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Thread: Back Home Finally, Want to change my Forum Name to the Great Escape!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213

    Back Home Finally, Want to change my Forum Name to the Great Escape!

    Greetings from the other side of my first surgery.

    The surgery went well Tuesday DESPITE the earthquake that happened during my surgery.... :-)

    I do remember waking up right after the surgery and I felt some serious pain, so they used some morphene, but didn't need it after that.

    Stayed in the hospital through Saturday morning. Since there wasn't room for my in rehab at the hospital, and we live quite the distance from the hospital, the surgeon's office found a rehab place in Frederick, MD for me to spend a few days to get the last minute skills before I got home.

    I still wasn't able to get in and out of bed my myself, but could do everything else pretty much. I bounced back pretty strongly.

    My husband drove me to the place and I noticed for a "rehab" place I didn't receive any "rehab" Saturday or Sunday. Waiting for my pain medications at night was a nightmare and it was there where I did my own "rehab" and learned how to get out of back into bed so I could stare at the people who seemed good at deliverying medications late (first night it was 45 minutes late). Yep, I was an unhappy camper.

    Oh, yeah, that was added upon the lady in the next room screaming in some sort of agony from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00.

    Next morning I got up and made some inquiries about leaving the joint...I met passive resistance with a promise to do better. They did do better on pain dispensation, but I never received clean sheets. A pillow fell on the floor and a tech came in, asked me if I wanted it, I told him it had fallen off and I couldn't pick it up. He picked it up, threw the pillowcase That I had put on top of if (it had falled out of it), he put the same pillowcase on and threw it on my bed.

    I told my husband, Rich, I wanted out. There were so many things happening I didn't want to stay there. So Monday, I announced I was leaving. They expressed they wanted me to stay three to four days. I said no. They said that only when their doctor said I could go, could I leave--and if I left without his authorization, my bill there might not get paid and I would have to pay for it all. I said I didn't think so. Called insurance--they'd get paid for the time I was there.

    Then there was final of holding me hostage. One person told me when I checked out, the doctor would give me the prescription (including one naracotic for pain) and I could leave. Funny how that just couldn't happen. A series ot other answers surfaced, stating if I left before their docotor saw me, I wouldn't have my prescription for the meds. You are very dependent on meds at that time, so it was very emotional.

    My husband came through for me, and worked with the surgeon's office to get a new set of prescription (including a substittute for the narcaotic so it could be faxed in) and so I signed a formed at the "rehab" place that I was checking myself out against medical advice and I made the great escape.

    I remember being wheeled out and looking at all the people look at me, some with happiness, many with envy, going through the halls.

    I was free!!!

    Will later update my website with updated corrected spine xrays. I am very pleased. I gained two inches in height.

    Still very much into the four hour med--sleep thing....
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    Glad to hear you got out of there quickly! And glad to hear you came through the surgery well, and are at home! Those nurses just don't get it...it'd be great to see them go through what we go through and realize ooohhh...they were in AGONY that whole time we were ignoring them lol.


    Hope things just keep getting better for you!

    Blessings on your recovery!
    Rebecca
    Age: 28
    Dx w/ scoli @ age 12 S curves T-40* L-42*
    wore night bending brace as teenager
    Curves changed to 50's plus or minus
    herniated disc L2-3, Discectomy October 2007
    fusion L2-3 November 2008
    Revision L2-3 Fusion, Removal of hardware August 2009
    Curves measuring 52 T&L September 2010
    Fused T4-L4, all posterior December 27th 2010
    gained almost two inches in height

    Before and After Exterior
    Before and After X-rays
    My blog: http://herscoliosisjourney.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    I am glad you were able to escape! I would be worried about staff infection if they would use a pillow from the floor. You are better off at home. Best wishes for a smooth recovery.
    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/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    I'm glad that you are home, safe and sound. It's a sad commentary on what can pass for rehab care. I'm sure that there are the good facilities (like Christopher Reeve was at, or Congresswoman Giffords) and the "not-so-good- we don't care -let's collect the insurance $" places. (I often hear this same sad scenario from family members of our local hospice facility, but that's another nightmare.)

