View Full Version : I really CAN do this, right??

04-26-2007, 06:25 PM
Okay, I was doing great til I got Dr. Boachie's packet of pre-op information and consent forms in the mail -- now I'm completely freaked out. I can't believe that ordinary mortals can go through this operation. It's all just so daunting.

Just had to vent...hubby's sick of listening to me!

04-26-2007, 07:18 PM
It's normal to feel the way do. Take comfort that Dr. Boachie has a great reputation. I have heard nothing but good things about him.

Have a safe surgery/recovery and I will say a pray for you.


04-26-2007, 07:45 PM
I was just thinking this morning, as I checked onto this site like I do every morning, how surreal it's going to be the morning I check on with an actual surgery date! My stomach did a couple big rolls in anticipation of it.
It's so cool that we are all here to root for each other, especially when our loved ones have grown tired of the confident then not-so-confident mood swings that seem to come with all of this. I don't have any advice for you, since I have no clue how I'll deal with it, but I hope you can find comfort that a bunch of people are thinking of you and wishing you ALL the best! And know that people like me are looking to people like you for inspiration as we follow in your footsteps (no pressure ;)

04-26-2007, 09:12 PM

I did the same thing on my first revision surgery!!! My original surgery had only been a year before the revision so you would of thought it wouldn't have thrown me as much as it did since the first one was so hugh and the revision was only going to be about 7 hours. What I realized was that the letter that stated what was going to be done, had my name up there in print making it very personal. I don't know if I had that the year before or not, or if we were just so bowled over with everything that I didn't notice my name on anything like that. It will pass, just keep talking about it to anyone who will listen. The more you do that the more comfortable and familiar you become with everything. Good Luck!

04-26-2007, 09:48 PM
Seriously, please know that everything will be fine. I had my surgery 3 weeks after I had my post-op appt. It helped that I didn't have to wait long. I know this is hard to do, but try to relax as much as possible. My surgeon was so helpful in telling me that him and his staff would take care of me! I went in there with nothing, but positive thoughts. My finace' couldn't believe how calm I was on surgery day, but it really helped the process. :)

04-27-2007, 01:34 AM
Hi Chris,

You have had to anticipate this for a long time and you have gone through a rough time with dealing with something that happened not too long ago. I completely understand!!!

Don't get too frustrated with your family, they may not completely understand what you're going through right now, but they are just as scared as you are, just in a different way. You may think your hubby doesn't want to hear your fears, concerns and thoughts, but maybe he just doesn't want to think about the upcoming situation because he's scared too!!!

Your family loves you, and so do we, so when you need to vent, we're all here to listen!!! You have one of the best Dr.'s in the country and you trust him, that's 2/3'd of the battle.

We are here for you,

04-27-2007, 07:54 AM
Thanks guys. I really am okay some days...some days I am very calm and ready. Dr. Boachie's pre-op information packet is very detailed and intimidating with so much information it's impossible to absorb all at once. You should see the section on post-op sex !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My husband is actually very patient with me but I can tell he is pained when I get nervous. Of course he's nervous too but is not the type to show it.

I realize that Dr. Boachie is one of the very best and could probably fix my curve with his eyes closed.... :rolleyes:

Well....the bottom line is, no matter how I feel about it, I'm going through with it and I do believe that I will probably be fine. I start donating blood in about 3 weeks; my pre-op tests are May 25.

Thanks for everyone's support.

04-27-2007, 09:28 AM
Hi Chris
My surgery is scheduled for 6/26 and 6/27 (A/P), with Dr. Neuwirth and I just scheduled my pretesting for 6/4 and I also will be giving my first unit of blood. Some days I am fine and some days I just cry. I can't believe June is here already and I am very nervous. My family is supportive except for my mom. She is having a hard time dealing with this. I hope she will be ok.I know this is something I have to do now at the age of 41.

Thanks for listening!!!!!


04-27-2007, 09:29 AM
Correction prtesting on 6/4


Jacque's Mom
04-27-2007, 09:37 AM
Certainly understand your fears, concerns, etc. Remember, I'm only a subway ride away from HSS so please let me know if you need anything. We're all here for you. LYNN

04-27-2007, 10:27 AM
[QUOTE=Singer] You should see the section on post-op sex !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [QUOTE]

Can you share it with us?


