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Thread: Almost 4 wks post op Have Questions...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    244

    Almost 4 wks post op Have Questions...

    Hi, I won't sugar coat it...it's been a rough 3.5 wks. I went to ER twice after coming home. First time was for constipation (looked like I was 7 months pregnant!) and second time was for strange shooting pain just under left bottom rib. They wanted me to go to ER to rule out blood clot, which thank God, it was not. I've had many shooting pains all over. My two questions are these: I have been so sick to my stomach the past few days, and thew up last night. Is that normal? and Second Question: When I look in mirror at myself, from the back I am very straight, but from the front I now look curved the other way! My right shoulder used to be higher, now my left shoulder is higher! Is that normal and will it just readjust?

    Thank you all in advance for your answers and thoughts. It is so good to have all of you here for wonderful support.

    Laura
    Laura
    62 degrees
    49 yrs. young
    Surgery 3/31/10 with Lenke

    Before and After pics
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13749126@N06/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,313
    I answered your shoulder height question on the other thread. I think it will even out of the next few months based on how that happened with both my kids.

    On throwing up, have they ruled out a continuing ileus? I think it is outrageous that they apparently didn't manage that.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 04-25-2010 at 10:01 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Laura-- shoulder height discrepancies happen to some of us. As with Sharon's daughters, some just correct themselves with a little time. With others, it's a little more work on your part. Your muscles have been holding you up in a certain way for years and they have to be retaught, in a sense. When I went to physical therapy at 6 months post-op (so way behind where you are right now) I was looking a bit lop-sided... One of the things my therapist had me do was look in the mirror and hold my shoulders so they were even-- and he said to practice that at home, a lot. At first it really felt like it had to be crooked-- definitely did NOT feel right, but the mirror didn't lie. Try that some. It may just be a matter of learning where your new "even" is and developing the feel for it. Good luck!
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Laura, You have been through so much. I hope the digestive thing clears itself out of your system. I can't imagine being sick on your stomach on top of all the other post-op discomfort. Could it be just a plain old virus that set in or could it be coming from your pain meds? Some people don't tolerate those well.
    I noticed my shoulders were slightly uneven (when my husband took a picture for Melissa to show her the brace.) Obviously, I still have a significant curve which I guess accounts for some of it but I need to consciously adjust that one shoulder. Our back muscles are going through so much change and re-configuring and it all just takes time.
    Sending you good thoughts and hoping that these rough days pass by quickly!


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    244
    Thanks for the feedback guys! I think the nausea was coming from my percocets. I only took 1/4 of one twice yesterday and wasn't nauseas. So, I'm switching off the percs to more of the muscle relaxer, Flexeral, that was prescribed. And if needed will take a perc cut in 1/4s a couple times a day. This whole journey is quite a guessing game, isn't it? Thank goodness we have each other.
    Laura
    62 degrees
    49 yrs. young
    Surgery 3/31/10 with Lenke

    Before and After pics
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13749126@N06/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Laura,
    I'm sorry you're having problems, but hopefully you have the worst days behind you. I have surgery scheduled with Dr. Lenke and worry that my age might cause me to have more complications than most. I feel fortunate to live only 30 miles from St. Louis in case I have some of the same problems you have had. It sure does seem like a guessing game with laxatives and pain medications trying to take just the right type and the right amount. I keep thinking that I will be happy when I've had the surgery and a month or two post-op behind me. I hope you start having more and more good days.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    244
    Hi Karen,
    You are lucky you are so close to St. Louis! I have to go back June 16 for a follow up. These plane tickets are adding up quickly! But, I think he's worth it! I will be 4 weeks post op this Wednesday, and am doing well. I'm just about where I thought I would be, maybe a little better even. I don't think your age will make your outcome any worse than any one elses's. If you are in good shape, that will make it a little easier for you to get in and out of bed I would think. You have to use a lot of quad muscles and ab/core muscles. When is your surgery? Good luck to you!
    Laura
    62 degrees
    49 yrs. young
    Surgery 3/31/10 with Lenke

    Before and After pics
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13749126@N06/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Hi, Laura,
    I am glad you're doing better. I know that I will have some bumps in the road on the way to recovery. This forum has really helped me realize that there will be upsetting times, but that we're in it for long term. Yes, I'm so lucky to live close to Dr. Lenke. My husband will be able to visit me and come home to take care of our dogs. I can't imagine how hard it is for those with young children at home. We usually take our dogs on vacation with us and I can't imagine being without them for at least a week. I'm sure I'll have enough drugs that I won't worry like I would normally. Well, keep us all posted on your progress.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    432

    Wink

    Wow!!!! Radiogirl!!!! Congrats on your 4 weeks! I am soooo proud of you! You had such a time at first, but I knew you'd come through it. We've leaned on each other and I know for myself you have helped me immensely just listening. You're the best Kid! I value your friendship so much - too bad it's all the way from Cleveland. I will always remember our day in St. Louis together - too bad it was hanging out in x-ray department, lab department, etc. Geesh - remember what all we went through!!! You made it much better just by being there with me......
    Congrats again on your 4 weeks!! (Hugs to you!!!!)

    PS: I left you a voicemail message on your phone. Sorry it took me forever to get back to you.
    Rita Thompson
    Age 46
    Milwaukee Brace wearer for 3 years in childhood
    Surgery Mar 1st - 95 degree thoracic curve
    Surgery by Dr. Lenke, St. Louis, MO
    Post-surgery curve 25-30 degree

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Laura and Rita--It's so cool you two found each other! Kind of recuperating together gives you another person who really gets it. Keep healing you two. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Laura,

    You have just been physically rearranged, and I think it can take us some time to get used to seeing our new body. Plus you are still healing your muscles as well. For the first 3 months of my recovery from T-1 to L-5, I was holding my shoulders up tight and didn't even know it. I looked like my shoulders were next to my ears.

    Then one day they dropped, can't explain it, but it happened.
    Give you body time to heal, as in life, things tend to fall back in place,
    Shari

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Many of you are Dr Lenke fans. I now have an appt with Dr Bridwell June 7. I'm currently in Indy and will be travelling to St Louis. Dr Bridwell is in the same practice as Dr Lenke I think. He also is a past pres of the SRS and has a lot of impressive credentials. Why did you all choose Lenke over Bridwell?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707

    Why I Chose Dr. Lenke

    Lisa,
    One of my best friend's nephew had scoliosis surgery performed by Dr. Lenke when he was in high school. I live about 30 miles from St. Louis, so that affected my decision, too. I really didn't know anything else about Dr. Lenke when I set up an appointment to see him 6 years ago. When he mentioned surgery in December, I went to his web site and read testimonials from his patients. He is on the board of SRS now. I have heard nothing but praise for Dr. Lenke on this forum. I think Dr.Bridwell and Dr. Lenke used to be in the same office, but I'm not certain. I would think that Dr. Bridwell would be excellent, also.
    Karen
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Thanks GolfNut. I thiink Bridwell and Lenke are both in the place. I play golf also; how long did Lenke say you'd be out of commission? Last year I had a lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis (wouldn't fix the scoli at the same time) form L4-S1. I was in a brace for 3 months and then a month of rehab and then I was cleared to play golf. Just curious how scoli surgery would affect it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Dr. Lenke knows that I play almost daily golf in the summer. He said that I could chip and putt after about 4 months, but that it would be a year before I would play competively, again. Since my surgery is scheduled for Nov., I've decided to wait until next May before even chipping and putting which would be 6 months. I'm not going to even attempt full swings, sand shots, etc. until possibly Feb. of 2012 (if it's approved )and we are able to go to Florida for a few weeks. After I go through the surgery and the long recovery time, I want to be sure I don't rush into anything that would harm the fusion. My friend's nephew is a senior on the University of Illinois' golf team, but his fusion was the upper vertebrae. Stacy Lewis is the celebrity spokesperson for scoliois and is an LPGA professional. I know her lumbar area was not fused. I think the most flexibility of the golf swing is lost when the lumbar is fused, which unfortunately, is part of my fusion. I hate to think that I'll never break 80 again, but it's probably likely with the loss of flexibility and muscles. I'll try to be positive and hopeful and I know that there are certainly worse things in life, but I love to golf .
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

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