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JamieR
02-09-2008, 07:59 PM
I am new to the site. My name is Jamie, I am 27 years old with a 4 year old daughter. I have known about my scoliosis since age 14. I will be having surgery in three weeks to correct my progressing curves. I am exited to see what my new back will look like but anxious about the pain. I am strong and I know I will get through it but it is still scary. Wanted to see if anyone would mind sharing their hospital experience with me. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

2005 Curves - 28/40/32
2008 Curves - 28/63/44

Surgery Date - 3/3/08

skoshi314
02-09-2008, 09:57 PM
JamieR,
Welcome to the site! I'm afraid I can't offer any info on the hospital experience or surgery advice since I'm still waiting to find out if I'll have surgery. But what I can do is to assure you that you've come to the right place to get honest and compassionate support and information. I'm fairly new to the forum myself, but since I've been here I've been absolutely astounded at the wonderful people here. And if you have a question, there is someone here that can answer it. This is a caring, loving supportive family and I'm certain that in no time you'll feel right at home!

Geish
02-09-2008, 11:08 PM
I had surgery 8 weeks ago. I don't know if I am the exception or the rule, but I have not really experienced any pain since about a week post op. I went into surgery fairly healthy and in decent shape, not great mind you but not bad either. My surgery went very well and I was off the IV meds at day 3. I was off the dilaudid at 13 days post op and have been taking 1 ultram 3 times a day since about day 13 also. I take a muscle relaxer about every 2-3 days at bedtime.

I am still surprised at how little pain I have actually experienced. I was expecting to be in severe pain and heavily medicated for months. What I feel most days is discomfort and or tiredness. I also notice how different I feel on the inside. There is this "solid" feeling in my back that wasn't there before. I am not sure if it is from the rods or from the bone fusing.

My personal feeling is that the more fit and prepared you are before the surgery the better you will feel after. I started at the gym 12 weeks pre op and worked on cardio and some strength training. I had to stop at 4 weeks pre op because I was too tired to continue. Get your legs and arms as strong as you can before surgery as you will use these muscles a lot after. Pushing up to a sitting position after surgery seemed almost impossible at first but now it is no big deal and hasn't been for weeks. If your legs are strong it is easier to return to a standing position after squatting to pick something up.

Feel free to PM me if there are any more questions I can help answer. Good luck with your surgery. We will be thinking of you on the 3rd!
Alicia

mariya
02-09-2008, 11:11 PM
Hi JamieR,

I think you tried sending me a private message but unfortunately my mailbox was full.

I just cleaned out the mailbox and will be able to receive new messages so please send me your message again.

Thanks!!

Mariya

vndy
02-10-2008, 11:55 AM
Hi Jamie,

When I got home from the hospital I posted a "day-by-day" of my hospital stay. If you search for "day-by-day" you should find it. While I thought I was lucid at the time, its all a blur to me now, and I needed help from family to reconstruct my experience for that post. Over all, my biggest problem was NOT my back - rather my stomach had trouble waking up from the anesthesia.

While there is definitely some pain at the beginning, I experienced more discomfort than anything else. Let me know if I can be helpful or if you have any other questions!

JamieR
02-10-2008, 12:50 PM
Geish,

I am glad to hear that it was not as bad as you expected. I think the thing I am worried about is getting up and walking for the first time. This maybe a silly question but were you allowed to take a shower in the hospital at all? I know I may not feel like it but I also know that something as small as a shower makes me feel so much better when I am feeling bad. Did you have to use a walker any at first or did you walk on your own?

Geish
02-10-2008, 01:56 PM
I wasn't cleared to shower for a week so I didn't shower until I got home. I did have 3-4 sponge baths in the hospital and they helped me to feel clean. I also used baby wipes at home until I was cleared to bathe.

As for walking, I was up the evening of day 2 and only once I had my brace. My fusion is 22 inches long so I have a brace until they can see fusion clearly on the xrays, about 8 more weeks. When I first stood up I felt so weak and shaky. I remember taking about 3-4 steps with lots of help and then shuffling back to the bed and lying down. Day 3 I was able to walk to the door and then out the door later in the day. By day 4 I was going up stairs and walking the length of the hall and back. I used a walker until I got home from the hospital and gave it up at about day 8 or 9, I really can't remember. At first I felt like I really needed it, but by the time I was home a day it just got in my way. Again I came home 6 days post op, 5 nights total in the hospital.

Make sure you bring a pillow for the car ride home. My trip ended up taking 4 1/2 hours due to LA traffic, heavy rain, heavy fog and then snow! What a horrible drive home. I still use a pillow in the car for my back.

Feel free to keep asking questions. I will answer any I can!

rosie1108
02-10-2008, 02:06 PM
Hi Jamie! I'm 22, and just I had surgery 7 weeks ago, and I did not take a shower in the hospital, but 6 days after surgery the day after I got home.

I walked with a walker the first time, I didn't need it, I just pushed it in front of me to give me security in case I felt tipsy, and because I still had my catheter in so the foley hung on it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!

JamieR
02-10-2008, 04:27 PM
Vndy, Thanks for the info. I know everyone's experience is not quite the same but it helps to sort of get an idea of what it will be like. With only weeks left to go, I am really started to let some things get to me. I have done all of the work up so far that the doctor has requested. One thing was I had to get clearance from a pulmonologist, I had a pneumonia for about a month and a half. Now that I am better, I am constantly paranoid about getting sick again so I am doing everything to stay well. I am also starting to worry that I will show up to the hospital surgery day and something will be wrong with the insurance. We have blue cross blue shield and so far they have been very good to me. They told me not to worry about anything, just to make sure the doctor and hospital is in network, which I have done but I am still paranoid about everything. :eek: