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View Full Version : Looking back....tomorrow is one year post op



debbei
10-14-2009, 10:58 AM
this surgery has changed my life--that's a given. I am thrilled with my results, and hope & pray that I continue to do as well as I am right now. Ti Ed was right--my improvement between 9 and 12 months was dramatic.

What I didn't realize one year ago was how this surgery was going to change the dynamics in my family. We are all in such a better spot than we were last year at this time. The kids, all 3 of them, were worried sick about me. My senior citizen parents jumped in and stayed with us, 350 miles away from their home, for 2 months. You know mother guilt? My mother was still feeling guilty that I had this problem and needed the surgery. She's thrilled to see me thrive now. And my poor husband had to go into overdrive to support the family for 8 months without my salary.

I am grateful to my surgeon and his skilled hands. We are so lucky to live in a time when this is possible. I've said this before, but I look to my maternal grandmother's life and how hard the last 15-20 years were for her, all crunched up in a wheel chair. That would have been me without this surgery.

Good luck to all with upcoming surgeries. Keep a positive attitude and take good care of yourself. That is the best thing you can do.

rich1752
10-14-2009, 11:21 AM
Thank you, Debbie for that post! I am scheduled for my surgery on December 9th and I'm still nervous about the unknown. I have pain now, but I think to myself if the pain I know is worth the pain from the unknown! Will I regret the surgery. This is a big decision and the more I look at the procedure, the more I understand that it is a big operation and a dangerous one at that.

rich

debbei
10-14-2009, 11:28 AM
Thank you, Debbie for that post! I am scheduled for my surgery on December 9th and I'm still nervous about the unknown. I have pain now, but I think to myself if the pain I know is worth the pain from the unknown! Will I regret the surgery. This is a big decision and the more I look at the procedure, the more I understand that it is a big operation and a dangerous one at that.

rich

Rich,

the fear of the unknown is horrible. I was the biggest chicken on the face of the earth. I had this fear that I would 'wake up dead'. We had a big party a month before the surgery because I wanted to see all my friends/family 'one last time.' Thankfully, all my fears were for nothing. My pre-op pain is gone and the surgical pain has been gone for months now. My biggest problem over the past year was muscle spasms (knock on wood) but I think I'm past that now. (knock on my head.) Eat properly and exercise prior to surgery. The more fit you are going in (aerobically and muscular) the easier your recovery may be. You know, the waiting part is the hardest part of the whole process. We'll be here for you when you have questions.

Good luck,

Singer
10-14-2009, 02:23 PM
Wow Debbe, a whole year??! I'm thrilled for you that everything turned out so well. It'll keep getting better and better, too.

Pooka1
10-14-2009, 03:32 PM
Debbe, congratulations! What a huge accomplishment!

These surgeons are amazing. It must be so cool to be them fixing folks for a living.

loves to skate
10-14-2009, 04:03 PM
Debbe,

It is so nice to hear another success story. I remember how scared you were, but I think that is the one thing we all have in common. Our curves are different, but the fear is the same because the surgery is such a big surgery. I wrote in a journal notes to my husband, son and grandsons, just in case I didn't survive. These Doctors are a gift from God whom I thank every day for giving us our lives back.

Sally

JenniferG
10-14-2009, 04:40 PM
I remember the pre-op Debbe well. I was glad I was not alone with my fears, I felt more "normal". You kind of blazed the trail for me, I followed your progress with great interest.

I can't believe it's been a year. Congrats Debbe. I'm so glad this has brought your family closer. I feel the same about mine. It's also put me on a high that's lasted months. I am about to undertake a course, after which I hope to find a job and start my life all over again, thanks to this second chance.

Are you having a celebratory drink tonight?

debbei
10-14-2009, 04:46 PM
Chris, yes I can't believe it's a year already!

Sharon, thanks and I'm sure Willow will be back in class before you know it.

Sally, yes I guess we all have those fears in common. You were an inspiration to me--back on your skates!

Jen, yes I think I WILL have that drink you recommend tonight! After my exercise class!

sed78
10-14-2009, 05:10 PM
Debbe,

Thank you for your post. It is so helpful for those of us still in the early stages of post-op to hear from others who are on the other side of recovery. Please don't be a stranger to this forum!

