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Janet
11-17-2007, 04:10 PM
What types of emotional responses did you post-ops (especially the more mature ones) experience when you saw your beautiful new backs (aside from the thrill of be able to buy clothes that fit properly)? I'm wondering what it will feel like when I no longer have a deformed torso. I've lived with it for 50 years, and I'm sure a lot of my behaviours are defensive ones I acquired over the years to sheild myself from ridicule.

Thanks,

Janet

crepehanger
11-17-2007, 04:28 PM
Hello Janet- Since you asked....

A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting in a mostly empty fast food restaurant and pacing back and forth inside waiting for a friend to meet me for lunch. I felt self conscious about people staring at my back and rib hump as I walked. And then, I remembered...I don't have a crooked back and rib hump anymore!!! It was quite liberating....Old habits are hard to break, but it is okay to make new ones and break out of the old thinking.. Good luck to you, dear, I am excited for you... Lisa

DebbieM
11-17-2007, 06:34 PM
Hi Janet

I was wondering, it looks to me like you are having a revision surgery??? Did i read correctly? I am 1 month post op and when i look at my back i can still see a little bit of a hump on my right side. My shoulder blade sticks out just a little bit more. I can see that i am not 100 percent but it really does look good compared to what it was. Dr. Pashman said it was a 60 percent correction and was happy with that.

Deb :)

dajanerz
11-17-2007, 11:22 PM
Nice lookin back there ya got deb!.

Here are my before and after pics that were taken 2 weeks post-op. I am now almost 4 weeks post-op to date...

Singer
11-18-2007, 08:11 AM
Janet -- the cosmetic results aren't apparent right away because you're swollen after surgery. When I first stood up and walked around, my body felt very crooked, but not in the way I had felt crooked before -- I felt completely off-kilter because I wasn't used to my new posture yet. That took about a month to get used to. It took 2-3 months for everything to settle down and for me to realize that I was indeed straight and had a fabulous new bod that I now love showing off. I had no trouble ditching all of my long baggy sweaters and jackets and switching over to more form-hugging clothes!!

So the short answer is: it's a process, and you won't get the full impact of your new body all at once. You kind of grow into it. Over the past 5 months I have gradually developed a feeling of relief and freedom about how I look, but I'm still a bit preoccupied with post-op pain and weakness issues.

abhbarry
11-18-2007, 10:44 AM
This is a very good question. Sometimes old habits are hard to let go, especially when you've lived with them for so long. My husband laughed at me in the first 2 months or so post-op because I kept checking in the mirror to make sure I still had 2 real hips! He kept reassuring me that my back was not going to go back to the way it was. I still feel my back often to make sure I'm not getting my rip hump back. My brain knows I'm not, but I still feel reassured just to check. I know that sounds paranoid and silly, but it takes a while to realize that you have a new body. I'm 5 months post-op and still realizing this. Change can be scary even when it is for the better, but this is GREAT change!

Best of luck,
Anya

geo
11-18-2007, 03:25 PM
I haven't lived with this as long as you have, but I have had an overwhelming emotional response over the last couple months of recovery.

First, it was such a relief to let all my family and friends know what I'd been going through, and to have all their support. No more hiding! I've also found myself relaxing so much more in the way I move, not feeling so self-conscious of real or imagined deformities. I still have a rib hump, but I just don't care as much as I used to if anyone notices it.

This is a really interesting topic to me, and I'm excited to read further responses.

lelc2002@yahoo
11-18-2007, 04:15 PM
I am out almost a year & 3 mos ! I was over whelmed too, after about 6 mos at how straight I was. My rib hump is gone!
I do notice now that the left hip is more pronounced and of course I can't expect perfection since I still have a 60 degree curve-lumbar. I try to work at remembering how bad I was as we all tend to take things forgranted as time goes on.... :)
I still touch my back in the morning to feel the flatness...weird but it's a good feeling not to fell the hump there!
Lynne
fused T-11 to L-5/boachie/kim aug 2006
http://lynnebackattack.blogspot.com

Janet
11-19-2007, 12:58 PM
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses. I have learned so much from you "post-ies"

Debbie - I should clarify - this is my first time surgery; the stats in my signature line are confusing; what I was trying to point out is how my kyphotic curve has accelerated in such a short time period (and it's probably gotten worse since April).

