PDA

View Full Version : Surgery Details



Jill K
03-07-2004, 04:53 PM
Can anybody give me a blow by blow description of surgery in as much detail as possible? :confused: Thanks :)

lisanicole
03-08-2004, 12:36 PM
Jill,

My doc gave me a video to watch before my surgery of a girl going through all the steps of surgery. It didn't show the actual surgery (thank goodness) but it showed this girl going for her post-operation information day, and learning about how long she'd stay in the hospital, getting her blood tests, etc. You could ask your doctor if he has something like that to give you a better idea of what to expect.

But basically on the day of, you get up wash your back with antiseptic soap (they might do that for you at the hospital, but I did it for myself) go to the hospital... they put some little electrodes all over the top of your head. You wait in a little waiting room until they take you to the Operating Room... and then they give you anesthetics until you fall asleep. Then they do the surgery. I don't remember anything until the third day in the hospital. They keep you good and comfortable with drugs, and a warm bed. They'll get you sitting up around the third or fourth day (depending on how you're feeling) and you'll sleep alot and watch a lot of t.v. I usually slept all day and then watched t.v. all night. I stayed in the hospital for nine days... and then went home.
At home I didn't do much other than sleep & watch movies. I had visitors almost everyday which was great. I'd take a shower and be exhausted and sleep for hours afterwards. The doctor likes you to start walking around the house, and even around the block after a week or two... eventually you'll get more and more used to your new body and your limitations. Just take it slow, and you'll be fine. Any more specific questions... ask away I come here almost everyday to read the new posts..

Godbless,
lisanicole :D

Jill K
03-08-2004, 04:35 PM
Today I had my pre-op :eek: ! I never really thought about surgery that much until now, it did not seem real. What was the degree of your back? Mine is about 42. Did you get an epadermal (spelling probably wrong). My doctor said I'd get one and that was a huge relief to my mom. My mom said that when she was having me :) she got one and it completly blocked off the pain in her back. On a scale of 1-10 what was your pain (ten being painful 1 being not painful). Do you remember anything the first day or so....or right after you woke up for the first time? Thanks for reading this! :D

dapsbounce8
03-08-2004, 05:19 PM
Jill,
THe truth is that everyone's surgery is different. For example, I read what lisanicole wrote and my surgery was a completely different experience. I didn't have electrodes on my head and I didn't really sleep very much either. I was only in the hospital for six days, and I was taking walks about two days before I left. Everybody has a different curve in a different place, and each hospital handles the surgery in a different way.

I don't know my exact degree, but it was between 55 and 60. What is an epidermal? My best advice is to get off the morphine as soon as you feel ready!!! Other narcotic painkillers can take the place of morphine, and make you feel more alert, and relieve nausea and constipation.

I can barely remember the day after my surgery. All I can think of is being in pain and having a swollen face. The pain isn't bad when you aren't moving, but being rolled hurts. I was rolled every two hours (even during the night!) and it was always difficult to feel comfortable again.

Good luck with your surgery - I know the pre-op tour is scary. I was so freaked out. Just stay positive and know that it may feel like you'll never get better, but you will. I hope I've been helpful.

Jill K
03-08-2004, 05:50 PM
Thanks you have been helpful. One question popped into my mind when I read your message, is the surgery worse than it seems (what you were told or heard about it) or better? And epidermal, from what I heard, is sort of like an IV in your back but completly numbs you up. It is just a recent technique that the doctors are starting to use and supposidly it helps a lot. did you throw up from the medicine? And can you remember what you felt like when you woke up for the first time? Thanks for reading my questions and answering them!

dapsbounce8
03-08-2004, 11:20 PM
Hey Jill,
I think the first couple days after the surgery were worse than I expected, mainly because I really hadn't thought about what I would feel like. My sister's friend had the surgery and told me she slept the whole time, which wasn't true for me at all, so it was worse than I anticipated in that regard. Its pretty hard to remember why I was upset or what was so bad. Its all a blur now. I remember having breathing problems which was difficult.

I don't think I had an epidermal. I had a hemovac, which drains blood from the back, a catheter for going to the bathroom, and two IVs (one in use and one just in case). I may have had an epidermal and I didn't know it because I do have a lot of numbness in my back. I still can't feel certain areas and its been almost a month since my surgery!

I did vomit in the hospital indirectly because of the medicine. The morphine did make me nauseous, but it also made me constipated (gross, I know). It was the whole digestive back up that made me vomit because there was no room left for food in my system. It totally stunk because I had my first big meal since my surgery the day before I left and then it all came up again. After that I was kind of paranoid of eating.

I had a lot of problems with constipation even three weeks after surgery, which I've heard is fairly common. The pain that caused was one of the worst parts - hopefully you will be more lucky. Again, the only thing I really remember from when I first woke up was having swollen eyes and having trouble opening them. Luckily, a lot of the hospital memories get lost soon after you leave because you were so drugged up.

As always, I hope I've helped and good luck.

lisanicole
03-09-2004, 03:14 PM
Jill..

My curve was a thoracic "C" curve of 81 degrees by the time I had surgery (I was put on the waiting list at about 65 degrees, so by the time I actually had surgery it had obviously gotten a lot worse).. I was a dancer for nine years, and very active in pilates (yoga type stretching thing... incase you've never heard of it) so my spine was really flexible and that made the surgery a lot easier for the doctors.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd say the overall pain of the WHOLE experience was a ten. I dont want to scare you, but it does hurt a lot... in a different kind of way. Not the way a scraped knee hurts, but kind of an aching feeling all over. Because they move your ribs around and stuff you feel like you're in a different body when you wake up. I don't remember much at all until the second or third day.. apparently they had me up standing the same day as my surgery and I don't remember anything about that. I had my surgery on a friday morning.. and I dont remember much until sunday or monday when my first visitors came to see me.

The worst part of the whole experience for me was when I woke up on the day I was supposed to leave and part of my incision had come open, it wasn't a big deal and I did get to leave that day. But I had to wear bandages on one part of my incision and take really good care of the opening so that I didn't get an infection. It bled for a good week, and was like having my period out of my back! (definitley the grossest thing of my life) Taking the bandages off and putting them on was so painful... worst than the actual surgery. (mostly because my parents didn't really know what they were doing until a nurse -mother of my best friend- taught them how to properly take off and put on the tape & gauze.)

