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View Full Version : Ta-daaaaah! After x-rays ...



txmarinemom
02-25-2008, 05:42 PM
Down from 53 to a bit < 20.

And best of all, incision healed completely (they commented on the VERY thorough steri-strip job, Sherie - LOL), and I can take a bubble bath.

I'm gonna marinate until I look like a raisin!!!

A/P Post-op (http://www.box.net/shared/static/stmxboxnow.jpg)
Sagittal Post-op (http://www.box.net/shared/static/31qp3rf48s.jpg)

Regards,
Pam

Oh, and I'm free, I'm free!!! (i.e., I can drive - yay!)

beach_chikie
02-25-2008, 06:35 PM
WoW! Congrats on your correction!! Hope things are going well! :D

Susie*Bee
02-25-2008, 06:40 PM
Pam--that's fantastic! And your x-rays are great. Congratulations on the super report, great correction, and being set free! :D

Aussiemum
02-25-2008, 07:57 PM
Hi Pam, Great correction, your saggital x-ray - was that taken lying down on your side?? Or did you just have your arm up flexing your muscles?? LOL!
Be careful driving!!!!! Took Elysia out today for her first trip in the car with lots of pillows - all good so long as I stick to the smooth roads and don't go down any goat tracks!!! (We have poor roads in some part of Aust that our stupid government calls "main roads!"

Keep up all your good work!

xx
Del

Sherie
02-25-2008, 08:16 PM
Lookin' good, Pam. Glad everything checked out ok. I was a little concerned that maybe I did something the doc would fuss about. Did he remove all the stitches today?

Sorry I didn't get back to you. We're rescheduled for Mar. 6, hope the weather's better by then.

mariaf
02-25-2008, 08:34 PM
Great news, Pam!! You should be VERY pleased with that correction!!

Careful driving :)

txmarinemom
02-25-2008, 09:22 PM
Hi Pam, Great correction, your saggital x-ray - was that taken lying down on your side?? Or did you just have your arm up flexing your muscles?? LOL!
Be careful driving!!!!! Took Elysia out today for her first trip in the car with lots of pillows - all good so long as I stick to the smooth roads and don't go down any goat tracks!!!


Heya, Del ;-)

The xrays were all standing ... Hanson just prefers (do not ask me why - never seen it before) to have the arms up, fists balled at shoulders.

I can't be in any more danger on the road than the cab ride home from the doctor today ... geez! I specifically pointed out as I got IN the cab (from the Baylor Othopedics building, I might add) I'd just had back surgery. From everything that happened after, I was apparently not speaking the language of choice.

My ears started to spontaneously hemorrhage from some radio station I didn't even know existed blaring at above legal limit decibel, playing everyone's favorite's like "I Will Always Love You" and that "If You Like Pina Coladas" song - aggggggghhhhh!.

This joyous excursion to HELL was replete with sudden stops, quick lane changes, last minutes decisions to blow through orange lights, and a homing beacon for every damn pothole through the outskirts of downtown Houston ...

I finally snapped.

"YOU. Yes, you ... holding the volume knob of torture!! I cannot think with that %&$^ rattling the windows, and when I can think, I'm thinking if you don't kill me before we get to our destination, you'd better plan for a hasty retreat as soon as I throw you the fare and your 2 cent tip!! "

"I don't know how you say 'back surgery' where you're from, but BACK SURGERY. (Pointing like a maniac at my back, flailing my office visit receipt about ... I may have even made a "cha-ching!" sound) ... BACK SURRRRRRRRRGERY!!!

(Okay, he could have made a "not so hasty" retreat and been perfectly safe because I'm not moving all *that* quickly - LOL. He didn't appear all that frightened. Maybe because he watched me crawl in the cab - a little mini van - on my knees. He could have had the decency to look semi-alarmed.)

Everything is blooming here - apparently (especially) even the birds - because my car is covered in lovely gold dust and "presents". The *first* place I'm driving tomorrow is to the carwash ;-).

Moral of the story? Everyone in Houston prepare for rain Wednesday.

Pam

Aussiemum
02-25-2008, 09:31 PM
Your not a writer in the real world are you Pam????? You crack me up!!!!! You've gotta put all these posts together and publish a book when your recovery is over!!! You are so funny - Your friends are lucky - you must be a scream to go out on the town with!!

xx
Del

txmarinemom
02-25-2008, 09:40 PM
Lookin' good, Pam. Glad everything checked out ok. I was a little concerned that maybe I did something the doc would fuss about. Did he remove all the stitches today?