Dr. B. told me last month that, because of the longevity of the deformity, he does not expect my pushed-out right shoulder blade to be completely corrected - there still likely will be a hump, albeit a lot smaller. Of course I was disappointed to hear that - I turn green with envy when I see women with lovely straight backs, who probably just take them for granted. However, I know that the surgery will stop the progression, straighten the curves to some degree, alleviate pain and restore my balance. My center of gravity has been so off for 50 years, I can only imagine how weird it will be to re-learn how to walk, sit, etc. Eventually I may actually be able to ride a bicycle without falling over!

Janet
11-21-2007, 07:30 PM
Per Dr. B's instructions, I consulted with a neurologist. She looked at my most recent MRI, and just looking at the plane showing the scoli curves, she paused and said something like "wow, your spine has some major curves!" I replied "just wait until you get to the views showing the kyphosis curve."

Her comment made me smile because now I know I am not crazy. For decades I have favored the "oversize shirts & jackets haute coutour" style and, as many of you have posted, people just don't notice the curves until they're told. A big change I made about 2 months ago was to shed the baggy outer wrappings and actually go out in public wearing just a cotton knit pullover, with the deformity being very obvious. I had decided to "come out" because I accepted that although this is me now, I did not cause this and I am doing what I can to improve it (plus I decided I didn't care what people would think).

Hugs,
Janet

majo
11-22-2007, 07:20 AM
Wearing clothes that fit to you.... It will be delightful!!!! Congrats




What types of emotional responses did you post-ops (especially the more mature ones) experience when you saw your beautiful new backs (aside from the thrill of be able to buy clothes that fit properly)? I'm wondering what it will feel like when I no longer have a deformed torso. I've lived with it for 50 years, and I'm sure a lot of my behaviours are defensive ones I acquired over the years to sheild myself from ridicule.

Thanks,

Janet

skoshi314
01-18-2008, 11:11 AM
I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only person in the world that feels this way! I've known since I was 13 that my back curves, but as I became an adult, I'd get so frustrated with buying clothes, especially pants. I never realize why this was so frustrating (duh!). I have maybe 1/2" between my bottom rib and my hip bone, and trying to find jeans or slacks that don't come up to right under my boobs was a task. When low rise jeans came to the stores several years ago, I almost cried I was so happy! And the jacket thing, I have a closet full of jackets, blazers, hoodies and twin set sweaters for camouflage. Now I feel somewhat vindicated knowing it wasn't just me being too picky about how my clothes fit.
I've spent hours in the last couple of weeks reading the different threads and stories and looking at before and after pictures. Thank you everyone for being willing to share your experiences so people like me who are just beginning this adventure can learn so much! You are all an inspiration!

Sharshe
01-18-2008, 11:43 AM
I just always wear shirts untucked, I tend to wear my boys hand-me-downs too. Doesn't look great but it's all to baggy for anyone to notice the scoliosis, and it doesn't pull crooked so much.

DebbieM
01-18-2008, 01:45 PM
I am 3 months post-op and I am not all that happy yet about my new body. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled at the fact that I so far have no back pain from the scoliosis anymore. I have gained 20 lbs. (I am 5'1" and 147 lbs. way too much for my height) since my surgery, the most I have ever weighed in my life. My doctor said that some of it is still swollen from surgery...maybe he was just trying to make me feel good...LOL. So, needless to say, my pants (Jeans) do not fit me anymore and I refuse to buy any. I have about 15 pairs. I have been wearing sweat outfits for 3 months now and I am getting very tired of wearing the same things. I think that when I lose weight that I will be happy with my new body. I kind of feel like I have a sway back. Does anyone feel that? I'm thinking that maybe it's because my back is the way it is supposed to be now.

Singer
01-18-2008, 02:19 PM
I felt VERY swaybacked for probably a couple of months post-op -- it felt like my butt was sticking way out when in actuality it was properly aligned with my hips for the first time in God-knows-how-long! For me, it took a long time for my brain to understand how my new body actually felt, if that makes any sense.

