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View Full Version : A year ago today.



Robbie
01-05-2008, 11:54 AM
It's now been a year since I had my surgery! :D I couldn't be happier that I had it.

I'm going to contact my surgeon on Monday to arrange what I hope will be my final appointment with him.

I remember on some of the days following my surgery, I got pretty depressed because I didn't think I could deal with the long recovery I had ahead of me. Well, here I am now! The time does go very quickly. If you don't even think about it, it flies by. It seems like only yesterday I was being wheeled down to the operating theatre.

I hope that everyone who is having surgery soon (and at any time in the future) has much success with it, and that people who have already had it are recovering well. I think having the surgery is such a good idea. I had my doubts before, and so did my aunt, but now we both agree that it was the best thing for me to have done.

flowerpower
01-05-2008, 12:31 PM
Congratulations! Reaching that one-year mark is quite a milestone...best wishes for a problem-free back for many years to come-

Renee

rosie1108
01-05-2008, 01:04 PM
Congrats on reaching this big milestone!
Thank you for giving us hope and being an inspiration to all of us. I'm two weeks post op, so far have no regrets, and the time has certainly flown by. I can hardly wait until I can get back in my routine.

Roseann

Susie*Bee
01-05-2008, 01:15 PM
That's super! And so nice of you to let everyone share in your success! That's a big encouragement for so many of us. I'm looking forward to hitting the one year anniversary too-- just 4 more months to go. :)

LorDon
01-05-2008, 07:46 PM
Congratulations Robbie and thanks for posting! Continued best wishes to you!

Shari
01-06-2008, 01:03 AM
Hi Robbie,

It really is a rough recovery that tends to just fly by after the fact. My first 3 months seemed to take forever, then each month afterwards seemed to come faster and faster.

I had a rough recovery and at first I judged it from month to month, then week to week and eventually day to day. We just can't compare our recoveries to others on here, we all have different surgeries and different recovery times. The bottom line is that we recover, it's good for those that recover early, that's wonderful for them!!! But some of us take more time, and there is no shame in that !!!

The biggest mistake I made was comparing my recovery to other's that had done so much better than I!!!

Shari

abhbarry
01-06-2008, 11:38 AM
Congratulations! Best wishes for continued success.

Anya

samsmom
01-06-2008, 07:17 PM
Congratulations Robbie! What a wonderful, optimistic post. I will show it to my daughter for sure. Her surgery is 2/5/08 and she is very apprehensive!

Neesasmum
01-08-2008, 05:54 AM
It's now been a year since I had my surgery! :D I couldn't be happier that I had it.

I'm going to contact my surgeon on Monday to arrange what I hope will be my final appointment with him.

I remember on some of the days following my surgery, I got pretty depressed because I didn't think I could deal with the long recovery I had ahead of me. Well, here I am now! The time does go very quickly. If you don't even think about it, it flies by. It seems like only yesterday I was being wheeled down to the operating theatre.

I hope that everyone who is having surgery soon (and at any time in the future) has much success with it, and that people who have already had it are recovering well. I think having the surgery is such a good idea. I had my doubts before, and so did my aunt, but now we both agree that it was the best thing for me to have done.

Hi Robbie

I have been viewing this forum for the last 18 months and I remember reading when you had your op. Well done - it doesn't seem like a year ago! My daughter was diagnosed in September 2006 with idiopathic scoliosis and it has now progressed to a 52 degree curve and she will be having the fusion done on February 7th this year. She is 14 and is keen to have the surgery as she doesn't like the way her back looks. I am worried sick by the thought of the whole thing and would like to thank everyone who posts on this forum as it has been a great help to me during the last 18 months even although we live in Scotland and most people who post are in the States. Once again, congratulations on your anniversary Robbie, it certainly was the best thing you could have done!

Neesasmum
01-08-2008, 06:02 AM
Congratulations Robbie! What a wonderful, optimistic post. I will show it to my daughter for sure. Her surgery is 2/5/08 and she is very apprehensive!

Hi samsmom

I will be thinking about you and your daughter on the 5th February. My daughter will be having her surgery on the 7th February. Annessa is 14 and has a 52 degree curve (that was her measurment in October, I am sure it is worse now). I am so worried about everything but I know that we have no choice and have to do this. I will say a prayer for you and look forward to hearing how it all goes.

Anne

samsmom
01-08-2008, 03:42 PM
Hi Neesaasmum,

Looks like our daughter's surgeries are just 2 days apart. My daughter Sam is 16 and will be turning 17 right before her surgery. I am sure that you must be thinking that I just want the surgery over and done with like I do. This waiting is soo stressful for her (and the family too).

Right now we are ramping up for the 2 blood donations they need. They are having her take a lot of iron which isn't really agreeing with her. One donation will be next week and the second the following week.

I am not sure of where she will be fused until final x-rays are taken on the 30th, but the dr. is hoping to not go into the lumbar region. She has a 54 degree thoracic curve.

Best of luck with your daughter as well. I will try and post updates on any last minute tips/hints that I may have for you both.

Robbie
01-08-2008, 07:25 PM
Thank you everyone for the nice replies!

