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mbeckoff
01-06-2010, 11:18 PM
My surgery is not until the end of next month/middle of March and I cannot relax.I burst into tears over nothing. I have headaches all of the time.Part of it is not knowing what the date will be. I cannot not know but I cannot harass my surgeon's secretary either. I do not like pain but yet I do not like drugs either. I have given birth to my two children with out any pain killers. I am scared to death about giving my own blood because I have no veins and it usually takes several sticks before they can find a vein. Then I have serious black /blue bruising going on for a week to ten days.

My heart is racing all of the time and I am having anxiety attacks constantly .

I just need it to be over

Help!!

Melissa

JenniferG
01-06-2010, 11:26 PM
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation Melissa. I too was very scared and in fact cancelled out on my first surgery. Believe me, many are very nervous but the time passes and we somehow get through it. Then, if they are like me, they are on a high for a year, just out of pure relief! You can do it Melissa.

But, before I go on any further. My GP gave me some mild anti-anxiety meds and they helped A LOT!!! They really got me through what ended up being 9 months from Surgeon's appt. to surgery. I stopped taking them in hospital and haven't needed them since. They did their job of getting me through the worst time which is the waiting period pre-op.

About giving blood. I didn't give any. My surgeon doesn't request it. Speak to your surgeon, tell him how worried you are about this. If you need blood and you may not, there is always the blood bank blood, which I was given. It's very safe these days, so there's nothing to worry about there.

I know all about the racing heart and anxiety attacks. Please speak to your doctor and ask for some help to get through this time. There's no need for you to be feeling this bad. I got the help I needed and believe me, I am still grateful for it!

Sending *hugs*

joyfull
01-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Hi Melissa. My surgery is far away, but I can relate to the racing heart and anxiety. There were other issues going on in my life that caused this recently. I'm sort of a natural type and have hardly ever used even an antibiotic, but I am now taking an anti anxiety medication that has saved my life called paxil. It has helped enormously and has kept me very even. I believe that it will help me cope with the surgery as well. You may need something to get you through the next few months. All the best, Joy

Vali
01-07-2010, 01:21 AM
Hi Melissa,

So sorry to hear about your anxiety. Is your Doctor able to put you in touch with a previous patient, so that maybe you could have a chat over the phone. This worked for me. Personally, i think this is a normal reaction (anxiety) when faced with this surgery. I broke down in tears the day i got told about my scoliosis and then broke down again at my pre-op appt at the hospital... and.... i got teary when they were wheeling me down to the holding bay for surgery. ( I wasn't this bad even when they told me in 1989 that i had malignant melanoma) .Then... in theatre meeting the team, the feeling was gone. As for the blood donation thing, i donated two units but was crossmatched for the third. If you feel you can't do it, tell them. They will surely understand. My 5 cents worth (cause we don't have 2c anymore), take one day at a time, have a chat to your surgeon or his nurse, or speak to another patient. Take time out to relax and focus on other things - it works. Best of luck.

Jimbo
01-07-2010, 01:49 AM
I hear you! I am 18 days away from my surgery :) Just try and keep your mind occupied with anything you can.

Let all your emotions flow forth, cry your eyes out until you are exhausted and you will relax. Exercise if you can, get those endorphins raging and scream at the sky that you wont let this surgery keep you down!

JDM555
01-07-2010, 02:27 AM
Hey! I totally understand what you mean. I found my doctor Ivan Cheng in September of 09. And my curve was too aggressive for a brace, so he recommended surgery. I had all the tests/xrays/bloodtests/pre-op/etc. within the next 3 months. I was scheduled for surgery within 5 weeks. I had my dad schedule during winter break when it was in mid November. I think It happened so quick that I didn't really worry. Trust me, it's a hard surgery but you will get over it. Worrying won't help with anything but give you a hard time. Good luck with everything you go through, just remember you are not alone and there are thousands out there who go through the same.

Try asking for some anti-anxiety pills like what Jennifer had just in-case. I'm sure they will help if you really are as nervous/worried as you stated.

Good Luck

debbei
01-07-2010, 05:48 AM
Melissa,

we all worried about this surgery. I had myself worried sick, and was fearful that I would never come out of the surgery. At least that's how I worried at first. I spent many MANY fearful nights up reading this forum and asking questions.

Many people don't give blood. I also have the tiny vein problem, but I did end up giving almost one unit. The nice lady at the hospital blood center had to babysit my arm to keep it flowing, and it took 45 minutes, but I did it. Do you have any family members who have the same blood type that could give for you? I had my husband and son donate (we're all the same type.)

I don't get why you can't ask the doctor's schedule person when you're scheduled for. You, of all people, should be kept in the loop.

Be good to yourself during this time. Treat yourself to whatever makes you feel better and relax.

Let us know if we can help. Getting specific questions answered helps. You know--the whole knowledge is power thing. It's really true. By the time my surgery came around, I was so much mentally stronger about the situation. You will too.

Singer
01-07-2010, 06:54 AM
I was also terribly anxious before my surgery but I got strangely calm a couple of weeks before it. In my opinion, the anticipation is worse than recovery, because you live in the future. Once the surgery is over, you are simply focusing on recovery and everything seems much more manageable.

