Louis right now and will be having surgery with Dr. Lenke on Monday. We sent a box to the hotel with some things we'll need while here. I had my central line put in yesterday and when I registered for this a while back they suggested bringing a roll of Glad press and seal to cover over the central line to keep it dry when showering. (we needed to tape around it too as it is important to keep the port dry. In this Box we also sent some of my husband's clothes, his gym shoes, a twin size memory foam to put on my side of the bed in the hotel, 2 sippy cups for me to use in the hospital as Cheryl from the Charleston area had suggested for me to use for drinking while in the hospital and some other things. It only cost about $11 to ship this big box. Wish we had shipped everything this way as the airlines messed up our luggage and we didn't get our suitcases for 24 hours after arriving! I got most of the supplies Heidi did except for the gifts. The spine kit you can get here is about $55 and it contains mostly things I have already bought.
Hope all goes well with you. I'm not nervous yet. Guess I should be by now!

07-21-2012, 09:01 PM
Best of luck on Monday with your surgery. Dr. Lenke and his team are outstanding. Be sure to have someone post for you when you are "on the other side." I'll be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

jane d
07-21-2012, 09:44 PM
Prayer is what will get me through all of this! Thank you so much.

07-21-2012, 10:50 PM
Hi Jane,

Best of luck with your surgery! We all hope to hear from you or somebody on your behalf soon.

07-22-2012, 12:21 AM
Hope all goes well

07-22-2012, 09:20 PM
Best of luck Jane, and Jenna on Thursday!!!


08-09-2012, 12:04 PM
Please keep us posted because of this non coverage for the entire surgery by UHC if BMP is being used. What insurance do you have?

08-09-2012, 12:57 PM
isn't UHC the insurance that AARP recommends to people...?
if so, perhaps a call to AARP might help....
i am sure they have lots of patients with bad spines of
one kind or another, considering the age of most AARP members...
sometimes pressure from a large organization can work wonders...
and..the more people they hear from, the better....

just a suggestion....

jess...& Sparky

08-10-2012, 09:43 AM
UNFORTUNATELY I am sitting here at home just in the dark. Spoke to Bernie at Dr. B yesterday and she re-assured me that as soon as everything is resolved, she would let me know. I have no idea what the document reads (nor would I understand it), I have no idea what power and connection they might have with UHC, don't know what type of efforts, procedure, work-around they might find or even some compromise with the insurance but not about what is used in my surgery. I would be so worried to know in advance that surgery could not be as good because of substitution or new technology.

Now Vicoden does not help much... I think it is part of mental pain as I am getting lots of headaches too.

Let us know about your progress.