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tae_tap
10-16-2012, 10:27 AM
Hard to believe that surgery is next week. I feel like I am forgetting to do so much and that time is running out! Excited to get my back fixed and terrified of the pain, but I keep telling myself that pain is temporary. I am going to show my husband how to post updates, but I can't promise anything because he is not very good at things like this. He evens struggles with FaceBook at times. : )

Tamena

Emma Plum
10-16-2012, 10:51 AM
Hello, Tamena,

All the best as you count down to your surgery. The anticipation phase is difficult, isn't it. Try to concentrate on the present moment.

Em

rockycarm
10-16-2012, 05:36 PM
Hard to believe that surgery is next week. I feel like I am forgetting to do so much and that time is running out! Excited to get my back fixed and terrified of the pain, but I keep telling myself that pain is temporary. I am going to show my husband how to post updates, but I can't promise anything because he is not very good at things like this. He evens struggles with FaceBook at times. : )

Tamena

All the best to you!

golfnut
10-16-2012, 07:06 PM
Best of luck with your surgery. I was excited about getting a straight back but terrified of the pain. Fortunately, my pain was well controled in the hospital and during my recovery.

Irina
10-16-2012, 07:06 PM
Best of luck to you, Tamena. The hardest part, the waiting, will be over soon and you'll be on your way to recovery.

mabeckoff
10-16-2012, 09:29 PM
Hope all goes well

taylor
10-16-2012, 09:40 PM
I hope your husband gets the hang of posting. I will be looking forward to hearing how you are. My surgery is in Nov. right behind you so am having some of the same emotions already. You are going to be so glad when you come out of that recovery room and take your first steps. Good luck and Best Wishes.

Emma Plum
10-16-2012, 09:56 PM
We're with you, through the waiting.

Emma (Aunt M)

yacpatty
10-16-2012, 11:13 PM
Tamena and Taylor....where are you girls having your surgeries? I am having surgery Dec 11 with Dr. Bridwell in St. Louis. Like you, I have emotions running all over the place. I wish you both the best of luck and will be looking for your posts. Keep the faith and know God is with you and He knows the pain you are going through.
Patty

tae_tap
10-17-2012, 05:58 AM
Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. It means a lot.

Patty: Dr. Robert Gaines in Columbia, MO is doing my surgery.

Tamena

tae_tap
10-19-2012, 03:37 PM
10:30 start time for surgery. It is really starting to feel real. This weekend is going to feel extra long and slow.
Tamena

mabeckoff
10-19-2012, 07:33 PM
Hope that all goes well

djkinkead
10-19-2012, 08:34 PM
Tamena,

Best of luck and know that many of us will be saying prayers for you! Always remember God is in control.

KathK
10-21-2012, 08:35 PM
Tamena,

I'll be sending positive energy and prayers to you tomorrow and praying for your surgical team also. You will do great!! For me, the pain was very well controlled in the hospital. Hopefully, that will be the case for you also.

Kathy

Doodles
10-21-2012, 08:55 PM
Tamena--
Same from here. Monday's are good surgery days--was for me. Best wishes and prayers and positive thoughts for the very best outcome! Janet

mabeckoff
10-21-2012, 09:24 PM
Hope all goes well and soon you will be on the other side

kennedy
10-21-2012, 11:10 PM
Tamena good luck

Confusedmom
10-21-2012, 11:20 PM
Best wishes, Tamena! I will move your Facebook posts to the Forum. Sending prayers your way.

Evelyn

JenniferG
10-22-2012, 12:18 AM
Thinking of you and sending the very best wishes for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery.

king14
10-22-2012, 12:37 AM
Lots of prayers and great thoughts heading ur way!

tae_tap
10-22-2012, 12:39 AM
Thanks guys! I'm wide awake and ready for time to leave. I have a two hour drive this morning, but I really wanted to see my children today prior to the festivities. Evelyn, thanks for your willingness to post the updates. Talk to you guys on the other side soon!

Tamena

Confusedmom
10-22-2012, 04:29 PM
Hi All,

Tamena asked me to re-post her updates from Facebook. She went in around 10 a.m. this morning. The last update was the doctor reported that on a scale of 1-10 of surgery success, it was a 20! She is being closed up now.

Evelyn.

Irina
10-22-2012, 04:53 PM
Glad to hear that!