One thing that helped me a lot before surgery was getting as physically tired as possible -- in my case, walking miles and miles every day and doing Pilates besides. It helped me sleep and got me in good physical condition.

asccbodypro
01-07-2010, 01:03 PM
Melissa,

I can appreciate what your going through...along with many others as well. You are experiencing Anxiety no doubt about it. We have all been there. You really should talk with your surgeon. I had trouble sleeping the month before my surgery which in turn brought on my headaches. Talk to him. It will do you no good to wear yourself out before surgery. You should be focussing on eating healthy, sleeping well and a exercising if your body is able to do so. Feeling the way you do right now is going to prevent all that. Not to mention you want to be able to enjoy the time with your family while you can because you'll be out of commission soon enough.

I had my surgery in a military facility and was fortunate not to have to donate any blood. They used the cell saver which is a machine that cleans the blood while surgery is in progress. I'm sure they use it for everyone these days, but they used other's donated blood....which was fine by me. I don't like having to donate but would have if neccessary. This was just the way my hospital handled things. I ended up loosing 6 or 7 pints of blood during surgery I think. Again, speak to your doctor about how you are feeling. If they are put out with your needing these measures prior to surgery than I would question whether or not they have YOUR best interests at heart. Good luck and keep us posted! I'll be saying prayers for you :O)

Doodles
01-07-2010, 01:18 PM
Melissa--
Lots of good advice here. My surgeon didn't seem inclined to give me anti-anxiety meds but I didn't push it. I wish I had. You'd probably do better with your GP at home for that. Also as others suggest exercise, exercise. I spent a lot of time doing that and anything else to stay totally busy! You'll make it. The waiting is really tough. Also, I did have a relaxation tape that I listened to also that went along with a book about getting yourself ready mentally for serious surgeries. It's probably on here somewhere but can't remember woman's name and I gave the book to someone else. I used it each day--I think it did help me. Janet

mbeckoff
01-07-2010, 01:55 PM
Thank you so so so much

When I put the post on here last night, I was sure that no one would even look at it , let alone answer it.

I am surprised that all of you answered me and had so many great ideas.

First of all, I did speak with my surgeon's secretary this morning and I have a surgical date of March 11. It is too far away for my brain , but I will have to deal with it. I don't suppose I will making a chain like we used to do at Christmas and tearing a link off every night.

I am going to ask my GP for an anti-anxiety drug to help calm me down.

I am going to look for a book about getting ready to major surgery.

About giving blood, I am sure that my surgeon who is super nice , will consider alternatives that up until you guys brought them up I did not even know they existed.

I have one more question, allright , we all know that I will always have one more question until I am rolling down the hall towards the ER and then when I wake will have another so let's say this is my one more question for right now

Why do some people say that they have slept 3 months in recuprating and others say it is more like a month?

Thanks so much guys

I will get thru this and get to the other side

Wiat , I do have another question . This is for the older folks. I am 50 years old . How did I get thru all of the scoliosis screenings that they did in school and was never DX? I always remmeber my Mother saying to me sit up straight or why can't you ever walk right or why don't your dresses hang right?

Thanks

How do you get a signature?

Melissa

loves to skate
01-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Hi Melissa,

Advice on blood donation. If you have small veins, save them for your surgery. I used to draw blood donors and the needle is 18 guage and can do a lot of damage to your veins if they probe around. Check out other threads on this site about blood donation.

Go to the NSF website and check out their book list for scoliosis surgery. One good one is by David Wolpert. Sorry I don't remember the name of it.

For Anxiety, there is a very good set of CD's by Peggy Huddleston. It helps with relaxation. She also has written a book.

I also was diagnosed late in life. Even when my PCP ordered an x-ray, all he told me was that I have DDD. I guess some of the older Doctors aren't aware that there is a fix for scoliosis in older adults adults, or aren't trained to look for it.

About sleeping. Everyone is a different age, or has a different curve, or different quality of bone or heals at a different rate. Sleeping is the best healer that I know of along with proper nutrition.

I hope some of this helps. You will find the answer to most of your questions on this forum, so ask away.

Sally

JenM
01-07-2010, 06:00 PM
Hi Melissa-

I am in the same boat as you, although my surgery is a little later in the year. It is in June. I am already having tons of anxiety though. I find myself thinking about it alot during the day and worrying about it. Last week I ordered a few books and started reading them, and they have really helped. I totally recommend reading them. Others on this forum have told me about them. Here are the names of the books:

1. Scoliosis Surgery by Michael Wolpert
2. Scoliosis Sourcebook by Michael Neuiwirth (author is a scoliosis surgeon in NYC - great book, I read the whole book in 2 days and it answered alot of my questions.)
3. Pilates for Fragile Backs

To deal with my anxiety, I have been exercising every day and it has really, really helped. I basically just walk on the treadmill like 35-40 minutes a day. Everyone on this forum who has had the surgery has recommended exercising, and I am so glad I followed the advice. I started the day I made up my mind that I was going to get this surgery, which was about 4 months ago. I have lost 25 pounds (which was needed since 2 years ago I had my daughter). It just makes me feel better about going into the surgery and helps me deal with my anxiety.

Hang in there, you can do it!!

JenM

JenM
01-07-2010, 06:04 PM
Just a correction to my previous post -

The author of the book Scoliosis Surgery is David Wolpert, not Michael Wolpert. He is a patient who went through scoliosis surgery back in 2002.

Karen Ocker
01-07-2010, 06:42 PM
I was a lot older than most and having a more complex revision. Being a medical professional I knew the risks better than most but I did not want anti anxiety medication. What helped was talking to persons who actually went through it, set up my sun-room with a small bed, phone and TV,and hired help during the day, while my husband was working, who turned out to be a gem. So I focused on practical things and used spiritual tools to handle my feelings. My biggest problem was that a new washing machine broke as I was doing all the wash in advance.

One person I knew was taking Xanax(3 times a day) for for anxiety awhile and when questioned by the anesthesia personnel about her medications she said she took it "as needed". When her surgery took place the sudden Xanax withdrawal gave her seizures and the doctors were clueless until they found out later it was Xanax withdrawal.:eek:

mbeckoff
01-08-2010, 02:17 PM
Thanks for all of your great suggestions

Today I really felt better

I got my kitchen back in order after all of my holiday baking

I ordered the books

Melissa

rainbow2010
01-08-2010, 03:45 PM
Try soaking in a hot bath to relax. I like to sit in my favorite chair with the heating pad on my back when I have pain. It helps me to relax (I often fall asleep!). Recovery depends a lot on how fast your body heals. Back when I had surgery, I had to stay in the hospital for 1 month and wore a plaster body cast for 9 months. Being 16, I didn't let it slow me down. When I had my revision surgery, I was in the hospital for 4 days. I had a husband and 2 teenagers to get home to. My husband bought us a new house 2 weeks later. By 6 weeks post-op, I was painting walls and cleaning our new house.

When my daughter had her surgery, she went back to school in 8 weeks (she had it over summer vacation). She was back dancing at 3 months. Having a positive attitude and not letting the little things bother you help a great deal in your recovery.

The best thing to do pre-op is to make and freeze all of your favorite meals so that all you have to do is pop them in the microwave. I made 3 weeks worth. Then if you feel like cooking, you can otherwise pop something in the microwave. Have all of your comfort foods in the house. Also make arrangements to have someone clean your house for a few weeks. Good luck

joyfull
01-08-2010, 06:04 PM
Karen, I think xanax is a horrible drug. Now that I'm taking paxil, it is 100 times better and very calming. I've had a personal crisis in the last year, but I think the paxil will be very good for me as I prepare for surgery. I am trying to use the treadmill when I can, but I find it hard after working with children all day. I just had a session with a pilates instructor and I found it very difficult, plus I couldn't understand half the things she was saying. She told me that everyone is confused in the beginning. Is this true? I have an appointment with someone else for an introductory session next week. Joy

megz
01-08-2010, 10:42 PM
aww melissa,

I had to be put on paxil and the doctors want me to take my klonopin Monday before I go in. I have been a nervous wreck. I try to put it in the back of my mind..but if I wasnt on this medicine I think it would be 10x worse..Please talk to your GP about getting anxiety medicine..The added stress is no good and you don't need to go through it if you take these..I wish you the best of luck..you are in my prayers..
xox megz

mbeckoff
01-08-2010, 10:45 PM
I am going to talk to my GP about Paxil

What does klonopin do ? My children used to take it for sleeping

Thanks for the prayers

Are you having surgery Monday?

I will keep you in my prayers as well

Melissa

megz
01-08-2010, 10:46 PM
In reference to the scoliosis surgery book. I ordered it off line and had to give it to my mother..I cried after reading it..I wasn't able to sleep for two nights..It really affected me reading that. I think because I had the fears that those things could happen to me. Idk maybe it may help some but I had to goto the Dr's and have my paxil adjusted bc of it =/

megz
01-08-2010, 10:49 PM
omg klonopin totally relaxes you. I used to get really bad panic attacks after my dad died..so they prescribed this to me and it takes away any symptoms of having a panic attack. I used to take it when I felt one coming on and I would never get it after taking it. Now I use it If I know I am going to be in a stressful situation like monday when i have my surgery..Or when I feel really anxious. Its like a dark cloud over you has been lifted..Hope that helped :)

mbeckoff
01-08-2010, 10:52 PM
So I am going to discuss with my GP what she thinks I should have
Either Paxil or klonopin.

Thanks

Melissa

mbeckoff
01-08-2010, 10:53 PM
When do they make you stop taking your regular drugs?
The ones you normally take?

