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Thread: finally on the mend

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Posts
    61

    finally on the mend

    Hello everyone, I am just about 6 months post-op and finally feeling like there is life after spinal fusion. I have had a rough go of it...I really thought I was invincible and would heal more quickly than proposed, found out I'm not...quite humbling this experience has been. I slipped into a little 'funk' for a while and began to feel sorry for myself and jealous and angry at people around me because they couldn't understand and didn't have to go through it. I have different outlooks on things in life now, I used to get worked up over the smallest things and now I am so much more laid back...I hope some of you can understand where I am coming from with this....it's like if I can get through this, I can get through ANYTHING, I have lost alot of the fears I used to have pre-surgery. At first I was angry with having to find 'new' ways to do things, now I am finding how creative I am. We should have a sticky thread with ideas for people on new ways to do things, for instance I can cut my own toenails somewhat but only if I lay on my back and cross my ankle on one leg over on the opposite knee. It would be interesting to learn new ways that have worked for others, each time I find a way to do something I thought I couldn't it is sooo liberating. Somedays it's one step forward and two steps back but I realize this really does take a year at the least to heal, and I am finally coming to terms with it. I am going back to work on Monday, I wish I felt more ready...I have been feeling better but not as well as I'd like, I am just so impaitient! I am so thankful to the caring people on here who have tried to reach out to me, thank you.
    For all of those awaiting surgery...my advice to you would be, put trust in your surgeon and just...let go...working yourself up over all the 'what if's' will only drive you crazy and after you are on the otherside, whatever will be will be...you will take things one day at a time and realize that you can plan all you want but you will never be ready for everything, this surgery is no picnic, but if you need it...IT IS NECESSARY and if you think about it there is no way you can possibly regret trying with all your might....to save your future.
    Spring
    42 yrs old
    Milwaukee braced 1983 to 1989
    was told my curves would never progress
    at 19yrs old 1991, T30-L38
    2010, T38-L56--progression in one year 2011, T40-L67
    new diagnosis-kyphoscoliosis, DDD, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, 73 degree Kyphosis
    Surgery 1-09-12....10 hrs all posterior T4-sacrum & 2 cages
    Dr. Lenke-St. Louis Mo.
    Surgery to clean out infection 2-10-12
    Revision for broken rods 1-23-14

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Spring,

    Good to hear that you are on the mend and ready to get on with life. I understand the frustration of not being further ahead in recovery. I am 10 weeks post op today and have had my own setbacks that I am dealing with as well, mainly nerve pain currently which is affecting my activity level. It is difficult to see others around us getting on with life and not understanding what we are going through. It's hard to see my family going on canoe trips, etc. while I am left at home. To see that you are getting back to life gives us following behind hope of returning to normal life one day. Best of luck to you starting back to work on Monday.

    Pam
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Spring--
    Congrats on being 6 months post surgery. You have written a very profound statement about what many of us feel after and before surgery--some more than others. But it very honestly portrays what it's all about. Thank you and good luck. 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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Absolutely. This surgery is a lot of things, but one way or another, it's definitely a growth period!
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Hi, Spring,
    It is soooo good to hear from you. I was just thinking today that I needed to send you an email and check up on you. You sound so good. Best of luck in going back to work. I can tell you that I am better today at 1 1/2 years than I was at a year, so expect to keep feeling better and better.
    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/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Glad you've reached the 6 month milestone and that things are going better for you. This whole journey is a growing experience in so many ways beyond that extra inch or two we gain physically. My surgery changed my entire perspective and outlook on life (in a positive way) but it's a slow process and Lord knows it's not easy! Keep talking to your forum friends esp. if you're having a rough day and you're frustrated. We have all been there! I'm over two years out and I can tell you it just keeps getting better. Best wishes for continued healing!


    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 !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    571
    Hi Spring,

    What a good advice about letting go and driving yourself crazy over "what-ifs"... Glad to hear you're doing well and hope you'll keep getting better and better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,577
    Hi Spring: I too like you comment about not getting too worked uo about the "what ifs". I have had back pain for only a year and was diagnosed last August. The pain is getting progressively worse and I'm not sure if and when I should have surgery. Your comments have given me alot to think about. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. As I read the blog it seems that it does take quite a while to heal, so I imagine that at 1 year, your life will be better. Take care and keep up those positive thoughts.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    77
    Hi Everyone,

    thank you all for posting and your experiences. I am 6 weeks post op with a T9 to sacrum fusion and I too am a positive person, however, at times I find myself going over to the dark side and putting bad thoughts in my head which I try to push out and trust that God is with me and will get through this. I too have gained about 2" in height, no longer have to pull my bra down constantly, can wear shirts without a problem. My recovery however is being hindered by some right legged weakness which is being checked out. I will not be able to drive until this is resolved so keep your fingers crossed that this can be resolved. I am becoming a bit impatient and need to seriously get into my head that this takes time. I am so used to being there for everyone and not being able to do the things I used to do right now can become frustrating. I need to put the "what if's" out of my head and all of your input helps me put things into perspective, so thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Posts
    61
    Thank you ladies....it is a good feeling to know that if we are all stuck in the same boat, at least we aren't in it alone
    Spring
    42 yrs old
    Milwaukee braced 1983 to 1989
    was told my curves would never progress
    at 19yrs old 1991, T30-L38
    2010, T38-L56--progression in one year 2011, T40-L67
    new diagnosis-kyphoscoliosis, DDD, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, 73 degree Kyphosis
    Surgery 1-09-12....10 hrs all posterior T4-sacrum & 2 cages
    Dr. Lenke-St. Louis Mo.
    Surgery to clean out infection 2-10-12
    Revision for broken rods 1-23-14

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