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Thread: Jen M's June 8th surgery with Dr. Boachie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    238

    Jen M's June 8th surgery with Dr. Boachie

    Hi Everyone!!!!!! I'm back!!!!! I'm in shock and still can't believe I did have the surgery and didn't chicken out. I owe this all to you. I have met sooo many friends on this forum. You all feel like family to me!

    Well, it's now June 19 (11 days after my surgery) and I am finally able to sit and write a long response explaining my long and painful journey. I have to say that the hardest part of this journey was the pre-Op waiting stage from November 2009 to June 7, 2010. That was a very anxious time in my life. I was so nervous during these 7 months that I decided I needed to put this nervous energy into good use. So one day in November I decided I was going to do the treadmill 5 days a week and eat healthy and chart/measure my weight every day. I didn't put alot of pressure on myself. I started to watch Dr. Oz and picked up some great points from his show. I was going to use this time for myself to concentrate on myself (for the first time in a LONG time since I have young kids). I pretended I was going to treat this as being an athlete in a marathon (and for me this was a far-fetched goal). I needed 50 pounds to lose. I have a 2 year old and never really lost the baby weight.

    Tracking my weight on an excel spreadsheet was the best thing I have ever done for myself. At first, I lost 3 pounds the 1st month, then lost 5 pounds the second month, then 7 pounds, etc. Every month I lost weight. This gave me alot of confidence and made me actually excited for the surgery! Mentally, the exersice was great for me and "pumped" me up for the surgery. So from November to July 7, I lost about 40 pounds and felt like I fine tuned athlete. I really don't think I would have ever been able to lose this weight if it wasn't for me making the decision to have the scoliosis surgery.

    Ok, so the morning of my surgery, June 8th, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I went to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City at 6am and felt a sense of calm. I met Dr. Boachie in the pre-op area and he made me feel sooo calm. He has a way about him...he doesn't say too much but as soon as he gave me this comforting look I know I would be in great hands. From the day I met him I had so much confidence in him compared to any doctor I ever went to. Then the anesthesilogist came in and answered all my questions. I didn't end up needed a chest tube. Then they gave me the "happy Juice" and I was wheeled into the OR room. I said goodbye to my husband and told him to take care of my son and daughter.

    I never counted backwards or anything. THen it felt like a minute later I woke up. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 my pain was a 5 when I woke up from surgery. I spent the night in the PACU and was totally comfortable. I basically had no pain and kept telling everyone this!!! The next morning I was moved to my regular room. THis is where the pain began to intensify. I am going to cut alot of the details out here, but from June 11 to June 15 the pain was horrible!!!! On June 14 I started having muscle spasms which went up and down into the back part of the shoulder. I was literally screaming in the hospital. THe pain management dr came to see me to assess the pain. He gave me flexeril for the spasms but that didn't touch the pain. I was screaming so loudly that teams of doctors were running to see me as if it were a major emergency or something, Flexeral didn't touch the pain for spasms but the valium did. I have to say, the muscle spasm in the back of my left shoulder and the gas pains from constipation were the worst types of pain I experienced. I rarely had any back pain at all.

    I ended up leaving the hospital on Wednesday, June 16. I couldn't wait to go home into my own bed!! I have to say, the first 3 days after the surgery I really regretted it, but on day 4 i measured to be 5 foot 6 inches (i was 5 feet 3 1/4. That makes me soooo happy and I was stand up so tall!!!!!!!!!!! I felt like a new person!!!!

    I actually have to run as my doorbell just rang. I will type more tonight. I am soooo glad to be back! I have lots more questions for all of you!!!!

    Joyful, Janet, JennyRN - i thought and prayed for you the entire time. Every day gets better and better!!

    Thanks so much for everything. Debbe-thanks for posting on June 8th for me.

    Talk soon.

    JenM
    Surgery date: June 8, 2010 with Dr. Boachie
    Thoracic curve: 55 degrees, corrected to 25 degrees
    Lumbar curve: 58 degrees, corrected to 27 degrees
    Posterior-only surgery, Levels T3-L3
    31 year old mother of 2 young kids

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hey Jen
    so glad to hear the surgery is over and you are in the healing process...i hope things get better every day...
    congratulations on your bravery and your new, straight spine!

    jess

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,759
    It's so good to hear that it is over with and you are doing well. I'm so thankful for all of you that post your stories. You are sooooo brave!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
    Posts
    358
    Jen
    Read my post op post about pain. The nurses managed it horribly but I've been doing great doing it on my own since being home. I got out the 16th.
    Janet
    36 year young cardiac RN
    old curve C 29, T 70, L 50
    new curve C 7, T 23, L 20
    Surgery June 11, UCH, Dr. Cronen T2-L5, posterior
    Revision December 20 L5-S1 with pelvic fixation
    and Osteotomy to L3 at Tampa General Hospital

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    460
    Great news JenM - wow you ARE tall now - I'm so happy for you. I wish you a wonderful smooth recovery, and like I said to Janet S - it just gets better and better each and every day from here on in. I remember the time leading up to the surgery also being the worst part of the whole process, it's so scary prior to surgery worrying about everything, but once it's done it gets better and better. Glad you're home now!
    Lynette - 44 years old.

