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Thread: Peggy's Scoliosis Surgery: the journey begins on 10/27!

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by PeggyS View Post
    Hi Fifa!

    No wonder you're feeling down, with trying to work extra hours & getting ready for surgery/recovery. Any possibility for short term disability?
    Let us know how the myleogram CT went.
    I got the financial aid rep to give me an idea of what I might qualify for - I didn't want to do all that paperwork, if it wasn't even close. Last year's adj gross income was 'over the top' unusual & they won't look at previous years, which would give a realistic picture for future years.
    I'm ok with 2 BMP kits, instead of 6. I like the idea of putting it at the most stressed areas.
    I accept your pain-free hugs with gladness! Sending you the same!
    Hi, Peggy!

    I'm better today - thanks for the hugs! No, even though I have really great insurance through my job, we don't have short term disability. We have long term disability, but I would have to be off work (without pay) for six months to qualify for that. I really can't go into unpaid status at my job...if I do, then not only do I have no income, but we would have to pay for the full cost of benefits (the university stops picking up their part if I go into unpaid status). So, no deal. It seems this week that there have been some surprises. Megan told me that Dr. B plans for his patients to be off work for three months. I only have two months of paid time saved up, so that threw me for a loop. You aren't the only one who is a control freak! LOL There has just been a lot this past week. Things are getting better, though. I'm lying in bed right now trying out the over-the-bed laptop cart that we bought so I can work from home while lying down. Hopefully, even if I can't return to work as soon as I had hoped, maybe I can work from bed a couple of hours per day to start. That will preserve my paid status and allow me to access the paid time off that I will accrue in the two months that I'm gone.

    The best part of this week is that I had dinner with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We were sort of roommates in college (I couldn't stand my roomie and there was an empty bed in my friend's room, so I was there a LOT). Anyway, she is going to come with me for a couple of days to give my hubby a break, as he will commute back and forth to care for our dog...our baby. LOL The dog is 15 and on pain meds twice per day for his arthritis. Anyway, I'm beyond overjoyed that she will be with us. I desperately needed someone savvy who wouldn't suck all the oxygen out of the room!! With her and hubby nearby, I'm sure I'll be well cared for.

    Wish I had asked the financial rep about the income limits, but maybe next week. I think you'll do fine with the treatment plan Dr. B has for you. He wouldn't have recommended it if he had doubts, I'm sure!! It sounds like you are well prepared - good for you! I'm counting the days until your surgery - I pray for you daily!

    Fifa

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by fifa View Post
    Hi, Peggy!

    I'm better today - thanks for the hugs! No, even though I have really great insurance through my job, we don't have short term disability. We have long term disability, but I would have to be off work (without pay) for six months to qualify for that. I really can't go into unpaid status at my job...if I do, then not only do I have no income, but we would have to pay for the full cost of benefits (the university stops picking up their part if I go into unpaid status). So, no deal. It seems this week that there have been some surprises. Megan told me that Dr. B plans for his patients to be off work for three months. I only have two months of paid time saved up, so that threw me for a loop. You aren't the only one who is a control freak! LOL There has just been a lot this past week. Things are getting better, though. I'm lying in bed right now trying out the over-the-bed laptop cart that we bought so I can work from home while lying down. Hopefully, even if I can't return to work as soon as I had hoped, maybe I can work from bed a couple of hours per day to start. That will preserve my paid status and allow me to access the paid time off that I will accrue in the two months that I'm gone.

    The best part of this week is that I had dinner with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We were sort of roommates in college (I couldn't stand my roomie and there was an empty bed in my friend's room, so I was there a LOT). Anyway, she is going to come with me for a couple of days to give my hubby a break, as he will commute back and forth to care for our dog...our baby. LOL The dog is 15 and on pain meds twice per day for his arthritis. Anyway, I'm beyond overjoyed that she will be with us. I desperately needed someone savvy who wouldn't suck all the oxygen out of the room!! With her and hubby nearby, I'm sure I'll be well cared for.

    Wish I had asked the financial rep about the income limits, but maybe next week. I think you'll do fine with the treatment plan Dr. B has for you. He wouldn't have recommended it if he had doubts, I'm sure!! It sounds like you are well prepared - good for you! I'm counting the days until your surgery - I pray for you daily!

