View Full Version : girlie stuff

04-05-2007, 07:13 PM
These little girlie concerns have been irking me for sometime now... my surgery is a little over a week away (YIKES!) and I am hoping to get some answers / advice on some things.

When are you able to wear a bra again? I am terribly modest, and I am concerned about not being able to put on a bra with the incision just under the closure... is this even an issue?

Shaving legs - how in the heck do you accomplish this without bending? I have noted that some people have attached razors to a stick, but how exactly does that work?

Showering in general. Again I am modest and do not wish to have assistance in the shower or bathroom... what are your experiences. How long after surgery were you able to shower or use the bathroom?

Menstration: I have heard that the stress of surgery causes most women to get their periods. How is this handled? What do you do?

These seem like silly questions, but I am very nervous about these things (on top of everything else). Any advice would be very helpful. When do you get to feel like a lady again? I can not stand the idea of lying around in my own filth! When will I be human again? Thank you

04-05-2007, 07:48 PM
Yes, you will wear a bra again. In about two weeks and I was fused from T3 to L5. I got an electric razor and layed on the bed and lifted my legs up to shave them. But in about three weeks, I felt comfortable enough to do it in the shower just like before. You WILL still bend, just at the hips and I NEVER noticed the difference. Your life will return to complete normalcy as far as movement in a short time so don't spend anytime worrying about it. I had my original surgery in 98 and one year later got back on my show horses and was riding hard. I got a little light headed the first time in the shower which was about 7 days post-op but that was from laying around. After that, I gained strength each day. I'm telling you, life will be just fine. Krysi

04-05-2007, 08:44 PM
Hi Azalea,

NO questions are silly! We are here to help you.

You might want to get a lounge bra, no wires or hooks. Mine was very comfortable even though it was over my scar.

As for shaving your legs you should be o.k. you aren't having your lumbar fused and that is where you will bend over to reach. You can put a plastic chair in with you to put your leg on if you need to. I'm fused to L4 and had no trouble reaching.

I showered alone once I got home and made it pretty quick after reading about everyone being light headed. I was fine. It was 9 days post-op and my Dr. said showering was o.k. as long as the spray wasn't directly on my sutures. You won't be laying in filth. Ever had a cold or flu when you just didn't feel like showering. You don't get very dirty. Your hair might need washing. You can use facial cleaning cloths to clean up if you feel like you need to freshen up. My husband helped me at about day 5 they work great, no soap needed and they moisturise so you don't feel dry.

I too had heard about the surgery triggering your period so I was prepared. It didn't trigger mine. (Due to being on the pill my gyn said when I asked later.)

As to feeling like a lady again I would say anytime after your first shower, when you shave for the first time, put on make up, do your hair or just look in the mirror and realise how wonderful your back looks straighter then it was! Any one of these thing can do it for you. You will do great and be great when you get past the waiting. That I think, is truly the hard part. Best wishes.

04-06-2007, 07:59 AM

I would recommend purchasing a front closure bra. It's much easier to put on and take off - and certainly manageable by yourself. I would also suggest purchasing some new sleepwear that buttons in the front as well so that you can get it on and off by yourself. Over-the-head apparel is way too hard, even for me now at nearly 3 months out.

I also had concerns with modesty, but I was in pain and pretty well drugged up that they became less of a concern for the week to two weeks immediately after surgery.

Do be careful about showering. I ended up passing out in the shower about 3 weeks after surgery. Thankfully my husband was nearby and able to drag me out of the shower and eventually wake me up. No one had warned me about this, that's why I'm telling you...not to scare you, just to make sure you are aware. Try to have someone within yelling distance as I was.

04-06-2007, 09:46 AM
Great and informative questions. Do people also recommend button up or zip-up shirts to wear. I've been looking everywhere for a zip-up short sleeve shirt, and can't find one.


04-06-2007, 10:01 AM
I had some of the same concerns. Afterwards I kind of laughed about it because the first few weeks after surgery I could not have cared less about being modest. My mom helped me in the shower and I thought that would make me feel "funny"- it didn't. I worried too about shaving my legs- I bought an electric razor and that made it easier. Immediately after surgery the nurses will bathe you daily-and as far as washing you hair-the hospital I was in had a guy that went around washing hair. It was great! He charged $35 and somehow washed my hair in bed without getting the sheets wet. It was worth it. I did not have my period for 3 months after surgery- I don't think you will have to worry about that. I also worried about the bra thing. I did not want to wear one for awhile so instead I bought little vests that went over my shirts-that works great! Also- I did have my legs waxed right before surgery. Nothing will grow for awhile and it made me feel better at the time-Hope this helps!