04-27-2007, 10:54 AM
Hi Chris,
I totally know how you feel, since it was just 4 weeks ago that I was walking into the hospital surgery morning, feeling like it was all a dream. And I remember well the many months before, thinking will this ever REALLY happen!!?? Am I really going thru with this, and like you, I KNEW I was because when I examined my other choice (getting worse, ending up with a walker or wheelchair), I had to do it. And now it's now and it's over and I can't believe it still. And as I'm writing this, in my brace, sitting, then standing, then sitting, trying to get comfortable, healing, body and mind, I'm so happy that I went thru with it! In 3 days, I face a 5 hour plane ride home...... but each event, each day, I handle a little better, and feel a little more natural with my new posture.
Chris, You CAN do it!! It does almost seem impossible when you think too hard, that as a human we can handle such big traumas to our bodies, but we can! Think about healing from a bad accident or something... it's amazing. Please email me if you want to ask anything!! It's still so fresh in my mind and I also know I have a ways to go...and I CAN handle!

Linda W
04-27-2007, 05:34 PM
I read your post yesterday, and could immediately feel that elevator like dropping sensation that you must have experienced. It was about a half hour after confirming my own A/P surgery dates (6/12 & 6/24) and hearing that I should start eating beets and liver (two foods I have never had in my house!) to bring up my hemoglobin. The first thing that came to my mind for both of us was the line Lauren Bacall had for Humphrey Bogart: "Hold on. It's going to be a bumpy ride!" My mood swings go from terror to hope minute by mintue, but I am trying to think only positive thoughts for all of us who have scheduled dates and those who anticipate scheduling their date. Like the Little Engine who progressed from "I think I can" to "I know I can", we need to make "YES, we can!" our mantra!

On a more serious note, the NE Baptist, and many other hospitals, encourage fusion patients to read Peggy Huddleston's "Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster" and participate in a workshop of the same title. I spoke with a 71 year old patient of Dr. Rand's who credits her successful A/P fusion recovery to this program. She had her surgery in January and was getting ready to leave on a bus trip last week, by herself, to visit her daughter several hundred miles away! She clearly is a diesel locomotive engine. Googling "Peggy Huddleston" will bring you to her web site and info about her program "to help you feel calmer before surgery, use 23-50% less pain medication and recover sooner". I'm going to definitely try the program before I become a nut case.

Hang in there, Chris! There are plenty of "Little Engines" on this wonderful forum who are going to help all of us get to the other side of the mountain.

Linda W.

04-27-2007, 05:53 PM

Linda, I had not heard of that book and will definitely look into it. It's got to be better than my current addiction to People Magazine, don't you think??

Berta, good luck with your trip home! You're amazing.

Thanks again Lynn! - also Shari, RiRi, Amber, Theresa,Geo and Suzyjay.

And Chris -- about that post-op sex section -- let's just say that it involves a lot of rolled-up towels, squishy pillows, and lying verrrrry still. :cool:


04-28-2007, 01:00 AM
Hi Chris,

That sounds like something I can do by myself too!!! ;)


04-28-2007, 08:29 PM
Hi Chris,

I can't imagine what you are feeling right now, but I'm sure I'll know in a couple of months when I'm going through my preop.

You will be my inspiration! I know you will be okay.

Btw - I got that packet of info from Dr. Boachie's office on my first appointment. I was quite shocked on the sex part. I showed my husband and we had a giggle over it! :rolleyes:

Jacque's Mom
05-03-2007, 12:37 PM
Are you back in Hawaii? If so, how did you do on the plane? Been thinking about you as everytime I fly I suffer for a few days after for sitting so straight in those seats. I can't imagine someone just having surgery having to do the same. Hope it wasn't too uncomfortable. All the best, LYNN

05-03-2007, 12:57 PM
Yes! We got home to Hawaii late Monday night and the whole day was an exhausting challenge! Not only the flight, but the drive from Novato to the SF airport, the waiting, security, etc. etc. It was not easy, but I made it! The United 1st class was not great, and unless I lay flat, any recline is useless. I did a lot of sitting straight, standing, walking, but was almost going crazy until my husband found 3 seats in a row empty in coach that I laid down (with pillows) for a little bit of time towards the end. Getting to the airport, I laid down on the back seat on pillows with my knees up! What a day!
Thanks for thinking of me! Being home is the best, so it was worth it.
Today, I am 5 weeks post op and thinking......ok.......when do I start feeling really better!? I know each day I AM a little better, but it's so hard to be patient, and when you have 2 more months in a brace.... but still, I'm SO GLAD I did it and it's over and now it's just time and healing!