    Fifa

    Fifa, it's good to hear you're feeling a little better. *I've never heard of the type of laptop cart you mentioned. *Interesting....
    Disability coverage has changed a great deal over the past few years for many places of employment. It was never a concern for us & we needed it! I worry about our adult kids.
    Our younger daughter is living at home, so she'll be there to take care of our dog.
    That's good you've got friends to help care for you in the hospital - ones that really know how to help!
    Take care!
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275

    I miss my anti-inflammatory!

    Wow - I didn't realize how MUCH diclofinec has been helping my joints! My husband has notice how much I've slowed down. It's a good thing I finished the 'heavy' type of cleaning/organizing b/f I went off the medicine!
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    I can empathize, Peggy. I had been taking diclofenac for my arthritis for years and was off it for 6 months when I had my surgery. Fortunately the pain meds helped some with that post-op, but my arthritis was to the extent that kept me uncomfortable any position I tried to sit, stand or sleep-- mostly hips and knees, but also hands. Try Ed's soothing soaks in the tub or heating pads (but be sure they are not too hot) and you can purchase those small gel-filled bags that you can either get cold or zap in the microwave for a few seconds that you can place anywhere that can bring some relief. Those might help on knees and hips or even hands. Best wishes. Ask if you can take something like tramadol instead... for the pain.

    That's really good of you to have done all that work!!! Now it's either time for hubby to take over or for you to not let it bother you if things aren't cleaned to perfection. Best wishes, sister scoli! You'll soon be on the other side of this!
    67 and plugging along...
    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°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

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

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,095
    Peg, I also took various NSAID’s over the years.....and yes, they do work well....

    I quit Celebrex and Bextra in Sept 2002 by swimming in the ocean all day long in Hawaii. I terminated one morning and the pain hit like a freight train.
    I then decided that I would drive to Hapuna Beach, Big Island Hawaii at 6AM the next morning and do ocean therapy and it worked......I managed to get off the Celebrex with this method and stayed off. I put on too much weight taking NSAID’s.

    There is always a price to pay when you take meds. At Hapuna, they have large tiger sharks that hang out there, so you can understand what I’m saying. Never mind the destruction to the liver and kidneys, that takes longer......(smiley face)

    Being clean going in is a good idea........I also had to quit coffee, since they didn’t want me going through caffeine withdrawal.

    I used hot water soaks for pain control before and after my surgeries. Having a deep tub so you can float is what you want......I also set the water temp at 106 degrees F. Hot water works well for bone and nerve pain.

    I had a heating pad many years ago that I fell asleep on which produced major spasms.....I ended up throwing it out.

    Heat works, but can produce more pain at times. I had a 7 ft square hot tub with all the bells and whistles and was having problems since it seemed to create more pain at times. For years it was drained leading up to my surgeries.

    Diclofenac worked well for my neck last year. I took it for 30 days, and when the pain ceased, I terminated the meds.

    We are prescribed Opoid’s in our recoveries. Oxy or Percoset etc....This is what we have to wean off of and its not an easy thing.....I guess it doesn’t matter what we are weaning from, its always a learning curve....The one thing that should be a goal after is the eventual weaning off of meds, that way you don’t have to worry about the sharks.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,163

    FMLA leave

    Quote Originally Posted by fifa View Post
    Hi, Peggy!