04-06-2007, 11:25 AM

Have you checked your husband's closet for shirts?? ;) That's where I have been finding most of mine lately. At least for wearing around the house. If I go out that is another story. And yes I would totally recommend button-up or zipper shirts. I know that New York and Company has a lot of button-up shirts. Not sure where you would find zippered short sleeve shirts. Be wary of hoods - I made that mistake (you can make due but its awkward). Good luck!

04-06-2007, 08:15 PM
Hi Azalea.
I've also always been modest and self-concious, but believe me, after the surgery once the pain meds kick in, you won't really care. I did get my period and they gave me pads to wear. They won't let you wear tampons in the hospital. Before my surgery, I had my legs waxed. That way, they remained hairless for a long time. My lumbar spine is fused, and to this day, still have trouble shaving my legs, as well as cutting my toenails. Oh, and I also had my hair cut and highlighted before the surgery. Honestly, when I first looked in the mirror, it made me feel really good to see my highlights.

I did not shower until I got to rehab. They had a shower room and the nurses did everything for me while I sat there. Even though I was totally naked, it felt sooooo good to be clean...I didn't even care what I looked like. When I got home, I had a shower chair to sit on b/c my balance was off and I was not confident standing until I was about 2 months post op.

I cannot be of much help in the bra area, b/c I am so flat-chested, I really managed without a bra for a while. I wore t-shirts under my brace. My incisions were below the bra strap in the back.

Bring some nice hand and face lotions for the hospital. Also I had these Oil of Olay premoistened facial towelettes which smelled nice and made me feel refreshed.

Hope this was helpful...good luck!

04-06-2007, 10:03 PM
I know I'm a kid and had a different surgery, but it's all relative. My surgery triggered my period, but the nurses totally took care of everything. I was soooo out of it, and I had no idea until a few days later. No big deal, though. I'm extremely modest as well, but trust me, when you're in the hospital, modesty goes out the window. When they gave me my first shower, it was heaven because I just felt sooo normal again. After my first shower with them, they stayed in the bathroom but let me so it mostly by myself, which I really appreciated. Those cleansing wipes were spectacular... I used Ponds, and they were so great. I only took 2 showers in a 7 day hospital stay because it exhausted me for a day or so, and those wipes kept me feeling clean. My mom wiped down my arms, legs, and face and I loved it! Don't worry about feeling human again, it'll come much quicker than you think!

04-07-2007, 06:46 AM

I was worried about these issues too, but the time goes quickly and you will be fine.

I had my surgery in January and have not yet been able to wear a bra yet, but mainly because it rubs on my brace and irritates me. I think it is different for each person, so you may be abe to fairly soon.

Shaving and bathing - I have not been allowed to do this on my own yet. My hubby has to shave my legs for me, I take care of my bikini line. He also has to help me to wash. I have not been allowed to have a proper bath and we don't have a walk in shower, so that isn't an option for me. I have got a bath board that I have to sit on. I hated this to begin with, but soon got used to it. I was in hospital for two weeks and lost a lot of confidence, so I really needed someone to be with me in the bathroom.

Menstruation - I was lucky and didn't come on after surgery. I have only just last week had my first post op period. I wouldn't worry about it though. The nurses have seen it all before and will handle everything for you. You will also be quite out of it so you won't really care.

Modesty does go out of the window after this type of surgery, but you soon get used to it. I have found that it is much better to laugh about it. There will be others in the same position as you and for me it became a common topic of conversation in my bay and a good way of bonding with your ward mates.

You will be feeling like a woman in no time once you get home. Even though I still need a lot of help, I have regained most of my dignity and feel like myself again.

I wish you all the best of luck for your surgery. Keep us posted on you progress and don't forget, if you need support, we are all here for you.

