View Full Version : One Year Follow-up Visit

Ginger W.
04-17-2009, 02:19 AM
Dear Post-surgery Veterans,

Ginger here! I dove head-long into LIFE after my first few months of recovery and I left the forum for a while. Grandbabies got born, nieces got wed, and I found some causes worthy of my time and attention. Sorry to be gone so long.

I am starting to pack my bags for my annual appointment Dr. Boachie in New York City. This will be my first REAL appointment since my surgery last May, and due to that fact, I scheduled it for the eleven-month mark. I'll be in his office at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 20th. That's in four days.

Thing is, I don't have a CLUE of what I should ask. Basically, I just feel pretty darn good, EXCEPT for a bit of pain over one screw. (I mailed him my x-rays, with a post-it arrow by the affected screw and he left me a message saying there are no hardware issues. Good thing. I was rather scared I'd messed up my great surgery results by diving in the Barrier Reef off of Belize. The currents were really challenging and the waves were coming at me and I thought SHOOT all this fun has given me a LOOSE SCREW. That was at seven months out from surgery. Guess my hardware is right where it should be. Whew!)

Anyhow, I figure some of you have navigated through these post-op appointments and I'm hoping you could give me some insightful questions. Things I would WISH I had asked, if I'd only thought of them BEFORE the appointment.


04-17-2009, 06:32 AM
Hi Ginger!!

I'm really glad to hear you're doing so well. I must say that my one-year followup with Dr. B was rather anticlimactic. I made him demonstrate for me which movements I should definitely not do (twisting, side to side bending, bending from the thoracic area) and we talked about my own particular issues (weak leg, sore ribs). I filled out a couple of post-op survey forms and got measured and we oooohed and aaaaahed over my x-rays, which looked beautiful :cool:. Then he said, "See you in a year." Aaaaah.

Come to think of it, it's time for me to schedule my two-year checkup. Time flies when you're recovering from spinal fusion... ha ha..

Best to you!

04-17-2009, 05:52 PM
Hi Ginger,

How nice to hear from you. Sounds like you're doing fantastic--diving in Belize!! Your life sounds much more exciting than mine :) Are you still hiking your canyon every day? I 'hike' around the block. :)

I can't help you out with 1 year questions since you're ahead of me, but be sure to let us know how it goes!!

04-17-2009, 06:22 PM
Hi Ginger

My 1 yr was uneventful as I have no spine or scoli issues. They shot x-rays, I jumped up and down, (I do that quite a bit now) and we talked about high speed crashes.

High speed crashes are not acceptable any more. The leverage from a shoulder hit, can rotationally crack a fusion. Other than that, you might bring up the issue of standing up with your tank while diving. He might frown on that. I have not asked as I have not dove yet and will wait since I will do another surgery soon. I believe its 3 mos? I don't remember, I will have to look that one up in the books.

NYC is a great place, have fun

Ginger W.
04-17-2009, 07:08 PM
Wow! This incredible group of scolis are just a few keystrokes away! Thanks Chris, Debbie, and Ed!

Yes, Debbie, I hike 2 - 3 miles up the canyon every single day. In fact, I put some shots of yesterday's hike during a springtime snow storm RIGHT HERE:


Truly, all that hiking has helped me regain my strength and my lust for life!

I'm going to check the forum one more time before my appointment on Monday. Any ideas would be really appreciated!


04-17-2009, 08:02 PM

My one year was like a non-event - LOL ... wait ... I didn't *have* a one year. I think I saw him at 9 months and he said "come back in a year" ;-).

There's really not much you need to ask if you're feeling well ... the pain over the screw could very well be nerve/muscle related, but the good thing is, you're fused now. If they have to remove it, pretty small taters, comparatively. The films should tell the tale ... try not to worry in the meantime.


04-18-2009, 08:05 AM
Hi Ginger! I hope you have a great trip to NYC and a glowing report from Dr. B... it sounds like you are going great guns! I looked in my notebook I keep of my appointments. I went at 11 months, and it was pretty much like the others have said... not much, very routine and basic. I had x-rays followed by the exam. He said everything looked fine and addressed whatever questions I had. Mine were regarding aches and pops and things like that, as well as wanting some PT for core strengthening. You don't seem to have any of those problems. My shoulder pain was from arthritis, popping was ok. Aching was normal for that stage of the game for someone like me... etc. And he said to hold off another month for PT and give him a call then. I did, and it was good. Take care-- and continue enjoying life to the max! :) I'll email you when I become a grandma.

04-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Oh, I forgot one more thing he did: he took polaroid snapshots of me wearing shorts and that little paper bra thing they make you wear....standing straight and bending over (from the hips, naturally). He promised me the pics wouldn't end up on the internet someday although that could have been my one shot at 15 minutes of fame.....!!!
Good luck with your appointment and don't forget to pack a snack.

Ginger W.
05-04-2009, 11:34 PM
Dear Friends,

I'm a wee bit tardy in reporting on my 11-month appointment - really my FIRST real appointment since I was three weeks out. I went to Ohio after seeing Dr. Boachie in NYC. My kids and grandkidlets rented a cabin for six days and we had a marvelous reunion. (That sort of thing is HERE: http://gingersnapgems.blogspot.com)

Anyhow, THE APPOINTMENT! I didn't have to get any Polaroid shots, but I did get another sort of shot - a cortisone injection for an inflamed bursa sac over the screw that's most superficial. It now feels much better. I'm glad to know what caused the pain. Has anyone else experienced inflamed bursa sacs over their hardware?

Truly, at the point, I can say I'm pretty much out of pain, except the basic aches that go with getting older. All that horrific chronic back pain is GONE GONE GONE. I am walking advocate for the surgery. If I'd only known it would be so much better, I would have jumped on the operating table years ago. So, I'll just say it to you who are still struggling with pain.

I thought this would definitely be my last visit to NYC since I checked out great, but the doctor said please PLEASE come at the two year mark. At that point, I'll set you free. Sooo, I'll plan on another spring visit.

Thanks for all the good pointers before my appointment!

05-05-2009, 06:06 AM
Hi Ginger,

I've been wondering how your appointment went! I'm gad to hear that you had a good report. Will the bursa problem resolve itself? Or will you need more shots in the future?

Your time with your children sounds wonderful. Your grandchildren are so cute! That pic of the two babies is just adorable :) You must kiss all those kids to pieces!

And Ginger--ROPESWINGING!!! Wow you are just something else! You won't catch me swinging from a rope in a million years :)

05-05-2009, 06:52 AM
I'm glad you don't have any serious hardware issues, Ginger -- and yes, the grandkids are really adorable. I checked out your canyon shots, too -- amazingly beautiful.

I was hoping to wriggle out of my two-year appointment too, but Lindy said I HAD to go up....! I'm scheduled for mid-June.

05-06-2009, 12:19 AM
This thread was just so great to read. Such positive thoughts from all of you. Susie B, congrats on becoming a grandma, just loved all of it.(saw that on another thread)
Ropeswinging how fabulous, well the old saying is if you don't use it you'll lose it.!!

Macky xx