Jacque's Mom
05-03-2007, 03:11 PM
So glad to hear you're safe and sound. The past five weeks probably feel like five months but if you think about what your body went through and where you are today, you really have come a long way. Take care of yourself and keep posting....Regards, LYNN

05-03-2007, 07:31 PM
Other than Berta, does anyone have experience flying home post-op on a 5+ hour flight?

(Berta - glad to hear that you are back home, but sorry to hear that you couldn't get very comfortable despite having 1st class seats. What a long time to be stuck in the plane.)

Only Jet Blue flies non-stop from JFK to Oakland, but they do not offer 1st or business class seats. United and American do have 1st class seats, but I would have to connect somewhere if I want to fly into Oakland, or I can fly non-stop to SFO, which for me entails a much longer ride home. Do you think it would be better to do the connecting flight, where I could walk around the terminal a bit in between 2 - 3 hour flights, or just face up to a 5+ hour nonstop? :confused: (I will have an adult travelling with me)

05-04-2007, 01:24 AM
Hi Berta,

Wow, I only had a 3 hour drive, I'm in awe that you made a lengthy flight!!!

You have to have a wonderful husband to make the effort to make you comfortable!!!!

Recovery can be rough, but try and remember all the things that your loved one's have gone through, and done for you during that time. I found myself getting frustrated after my surgery and even felt like a bourden to them. I got very depressed, and that can be normal.

I think it's so easy for us to get impatient with all that is involved in the healing process, does anyone ever really address it completely???

Just know that if you have to vent or whatever, we're all here for you!!! We understand what you going through. My family was there for me, but I never felt like they knew what I was going through.


05-04-2007, 09:31 AM
You'll do fine, Chris. The pre-op anxiety is much worse than the actual procedure or recovery. You've got all the things you need to get through this...a caring spouse, a supportive family, a competent doctor, and us! You won't be facing anything alone.

05-04-2007, 09:48 AM
I have not had to fly immediately post-op, but here's an opinion. I traveled extensively for my job for the past 20 years, and not only lived in San Francisco for a few years but have visited there many times since. I have never been totally without back pain so air travel has been a challenge for me for almost all of those years. I totally appreciate the commute from SFO to Oakland (talk about traffic!!!). However, if I were facing your decision, I think I would opt for the 5-hour flight and a car trip from SFO. As Berta mentioned, the trip is going to exhaust you in any case. When you consider a connecting flight and the time it takes for the plane to land, taxi to the gate, exit the plane, get to the next gate, wait to board the plane again, taxi, and takeoff, I'm tired just thinking about it. I would be willing to bet you can get from SFO to Oakland quicker than that. I doubt you are going to feel much like walking around the terminal. For the amount of time you feel like you need to move around, you can do that on the plane. Take extra pillows with you to make yourself as comfortable as possible. And be sure to swallow your pride and arrange for a wheelchair to and from the gate. Good luck, and say hello to my heart in San Francisco! ;)

05-04-2007, 11:20 AM

Why on earth would you put yourself through the agony of a cross-country flight following this surgery when you have some of the best surgeons right at your doorstep?

According to what I was told by a top-rate surgeon in Chicago, some of the best surgeons in the world are right there in San Francisco, in particular those associated with David Bradford.

In Berta's case, she had no choice but to come to the mainland.

I spoke to a woman from Chicago who in an effort to find the best doctor wrote to Dr. David Bradford. He responded to her saying that while he is retired, he encouraged her to come to San Fran to consult with one of his colleages. But because of the distance factor, she ultimately had her surgery by Dr. Bridwell.

Just curious.


05-04-2007, 08:21 PM
trulyaries - thanks for the supportive comments. Your breakdown of all the tasks to be done when changing planes was enough to convince me to keep it simple and use SFO. If traffic is nuts going across the Bay Bridge, which it always was even before the McArthur interchange collapse a week ago, then we could use the San Mateo bridge instead.
I just spoke with Cathie in Atlanta, who had a shorter trip home from NYC than I will have; she assured me that, in the greater scheme of things, being uncomfortable for 1 day of flying was not worth stressing out - I'll take my
meds beforehand and plan to get up and walk as much as possible (maybe one can have unlimited drinks in First Class :D)