View Full Version : Hello! I'm betternow and new to the forum!

06-24-2014, 07:43 PM
Greetings, you brave and amazing people! I have kept up with the forum by reading posts over the last year and 3 months. I actually tried to join after my surgery, which was March 2013, but had technical difficulties and gave up. Well, since I teach school and have time off right now between summer classes and other commitments, I attemped to joing again. Thankfully, this time all tech glitches were worked out so here I am!

My surgery was March 2013 (T3 to L4) and I must say...I am better now! I was diagnosed when I was 12 years old and my progression was relatively slow. Not to say I didn't have a great deal of pain over the years, my pain level and the degree of my "curves" greatly increased once I went through menopause. My bone density was pretty pitiful, so I spent two years taking Forteo to strengthen my bones. Once my bone density tests showed a great deal of improvement, I was ready for surgery! During the two years I was taking the Forteo I did a great deal of research to find a surgeon I felt confident in and found out about Dr. Bridwell in St. Louis. I was even fortunate enough to meet with two of his former patients here in the Atlanta area. Well, to make a long story short, I feel like eveything went VERY well. I'm now 14 months postop and feel pretty darn good. No more pain...except in the neck once in while and a little achy at times. I can usually attribute that pain to some movement I may have done wrong OR because I'm 59 years old for crying out loud and my body just aches sometimes!

That's enough about me. What I'd really like to do is help others get ready for their surgery. You know, give them some tips for things they may need to do around the house and what to expect before and after their surgery. I've read on the forum some fantastic tips, which I KNOW have helped others facing surgery. Well, if anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to help! I'd like to share helpful tips such as having a hair tie (rubberband thing) around your wrist to hold the morphine pump onto your wrist after surgery. (There's nothing worse than needing to push that little button and not being able to find it!) Also, once home after surgery it was helpful to have large clamps (from Home Depot) clamped on the top of my bottom cabinet doors so I could open them without having to bend over. Another tip...once I was home and finally began to drive again, I purchased a panoramic rear view mirrow for my car so I my field of vision was increased when looking at what was behind me as I drove or backed up.

Honestly, tips like these may have already been shared before by someone else, but I'd sure like to help out by sharing what I went through and what worked for me! In my opinion, we are brave and what we've been through is pretty amazing! (When all goes well of course...I'm not naive!)

06-24-2014, 10:37 PM
Welcome to the forum....

Glad to see it all worked out well. Did you fly or drive to St Louis?


06-24-2014, 10:39 PM
You will be an asset to the forum. I am glad you are doing well.

06-24-2014, 11:29 PM
We had surgery the same month and year, March 2013! Welcome! Susan

06-25-2014, 05:35 AM
Welcome to the forum....

Glad to see it all worked out well. Did you fly or drive to St Louis?


Hello Ed,

I fly to STL for all of my doc visits, but for my surgery we drove. Since I was in STL for about 18 days or so for surgery, it was convenient for my family to have a vehicle while they were there. Also, driving back to ATL after surgery was much more comfortable. I could wiggle around a bit in the car seat and we made frequent stops so I could get out and walk around (about every hour or so). I know people fly home after their surgery, but honestly the thought of being stuck on a plane outweighed the long drive home!


06-25-2014, 12:54 PM
Welcome to the family! :-)

06-29-2014, 05:56 PM
Hi Betternow!

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Your tips are great & I'm glad you're doing well!

I'll be having surgery in St. Louis this fall with Dr. Buchowski. Any tips specific to that area would be greatly appreciated. My dr is insisting on 3 - 4 weeks in STL. We're researching renting an apartment. Where did you stay? Did you go to rehab right after being released from the hospital?

Enjoy your summer! I'm a retired teacher, so I know summers are a great time to recharge.

06-29-2014, 09:01 PM
Welcome to the forum

06-29-2014, 09:08 PM
Parkway Hotel is connected to Barnes Hospital and very convenient. Fortunately, I live close to St. Louis and my husband or I didn't have to stay there, but everyone that I know who has stayed there has been pleased with it.