Geish
01-18-2008, 04:08 PM
I am 5 weeks post op and I have to say that I cried the first time I got ready to shower. I hadn't seen a waist on both side of my body since I was about 12. I couldn't believe the difference in how I looked. The night before surgery I had my daughter take pictures of my back and stomach so I would have documentation of my progress. When I looked at the pictures on the camera I was stunned at how twisted and warped I looked. I knew my stomach had a fold just under my ribs that I couldn't hide caused by the rotation of my spine, but I had no idea it looked so bad. I still can't believe that my stomach is flat or that my torso has elongated so much. Everyone I have seen since the surgery can't believe the difference. Not only am I 2 inches taller, but I am standing up straight and the habitual lean to the left is gone! Sorry to go on and on but I am still in awe and can't quite believe this isn't I dream I have to wake up from.

Sharshe
01-18-2008, 04:29 PM
How wonderful for you!

lelc2002@yahoo
01-18-2008, 04:31 PM
Geish-I can relate to your post! I am about the same age & was so happy with having a waist and having the rib hump gone. I now often wear belts which I never did before surgery(as I got worse)
Funny how after a yr &1/2 post-op, I tend to take it forgranted as I tend to forget now how badly disformed I was....
about your other post on being tired, I was always tired at the stage you are now at. It's normal. Your body has been thru so much that it just wants to sleep & repair itself..........Lynne :)

surgery-aug 2006 fused T11 to L5/Boachie/Kim
95 curve to 60 Kyphosis was 85
http://lynnebackattack.blogspot.com

DebbieM
01-18-2008, 05:15 PM
I am 3 months post-op and I am not all that happy yet about my new body. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled at the fact that I so far have no back pain from the scoliosis anymore. I have gained 20 lbs. (I am 5'1" and 147 lbs. way too much for my height) since my surgery, the most I have ever weighed in my life. My doctor said that some of it is still swollen from surgery...maybe he was just trying to make me feel good...LOL. So, needless to say, my pants (Jeans) do not fit me anymore and I refuse to buy any. I have about 15 pairs. I have been wearing sweat outfits for 3 months now and I am getting very tired of wearing the same things. I think that when I lose weight that I will be happy with my new body. I kind of feel like I have a sway back. Does anyone feel that? I'm thinking that maybe it's because my back is the way it is supposed to be now.
__________________

Susie*Bee
01-19-2008, 09:11 AM
I too, am not happy yet--but that has been a problem most of my adult life! (On and off I've gotten my weight down.) I had to laugh also about what your doctor said, since it's been 3 months. Of course, maybe he knows more than we do! You and I seem to be in the very tiny minority who gain weight from the surgery. I mentioned to David Wolpert that I had actually gained 8 lbs. in the hospital, even with an ileus, and he said he had never run across that before... I am working on my weight now, with the go-ahead from my scoli nurse to lose a pound a week. That will be very slow progress, but actually could be 15-20 lbs. by summer. So there's hope! Sure would be better than staying the same or, HORRORS! :eek: the chance of gaining even more. IF/when I lose it and actually like the way my back looks, I may post "year after" pics. We'll see! ;) Some of you older post-ops have really inspired me with your "young looking" backs! You look as young (fit?) as the young gals do.

I am thrilled with the amount of correction--just wish the extra padding would disappear too! Busy working on it-- :) Susie

JanL
01-21-2008, 07:44 AM
When I started to seriously research surgery last spring, the reason was clearly to stop the radiating pain from buldging discs and to stop the progression. Then I found this forum and so many of you have had great cosmetic results, I hoped for that as a side benefit. By time of my surgeries in Dec my curves were in the 60 degree range. My Dr says I got ~ 50% correction. On xray it looks like the most correction was in the lumbar area, perhaps because of both the posterior and anterior approaches in that area. I still have a bit of a rib hump in the thoracic area. So I am not perfect but I have to remind myself the real reason for the surgery was to stop pain and progression.

txmarinemom
01-21-2008, 08:35 AM
... My Dr says I got ~ 50% correction. On xray it looks like the most correction was in the lumbar area, perhaps because of both the posterior and anterior approaches in that area. I still have a bit of a rib hump in the thoracic area. So I am not perfect but I have to remind myself the real reason for the surgery was to stop pain and progression.

