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loves to skate
12-26-2016, 09:11 PM
Ten years ago on Christmas Eve day, I was discharged from the hospital after having AP staged fusion surgery on my back (L2- S1) I want to bring everyone up to date about how I am and what my life is like now. Had I not had surgery, I know I would be in a wheel chair and who knows what my health would be like. Because I chose to have surgery, I have a pretty full life and fairly good health for someone soon to be 77 years old. I line dance for about an hour and a half once a week. I try to get a walk in a couple of times a week. I am not as active as I would like to be, but arthritic joints slow me down a bit. I belong to a quilting guild so have learned different techniques because the guild hires nationally recognized quilters to come and give classes. I usually spend two - four hours up in my sewing room quilting, and won two blue ribbons and two red ribbons recently in our Bi-annual Quilt Show. I have met many like minded ladies from the guild and we go to retreats to quilt and interact socially. I have been on my church session for the last three years as an Elder. My husband belongs to the US Sail and Power Squadron and a Yacht Club so we have a pretty active social life. Is my life perfect? No, but would I rather live my life in a wheel chair? Absolutely not. I still deal with some pain on a daily basis, but it is not disabling pain for which I am very thankful. I get restless leg syndrome a few nights a month which robs me of sleep. I take Neurontin for nerve pain and Cymbalta for joint and muscular pain so I am reasonably comfortable most of the time. I have no pain in bed so I sleep pretty well except when I get RLS.
I know how hard it is for some of you to make the decision to have surgery, but for me it was a no brainer. By the time I managed to get myself to Dr. Frank Rand in Boston, I was desperate for help since I had tried everything that was available to me including wasting $5,000 on non-surgical decompression with a Chiropractor. My surgery was so complex that the posterior portion of my surgery lasted 12 hours and the anterior portion was more than seven hours. I count myself as one of the fortunate ones to survive and to end up having a full life. BTW, I would still be roller skating if there was a rink nearby that had a session for adults.

Thanks for reading, Sally

golfnut
12-26-2016, 10:05 PM
Sally,
I just recently started checking back in on the forum. Usually, I don't see many names that I remember from back when I was a regular and have often thought about you and others. Thanks so much for giving us an update! Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! I wish you had a place to roller skate!

LindaRacine
12-26-2016, 10:57 PM
Hi Sally...

I also have RLS. I saw a PA in the Sleep Disorder clinic earlier this year. She had my ferritin level tested because of the RLS, and found that it was low. She suggested that I start taking ferrous sulfate. I did, and it cured the RLS. I don't know how common that is, but it's worth a shot. I would assume that ferrous sulfate has a lot fewer side effects than neurontin.

--Linda

susancook
12-27-2016, 05:30 PM
Sally, Thanks for the update and so glad that you are doing well. There seems to be a growing group of us Oldies that are having surgery later in life [mine was at 65] and are doing well. In spite of all that has happened to me, like you, if I had not had my first surgery, I would be in a wheelchair on narcotics. I am 70 years old now.

You were part of my inspiration when I originally decided to have surgery and I appreciated your support. I walk with crutches and use a wheelchair in the house and for distances. My husband is an awesome support and we have done some traveling although it is limited since navigating a wheelchair over cobblestone streets is a challenge. Most other nations have limited ADA accessibility!

I wish you continued activity and thank you again for being my inspiration.

Hugs, Susan

titaniumed
12-27-2016, 08:00 PM
Hi Sally

Congratulations....

If you ever get a chance to get up to the Shelburne museum in Vermont, they have the most extensive quilt collection I have ever seen..... (Its an Americana museum) Fantastic!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelburne_Museum

Glad you are doing well....

Ed

loves to skate
12-31-2016, 12:41 AM
Thanks Karen, I wish I had a place to roller skate too, but now it's been at least five years since I laced up my skates, so I would be afraid to try it again. Maybe if I was 10 years younger. Ha-ha. Line dancing will have to do.
Thanks Linda, Was your red blood count low when the PA suggested doing the Ferritin level? I will certainly give the ferrous sulfate a try. It can't hurt and maybe it will help.
Thanks Ed, I probably will never get up to Vermont again. Too bad I didn't know about the quilt museum when I lived in New York or Massachusetts.
Thanks Susan, Do you think you will always have to use crutches to walk? I hope you are not in much pain.
I think of you all very often and know what a courageous group of people we find ourselves in. It is amazing to me what hardships can do to find out what we are made of.

LindaRacine
12-31-2016, 02:53 PM
Thanks Linda, Was your red blood count low when the PA suggested doing the Ferritin level? I will certainly give the ferrous sulfate a try. It can't hurt and maybe it will help.


No.

Ferrous sulfate should be taken with Vitamin C for absorption. I take 65mg ferrouos sulfate and 500 mg of C.

--Linda

Back-out
12-31-2016, 02:58 PM
Ten years ago on Christmas Eve day, I was discharged from the hospital after having AP staged fusion surgery on my back (L2- S1) I want to bring everyone up to date about how I am and what my life is like now...

Congratulations, Sally, so glad you're doing well and thanks for catching us up especially for distinguishing between "well" and "perfectly". Sometimes, it can seem it's either/or. I wish everyone would come "home" and fill us in on their news. That more "old timers" would enrich us with their POVs about scoli developments, things they happen to know about that are going on in the field, surgical and otherwise.

So many potential topics to discuss! For instance, developments in pain management, surgeons they've had good and not so good experiences with, changes in usual approaches with fusion surgery and more. Examples: as Mamachihuaha [sic?] just highlighted, how recent national changes in opiate pain relief prescribing are affecting spinal patients (for the worse), fewer long fusions approached both posteriorly AND anteriorly, differences in grafting (moving iliac crest grafting to the rear of pelvis - less painful), use of BMP and bone stimulators (just got one in the mail without warning. Still more surprising, is their claim that Medicare is covering it in full - pricy! - even as I've recently learned they cover nothing else post-major fusion surgery except for bedside commodes).

golfnut
01-01-2017, 09:18 PM
Sally,
I am sure you have a good time line dancing. It's great exercise, too. I love all kinds of dancing! We've lost our tap dancing teacher at the Y, but still try to meet a few times a month so that we can remember all of our routines and also get a workout. My husband and I took Disco lessons in the 70's . I still love that music! Now, we occasionally "jitter bug" to "In the Mood"-"Heat Wave" and other favorites. I wish they had line dancing around here, however, I'll have to settle for Zumba at the Y.