Melissa

megz
01-08-2010, 11:31 PM
they told me to take it the day of my surgery with just a sip of water, before I came in. It would help me relax while I was there and then I guess they give you some "cocktail" and that will help you a little while waiting as well.

mbeckoff
01-09-2010, 08:58 AM
Thanks but I mean the drugs that I take all the time

like my lyrica and my cymbalta and my migraine drugs ; etc

Melissa

mbeckoff
01-11-2010, 11:19 PM
One of the reasons that I feel so anxious is that I am sad that I will not be able to do much if any gardening this year. Down here in NC, the season starts in March/April and there will not be any way possible that I will be able to get any plants into the ground. Last year was the first spring/summer that we lived here and I had so many ideas for areas that I did not get to last year. SO now, I will have to wait until next year which is a long way away

Melissa

jrnyc
01-11-2010, 11:46 PM
Hi Melissa
i think if you speak to your doctor about mild anti anxiety meds, they could find something appropriate for you...also, the small vein thing..i am like that too, as was my mother...if they can use baby needles to get blood out, it really helps...my veins usually collapse when they try to use bigger or normal size needles..also drink alot the day you have blood drawn for any reason...
i am still considering surgery for fusion..but was told by several surgeons that a relative could donate, or they can use bank blood...it is all screened nowadays...

i hope you find some calm before the surgery, cause i know how exhausting worry & anxiety can become...it is really true about exercise, if you are not in too much pain to do some....if you are in too much pain, as i am, you could try to get mentally tired before bedtime..sometimes reading does that for me...

best of luck
jess

mbeckoff
01-12-2010, 12:23 AM
Thanks

I have an appointment next Wednesday the 20th to speak with the doctor about some meds.

I have decided not to donate my own blood. I cannot ever get enough for a small tube without having black and blue bruising for a week or 10 days. I will use the blood bank and that will be that

Does any one know how long before surgery you have to stop taking medicines that you take normally at home?

Melissa

mbeckoff
01-12-2010, 12:27 AM
I also know what else is really bothering me and that there is nothing that anyone can do about it.

I want my mommy to be with me . That is not going to happen. She passed away in 2002 . There is just something about when you don't feel well, you want your mother to be there to take care of you , no matter how old your are

JenniferG
01-12-2010, 02:26 AM
Melissa, ask your surgeon what drugs you can continue to take right up to surgery day. I did, and was told to continue my mild anti-anxiety pills and my calcium, which I had been taking daily. Once in hospital, they take them from you and deal them out daily. I stopped my anti-anxiety pills that day, I never needed them again, all my anxiety was associated with the surgery.

But, there are some drugs you should not take for a fortnight or so before surgery, and I *think* Ibuprofen is one of them. A friend gave me Rescue Remedy (homeopathic) and my surgeon said not to use it.

Regarding your mother. My Mum died in 1999 and I think of her every day. Not so much with yearning any more, but with fondness. I don't think we ever completely get over losing our mothers.

jrnyc
01-12-2010, 02:50 AM
Hi Melissa
i know aspirin products cannot be taken close to surgery...thins the blood, or causes bleeding, or something...anything containing aspirin is a no-no...not sure what else, but am sure your doctor can tell you...

i know what you mean about wanting your mother there with you! i lost my mother a very long time ago, but i still have those feelings sometimes...even the longing, at times...i dont think we can help it...

you will be in my thoughts & prayers when you have the surgery...for a good outcome, for smooth healing, & for a pain free life!

best regards
jess

Vali
01-12-2010, 08:25 AM
Hi Melissa, when i booked in my date for surgery, the surgeon asked if i was on any medication, i was only on Pulmicort as required, however he wanted to know about any naturopathic supplements as well. I was surprised to learn that you had to stop Fish Oil tablets before surgery, as they thin out the blood. You should let your surgeon guide you as to what to continure taking and what not to. Your letter from the anaesthetists office will usually inform you of the kind of OTC or prescribed products, you can or cannot continue taking, they are probably your best guide.

mbeckoff
01-12-2010, 12:48 PM
I just got a call from the hospital

I have to go March 1 for my pre-op appoitment

Now I am really feeling anxiety.

I need to get those pills. I have to wait until next Wednesday.

What is the Pre-op appointment all about?

Should I bring someone?

She said that it would be 2 hours long

What do they do for 2 hours?

Thanks

JenniferG
01-12-2010, 03:14 PM
I didn't have a pre-op appt. I saw my surgeon in June, then the next time was in March, Day 2 post-op! But it seems most do have pre-op appts during which x-rays are taken, blood drawn, questions asked, forms filled, and possibly an ECG. I don't know why I didn't have one, there were lots of aspects to my surgery which were outside the norm. I'm not complaining though, I'm very happy with my outcome.

There will be plenty of folk come along soon to tell you about their pre-op appt.

spinalfusion09
01-12-2010, 03:47 PM
I'm so sorry you're so restless! I had surgery in September of 2009 and I was worried not as stressed as you but worried and concerned none the less. I did break down one night because I looked at my calendar and couldn't believe my surgery was less than a month away and I was really upset and scared! But then again if you're getting surgery its coming either way. I had my time to cry to worry and then I got on with it. I talked to a lot of people including my family, boyfriend, and friends and it felt good every time I talked about it. I don't know where you're located but I also went for walks by the beach to mellow out and do nothing except walk really. You don't want to be stressed to the point where its affecting your health before something like this because surgery is a big stress!!!! I hope that helps and that you find some relief soon.
Maliha

jrnyc
01-12-2010, 04:10 PM
Hi Melissa
most pre-op appts are the same...they are checking to see if you are healthy, if your lungs are OK for anesthesia, etc...usually blood work, x rays, ekg to check your heart..rest assured pre-ops are common for all kinds of surgeries!

i have not decided on surgery yet...it is the deciding that has me a little crazed...i think that once i decide, i will be ok, but i would probably be just as nervous about the surgery once it was scheduled...i think you have probably considered all your options & have good reason to feel that surgery is the best option for you...changing your mind or delaying would not benefit you in any way..the sooner the surgery, the sooner your healing...