Sorry I didn't get back to you. We're rescheduled for Mar. 6, hope the weather's better by then.

Hanson doesn't fuss at me ... he just rolls his eyes.

All was fine - the incision looks great. That mass of tape and steri-strips had magical healing powers ;-). I'll get a pic up of the before and after "real back" when I can (fair warning ... my mother - who has a hate/hate relationship with electronic devices - took the before "real back" pic the morning of surgery). I honestly can't guarantee it's OF my back.

John (who was actually quite personable today ... it made me nervous - LOL) took out my stitches - actually one long one. I remembered why I HATE stitches (they are always a few days too late coming out). Other than staples, however, regular stitches are my only option: My body reacts strangely to dissolvable stitches. If used on the surface, they remain intact; when used internally, my body spits them out.

Yes, it's sad I've had enough ortho trauma repairs from softball I even KNOW this.

I hope the 6th goes smoothly for y'all (I can't imagine it could possibly be more rocky).

Regards, and thanks for everything!

Pam

txmarinemom
02-25-2008, 09:47 PM
Your not a writer in the real world are you Pam????? You crack me up!!!!! You've gotta put all these posts together and publish a book when your recovery is over!!! You are so funny - Your friends are lucky - you must be a scream to go out on the town with!!

xx
Del

LOL.

No, but I have actually started writing a few books out of boredom during recovery. I'm sure they'll be revered by drugged up, bored, recovering people everywhere.

Unfortunately, in all likelihood, my main audience will neither recall reading them, nor the titles to refer to friends.

(note to self ... consider a new fan base ...)

The Slice
02-26-2008, 12:30 AM
Yeah Pam, you ARE too funny! Maybe the reason the driver didn't respond well was because he's hard of hearing. :D Glad to hear that you're incision is closed up well. Be glad they didn't use staples. I had an accident a while back and had a cut on the back of my head. The knucklehead in the ER used staples instead of sutures. First was having to lie down so that my head would put pressure on the gash to stop the bleeding. :( That hurt! Then later, the fun of having the staples taken out. That hurts a bit too. I can only imagine how bad it would be to have that many of them taken out, and I only had 5 or 6. LOL

txmarinemom
02-26-2008, 01:01 AM
Slice, hon ... you know with my surgical background, I've been stapled a time or 10.

My first knee surgery involved 23 staples. To me, they hurt less coming out than sutures ... that tend to grow in. Most definitely, they leave a more nasty scar.

I'm not sure at this point scars are in any way a concern for me - LOL. It is what it is ... and it all proves you were HERE.

~p

The Slice
02-26-2008, 04:10 AM
Very interesting! As you probably figured out, I've had just the opposite experience, especially when the weight of your head is on the metal. Yeah, I've had a bit of trouble with a stitch or two that they had trouble cutting, but otherwise pretty painless. Here's an experience that will really date me. I remember the times in my childhood when I've had IV's in with the butterfly needles that they used to have - plastic butterfly, metal needle. :eek: Ughhhh. What a difference the plastic catheters they use makes! Yeah, yeah, I know it's off topic. LOL :D

mariaf
02-26-2008, 06:01 AM
Pam,

Living in New York City, I've had a cab ride or two similar to that lovely one you wrote about so I was really cracking up reading it. But I could NEVER tell about my experiences in such entertaining fashion.

I DEFINITELY want a copy of that first book you write. You had me in stitches (no pun intended).

LorDon
02-26-2008, 07:51 AM
Thanks Pam. I nearly choked on my coffee because I was laughing so hard reading about your cab ride!!

The xrays look awesome and I'm glad to hear everything went well at your appointment!

Neesasmum
02-26-2008, 10:07 AM
Hi Pam

Your post-op x-rays are excellent! Well done! Great to hear your stories on your recovery journey!

Anne

lisanicole
02-26-2008, 10:13 AM
Pam,

Yay for baths! I remember when I finally took my first bath after surgery... it was HEAVEN! I don't really post that much, but I have been reading your posts and even showed some of my family your powerpoint pictures of your surgery (I never had any pictures taken during or after my surgery and I really regret it!) I did get my xrays though, which I love looking at. Thanks so much for posting those, this forum is such a blessing. And by you sharing your experience I'm sure it has helped so many people. :)

Anyways just thought I'd throw in some minimal advice - when I took my first bath it was very awkward getting in and out of the tub, be careful (especially since you'll probably be exhausted afterwards!) I'm sure I don't even have to say any of that.. but just incase! ;) ALSO I took a pillow in with me to have something to lean against. My back was so tender/bruised/weird feeling that leaning against the bare tub was really uncomfortable. But I remember sitting in the tub just crying from satisfaction at how great sitting in a hot bath felt. Savour it! :)

Congratulations on everything Pam, I don't even know you but I'm very proud of you!