Emma Plum
10-22-2012, 05:39 PM
Way to go, Tamena! Prayers and love are headed your way. Aunt M.

golfnut
10-22-2012, 07:04 PM
Great news!

kennedy
10-22-2012, 08:22 PM
that great news

mabeckoff
10-22-2012, 08:55 PM
That is wonderful news. Hope the recovery goes well

Confusedmom
10-22-2012, 11:24 PM
Tamena is expected to be in ICU for 2 days. Pain pump wasn't working right initially, but they've got it under control now.

Confusedmom
10-23-2012, 03:42 PM
Tamena had a rough night with pain and only got about 2 hours of sleep. Today, however, they've had her up and standing for 3-4 minutes. They plan to have her walk tomorrow.

Emma Plum
10-23-2012, 07:49 PM
To "Confused Mom," thanks for the updates. We are all praying that each day Tamena will have a better plan to control pain, and get a little sleep. I hope the standing and walking will go well, as those are both yardsticks by which you can measure your improvement. Also, eating. At least crackers, or a little chicken broth.

Love and prayers from Aunt M.

Confusedmom
10-24-2012, 10:27 PM
Tamena was up walking twice today and pain is better controlled!

Emma Plum
10-25-2012, 07:53 AM
Great news! Aunt M.

JenniferG
10-25-2012, 04:07 PM
Glad to hear it!

king14
10-25-2012, 08:59 PM
Fantastic!!!! keep it up girl!!

Emma Plum
10-28-2012, 06:47 PM
How is Tamena doing? Haven't heard for a few days. Should I be following a different thread for updates?

Hope all is going well, Aunt M.

Confusedmom
10-30-2012, 01:46 PM
Tamena is home! She has been walking quite a bit. The first night home was rough, but she got through. She has a big scar on the side of her abdomen where they removed a rib. Overall, sounds like she's doing well.

Evelyn

golfnut
10-30-2012, 07:32 PM
Evelyn,
Thanks for being such a good "scoli sister" to everyone and keeping us updated. We really do care about each other.

Confusedmom
10-30-2012, 10:20 PM
Thanks, Karen.

My pleasure. I'm checking on them every day, anyway.

Best,
Evelyn

tae_tap
10-31-2012, 05:03 AM
Hey guys! Thanks for praying, keep it up. Evelyn, thanks for the help with updates. I am home and it has been rough,but I'm making it through. I'm not ready to enter the 90 year old walker race anytime soon. I find myself crying all the time, out of shampoo, the water works flow. I know my husband probably feels like he's in the twilight zone because the only time he's seen me cry is the loss of a loved one.

I decided to change my surgery right before going in. I did a bone on bone fusion to part of the bottom curve and straightend it, the lower part should move on its own. The top curve never caused me any pain so if this works I will retain all range of motion. In the hospital I had an epidural catherdur which made me feel like wonder woman, in fact I walked almost 200 feet with it in. I felt little pain until the two chest tubes and the epidural came out then I wondered what the heck I got myself into, lol.

The doctor originally wanted me in the hospital 10-14 days but I was determined to make it out in 7, which I now regret. I think pain management might have been better if I had not rushed things, but that's a lesson learned for them rest of you. Take your time.

The surgery went tremendous until the heart/lung surgeon went to close and nicked my diaphragm which caused my lung to collapse, the reason for two chest tubes. The majority of my pain is coming from the rib they removed, the inability to breathe without my rib cage feeling like its going to explode and a spot on my hip which feels like a piece is missing. But I tell myself that pain is temporary and I will be winning the walker race in no time!

Again, thanks for the prayers and concerns!
Love in Christ,
Tamens

JenniferG
10-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Oooh, ouch! That hurt to read.

But you're home and every day brings you closer to healing. I've read that rib pain is the worst, but it too, will heal.

I also had epidurals (2) which I woke up with. They were there for three days. That's some very powerful stuff they use! "Premium drugs" my surgeon called them. I expected pain within minutes of removal, but it was a day and a half later that I felt any pain.

Keep that goal in mind...a life without pain.

tae_tap
11-03-2012, 05:00 AM
Okay guys, I slept through my midnight pills, but at 4:30 I feel like I have been hit by a Mac truck! Isit better to sleep or set an alarm to keep the meds schedule?

Tamena

titaniumed
11-03-2012, 08:12 AM
Tamena

I also ran home too early, and that’s rough.

This is a time that you have to be tough and always remember that things will get better in time. Do the best you can.

I don’t really know how to answer your question since sleeping is so hard. I would say sleep when you can get it, then take meds when you wake up. I could barely sleep at all after I came home that’s why I say this. Sleep is important.

Hang in there
Ed

Confusedmom
11-03-2012, 02:18 PM
I would try to schedule it so I took meds right when I went to sleep, then I could get 6-8 hours before I needed meds again. I would set my alarm 30 min before I had to get out of bed in the morning and take meds so they had time to kick in before I had to get up. Good luck--this phase will pass soon!