i wish you all the best...know that lots of thoughts & prayers will go your way...have trust & faith in your surgeon, & all will work out...& check out those anti anxiety meds...walks on the beach sound great...too bad new england is in the throes of a wicked cold winter! hope you live somewhere a little bit warmer!

jess

Doodles
01-12-2010, 08:18 PM
Somehow I just lost my post! I hate when that happens. Lots of what Jennifer G said was what I experienced but my surgeon also allowed many tests to be done in my hometown--that kept me busy for a while. I know that day I had x-rays and got to ask all of my last ?'s. We also spent a lot of time with his nurse. She gave us info on places to stay for my husband etc. I think I may have mentioned the book and tape I used a couple months before. Someone reminded me it was the Peggy Huddleston book and tape and I found it on Amazon I think. I read it all and followed the tape. You may want to do that--I found it did refocus and relax me. Janet

debbei
01-13-2010, 09:29 AM
One of the reasons that I feel so anxious is that I am sad that I will not be able to do much if any gardening this year. Down here in NC, the season starts in March/April and there will not be any way possible that I will be able to get any plants into the ground. Last year was the first spring/summer that we lived here and I had so many ideas for areas that I did not get to last year. SO now, I will have to wait until next year which is a long way away

Melissa

Melissa,

You will do what you are able to when you can do it, and for everything else, I promise, you won't care as much as you think you will right now. You might think I'm oversimplifying for you, but having this surgery and going through the recovery really makes you realize what is important and what can wait.

You can do it, I know you can.

mbeckoff
01-13-2010, 08:42 PM
I got a script of Kloplin 2mgs and took it last night.

I hate it . I could not stay awake today. Is that a side effect?

I am still asking for a script for paxil.

jrnyc
01-13-2010, 11:03 PM
i think it can be...different people react differently to klonipin....paxil is an antidepressant that some people find hard to go off of once they want to quit...are you sure you want paxil?

jess

mbeckoff
01-13-2010, 11:38 PM
well, if klonipin is what has made me feel like this all day . I don't know if I have a choice

I am not taking it again until i see my doctor.

I cannot function like this. I was falling asleep all day and feeling very dizzy and tired and wider

What would you suggest that I take?

Jimbo
01-14-2010, 12:32 AM
Ask about 2 or 5mg valium or a shorter acting benzo to help you sleep but reducing the long lasting effects, like temazepam.

JenniferG
01-14-2010, 02:52 AM
I wish I could remember the name of the drug I was on. It didn't make me drowsy, but I did sleep better. There seemed no discernible difference except I didn't spend all day worrying.

lapieper
01-14-2010, 01:40 PM
Ativan can also work. It's actually an anti-seizure med,but works fairly well for muscle spasms and "nerves." Worrying doesn't help when facing a big procedure. Try to take life one day at a time. It's all we have, today!
Les

mbeckoff
01-14-2010, 02:16 PM
Thanks for all of the advice

I will be seeing my GP on Wednesday

Today is 8 weeks until the surgery

I do not know whether to be glad or sad

Melissa

mbeckoff
01-16-2010, 08:34 AM
I have gotten to a point now where I feel like I want the surgery to be NOW. I am busy with getting my house in order. If I have not mentioned it, I am a Stay at home mother with two special needs kids , who by the way are great kids.

I am at peace with the surgery . I read in the hospital book that they put the IV in while you are awake . I am going to ask them to give me something as I cannot get IVs very easily as I have no veins.

A very good friend is coming down from NJ and I have some good friends here in NC that are going to be with me.

I have to go shopping and get what I need for sleeping and clothing and what else you great people suggested that I get

Thanks so much

Melissa

Doodles
01-16-2010, 01:25 PM
As I said on another thread I'm so glad you have come to this point before surgery. You realize you're almost ready to take that first step before recovery can begin. It's a rather "freeing" feeling. Janet

JenniferG
01-16-2010, 08:00 PM
I have gotten to a point now where I feel like I want the surgery to be NOW. I am busy with getting my house in order. If I have not mentioned it, I am a Stay at home mother with two special needs kids , who by the way are great kids.

I am at peace with the surgery . I read in the hospital book that they put the IV in while you are awake . I am going to ask them to give me something as I cannot get IVs very easily as I have no veins.

A very good friend is coming down from NJ and I have some good friends here in NC that are going to be with me.

I have to go shopping and get what I need for sleeping and clothing and what else you great people suggested that I get

Thanks so much

Melissa

Glad to hear it Melissa. It's amazing how getting things organised so you don't have to worry about your responsibilities and can just concentrate on your recovery, and having good support, helps to calm you down. I'm glad you have good friends who will help and support you.

mbeckoff
01-17-2010, 03:04 PM
I have been reading The Scoliosis Handbook by Michael Neuwirth MD that someone suggested and the only two things now that are bothering me are the fact that they put the IV in while you are awake and that they roll you into the OR . As I have said before , I have no veins and it takes a long time to find a vein and it hurts!!! and I have seen the inside of many ORs for my children when they have had surgery. If I am awake when they roll me into the OR then I am really afraid that I will lose it and get hysterical. Why can't they give me what ever it is that they give children so they are asleep when they roll them into the OR and then put in the IV? Whom should I talk to about this?