    Pre-surgery thoracic 55 degrees
    Pre-surgery lumbar 85 degrees

    Post-surgery thoracic 19 degrees
    Post-surgery lumbar 27 degrees

    Surgery April 1st 2010.

    Posterior spinal fusion from T9 to sacrum.
    Dr. Cronen at University Community Hospital - Tampa, FL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
    Posts
    358
    Oh, by the way my husband just measred me and I only gained 1 in. But I still don't feel real straight yet.
    Janet
    36 year young cardiac RN
    old curve C 29, T 70, L 50
    new curve C 7, T 23, L 20
    Surgery June 11, UCH, Dr. Cronen T2-L5, posterior
    Revision December 20 L5-S1 with pelvic fixation
    and Osteotomy to L3 at Tampa General Hospital

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    973
    Wow! Congratulations. What a wonderful feeling it must be to be 3 inches taller! Glad you're home and starting to recover. How are the kids? Did they do okay without you? Congrats, too, on the weight loss. You must feel like you have a new body all around!!!

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    798
    Congratulations, newly straight sisters! You are brave, indeed.

    About the issue of pain management, there's a good reason this is one of the main issues the govt. hospital comparisons focus on! It will certainly be an issue I examine in making my choice especially as I may not have a family advocate with me. (Prefer not to discuss now) Facilities vary greatly.

    Sorry you suffered so, jsully!
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    390
    hey there, Jen...

    Great descriptive rundown of your operative experience. Sure seems like this operation does bring on the weirdest assortment of post-op pain and strange body "events"! I would not be a bit surprised if someone got in here and said their pinkie fingernails hurt and did anyone have this?

    I can hear some energy in your "voice" and that's great to hear! Glad to hear also that you felt so good about your surgeon and his expertise. I am jealous of your new height being that I am now 5'3" and I used to be 5'4 1/2 but should have been anywhere up to 5'8", according to Linda's test. I want my rightful stature! Would love to have a few inches back.

    Keep healing, keep posting.

    Janet Sully: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Your scoli sister,


    Amy
    Amy
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
    Posts
    358
    Thanks Foofer. Where is the height test?
    36 year young cardiac RN
    old curve C 29, T 70, L 50
    new curve C 7, T 23, L 20
    Surgery June 11, UCH, Dr. Cronen T2-L5, posterior
    Revision December 20 L5-S1 with pelvic fixation
    and Osteotomy to L3 at Tampa General Hospital

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Welcome back Jen. First of all, congratulations on taking the decision to get fit and lose weight. The benefits are so worthwhile, mainly the confidence it gives you that you can face anything and the calm it brings, apart from any physical benefits. The best I ever felt in my life was just prior to my surgery, for the same reasons. So I understand exactly what you're saying.

    Secondly, congrats for having jumped this major life-hurdle. Sorry you suffered so much for those days. But glad you're doing much better now.

    And I'm amazed at your height-gain! You must feel like you're walking round in 70's platform shoes! Great news.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Wonderful news, Jen. It sounds like you're over the worst of the post-op pd. With the weight loss and being taller, you will have so much fun shopping for new clothes!! Congratulations on that weight loss regimen. Sounds like you have the right mind-set for recovery. Hope you continue to feel better each day!


    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 !

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Jen--Congrats on your new body in all ways! Losing weight is so difficult; I know! You have done so well on all fronts (& backs!). You can be so proud of yourself. You should be through the worst and on to healing. 3 inches--wow! 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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
    Posts
    358
    I've gained 10 lbs since surgery! Not sure how, I am eating MUCH less?
    36 year young cardiac RN
    old curve C 29, T 70, L 50
    new curve C 7, T 23, L 20
    Surgery June 11, UCH, Dr. Cronen T2-L5, posterior
    Revision December 20 L5-S1 with pelvic fixation
    and Osteotomy to L3 at Tampa General Hospital

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    238

    Gained more weight from surgery

    Janet-

    I'm sooo glad you mentioned that!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it either! I didn't eat anything at the hospital since I was so nauseous. I for sure thought I lost about 10 pounds after my surgery but when I got home and weighed myself I gained 10 pounds!!!! I couldn't belive it!!!! Janet, did you get any blood transfusions? I received 2 units back of my own blood and I think this might count for some of the weight gain. My belly looked like I was preggo! I thought most people lost about 20 pounds after this surgery!!!!!!

    Does anyone know why you gain weight?

    Thanks,
    Jen M
    Surgery date: June 8, 2010 with Dr. Boachie
    Thoracic curve: 55 degrees, corrected to 25 degrees
    Lumbar curve: 58 degrees, corrected to 27 degrees
    Posterior-only surgery, Levels T3-L3
    31 year old mother of 2 young kids

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