Karen xx

04-07-2007, 03:58 PM
These replies have all been very helpful. I wish I would have asked these questions much sooner, as I feel as though I may have lost too much time now to accomplish things like leg waxing, hair appointments and so forth. I have been letting every little aspect of surgery eat at me and I do not know how to let it go. All of your comments let me know that you survived it, all of it. Hopefully, I will too. It does sound like everybody's experiences are different. Only a week away... and I have still not convinced myself that this will happen. I still may change my mind...
Which leads me to another question... what were your reasons for having surgery? Thank you

04-07-2007, 07:50 PM
Hi Azalea,
Regarding reasons for having the surgery-I think for most of us and probably you as well it is because the curve will progress if we don't and surgery is inevitable so we might as well get it overwith! You are young and that will make a huge difference in your recovery time!! And it sounds like your fusion will not be all the way down, right? I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you bounce back. I am 45 and am 4 months post op- I am doing fine but from what I have read the younger girls have it much easier. By the way, I "obsessed" about all the details too and looking back it was a great diversion for me and kept me too busy to get upset- so obsess away! I will be praying for you-you will be fine!

04-08-2007, 09:33 PM
Thank you, Cathie.
My surgery is only a week away, and while I have been crying daily since setting the date... I am entering into panic mode now. It is nice to hear words of encouragment. I made the decision (although I honestly am still undecided) to do this out of exhaustion. I am tired of monitering my curves and living in fear of possibly needing surgery down the line. I was told I should have the procedure within the next two years while I am still youthful. So I set the date, and now it is approaching much to quickly. I am finding this whole thing to be much bigger than me. Much bigger than what I am built to handle, and I am losing sanity more and more every day. I have been told my suspected fusion of T6 - L1 is not that long - but to me it seems gigantic to me. How do I even get myself to the hospital like this, I barely made it out for Easter dinner with family. I feel weak and fearful and ashamed of feeling this way on top of the fear. How am i going to do this?
I know...its another pathetic whiney post by Azalea, but I just can not get past the gravity of all this.

04-09-2007, 08:28 AM
Hi Azaela,
What you are feeling is perfectly normal. I wish you would believe when I say that it WILL be alright. Pain meds will help you a lot. Honestly, I had a c-section 16 months ago and the pain from that afterward was worse.

I forgot to mention in my first post that my period was supposed to start the day of my surgery (first one) and was so worried. Well it actually stopped it and I only ended up with some spotting.

Hang in there and remember that we are all in the same boat. It will all be fine. Krysi

Linda W
04-09-2007, 09:02 AM
Hi Azaela,

I have a surgery date scheduled a month from now. Like you, and probably like all of our online friends with scoliosis, I question whether I am making the "right" decision. I had a second opinion appointment last week that has me again weighing my options. A healthy dose of fear and anxiety is normal, but you must have confidence that the decision you are making is the best one you can possibly make at this point in your life. YOU are in the driver's seat. No one is going to second guess your decision whether you decide to go ahead with the scheduled surgery or postpone it. If you have not already made a list for yourself about WHY you might do this surgery, make one now. I have a simple list by my bedside titled "WHY". My list includes: 1) having control of my life again so I have the ability to do the things I want to do when I want to do them, 2) pain reduction, 3) breathe more easily and increase my endurance, 4) go to the beach (currently I'm not able to walk the distance from the parking lot or make it up and down the huge dunes of Cape Cod and I miss the beach!), 5) a future! Post your list where you will see it several times a day and remember WHY you are doing this. I will be 57 years old when I have my surgery (T4-S1 for correction of an S curve and kyphosis). In my wildest dreams, I never thought a correction would be possible for me at my age. Yes, my hope is tinged with a margin of terror. However, the stories of heart, courage, determination, humor and SUCCESS that I have read on this wonderful board are sustaining me. I hope they will sustain you too. This group will support you -- whatever decision you make! Wishing you the peace of mind to make the "right" decision for YOU!
Linda W.

04-09-2007, 09:36 AM

I thought Linda's post was right on the money. It's tough to face this surgery if you aren't motivated by pain and/or limitation. You are very young and time is on your side if you truly can't do it yet. If your thoracic curve is progressing at a steady rate, though, you will most likely have to deal with it at some point...you don't want to run into breathing problems. It took me almost two years to face up to the surgery...in my case, I NEEDED that much time to face it, even though the wait is very tough.

Best wishes!