You are talking about an epiderral I think... the type they give pregnant woman so they can't feel from the waist down so they don't experience labor pains. I don't know if I got one, but I was given a self administered pump for morphine. I was never screaming out in pain or anything.. You're going to be seriously fine. I'll pray for ya!

All the best,
lisanicole :D

P.S. They put the electrodes on your head to monitor your nerve activity... most surgeries dealing with the spinal chord have these, but whether they put them on you while you're still conscious or after you've been anesthetized is different according to the your doctor and the hospital.

Jill K
03-09-2004, 08:02 PM
Thank you soooooo much for answering my questions, you have been rreeaallllyy helpful!!! When I wake up I will have two ivs in my hands, one on my wrist area, one on my neck, epidurral in my back, tube to drain the fluids in my back, a cathader, finger heart rate thingy, and other stuff :eek: ! i watched this one girls story on the internet who had spinal fusion too. Before going into surgery she had this drug that was given to her through her arm muscle and she was tired and completly out of it. I think this is really good because it will calm me down A LOT! did you have something like this? If you did, did it work well? Thanks again soooo much!

lisanicole
03-10-2004, 04:27 PM
Jill,

Yeah when I got to the hospital (it was super early in the morning) I asked the nurse for a sedative, which was just some little pill that they put under my tongue that totally relaxed me. I slept mostly while waiting for them to come and get me. When I went into the Operating Room the anesthetist knew me cause her son went to my highschool.. I was so out of it I told her her son was super hot.. and then fell asleep under the anesthesia. Hahaha.. super embarassing, but a good story. You should tell your mum or dad to bring a little notebook to write down the funny things you say while you're on the morphine. It's seriously hilarious the things you'll come up with. At least it was for me. ;)

Godbless,
lisanicole:D

Jill K
03-10-2004, 06:01 PM
Thats hysterical, I feel sorry for you. ;) Were you scared to see all of the doctors in the OR, I heard there can be up to 15, or were you too out of it to even care?

lisanicole
03-11-2004, 01:34 PM
There were quite a few nurses & people in the OR but I wasn't too frightened, because they were all smiling at me and treating me really nice.. making sure I was comfortable and relaxed... My friends mum (that nurse I mentioned in a previous message) asked to be in the OR with me while they got everything set up. I was coherent enough to understand what was going on, I was just tired and ready to sleep... so it all didn't phase me too much.

:D

lisanicole

dapsbounce8
03-15-2004, 07:06 PM
Wow, you have a lot of drugs going on! I only had two IVS, a heart monitor, a cathedar, and a blood drain. WHat lisanicole said about rib pain is totally true. That is the only part that has really been hurting me. I didn't have a sedative before surgery, but I managed to get myself into a totally calm trance. I don't know how because I'm very high strung. Just bring people who will make you feel comfortable and games are good to to keep your mind busy.

When I went into the OR there were about 15 people, but everyone is sooo nice and even if you get the anesthesia with the face mask, it works very quickly. GOOD LUCK!:D

lisanicole
03-17-2004, 09:38 PM
Jill,

I forgot to mention, if you're afraid of needles (like I AM!!) then there are these little patches you can buy from the pharmacy counter at any drug store. They're called EMLA patches. You put a cream on the spot where you're going to get the needle and then put this little bandaid overtop. In an hour the spot will be completely numb and then you can't feel the needle at all!

I donated my own blood every thursday for a month before my surgery so I could have my own blood transfused back to me after the surgery. So I was getting needles every week, the nurse at the blood clinic is who told me about the patches.

Hahaha.. I even used one when I got my belly button pierced. Didn't feel a thing! I'm such a cheater. ;)

Godbless,
lisanicole :D

Jill K
03-17-2004, 10:34 PM
How much blood did you have to donate? I have to donate only one pint. My blood type is A- and my mom is AB+ and my dad is B+ so none of my family can donate. We dont want strangers blood so we are talking to some of the people my mom worked with to see if they can donate. Does it hurt when you loose a pint of blood...how do you feel?

dapsbounce8
03-18-2004, 12:14 AM
I only had to donate one unit of blood - thats one pint. I didn't mind it at all. At the blood center I went to they provide lots of juice and starch snacks because its important to get you blood sugar up to make up for the blood you lost. If they don't provide snacks at your blood center I would recommend you bring some. They also make you sit down for a while after you donate blood to regain your strength.

After I donated blood my arm was sore and I was a tiny bit dizzy and sleepy, but I really felt okay. The only part of the process that hurts is the finger prick (to test iron count). Most people think thats the worse than the needle being inserted.

Peggy
03-18-2004, 12:56 PM
My 13 year old daughter has to donate 4 pints of blood before her surgery. She also gets 4 injections of Procritin. After the surgery her doctor is going to have her use a bone stimulator daily. Has anyone else used one of these?

lisanicole
03-18-2004, 05:50 PM
I went four times in total to donate my blood. Each time I gave a pint. So four pints in all. They had me on this diet of spinach and steak to keep my hemoglobin count up so that I could keep donating. Everytime I donated they took my blood pressure and everything to make sure I was okay to donate the next time. This way I didn't get blood from anyone but myself. It's called the autologous blood program, I think. My doc didn't even offer me a choice, it's just what we did.

Godbless
lisanicole :D

dapsbounce8
03-18-2004, 06:47 PM
You really shouldn't need a "steak and spinach" diet if you take iron supplements, along with a multivitamin. FeSO4 is what I took and it kept my hemoglobin count at a great level.

Jill K
03-18-2004, 08:43 PM
Did the iron supplements affect your stomach. How much did you have to take a day? I will need to take 350 Miligrams.

dapsbounce8
03-18-2004, 11:50 PM
I took the same amountn of iron. The pills made me a bit constipated, which is why my doctor recommended that I try to eat lots of fiber. This includes vegetables and whole grain cereals or breads. You can also take metamucil pills, which are a fiber supplement. Thats something I'm taking now b/c I've had a lot of post surgery digestion issues. Gross I know.

