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Chihuahua Mama
07-07-2008, 10:55 AM
Hi allÖ.first, my apologies for not being as on top of updating you all on my surgeries as others have been, but itís not been for lack of respect for all the love and information Iíve had from you all. Mostly, itís been just plain exhaustion on my part, plus my attention span has dwindled to that of a three year old.

In a nutshell, hereís how the surgeries went: The first surgery was on the 16th and they went through my left side to access and remove 4 bad discs in the lumbar area. After they removed them, they were replaced with cage-like thingies (PEEK implants) that were filled with bone and other material that will promote bone growth. What they did there opened up my spine to normal heights, and relieved all the nerves that were being compressed. They sewed me up and I have about a 6" set of stitches that will dissolve on their own. This approach is known as an XLIF and while there are some spine specialists that do it, my doctor is truly one of the best and most experienced at it.

That following Friday they attempted the second surgery, however, something happened that caused my heart rate to to increase......like, off-the-charts-increase. They quickly stopped the procedure and woke me up which is a story in and of itself that Iíll tell you later.

Because of the complication, I had to go to the ICU and stay there for several days. I found the nurses are nicer in the ICU - one of them made these cute little cut-outs for my back brace. They were cut outs of hands (she traced her own hands onto orange paper) and we placed them over my boobs and lower lumbar area, so whenever I had to get up and walk around the unit it made for quite the show. Things get pretty serious in the ICU so I was the comic relief. Plus they had me on a very strong morphine drip and I found out I can and will say anything under the influence of morphine.

The following Monday (the 23rd) they re-attempted the the posterior surgery. It went fine and they were able to put all the screws and rods in that straightened out my back (T10 thru L5). I don't have numbers confirmed yet but I'm pretty sure I'm 2 inches taller!

I went home on July 1st. Most of the hospital stay was a bit of a blur (thanks to Mr. Morphine). I can't do anything other than sleep alot, or watch TV and I have no attention span at all. In fact, it's taken me about an hour to write this and I need to quit and go lay down.

As the day wears on, Iíll fill in more details, but for now I just wanted to let you all know I was okay, even after a 16 day hospital stay.

Many of my earlier fears about surgery ended up being totally silly, others were right on (like the NURSES, haha). Like I said, more later. I need to go lay down for awhile.

Thanks to you all for the prayers and good vibes, they were all answered!

mariaf
07-07-2008, 10:59 AM
Hi Susan!!!

While I had already heard the good news that your surgeries are finally over and went well, it's still great to see you posting again here!!!

Welcome back!!!

Get your rest though, as well. I'm sure before you know it you'll be feeling a whole lot better and stronger!

Best,

debbei
07-07-2008, 11:17 AM
I'm so glad you are home after all you were through and such a long time. You go rest and don't worry about updating us until your have more energy!

Suzy
07-07-2008, 11:33 AM
Yes you do say and do funny things while dating Mr. Morphine!! LOL :D I am SOOO happy to see you post your self! Great job Susan. It is quite funny in hind site at all the things we worried ourselves to death about and then it turns out to have been such a non-issue. Now you too can help ease the worries of the newbies and set their minds at ease. Welcome back, you have been missed. Give a big thanks to Matt for keeping us up to date. Talk to you soon. Best wishes.

Susie*Bee
07-07-2008, 12:34 PM
It's just wonderful to hear from you! I am sure you entertained the troops royally in the hospital; you are a funny lady even without "Mr. Morphine"! :D That does sound like a fun ICU!

I've been wondering how it's been going and was tempted to call Matt several times in the past few days to get your phone number, but kept reminding myself to be patient! Yes, the surgery and the meds zap all your strength away and you need to rest/nap after every little endeavor. I remember how exhausting just taking a shower was, even though I sat down the whole time on my shower seat. I would have to rest and take a nap from that. :eek: Believe me, you will perk up soon enough. Right now your body is screaming for sleep (the natural healer) -- not to mention the fact that the pain meds are wreaking havoc on your mental capabilities as well. So those of us who've been through it understand completely that you need your rest-- and that you're not working at the top level of your thinking processes. We will wait as long as necessary for the next installment of your surgery sojourn...

So, rest up for now. I'm sending hugs and healing thoughts and prayers your way. :) Susie

loves to skate
07-07-2008, 01:05 PM
Dear Susan,

So good to hear from you and I am glad you are finally home from the hospital. I am sure you are happy to be home and in your own bed. Take it nice and easy and get lots of rest. I will be thinking of you and praying that you have an uneventful recovery. I bet that sweet little chihuahua is happy to see you. Take care, Sally

Singer
07-07-2008, 01:41 PM
Good work, Susan!! Congratulations on a successful surgery and for emerging from the whole experience with your sense of humor intact. Looking forward to hearing more from you in between lie-downs.

txmarinemom
07-07-2008, 06:32 PM
LMAO, Susan ... I happen to have a photo of your "decorated brace" (thank your kiddo for THAT one - LOL) ...

If you'd care to show it, just let me know. I still crack up every time I look at the lil' strategically placed orange hands.

You really have to wonder how much fun stoned patients are for bored nurses - heh.