Thanks for all of the great advice

Melissa

debbei
01-17-2010, 03:41 PM
I have been reading The Scoliosis Handbook by Michael Neuwirth MD that someone suggested and the only two things now that are bothering me are the fact that they put the IV in while you are awake and that they roll you into the OR . As I have said before , I have no veins and it takes a long time to find a vein and it hurts!!! and I have seen the inside of many ORs for my children when they have had surgery. If I am awake when they roll me into the OR then I am really afraid that I will lose it and get hysterical. Why can't they give me what ever it is that they give children so they are asleep when they roll them into the OR and then put in the IV? Whom should I talk to about this?

Thanks for all of the great advice

Melissa

Melissa,

Dr. Neuwirth was my surgeon and I read his book prior to surgery too. They did put one IV in me when I was awake in the pre-op area, but all the rest (and there were TONS of them) were put in once I was asleep. After the anesthesiologist was done talking to me and put in the first IV, he gave me what I called 'happy juice.' I don't know if they give it to everyone, but I asked for it. I do remember saying goodbye to my husband in the pre-op area and the fact that they started to roll to the OR. I don't think I ever SAW the inside of the OR because I was knocked out by the happy juice by that time. It seemed to me that the next instant, I opened my eyes and saw Dr. N and my husband in the recovery room.

Editing to add, I have terrible, small, tiny rolling veins too.

JenniferG
01-17-2010, 04:29 PM
Perhaps you could organise with your surgeon to have your pre-op tablet before you go to the holding bay? I can't see that it could hurt. I suspect they would be happy to give it to you if they knew you were feeling so very stressed. Surely a calm, sleepy or asleep patient is better than a hysterical one? I was given mine (when I asked for it) once I was in the holding bay and it put me to sleep within minutes. So I didn't experience the rolling into the OR or the insertion of the IV. I do sometimes think I remember the OR but I think it's actually a memory from a tv show! Haha!

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 12:39 AM
I have an appointment on 2/24 to meet with my surgeon one last time to go over all of my questions about everything.

Now, I am getting excited like this is a vacation or a fun thing I am going on.

I just hope that I have written down all of my questions but I guess that I can call him if I think of one or two ....


Now I have to go shopping and get what I need for when I get home from the hospital so I am sure that I will have questions on that topic

Thanks guys for all of your help .

It was you that has calmed me down

Melissa

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 12:29 PM
Hi I have 2 questions
Was there a weight limit on what you could lift and carry when you first had your surgery and did you need a walker and/or a cane when you first started walking?

Thanks

Melissa

jrnyc
01-21-2010, 01:06 PM
hi melissa
most surgery procedures follow the same anesthesia protocol.....you can often get to talk to the anesthesia guy before the surgery & let him/her know of your fears...as soon as the IV goes in, the meds start flowing, then you are either a little high or completely knocked out......you can probably ask for a pre-op shot before the operating room...i have had those..they relax you...

also, i have tiny tiny veins...requiring baby needles or butterfly needles for blood tests...have NEVER had a problem with an anesthesiologist getting in my veins...it is what they do a for a living! believe, me, they have seen problem veins before!

i think that you are over-worrying every detail...maybe you can just leave the details of the procedures to the experts! just take care of what you will need to get your home/yourself ready!

jess

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 01:40 PM
I have never had any surgery before; which is why I am very nervous about how it is done.I am also as everyone can tell a type A personality.I do not like someone else in charge of things that concern me.

I have my pre-op at the hospital March 1 and an appointment with my surgeon Feb 24 so I can get all my questions answered.

Getting to your next point I am doing just that. I feel like I am going to have a baby .I am nesting my house just like I did when I was about to have my first baby.
Then I have to go get any items that I will need when I return home.
In addition,I have 2 special needs kids who I have to figure out how to handle their needs while I am in the hospital

Thanks

Melissa

i think that you are over-worrying every detail...maybe you can just leave the details of the procedures to the experts! just take care of what you will need to get your home/yourself ready!

jess[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

sheri66
01-21-2010, 02:27 PM
Melissa,I was scared to death to have my surgery too. I had a couple in the past.My GP gave me a prescription for ativan which helped alot in the weeks leading up to my surgery.I know its all your thinking about.I told my surgeon my fears and told him I did not want too see power tools or anything in the OR LOL....I have O.C.D. and I am a worrier.I had two surgeries.The first one they gave me something to relax me while I was waiting in pre op and when they were wheeling me to OR they gave me something else and I just remember laughing at one of the nurses and that's all I remember.And second surgery they gave me the same pre meds and I don't remember anything.I wish you luck with your surgery.

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 02:37 PM
Thanks so much Sherri

you describe me to a T

It is the fear of the unknown

Melissa

JenniferG
01-21-2010, 03:20 PM
You're absolutely right, it's the fear of the unknown. That's why getting your questions answered is so important. You need to know everything. Well, that's how I was anyway. The more of a picture I had in my head, the calmer I became. It was my first surgery too.

Glad to hear you're feeling calmer and allowing yourself to feel a little excited - because it most certainly is an exciting event, one which is going to improve your life so much. Well, it does for the overwhelming majority.

