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vndy
09-30-2007, 03:21 PM
Hi All,

I have two totally unrelated questions (as you can see from the topic!).

First, I have taken the advice about doing something fun right before surgery, and I'm inviting a bunch of friends to visit the weekend before my surgery date. That said, I'm sure I'm inviting lots of questions about the whats and whys of my surgery. How did you handle questions from friends? I don't want it to be a pity party, focused on what I'm about to go through - rather, I want to be surrounded by my friends who make me happy and positive so I go into surgery feeling good.

Secondly, my PCP perscribed vicodin to help me deal with the pain and trouble sleeping, to get me through til surgery. While I definately want to nix the pain, and get some sleep, I'm concerned about becoming dependent on painkillers prior to surgery, especially after reading some people's experiences post-op. So simply, how much is too much? Can I take one at night every night without becoming dependent? Every other night? Once or twice a week?

Thanks!!!

MATJESNIC
09-30-2007, 03:33 PM
We had a huge party for Nicole one month before her surgery. It was a "Let's Get it Straight" party and it was upbeat and so much fun. My husband sang "You raise me up" by Josh Groban and that was probably the only serious part of the night. When Nicole was in the hospital crying in pain, I turned to my husband and told him I was so glad we gave Nicole such an amazing party. She deserved it. Nicole is not crying in pain anymore, by the way. She is doing great.

geo
09-30-2007, 04:11 PM
I also didn't want lots of pity or questions or people raising doubts in my mind before going into surgery. So, I sent out a mass e-mail to friends and family, explaining how I'd come to the point of considering surgery (many had no idea that I had scoliosis), including my reasons (pain, further progression, doctor's opinions), and letting them know how good and calmed I felt about this decision. I hoped to set the tone with my own positive outlook. I also let them know I was looking for all of their POSITIVE thoughts and good vibes and prayers to help me through this, and thanked them in advance for helping me through what I hoped to be a smooth recovery.
Before doing that, I started a page for myself on thestatus.com, and in my e-mail I explained to everyone how to get to my page and that I or someone with me would keep it updated. I cannot tell you how happy everyone was to be able to go to that site, see what was going on each day, and be able to send me their encouraging words. In fact, I started getting messages on it right away.
Also, in regards to my mass e-mail, I received ALL positive responses from my friends and family. I really think it helped to set the tone, let them know I was nervous but very excited about what this could mean in my life. People will naturally have questions for you, but if you remain upbeat and positive, you will lead the way for everyone else to do the same.

Shari
10-03-2007, 12:51 AM
Wow,

What great ideas!!! :) Wish I would have thought of that!!!

Shari

crgriffith
10-03-2007, 02:19 PM
My friends surprised me with a hot air balloon ride to celebrate my life and our friendships together. It was something I had always dreamed of doing, but didn't realize I had ever told anyone. Everyone was apprehensive (except me) but determined to participate. We had a wonderful, memorable experience and never spent a moment of the day talking about my upcoming surgery.

As for the Vicodin, I'm still taking one in the morning and one in the afternoon six months post-op. It seems to be the only medication that "takes the edge off" my discomfort. In the evening, I just deal with it because I'm fairly inactive by then. My internist assures me that at this level, I needn't be concerned about addiction and I've stopped worrying about it. I'll go off when I'm ready.

Shari
10-10-2007, 01:12 AM
I was on extra strength vicodin for a year after my surgery, and I felt some guilt and shame about that at the time. Now as I look back 2 and 1/2 years later, I don't think it matters. We have to do what we have to do to get through it.

I thinks it's great when some people don't need the meds, but I don't think anyone should feel ashamed when they do!!! That's just a waste of mental energy.

I never took any kind of pain meds prior to surgery, not even and aspirin, until the last year, and I was miserable for at least 10 years. And my drug of choice was excedrin for migrains.

Cathy I like your attitude!!!

Shari

nzgirl
10-10-2007, 05:19 AM
I just wanted to say, this is such a cool positive thread, I really like hearing the ways in which peoples families and friends supported them. I also did the email thing, and explained that I had surgery coming up and how I made the decision. While I didn't get replies from everyone, I realised that there was a lot of support out there. As for the people that didn't reply, I tried not to take it personally and realise that not everyone can find the words.
I'm also thinking about a party, I'm not sure though because I feel like it might be a bit attention-seeky. The culture here in NZ can be a bit about not drawing attention to yourself and keeping things low key. Either way, I love what you guys have been doing, it's really cool. It's important to be proactive about stuff, especially in getting people together and telling them what you need.
As for the vicodin, the fact that you have an awareness of the risk of dependency should set you right. If you think as you are taking it, 'why am I taking this, am I sore or just upset' etc... you can work out if you're taking it for the right reasons. I had a chuckle when I saw the title of this thread, thinking you were talking about some druggie party!