JanL, while my curve isn't progressing (it's held since I came out of my Boston brace at 14 yrs old ... I say because I think 14 is when my parents finally gave up the fighting over it. I was SO non-compliant, I don't really remember *when* I wore it 23 hrs a day), I too, am having surgery due to disc protrusions above the curve and increasing pain.

Cosmetic "adjustment", personally, is just a possible bonus in my case.

My surgeon estimates correction of my structural thoracic curve to 20, and about a 50% reduction in my rib hump (no thoracoplasty - and, in fact, no bone harvest at all for me ... Hanson will use a combo of allograft/BMP). The rib hump has never really bothered me anyway, so not a big deal.

Actually (and I know it sounds vain), what concerns me most about appearance post-op is what the correction will do to the aesthetics of prior breast augmentation. My plastic surgeon spent an hour or so making sure each side was unequally sized, yet symmetrical. As I've written before, if he'd filled each side equally, right boob would have led the way every day.

What if, after surgery, LEFT boob takes charge of daily navigation? I'm fearful - LOL!

Funny how my left hand can catch a 100 mph softball, yet can't manage to get a fork to my mouth. There are some serious road closures between my left side motor skills and brain. It's entirely possible if left boob gets the wheel, I'll just walk in circles ;-).

And Geish, I love that "tummy tuck" line ... a while back I asked if getting taller would smooth out my lil' love handles. Some said yes, some said no.

I'm going to surgery sleep with my fingers crossed anyway ;-).

Regards,
Pam

amae28
01-21-2008, 04:14 PM
I don't know if anyone else here is in this situation...
while i am really excited for a normal looking back, I am dreading the height gain. I am already 6' 1/2'' as it is. I think I wouldn't freak if i was 6'2'', but any taller than that and I think I would be really, really self conscience. It has taken all 20 years of my life to get used to how i am now, I can't imagine starting over. I am just fearing that I am going to feel like i do when I put on a pair of tall shoes. UGH! I'm excited, but NOT for this part!

Canadian_Bacon
01-24-2008, 02:29 PM
I don't know if anyone else here is in this situation...
while i am really excited for a normal looking back, I am dreading the height gain. I am already 6' 1/2'' as it is. I think I wouldn't freak if i was 6'2'', but any taller than that and I think I would be really, really self conscience. It has taken all 20 years of my life to get used to how i am now, I can't imagine starting over. I am just fearing that I am going to feel like i do when I put on a pair of tall shoes. UGH! I'm excited, but NOT for this part!

I found this funny - I'll be in the same boat! Oh well, I can deal with being tall :)

amae28
01-24-2008, 03:52 PM
Canadian Bacon-
If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?

trulyaries
01-24-2008, 05:56 PM
Y'know, there's just no justice! All my life I was 5'2", with my scoli I shrunk to 5'-3/4"; had surgery, went up to just under 5'2", and now this week was measured twice at 5' even, with me standing up as straight as I possibly could!! Amae28, what I wouldn't give to be able to take about 4" away from you and we both would be happy.
Just call me Shorty! :D

Singer
01-24-2008, 06:19 PM
Hey Shorty, I got you beat at 4'11" - and that's AFTER surgery. Standing as tall as I can, with my neck stretched. Making them measure me on top of the poofy part of my hair.

txmarinemom
01-24-2008, 08:58 PM
Amae and Canadian Bacon ... I'm 5'2" (pre-op) and all I could think when y'all were talking about your height is "DAMN, I bet they actually get to see who's on stage at a concert!!" - LOL ;-).

Pam

skoshi314
01-24-2008, 09:44 PM
I used to be 5'2" and now I'm 5' 1/2". I told my kids if I get the 2" back post-surgery, I might get nose bleeds from the altitude! It's a risk I'm willing to take!

