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Thread: Gayle's surgery Monday Oct 11th

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bend OR
    Posts
    34
    Hi Gayle (or Cara),

    Hope you are recovering well and feeling much better now. I've been following your posts because I am scheduled to have surgery with Dr. Hart this January-- my curves are 70 and 79 degrees, and I am really hoping I will be able to get away with posterior fusion only-- and be as lucky as you were!

    You haven't posted in a few days and I hope all is well. Let us know how you are doing, okay?

    Susan

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    798
    Gayle,

    Many congratulations and all the very best wishes on a smooth recovery WAY over to the other side of that once so distant shore.

    I have been marooned on a different shore - that of non-functional computerdom, from whence I'm just beginning to emerge after a kind family friend just reformatted my computer.

    Meanwhile I lost track of many such surgical and other milestones. But now that I'm back (more or less), I want to catch up with all the well wishes to which our adventurers are entitled.

    Bon voyage Gayle, and RAH RAH YOU! Fare thee well, Scoli sister.
    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

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,164
    Greeting to Susan from another Oregonian. My 22 year old son is still mulling surgery (his curves are largish but stable and non-painful) and Dr. Hart is our doctor as well.

    Best wishes to Gayle!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    90
    Hi-
    Just to let you know, Gayle is continuing to move forward in her post-op recovery. She has been dealing with lots of nausea & vomiting, which has made pain relief very difficult at times, but I really think she has turned the corner. She is starting to get some strength back, and I would guess she will be posting here herself fairly soon.

    -Cara
    Cara, Mom to Nathan
    Diagnosed 24 deg. in July 2007, progressed to 38 deg. by August 2007
    Boston Back Brace 8/07 12/07
    VBS 12/10/07 Boston Children's Hospital
    Dr. Hresko
    40 Degrees before VBS
    11 Degrees now!! (2012)

    Nathan's VBS Video

    www.vertebralstapling.com

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    Sorry i missed you going into surgery, but so very glad to read that your surgery went well. All the very best of a smooth and uncomplicated recovery.
    Best wishes.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bend OR
    Posts
    34
    Cara, thanks for the post. That is good news-- but sorry to hear she is feeling sick, hopefully that will clear up soon.

    Greetings to you as well, hdugger!

    Susan

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,160
    Hi all,

    Sorry for such a delay in posting, I am doing well and my days seem to pass without much computer time. Here is the most recent update I posted on my care page two days ago:

    Two weeks have passed since surgery, and yesterday Tim and I went to Portland for my first post-op appt. I was worried about being carsick but a little Antivert prevented that, thankfully. I couldn't bear the thought of more throwing up! The car ride was uncomfortable but it was nice to be out of the house and see some new scenery.
    My appointment went well. The PA was amazed at how good I looked, her words were "most people look like death at two weeks" after a surgery of this type. She and the surgeon are very pleased with my progress and with my x-rays. The surgeon had told Tim the night after surgery that I had the most flexible spine he had ever seen, and that it was extremely unstable in some areas. All the areas of instability were fixed, the spinal stenosis was decompressed, and as a bonus, they were able to get an amazing correction of the scoliosis curves. He fused T8-sacrum with fixation to the pelvis (large screw from the sacrum into the ilium). The lumbar curve was 47+ pre-op, and now it is 5 degrees (straight!). The thoracic curve (30 degrees pre-op, moderate) was mostly untouched but by straightening and aligning the lower spine, the thoracic straightened out to 11 degrees. It appears very nearly straight visually. Quite a difference from how it looked before surgery. Now my muscles have a lot of adjusting to do to their new position.
    All the staples were removed, and I was cleared to return to the pool for water walking to start in 10 days. Until then I can walk as much as I want. I am also able to do a bit of very light housework (never thought I'd be happy about that) as long as I pace myself through the day. Of course no bending, twisting or lifting more than 10 pounds for at least 3 months. I anticipate definitely being ready to return to work around the 12 week mark.
    Tim is doing a great job taking care of all of us and keeping us all fed. I am hoping I have enough stamina to go out trick or treating for a little while with the kids this Sunday...not sure yet.
    Gayle, age 49
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/16 6 yrs post-op, 24*T/ 22* L, mild increase in curves, watching

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bend OR
    Posts
    34
    I am SO happy for you! It sounds like you are doing so well, it is inspiring for those of us who haven't yet taken the plunge. I too will be having surgery with Dr. Hart and am so excited at the prospect of not having to do anterior fusion and being able to return to normal functions as soon as possible. I wish you a speedy recovery with much more comfort each day. I talked to a friend whose friend just had this surgery and she said it's like she has a new back. I hope you feel the same. Thanks for posting, and know that lots of good thoughts are with you!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,164
    Wow, that's an amazing correction!

    I'm so glad to hear that all went well, and best wishes on your continued recovery.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Gayle that is such great news! Fabulous correction!

    Onward and upward.
    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."

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,160
    SusanS,

    I know you will be in very good hands with Dr Hart. I really, really like him, and he is a very kind surgeon. He was very good to me in the hospital, and he definitely did a great job on my back. His PA, Kara, handles most of the post-op care and calls, and she is a jewel. I had to call a number of times with all my throwing-up problems (plus thrush since the nurses never helped me do any oral care despite a lot of vomiting). Kara was always kind and patient. You will like her I'm sure.

    Good luck as you progress towards your date. The months and weeks before are extremely nerve-wracking. If I may suggest anything, I would suggest having a family member or friend with you at the hospital as much as possible. I did find the nursing care at OHSU to be quite disappointing. A few nurses and CNA's were great, some were not, and a couple were downright awful. Having someone there with you will help quite a bit.
    Gayle, age 49
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/16 6 yrs post-op, 24*T/ 22* L, mild increase in curves, watching

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    super...wishing her the most uneventful and smooth recovery ever!

    jess

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Lovely to read your update and know you're doing so well, Gayle. Keep up the good work.

    Jen
    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

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bend OR
    Posts
    34
    Gayle,

    I wrote an earlier reply but everything disappeared when I hit submit, so l'll try again! Anyway, if another surfaces that sounds vaguely similar, you'll know what happened.

    Thanks so much for such an encouraging and thoughtful reply. I am so glad that you are doing well enough to do all the things you are already doing, and I hope you get to go out with the kids on Halloween. I can't really imagine what it must have been like to go through all this but your thoughts seem pretty lucid and coming from a serene place, so that's good!

    I also really liked Dr. Hart, and his scheduler is great too. I'm very reassured by that. I'm still terribly nervous, as you mentioned, and I've been feeling nauseous for a while now over it. I hope you're not feeling sick anymore. I guess the "good" thing for me if you want to call it that is my pain levels are up so that is keeping me pretty motivated. I had to laugh to myself as I was commenting on your lucid serenity, because right now I'm sort of in a fog most of the time and I cry so easily!

    I don't live in Portland but I will have family there with me some but probably not all the time, so I'll have to take my chances on the nurses. Maybe I'll bring one of those little air horns with me, or a little starter's pistol, some little thing to call attention in case the buzzer doesn't seem to be working. I'm guessing drawing in a lungful of air to yell will be something I'll have to build up to.

    Speaking of that, how IS breathing? Is it harder to draw in a big lungful of air? So many changes that must happen-- do you feel much different? i am looking forward to being straighter and taller. Do you love your new posture yet?

    Heal fast and well, Gayle, you're in my thoughts. Thanks for letting us know how it's going!

    Susan

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