I have made an appointment with my surgeon for the 21st. I'll post here again to let everyone know how it went.

Thanks again. :)
Robbie.

Neesasmum
01-09-2008, 03:40 AM
Hi Neesaasmum,

Looks like our daughter's surgeries are just 2 days apart. My daughter Sam is 16 and will be turning 17 right before her surgery. I am sure that you must be thinking that I just want the surgery over and done with like I do. This waiting is soo stressful for her (and the family too).

Right now we are ramping up for the 2 blood donations they need. They are having her take a lot of iron which isn't really agreeing with her. One donation will be next week and the second the following week.

I am not sure of where she will be fused until final x-rays are taken on the 30th, but the dr. is hoping to not go into the lumbar region. She has a 54 degree thoracic curve.

Best of luck with your daughter as well. I will try and post updates on any last minute tips/hints that I may have for you both.

Hi Samsmom

Thank you for your lovely reply, it is so good to talk to someone who is going through the same thing! Annessa will be 15 in April and I have asked our doctor about her donating her own blood but he wasn't keen, although I would prefer it. I think they use a cell collector machine (something like that)but she may still need blood. There are only two doctors who are able to do this op in Scotland and they obviously service the whole country so there is a 6 month waiting list all the time but Annessa has been put to the front because of the speed her scoliosis has increased. I too am not sure of where she will be fused but I do know the doctor is hoping it will not be in the lumber region also. After reading the posts on this forum I think you are definately given a lot more information from the doctors in the States than we are here, which is a good thing in my book. I have been given the number of a spinal liason nurse and can phone her to discuss things and will be doing that this week. You are so right about the stress, I think part of me is still in shock at all this and I think about it 24/7! It would be great if you could keep in touch and give us any tips or hints that you have learned!
Best regards
Anne

samsmom
01-09-2008, 03:39 PM
Hi Samsmom

Thank you for your lovely reply, it is so good to talk to someone who is going through the same thing! Annessa will be 15 in April and I have asked our doctor about her donating her own blood but he wasn't keen, although I would prefer it. I think they use a cell collector machine (something like that)but she may still need blood. There are only two doctors who are able to do this op in Scotland and they obviously service the whole country so there is a 6 month waiting list all the time but Annessa has been put to the front because of the speed her scoliosis has increased. I too am not sure of where she will be fused but I do know the doctor is hoping it will not be in the lumber region also. After reading the posts on this forum I think you are definately given a lot more information from the doctors in the States than we are here, which is a good thing in my book. I have been given the number of a spinal liason nurse and can phone her to discuss things and will be doing that this week. You are so right about the stress, I think part of me is still in shock at all this and I think about it 24/7! It would be great if you could keep in touch and give us any tips or hints that you have learned!
Best regards
Anne



Hi Anne,
I am surprised that there are only 2 surgeons in Scotland who do this procedure. We are lucky that we have many options and only have about 20 minutes travel time. Will you have to travel far?

Right now I am trying to anticipate everything we will need both in the hospital and when we come home and have gotten some great suggestions on this site. Also trying to get my daughter through her exams which are next week. She is having such a hard time focusing on schoolwork with all that she is facing. (Anybody have tips on that??)

I did ask the doctor about giving her something for her nerves so that she can sleep the night before and be calm on arrival. That is something that you might want to see about as well.

The spinal liason nurse should be a good source for information. Please let us know if you find out anything new!

All the best!

LorDon
01-09-2008, 05:04 PM
Hi Samsmom,
Did the doctor agree to give her something for her nerves? Hopefully he hooked you up as well!! ;) Chris was ok the night before the surgery, but when we first got to the hospital and they were prepping him for the OR, I could tell how nervous he was. He kept shaking his leg and tapping his foot. The nurse asked him if he wanted something to relax him or if he felt ok. He shrugged his shoulders and I quickly jumped in and told him that it was a good idea. They mixed up his "cocktail" and within 10 minutes he was laughing hysterically at nothing in particular. I am so glad that he agreed to it because as they were rolling him down to the OR, he was still laughing and it made it much easier to say good bye to him. Needless to say, I requested a "cocktail" of my own, but they weren't giving it up! I tried! That was some good stuff! It was Valium mixed with something else. Don't remember the name of it, but it certainly did the trick. He was relaxed and I really needed to see that.

I know how stressful the weeks leading up to the surgery can be for EVERYBODY involved. Take a few deep breaths and just take one day at a time. Before you know it, you will be counting post op days!

Best of luck to you and Neesasmum! I will keep you and your daughters in my prayers!

Hugs to you,

Neesasmum
01-09-2008, 05:26 PM
Hi Samsmom

Yes, I will be sure to let you know if I learn anything new from the Spinal Liason Nurse when I talk to her.

I'm not surprised that Sam is finding it hard to focus on her exams at the moment, with everything that is going on around her. Annessa should be sitting exams on the dates she will be in hospital and is having to postpone them until April now. Hopefully she will be ok to sit them then. Like Sam, Annessa is apprehensive about the upcoming surgery and although she wants to have it she is also scared. That is a good idea to ask the doc about giving them something to sleep the night before, I will do that (I can't see me sleeping at all the night before!).