Jill K
03-29-2004, 12:23 PM
what was your guy's degree, and how much did you guys grow?

Peggy
03-29-2004, 03:38 PM
Hi Jill K.
I can't answer this question per fact because my daughter won't have surgery till April. But I know that her curve at last check was 60 on top and 35 on bottom. We go tomorrow to the doctor again. He did tell me that she should grow 1 to 2 inches post surgery. This is like ugh! to my daughter who thinks she is too tall at 5'7 at age 13. But I tell her you will be thankful for this as you get older. Easier to keep off weight and the boys love those long legs!

paulasue2
03-29-2004, 09:30 PM
My daughter donated three pints blood before her surgery and took a slow-release iron supplement called SlowFe that is supposed to help with the constipation issue. She was given back all three pints during her surgery plus what they were able to capture and "recycle" with some sort of machine during the surgery. She lost over a liter of blood and I sure was happy we had her own blood on hand to give back to her. One less thing to worry about. Her hemoglobin count dropped to 8 after the surgery, and the doctor was going to give her more blood if it went to 7, but she stabilized then and has continued to improve now that she is eating again and taking the supplements (which were recommended for about a month). I don't know anything about the stimulator. We were told to monitor her diet and make sure she gets 1,000 mg/day of calcium (regular recommended daily allowance) and give her supplements if she can't'/won't get it through her diet.

Peggy
03-30-2004, 08:33 AM
My daughter has been taking that same iron supplement for the past few months. I'm glad she was able to donate her own blood so that if she needs it, its there. I guess it is pretty common to lose a lot of blood. How long was your daughter's surgery? Did she have a chest tube in? Did they break her ribs at all to fix the hump? Sorry about so many questions! Thanks.
Again congratulations on the successful surgery.

Peggy
03-30-2004, 09:02 AM
Hi PaulaSue,
Another question for you! Was your daughter on a ventilator after surgery? And if so for how long. I know you said she had trouble with her lungs waking up. Thanks again.

paulasue2
03-30-2004, 05:43 PM
Sarah's surgery lasted six hours, but a fair amount of that time was devoted to getting her ready for the surgery and pulling her out of it. When we first saw her in recovery, she had IV's in both wrists, a drainage tube coming out from her incision, a Foley catheter, all sorts of electronic monitor wires attached to her chest and stomach, and a tiny epidural line going into her back. There was no respirator or chest tube. I think they had some sort of tube in her throat during the surgery because her voice was very raspy for a day or so. There is a delicate balancing act that must take place at the beginning of the recovery period which requires finding how much pain medication can be given without giving too much. This is a totally unique situation with each child and they have to "tinker" with it to find out how they react. She was at first so sedated (still coming out of the anaesthesia too) that she would just drift off into a deep sleep and stop breathing - there is a respiration monitor what would signal how many breaths she was taking and go off when it dropped below a base line. When it went off, I would wake her up and remind her to take a deep breath. This lasted a couple of hours. She never needed any sort of other intervention about this, but I suppose it could have gotten dangerous. There were lots of nurses nearby constantly, but I was there too and just did this. They then reduced the morphine and the anaesthesia wore off more, so this problem gradually went away. She was breathing shallowly however, to avoid pain, and began to develop a little fluid in the lower part of her lungs . Once she moved around a little more and spent a lot more time with the little breathing plastic exercise thing (spiromometer?), this cleared up. Sticking with this gizmo is really important.

The epidural line was removed first to lower the amount of pain meds going in and the Dr. thought it wasn't doing anything anymore anyway - its effectiveness is very dependent on placement and it is easily dislodged by movement of the patient (which is encouraged). The catheter and the various monitors were removed next about the fourth or fifth day, then the drainage tube. She had one of the IV's removed about the fifth day because it stopped working and then the last one wiggled free and was removed on the sixth day, by which time it was only putting in the "gatorade in a bag" and some antibiotics given as a preventative against pneumonia.

No, they didn't have to do anything with her ribs - just fixing the rotation was enough to take care of most of the rib hump. Hope this helps!

dapsbounce8
03-31-2004, 03:13 AM
Paulasue2 gives a very accurate description of the surgery. Mine was a bit longer (8 hours), but I had basically the same equipment. I had more breathing difficulties and my breathing monitor went off every time I started falling asleep. To fix this, I was given one of those oxygen tubes that go in the nose. That pretty much fixed my breathing rate.

I did have five ribs removed - I've never heard of this breaking ribs and rearranging them thing. As far as I'm aware, my ribs were completely removed. I think the rib process makes the surgery twice as hard - it was the source of the majority of my pain. But, I am very happy with how I look now. My "hump" is completely gone!

I hope I've helped and good luck everyone.

Peggy
03-31-2004, 09:28 AM
Thanks PaulaSue and Charlotte. It helps to hear what went on so that I won't be so surprised when things pop up. I never heard anyone talking about the breathing problem before. That has to be very scary. My daughter's surgeon said to expect to be in surgery anywhere from 8 -11 hrs. He is removing ribs also. How do you just take out ribs and have nothing there? I didn't think to ask him about this. Can you tell they aren't there Charlotte? I know she will be on a ventilator after surgery and thru till the next morning. He said that this helps the body not fight so hard to breathe and gives her the rest that she needs that first 24 hrs. Also this will help her lungs since she will have a chest tube in as a preventative in case her lungs do fill with fluid. I can't imagine having sharp chest pain from the rib removal and having to breath with the spiromometer but I know how important that is to do. PaulaSue were you able to stay with Sarah the whole time in ICU? Thanks again. With surgery only 2 weeks away I am really getting overwhelmed.

dapsbounce8
03-31-2004, 02:42 PM
About the ribs - I can see that there not there, as in I look in the mirror and the side that the ribs were removed from kind of curves inwards instead of outwards. Other than that, I can't tell at all! I've tried to feel where the ribs were removed, but it all feels the same. Though the bone is gone, the muscle, fat, and other tissues are still there, so its not like theres this gaping hole. The breathing difficulties and pain are only temporary. In the long run, I'm glad that I chose to have the rib surgery.

