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mistybowe
08-16-2016, 12:22 PM
Good afternoon,

Yesterday officially marked 2 weeks post op for me. I have been bothered by this seroma on my lower back so I went in to see my surgeon yesterday when he was done with surgeries for the day.

The seroma that has developed is not problematic but more visible than I would like. It developed because my surgeon opted to get my graft material from my iliac crest by going through the main incision rather than have another incision on my body for aesthetic purposes. To do that, he had to pull the skin and muscle tissue away from my pelvis to get graft material and though he tacked it down, fluid is now collecting between the muscle and upper pelvis. I had two options yesterday. I could have the fluid drained and wear a tight corset for 4 days and hope that the fluid doesn't return, but there are no guarantees. Option 2 is to leave it alone, be patient and let my body absorb it on its own. I opted for option 2 because the idea of wearing a corset was unbearable.

While there, he wanted to get a measurement and do X-rays to check correction. The good news is that I have gained 1 1/2" in height and my curve was corrected from 37* & 55* to 21* & 24". I am really really happy with that. For the first time in my life, my waist looks normal and my shoulders are aligned. It makes me so very happy that I went ahead with the surgery.

I know that I have a very long road ahead of me but feel confident that I made the best decision and I'm on the road to straight and balanced.
1863

jackieg412
08-16-2016, 03:38 PM
Happy for you that this might heal on its own. I hope all goes well.

mabeckoff
08-17-2016, 06:12 AM
Hope all goes well on its own

Melissa

Jjohnsonphd
08-17-2016, 10:31 AM
I would have chosen the same option. The body has amazing healing power. Hope it goes down quickly.

Jana

KathyInIowa
08-17-2016, 10:52 AM
I hope things go well for you! It sounds like you are doing well and it sounds like you have a good, positive attitude - which is half the battle! I wish continued healing for you.
Kathy

titaniumed
08-20-2016, 08:38 AM
Hey Misty, I hope things are a little better by now....I know its not much time

Same for Kathy and Jana....

Hang in there guys

Ed

KathyInIowa
08-20-2016, 06:59 PM
Hi, Ed. I've been thinking about you - you had mentioned you were having some neck issues. I hope things have settled down for you.

Yesterday (Friday) was my 8-week post op mark. I feel a lot better at 8 weeks than I did at 6 weeks, so I'm thinking each 2-week mark might bring little improvements. My thigh pain seems to be settling down, I feel a little stronger. I still have a hard time "settling down" to sleep at night. The last 3 nights I resorted to taking a Valium. The constant 8 weeks lack of sleep was really affecting me. I don't like taking the Valium but figured I'd do it for a few days just to let my body have some rest and feel better.

I actually worked 3 - 4 hours a day this past week Tuesday - Friday. I was working from home, so it was nice that I could go lay down for 15 minutes if I needed to. But, it did feel good to use my brain. We are self employed so I don't really have anyone breathing down my throat about getting things done. I had people covering for me while I was gone more most of my job anyway.

All in all, I can tell that with each week I do feel a little bit better & stronger. But, there are enough things with my body that keep reminding me this is a SLOW recovery. So, I still take it a day at a time! I'm still not driving - I didn't even ask my surgeon about driving because I know I don't have the self confidence to drive right now. But, it does make the days get long when I'm home all day.

I so appreciate everyone on this forum. I look forward to hearing from all of you and I love reading what others have going on. It makes me realize that I'm not the only one that has to deal with all of this.

Kathy

titaniumed
08-21-2016, 12:00 AM
Kathy

Actually my neck and area above my fusion has settled down.....I donít know why, but its hard to control sleeping positions. I really do try to get my pillow set up just right with my neck straight, but how many times do you roll to a new position during the night? It seems my neck situation depends on what happens during the night. The rest of my back is fine, its fused now, I could probably sleep on rocks and it wouldnít matter since I have no joints left. Its actually an advantage when you think about it, I donít have to worry about the lower pain that much anymore.