Evelyn

tae_tap
11-04-2012, 04:55 AM
Ed & Evelyn,
I know sleep is important especially when it seems like I'm only getting it at night. I don't know a polite way to tell people not to stop by for a few weeks especially since they are bringing food, but I am up all day visiting. I fall asleep at 8:00 when I take my bed medS and sleep till 4:30-5:00, but when I wake I am in excruciating pain. It's not even my back that hurts. It's my side, where I'm assuming the rib is missing and my left leg is so tender. Oping it passes quickly. Thanks for responding earlier, I'm so emotional att his stage.
Tamena

Emma Plum
11-04-2012, 11:00 AM
Tamena--just lost a similar reply to you somewhere in cyber-space.

I know exactly what you mean about visits from kind people who bring food, but stay too long. Been there, done that. Someone must be co-ordinating the visits, so you don't have seven days of food all arriving on Monday. Can you contact this person, and let him or her know that you are grateful for the food, but you simply aren't ready for visits yet? If you don't know who is co-ordinating, speak to whomever seems sensitive to your needs. (I always welcomed "Anything I can do for you before I leave?") If it's through church, any person who knows you well could pass on the word.

You can emphasize that you are sleeping irregularly, you have to nap when your body is ready, and you never know when that will be. Or that some days you are grateful for company, but other days, you are just too tired. Or that you like company, but need to stick to a 10-minute limit. Think to yourself, "What would be my ideal vision of a team of food-bearing visitors," and try to get that message out. Also, of course, what you need will be different at different stages in your recovery.

Take care, and don't be afraid to advocate for yourself.

With prayers and blessings, Aunt M.

titaniumed
11-04-2012, 01:34 PM
Tamena

If you are getting 8 hours of sleep, you are doing great! And not surprised that you hurt after you get up. You have been run over by a bulldozer. Its going to hurt. It will get better.

Sigh... when my surgeon told me that it was not going to feel like a got hit by a truck, that it was going to feel like I was hit by a train and hit with every axle, he was right. I was only getting 1 hour or 2 hours of sleep if I was lucky, and was up pretty much all of the time for the 1st 6 weeks. I lost 40# in 40 days and turned grey. They ground out a great deal of bone from my degenerated lumbar levels from the front. It was a heavy duty procedure called partial corpectomy from L1-L5. I have 2 1/2 inches of peek plastic spacers in my back. The screws in my back and pelvis was my second surgery. The guys from work came with a new computer and set it up. Yeah, right. I told them that I couldn’t sit, and was taking 100mg of Percs. “What do you want me to do, drug infused calculations?” That was comical....it wasn’t going to happen. My mind was jacked.....it was a bit much.

But, you know I made it, and it was strange in the fact that my healing came in steps. At 6 weeks, suddenly it felt like I had improved around 20% in one bump. At 4 months, I was sitting here at my desk, posting here, and realized that I had no pain. I couldn’t believe it was something I had to get used to since I had battled scoliosis for decades in major pain. That of course, was great but, I had more pain, on and off. A see-saw recovery, but with more good days than bad as time passed.

I will never forget my recovery, especially those first few weeks. It was a tough time, but I always knew that it was going to take a long time, and always looked forward as if it was a calendar reset. I never thought to myself, “I shouldn’t have done this”. Not even once. Its all about healing and positive thoughts....thinking ahead about your successful recovery, it will come in time.

For pain, I took many hot hot baths....this really worked well for the bone and nerve pain. Ask your surgeon and make sure your incisions are looking ok, you don’t want an incisional infection. Those are no fun.

I had all sorts of people coming to my house in my recovery. I just left the door unlocked, and they would come in....maybe I was laying down and would emit a groan, and they would come back to see if I was ok. It was never really ok, but what could they do? Not much for pain, but they could go and get me a bottle of Magnesium Citrate so I could break up the dam once again. I also used pedialyte to restore electrolytes after purging. It would bring my battery back up from 1 volt to 12 volts.

Sleep is important but I was warned not to stay in bed. Do frequent short outdoor walks every day, drink plenty of water, and breathe deep. Eat yogurt. Watch constipation. Do whatever you can not to get constipated.....!!!!!

Soon you will be past the hard part....and time,even though its going slowly right now, will pass quickly, and you too will look back and think, “I did that”.....with tears and a smile.