Good luck - try to stay positive.

paulasue2
03-31-2004, 06:11 PM
Hi, Peggy,

Charlotte's message reminded me of two other things Sarah had attached to her (can't believe I have forgotten some of this stuff already!) - she had one of those oxygen tubes tucked into the front of her nose and a thing sort of like the finger of a glove around one finger that monitors the level of blood oxygen. The oxygen began to dry out her sinuses after a few days, and they then attached a small water bottle to the oxygen which added moisture. This was very helpful for that problem.

Yes, my husband or I stayed 24/7 in ICU. The hospital has large recliner chairs by the bed, but some of the parents were sleeping in the beds with their younger children. I think this policy varies by hospital, but it seems like all sorts of rules get modified when it comes to caring for children. ICU, especially in a pediatric wing, is definitely not a place to get any good-quality rest. The "intensive care" is the thing it is good for - there is a constant stream of people coming by monitoring the patient, plus all the noise from other patients and family members. I don't think either one of us slept for more than an hour or two straight until she moved out of ICU!

Paula

Jill K
03-31-2004, 10:17 PM
dapsbounce8-
I heard on another thread that your doctor Dr. Sarwark and you got your surgery done at Chidrens Memorial. That EXACTLY whats going to happen to me. Dr. Sarwark is my doctor, and i am getting my surgery done at Childrens. I got the tour of childrens a few weeks ago and i am getting my surgery in June. Anyways i thought that was a cool sort of coincidence. Talk to you later.

dapsbounce8
04-01-2004, 02:40 AM
Paulasue:
I was not in the ICU, but the situation was basically the same. There are constantly bells ringing and beeps going off. Plus, nurses came in every two hours to roll me, even at night. My parents were there 24/7, but they took turns doing days. Being in there all week will totally drive you insane, mainly because of the sleep deprivation.

Jill K:
Thats so amazing that we are having such similar surgeries. If you mentioned Charlotte to Dr. Sawark he would recognize the name because he has been treating me for years and my surgery was quite recent. Our procedures will probably be really similar so let me know if you have any questions. The staff is so nice - you'll hate them for making you move around, but love them later. Who was your tour guide/ child life specialist? Mine was Angie - she was like a best friend throughout the process.

Good luck everyone!

Jill K
04-01-2004, 08:39 AM
My child life specialist was (at least for pre-op) i think Laura, but i'll get back to you on my answer because i am not sure. she was also very nice and said that she might be/might not be the one taking care of me. did you have to get a lung collapsed during surgery because i dont, will there be a difference pain wise between our two surgeries? my physical therapist at pre-op i dont remember her name but she was about 5' 4" and had sort of long brown hair. she, too, was nice. you know the room where you go before surgery, the room with all the beds divided by curtains. After surgery you know the other room like that, well when you first wake up there are your parents there (because i dont think they are) if they arent there who is there and will they call my parents in? Thanks for anwering this and reading this.

Peggy
04-01-2004, 08:46 AM
Hi PaulaSue,
Were there shower facilities available at the hospital for parents?
Thanks.

paulasue2
04-01-2004, 12:13 PM
Hi, Peggy,

Yes, the ICU area had showers for family members, but my husband relieved me at noon-time for a couple of hours when I would go home, shower, change clothes and LIE DOWN for a couple of hours each day (those recliners were OK, but not horizontal!), so I never used the hospital shower. Once she moved out of ICU, she was in a private room with full bath, but again, I went home at noon every day. The hospital was great at making us feel welcome - coffee, juice, fresh bagels and muffins each morning, pillows, blankets, Child Life included family members in its activities, nurses always asked me if there was anything I needed, etc.

Charlotte - You are right about the regular rooms not being much better than ICU in terms of noise, etc. I think we managed to get about 3-4 hours sleep at a stretch by the end. There was, however, a solid door that could be closed against the light - her ICU room was separated from the nurses station - and a WHOLE LOT of brights lights! - by a glass wall. Yes, I was certifiably "loopy" from sleep deprivation by the time we came home!!!

Paula

dapsbounce8
04-03-2004, 03:03 PM
Jill:
I did not have a lung collapsed during surgery - at least it was never mentioned to me.

I think what you are talking about is the wake up room, where you are taken after surgery to, obviously, wake up. I think they told me that they bring parents in there as soon as you awake. I know that when I opened my eyes, my parents we definately there, though I don't know where I was. Don't worry, you'll be so out of it that you won't know left from right.

I don't know what the pain difference will be between us. Are you having ribs removed? Do you have a double curve requiring upper and lower fusion? What are the degrees of your curves? All of my info is in my "signature" below my messages. If you have larger degrees or a double curve (I only had one that needed fusion) your surgery will be more painful. On the other hand, if you are not having ribs removed, your surgery will be less painful.

Peggy:
Paulasue is right that the hospital really tries to make you comfortable. In my room, there was a chair that pulled out into a fully horizontal bed. Parents aren't allowed to use the patient's bathroom, but there were bathrooms with showers for parents down the hall. There was also a breakfast cart that pulled up every morning. This was good news for my parents because we live an hour away (when the traffic is good), so they couldn't be going from the hospital to the house like Paulasue could.

Good luck everyone!!!

Jill K
04-03-2004, 04:11 PM
I am not having a rib removed. My current degree of my curve is 42 or so. I only have one curve and it is in the upper right part of my back. how many days were you in the hospital for? when they had you walk, where did they have you walk to and from? did taking the cathadar and back drain hurt? thanks for answering my questions it really helps a lot! :')

paulasue2
04-03-2004, 10:06 PM
Charlotte,

I was just curious - your "signature" has L2-T4 - is that the area that you had fused or the total area of the curvature (fused plus unfused area)? Thanks!

Paula

dapsbounce8
04-08-2004, 05:54 PM
Jill K: Thats good news about your back - the fact that you aren't having any ribs removed and your curve is pretty low means you won't be in as much pain. I was in the hospital for six days. I walked around the orthapedic area I was in - its an oval shape that has rooms on all the sides and a nurses station in the center. At first I would only walk down the hall and back, then I walked halfway around and cut through the nurses station, and eventually I went all the way around. I also walked one flight of stairs near the end of my stay. Taking the back drain out didn't hurt at all. I don't even remember feeling it. Taking the cathedar out stung and burned a little bit, but not for long.