04-09-2007, 10:11 AM
Dear Azalea,

I'm so sorry that your upcoming surgery has put you in panic mode, and I fully understand. Mine is scheduled for May 15. I was doing well, after dealing with fear for several weeks. In my case, I've been going to a medical hypnotherapist who has helped greatly. I realize that you don't have time now to explore new methods of controlling anxiety. And even with the help I'm getting I had a couple of bad days this week. Some people on here have asked for some mild tranquilizers to help them through the period just before surgery. I don't know if that sounds good to you or not. Just a suggestion. It does help me to hear from others who have gone through their surgeries and are very happy they've had them. Bertha from Hawaii, who had hers a couple of weeks ago, sounds like she is doing fine. She is in her 50s and had both anterior and posterior fusions at the same time: 12 hours worth. You may already know this because Suzy, who has met with Bertha, posted here. I love hearing these stories. You are certainly in my thoughts this week!!


04-09-2007, 07:35 PM
Thank you, every word written here is inspiring.
I really appreciate all of the advice and thoughts. It helps to know that I am not completely insane, and that I have somewhere to turn when I feel like I am!

A co-worker of mine has told me that I need to plan things to look forward to. Like new pjs that I can not where until after surgery. One thing that I am looking forward to his coming back here and giving someone the same support that I have been receiving. Thank you.

I hope I can do this... it makes me sick to think about it, but you all have me amazed. Your strength, and courage. Beautiful.

04-10-2007, 06:44 AM
Azalea, Brynnski, Linda W.,Singer, others facing surgery,
As Singer(Chris) can tell you, I am completely 100% happy I had this surgery. No regrets whatsoever..
I personally believe that I had several 'signs' that led me to my surgeon & getting this done. I had no severe pain but a huge curve/hump. Prior to surgery, I felt like my body/spine was collapsing. I coughed every day like I was dying(per my 11 yr old..) & I was scared to death about problems swallowing & feeling the food slowly go down..(all gone now)
seriously, at about 9 mos post-op, I feel great & I must touch my back ever day to feel how flat it is & how thankful I am!
hang in there and look past the surgery as best you can to a month or so after when you will be on your way on your recovery......Lynne :) :) :)

04-10-2007, 02:17 PM
hey azalea,
i'll tell you about my experiences with everything that you asked about...

i didn't wear a bra for a while, and quite frankly didn't care!! also, i lost a lot of weight so i lost a cup size, which was great because i didn't want to wear a bra, so didn't!
my sister shaved my legs for me while i was on a shower chair. if you don't want help, then you may have to wait a little longer but you'll be able to shave. i had the same fusion as you and lost no flexibility. as long as you're able to lift your leg up (while holding on to a bar of course) then you can shave. this, of course, would be after a few weeks when you feel comfortable in the shower.
showering in general, i used a chair for the first couple of weeks. i don't think i took a standing up shower for 2 or 3 weeks... i was so afraid of fainting, but when i finally did i was fine.
i did get my period in the hospital (even though i had it the week before surgery) but i really didn't care. like i've said before, they keep you really comfortable in the hospital... i was on so many drugs that i really wasn't too concerned about having my period!! (it was light i think, but don't really remember)... after that i didn't get my period for 8 weeks and it lasted 22 days!! so it really gets screwed up. but don't worry.. it will eventually be normal.
these are not stupid things to be worried about- i thought about it all!!
keep your head up. you'll be ok.


04-10-2007, 02:22 PM
After reading more, I wanted to tell you that I have absolutely no regrets in having this surgery. It's a long recovery, but the hardest part that I had to get through was the lack of energy and the emotional roller coaster... not the pain! Pain can be well managed.
Don't worry- we were all in the same boat. You are not insane!! I was a nervous wreck.. crying every day as well.
You will get through it and we are all here to support you!

04-10-2007, 05:07 PM
Dear Lynne and Lesley,

Thanks for the encouraging words about your experiences. Sometimes I feel like I've already had my surgery since I've read so much about it already from all of you on this Forum! I plan to read your posts over and over in the days to come.

I'd been doing much better with fears about surgery but I've had a setback this week. Part of it, I think, is because I'm having a reaction to the iron I'm taking as well as other meds I'm on right now (primarily Progesterone, I think.) That affects my mood and energy level, for sure.

Azalea: How are you today? I'm thinking about you a lot, my dear......