--Steph
fused 9/23/09
T10-L3
31 years old

theizzard
10-14-2009, 05:31 PM
Congratulations to you. I can't remember if I talked to you before your surgery or just after it. It's a year for you and I am coming up on 9 months in a few weeks. Time goes fast after scoliosis surgery it seems. Nice to hear that there was significant improvement between 9-12 months. Maybe I will eventually be free of the feeling of having a 16 lb. bowling ball being forced into my thoracic spine.
avis

dolores a
10-14-2009, 06:17 PM
Hi Debbei, As Avis mentioned, I also can't believe how fast time flies by after this surgery! You are one of the first people on this site that I followed your progress intently. Congratulations, you've come a long way baby, and it sounds like you will even see more improvement as time goes by!

Doodles
10-14-2009, 08:34 PM
Let me add my congratulations too! So glad it was so successful for you. I've been following your posts for some time also. I like that idea of feeling recovery go forward a lot between 9 and 12 months. I look forward to it! Janet

JenM
10-14-2009, 08:59 PM
Hi Debbei,

Congrats to you on your one year anniversary! I have been following your posts for the pasts few months since I joined this forum since they have been very inspiring to me. You had a double "S" curve which is similar to mine and I also live in Central Jersey so I would also be going into NYC to get the surgery. I enjoy reading your posts since they are so positive and encouraging. I really want to go through with the surgery, and I am finally going to see Dr. Boachie in the beginning of November. Your posts make me feel like I CAN do the surgery.

Anyway, best of luck to you and I am so glad you are feeling so well! Keep us posted with your progess.

Take care,
JenM

Shari
10-14-2009, 11:41 PM
Hi Debbei.

What a wonderful thread to start!!! I congratulate you, along with everyone else here!!!

You've summed it up perfectly and what you have said will help many people, which is very special!!!

You sent many memories flooding back to me, and now I have tears in my eyes.
Thanks a lot for making me cry.:p

Everyone should read what you've said,
Shari

titaniumed
10-15-2009, 12:59 AM
Debbe

You made it.......Phew....

I remember your first posts. This was 1027 posts ago.

http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7272


Remember this one?
Embarassing question
after fusion, after you're all healed up and feeling better, how on earth does sex work?

Ohhhh boy!

No, this isn't a post roast! I might get beat up too bad! LOL

Do you need to go up to the city for x-rays?
Ed

Jimbo
10-15-2009, 04:42 AM
What a great post. It is awesome you are doin so well.

I bet you're glad you never listened to Dr Dumbell! xD

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:09 AM
Hi Debbei,

Congrats to you on your one year anniversary! I have been following your posts for the pasts few months since I joined this forum since they have been very inspiring to me. You had a double "S" curve which is similar to mine and I also live in Central Jersey so I would also be going into NYC to get the surgery. I enjoy reading your posts since they are so positive and encouraging. I really want to go through with the surgery, and I am finally going to see Dr. Boachie in the beginning of November. Your posts make me feel like I CAN do the surgery.

Anyway, best of luck to you and I am so glad you are feeling so well! Keep us posted with your progess.

Take care,
JenM

Jen, check your PM's.

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:12 AM
Hi Debbei.

What a wonderful thread to start!!! I congratulate you, along with everyone else here!!!

You've summed it up perfectly and what you have said will help many people, which is very special!!!

You sent many memories flooding back to me, and now I have tears in my eyes.
Thanks a lot for making me cry.:p

Everyone should read what you've said,
Shari

Shari,

yes I'm feeling rather sentimental today. I think all day long I'm going to be thinking what I was doing last year at this time....for example, last year around 7:11 AM I was talking to the anesthesiologist answering questions and asking for my 'happy juice.' After that it was CLEAR SAILING until I woke up after surgery looking at my husband. LOL I highly recommend the 'happy juice' as soon as they'll give it to you. Takes away ALL the anxiety.

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:21 AM
Debbe

You made it.......Phew....

I remember your first posts. This was 1027 posts ago.

http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7272


Remember this one?
Embarassing question
after fusion, after you're all healed up and feeling better, how on earth does sex work?

Ohhhh boy!