Hang in there

Ed

tae_tap
11-05-2012, 06:08 AM
Ed, thanks you made me cry! You hit every nail on the head to the magnesium citrate (which I have already had to use.) I am cutting my narcotics back to one every 6 hours this week and half next week then hopefully they will be gone all together. My big mental problem is I tried a proceedure that. Has not been done to a double curve, but I fit works oh the difference it could make for many scoliosis patients. I really was not concerned with obtaining height, but wanted pain gone. We took three vertebreas from the lower structural curve, removed the disks and facet joints and did a bone on bone fusion. We were able to rotate the twist from there and the hope is the bottom curve become straight and aligned as normal and pain to ease. I can tell you that I have not had tension in my shoulders and have not had a headache since coming off the anistesia, which for me is a miracle because I got headaches daily. I think where the rib was removed and mu lungs hurting from collapsing is the majority of my pain right now. My incision looks amazing, in fact the approach surgeon did such a good job I don't think I am going to end up with much of a scar. I think my big fear is, what if this does not work and I end up starting over from the beginning and fusing it all. I hope I made the right decision, because it not only will help me but could help many others.

Thanks for the encouragement, sometimes our family and friends don't truly understand what is going through our minds and bodies, so that's why this website is so important. Those like us know how to,help on the emotional side.

Thanks again,
Tamena

Irina
11-05-2012, 11:47 AM
Hi Tamena,

I know, it's easier said than done, but try not to look back and question your decision. It must be really hard to not think about it (and I would be questioning myself just like you), but it is done now. Your doctor will not do bone-on-bone procedure if he didn't think it will be successful. It will be.

It is wonderful that you don't have headaches and scars look nice. After some time you'd look back and be so proud of yourself and the fact that you helped other people.

tae_tap
11-05-2012, 01:01 PM
Thanks Irina! I also didn't think how hard it would be going from 2 oxy every 4 hours to 1 every 6. All I want to do is sleep now. I think I have been awake 30 minutes today and feel like I am not giving my children the attention they deserve, but that could be the Valium talking/ crying. Was it hard for those of you with kids? I feel awful, my oldest son got a solo in a music performance and I missed it. My oldest daughter was the only freshman to be selected to perform to or row night and I'm missing it and I missed my 4 year olds first wrestling practice which broke my heart. I feel like I'm letting my family down and maybe I should've put this off until they were older or gone from home. Sorry for ranting, I know it's the drugs, but I really am feeling like the worst parent today!

Tamena

Irina
11-05-2012, 01:56 PM
Tamena,

You're a great parent! The worst parent would not even bother thinking about all the events she missed with her children. You'll have many more functions to attend with your family. You did your surgery now so that you can be strong and healthy for your children. It's easier to go thru it now, while you're young and you will recoperate faster. Your family loves you and they understand that you need time to heal.

I am sending you warm and gentle hugs and hope that you keep improving every day.

Confusedmom
11-05-2012, 10:26 PM
Tamena,

I have a 6 & 9 year old, and I did feel like I was missing things for a couple of months--spring break, Easter, camp out, baseball games, etc. But before long I could attend events again, and they hardly remember that I missed anything. Think of what a better mom you will be when you're recovered and you don't have to worry about back pain all the time! Your kids will also learn some important lessons from you about taking care of yourself and health and persevering through difficult times. They will be fine. Now is the time to focus on you!

Evelyn

hasteffen
11-06-2012, 09:12 AM
Tamena-
I feel the same way about my children. Everything Evelyn said is true. This will also teach your children patience and compassion. They see what your going through and even if they can't verbalize it they understand. Last night my 4 year old filled my water glass and brought me my walker without being asked! It filled my heart with so much joy... but when I fell the other day my 10 year old didn't even look away from the TV... I was like can you go get Daddy I cant get up?!?! It's hard to believe these 2 children are being raised in the same house by the same parents!
You will be up and about before you know it. I really think that going from 2 oxy every 4 hours to one every 6 is too drastic. Like I said try going down to one every four hours for a week then go to one every 6 and so forth.
You can do it. I know this is hard. It is the hardest thing I have done in my life by far, but I am starting to feel normal again and you are just a couple of weeks behind me. Hang in there
Best,
Heidi

tae_tap
11-06-2012, 03:37 PM
Thanks guys! Missing those first are sad but theft won't be the last. I am going off Percocet to Norco, maybe that might help with the never stopping crying. I went and voted, which was tough waiting in an hour line, but felt it was important. Thank you everyone for encouragement.
Tamena

Irina
11-06-2012, 03:58 PM
Thanks guys! Missing those first are sad but theft won't be the last. I am going off Percocet to Norco, maybe that might help with the never stopping crying. I went and voted, which was tough waiting in an hour line, but felt it was important. Thank you everyone for encouragement.
Tamena

Wow, Tamena! You are not only a good mother, but a good citizen. That is so impressive that you voted! Really, I can't even imaging thinking about it so soon after the surgery. I do it by mail - don't want to stay in that line and my husband is always on my case so that I won't forget to vote. You're doing great and is an inspiration for many of us.