04-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Lesly and Brynn,
Thank you!
I am nuts today. Absolutely. I had a "Back on Track" course today. I am not sure if any of your hospitals offer such a course, but it is basically a two our tutorial. You recieve a tour of the hospital, including the floor you will be staying on, meet a few of the nurses and OT and PT and get demonstrations on how to use many of the tools that are suggested for after surgery such as grabbers and raised toilet seats, ect. It was all too real for me. I was the youngest in the course and the other patients were very concerned with me. Most of them were there due to accidents or age that is causing disc problems. I was the only one there with scoliosis.
It means so much to me, Brynn for you to ask how I am and tell me you have thought of me. This is the most difficult thing I have ever struggled through, and while I should be thankful for that alone... I am too wrapped up in what monday will bring.
One of the ladies at the class today kept repeating if you don't have to do this, don't do it. This will be her sixth surgery. I do not want to be there.
This morning I was sitting down and twisted completely around to grab something on the top shelf behind me. I cried and cried at the thought that I may never be able to do that again.
As you are very close to me in age, and you have had the same fusion as I am expected to. I would love as much information as you can give me. How long did it take until you felt like yourself again? Do you work, how long did it take to get back?
I just haven't smiled in weeks...
I do not want to live this way.
Thank you for letting me ramble on again.

04-11-2007, 03:08 PM
Hi Azalea,

Thank you for asking these "girlie" questions; they are the same types of things I've been wondering about. I've read David Wolpert's book twice now, and it is so great, but he doesn't have the same insight into bra issues, etc that I can find here!

I have been thinking about you since your last several posts. I definitely understand the fear you are feeling, especially since your surgery is scheduled for Monday. If you decide to follow through with it, I really hope you will find some peace with your decision. The physical therapist I was working with told me that she had two ladies, one in her late 60's and another in her early 70's, both with scoliosis, tell her that if they could go back, they would definitely have had the surgery when they were young. They both said avoiding it has not been worth the pain and other hardships.

I'm not trying to push you towards something you may not be ready for at this time. But for me, surgery is something I have come to terms with over the past year, mostly because I feel like if my curve is 52* and causing this much pain at age 30, where will I be in just 20 years? As others have said, it's so important to not just focus on the surgery, but on the after-surgery -- standing straight in front of a mirror, knowing that you've taken a pro-active stance, a decrease in pain (which may not be an issue for you yet), and just getting on with LIFE! I, for one, am so tired of thinking about my scoliosis when I wake up and when I get dressed and when I sit in a chair and when I'm walking....

I really, really wish for your peace of mind in this, and know that there's a whole bunch of us who would be there to hold your hand through all of this if we could!!

04-11-2007, 03:08 PM
I was not allowed to bathe/shower until 2-weeks post-operation after my surgeon examined me and gave me the 'ok'. While in the hospital for 8 days, the nurse eventually gave me a gel for body and hair (after complaining and whining for permission to shower) to use... It left my hair very dry, nappy, and flaky. After being released from the hospital and following up with my surgeon, it was a joy and relief to get the 'ok' to shower because my head was literally flaky and oily. But even when I showered for the first time (with the assistance of my aunt who massaged my scalp with shampoo and scrubbed my backside), the touch of water on my skin did sting a little at first... After that, I showered on my own every other day, but realized that wet bandages were the cause of a stinging sensation on my skin, which eventually caused a rash. I have really sensitive skin and I went back to showering once a week until the scab on my scar completely fell off... By week 6, when I had to return to work, I was showering again on my own daily. I advise you monitor your skin! My skin had a nasty reaction to the adhesive of the bandages... And with cold weather, my skin doctor advised me to put lotion on every day!

My back was hyper-sensative after surgery. For 6 weeks, I did not wear a bra until I had to return to work... And even after returning to work, I find myself removing my bra when I come home. Four months post-operation, I find my back not as sensitive as much, but there are still numb areas... (Keep in mind that your muscles will be cut open, and during your healing/recovery process, nerves have to regrow back in its place.)

I had to stop oral contraceptive before the surgery and started again when I got my first period after surgery. Seems normal, but I seem to have late periods because of stress... I was not aware that surgery would have an affect on a woman's period.

I think I shaved once since the operation. The weather has been chilly and I haven't started wearing skirts to the office... Regardless, even post-opeartion, you are still able to bend and bring your legs up! I can somewhat bend at the waist, but find it unnecessary since my legs are very flexible...