No, this isn't a post roast! I might get beat up too bad! LOL

Do you need to go up to the city for x-rays?
Ed

Wow Ed, that post first sure brought back memories. I was scared out of my mind. As for the 'embarassing question' post, it took a while, but things are working out JUST FINE. When the Dr. cleared me for that 'activity' at 6 weeks, it as definitely too early. Actually I think the pain meds interfered with me enjoying it al all. BWHAAHAAHAA :)

As for checkups, I had a 6 week checkup in December, then back in March, and again in July. At July he said I didn't have to go back for a whole year! I don't mind going into the city for these appointments. We make a day of it. Last time we ate in Little Italy. YUM. I also try to weasle a stop into a jewelry store. :D I don't think hubby will agree to that one after the last trip. ;)

Ed, you have been a real inspiration for me all along. I don't mind if you do a post roast, it's kind of funny. After all, I have asked/written some pretty goofy things. Leave it to me---if I wonder about it, I'll ask it. Who better to ask? The people on this forum are the EXPERTS.

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:24 AM
What a great post. It is awesome you are doin so well.

I bet you're glad you never listened to Dr Dumbell! xD

I sure am Jimbo. Dr.'s have to realize that word-of-mouth affects their careers. Just yesterday a neightbor needed an ortho dr. for her daughter, and called asking me the name of Dr. Dumbell so she could avoid him.

Are you getting scheduled soon Jimbo? I know you had a recent appointment but can't remember if you and the doc's made a decision.

valleygirl
10-15-2009, 01:16 PM
Congratulations Debbe! What a difference a year makes! You've been through so much and come through with flying colors.

I, for one, am glad and so very grateful that you are here. Your well documented journey is an inspiration for many of us. You continue to give support, hope, and affirmation that we (or at least me) are on the right path towards living pain free.

Please keep posting as your insight and experience is invaluable!

Again, congratulations and all the best for continued success and painfree living!

Hugs,

LynnMarie74
10-19-2009, 08:08 PM
WOW!! Thats awesome! Im so glad you are doing so well!! Ed's post made me laugh...as I do believe I may have asked some similiar questions! "That" just seems impossible before you have the surgery! lol Again, so glad all is going well..


LYNN

52skeedoo
10-21-2009, 01:36 PM
Hi Debbe,

Thanks for this post. I've loved reading it. You are an inspiration for me. I've been struggling a bit at 3 1/2 months. I've gone back to work and am trying to balance work with proper rest and exercise. My balancing act needs a lot of improvement.

It's good to hear that there is significant improvement from 9-12 months. It gives me some perspective on where I am in the healing process.

And I love your honesty about sex. I couldn't imagine how it would ever happen after surgery. I can report that although I also was given permission from my doctor at 6 week, that was a bit too early for me,too. There has been significant improvement with time and there's now hope for an even better future.

Keep on getting stronger !

Sheri

debbei
10-21-2009, 05:38 PM
Hi Debbe,

Thanks for this post. I've loved reading it. You are an inspiration for me. I've been struggling a bit at 3 1/2 months. I've gone back to work and am trying to balance work with proper rest and exercise. My balancing act needs a lot of improvement.

It's good to hear that there is significant improvement from 9-12 months. It gives me some perspective on where I am in the healing process.

And I love your honesty about sex. I couldn't imagine how it would ever happen after surgery. I can report that although I also was given permission from my doctor at 6 week, that was a bit too early for me,too. There has been significant improvement with time and there's now hope for an even better future.

Keep on getting stronger !

Sheri

Sheri,

You must be doing very well. I couldn't have imagined going back to work at 3.5 months. I went back at 7.5 months, and at that time I was having terrible muscle spasms. I can't say 100% but I really think that me going to my regular 2x a week exercise class has helped/prevented the spasms. Just my theory. I'm not going to stop and check it.

Today I told my boss that if didn't have such a hairy face today :) I would have kissed him. One year ago today, he picked me and my husband up from the hospital and drove us that long 1.5 hour ride home. I told him how terrible I felt when I first started working, but apparently, he says, I hid it well. I remember grimmacing a lot and VERY careful movements.

As far as the 'permission' given at 6 weeks, those Dr.'s must be nuts. It was WAY too soon. Honestly, trying at that time probably made me feel worse because I thought it would be that way forever. I think I sent out a few SOS emails to a few forum members asking questions at the time. LOL

You will improve, I promise.

Suzy
10-25-2009, 08:00 PM
Hi Debbei!