I started real slow with the car. I hit my head countless times getting in until I had someone lower the seat for me. The technique for getting in and out of a car is a science, but it does get mastered.....It might be a good idea to use a helmet in the beginning! (smiley face) I grew 4 inches so I had a problem with this.

My drives were short 1 mile drives to the grocery store....I used the bag girls for the first time and actually had them load the trunk for me. When I got home, it was a slow process of grabbing one or two items at a time and walking them into the kitchen. Back and forth for 30 minutes unloading. I would never lift a bag, no way, I wouldnít take that chance, it was too painful a recovery. I did only short drives for a few months, then they increased some as time passed. I had pillows in the car usually behind my back. After a year, I didnít need the pillows in the car anymore. I did short 1 mile drives for around 4 months, anything more sent me back to bed to recover.

Backing up is tricky......do it real slow and use the mirrors....

Sitting in the car and opening the door for getting out is also something that needs practice. If you push on the door, you want it to stick open and not slam back on your leg. Donít set your left leg out before the door has stopped. Heavy car doors slam harder so they are more critical. I have pushed and pushed only to have the door return without sticking open. Usually this is when the front of the car is higher than the rear, or sloping uphill.

I did ride a horse in the high Colombian mountains for several hours.....and I do have photos! I had no idea how this was going to go with the spine, couldnít say no, but being fused to the pelvis really helped with the saddle situation. The Aguardiente also helped. In Colombia, Aguardiente is just part of the program...... LOL I would ride horses before surgery over the years and really pay a severe price with lumbar pain.

If you look back in my old posts, it was around May or June of 2008, (4 months post) I posted about feeling no pain.....I couldnít believe it, but it happened while I was sitting here. For the first time in over 30 years I had NO SPINE PAIN. (What a concept!) It didnít last since we do have our see-saw recoveries, but it was incredible and I actually had to get used to it. I hit Nirvana....I was there, I was back. Of course, this cant continue with age, but I made it.

I also appreciate all the members here.....Stories and testimonials about our lives, our battles dealing with scoliosis. Also very nice to read about the latest information on the tethering progress......

Ed

Jjohnsonphd
08-21-2016, 05:23 PM
I love it when our group gets chatty!! I am actually floored that people aren't writing here all the time. It is the best therapy for me!

Kathy, the last 2 weeks I have seen the most improvement to date, even more the last week. I have gone to (quick) restaurants four times. I have to sit in a booth and I have my squishy pillow, which likely will need to be burned by the time I am done with it. Yesterday I had my first pedicure and I just kept apologizing to my nail lady since I can't even consider touching my toes, they looked terrible! After, I had lunch with my mom (who drove me) and we stopped by a clothing store. I started picking up some clothes but let the clerk help. By the time I got to the dressing room, I started to feel terrible. This is when I realize how quickly I can overdue it and there is no turning back. I was so out of breath and shaky. It's not like my back starts killing me, my body just gives out. I have to really pace myself and two stops are about my limit. I had to go straight home and felt better after some rest.

I walked through Costco and the grocery store today with my family and that went better. I also drove just around the neighborhood and was surprised how easy it felt. However, no cars around or changing lanes makes it easy. I agree with starting very slow, like you said Ed.

What the heck is going on with sleep??? I am going to bed too late, like 11pm but I don't feel tired. I was laying there last night, worrying about my vision problems, then had to laugh because that is when I used to lay worrying about my scoliosis surgery! So I should probably read or meditate to get myself more tired. The last 3 nights I lay awake until 1 or 2am and break down and take a Xanax. It will put me to sleep but I am soooo slow in the morning. I am really hoping I can get back on a normal sleep schedule.

I am trying to get an appointment with a neurologist to get another opinion about my lazy eye/ double vision. It has not changed and I am not as optimistic as my neuro- opthamologist that it will just heal on its own. Which will mean eye surgery and I am not going under anesthesia again until someone can tell me what happened in the first place.

As far as my back, I couldn't be more pleased with how it is healing. But it is very slow, yes. Very slow! I remember laying in the hospital bed feeling like a turtle on its back, not able to move at all. We have come a long way from that place. With all the ups and downs, I am very very glad I had surgery and can enjoy the second half of my life with a straight spine and hopefully little to no pain.

Kathy, have any bills come in? I have Blue Shield PPO. I paid $715 to the anesthesiologist and my big bill for Scripps Hospital just came in at $1750. My insurance paid Scripps Hospital over $313,000 for the 10 days in the hospital and the spine surgery plus other doctors. I also wear a bone stimulator all day long but that was totally covered by insurance. I am very grateful to have such good insurance.

Cheers to continued improvement!
Jana

KathyInIowa
08-23-2016, 05:26 PM
Hi, Jana.
I am SO GLAD to hear that you are doing so well! I seem to be making positive progress as well. We must have a little karma, because I also ventured out to get a pedicure! I never spent my money on that very many times in the past - but now that I can't even come close to touching my feet, I guess I'll get pedi's the rest of my life! I told the kids, just get me gift cards for pedicures for every birthday and Christmas!

I drove for the first time to accomplish that, but it is about 10 minutes from my house, no traffic. So, baby steps with driving. Ed is absolutely right about the doors. We have a Ford Explorer and the doors are heavy to me. So I just opened it enough to have it "stick" and got my body out. I felt OK driving that short distance, but I'm not ready to tackle going downtown or on an interstate yet. Fortunately, I live is a small community so I am very close to groceries & banks and really anything I need. If I need to go further, I just wait until someone can take me.

We did more socializing last weekend than we've done in 6 months! So, by Sunday night I was toast. It wasn't so much pain, as I was exhausted and my back was tight. I was definitely on my feet too much. I'm leaning my limits. I was still feeling it all day Monday, but by today I felt fine. I have to remember not to get too excited about feeling good - then I'll have a set back. I do remind myself "it's only been 8 weeks." I did see my local orthopedic surgeon (socially, not an appointment) and he said I was doing great!

I was really struggling with sleep - still - so a week ago I started taking 1 valium at night. That seemed to help - I was getting about 5 or 6 hours, but I was waking up in the middle of the night so it was "chopped up" sleep. I took that for 4 days, then I quit and went to taking (1) Tylenol PM. The last 2 nights I slept 7 or 8 hours - straight through! It felt so good! I am so exhausted at night that I would fall asleep, it's just that I couldn't stay asleep. But, it seems like that is settling down. For the time being anyway.....

I have been getting some bills. I also have good insurance so most things are covered. I know I'll pay out out-of-pocket max this year but that's OK. It was so worth it to feel this much better.

I have been reading the posts of others, some are good and some are the not-so-good outcomes. I feel so bad for the not-so-good outcomes. But, I know deep down that that could be me someday. I don't take any of my "feeling good right now" for granted. I know my curvature was not a big as some so my surgical case probably was not as complicated as some people on this forum. But I know that doesn't mean that I am scott free. And, I'm not pain free. But, the pain I do have I can handle. Being crooked most of my life does cause other issues. My feet hurt and my legs hurt. Having lived with terrible nerve & bone pain in my back for several years, I try not to complain about my feet!

ED - I can't imagine getting on a horse with a fused spine! Holy Cow! I am not that brave! On the sleeping part - I too move around alot in my sleep. I worry that I will twist my back and not know it. But, my surgeon said it would take A LOT of movement to mess up my fusion. I have so many pillows on our bed it's not even funny! Under my knees, under my head, a rolled up t-shirt under my neck, one for between my knees if I'm on my side. LOL! It's just a mess!

All in all life is good. I have aches and pains, but I'm dealing. I know I'm still early in recovery. What's that saying?? "Patience pays....." I'm learning patience.....

Kathy