Decision to undergo surgery:
When I made my own decision to undergo surgery, I figured it was now or never. Being at a young age, working with a flexible and understanding small company, I made the decision to undergo surgery now as opposed to later. Other than the benefits of having decreased back pain and decreased chest pains, I can work and pay for the costs of surgery while I am young, working, and saving by living at home. Plus, recovery is feasible at a younger age than older... I had the company of my family to take care of me... I had the support from my company, my family, and my (now ex-)boyfriend...

04-11-2007, 07:06 PM

I can not stress enough how helpfull you all have been to me. I know I have concern after concern and I whine and whine as though I am the only person in the world about to go through this. Honestly though, in my off line world I am. In my office I am. In my home I am. Out with friends I am. It is so hard to feel understood until I come here. Thank you.
I really appreciate your explanation for why you are having this surgery and your stories about the older ladies' with scoliosis. No, I do not feel much pain now, if any. Which is why this decision is exceptionally difficult. Dressed and out, I look and feel like an average person, one not riddern with scoliosis. Bathing suits, lingerie, are another story. I hate catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I get out of the shower. I hate being touched or hugged by anyone other than my boyfriend. But, are these reasons to undergo such an extensive and horrible surgery? I don't know if anyone can answer that.
Thank you for the warning about your skin. I have very sensitive skin, and I am already concerned about the hospital gowns and sheets. I had not considered the dressings.
For those of you who have not tired by my constant fear and complaining. I have some new ones. It seems that I have developed a bladder infection as well as some fear of malignant cells in my cervix. I have just today been perscribed medication, I have contacted my doctors office but I have been told they will need to wait and see how the rest of my tests turn out before making the decision to continue with surgery. They will not be able to tell me until Monday when i arrive. I do not think I can handle this as well. I am so frightened and sick. Eating isn't even an option anymore. I am run down and exhausted by emotion. I just do not know how to continue with living in general right now. Falling asleep is my only pleasure, which I can only get too experience after crying until my breathing is so severe all I can do is sleep. I just wanted to know if anyone else had these issues before their surgery as well. Should I begin the medication, as it is an antibiotic that will need to be taken up to two days after my surgery, but also has a warning not to take it with narcotic pain killers. Do I wait, and risk the infection for my surgery? Do I cancel? If I cancel, I have a feeling I will not reschedule. This has been too difficult to go through. You all have been so helpful....can I get a little more help? Thank you

04-12-2007, 07:23 AM
When we come under a lot of stress, a lot of physical changes as well as emotional ones happen in our body and I think that that is what is happening to you. You said that you have a fear that there may be pre-cancerus cells. Has someone told you that? Your doctors in the hospital will know what to do about your antibiotics post-surgery. You are worrying yourself to death. I am going to say some things here that are not meant to hurt you but maybe to help you see a little clearer: You will still be able to turn around and grab things. No big deal. You will still be able to bend over, probably better than before. I was able to climb back on my show horses one year after surgery, go skiing, lift weights, ice skate, bike.....In other words, live life to the fullest.

Think about those who love you and how they feel seeing you in this state. They want to help but can only do so much. I too am on an emotional roller-coaster because I never thought my rods would break but that is the hand that I have been dealt so until my surgery on the 30th, I continue to exercise to keep my body as healthy as it can possibly be in order to heal faster and get rid of the negative effects of the stress that I am feeling now. I am house cleaning to keep my mind occupied.

It is imperative that you try to improve your attitude because it will make a difference in healing. Sure, no one else around you quite understands but you know that you are not alone. Be thankful that you are not a very small child who doesn't understand this and has to have surgery. Be thankful that you are not one of the older people on here who will have a more difficult time healing. Be thankful that you are in a position to get this fixed now and top notch medical care is available to you.

In essence, you are in charge of you. But at this moment, you are letting that green-eyed monster of fear take control. Take a deep breath, pray, and step up to the plate and hit a home run! ;)

