View Full Version : Pre-Operation Fears

03-26-2009, 09:37 AM
Hi All,

I am new to this forum and have been avidly reading posts on all of your experiences. Thank you so much for being there.

Like three people at my church before me, I am going to see Dr. William Lauerman in DC on May 15 (hopefully earlier). All three were thrilled with his skill and compassion. I saw him four years ago, at which time he told me that I was on the border of needing surgery. This time I know I will need it as my recent MRI shows significant change in my lumbar scoliosis and arthritis, resulting in severe pain that prevents me from even walking up our street. Dr. Lauerman had told me that I would require two operations, one to go in through the back and the other through the front. My church friend had the same operation last October and was in the hospital for two weeks.

So, now to my concerns. You would think I would be scared of the operation itself, and that may come. However, I am waking up in the middle of the night worried about two things:

1) How my bills will get paid when I am in the hospital and immediately post-op. I do most of my bill payment and other financial transactions online. My partner is computer-challenged so I handle my finances and our joint finances. Did any of you have this financial concern? If so, how did you handle it?

2) The list of things I will need to help me post-op at home. Hopefully, my long-time partner will able to be home with me but she is a teacher, so the timing of the surgery may determine this. A dear friend (retired) will be coming to stay with me as well and other local friends have offered to pitch in so I don't have to worry about at-home care. My concern is having all the things here I need (many pillows, sock grabber, shower chair, etc.) Has anyone actually compiled a list?

Thanks for any help you can provide. Maybe I am worrying about these things so I don't have to focus on my deeper fear of the surgery itself.:confused: However, this is what is keeping me from getting a restful night's sleep.


03-26-2009, 10:41 AM
Hi Karen,

I live alone and I pre-paid my bills for three months in advance, i.e., condo association fee, gas and electric, phone, etc. Two months would have been sufficient. I stayed with family in the early stages of my recovery, so I did not have to make arrangements for any type of home delivery service. By the time I returned to my own place, I was pretty self-reliant. Items I relied on most were reachers and grabbers. I still use them for picking up things off the floor and getting my laundry out of my washer and dryer. I had a shower chair, tub mat, tub grab bar and a long-handled shower head. I required a raised toilet seat which the hospital provided. I picked up a wedged-shape cushion for a more comfortable sitting position in chairs and of course I had pillows everywhere. Here’s a list from Linda Racine’s home page.

03-26-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi Karen. Welcome to the forum! If you do a search, you will indeed find lists that others have made-- some are very extensive. Also, if you have a copy of the the David Wolpert book-- a very informative book-- there is an appendix at the back on preparing your home for "after surgery". I think he discusses paying bills ahead of time also. Here's a link where I cite the book and another one too: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showpost.php?p=60239&postcount=12 And the link that Chris gave you for Linda Racine's list is very good.

I definitely needed most of the things Chris listed, and still use some. I use a sock aid still and reachers for getting things off the floor, etc. I found that I needed slip on shoes because I couldn't tie laces. I used a shower seat and hand-held wand for about 5-6 months or so and still have a grab bar thing that clamps over the side of the tub. It's more like insurance now-- I know it's there if I should start to lose my balance but haven't really needed it in a long time. I didn't want to drill holes in the shower wall for an attached grab bar. :confused: And the elevated toilet seat with handles was "given" to me in the hospital too. I used that for several months as well.

Best wishes with getting more peaceful sleep! Let us know how your appt. goes and what other questions you might have. :) Susie

loves to skate
03-26-2009, 01:51 PM
I missed three credit card bills after I came home from surgery.:mad::o I had fees up the yingyang.:eek:Drugs will mess with your memory. Now I have scheduled my credit card bills for automatic payment and just have to remember to make sure there is enough money in the checking account to cover the bills. You should be able to schedule most of your bills ahead. I like Chris's idea of scheduling ahead for three months.:cool: Good luck.

03-27-2009, 07:32 AM
Thank you all for your wonderful information and support. I'm taking all your suggestions and creating a checklist for myself. After reading your messages, I ordered David Wolpert's book and saved a copy of Linda Racine's fantastic list. I'll let you all know when I have my surgery scheduled.

All the best,


03-28-2009, 05:53 AM
Thanks for the suggestions from me too! My surgery is scheduled for April 15th. I've just started coordinating schedules and intense planning....I know I am way behind. I'm just starting to get nervous! :eek:

03-30-2009, 07:53 PM
Thanks for the suggestions from me too! My surgery is scheduled for April 15th. I've just started coordinating schedules and intense planning....I know I am way behind. I'm just starting to get nervous! :eek:


I to am going in on April 15 for my surgery. Thank god my husband does the bills so I don't have to worry about that! Trying to schedule people to help keeps you pretty busy I know. It took me a while to decide how I wanted it done. Over all, I am not feeling to nervous, but I notice my preoccupation is little ways...suchs as forgetting where my conversations are headed lol...I can't believe that we are only about 2 weeks away. Can't wait to be done!

03-31-2009, 07:24 PM
I know what you mean, I am so focused on the surgery. I almost wish it was this week just to get it done. I feel like I am in a holding pattern. I do still have a list of things to get done. I wish I knew how much movement I will have.

Do you know anything about hardware removal? I didn't know that was even an option at some point.