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Thread: Susan's surgery at UCSF with Dr. Hu on 19 and 22 March, 2013

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525

    Susan's surgery at UCSF with Dr. Hu on 19 and 22 March, 2013

    I am now 6 days away from surgery! YIKES!!! My previous blog mentioned needing confidence....well, I have that now and am surprisingly at peace with the whole surgery! I am in SF now staying with my son and daughter-in-law, both of whom are Nurse Practitioners who attended UCSF. They live across the bay in Oakland.

    I went up to UCSF yesterday to check the place out and visit Irina. I found the registration and the orthopedic floor, and attended a "Get ready for surgery class". Half way through the 2.5 hour class, I laid on the floor as my back was killing me and I couldn't sit any longer. The instructor was surprised, but I stayed on the floor for the rest of the class with my son's jacket under my head. If I had doubts about needing the surgery, the last week has decreased them! I now carry a child's chair with me as I cannot stand for very long [like longer than 3 minutes]. I get stares in downtown SF as I waited for the bus sitting on my small kiddie chair....but there were no seats at the bus stop! I guess SF people just stand up!

    A month ago, I was a basket case, but now, I am feeling confident. I decided that I was not the 1/100 that would die in surgery [the number that Dr. Hu gave me for my age and procedure.] I have trust in Dr. Hu and I believe that everything will work out. I feel kind of drugged....yes, I am taking Nucynta right now for the pain. My back hurts in so many places! Dr. Hu wasn't sure that the surgery would decrease all of my pain.....and that would be a real bummer. I just pray that I can get relief! My CT scan shows moderate degeneration of my cervical vertebrae discs, so I wonder if I will need to have something done on them in the future. They might be the cause of some of my headaches and certainly my upper back pain. A heating pad helps a lot.

    My husband [who has a terrible cough right now....so I avoid him and hope that he gets better by the time of my surgery], my son, my brother, and my daughter will hopefully stay with me in the hospital. They will take shifts. Probably because nobody can take me longer than 8 hours! Nurses [and doctors] make the worst patients.

    I will try to stay busy, but am limited on walking and sitting. I hope to go to some museams in SF and do some swimming at the Y. The weather is sunny here, so maybe sit outside a lot.

    Your Twisted Sister, Susan

    I will have a family member post while I am in the hospital.
    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 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at 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 + prayer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    What a great post! I'm glad you're at peace with your wise decision to improve your quality of life.
    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. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Susan,

    You sound like you are all ready!! Congrats--I will be sending prayers your way.

    Best,
    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Your post brought back memories of trying to stand. My life was filled with painful queues in those days. 30 seconds was all it took before the lower back pain set in and just got worse until I could sit or lie down. Arrgghhhh. I have none of that now, so hopefully, neither will you.

    With a bit of luck, having your spine straightened, might slow the progression of the degeneration in your cervical spine? Perhaps one of the knowledgeable people here could answer that.

    But I'm with Karen, having this surgery is a wise decision. Glad you're at peace with it, Susan.
    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
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Warsaw, MO
    Posts
    373
    Susan,
    I am excited for you as the day drews near. It is an exciting yet nervous time, but it will all be worth it when you can do the things most take for granted without pain scaring you away or keeping you down. I am praying daily for you as many here are.

    Tamena
    Diagnosed at age 12 with a double major curve

    Braced till age 15

    SSBOB T12-L2 Anterior age 34. (October 22,2012) Dr. Robert Gaines Jr. ( Columbia, MO)

    Revision Surgery T2-Sacrum with Pelvic Fixation Prosterior age 35 (November 13,2013) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

    Revision Surgery L4/L5 due to BMP Complication age 36 (November 20,2014) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, Mo)

    Revision Surgery due to broken rod scheduled for October 19, 2016 with Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27
    Sending good thoughts your way! Best of luck, my friend!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Glad that you are at peace with your decision. Try to enjoy the next several days
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Susan,
    Before my surgery, we took our grandsons to Plimouth Plantation which required quite a bit of walking. I took a little camp stool with me so that I could sit down when I needed to which was often. I will pray that your surgery removes all of your pain. Even though I still have some pain, it was worth it to have surgery. Life is so much better than it was.
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345
    Susan, please accept my Prayers for a successful surgery and many pain free days ahead!!! You are a remarkable woman and have given all of us support through our surgeries. Now it's your turn. ~~ just remember, those first couple days are the worst you'll have to go through. And compared to all the pain you've endured, you'll do great! Keep us posted ~~~we'll be looking forward to hearing from you!
    God Bless~~Linda
    Linda Brozik~~60 yrs. old at time of Lenke's first surgery. 62 now!
    Surgery 2006 L3/4 L4/5 double fusion/ instumentation/ With 2 cages
    This started adult onset scoliosis
    July 1st, 2010/ surgery ~~fused T10 to pelvis (long rods/ screws)
    Oct.20th 2010, extended rods to T4 / did osteotomy at L3
    Oct. 29th 2012 Dr. Lenke St. Louis Mo. T4 to sacrum osteotomy anterior cage L3/4 titanium rods
    May 30th 2013 revision
    May 8th cervicle surgery 2016
    May 31st Dr. Gupta revision 2017