Suzy
02-26-2008, 03:32 PM
Awesome x-ray's Pam!
I am a bit jealous at the quality of them, mine are never that clear.

I have learned not to read ANY post of yours while eating or drinking and advise others to do the same!! I was so happy to read you are driving now, I figured it was about time. (The freedom is so wonderful after being stuck at home.) I want to mention you might want to drive around speed bumps for a bit as they are not your friend at this point in recovery.

Dr. Hanson is quite the guy. I LOVE the fact that he took the time to have your surgery documented. Did you ask him to do it for you? It really was done well. It doesn't matter how many times I see the surgery on film or a movie of it, it still amazes me. We are VERY lucky to have it available. Keep up the great recovery!

betsy
02-26-2008, 04:14 PM
Congrats, Pam, on that straight back! That's amazing. It sounds like you're doing really good. I sure hope I can live up to that. You don't talk much about pain. How is it now? Also did all your pre-surgery preparations pay off? Did you need anything you didn't do? What kind of chair do you sit in while not in bed? I'm using your lists to get ready!

Betsy

txmarinemom
02-27-2008, 02:31 AM
Dr. Hanson is quite the guy. I LOVE the fact that he took the time to have your surgery documented. Did you ask him to do it for you?

Yeah, I'm pretty fond of him - and thankful every day for his surgical talent!

I actually initially asked if he would film the surgery. Unfortunately (I thought at the time), Methodist Hospital is not set up for filming in OR's (it's my understanding they're planning to redo some or all to change that).

Right after he told me he couldn't film, he offered to take still shots and create the .ppt, which I think turned out FAR better. It would have been a bit more difficult to snag frames out of a moving film and get the clarity of what he provided.

Regards,
Pam

txmarinemom
02-27-2008, 03:02 AM
Congrats, Pam, on that straight back! That's amazing. It sounds like you're doing really good. I sure hope I can live up to that. You don't talk much about pain. How is it now? Also did all your pre-surgery preparations pay off? Did you need anything you didn't do? What kind of chair do you sit in while not in bed? I'm using your lists to get ready!

Thanks ;-). I read it before my surgery, and after training for this 5K, I can't repeat enough ... walking after surgery is THE best thing you can do!

The pain is minimal now (except for the first 30 min or so of the day until meds/coffee take effect), although I'm still on pain meds. As long as they're allowing me to return to activity (and no, I don't mean mask the pain while I overdo), and sleep (and lmao ... I just looked at the time - it's 2:45 a.m., but I took a nap this afternoon after my doctor's appt. I was tuckered out! This isn't normal anymore.), I'm in no rush to get off them just so I can say "I was off by _______ weeks post-op. It's just not a big deal to me.

I'm on nothing stronger (in fact, nothing nearly as strong) than I was during 4 years of pain mgmt. The time between doses is longer than it was when I came home, so eventually I'll just transition to Advil if I need anything.

Yes, the pre-surgery prep paid off, and I way overprepped - LOL. I also decided against a tub seat and bathtub rail: My tub is deep enough the rail would have actually been TOO high, and (stop laughing) I used my kitchen folding step stool as a tub seat. Tres redneck, but very effective. You can certainly break the bank buying a bunch of medical equipment you'll only use a short while - if at all. I did find the handheld shower I installed to be *invaluable*.

When not in bed (but I have it set up where I can raise the head of my mattress with a remore controlled air bladder), or out running around, I just sit in my desk chair. Nothing more than a leather executive type chair you can find at Office Depot. I had it prior to surgery.

I'll work on revising "the list" and posting. Looking back, I had FAR too many to-do's that didn't mean squat, but I had to be really, really, really sure I covered the bases without someone else here.

That, and it kept me busy - and focused on something other than worrying. When you have entries on your to-do list like "Have Courtney remind me to put body jewelry back in" it's time to put down the damn list and back away - LOL!