Emma Plum
11-08-2012, 08:06 PM
Tamena, no matter how rocky and uneven things seem to you, I think you are improving by leaps and bounds. You really sound stronger in your posts, as if you are getting your life back.

Aunt M.

tae_tap
11-09-2012, 10:43 AM
Aunt M,

Thank you! I am certainly in a lot of pain, but I refuse pain to dictate and run my life. I am taking myself off the narcotics early because I come from a family of addicts and refuse to risk that aspect showing its ugly face in my life. I grow stronger everyday and will be blessed if this bone on bone procedure works. Not only excited for me, but many other scoliosis. Patients that could rid the pain and keep all motion to live a normal life. So updates and pictures will come in the next few weeks. Thanks for the support and prayers, keep them coming for I believe that is where my healing is coming from.
TAMENA

tae_tap
11-09-2012, 04:20 PM
How many of you have experienced abdomen pain after surgery?

Tamena

Confusedmom
11-09-2012, 05:39 PM
Tamena,

I think most of us experienced abdominal pain from constipation from the pain meds. Make sure that's under control. I was taking 4 senna, Colace and Miralax everyday, eating prunes and drinking prune juice!

Can you explain your surgery a bit more? I've never heard of what you're talking about. I thought bone on bone still resulted in fusion? Don't you have instrumentation? How do they stabilize the spine? So many questions. Feel free to answer whenever you feel up to it--no rush. Just curious, really.

Hope your stomach feels better soon!!

Evelyn

tae_tap
11-09-2012, 06:15 PM
Evelyn,

I have a double curve and have had it since I was 12. The structural curve was in the bottom, so basically what we have done is taken 3 vertebraes at the peak of the structural curve, removed the disks and the facet joints and yes there are two screws in each vertebra and there is a rod on both sides which aided in rotating the bottom curve and allining the spine. The theory is that the top curve which was a compensatory curve will slowly fall into place as well. We will now the week after thanksgiving if it is working. But the good thing is that the three bones will fuse to become one solid and I will retain all my range of motion and be out of pain.

My abdomen feels as if it has been stretched not due to constipation. I take Colace, miralax, mylanta, and pantoprazole for my stomach and have been eating prunes, but once had to drink magnesium citritrate (which was horrible!) I took myself off Percocet and lowered down to Norco, but am now taking myself off the Norco. I am going to start cutting my pills in half every six hours next week and hopefully by Friday only take Tylenol for pain. I am taking Diazapam which seems to,help,with muscle spasms and gabapentin, which I'm not sure if I should wean myself off that. I just don't want to become reliant upon medicine. I pushed through the pain prior to surgery, so I feel I should be able to push through now.

If you have any questions feel free to,ask. I will post pictures after my appointment after thanksgiving when we take the updated and we shall see how it all worked.

Tamena

titaniumed
11-10-2012, 10:29 AM
Tamena

When you go back in, see if you can get digital x-rays burned to disc. Would sure like to check out your hardware.....Digitals are nice since you can zoom in for a closer look. Get both the “full” coronal and sagittal views.

I’m wondering how things look from the side since your discs were removed and no spacers were used.....??? Does the removal of the facet joints maintain the proper angle in the side view ?

I have had the stomach “eruptions”....(smiley face) Sometimes we have to use the “Richter” scale for these events. You know its bad if the clothes are swinging in your closet. (smiley face)

Ed

tae_tap
11-10-2012, 11:10 AM
Ed,

I will ask for all and the pre surgery pictures too. All I have now is pictures from 11 years ago and in that time period my spine got 40% worse. I have also lost 20 pounds. I don't have an appetite and nothing taste good, but I guess it is the new weight loss craze, lol!

Tamena

titaniumed
11-10-2012, 12:53 PM
Watch out with the weight loss.....your losing it as fast as I did. This isn’t good.

My ex-wife flew back here when I was recovering. When I answered the door, I replied “You came back to finally finish me off” kinda like Jack Klugman.... LOL She does have a great sense of humor.

Anyway, she designed a protein smoothie for me so I could get some of the weight back.