'Bout damn time you posted! :)

Love ya,
P

Janet
07-07-2008, 10:35 PM
Congrats on now being on the other side. Your 2nd surgery date delay must have been very stressful for you --- on the other hand (no pun intended), you probably weren't aware enough to have gotten stressed out, thanks to Mr. M.

My comments merely reinforce what others have said: you will be exhausted for quite a while, so rest as much as you can - you are entitled to do so. Your body will tell you when it is ready for more activity. The attention span problem gets better, too; just don't sign any important legal documents right now!

When you have the energy, post more of what you remember, but don't feel you must rush to do so. We'll be here, waiting patiently.

JoAnn5
07-08-2008, 10:07 AM
I'm so glad to hear from you! You've been on my mind a lot. Listen to what the others have said... They are wise and wonderful... ;) Looking forward to the next installment of your story.... (((hugs))) JoAnn

Chihuahua Mama
07-08-2008, 11:57 AM
LMAO, Susan ... I happen to have a photo of your "decorated brace" (thank your kiddo for THAT one - LOL) ...

If you'd care to show it, just let me know. I still crack up every time I look at the lil' strategically placed orange hands.

You really have to wonder how much fun stoned patients are for bored nurses - heh.

'Bout damn time you posted! :)

Love ya,
P

Go ahead and post it Pam - seems you're the only one with a copy of it - I asked Matt for it and he said he had to erase everything out of his phone for space reasons.

And - it'll give you an idea of my 'custom brace' . The rep for the bracing company took about 50 measurements to get just the right fit - and one that would retract when the swelling went down. I'm not going to get involved in the discussion of whether or not braces are needed or not as I picked my doctor very carefully and if he says wear a brace for 3 months? I'm going to wear a brace for 3 months. Besides - it's not that bad and I am going to start adding signatures and pics to it (like a cast) with permanent markers so that it's REALLY decorated!

Sharshe
07-08-2008, 12:03 PM
Glad to hear all ended up going well! Continue to rest and heal :)
Gotta go PT is here...

Chihuahua Mama
07-08-2008, 12:14 PM
Go ahead and post it Pam - seems you're the only one with a copy of it - I asked Matt for it and he said he had to erase everything out of his phone for space reasons.


Pam, I changed my mind. Do not post that picture. I repeat - DO NOT POST THAT PICTURE. I forgot about the swollen mug after surgery. and TMI for a forum.

LOL....sort of.

Geish
07-08-2008, 12:29 PM
Pam, I changed my mind. Do not post that picture. I repeat - DO NOT POST THAT PICTURE. I forgot about the swollen mug after surgery. and TMI for a forum.

LOL....sort of.

Oh Pam...now you HAVE to post it! LOL

txmarinemom
07-08-2008, 12:48 PM
Susan ... as we discussed ...

Here it is! LMAO!!

Pam

Susie*Bee
07-08-2008, 12:50 PM
Yep, too late. ;) We are all way too curious now. Besides, lots of folks have swollen mugs after surgery. Did you see the "cute" one of Trishthedish on her blog??? Sometimes those post-op pics paint the picture oh so well, much more than than words alone can say. The really important part is that even though you may look and feel horrendous RIGHT AFTER the surgery, it gets so much better pretty quickly. So consider it again-- please???! (But I'll understand if your response is still no...) :eek:

Awwww! Oh well, at least we see the brace now. It's gorgeous on you! Love the blonde bombshell effect too. :cool:

Chihuahua Mama
07-08-2008, 01:06 PM
Thanks Pam, for posting my REAL pic along with my real brace.

It was this face that pranced about the ICU with hand cut-outs on the boobies and ahem, 'back' lumbar area.

I look real cute on Baywatch too and Tommy Lee is my true love.

Now, I'm taking a nap.

Geish
07-08-2008, 01:06 PM
Great Picture! Susan...you look Fabulous! :D

Singer
07-08-2008, 01:44 PM
LOL!!

You'll be back in David Hasselhoff's arms in no time.........!!!

txmarinemom
07-08-2008, 02:05 PM
LOL!!

You'll be back in David Hasselhoff's arms in no time.........!!!

Ouch ... LMAO!!! Good one, Chris! (you started it Susan - hehe)

Suzy
07-08-2008, 05:11 PM
OMG I LMAO Pam!! You are hilarious!! I love that you are so talented.

Susan I KNOW you didn't look that bad in the original picture. I must warn you as a friend, the new picture/new you............Those roots are going to be a pain to keep up! I heard you and Tommy Lee were back on yet again!! Keep us posted on the wedding date. SOOOOOOOOO glad you are back!

P.S. You need to save the hands for a scrapbook or adhere them well to your brace for safekeeping. Oh the stories you could tell about who's hands they REALLY are.

myachingback
07-10-2008, 07:03 PM
Sounds like you handled a tough time really well. Glad you are recuperating and doin O.K.! Got me kinda lookin foward to some of that M juice! Must be pretty good stuff. That's an impressive picture! Anyone ever tell ya that you kinda favor Pamela Anderson! Ha.
Take Care, Prayers and Vibes goin out to ya!
Chris

Qikdraw
07-10-2008, 08:09 PM
Susan

Love the brace! :)

I'm new here, but I thought I'd say hi and glad you're doing fine after the surgery.

Brad