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Thread: It's me...JERSEYOT...I'm 1 down 1 to go!

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Hello again everyone - - it's me (Michele/jerseyot)....i'm sorry for having not posted in a while - the last time i posted was 1/29 and that was before what i'm now referring to as "THE BIG ONE" - that 2nd surgery (9-1/2 hours) on 1/31 just about turned me inside out and upside down. I had a lot of trouble with that one - i had a hard time coming out of anesthesia and spent several nights in the critical care ICU for respiratory and blood blood pressure issues (i lost a little more than 1/2 my blood volume) and I was spiking crazy high fevers on and off - then spent 2 days in ICU before finally going to a regular room. I had several blood transfusions and spent 2-3 days hallucinating on the morphine that was wrapped around the base of my spine - they were some of the scariest most horrible hallucinations (although i have nothing to care it too) you can imagine and i was a bit traumatized by all of that once i finally came out of them. And at that point, it was 3-4 days after that second surgery...it seemed like time stood still while in the hospital.

    My blood pressure due to the severe anemia from the significant amount of blood that i lost was the biggest problem...it influenced everything - at it's lowest i was barely conscious (75/45) and was feeling so lightheaded just laying in bed that it was almost difficult to describe (almost like i was floating??). I was (and still am) very pale and always cold. I have significant right-sided weakness and numbness from my knee to buttock, which i didn't have prior to surgery. On an extremely unfortunate note (for ME), i was never able to go to an acute rehab hospital for the intense rehab i needed because the therapists took my morhpine-enduced "high" as my current functional state instead of what it really was - which was all the pain masked by such a high dose of morphine that i felt i could paint the house and move furniture! Once i came crashing down off the high the next day, it was clear to EVERYONE that i was in no way shape or form doing "fabulous" or "amazing" as the PT and OT had told the case manager - and since their documentation of our session the day before was already submitted to insurance, they denied my dr's request to send me to an acute rehab setting the next day due to what the therapists had already submitted...and yes, my surgeon even disputed the denial calling the medical director of my insurance and of the rehab hospital, and both said "Sorry, your therapists already said such-n-such...she's not eligibile now." - - SO, with that, my choices were subacute or go home to my 2 and 4 yr old - - which was not possible since i couldn't even walk 5-10' without help a walker and a rest! So i went to subacute for a week, hated it, got 3 hours of therapy TOTAL after spending 8 days there and then said i'm going home.

    Since being home, i'm doing much better...i'm walking around more, my spirits are up because i'm not sitting in a nursing home where NO ONE there even thought i should be and where i'm with my family. I have a first-floor set up with hospital bed and it's working out very well - with the right sided weakness, doing stairs is difficult (not impossible, but hard and very slow) - but i'm getting stronger every day. I have PT come to the house several times a week and visiting nurse comes to monitor my BP and constipation, which has been awful from the pain meds, iron and overall decreased activity level. I'm still really pale and have very little stamina - showering takes a lot out of me - and when i went to see the surgeon for my first post-op visit this morning, he said i'm right where i should be...hmmm...i disagree - but maybe that's just me being impatient...i believe if i had gone to the acute rehab like we (the surgeon and I) had planned, i'd be alot further along at this point - and he and i both know that. BUT, we can't change the past nor can i spend my time dwelling on it. I'm home, i'm improving (albeit slowly) and i'm doing a little more each day. I'm taking less and less pain meds and overall my pain is not nearly as bad as when i went to the rehab place on 2/6. So progress....definitely progress....

    I go back to the surgeon on 3/19 and will have scoliosis series xrays prior to that so once i have those done i'll post before & after pictures. I'm dying to see my own xrays! I'm grateful to my surgeon for his skillful hands and i can now stand up straight and tall - no more "shopping cart syndrome" - if i can figure out how to post the pics i'll show you - my back and flank are still really bruised and very very sore but the dr said that will fade with time. So if anyone asks "Would you do it again to fix flatback and all your pain?" - i would say without reservation or hesitation "YES" - and i would HIGHLY RECOMMEND - DR. DAVID CLEMENTS! He is, to me, a miracle worker - with miracle working hands. Thank you God, thank you Dr. Clements and thank you ALL OF YOU for your unending support and encouragment throughout this. I'm not jumping back into things as quickly as i'd like but i'll get there - one foot in front of the other - one day at a time. Thank you GOD for carrying me when i couldn't walk, and for continuing to walk by me as I endure this journey so that i can live a happier, healthier more active life for myself and for my two precious little ones. Thank you.
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Michele,
    You poor thing! What an extremely rough time you had. You have a wonderful, positive attitude and I am sure things will go smoothly for the rest of your 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/

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Thanks golfnut: it was rough but it is definitely getting better - i wanted to give you all a clear picture of what was going on while i wasn't able to post so that you knew i hadn't forgotten about all of you. It will and is continuing to get better each day - thanks so much for all the support. Everyone on here has been nothing short of wonderfully supportive. So thank you. And i will post pictures as soon as i can!!
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    I am so glad that you are getting better and I will keep you in my prayers
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Thank you Melissa - i really appreciate that. I will continue to do the same for you.

    I added 3 photos. The first two were taken the night before my surgery. It was me standing against the wall (or attempting to) - i could only do it if my knees were bent. If my knees were straight, i was unable to put my back against the wall. The one in the white shirt is after - where i am able to stand tall and straight with my back against the wall~!!! Once i have my xrays i'll post those as well. What a difference!
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Michelle, I am so sorry you had a rough time of it after your surgery. I too remember the hallucinations and it was very frightening for me after I woke up from the morphine. Every time they medicated me, I would start with the hallucinations again so they finally cut down of my dosage. I am glad you are home now and are doing better. You are so blessed to have a strong faith in God. That positive energy goes a long way to help with the healing. Seeing your little ones also is a positive force.
    Take good care, Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Michele

    Iím glad you responded, and to the forum.

