View Full Version : Less than a month!

07-06-2008, 08:00 PM
Hello everyone! I can't believe, after all these months, my surgery date of August 5th is so close now. Even though I know this is the best thing for me and I know I will be fine, it's still hard, because I also know it will be the biggest challenge, so far, of my life. I'm sitting here right now in relatively zero pain. How much longer can I say that? I really do have pain on a daily basis, just have learned to live with it and adjust. My curve is advancing pretty quickly, up to about 75* last November. I'm 54 and just don't want to be where I can't play with my grandkids or maybe not even walk in another 10 years or so. And that is the real reason I am having this done.

I do have a positive outlook and I push myself to do my best. I had the pulmonary function test, echo stress cardiogram and myelogram in the last 2 weeks and came through with flying colors, despite my anxiety before that myelogram! (It wasn't bad at all.)

I don't write often, but I read everyone's posts often and it does help so much. I know there will many bumps, but knowing others have made it and even came out better keeps me going. Even though you are really strangers to me, I feel I know you because no one else could possibly understand the full extent of all of this. Please keep me in your thoughts. I am certainly thinking of all of us, no matter where you are in this journey.

Thanks for listening!

07-06-2008, 08:34 PM
Hi Betsy!
We'll be thinking of you! You will do fine- I am a year and a half post op and doing great (I'm 47). My curve was much worse than yours and I had a large hump on my back (that I hated!) and it is completely gone! I look like I have a new body. Yes it's a big surgery but we all get through it! Please keep us posted-

07-06-2008, 08:47 PM
Good Luck!

Oh and for your sanity, I'll let you know that Dr. S gives this horrid gloomy, this is how many people died last year speech during that last pre-op appt. It turned me upside down less than a week before surgery, and it took a good heart to heart and a 5 hour drive to San Antonio for one last vacation to get me back on track.

Oh and Dr. Nugyeun is AWESOME!!! I don't know if you have met him yet, but really down to earth, and so warm and a great resource in the hospital. Word of advice speak your mind and FIGHT for your rights on pain meds, I had the worst time with the nurses in that hospital getting them to give me my meds ...but no matter what they wouldn't and i'd be at a 10 before they'd finally give them over EVERY single time.

Best of luck again, you will do GREAT!!


07-06-2008, 09:17 PM
We will all be praying for you. It is hard to make the decision to go through with surgery and good for you for doing it. I hope everything goes well and things are better for you afterwards. Keep us posted and good luck to you.

07-07-2008, 05:51 AM
Good luck Betsy,

You are doing the right thing. It's easy to say that logically, but then your emotions start taking over sometimes. That happens to me off and on, and I'm over 3 months away from my date.

I will be anxiously awaiting news on your results.

07-07-2008, 06:46 AM
Dear Betsy-- it was really good to read your post! You are listed in the July, August, etc. surgeries thread, but I think I had pulled your name off the calendar, so didn't know much about you. Now we get a little taste of who you are and all! So that part is really nice. For some reason I thought maybe you were one of the young gals-- but now I see you are closer to my age... I agree about feeling close to the people on the forum-- we are like family in a sense... all battling the same enemy, which creates a unified sense of purpose. And to that end, you find people who understand, provide support, and encourage you on your own individual journey; people who share their knowledge and their own personal adventures with scoli...

I think I can safely say that many of us had a tough last month-- the whole emotional roller coaster, second-guessing if we made the right decision, knowing what HUGE ordeal we were about to willingly put ourselves through, and so on. So if/when your emotions get hold of you, try to focus on the positives. It sounds like you are already doing a good job of that, but you will maybe need to do it over and over in the next few weeks. Think "in the big picture" of your life, how this will be such a good thing! Think of those grandkids! Take a picture of them to the hospital with you to inspire you during those early days of recovery. Remember that even though the recovery may be difficult, you will be better off in the long run than if you hadn't chosen the surgery. And there is such a variation in recovery times--but it doesn't matter that much if it's shorter or longer, we are all winners-- and we are stronger too, for having gone through this! You'll do great-- your spine will be stabilized, you will be straighter and probably a little taller, and you will be ready to live the rest of your life in a much richer way.

That's great (YAY!) that you've made it through all those tests. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your pre-op times-- and of course, how you are doing with your progress once you are on the "other side" of surgery! I'll be prayiing for you too. :) Susie

07-07-2008, 11:16 AM
Thanks so much for the support (and words of experience with the hospital, Meg). That always helps knowing what you are getting into to.

Susie, your words are very special. It's amazing how traumatic this pre-surgery month is! I have to say I am vascillating. I'm not sure I am emotionally ready for this and it has to be what I feel is the best for me, of course. I know I can handle it, but do I want to??

I will let you know... :confused:

07-07-2008, 06:53 PM
You are welcome and if you would like specifics..i even have NAMES of nurses that you would want and don't want. Also I can tell you of the tech's that you will have to watch out for.

OH! and if you go to the hospital and talk to Robin at the concierge desk after your pre-op tests at the hospital...she will give you a tour and then she gave my husband 25 dollars in Baylor bucks that he used to get free food while we were stuck in the hospital! It was a GREAT help to us, and she gave the boys (mine are 2 & 4) three brand new puzzles so on the day of surgery they'd have them to do. She also set us up so that my husband and kids and friend, could stay in the consulting rooms the entire time! It was so great for him he could sprawl out the kiddos close the door and they could go wild!