    When I had my 12 level fusion 2 years ago, at the age of 48, my insurance company wouldn't pay for me to go to a rehab facility (apparently, because with tears rolling down my cheeks, I had managed to push myself and shuffle - w/a walker - a few feet above their "rehab" cut-off - when I was 1 week post-op). The ins co did offer that they'd pay for a stay at a nursing home (close to my home) that offered PT. The nurse who was w/me that morning told me, "There is NO WAY I am letting you get stuck in some nursing home. If I have to, I have some vacation days coming, and I'll take them now and come down to your house and help you." I declined, but what a sweet person! That's one thing I've noticed when we're in our quite vulnerable post-op phase: we meet the kindest of people, and the least kind.

    The health care world has its treasure, and its trash.

    A continued good recovery to you!!!
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    I was wondering about you during the earthquake. What a story! Why do some people go into rehab post-op while others just go home?

    Warmly,
    Doreen
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

    http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    Doreen,
    I was willing to go to rehab. if I had needed it, but I passed the requirements to go home. I had to be able to use some of the spine kit tools for dressing, walk up and down a few steps, and a few other things that I don't even remember now. I'm blaming it on the drugs. I just imagine that insurance companies are really particular about the patient's need for rehab. since they will be paying the bill. I have gathered from this forum that if one doesn't have a care giver at home, that it's easier to get the patient into rehab.
    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
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    Karen, I guess that it's up to the insurance provider? At no time was I EVER asked if I would have help at home. The answer would have been a qualified "no". My husband and I had one child still at home, starting his junior year in high school, 30 miles away (I had put off the surgery until he could drive to/from school). . .and my husband works 14 hr days, and that was non-negotiable. The insurance co - and we do have excellent insurance - was not interested in the fact that I would be on my own once I got home, 8 days post-op. There are many issues that should be worked out as far as post-discharge patient care goes, but I don't think will be. . .and I think it's only going to get worse.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    It's a concern that insurance companies rule people's medical care. It's not right.

    Glad to hear of the "great escape" but sorry it was necessary.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,245
    After all three of my surgeries , I went to rehab for 2 weeks. The two rehabs in NC and CA have been wonderful . Both the OTs and the PTs as well as the nursing staff have been wonderful .

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105

    Talking

    I'm voting for the name change!!! It's unique and perfect!!!
    Hang in there,
    Shari

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    OMG I just read that your operation was DURING the earthquake!! At least you didn't know what was happening !
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    265
    Wow. What a story! I am so glad you escaped from that "care". I am amazed at how well you are doing already, and your presence of mind to to be able to write about it. It took me a couple weeks, at least, to be able to write small posts. But now you have been through the toughest part, other than the impatience of waiting and waiting for the healing process. You take the prize on surgery stories. Who else has gone through an earthquake during surgery!?!?!?! Surgery may be an earth shattering experience, but good grief, you don't need to go through it literally!!!! Welcome to the other side!
    Jenee'-52
    Bend, Oregon

    Braced 3 years in high school
    Lumbar 70'+ Thoracic 70'+
    I had 3" shrinkage in 6 months...

    Surgery Jan 10, 2011
    9 hours
    T3 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Both curves now 35'

    Possible revison for Flatback Syndrome
    Non-fusion
    Loose/broken hardware-awaiting CT results

    Here is the link to my before and after pics..
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt......&highlight=

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    42
    I had excellent rehab care at Scripps in Encinitas, just a few miles from my home. I had my surgery at UC San Diego hospital, about 30 miles from home, so it was really great when I got transferred closer. My insurance declined it at first, but I had already talked to the people at Scripps Rehab before my surgery, and they had come in evaluated me. The intake coordinator at Scripps called Blue Shield and explained quite clearly to them that even though I could walk with the walker, there was still a great deal I couldn't do. The intake coordinator had a person at Blue Shield who knew her, and she was able to swing it for me. So I guess a good thing to do before surgery is do at least try to plan your rehab.

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