Paulasue: The L2 to T4 refers to the area of my spine that was fused. Its basically the top of my back down to the mid-bottom.

Good luck everyone.

Jill K
04-10-2004, 07:16 PM
Thank you so much for preparing me even more for my surgery. You have helped me a lot, and i appreciate it. What other details can you share. How did the kids at your school treat you when you came back and right before sugery? Thanks for helping me and answering my questions.

AngelP
04-10-2004, 08:24 PM
Jill,

Good luck, you'll do just great!

Angel

AngelP
04-10-2004, 08:26 PM
Jill,
I had to donate 2 pints of blood and good thing I did as I needed both of them the day after my surgery. The process of giving blood wasn't really bad at all. The first time I was fine and wasn't even really tired. The 2nd time I donated was a week later and I was REALLY tired for at least a week after. You may want to take to the Blood Donation Center if they allow others to donate for you and if your insurance would cover it. We asked about others donating also, but they said the insurance wouldn't cover it if someone else donates and it would cost hundreds of dollars. Doesn't make sense to me but that is what I was told by more than one person.

Good luck, you'll do fine.

Angel

paiger
04-10-2004, 10:27 PM
Some kids just said hi but most wrote me notes and gave me way to many hugs......ohh and ther was notes taped all over my locker when i got back. But after a week or so everything was normal again. But you should prepare to tell were you were and wat happened a billian times:rolleyes: But it seemed lik i healed faster when i got back instead of bein home all the time...u now wat i mean!?!?!!
My curve were 57 or so on top b4 and 32 after
62 on bottom b4 and 26 after!!!

paiger
04-10-2004, 10:41 PM
my sister pressed send..........................i wasnt finnished srry

thee only thing i remimer from recovery was when they slide a x-ray underneath me and i was crying for my mom right away!! it hurt pretty bad about a 10 but once i got pain meds it was only lik a 4 or so!!! And if ur in pain keep pressing the botton for pain controll!!I was pressing it so much that they gave me more and i felt a ton better.
once i was in a normal room well all the days kinda blend togather now but i remimber on the 3 day they made me sit up in a chair for a half hour and the 4 day i finally could eat soid food[even tho i didnt want to eat they made me and im glad they did]Also i had to get up to go to the bathroom [instead of a catheder]
And i had to go for my first walk but it didnt really work...sence i hadnt ate for a long time and i just recently did it upset my stomach so i thew up!:o. I had to start taking pain pill instead of an iv on the 5 day. I left onthe 6 morning and went back to scool 32 days after the day of surgery.
Dont freak out if you loose or gain any wieght... at first i was really bloated and looked pregnat then[gained 5lbs or 130 lbs.] Then after i was home for a couple days i was 117.[i originally was 125] I hope i havnt scared you i just wanted to be honest cuz sugar caoting it wont actually prepare you......Good Luck!!:D

Jill K
04-11-2004, 11:12 AM
Thanks paiger and AngelP. You guys are really helping me to get ready for surgery. The only thing that sounds different for me is that i am getting my surgery (June 4) and i will recover over summer vacation. Do you think that if i have surgery on june 4, and my family reunion is july 28th or so, and the car trip is 3+ hours away...will i be up to it/feel ready? how much did you guys grow? Thanks for helping and reading my questions.

Jill K
04-11-2004, 11:12 AM
Thanks paiger and AngelP. You guys are really helping me to get ready for surgery. The only thing that sounds different for me is that i am getting my surgery (June 4) and i will recover over summer vacation. Do you think that if i have surgery on june 4, and my family reunion is july 28th or so, and the car trip is 3+ hours away...will i be up to it/feel ready? how much did you guys grow? Thanks for helping and reading my questions.

racin2win
04-11-2004, 05:25 PM
Hi Jill K,
You will be surprised at how much better you get each and every day. Even when you don't think you're feeling any better 3 weeks after your surgery, just take a look at how much you've been through and how far you've come. I'm sure as long as you stay strong and positive, you will help the recovering process go quicker.
I would say, considering there's almost 2 months between your surgery and reunion, and if you're healing well, you should be able to handle a car ride occupying that amount of time. If you would happen to have some trouble, just have your mom or dad pull over for a little while, so you can get up and move around. From my experiences, after 6 days in the hospital, I had a 2 hr. car ride home from the hospital, and I didn't handle it very well. 6 weeks later though when I returned to have a small check up and x-ray done w/my surgeon, I handled the ride fine. I had my seat belt on, but adjusted myself so I could lay down in the back seat. Just my opinion though--I think you will probably be okay for that car ride. Good luck w/surgery and let me know if you need to talk! :) Bye!

Jill K
04-11-2004, 05:51 PM
Thanks....hopefuly i will be fine for the reunion. I did hear that you recover really quickly, @home and @hospital. At the hospital the doctors said that everyday they will "remove" on iv or something from me. Does the iv thats in your neck/chest area hurt? Which iv or thing stays in the longest/shortest....ALso do you think i will be able to fly on an airplane in 2-3 months? Thanks again!

racin2win
04-11-2004, 11:20 PM
Hi again,
Honestly, I don't know which IV/tube stays in you the longest...my cathader was removed after about 4-5 days approximately, the chest tube I cannot remember...but the docs told me I was a tough patient b/c I didn't yell or complain when they removed the chest tube...they said I laughed because it tickled me so much! lol...Anyways, don't worry too much about any tubes in you, the nurses remove the one from your hand/wrist and your cathader as pain-free as possible, hopefully!
I do think you'll be okay to fly after 2-3 months considering on planes they make you as comfortable as possible anyway...BUT be sure to ask your doctor about flying, and about obtaining some type of medical card or evidence to present when security systems you walk through go off, considering you'll have metal rods, bolts, and screws in your back! My surgeon never told me for sure if they still make people with "hardware" in their bodies carry a medical card, I was told by some of my relatives/friends that people used to have to carry a type of card like that. These are just my opinions though, always ask a doc as I'm sure you of course already know! ;) Good luck!

dapsbounce8
04-12-2004, 12:01 AM
I think you will definately be okay for the family renunion and for flying two to three months after surgery, though you might get stiff and need to walk around. I flew four hours to California for spring break two weeks ago, less than two months after surgery, and I had no difficulties at all.