In a blender;
Whey protein powder a few ounces
1 banana
1 yogurt
10 blueberries
5 strawberries
10 raspberries
20 almonds
A few ounces of soymilk to lighten

I would keep in the fridge, re-blend and sip a few sips often through the day. Buy berries frozen, its easier. Tastes pretty good.

I would also eat sliced roast beef for protein which is really needed....its fast and easy. Eat yogurts for digestive health.

I lost my gall bladder 14 months post from not eating or not eating enough. Fat is needed to trigger a response to release bile, if it stagnates into a cholesterol sludge, stones can grow quite large and then become a problem. Stones are painful. Water dilutes.

With the body in “overtime healing mode” right now, eating enough to “maintain” weight is the least we can do....and the many short walks throughout the day to prevent clots from travelling up.....danger, danger
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_vein_thrombosis

I know its hard, but eating, walking, and weaning off meds are part of scoliosis surgery recovery. Its just something we have to do. I had to force myself to eat and do these things. Soon, it will all come around.

Hang in there

Ed

tae_tap
11-10-2012, 03:32 PM
Ed,
You made me laugh, which hurts! I am going to have my husband get the ingriedients for the smoothie. I will try to drink it. I did try some crab legs today which happens to be my favorite food and that didn't even entice me to want food. I am Dow to Norco when I wake up and go to bed and plan on letting the morning pill go tomorrow. I am just not sure if I should do the eight hour extended release Tylenol or just the normal. Any thoughts? They have me on gabapentin and in my field most patients were on that for seizures so I'm not sure why I am on it. Thinking of just going off. Now I do think the diazepam takes many of my spasms away but I'm not sure how good it is to take that either. I usually take it every eight hours.

Tamena

Jennilee
11-10-2012, 11:43 PM
Hi Tamena hope your feeling better each day. I'm in nursing and gabapentin is not only used for seizures, but also for nerve pain which from what I hear, can be so painful after scoliosis surgery. You are in my prayers

titaniumed
11-11-2012, 01:05 AM
We see many here that take Gabapentin for neuropathic pain, but I never took it. Most of us feel the electrical shocks, stabs and burning for many months while our nerves heal after our surgeries. I think this is why this medication is given....As far as being used as seizure medication, that really puts a twist on things....but then there are seizure warnings on my new cell phone. Hmmm.....careful what you ask for. Have a seizure and DMV will revoke your drivers license.

I was on Oxycodone which didn’t cut the mustard and was switched to Percoset which has Tylenol in it. It helped a little bit. There is nothing like the injectables they give you to knock you out in the hospital, but weaning is weaning, and reduction is always a bitch, no matter what it is. I have read that Paxil is the worst or one of the worst and have seen the ad’s on TV for the class action suits. Baby’s are being born with brain damage. Lovely. And we thought we were done after the thalidomide issues..
I guessed wrong.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/01/health/germany-thalidomide-apology/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

My best friend Jim is one of these kids. He taught me that the cosmetic effects of scoliosis are not significant. In comparison, they are not. I think that this is why I never had a self esteem problem growing up. Scoliosis really isn’t that bad.....

Usually we see adult patients right around the 5 week mark asking “how do I get off this stuff?” which is quite predictable. After battling with the constipation that opoid’s pretty much guarantee, and all the lower GI discomfort and pain issues involved, and building up an immunity where pain control now becomes just about fruitless, most decide they have had enough of this fun and will take on a little pain to be done with it. Can we handle a little pain? I would think so.

Termination of opoid’s will result in increased pain for about a day or two. I had this happen when I quit, and just toughed it out. After, I jammed the nutrients, and felt better as the toxins and chemicals flushed from my body. All the lower GI issues suddenly quit and this was a huge relief. I was on my way to the next stage of my recovery which was so welcome. The first 4-6 weeks are the hardest.

Medications and chemicals are a double edged sword. We need them, but always read the fine print and consider them as a temporary help. Slow and controlled reduction should be considered. I would always lay down if I needed to, weaning off completely is something you need to stay at home for and it’s the last of the hardest part.

I threw up the thalidomide story so you will understand how I feel about meds. I know how my friend Jim feels.

I don’t take any meds at all.

Food for thought
Ed

tae_tap
11-11-2012, 05:37 AM
Ed,
The first 5 days in the hospital were actually amazing (asside the chest tubes) because my doctor puts an epidural cathadure that constantly feeds fentanyl directly to the spine. I felt like superwoman and actually walked 200 feet on day 4 with it, but the second it was removed I felt pain.

