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crystalalice88
02-12-2009, 12:55 PM
Hi all,
I am about to schedule my surgery next week and am very nervous! I don't want to schedule it until next year because I'm so scared. But my doctor told me that with how bad my curve is, waiting a year will only make a hard surgery even harder. He wants to schedule it in May! :eek: Is there anything that I should consider before scheduling a surgery so soon? How long did you guys wait when you sheduled it? 5 months, 6 months, a year? I'm just kind of trying to figure out the norm. Also.. for the ladies... Do you have schedule it around your menstrual period? Or does that not matter? Any help would be great! Thanks!

Doodles
02-12-2009, 02:05 PM
Scheduling the surgery definitely can be traumatic. Last July I originally scheduled for Nov. 25, 08. Then I got a second opinion with a different doctor, and I felt more comfortable with him. The only problem was that I'm still waiting--March 30, 09. I'm scared about it being closer, but I just want to have it done and start the road to recovery. I think this waiting is the worst. I can't imagine waiting for a whole year.
It is always in my brain--when I go to bed and the minute I wake up. I'm so tired of that. I retired last June but was helping out a friend and subbing for her the last 3 weeks at school. It was a great diversion; too hard to teach and think of something else!
Anyway, the main thing I have done is try to get myself educated, follow a lot of the recommendations on here, and exercise like crazy. I always have but have been trying to do more since it seems to be so important to recovery.
Good luck with your decision!

debbei
02-12-2009, 02:24 PM
From the time I scheduled surgery, I waited 4 months. It seemed like an eternity AND it seemed like it went by in a snap. I know others who have waited 9 months or longer after scheduling. It's all dependent on the surgeon's schedule and yours as well. I wouldn't want to wait longer than I did because I almost drove myself to the looney bin. It will give you time to do as much exercise as you can though. As far as the menstrual cycle--mine started the day before surgery. I was just so MORTIFIED, but it turned out to be no big deal.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

Karen Ocker
02-12-2009, 04:59 PM
I made up my mind to do something about my back once i knew help was available. I had done a lot of research in advance of the surgeon visit. Once he told me that I should "Do well" I scheduled it withing 3 days but I had to wait for 3 months for the operating room to be available. I did what I could to get in the best physical shape possible. Prior to this I saw a steady decline in my back and my breathing was affected. I actually counted down the days on my calender. That being said I was scared. I am a medical professional but I did not dwell on the "what ifs". I just lived one day at a time, keeping busy and prepared whatever I could.

Singer
02-12-2009, 05:29 PM
I scheduled my surgery a year and a half before I had it done because I had to get my family life in order, including moving my in-laws out of the house (:)). It was hard to have it hanging over my head for that length of time, but there's no other way I could have done it.

asccbodypro
02-12-2009, 09:13 PM
Even though I made up mind and schedule the surgery it took a couple of weeks to get over that sick feeling. I decided to concentrate on eating healthy and getting stronger. There is a lot to get in order before surgery so it focuses your mind in a different direction. I'm not sure you can completely put it out of your mind but the idea of it gets easier. Hang in there!

Suzy
02-13-2009, 12:41 AM
Crystal,

I don't think there is a norm... I scheduled pretty quick as my pain was affecting my life. I had surgery in 5 month from the time I found out I was going to need it. I would have had it sooner but wanted to wait till after the holidays, a vacation with my Husband and my Son's 16th B-day.
The surgery seems to bring on menses in some women so don't bother trying to work around that.
As for what to consider before scheduling surgery hmmmm, not sure what you mean. I say get on the schedule if you feel ready then address the following. Some need to cook and freeze meals, arrange child care, housekeeping, spouse time off or a friend/family member to come help you.
Figure out what scares you the most, post your fears here and let everyone address them for you. I have found out from most people it is the fear of the unknown. We can't tell you exactly what to expect but will give you a VERY good idea. Keep asking questions.

Radiogirl
02-19-2009, 08:32 PM
Scheduling the surgery definitely can be traumatic. Last July I originally scheduled for Nov. 25, 08. Then I got a second opinion with a different doctor, and I felt more comfortable with him. The only problem was that I'm still waiting--March 30, 09. I'm scared about it being closer, but I just want to have it done and start the road to recovery. I think this waiting is the worst. I can't imagine waiting for a whole year.
It is always in my brain--when I go to bed and the minute I wake up. I'm so tired of that. I retired last June but was helping out a friend and subbing for her the last 3 weeks at school. It was a great diversion; too hard to teach and think of something else!
Anyway, the main thing I have done is try to get myself educated, follow a lot of the recommendations on here, and exercise like crazy. I always have but have been trying to do more since it seems to be so important to recovery.
Good luck with your decision!

Janet,

I'd like to learn more about your Dr. I went for my first ortho appt. today (I live in Cleveland, Ohio) and the dr. suggested Lenke in St. Louis! I was surprised. Is there anywhere on this site I can find out more about him? Have a lot of people on here used him? Any info would be very helpful.

