View Full Version : surgery 2/10

02-06-2009, 09:23 PM
Well the shingles are gone for the most part so surgery is back on for this coming Tuesday. We will get to Boston around 5:30 Monday afternoon in order to be able to get to the hospital early Tuesday morning if I have to. I am beginning to feel very anxious about everything especially considering the 2nd stage of the surgery will take place on 2/27 so that is a lot of time at the rehab before going back to the hospital. Anyway, I feel like I am jumping out of my skin and I can't wait to get this over with.

02-06-2009, 09:47 PM
I have an inkling of what it must be like for you Avis. I'm still 23 days from Surgery and today I am feeling very jumpy. I hate to think what I'll be like 2 days before.

We're going on holidays for 2 weeks next thursday and am hoping it will be a good distraction.

Hang in there Avis. Every day closer is a day closer to having it all over with. A month from now, we'll both be in recovery. And very relieved, I'm sure!

(Very glad the shingles cleared up and didn't halt the surgery.)

02-06-2009, 09:49 PM

Welcome to the club! I felt very much the same way. At least you don't have long to wait!

I had my surgery 16 years ago February 10th. :)


02-06-2009, 10:18 PM
the shingles postponed the surgery by 2 weeks. i was really lucky in that I caught the shingles early enough to knock them out with the valtrex.
good luck to you and have a great vacation.

Linda W
02-06-2009, 10:22 PM
Hi Avis,

Glad to hear that your shingles are gone!

The time between your two surgical dates will go quickly. The first week post op will be a blur. At this point, I honestly cannot remember much about it except for the daily delivery of the emails family and friends sent to New England Baptist. I cannot remember what the emails said but I do remember they were delivered by a delightful woman named Maureen. The following week, you will be busy with PT and OT at the Coolidge House and just trying to get your strength back -- physically as well as mentally. Before you know it, you will be ready for the second stage of your surgery, and you will be in your home stretch.

Good Luck!

02-07-2009, 01:32 AM
What should I take with me for Coolidge House? Do I stay in hospital attire or should I have sweat pants or that type of clothing with me? I have been meaning to ask this question for quite some time and have forgotten to ask until now at 2:30 am. Also, how do emails get sent to nebh? And lastly I promise, i noticed that you had kyphosis before surgery. Were you able to stand straight and could you walk without having something to lean on? Thanks in advance.

02-07-2009, 02:19 AM
Good luck Avis, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know that everything will go perfectly. :) I hope you have a smooth trip up to Boston and that you have no stress or SHINGLES! :)

Will you have a way of updating us?

02-07-2009, 07:08 AM
Avis-- "Yay" for being over with the shingles! And that's great that your surgery will happen so soon. Yes the last days are really difficult. It's kind of like a child waiting for Christmas, but with the anticipation usually mixed with some trepidation too. We just don't know what it will really be like "afterward" until we actually experience it. And even then, everyone's experiences are so different. Tuesday will be here soon and then you'll be on the other side of your first surgery. Linda W is right in saying the first week will be a blur and about the 2nd week too.

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. And do please let us know somehow about your surgery. Do you have someone that can contact one of us? Big hugs, Susie

02-07-2009, 08:40 AM
i will try to get my husband to update. i have so many things to remind him to do while I am away that i hope i get to do it. i have to teach him how to water my african violets specifically compared to the rest of my jungle of plants. i expect to lose some plants while i am recovering but i hope it isn't the african violets. thank god the cats will remind him that it is time to eat but my poor tortoises are going to have to figure out a way to let him know they are hungry...my menagerie of animals and plants really do rely on me and my husband is like a divorced dad who visits on weekends and spoils with candy.

Nancy Joy
02-07-2009, 09:02 AM
oh Avis~

You are really on the "downhill" count- such a mentally tough time. I am glad the shingles are gone and everything is a go. Just hold on tight and enjoy the ride- ha!!!! I will be praying for you as you go thru this.

Linda W
02-07-2009, 09:28 PM
Hi Avis,

Your family and friends can simply go to the web site for New England Baptist Hospital - Patient and Visitor Info - and find a link marked "Email A Patient". The emails are printed and then delivered to your room by Maureen. She also delivers your snail mail and the single rose all patients receive. A friend took all my emails and put them in a binder for me so I could re-read them at a later date when I had a clear head.