07-09-2008, 05:06 AM
You are in my prayers, Betsy. I am about 2 months post-op from my surgery w/Dr. Shelokov. I don't regret a thing so far, even though I felt the same way that you did for several weeks pre-surgery. And Meg is spot on about Robin at the the concierge desk at the hospital. Besides treating my husband as if his wife was the only patient in the hospital, she was very kind to me as well. I mentioned to Dr. S. that I wanted to see the therapy dogs that I saw in the hsopital halls and the nurses said the critical care floors don't allow them to see their patients. Robin bought me a stuffed little Scotty dog and said that maybe he would do till I got moved to another floor where the live dogs were allowed! Such a little thing, but so kind!

Again, take a deep breath...Dr. S. does excellent work, the hospital has a great pain management program in place and it won't be long before you're back on the 'puter telling us how it all went. =)

07-13-2008, 04:08 PM
Hi Betsy,
just thought I'd post to let you know I am thinking of you - you wrote exactly how I am feeling at the moment (due to have surgery beginning of Sept, I am age 41 yrs and my pre-op tests in a few weeks time).
Like you, don't post much but I'm an avid reader. I hope the nerves aren't too frayed today - I too have good and bad days. I will follow your posts with interest, after you have had your op.
With many best wishes

07-14-2008, 11:29 AM
Betsy and Louisse,

It's so wonderful to have both of you here. This is the place to find support, compassion, knowledge and a little humor. I truly don't know how I would have made it without the wonderful people here.

I'm 5 weeks post-op today (YAY!) and I don't regret having surgery. Where I am now, it seems like the last 2 months have flown by. I remember the 2 weeks before surgery, and it seemed that every day the anxiety would multiply by 100! By a week before surgery, I think my family had just about decided to knock me in the head and keep me out until surgery day. But they didn't, bless their hearts. When you are in moment, it can seem like an eternity to get to surgery. Even the morning of surgery, when I was in pre-op and I was just waiting, I thought it was never going to be over. And now, at 5 weeks post-op, it seems like it's all a blur it has gone so fast.

Please stay strong. If you made the decision to have surgery, then it's the right thing for you. It's hard to not second-guess yourself, we all have done it, but TRUST YOURSELF. YOU CAN DO THIS! And lean on us. We tend to be a strong bunch!

I wish you both peace of mind and much laughter. I will be thinking about you both!

07-14-2008, 12:22 PM
Betsy and Louisse,

I agree with Becky. Keep positive and believe in yourself, you've already made the decision so relax and know that soon you'll grow an inch or so, have great posture, and you'll soon be eating that great hospital food! :D

But seriously, you'll both be fine, trust in yourself and your doctors. We are also here to help you through this. As Suzie said, we are family here.


Diane BCSW
08-04-2008, 09:29 AM
Hi Betsy

I haven't been in the Forum in a few days but saw in Susie *B*'s "calendar" that you're coming up tomorrow. I went through three of these things with Dr. Shelokov. I suppose he would still be my doctor if it hadn't been for the United Healthcare debacle with another patient. I wonder how that turned out? The very first operation in August of 2003 was at the Medical Center of Plano, and believe me, Baylor Plano is so much better (and prettier). I love the pick-up-the-phone and order your meals. Of course, it seems like you're never hungry. The rooms are so pretty (for a hospital), but really, they are more like a hotel because all of the equipment is hidden. I was 62 on the day I had my 1st operation which was my birthday (as is today) and I felt all those emotions you're going through, had all those tests you just had, and got as ready as I could. Afterwards, I think the best thing of all was that the rib hump was GONE! It was so disfiguring. I won't deny, the first week is hard, but TAKE THE DRUGS. Do not try to tough it out. It doesn't do anyone, especially you, any favors to cut back on your pain meds. I suppose they still give you that breathing device where you blow in (or is it suck out?). I hated that thing but do it anyway.

Best of luck to you. I know you'll do great. And you'll be so much happier and healthier afterwards. Just like life, you go through pain to get to the other side. Or another allogory, childbirth. (I wish this thing had spellcheck). Such pain and then afterwards, it's all worth it.

I'll be watching for your updates. Oh, did you get a Mentor? My mentor was Sheila, who is the lady at the bottom of the "success stories" on his website. For some odd reason, he never wanted to put me on that page. LOL LOL She told me I could call her any time, day or night, and I did. We still email to this day. If you ever need someone to talk to and can't reach your normal support group, call me at 214-886-4005 (cell phone).

08-05-2008, 05:39 PM
Hi Betsy, I've been off the computer for a few days and missed your post. At this time I am writing this, you are probably done with your first surgery. I'm 4.5 weeks post-op and I agree with Becky (Skoshi) that the time really flies. The best thing post-op is knowing that you are getting better and better and your pain is going away vs. where we all were before surgery - the dreadful place of dealing with pain and symptoms daily, and knowing they won't get any better, and always wondering if we were causing more damage. Each day you will notice little improvements, and they will give you hope to face the next day! You are in my prayers.