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View Full Version : Surgery Scheduled May 11th



swilson
04-20-2009, 12:15 PM
Hello All,
I am new to the forum and I wanted to let everyone know how helpful it has been to read about your experiences with recovery from scoliosis surgery. It has really helped me to feel confident that I can do this too. I am 27 yrs old grad student w/55 degree curve and have been contemplating surgery for years but finally made the surgery appointment w/Dr. Lloyd Hey of the Hey Clinic.

My surgery is scheduled for May 11th here in Raleigh NC and I am so nervous. I go for my pre-op this wednesday and I am truly terrified of needles/etc.. so the upcoming surgery is causing me great anxiety.

Some of my questions are is there anything that you all suggest I will need in the hospital that was helpful to keep your mind off of pain? Clothing needed robes/slippers or are you in a hospital gown the entire time?

How long did it take you to feel some what back to normal?

How did you deal with pre-surgery nerves/anxiety? I am having difficulty sleeping etc and it is only getting worse as the surgery approaches.

Also I am a newlywed and my husband and I are discussing children in the near future. Does anyone have any experience with how long after surgery you can you begin a family? Or their experience w/pregnancy after scoliosis surgery?

Any advice you can offer me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
Simone

LynnMarie74
04-20-2009, 02:19 PM
Hello All,
I am new to the forum and I wanted to let everyone know how helpful it has been to read about your experiences with recovery from scoliosis surgery. It has really helped me to feel confident that I can do this too. I am 27 yrs old grad student w/55 degree curve and have been contemplating surgery for years but finally made the surgery appointment w/Dr. Lloyd Hey of the Hey Clinic.

My surgery is scheduled for May 11th here in Raleigh NC and I am so nervous. I go for my pre-op this wednesday and I am truly terrified of needles/etc.. so the upcoming surgery is causing me great anxiety.

Some of my questions are is there anything that you all suggest I will need in the hospital that was helpful to keep your mind off of pain? Clothing needed robes/slippers or are you in a hospital gown the entire time?

How long did it take you to feel some what back to normal?

How did you deal with pre-surgery nerves/anxiety? I am having difficulty sleeping etc and it is only getting worse as the surgery approaches.

Also I am a newlywed and my husband and I are discussing children in the near future. Does anyone have any experience with how long after surgery you can you begin a family? Or their experience w/pregnancy after scoliosis surgery?

Any advice you can offer me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
Simone


Hi Simone...as Im typing this, im actually in my surgeons clinic, waiting to be seen for my official 3 month check! As far as what you will need in the hospital...not much to be honest. I over packed...you really wont care what you look like and the hospital gown will be all you want on anyway. The meer thought of changing into anything (moving) freaked me out! Bring slippers w/gippers on the bottom as you will need to walk the halls in the hospital.

Back to normal..lol...I laugh as this one all the time....I wasnt normal to begin with so thats a tough one! Kidding! Really tho...in the end...when all was said and done...I felt like a funtional human about 5-6 weeks post op. Some of that was my own fault for feeling sorry for myself...dont let that happen cuz its easy to fall into that. I began walking on my treadmill around that time and got better and better from there.

Pre op fears--thats another very common and completly normal thing to have. I just keep telling myself Id be okay & had supportive friends and family who I knew loved me and would help me when I needed it. I also pampered myself a little bit before the surgery....mani/pedi, etc. Just get rest & think of all of the positivie things in your life...I promise, you will be OK!

I have 2 children.....4 & 12.....both (obviously) before surgery. However, depending your fusion level(and that may not even matter) from what Ive been told you can get pregnant after the 1st yr post op...assuming you are doing fine. So, you should be ok there. Your surgeon is the best person for this one tho!!

If you would like to PM me w/more concerns/questions, feel free. This site is the best & I personally would have been lost w/out it!!

Take care!!

Lynn :D

swilson
04-20-2009, 03:38 PM
Thanks so much Lynn! I was really unsure about what to pack for the hospital stay. I just have to stay positive about the whole surgery and know that it will all be ok. Congrats on your 3 months post-op I cant wait to be at that point and have this all behind me.

Simone

becky331
04-20-2009, 10:00 PM
Hi Simone,
I had a spinal fusion on March 17th...my curve was 73 degrees. First off, congrats on making the final decision to get it corrected. It would most likely only get worse and it's so much better to do this now rather than later!!

As far as packing, as Lynn said, you don't really need much. I overpacked as well. I used my daily things, such as toothbrush, hair brush, soap-stuff like that. I also wore comfy pants underneath my hospital gown about the 3rd day after surgery-the first 2 they asked that I didn't put anything on. Also, the hospital "slippers" were ugly so I brought my own monkey slippers...they got lots of compliments :) I also brought my own blanket-it was more of a comfort for me though.

Feeling normal...that was my biggest fear! I told my boyfriend the night before at dinner that I worried the most about how long it would be before I was "me" again. Honestly, the 3rd day after surgery I was...after the drugs were out of my system. There are good days and bad days. I can't stress enough how important you mind set is right now. Be positive, think positive and set expectations for yourself. I have done that the entire time..and when others around me speak anything negative I stop them..I don't even want to hear it. I am now on my 5th week and feel good most of the time. Just follow your dr's orders!