Heres the order and time that all of my tubes were removed: Three days after surgery I had my cathedar and blood drain removed. My right hand IV (the one that was a morphine drip) and my left hand IV (not being used, just kept as a back up) didn't get removed until the day I left. I didn't have any IVs in my chest or neck.

Good luck - don't get too nervous, it will all be over soon.

P.S. - I think we will have the same metal rods in our backs b/c we have the same doctor and hospital, and the metal detector didn't go off b/c of my back when I was at the airport. In other words, don't worry about getting a medical card b/c your rods won't set the alarm off.

paiger
04-12-2004, 11:52 AM
That klinda stinks that it is over break.......but you should be able to go to the reunion. I grew about a inch but it is different for everyone.....

Jill K
04-18-2004, 08:48 PM
Thanks everybody. My mom finally set up a day that I should give blood on, and I dont need to go to the hospital again until the day of, and then i will have my last and final tests....until after surgery. Did you feel sore/weak/tired after and/or during the blood giving. Is there a certain weight and height requirement that you need to have in order to give blood because i am worried that i am too small to give my own blood but hopefully i am not. Thanks for reading/answering!

paiger
04-18-2004, 09:39 PM
i didnt give my own blood cuz i cant stand needles...im a wimp!!!
But i think if lik your under 100lbs or sommin you have to give a lil bit at a time but im not sure what the wieght min. is sorry!!
how much do you weigh if you dont mind me asking!?!?!?also how old are ya??!?![again if you dont mind me asking] :confused:

racin2win
04-19-2004, 02:12 PM
If you are under 110 lbs., they "devolumize" the bag your blood goes in, so that you are still giving a significant amount of your own blood, but just a little under what someone 110 or over would give. It's really almost the same amount. I am a very petite person myself, and though I was 16 when I gave my blood, I only weighed around 102. So, they had to reduce the volume from each bag. I was supposed to have a total of 4 bags (pints I believe) drawn over the course of the summer, but after the surgery date got changed, and things were messed up, my date had to be rescheduled, and I had to donate all over again because the shelf life of my units had expired. Therefore not only did I give 3 times the first time, but then I gave a whole new 4 the next "time." Seven times is a lot for one individual, so I was fairly proud of myself. Try not to be scared of the needle...people who are scared of it usually don't even give it a chance. Yes of course it looks intimidating, but the flambatomist (sp?) makes you as comfortable as possible, and once the needle is in you, it feels like a slight sting for only 2 seconds, and then once it's actually in you, it's fine. You squeeze a stress ball the entire team, and get to drink and eat some snacks. Just be brave...if you can go through a spinal fusion surgery, you can handle giving your blood. Just toughen up :) Good luck!

dapsbounce8
04-24-2004, 07:10 PM
Hi Jill,
You must be at least 110 pounds to give blood, but the doctors usually let that number blur a little. I'm 100-105 lb. but Dr. Sawark encouraged me to give my own blood anyway.

Giving blood really wasn't a big deal for me. Drink lots of juice and eat snacks before and after to increase your blood sugar. I felt a bit dizzy and tired the day I gave, but not for long. Its really not that bad.

How are you doing? I have an appointment with Dr. Sawark on May 4th for my three month check up. I hope everything goes okay.

Good luck!

Jill K
04-25-2004, 03:01 PM
I'm doing fine....how about you? is your back healing okay? Thats really weird about your back oppointment because i was scheduled to have one that day too! My mom had to change the date to may 14 because she is going out of town. Is your appointment in his glenview office (i think its glenview) or chicago? Mine was supposed to be in his glenview office. I have become somewhat less nervous then i was during my pre-op a month or two ago. talk to you later :)

dapsbounce8
04-26-2004, 10:44 PM
I think its glenbrook hospital, but yes, that is the one I am going to. Its much closer to me than the chicago hospital.

My back is doing really well. I feel like most of the pain has stopped, unless I'm slouching. I've started doing more at home and around my riding stable, grooming horses and grazing them. I also started climbing the stairs at school instead of taking the elevator, and I can now bend to pick things up off the ground.

Good luck - keep in touch!

Jill K
04-29-2004, 06:12 PM
my mom switched my appointment back to may 4 at glenbrok because my original days started off at may 4 then it was switched to may 18, and now it was switched back because on may 18 i have field trip. what time is your appointment? that will be so cool if its at the same time as mine! ttyl

dapsbounce8
04-30-2004, 07:24 PM
My appointment is early - I think around 9:30.

Jill K
04-30-2004, 07:34 PM
thats so cool, mine is at 9 ish too....bright and early.....no school for the morning!;)

dapsbounce8
04-30-2004, 08:00 PM
Thats so crazy! What do you look like - I'm just wondering so I'll recognize you if I see you. I'm 5'5'', thin, light brown hair. I'll be with my mom.

:D

Jill K
05-01-2004, 12:38 PM
I am 5'7" or so, light brown hair with blonde streaks, and I will be with my dad. I also will probably be wearing a green northface or a jean jacket. if we somehow dont see each other i will tell dr. sarwark to say hi from me.
:)

Jill K
05-03-2004, 09:53 PM
Dapsbounce8~

See you tomorrow!:)

~Jill K.

Jill K
05-05-2004, 09:33 PM
Did you see me dapsbounce8? i think i saw you with your mom but i wasnt sure.

Jill K
05-06-2004, 06:43 PM
This goes out to anyone~
Did your surgery go through your side, through your back, or somewhere else? Also did they collapse your lung or not?
~Thanks

dapsbounce8
05-11-2004, 12:01 AM
Hey Jill!
I think I saw you too. I was going to say hi, but you were just walking out with your dad (I think?). You were wearing a green fleece. Dr. Sawark also told me that you said hi. How did your appointment go?