04-12-2007, 08:21 AM
Hi Azalea, I am 24 years old and I am now 6 weeks post op. I had my spinal fusion from T5-L5. My curve was 72 degrees. I had my surgery done 3 weeks after I had my pre-op appointment with my surgeon. I knew if I didnít schedule soon that I may get scared and cancel the surgery. I have never had surgery before this one and I was scared of not knowing what to expect. I know exactly what you are going through. My surgeon recommended that I have surgery and I had a lot of pain. My surgeon reassured me that the risk and complications were low even with my heart condition. I had total faith in his ability. The weeks before surgery I really tried to keep myself busy and not dwell on it, but still the days before were an emotional rollercoaster. My family and fiancť were nervous of course, but they knew that this would make my life better. Honestly, I really tried to stay as positive as I could because I knew this would help in my healing process. I remember going in on the day of surgery and the staff was so kind in making me as comfort as possible and I tried to remain as calm as possible. I have had a few bumps and obstacles along the way, but I do not regret it at all!!! I had to have a blood transfusion and my blood pressure and oxygen level were low. This caused me to have to stay in the hospital longer. I was re-admitted in the hospital 3 weeks after my surgery because I had a big mass of fluid collection on my back and they were scared that it was an infection. My surgeon had to draw the fluid from my back and do cultures (Thank God, it only ended up being blood). Again, I had to stay in the hospital longer because I started to run a fever and my blood pressure was low. Itís a long recovery, but it has changed my life for the good!!! Amber

04-12-2007, 08:32 AM

If you start antibiotics today, it should be well managed by Monday. If you don't take it, your surgery is likely to be postponed. You will have antibiotics after surgery anyway.

As for the cervical issue, many times a pap smear has a false positive result. (I understand that I am making a grand assumption here.) Don't let that concern you today. Put that on the back burner for now. You will get definite answers soon enough. You have already done all that you can for now.

You have a lot of worries right now. Take this one step at a time. Ask for some help from your family and friends. I know how hard that is. I am so bad about asking for help. Realize that some people want to help, but don't know how. Make your needs known.

I think someone has already mentioned that it might be helpful to find some distractions over the next few days. I think you are dealing with this well, even though you don't think you are.


04-12-2007, 06:31 PM
Everyone: Thank you.

04-12-2007, 09:54 PM
It breaks my heart for you to be in such mental pain and anguish- please pardon the "mom' in me, but I know that you must keep on sharing your fears with all of these wonderful people who can help bring them down to size. Please keep reminding yourself that you really do need to have this surgery while you are so young. That is my one huge regret, that i did not trust my own instincts, and ignored the pain and misery. Now my upcoming surgery will be way harder , more dangerous, and more difficult at 47. Granted, i was not mentally ready to accept what we all are up against while i was in my 20's. i had very small children and a drunk abusive husband (got rid of him and trained for a career). And I admit, i would have been just as scared as you are now. The other members are giving you some good advice and i agree with them. It is scary as hell to face the unknown.But someday, after we have healed and become stronger, we will be the ones to help comfort the new members. Have faith in good science, doctors and yourself and family. But please, don't put it off for years, it will take over your life and you will worry about how you look, is the curve getting worse, etc.. and please keep on asking questions, you help us all, too.... we are watching and waiting with you.... Lisa

04-12-2007, 10:59 PM
You MUST pay attention to those of us who have been through this surgery. You are getting yourself worked up and riding a roller coaster of fear that is not going to help at all. You are 26, you are going to heal fast. No one has said they wouldn't do this all over again. You are so fearful I don't think what everyone here is telling you is registering.

Your curves are NOT going to correct themselves, just get worse. Do not cancel your surgery, you are going to be fine. If your Dr. needs to put it off for a bit because of other health reasons, cross that bridge when you get to it. You will be so happy you did this now rather then wait till your curves are worse. Know what else? The bigger your curves get the bigger the curve you are left with. Most Dr's expect to get around 50% correction. Better if you are young and flexable. Want to look great in that bikini and lingerie? I was floored when I first put on my new bikini after my surgery and I am 44!

Dalmatica is right, you MUST improve your attitude. I am back to skiing and doing pretty much everything normal. And I look and feel great. PLEASE understand we are trying to tell you truthfully how it will be and you MUST pay attention. Take a deep breath and read all the wonderful outcomes those of us older then you have had and you should begin to relax and look forward to the beginning of a new you.

By the way, I went to my hosp. to do my own walk through and they were shocked. That is not normally done where I had my surgery. After I had my surgery, when I first walked the hall with my P.T. she asked how I hurt my back, car wreck? She was shocked to know it was scoliosis correction because I was so young! At 43! Scoliosis correction is not seen much in the run of the mill hospitals I guess. Please think of this as a positive not a negative. You could live somewhere where this wonderful technology is not available. Food for thought............

Fused T10 to L4 2/22/06