To calm your fears just think good thoughts! Don't think of the next few weeks, think of the next few months when you'll be totally better! And a whole new you. Look forward to looking in the mirror at your straight self...I cried when I seen my back for the first time (I now have a 20 degree curve!). And treat yourself..like Lynn said! It will be ok, I promise! I have a fear of needles too...in fact, it takes 3 people to take my blood. But it all went fine!

My nurse told me that within a year, I could have a baby if I wanted...but ask your dr to be sure.

I have a website set up that we wrote in each day at the hospital...you may find it interesting to read..kinda give you some ideas of what to expect. It's located at http://www.carepages.com/carepages/Becky_331. Just do a simple registry and you can access the journal and pics.

Good luck and can't wait to hear your results!!!

wvu90
04-22-2009, 07:52 PM
Hi Simone,
I have been wanting to post since I saw yours, but had trouble getting access to the site. Anyway, I have been a lurker here for several months and it is a great source of info. The main reason I wanted to reply to your post is I am 3 weeks as of yesterday from my surgery. I too had Dr Hey and I cannot say enough wonderful things about him. He is incredible.

If you go to his website, under the spineblog, I am the 3/31 surgery. 42 year old, blah, blah. I had a 54 degree right thoracic curve with a pretty big rib hump on the right side. I am fused from T5-L1, and had 3 osteotomies. He said he didn't do an actual measurement after the surgery, but it looked to be about a 20 degree curve now, and the rib hump isn't nearly as noticible. Initially he estimated my surgery would be 3-4 hours, he was done in 2 hours and 40 min. He said I would be in the hospital 3-4 nights, I was there 2. That, I could not believe. I had my surgery on Tues morning and was discharged by 1:30 or so Thursday afternoon.

As many have said before, you won't need much in the hospital, I waaaaaay overpacked. I only wore the gown, they supplied grippy socks, I brought magazines and stuff, but really didn't do much more then sleep or try too.

As I said I am 3 weeks out, feeling better every day, but have my good and bad ones. I am still on the 12 hour release morphine, one in the am, one at night, and a valium at night. Been trying to quit the immediate release morphine. Some days I do still need it though. I am still pretty sore when I move around, but sometimes it feels more like tightness around my spine. I do still get tired easily, which is frustrating. I have 3 kids, so my life is pretty chaotic. My Grandmother passed away last Thursday and I wasn't able to go home for the service, so that has added to my frustration and bad days.
But all in all it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I was prepared for the worst.

The fact that you are younger will really be in your favor for getting back on your feet. Sometimes I get really upset thinking I am way behind in recovery, but then everyone who sees me, can't believe I am getting around as well as I am.

Sorry to ramble, but thought you might like to hear from someone else who went to Dr Hey. Do you live in the area? I am in Apex. Feel free to let me know if there is anything else I can try to help you with. The main thing I can say is you are in great hands.

~Robin

swilson
04-28-2009, 07:08 PM
Hi Robin,
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry it took me so long to respond I have been out of town. Anyhow it is very comforting to hear you speak so highly of Dr. Hey and to hear that your surgery went so well. I am really confident in Dr. Hey's ability and I know that I am going to do just fine with the surgery. Any how I want to wish you a speedy recovery and thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I feel so much better!!!

Simone

wvu90
04-28-2009, 07:19 PM
Hey Simone,

No problem, I am sure you will be fine. Today is 4 weeks out for me and I finally got up the nerve to go completely off of the morphine and go to over the counter motrin. So far so good. First day of driving too. I had only been taking the 12 hr morphine in the morning and at night, so I probably could have switched earlier, but was chicken.

My husband had his physical the other day with a doctor at SAS. He told him about my surgery. The Dr asked who the surgeon was. When Brian told him, he said that Dr Hey is the guru of anything to do with the spine. Made me feel alot better about my decision, nice to hear a compliment like that from another doctor. Anyway, thought that might make you feel good too. Feel free to let me know if you have any other concerns I can help you with. It really hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be. :o) Good luck.
~Robin

JenniferG
04-29-2009, 01:58 AM
All the very best, Simone! It's completely natural to be frightened of this surgery. I am almost 58 and had never had surgery in my life and was always nervous about medical things. My doctor prescribed an anti-anxiety medication which helped enormously and got me to the hospital.

You are young and will heal quickly. Soon it will be over and you can look forward to the rest of your life without having to worry about your spine again, hopefully ever!

debbei
04-29-2009, 06:04 AM
Simone,

Good luck with your surgery. I was also terrified---really I think we all are. How could you not be? I was horribly nervous for months prior, and had trouble sleeping. I never asked for any medications during that time, but some people do.

AS far as your fear of needles, believe me, I think you'll get over it once you're there. In my case, I was only awake for the insertion of ONE IV. The others (and there were numerous ones in me during surgery) were put in after I was asleep. Just be sure and tell the person putting the IV in of your fears so they are extra careful. The anesthesiologist who put in mine was an angel.

As far as clothing goes, I stayed in the hospital gowns the whole time. Even though I brought other things with me, I had no desire to get in them. I did use the robe and slippers though--a knee length robe.

Let us know if you have any other questions.