My appointment went really well. Dr. Sawark said my back is looking great and he said I can start walking on horses again. Yay! Good luck!

Peggy
05-11-2004, 10:34 AM
Congrats on the good news! Know you missed your horses. Take care.

Jill K
05-11-2004, 06:07 PM
Dapsbounce8~
I was going to say hi too, but I thought you seemed taller than 5' 5" and your hair looked really dark (because the sun was behind you). Thats so cool about the horses and everything. When I told Dr. Sarwark about you he said you were a great patient and that you were healing really well. You probably told me already but what were your degrees before and after surgery. Thanks again and congrats. on your horse riding.
~Jill K.

Jill K
05-11-2004, 09:57 PM
Dapsbounce8~
You dont have to answer but what town do you live in and what school do you go to. If its too personal dont answer , I wont mind. Also do you have an AOL screen name? I do, so if you have one it might be easier to talk that way. Like I said before you dont have to answer, believe me its fine.:)
~jill k.

dapsbounce8
05-11-2004, 10:06 PM
Hey Jill,
I was 48 degrees before surgery (single curve) - I'm not sure about the after. I would be happy to tell you my school and city, but I'd rather do it in a private message. You don't have that option under your posts, so I think you just turned it off when you set your options. See if your can go into options and change it or maybe you could pm me and I will reply???

Jill K
05-11-2004, 10:19 PM
Oh yeah, I understand. I turned on my private messages so now i can recieve messages. Talk to you soon.
~j k

Jill K
05-13-2004, 08:49 PM
I gave my first and only pint of blood today. It didnt hurt too much, but they asked me a lot of random questions (have i ever been in jail!!!! lol!!!) My arm still hurts a little bit but not too much. I didnt feel to dizzy either which is good. how was your blood donation(s)? <---this goes out to anyone.
~ttyl. Jill K.

Boo
06-13-2004, 11:37 AM
Who ever has had surgery please please tell me what the catherter was like thats what i'm most afraid of!
:eek:

PS i herd Jills surgery went well!

Jill K
06-13-2004, 11:44 AM
hi, yeah, I'm doing fine. The cathader was not painful at all when it was in me or anything, but when they took it out it didn't hurt at all, it just felt kind of weird. But dont worry, it's not at all painful, it goes fast and believe me, you wont even care because you will be a little out of it still (but not too much) and you will want it out. It was all down hill for me when they took it out. After they took it out, a few hours later I walked to the bathroom with just a little help from my mom and the nurses, I did that 3 times!!! Plus when they make you walk it is a whole lot easier because you dont need a nurse or someone holding your bag for your cathader because it wont be there. Trust me, it wont hurt at all, and after that you'll be home before you know it. Good luck with your surgery, you'll be fine!!!
~Jill

Boo
06-13-2004, 12:01 PM
thank you so much! how are you doing? and 1 more question when does the cathertor go in? Because i really dont like the idea of a tube up my you no what.
:eek:

dapsbounce8
06-13-2004, 03:17 PM
Haha! Yeah its kind of embarrassing, but don't worry. They put it in at some point during surgery while you are knocked out. I couldn't even feel it, and it was weird because I never knew when I was peeing - it just went without my control I guess. It stung for a minute after they took it out, but that was all. Its really not so bad.

Boo
06-13-2004, 03:59 PM
i dont really want any 1 to see my you no what were you embarrased?
:o

dapsbounce8
06-13-2004, 04:21 PM
Not really. I think being in the hospital makes you lose any sense of dignity. Walking around in a thin gown and the sponge bath??? Just remember that these people see stuff like that all the time. They couldn't care less.

Jill K
06-14-2004, 01:17 PM
I'm not quit sure how it goes in, but it doesn't really matter because you are knocked out from the medicine they give you. You dont really need to worry about it going in because like I said, you're asleep. Good Luck!!! And you'll do fine!!!!
~Jill

Jill K
06-14-2004, 01:22 PM
oh yeah, one more thing. when you are in the hospital it's true what everyone says, you don't care about the baths or anything. the baths make you feel more like yourself and you feel so much better. it's their job, they want to help people. they make you feel comfortable with the surgery and with your self. when they rolled me in the night my gown didn't always "cover" my backside :) so you get used to that too, that helps with the bath part because you get so used to it. It became sort of a joke, I was like to my parents "you might want to leave the room so I don't moon you :) ". Don't worry, you won't care at all when you are there. Good Luck Again!
~Jill

Boo
06-14-2004, 01:39 PM
i'm not so worried biut it now coz the doc sed that he could take it out whil i am still asleep too so i wont even no about it! how did you bed to get on the loo?
:D

Jill K
06-14-2004, 07:21 PM
it was a little bit painful at first, I had to take it slowly so my back wouldn't hurt too much, but you get used to it. are you sure your doctor is taking the cathader out when you are still asleep, because that doesn't make sense to me. unless you use a bed pan, you wont be able to walk to the bathroom until the 3 day or so. if you can, that's good, but from my experiences I couldn't/didn't want to walk that far. talk to you soon.

~Jill

Boo
06-15-2004, 02:45 AM
i hav 1 of the leading scoliosis surgion in like the world and i go to a private hospital, Doc sed i cood be walking on when i wake up. I hav to try and recover quiker so i can go on roller coaster at x mas.

Ps i hav a loo in my room

Jill K
06-16-2004, 10:18 AM
If you say so...that seems a little early to me. if your surgery is in august, correct me if I'm wrong, 5 months seems too soon to me. I had my surgery almost two weeks ago and I don't think even I could go on a roller coaster in the next year. good luck with your recovery post-op!

dapsbounce8
06-16-2004, 08:37 PM
Boo:
I understand that your Doctor may be very talented, but hes not a miracle worker! There is no way that a spinal fusion patient could/should be walking right after surgery. Are you having a different kind of surgery?

"I hav to try and recover quiker so i can go on roller coaster at x mas"

I agree with Jill that roller coasters aren't going to happen. You are supposed to wait a year before you ride a roller coaster - I can understand a bit before that but five months is way too early. Don't rush your recovery or you will hurt yourself.