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525

    2 days to go.....YIKES!

    My surgery is in 2 days and I am a combination of sort of resignation, scared, and optimism. My back has hurt so much in the past 2 months as if to remind me why I am having surgery. I have a pre-op appointment with Dr. Hu tomorrow. I have a list of questions for her, but I guess that it won't matter much what she says. I am looking for any vestige of reassurance, I suppose. Reassurance in what? I am unsure. I have trust in Dr. Hu. I even read her chapter on Adult Scoliosis Surgery....just in case she needs my consultation. Is this the right decision for me to have surgery? All I can say, is that the alternative looks like not much future at all. Is this the right time? I'm only going to degenerate more with time and get older....not much future there!

    Fortunately, I don't need to be very organized for the surgery. Just show up in my birthday suit with my lip gloss! UCSF allows pedicures, so my toes are bright red. I'll have to remove my toe rings that I have worn for many years that I bought in India on one of my medical support trips. Too bad, they are a nice touch. I usually wear many rings, necklace, ankle bracelet, toe rings....I will feel depersonalized! But, I'll smell great like fresh Hebicens soap!

    I had 2 acupuncture treatments in the last 2 days which helped some. I'm going to eat lightly f,or the next 2 days. It is sunny outside, so I will enjoy it! I used to be able to do backbends in my youth, so maybe I will try to do one this afternoon! I want to twist and turn and lean backwards as I know that will be impossible after surgery. I wish that I could know what it felt like to be fused. Wish that I could practice.

    Guess that you are never really ready for the surgery. 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 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at 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 + prayer

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    You are going to do great Susan. You know this surgery is necessary and you're prepared for it. It's such a small period of time before things will start to get better and better and better. If you could just wish away the next week or ten days, you'd be at the stage of huge relief, feeling better and taller and admiring your new shape!

    I felt the same the day before surgery. I wondered what I could do then that I wouldn't be able to do after surgery. A cartwheel! I hadn't done one for about 10 years but was fortunate enough to have been able to get very fit so I went into the back yard, and on a lovely, green, expanse of lawn, I did a cartwheel. One was enough - it hurt. But it was worth it. I haven't attempted it since and nor will I. But it was such a good feeling, I'm glad I did it.

    I wish I could explain to you how you are already at the most difficult point, it all gets easier from now on. The anxiety, the doubt, the fear, it's all about to disappear. Place yourself in the hands of people with the skills, knowledge and dedication to provide you with just what you need and keep you safe. You'll do great!
    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
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Susan-- I am excited for you and know will be so glad to be on the other side of this... You are in my prayers and thoughts. Soon you'll have the waiting over and the healing will begin. I'm excited for you! It's hard work, but well worth it. Know that we are all rooting for you and will be waiting to hear how you are doing. Hugs, Susie
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    I ditto everything that Jennifer said, except I didn't try a cartwheel. Now, when someone asks me about my back, I am thrilled to talk about it as opposed to avoiding the subject before surgery. Choosing to have the surgery was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I'll be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. You'll do great!
    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/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    570
    I typed a long response, but it disappeared. Best of luck, Susan! I'll be thinking about you next week and can't wait to receive an email from Mark with a good report.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Warsaw, MO
    Posts
    373
    Susan,

    I have you on my mind today. I know you are probably getting anxious awaiting that final day before this big change. I am praying for you! Good luck!

    Tamena
    Diagnosed at age 12 with a double major curve

    Braced till age 15

    SSBOB T12-L2 Anterior age 34. (October 22,2012) Dr. Robert Gaines Jr. ( Columbia, MO)

    Revision Surgery T2-Sacrum with Pelvic Fixation Prosterior age 35 (November 13,2013) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

    Revision Surgery L4/L5 due to BMP Complication age 36 (November 20,2014) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, Mo)

    Revision Surgery due to broken rod scheduled for October 19, 2016 with Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

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