Regards,
Pam

Carmell
02-27-2008, 01:02 PM
Hi Pam,

I think its fairly safe to say that there are MANY members of this forum (including me) who read your threads/posts and smile, but never actually post to tell you we appreciate your candidness and ability to paint such a picture with words. Thanks for taking us all along on your journey through this pre- and post-surgical experience.

One comment... please check with your surgeon before taking too much Advil or anything with ibuprofen or aspirin. Some surgeons believe this may contribute to pseudoarthrosis (failed fusion). You don't want to risk anything like failed fusion until you've been given the all clear from the doc, knowing your fusion is solidly in place. Just be careful please.

Singer
02-27-2008, 02:34 PM
Looks like a great correction -- congratulations!

txmarinemom
02-27-2008, 04:02 PM
One comment... please check with your surgeon before taking too much Advil or anything with ibuprofen or aspirin. Some surgeons believe this may contribute to pseudoarthrosis (failed fusion). You don't want to risk anything like failed fusion until you've been given the all clear from the doc, knowing your fusion is solidly in place. Just be careful please.

Thanks for the heads up, Carmell ... I had no idea!

Susie*Bee
02-27-2008, 04:47 PM
Pam--my understanding that it's all NSAIDs... It was my 6 month check-up before I could start taking my arthritis medicine again (Diclofenac/Voltaren)...

lisanicole
02-27-2008, 05:24 PM
Pam--my understanding that it's all NSAIDs... It was my 6 month check-up before I could start taking my arthritis medicine again (Diclofenac/Voltaren)...

Hi Susie*Bee!

Sorry to "eavesdrop" on your post to Pam, but I saw that you have arthritis and you take voltaren. I have mild arthritis that came after my surgery.. and my specialist has prescribed me voltaren. It doesn't bother me on a daily basis but I'll have "flare ups" usually when the weather changes, or if I've over exerted myself. My question is - how often do you taken voltaren? I only take it when I have a flare up, because it really seems to knock me out. Does it have that affect on you? I've never met someone taking the same meds... that's why I ask! Thanks for any info you have.

take care!

rosie1108
02-27-2008, 05:56 PM
I just wanted to note that I too was told no NSAIDS for 6 months. I can take up to 4g of acetaminophen, but no other OTC pain meds as many are thought to interfere with bone growth.

mariaf
02-27-2008, 05:56 PM
Hi Pam,

One comment... please check with your surgeon before taking too much Advil or anything with ibuprofen or aspirin. Some surgeons believe this may contribute to pseudoarthrosis (failed fusion). You don't want to risk anything like failed fusion until you've been given the all clear from the doc, knowing your fusion is solidly in place. Just be careful please.

OK, I can't recall what over the counter med it was, but I remember one mom telling me that Dr. D'Andrea had a cow when she found out about SOMETHING the mom gave the kid for pain. I"m gonna e-mail the mom right now - but I bet it's in this same family of meds - because she said D'Andrea mentioned it contributing to failed fusion. Fortunately, the kid did fine but that stuck in my head.

I'll report back.

MATJESNIC
02-27-2008, 06:19 PM
Maria,

It was Advil. Dr. D'Andrea went nuts when she found out that the patient was taking it. But some doctors believe that the good outweighs the bad. Tylenol doesn't seem to work on the pain as well as Advil so they let their patients take it. Nicole was told to take Tylenol and we actually stopped Advil about a month before surgery and haven't had any since.

Susie*Bee
02-27-2008, 06:39 PM
I've had arthritis for several years now-- and it bothers me if I'm not taking it on a regular basis. I take two 75.mg tablets daily. It mostly controls the aches, but not always. I took Vioxx for several years and then another one that was "in the news" after that too, then tried one other before settling on voltaren.

Speaking of ibuprofen, advil, etc.,-- when I got some fairly severe headaches a few times during the first few months of my recovery (and was still taking Norco, which has some tylenol in it), my scoli nurse said I could take Excedrin for the headache. You're not supposed to take very much tylenol, so I couldn't take any extra for the headache.

Neesasmum
02-28-2008, 06:13 AM
I just wanted to note that I too was told no NSAIDS for 6 months. I can take up to 4g of acetaminophen, but no other OTC pain meds as many are thought to interfere with bone growth.

Here in the UK we were told that Annessa could only take ibuprofen while she was in the hospital and after she that she wasn't allowed it as it doesn't promote bone healing. I think this is a new guidline here though because after we came home from the hospital both the community childrens nurse and our doctor suggested Annessa take it and I had to tell them what the consultant had said and that was news to them.