I am not big on taking medication in fact my first words to my doctor was " don't give me drugs, fix me." the actuall physical appearance of leaning and my small rib hump wasn't a bother, for me it was the pain which is one of the reasons I elected the bone on bone procedure. I could care less about height I just didn't want to spend the rest of my life in pain.

I figured it probably isn't good to go completely cold turkey off all the meds so I am using this week to get rid of them all slowly. I am at the three week post op tomorrow. I am doing Tylenol 8 hour release in the morning and am going to trymformthe first time tonight. I am doing the gabapentin and the Valium at noon. And hopefully by the end of the week all I will take is Tylenol when needed for pain.

I think my only fear is what if I made the wrong choice and have to go back in and fuse T1 to the sacrum as originally planned? Boy, I don't want to go through this again, but also in my mind is if this does work think of how many patients with a double curve where only one is the structural and the other compesentory can have this proceedure and retain all range of motion and be out of pain. Then this will all be worth it, but I guess it's a little too late for them"what if's"!

I have found a love for itilian flavored ice, which seems to be the only thing that doesn't upset my stomache. I just can't wait to have my life back where I don't want to sleep all day and hurt anymore.

Thanks for,taking the time to talk with me, it gives me hope because in my line of work people are always begging for more drugs, not to get off of them, which you wouldn't expect from a foot doctor, lol!

Tamena

titaniumed
11-12-2012, 12:37 AM
Tamena

This was just me with one of my rare generalized anti “perca-rants”. I know you know, I just was just blowing steam and had to lay it down someplace. Sorry. I also read other posts and my responses can come out in the wrong places. Its helpful to read ALL posts, to gain valuable understanding. More of a group thought effort.....

Ahhh....medication. Cant live with it, cant live without it. I reduced quickly and went cold turkey and that was another adjustment. My body was saying, “What the heck are you doing?” First you saturate me, cut me up, saturate me again, and cut me off. Of course, I’m going to make you pay. Slow adjustments are wise.....

Most that I have known that have had foot surgeries have really paid a price....I don’t think I would want to go there. But I’m sure the foot patients would say the same about spinal surgery.

The body is extremely complex.....

Be sure to update us on your weaning efforts....and of course the smoothie results.

Stop worrying about what-if’s. Your going to come through fine.

Ed

tae_tap
11-12-2012, 03:43 PM
Ed,

I decided on the narcotics to just let them go and begin an 8 hour extended release Tylenol 1200mg. Thought it would kick the pain, not kill it but it doesn't really help much. The Valium helps more than anything at this point, for it at least let's me sleep a little.

I have tried the smoothie, it's actually not bad. Good call on that one. Here in MO it is deer season and to my surprise I have actually been able to eat that and not get sick.

The doctor told me to not come off anything but the narcotics at this point so against my better judgement I am going to listen to him. I would rather not have to take anything, but as I keep getting reminded this was major surgery and I'm not going to bounce back as if it was a bunion surgery (as my doctor says).

But this is day two of no narcotics and I am still kicking. I will be joining you on the side of normal living in time!

Tamena

kennedy
11-12-2012, 03:46 PM
Welcome to the other side

tae_tap
11-13-2012, 12:36 PM
I am not sure if anyone one here has had the short segment bone on bone surgery, but if you have did you feel at times as if there was someone on both ends of your spine pulling and playing tug of war as things move? I know it sounds weird but I don't know any other way to explain the feeling that my spine seems to still be adjusting to the structural curve being corrected.

Tamena

leahdragonfly
11-13-2012, 03:51 PM
Hi Tamena,

I am glad to hear you're doing so well! You don't have to be a hero with the narcotics, just remember if you are in pain you are very early post-op, and they will help you. I don't tolerate narcotics well at all and quit taking them at 5 weeks post-op my original surgery (T8-pelvis). I suffered a lot of unnecessary pain. My husband was quite worried about me and kept begging me to take more pain control. So just my 2 cents worth there.

As far as the pulling sensation, I think that is very common, at least I felt it until about 5 months post-op. My surgeon told me it is the feeling of the vertebrae trying to move against the hardware, before fusion sets up and the feeling goes away. It makes sense to me.

Take care, and thanks for the updates.

Confusedmom
11-13-2012, 11:42 PM
Tamena,

Thanks for explaining your procedure. What was the apex of your curve? (In other words, which 3 vertebrae were fused?) Did they do your procedure entirely from the side? I wasn't clear on why you had the side incision. How big was your top curve, and how long do they expect it to take to straighten?

Good luck with everything. I am so impressed that you are able to keep your sense of humor at this stage post-op. I hope your stomach starts to feel better soon!

Oh, btw, I think Valium can mess with your appetite. And I know it can be habit-forming. But you're gonna need something for a while, I would think! I was on that one a while--maybe 8 weeks??

Take care,
Evelyn

tae_tap
11-14-2012, 05:07 AM
Evelyn,

I am not quite sure how long I will feel the moving and adjusting, but looking at me from the back you can already see a huge difference. If I remember right the disks betweent T12-L2 were removed, two screws added, and two rods. I can't remember if the ended up having to cage it as well. My thoracic curve was 56 and my lumbar was 78. The Lumbar curve was the structural and that was even twisted backwards so he had to do some rotation. Doing it anterior allowed Him better access to the particular region in order to manipulate is better. I know that at the hospital I was told there was no reason seeing X-rays because my true transformation would not be seen until 4-8 weeks post surgery. I will have X-rays the week after thanksgiving and am more anxious about that than I was about the surgery. I want it to work so badly because I never want to go through this again! I know something is working because as my husband is measuring me weekly as if I am a little kid we are seeing height improvement. The only down fall is I swear I can feel things move and that is by far the oddest feeling I have ever had. I assume my sore abdomen is probably for being stretched. The other positive thing about my surgery was that it ended up only taking five hours, I had no blood loss (in fact they just gave me the blood I donated after to help me become stronger) and no artificial particles were used to aide in fusion. They used my own plasma to aide in the process. We shall see in two weeks where I am at, but I did learn my lesson about trying to stop the pain meds cold turkey. I will be slowly weaning myself now. I thought since I refused meds prior to surgery I was strong enough to do it after surgery, boy was I wrong. I have to say that I had a great doctor and surgical team. From day one not a week went by without some form of communication and even post op there is communication between the doctor and myself or husband two to three times a week which shows how much he cares and respects his patients.

Till next time,
Tamena

Confusedmom
11-14-2012, 10:56 PM
Tamena,

Your case is pretty amazing. I hope it resolves everything for you and can be used for other scolis in the future! What a blessing that would be for some of us to get short fusions. Thanks for explaining everything. I will keep the good thoughts & prayers coming your way.

Evelyn

tae_tap
12-03-2012, 08:05 AM
Hi there all! I just wanted to give an update on how things with my surgery has gone since I picked an unusual procedure from most. I am now 6 weeks post op and saw my doctor last week. At first I was disappointed that there was not more correction, but then reminded (or Ed ) reminded me that I was not after correction I was after loss of pain. I opted to do a short segment fusion in hopes of retaining all range of motion. I am still in pain, but even though there was only three fused I was still completely cut anterior with both lungs deflating. I thought I should heal quicker due to fused levels, but in reality surgery is surgery and it takes time to bounce back. I am off all meds. I am walking a mile everyday, but thanks to Ed's advice I am breaking the mile up through the day I stead of all at once. I also was instructed to begin using my gravity inversion table (oh how I hate that table) with a heating pad. We were also told that we needed a hot tub at home to use at least three times a day. So our back porch is being poured this week and my mom that has had a hot tub for one year and used it twice is giving that to me so I don't have to drive to her house so much. I am hopeful that the pain will deminish and if not revision is an option. But at this point I can touch my toes, bend backwards, and from side to side with the doctors supervision so the range of motion is there. I guess I ask for prayers that the pain disappears now. When I get to Internet other than my iPad I will post before and after photos.

Till Next Time,
Tamena

golfnut
12-03-2012, 07:52 PM
Thanks for the update. I hope your pain starts to diminish soon.

jrnyc
12-03-2012, 09:47 PM
Tamena, considering what happened with your lungs, i am
amazed that you can walk so much...
i hope your pain eases soon...

jess...& Sparky

Confusedmom
12-04-2012, 12:23 PM
Tamena,

That's some great flexibility! You had a pretty long incision, and those take time to heal. Your muscles have to knit themselves back together. I think it's great that you're off pain meds, and I think it's normal you are still in pain. My bad pain wasn't gone until 4-5 months post-op. Hang in there!

Evelyn

tae_tap
12-28-2012, 11:17 AM
Hy guys! I am back to work! I am starting out half days for a few and the going back to my regular sch. It is exciting to have some aspect of normal and not thinking about recovery every second at home with nothing to do. I am uploading some pics. Hope everyone has a great new year!
Tamena

golfnut
12-28-2012, 07:49 PM
Great! Getting back to a normal life is a giant step to full recovery. Once I got around other people outside of the house, I seldom thought about any aches.

Irina
12-28-2012, 08:35 PM
Congrats on being back to work!