    You know something? you did it! You had no choice but you will be much happier now.

    I never had the hallucinations, they just kept knocking me out.....4 seconds, and I was out. Itís so hard weaning down from the max.....after 10 days, I basically ran out of the hospital. What a program! (smiley face) Iím a teetotaler now, gee, I wonder why?

    I started with the protein smoothieís and they made me feel better, if you need a recipe, I can wing that for you.

    Faith is something that carries us through. I wasnít too worried, and knew it would be a long road. Keep smiling, because it can only get better as time passes.

    Take it slow
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Michele--
    Oh, my! You've really been through it all. I am so glad you are doing better and are home. Prayers for a continued positive recovery! 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.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Laguna Woods, Irvine, CA
    Posts
    42

    Its me....

    Sorry it was so difficult. I'm glad the 2nd is over. Had the hallucinations too, thought it was from all that anesthesia; but I don't really know. I hope you're taking 1 minute at a time and feeling well with that minute. I'll be sending you health filled rainbows and prayers and here's hoping for a speedy recovery. Renee
    60 yrs old did scuba,lift & work. Miss all.
    1st t surgery,28 years. L4/5 fusion
    2nd surgery 10-19; went from 2 80%+ curves to 20% + 30%.T4-S1,38 screws (loose & angled wrong), 15 fusions many fusions did not take,& horrific had/have(?) infection.
    Lot of pain.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Wow, you really had a time of it. I'm glad you're better now and wish you a speedy and uneventful recovery. It's so interesting how we all react so differently to the meds. I had plenty of hallucinations also but they were like cartoons playing out on the hospital-room curtains and kept me entertained for hours...!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Thanks so much for your replies. It hasn't been easy, especially with my two little ones, but we're managing. Thank God for my mom who is doing so much for us - cooking, babysitting, laundry, etc. and we've had meals delivered several times a week from my church group which is such a blessing!!!

    I have before and after CT and X-RAY pics on my blog so feel free to take a look! They're very cool and it's just so strange knowing I have this in me!!! Go to: jerseyot.blogspot.com
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    I am so glad that you are doing better.
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    STRESS GASTRITIS anyone?? After weeks of nausea, stomach upset, weight loss, poor appetite, on/off constipation and brutal fatigue I finally saw my surgeon (at the urging of my visiting nurse and home PT) and that's what he said I probably have. Good news was my blood work doesn't show any late infection brewing and my hematocrit is back to normal. But my labs said my iron saturation and iron levels were low but he said I didn't need to take the iron anymore because my blood level is back up to normal (12)??

    Did anyone have this GASTRITIS after your surgeries?? I am getting worse each day. I can't get out of bed most days without terrible nausea. I'm pale as paste and feel completely run down - my Mom is STILL here taking care of the kids (everything: to/from daycare, meals, playing etc) as well as me. I don't know what I'd do without her - but i don't know how much longer I bare feeling this awful. I'm living on ginger ale and crackers and now taking Pepto and Zantac. Something has to help.
    Last edited by jerseyot; 03-09-2012 at 06:39 PM.
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyot View Post
    STRESS GASTRITIS anyone?? After weeks of nausea, stomach upset, weight loss, poor appetite, on/off constipation and brutal fatigue I finally saw my surgeon (at the urging of my visiting nurse and home PT) and that's what he said I probably have. Good news was my blood work doesn't show any late infection brewing and my hematocrit is back to normal. But my labs said my iron saturation and iron levels were low but he said I didn't need to take the iron anymore because my blood level is back up to normal (12)??

    Did anyone have this GASTRITIS after your surgeries?? I am getting worse each day. I can't get out of bed most days without terrible nausea. I'm pale as paste and feel completely run down - my Mom is STILL here taking care of the kids (everything: to/from daycare, meals, playing etc) as well as me. I don't know what I'd do without her - but i don't know how much longer I bare feeling this awful. I'm living on finger ale and crackers and now taking Pepto and Zantac. Something has to help.
    JerseyOT, sorry you are feeling so horrible. I had terrible diarrhea for 2-1/2 years after my gallbladder surgery. My recent ileus has taught me something I never though about before. Mom always gave us 7-Up and soda crackers when we were sick, or gingerale. Ditch the carbonation. You'll feel better. I would recommend warm liquids like chamomile tea or hot jello water. At least that is what is working for me. Also a soft diet. I've been eating the saltine crackers, rice dishes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, toast and stuff like that. It really has helped with the nausea a GREAT deal. Unfortunately, in most people, the constipation is from the pain meds if you are still on them. If not, maybe eating the soft diet for awhile will give you some relief. I can tell you over the last week, when I give in and eat something I shouldn't, the symptoms start right back up again.

    That's all the advice I can give. I hope you feel better soon!

    Rohrer01

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Rohrer1: thanks so much for your reply. I had diarrhea for 2yrs and lost 28lbs after my gall bladder surgery too! Who knew! Fix one thing and break another! I've ditched the carbonation too - grew up on flat ginger ale and saltine crackers when we were sick so that's pretty much what's been on the menu. I'll definitely try the cream of wheat as well as the "soft and bland" stuff as my tummy tolerates. I will take any suggestions just so I can try to get some relief. As you know, it's pretty miserable - and makes its nearly impossible to take care of my little ones. I still on pain meds but it's a fraction of what I was taking even a week ago so im happy about that - but I do still need it for the leg pain and lower pain especially at night. Praying for better eelng days ahead.
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

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