I packed lightly for both NEBH and Coolidge House because you will need to pack it all up when you return to the Baptist for stage 2. I traveled between the Baptist and Coolidge House via ambulance each time. The "essentials" I included: iPod and charger, cell phone and charger, a printed list of phone numbers, a written list of my medications and medical history, a small notebook and a pen so people can write things down for you as well as for things you want to remember, a robe (so you can do your hallway walking without flashing everyone on the floor), loose fitting sweats (that I did not wear until my second stay at Coolidge House because putting on clothing took extra effort and johnnies went into their laundry and my family did not have to worry about it -- clothing eventually became part of my OT), sneakers (I needed them at both NEBH and Coolidge House), underwear but no bra (I did not wear a bra for a couple of months -- too hard to reach behind to fasten and the front close ones never seemed to fit well), a collage of family photos (in a plastic frame with no glass), my own hair brush, tooth brush, my name on everything including my glasses, etc.

The food is kosher at the Coolidge House unless they made a change since my stay there. My appetite was off, and I found little to tempt me on their menu. The coffee was the worst! pack a small jar of your favorite brand of instant and order tea for the hot water. I craved fresh fruit and they were good about providing it. If you have a favorite snack, bring it or have others bring it for you. Coolidge Corner has a Trader Joe's and a Dunkin Donuts not far away so visitors can stop and get you a treat when you need one.

My kyphosis prior to surgery was impacting my lung and aorta. My rib cage was sitting on my right hip. I only wore tee shirts with a one word message because there was no room for more. I dragged my leg and had an unnatural walking gait. My family and friends cried the first time they saw me stand up by myself after stage 2 because I was 3 inches taller, the hump on my back was gone and I could look them in the eye.

If you have them, plug in your Peggy Huddleston tapes and focus on your outcomes and all the dreams you have for the future. I put her cd on my iPod so I could have it wherever I went. There is a good reason that NEBH pays for their patients to take her course.

I'm sending you a PM with contact info.

Take care,

02-08-2009, 11:53 AM
Hi Linda,
Thanks for the pm and for this message. i am hoping that by the end of stage 2, I will be taller. i have lost about 3 inches and I am now five foot and shrinking. I guess I have kyphosis but not as bad as what you described. I can't stand straight unless I lean very hard against a wall and then it hurts too much. Walking has become so difficult that I just spend most of my time in the house unless I have to go out and do errands. I am in the middle of a doctoral program and had to take a leave of absence which they don't like to give and I am now getting antsy and want to get back into the swing of things again. I have camisole type things that I bought when I had my 3 level fusion 4 years ago. I learned about the bra thing then. Also I can't tolerate anything tight around my waist so leggings and sweats will be the clothing for recovery. Unfortunately, since I am not from the area I don't think I will have any visitors while I am at Coolidge unless my husband decides to come back up and if so, i will tell him about dunkin donuts. i don't know who Peggy Huddleston is but I will have an ipod and iphone with me for music and pictures and email as well. ok back to packing and figuring out what else I need with me.

02-08-2009, 04:41 PM
You sound like you're holding it together Avis. I just wanted to say, I'll be thinking of you 2/10 and envying you when you wake up on the other side of surgery!

All the very best!

02-08-2009, 06:56 PM
Avis- I know how you feel...although I didnt have Shingles! Yikes! Im so glad you are better now. I felt like I was going to throw up a few days before....and waiting in the pre op area of the hospital..knowing that shortly life as I know it would be different brought tears to my eyes. BUT, just like everyone else said, you will soon be over that part and starting the recovery part. Im only 3 weeks and 4 days post op, so all of these memories are freshly ingraved in my mind. HOwever, I really dont remember much of what went on in the hospital. I had a lot of visitors, and I do recall some stuff. Once they took me off the long acting Oxy, I was more in my right mind I guess you can say. (about 2 weeks ago) I wish you the best of luck & will pray for you. You will do great! Take care and I look forward to hearing how everything went!! :)