    I'm better today - thanks for the hugs! No, even though I have really great insurance through my job, we don't have short term disability. We have long term disability, but I would have to be off work (without pay) for six months to qualify for that. I really can't go into unpaid status at my job...if I do, then not only do I have no income, but we would have to pay for the full cost of benefits (the university stops picking up their part if I go into unpaid status). So, no deal. It seems this week that there have been some surprises. Megan told me that Dr. B plans for his patients to be off work for three months. I only have two months of paid time saved up, so that threw me for a loop. You aren't the only one who is a control freak! LOL There has just been a lot this past week. Things are getting better, though. I'm lying in bed right now trying out the over-the-bed laptop cart that we bought so I can work from home while lying down. Hopefully, even if I can't return to work as soon as I had hoped, maybe I can work from bed a couple of hours per day to start. That will preserve my paid status and allow me to access the paid time off that I will accrue in the two months that I'm gone. <snip>Fifa
    I live in Oregon where we don't have state short-term disability, and I foolishly missed my opportunity to purchase it the year before during open enrollment. One of your comments caught my eye, the part about having to pay your full insurance if you are on unpaid status…your surgery will qualify you for 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and my understanding of this is although it is unpaid, your employer is obligated to continue paying your insurance as if you were still working. And I know at least in Oregon you get 12 weeks of FMLA per calendar year, so if your surgery is in November you get FMLA through December 31, then the clock starts over again on January 1 with another 12 weeks of FMLA leave. Have you asked your HR department about FMLA? They should be able to supply all the required paperwork. The other good part of being protected by FMLA is your job is guaranteed to be held for you (unless there are company lay-offs).

    I stayed home 14 weeks after my first surgery…I did not feel ready at all to return to work, even on limited duty, but I had no choice financially and due to job circumstances (and I am a hospital nurse, sad how unsympathetic hospitals are to their employees). I was really super bored by then so despite still being in pain I was happy to be back in an intellectually and socially stimulating environment. It was exhausting though, and I feel that I set myself back in my recovery by at least a month. I would advise you to check out your options in case you are not able to return to work when you are hoping to. You only have one chance to get the healing right for your back!

    Take care,
    Gayle, age 50
    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)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

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

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    571
    Quote Originally Posted by leahdragonfly View Post
    your surgery will qualify you for 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and my understanding of this is although it is unpaid, your employer is obligated to continue paying your insurance as if you were still working.
    Gayle,

    Only employers with over 50 employees are required to comply with FMLA. Small companies with under 50 employees can do anything they want - cut you off insurance when you go on medical leave and do whatever they wish. Sadly, I am speaking from personal experience and I've done a lot of research... It is legal for a small company to cut you off insurance when you're sick, but they are required to offer Cobra.
    Last edited by Irina; 10-20-2014 at 01:12 AM.
    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

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275

    Packing

    I'm starting to pack - whew - I have a lot of 'stuff' to take for a month!

    My anxiety level was high on Monday & Tuesday, but I've been more calm since then.
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Warsaw, MO
    Posts
    373
    Praying for you! I will be right behind you with surgery scheduled for November 20th. So I will be in Saint Louis on the 17th.

    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)

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Best wishes, Peggy. I'll be praying for you. Soon all this waiting will be over and you'll be "on the other side" -- ready for the recovery time!!! Hugs! And you too, Tamena.
    67 and plugging along...
    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°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

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

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,582
    You are on your way to healing and the rest of your life! Many people have a minor bump in the road with healing, so don't be surprised if there is a surprise!

    Do exactly what you are told in lifting, constipation prevention (biggie!), pain control, rehab, etc. get outside as soon as you can and smell the fresh air and soak in some sunshine. You have done your homework and all you need to do now is to show up at the hospital on time with your insurance card buck naked. Certainly, you can wear clothes if you would feel more comfortable!

    Sending healing vibes your way. The force is with you!

    Hugs, 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

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,095
    Calm blue ocean.....its going to be ok....

    Post when you can.....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Muskoka, ON Canada
    Posts
    98
    Best wishes Peggy,stay calm. Will be thinking of you.
    Marianne
    rotoscoliosis, subluxation and spinal stenosis
    Surgery April 15, 2015 at age 67
    T11-L5
    Decompression with multiple discectomies
    Concord cages @ L2-3, L3-4, L4-5
    Osteotomies and local bone grafting
    Revision Feb.22, 2018
    Replaced rods
    Took out L5 disk to free up nerves
    Used BPM to help with fusing
    Fused T10-S1 with screws in pelvis

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99
    Good luck and speedy healing, Peggy!
    Surgery Jan 6, 2014 at 38 yrs
    Posterior Fusion T10-L4, osteotomy 1 lev.
    Pre op-Thoracolumbar Curve-50 degrees

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    571
    Best of luck, Peggy.
    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

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