Canadian_Bacon
01-24-2008, 11:14 PM
Canadian Bacon-
If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?

I'm about 6'1 and thats WITH 90degree kyphosis. There is a good chance I'll have surgery this year - I wouldn't be surprised if I shot up to 6'3 with a good amount of correction.

I actually like my hieght! I really don't feel *that* tall :)

vndy
01-24-2008, 11:15 PM
I was somewhere between 5'0 and 5'1/2" pre-op, I'm I am now a FULL 5'2 (maybe even a quarter inch over!). I still feel like I'm in someone else's body; wearing heels feels like walking a tightrope (talk about an altitude change!), and all of my shirts are suddenly too short. It's a good thing, I think, but it takes time to get used to. Before, I always felt like my ribcage was too big for my body (because it stuck out to one side) - Now, each time I look in the mirror, I'm pleasantly surprised every time. I wonder when this body will feel like "mine"!

Those of you "little ones" heading into surgery, I think that the slight growth makes a bigger difference for us - proportionally, it's a bigger change!

Canadian_Bacon
01-24-2008, 11:21 PM
I don't know if anyone else here is in this situation...
while i am really excited for a normal looking back, I am dreading the height gain. I am already 6' 1/2'' as it is. I think I wouldn't freak if i was 6'2'', but any taller than that and I think I would be really, really self conscience. It has taken all 20 years of my life to get used to how i am now, I can't imagine starting over. I am just fearing that I am going to feel like i do when I put on a pair of tall shoes. UGH! I'm excited, but NOT for this part!

Also - don't feel too self conscience about it! You can pull of anything with confidence.

trulyaries
01-25-2008, 11:12 AM
Wow - I didn't think there were so many shorties here! What compounds my lack of height is that I am so thick around the middle - my "trunk" is like a tree trunk - straight up and down - and wide! My surgeries helped that only minimally. Even though Pam and I are close in height, there's NO WAY IN A HUNDRED YEARS that I will EVER look like she does in her photos. ;)

This all reminds me of when I informed everyone after my first surgery when I gained back most of my height, "no more short jokes," my niece (4'10") said "Short??? I always thought you were tall!!" :D

amae28
01-25-2008, 12:32 PM
Good to know there's some other "tallies" out there!!! As for everyone else, if I could give you a couple inches I would in a heartbeat! My height is something I guess I'll have to deal with... tall boys, come my way!!! haha.

Canadian_Bacon
01-27-2008, 01:15 AM
Good to know there's some other "tallies" out there!!! As for everyone else, if I could give you a couple inches I would in a heartbeat! My height is something I guess I'll have to deal with... tall boys, come my way!!! haha.

lol - there you go, that's the spirit.


I have to say, the only thing that sucks about being this tall is finding ties that aren't too short

trulyaries
01-27-2008, 11:34 AM
And while we're all in a giving mood, I have about 30 lbs. I'm more than willing to give anyone who will take them!! :D

txmarinemom
01-27-2008, 12:05 PM
Trulyaries, you can post those on the "durable medical supply" forum I suggested, or the (still non-functional) surgical calendar ...

:-)

CurvySAT05
01-28-2008, 03:07 PM
Abbie,
I'm with you on the height. When I was first diagnosed with scoli I was 5'8". I grew to 5'10" before my first surgery and I think I am around 6'0"-6'1" now but have not been measured since my surgery on 12/5. It is hard to find the "tall boys" since even the tall ones are not as tall as I am.

rincotato
02-06-2008, 01:00 PM
what do you mean by sway backed??? or sway back?

I'm considering surgery so it's been interesting to read all your replies

-x-

rosie1108
02-06-2008, 07:10 PM
When my surgeon pulled me out of bed two days after surgery so I could stand, I saw shock and awe on my husband's face as he saw me now nearly 3" taller!
I used to be around 5'5", shrunk to around 5'4", now up around 5"7. I put on a pair of my heels (4 1/2") and I was as tall as my husband!

Sway back is where the lower back has more curve than normal, so a person appears that they are leaning back more than normal. In some people it is just the way they are. It can be somewhat a result of the surgery, degeneration, or abnormal muscle physiology.