Once you have your kids organised, then I'm sure you will feel even more comfortable.

asccbodypro
01-21-2010, 03:35 PM
Melissa,

I had to use a walk for 3-4 weeks post surgery.....it was a fight between my husband and I as to how long I should use it. He was so scared I would fall, the doc said that my husband should follow my lead as to what I felt was comfortable. Even now at 9 months post op I will do things and he will get upset and I have to remind him that if I felt I couldn't do it than I would not.

As far as lifting I think it was 5 pounds at first than it went to 10 pounds around 3 months. I will have to double check with my husband though because there is so much that is just a fuzzy! Every surgeon is a little different though on their own restrictions for their patients and I'm sure it depends what exactly you are having done. What will your surgery entail?

Hope this info helps a little :O) Take care.........

asccbodypro
01-21-2010, 03:43 PM
I think there are very few who can honestly say that they weren't scared. Let's face it, not only are you putting your body and life in someone else's hands but it will also be forever changed....hopefully for the better, but not without some serious uphill battles first. It takes courage and perserverance. It takes much help from others.....this was where I felt so overwhelmed. Going from being a bodybuilder to not evening be able to go to the bathroom by myself. At one point when I was really sick and throwing up by 15 year old son sat with me and held the bowl.....nothing more humbling than that. They still cannot go through a day without asking me 25 times if I am ok or if I need anything.....God bless them :O) I hated that my kids had to see my like that yet I believe they are better for it. They certainly realized really quick that life isn't always going to revolve around them. It certainly takes your family coming together to get you through this and in the end it's all good.

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 04:48 PM
Every time I turn around I think of a new problem. I really do not know where I should sleep when I return home. My husband and myself have a queen bed and even with a memory foam topper I do not know if If I will be comfortable with him . He is a very restless sleeper turning over all night long. Now, I feel every movement that he makes.


Then I was reading the thread about hair falling out. For the first time in years, I am growing my hair long. My DD and myself are reenactors as civil war people and my hair needs to be long. Is there any thing that can help this problem?

Thanks for helping

Melissa

ADMoul
01-21-2010, 05:31 PM
Ah, yes the bed thing. This sounds crazy but that is one of my biggest issues. My Dr. wants a hospital bed which, after wheeling one into my childhood home for my father to die in, sends me right over the edge. However, we have figured out that we will be able to put it in our bedroom upstairs right next to our "normal" bed. That way I can be upstairs as I normally am, where the nice high def TV is and near my husband. It will also allow me to have a hide-out place when I need to sleep and be away from visitors. I'm trying to think of it as my little "nest area" and I know it will make my first few weeks home easier. We also have 2 dogs and a cat who tend to share our regular bed and it may be just as well for me to have my own space for a while!
This is what I'm doing to cope with the "Last time I will ever do this" syndrome. My surgery is Feb. 2 and I have had a little over 3 weeks to prepare. As I do things I love for the last time with this body, I keep thinking "this is the last time I will do this with a crooked back" rather than the last time I will do it ever. I just keep reminding myself that after 40 years of hiding my curves and cringing when I get a rear view in the mirror, I am going to have a better life. I had one major breakdown but I've got pre-op stuff tomorrow and am ready to roll. This forum is my anti-anxiety drug right now. Lots of us are right there with you.

sheri66
01-21-2010, 05:35 PM
Melissa,make sure you Brade your hair when you go for your surgery.I made the mistake and put my hair (which is really long) in a messy pony tail and when I got home from the hospital it took my daughter which is a hairdresser 5 hrs to get all the tangles out.....

mbeckoff
01-21-2010, 06:02 PM
Anne- Where in PA do you live? We lived in NJ near Trenton for almost 20 years; until we moved to NC in 2007. Why does the Dr want the hospital be so much?

Sherri-Thanks for the braiding of the hair idea. I can imagine what a mess your hair was.

I too view this forum as an anti anxiety place to come.

When I can;t sleep, I visit here and find something to calm myself down.

I also keep thinking about what if something that I forget to consider and to take care off

melissa

ADMoul
01-21-2010, 07:16 PM
Not sure about the reason for the bed except I'm having a long fusion (T-4 to sacrum) and because my lumbar curve is so big, he's got to do osteotomies, cages, the whole 9 yards. I think it's just to make it easier to get in and out of bed.
We live in South central Pa--in York--about 75 miles west of Phila. We love to come to Outer Banks in NC--have been vacationing there with a group of friends for about 15 years. Our vacation is end of June this year and I hope to be functional enough to get there and enjoy it even if I can't go crashing into the waves! All the more reason to get this surgery done now--just lay around and watch the Olympics!

jrnyc
01-21-2010, 08:12 PM
wow, anne..that is a long fusion....i hope that all goes well..any plans to stay over in nyc ...is a rehab in manhattan near dr lonner planned?

i would need T11-S1 & L4-sacrum...are you having front & back incisions or just on one side? assume has to be front, since that is where cages go in...? because i use botox, dr lonner said he would leave my thoracic alone & just fuse lumbar...but no way to get around the need to fuse to the pelvis!
you have such a big lumbar curve...i can see where this decision is the only smart one! and he is such a great doctor! i will look to him for surgery if/when i go ahead with it myself.....