Congrats! I know the sentimental feelings you are having, I did too! Not just at 1 year but on each anniversary of my surgery date, my new birth date of sorts. I have to tell you I thought I was fully recovered at 1 year, I felt fabiolus! The next 6 months proved me wrong, I got even better! No change from 1 1/2 yrs to 2 years and I am holding steady. You ever get back into your high heels? I was thinking about you not long ago as I bought yet another pair that will make the women at our scoli support group shake their heads in wonder!! LOL!

Best wishes, Suzy

debbei
10-25-2009, 08:34 PM
:D
Hi Debbei!

Congrats! I know the sentimental feelings you are having, I did too! Not just at 1 year but on each anniversary of my surgery date, my new birth date of sorts. I have to tell you I thought I was fully recovered at 1 year, I felt fabiolus! The next 6 months proved me wrong, I got even better! No change from 1 1/2 yrs to 2 years and I am holding steady. You ever get back into your high heels? I was thinking about you not long ago as I bought yet another pair that will make the women at our scoli support group shake their heads in wonder!! LOL!

Best wishes, Suzy

Suzy,

I'm looking forward to feeling even better in 6 more months. I went non-stop this weekend and I'm exhausted. We had houseguests (my inlaws) who haven't seen me since the surgery, and I told my husband that they just don't get it. They see me looking all normal and think I can do 'anything'. Well, maybe I can, but it can sure take a lot out of me.

You crack me up. Yes, I have been in heels, but the highest I'll get (even prior to surgery) is probably about 2.5 or 3 inches. I don't wear them on a regular basis, but I can.

Soo....are you in 5" heels? :D I think we need a picture. I thought this one was funny:

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_jun2006/VeryHighHeels.htm

kt2009
10-25-2009, 11:55 PM
Love the pic of the heels...hilarious! I'm getting ready to go back to work a few hours a day, and I have no idea what I'm going to wear! Luckily, I'm a reading specialist in an elementary school...but I still like to look professional. Due to my incision, I don't like wearing anything but sweatpants low on my hips and I haven't worn anything but sneakers! I miss my pretty shoes!

BTW, my inlaws are seeing me for the first time this weekend and don't quite get it either. She has offered to cook, but suggested I get all the shopping done before she got here! I had to break it to her that not only did I just start driving, I can't lift anything!

Congrats on your one year! It makes me very hopeful!

Vali
10-26-2009, 06:04 AM
Congratulations on your one year anniversary Debbei. I often wondered when i would get back into wearing heels of some sort. This is one of the questions i asked my surgeon before the surgery. He said, he couldn't see why i couldn't wear heels after surgery, and stated that i may be even more comfortable than before due to a straighter back.
The week before surgery i decided to keep a journal of my scoliosis journey and guess what the title is:---
"I will not be resigned to wearing court shoes"!

Zoee
10-26-2009, 09:21 AM
It is very heartening to hear how you are doing a year later. Congrats and thank you for sharing this with us!
I have found myself getting "down in the dumps" the past few weeks - my surgery was 8/11. I had such a quick recovery the first few weeks and now I'm settling in to the tedious part, I think - of having to take a back seat to things, listening to my body, and restricting so many of my activities. the worst part is the pounds are starting to add up - I can feel flab forming - "muffin top" I think is the right word. I've always been so vigilant about exercising and staying in shape, and now being able to only walk I am not able to burn the calories needed. I know in the long term this is just a little "bump" but I do find it hard to keep up a good attitude. so it's nice to hear how it does pay off a year later!!!!!

JenniferG
10-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Vali, court shoes don't turn me on either, however, I'm now addicted to thongs! (For our friends in the US, not the underwear variety, the footwear variety!)

Zoee, this stage doesn't last forever. You are still early in your recovery, but it won't be long before you are able to walk further and faster and you can burn those muffin calories right off!

Suzy
11-01-2009, 05:01 PM
:D

Suzy,

Soo....are you in 5" heels? :D I think we need a picture. I thought this one was funny:

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_jun2006/VeryHighHeels.htm

No Debbei,

Not in 5" heels anymore. I broke my Fibula right above my ankle 7 1/2 yrs ago and couldn't go back to them. I am wearing my 4" ones with no problems.

Tried to post a picture but it won't work. :(

titaniumed
11-01-2009, 05:39 PM
Suzy, Debbe,

I went as Frankenstein last night and wore 6 inchers with the costume.

I do a pretty good Frankenstein. You know, with the stiff back and everything.

My date was electrifying LOL
Ed