Good luck.

Boo
06-17-2004, 12:58 PM
he did say i could go on a roller coaster. i am only having 1 fusion and i'll hav bout 6months to recover the fusion has gone hard by that point, most people feel great after 4 months he sed.

PS

going to holiday at the end of december, the rod shouldnt break so dont worry! i'll be fine

I'M A FIGHTER

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Boo
06-17-2004, 01:01 PM
and i fogot to say that i may hav some 1 wheel me to the loo coz they understand how i feel. how many vertibra did u hav fused?

Jill K
06-17-2004, 10:11 PM
I had T4-T12, so I think 8 +/- . Do you know how many you are having fused? Mine where, as you can tell by the T, in my thorasic area (upper back). talk to everyone soon!
~Jill

mumof5
06-18-2004, 12:04 AM
Boo.
Amber's sugery was 5 weeks ago and sitting in the car longer than half an hour hurts her. She is walking at a normal pace now but I know wouldn't even consider trying to go any faster at the moment. I know that the type of surgery and how far it goes makes a difference to your recovery but I think you may be expecting to have a reasonable easy time. I hope your surgery and recovery go as well as you are expecting but I wouldn't count on it. I know that sounds discouraging but if you injure yourself you will be putting yourself up for more surgery and a longer recovery, all for a bit of short term fun. At 6 months the fusion should be solid but you won't be completely recovered. You really do need to give yourself longer to recover. You are young and rollercoasters aren't anywhere.
Best wishes.
Cheryl.

Boo
06-18-2004, 12:07 PM
i am having 5 or 6 bones fused dats all i understand wot u r all trying to say and i am gonnna take it easy for the whole 6 months and after that i am mainly free i probably wont b able to go on all the coasters but i can go on most

mumof5
06-18-2004, 05:49 PM
Just make sure that you are hearing what the doctor is saying and not what you are wanting to hear. Don't put your own interpetation on what your doctor says. After the surgery listen to your body and don't push it too far.
I hope all goes well for you are you have a speedy recovery.
Cheryl.

dapsbounce8
06-18-2004, 08:12 PM
I disagree that most people feel normal by 4 months post-op. I still have back/rib pain and my movement is still very limited. My endurance is really low too from all the time without exercise.

mumof5
06-18-2004, 09:37 PM
I agree with that. Although I have not had spinal surgery I have had other surgeries and it does take longer than what the doctors say for you to be back to normal. Watching Amber's recovery I can't see how she would be back doing everything that she was doing before surgery in another 3 months time.
Cheryl.

bryan
06-18-2004, 10:50 PM
Jill, and anyone else - How long has it been since your surgery? If you think back about everything that was making you nervous before the surgery, do you think it was as bad as you thought it would be? Has it all gone by faster than you thought it would?

Jill K
06-19-2004, 11:59 AM
My surgery was two weeks ago yesterday (friday), and things have definitley gone by fast. It seems like I got home from the hospital this week, and surgery was last week. Amazingly, even though I do pretty much the same things everyday, it goes by quickly. Before going into surgery I wasn't nervous, but things didn't go as I thought they would. First of all, I remember everything that happened to me, the OR, recovery room, my first night there......I didn't think I would remember too much, but since I was on an epidurral versus morphine, I wasn't too out of it. Also, the first time Physical Therapy made me stand up, I almost fainted!!! I fainted once before in 4th grade and from what I remember it felt the exact same (minus the actual colapsing part). My eyes blacked out and I heard a ringing in my ear. The physical therapist showed fingers to me, to see if I was okay (I remember the numbers in this order!!!!! 5,4,2). It was awful, and the physical therapist was perky the whole time!!!! This happend on day 3. My room mate, who stayed the same for the whole time, kept burping everytime they ate!!!! That really grossed me out. The time spent in the hospital, however, went really really slowly. The first night (friday) seemed like forever. They kept waking me up every hour to roll me and take my vitals. Other than those few things, my hospital experience was pretty good overall. I'll check in soon!
~Jill

dapsbounce8
06-19-2004, 02:34 PM
My surgery was a little over four months ago. I think it was exactly how I thought it would be. One thing that I'm happy about is that the doctor moved up the time limit before I could ride horses. The month after surgery (at home and in the hospital) went by pretty slowly, but since then everything has flown by - it feels like my surgery happened a million years ago.

Boo
06-20-2004, 01:20 PM
Charlott.

how long is it till u can do every thing?

mumof5
06-20-2004, 05:50 PM
Amber is having her 6 week check up this Wednesday. I'll let you know what her surgeon says about her recovery so far, her curve correction and what her limitations are. I'll probably post it on my main thread "worried mum from Australia".
Cheryl.

Boo
06-21-2004, 02:54 PM
ok thanx

Jill K
06-21-2004, 09:58 PM
Anyone who has had surgery-
Right after surgery, the first few months...did you tend to hunch later on in the day when your back was getting tired and weaker? Lately my back has been doing that but my doctor said for the first 3 months that is normal. I was just wondering if this has happened to anyone else out there. Thanks!
~Jill

dapsbounce8
06-24-2004, 08:25 PM
Boo -

1 - 2 weeks: Shower, walking
1 month: School, lifting 0 - 5 lb, light upper extremity exercise
3 months: Bicycling, driving, swimming, light jogging
6 months: Lifting 5 - 10 lb, non-contact sports
1 year: Routine gym class, skating, skiing, bowling, amusement park rides, roller coasters, lifting more than 50 lb gymnastics
2 years: Horseback riding (no jumps), contact sports
Never!: Parachuting, motorcycling, mosh pit

I got all of this information off a chart from my doctor, but this is a general time schedule and depends on the individual clinical situation.

Theresa
06-24-2004, 09:09 PM
Jill,

This is Theresa. I'm 48 and had anterior/posterior surgery on April 9 & 13. I have posts under Just Had Surgery on the adults section. In answer to your question, I know what you mean. I hunch more and more as the day goes on. I probably should lay down some during the day but I don't. The doctor said it is all muscle related. When I first get up in the morning, I'm nice and straight. I still use a walker or a cane. Hope this helps. Theresa