i hope everything goes smoothly & uneventfully, & it leads to a wonderful & pain free summer! i think i mentioned that feb 2nd will be a lucky day...not only is it groundhog day, my favortie holiday, but it is my sweet puppy's birthday, & also the anniversary of my retirement! so i know that you will have a successful outcome!!

best of luck
jess

mbeckoff
01-22-2010, 02:21 PM
I don't know what to do about the bed because upon measuring my bedroom there is no extra space to put a extra bed. If I take my queen bed for myself and make my husband sleep else where , will I need help getting out of bed when I get home? Will a cane or walker be able to help me?
and yes the Outer Banks are great . We live in the Central Piedmont Area; about a hour north of Charlotte. We love it here

Melissa



Not sure about the reason for the bed except I'm having a long fusion (T-4 to sacrum) and because my lumbar curve is so big, he's got to do osteotomies, cages, the whole 9 yards. I think it's just to make it easier to get in and out of bed.
We live in South central Pa--in York--about 75 miles west of Phila. We love to come to Outer Banks in NC--have been vacationing there with a group of friends for about 15 years. Our vacation is end of June this year and I hope to be functional enough to get there and enjoy it even if I can't go crashing into the waves! All the more reason to get this surgery done now--just lay around and watch the Olympics!

JenniferG
01-22-2010, 02:54 PM
Just a point about the bed. My surgeon won't let his patients use the overhead handle to pull themselves up. They removed that and instead, affixed a long handle to the right side of my bed to lever myself up and it was very easy to use. Once home we were going to attach a lever to the side of our bed but we have a chest of drawers next to the bed and I used that to pull myself up. I know everyone's different, but that was all I needed. Perhaps if you're having trouble, a four pronged walking stick might be enough to steady you when you get out of bed?

Also, my partner moved himself to the other end of the house so I had the bed and the room to myself. We figured if I needed him, I could call out, but I never did. We both slept well. He continued to work full time so he needed his sleep too.

Not long now Anne, you sound like you're doing great. I have a long fusion too, but have done really well. Painfree!

loves to skate
01-22-2010, 02:58 PM
Hi Melissa,

Is your queen bed a newer one that is high off the floor? If it is, you should be able to get out of it yourself. You can buy a railing for up near your head that slips under the mattress if you need to pull yourself up with your arms. I think you said that you had a mattress topper for your bed. You shouldn't feel your husband move too much with a topper. I found it a comfort to me to have my husband sleep in the same bed with me when I got home from the hospital, until he decided it was time to snore. Even then, the drugs controlled whether I slept or not. I haven't heard of too many people on this forum that were required to have a hospital bed. I sure it is an individual Doctor preference.

Sally

asccbodypro
01-22-2010, 04:32 PM
Melissa,

Is your house one or two levels and is it possible to have a hospital bed brought in and put in a family room or living room.....would a hospital bed be covered by insurance??? I had one brought in and we put it in our family room so I wouldn't have to tackle the stairs right away. It was nice because even though I couldn't get in or out of bed by myself the bed certainly helped by getting me in a more upright position. I to have a long fusion T5-L5and I only last for 5 nights in the hospital bed because everytime I adjusted the bed it woke up my husband who was sleeping on the couch. I was told by many that having your spouse move at all would cause pain but we have a king size bed with a pillow top matress and I never felt him move prior to surgery so I figured I wouldn't feel him move post surgery. Also, I didn't even have the lung capacity to wake him across the room when I did have to. It was also more comforting to have him close after 2 surgeries over the course of 1 week, 2 hospital stays equaling 3 days and 6 days! No snuggling but at least I could hold his hand and I did so often through boughts of serious pain. I did use the hospital bed during the day so I only made one trip down the stairs and one trip up.

As for the walker, I needed one. I was so weak that my husband was never to far behind and he also had to help me sit and get up from the toilet. Very humbling experience. That's love :O) Everyone is certainly different though but you should be prepared for anything and everything it will not only be easier for you but your spouse as well!

asccbodypro
01-22-2010, 04:36 PM
Opps Sorry Melissa that last post should have gone to Ann! See what meds do to your brain!!!!

mbeckoff
01-22-2010, 10:47 PM
Well. it helped me too. I think that I will buy a mattress topper for my queen bed and hopefully I will not feel all of my husband's movements

Melissa




Opps Sorry Melissa that last post should have gone to Ann! See what meds do to your brain!!!!

lapieper
01-23-2010, 06:28 PM
I have a really high bed with a 2" memory foam topper. I slept in a separate room from my husband for probably the first two months. I wasn't sleeping a straight 8 hours, and he needed the sleep as he was still going to work every day. I was up every hour, two hours or so. I'd get up, put my brace on, sit for 3 minutes, have to go potty (so off would go the brace), put the brace back on, sit and ready for 20 minutes, walk around the house, then back to bed. Once I returned to our bed my husband had made a special "step" out of 1/2 sheet plywood, so it ran the entire length of the bed. I could use the bedpost to step up onto the "step," and get in and out of bed unassisted. I kept that there for probably three months. I did worry about my log roll disturbing my husband's sleep, but nothing I do seems to disturb him. Don't know if that's love or what? LOL