We went to our pilates class tonight and my friend was there who is a nurse and used to look after children who had gone through spinal fusions and she said she could tell by looking at Annessa from the front that her scoliosis had worsened since the last time she had seen her which was around the end of November. I think it looks worse too. I can't believe how fast these curves can progress!

When we found out the date of Annessa's op we decided to take all the family on a trip to New York and we have just returned from there on Saturday - it was great and really took our minds off it all for a little while.

You asked if we have far to travel to see our doctor and in that sense we are very fortunate as we live in Edinburgh which is where the 2 Consultants practice and the hospital is only 10 minutes up the road from where we live. I will be staying in the hospital with Annessa once she is out of intensive care though. Both surgeons are very dedicated and obviously have a busy workload.

Anyway, Samsmom, it is good to talk and share worries. I will let you know how I get on with the Spinal Nurse and please keep in touch.

All the very best
Anne

Neesasmum
01-09-2008, 05:46 PM
Hi Lori

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers! And thank you also for your advice, you obviously know exactly what we are going through! I was laughing at your "cocktail" story and I am sure I will feel the same way.

How is Chris now? I hope he is getting better and stronger everyday. Are any of your other children affected by scoliosis? I have a son who is 21 and he is fine. I still feel in shock by all of this and by how quickly Annessa's curve got worse!

Take good care and keep in touch!
Best wishes
Anne

LorDon
01-10-2008, 08:15 AM
Hi Anne,
Chris is doing fantastic. He has been completely off his meds (including Tylenol) for roughly 10 days. All of the steri strips have fallen off and his scar is healing very nicely. He has no complaints at all. His appetite is back to normal and his color is back. I am astonished at how quickly he bounced back. The week in the hospital was the worst for us but once he came home, things got better each day. The recovery period has been much easier than I anticipated.

My 3 other children don't have scoliosis and I'm praying that they don't develop it. I must admit, I fall into the neurotic Mom category because I frequently have them bend over and I inspect their backs. They think I'm nuts, but that's ok. I've been called worse ;)

I know how you feel about the shock of quickly progressing curves. Chris' curves jumped 17 degrees in a year and we felt like we were hit with a brick when we looked at the xrays and were told he needed surgery. The months that followed produced a myriad of emotions ranging from shock, sadness, depression and finally acceptance. The good news is that I am so glad that we went ahead and did the surgery and the relief I feel now is enormous.

You'll get through it. Believe me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Take care and keep us posted!

samsmom
01-10-2008, 09:30 AM
Hi Anne,

That was a good idea about taking a trip. I am trying to keep Sam busy so we don't dwell on the upcoming operation ... maybe a spa visit. You must have had a great time in NY. So much to see and do. We are only an hour from NY and go there often.

Sam's curve progressed rapidly as well. They stopped bracing as the doctors felt she was done growing and we had an appointment to go for a re-check 6 months after. I had to call and move the appointment up because I could actually see that she had worsened. Sure enough, her curve increased 10 degrees in four months and we were advised to have the surgery!

It is good that you are close to where Annesaa is having the operation. From other posts I can see that people have to travel hours away and that just makes it all the more difficult. I will be staying with Sam in the hospital... and maybe my husband if they will allow us.

Take care and hang in there,
Michele

samsmom
01-10-2008, 09:39 AM
Hi Lori,

I am glad to hear that Chris is doing fantastic. Is he normally pretty tough??
Sam has a really low tolerance for pain, so I am really concerrned. He really came off the pain medicines quickly. How wonderful.

What is his activity level like now? Is he back to school or does he have tutors coming in? Is he riding in the car or taking walks now?

It is good to find someone a few steps ahead and doing so well. Thanks for your encouraging words.

Best,
Michele

LorDon
01-11-2008, 08:25 PM
Hi Michele,
Chris does have a pretty high tolerance for pain. He didn't really like being on the Oxycodone because he would wake up drenched in sweat. I did a quick search on the internet and found out that sweating is a side effect from it. He couldn't wait to be off of it. He also didn't experience many muscle spasms so he didn't use too many of the Valium. They also sent him home with anti-nauseau medicine but he never took any. He improved so much after we got home. Sleeping in his own bed without hourly interruptions and having his own surroundings helped him tremendously.

He isn't back to school yet and has 5 tutors coming to the house. I don't feel that he is ready to go back full time yet and that was confirmed yesterday. He had his history tutor in the morning for 1.5 hours and his Trig and Precalc tutor in the afternoon for about 1 hr and 45 minutes. He was really tired afterwards and his back was stiff from sitting for long periods. He said he had a hard time focusing at the end. Can't blame him there - trig and precalc aren't exactly exciting! He told me that there was no way he was ready to go back to school for a full day. I'm not rushing it. It's a huge surgery and I want to be sure he is completely ready. Being a boy, he isn't exactly anxious to get back either! I've heard that most girls don't want to miss much, but Chris is just the opposite. He doesn't sweat the small stuff, that's for sure.

Believe me, you will be surprised at how quickly they start to feel better and act more like themselves. I really expected a lot more pain during the recovery period but I was pleasantly surprised.

Stay in touch!