Laura

CHRIS WBS
02-20-2009, 09:23 AM
Laura,
Have you checked out Dr. Lenke’s website where you can see before and after images of some of his patients?
http://www.spinal-deformity-surgeon.com/

txmarinemom
02-20-2009, 08:52 PM
I first consulted with my surgeon on October 9th, 2007. It'd been 10 years since I'd seen anyone about my curve, and that last time I saw someone, I wasn't willing to give up my life at 29 for the surgical option that doctor offered (I am thankful every day I walked away from that in 1997).

When I saw Hanson in October, my pain was getting worse ... rapidly. I had constant 3mm protrusions at C5/C6 and C6/C7 (in the cervical compensatory curve), and it felt like my shoulder blades were being pulled apart.

I'd been reading about the thoracoscopic (minimally invasive) approach - and was absolutely *crushed* when he told me it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. He encouraged me to get a copy of David Wolpert's "Scoliosis Surgery: The Definitive Patient's Reference" (http://www.curvedspine.com/), read it, think about it, and he'd see me again if I decided to ... and wished me well if I decided NOT.

December 5th, 2007, I went back and scheduled surgery for February 5th, 2008. It's SUCH a relief when you have a date ... at least it was for me.

Like Karen, I stayed busy the whole time. I had a STOOOPID to-do list that included things like reminding my friend to put my body jewelry back in. And it really did take 2 months to get ready the way I wanted (I recovered solo), and even then, I still felt like I left out something important.

As far as the menstruation thing, you CAN avoid it. I'm on a low dose pill year round (I simply skip the last week and start a new pack), and I never have a period. I didn't after surgery, either.

Talk to your gynecologist to see if you're a candidate, and remember it takes about 2-3 months before menstruation ceases. Then again, there are plenty of people on here who dealt with it just fine. I just happened to be on the regimine already, and it worked.

Regards,
Pam

Doodles
02-26-2009, 07:29 PM
Laura--
Just saw your question a few posts back. We left for vacation last Friday and just got back yesterday so I'm playing catch-up. In fact last Wed. the 18th I saw Dr. Lenke again for my pre-op. Once again I was very impressed by him. He kidded me about my questions since I once again had them all typed up but said that's what I'm here for to answer your questions. And he did.
I had an MRI first and found things had gotten even worse so now instead of T3 it's T2 to pelvis. He reviewed them and felt he had to go up one due to cervical curve which I'd never really paid much attention to. I do know that my neck is often the thing I have the most pain in. I know there's no guarantee that will help the neck but he said that balancing the spine out there could help. He is very honest with you. I know X-rays can differ on different days but my other 2 curves had increased to 91 and 62.
It's a long day at his office as others have noted on here. That shows he is good though! Also why it took 6 months to schedule but glad I waited. We had MRI, meeting with him, other tests, and meeting with Kelly who gives you all the little details and schedules. We started at 9:45 and left at 7 PM! It was a long 7 hours back to Iowa, but we had to since we were leaving on vacation. Talked to a wonderful lady and her husband from No. Dakota in his office too. She was 6 months out and I thought she looked wonderful. She was very encouraging since she was 59 barely ahead of me! She didn't sugar-coat it though either. I'd really encourage you to try Dr. Lenke. He is also presently president of one Scoliosis group--I've forgotten. I especially like that he pioneered the posterior-only surgeries and that he could do it on me even though it's very long and he will put in 2 cages. He told us he had done over 700 using that method.
Do a search on here for him. I know I found out a lot of things about him on this forum. Good luck with your decision. Janet

nervous
02-27-2009, 08:12 AM
It has been 3 months since I originally scheduled my surgery....and I'm now down to less than 3 week until my surgery. This is very hard....much harder than I thought it would be. Let me just tell you....everyone would've told you I could tolerate pain, was overall pretty tough, etc...until lately. I think about it all the time as well.

What helps me is my husband, my friends, and this site!! We are all in this together!

I am continuing to work until my surgery date, which has somewhat helped me. At my job, I am in meetings most of the day, and have to speak a lot....therefore, lots of preparation! This has kept me busy. It's the week-ends that are really tough...I try to get in lots ot quality time with my husband and my kids...although my "back" will only tolerate so much fun :)

Hang in there!! We're really luck to have each other!

Rachel

LisaMS
02-27-2009, 11:58 PM
I only had 2 months between finding out I needed surgery and having it. I wanted to have it before the end of the year because I had already met my "out-of-pocket maximum" on my insurance for other expenses, and that would re-set in the new year and I'd have to pay another $2000 out of pocket. So even though it was quick, I got everything ready, including organizing a care-giving group to help us with meals, cleaning, visiting, etc. afterwards. I also worked until right before surgery, and that helped.

I am glad I did it quickly--less time to second-guess myself!

asccbodypro
02-28-2009, 09:39 AM
I would think that not having a lot of time to think about things would be the way to go. I decided back in November and met with my surgeon in January and set the date for April. Time is going by quickly and at this point I'm not to nervous, just keeping busy but it will be nice to have it over with and get on to recovering and stop talking about it already lol! I can't wait to say I am on "the other side" yaa!:D